Author: Leigh Bardugo

Top Ten Tuesday #4

Posted December 27, 2016 by Emily in Top 10 / 2 Comments

Top Ten Best Books of 2016!

I know, I know- basic. BUT this book was so amazing and there was no way I was leaving this off the list. I pre-ordered and then procrastinated because I knew it was going to mess with my emotions, but it’s so worth it in the end. I can sum up my greatest love for this series in one word: RHYSAND. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday #4A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Genres: romance, Fantasy
Pages: 640
Buy on Amazon

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven I can’t say enough about all the good things about this book. I wrote a full review-but the highlights are body positivity, diversity, and the sweet romance.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Another book with a full review, but this definitely makes my top 2016 reads. I loved the interracial relationship, the own voices representation, and the mix up in traditional gender roles. If you haven’t read this one, you must!

Top Ten Tuesday #4The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Press on November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: 348
Buy on Amazon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover I’ve heard differing opinions on this book, but I absolutely loved it. It was heartbreaking and felt real to me. I also think it could give strength to women in similar situations.

Top Ten Tuesday #4It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on August 2nd, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 367
Buy on Amazon

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Definitely not a 2016 release, but still one that sucked me into the entire trilogy this year. I loved the mystery and, of course, Noah.

Top Ten Tuesday #4The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Genres: paranormal, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 456
Buy on Amazon

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

This one is probably going to be on every list. I can’t help it though. It was perfection. Nina and Matthias’s deep and abiding love will always be one of my favorite romances. Leigh Bardugo made me feel more between them in just a few pages than most authors can in an entire book.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Orion Children's Books on September 27th 2016
Pages: 536

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Speaking of romances, while I may never recover from Nina and Matthais, meeting Mattie and Asa sure helped a lot. This book had the most interesting magic system of any book I read this year. I loved how it was dark and gritty. This is not the romance to read if you want hearts and rainbows. It’s the beginning of a series and it’s one I just couldn’t put down. This one has been a real success story with recommendations too. Every single person I’ve recommended it to has loved it.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Reliquary by Sarah Fine
Series: Reliquary #1
on June 14, 2016
Genres: romance, Fantasy
Pages: 331
Buy on Amazon

Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.

Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.

I don’t struggle with mental illness but  I have loved ones who do. This book was so eye opening for me. It was heartbreaking to learn about all the tragedy’s in Charlie’s life. I loved seeing her survive and heal.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Published by Delacorte Press on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon


Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

This audio book is hands down one of the best I’ve ever read. To take an epistolary novel like Illuminae, which is told in chat logs and drawings and turn it into an audio book is an achievement in itself, but this one goes above and beyond. My favorite character is not any of the main ones but VidTech 7213! Reading the books, I didn’t notice what a distinct voice and personality he has but the audio book allows every character to shine.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: Illuminae Files #1
Published by Listening Library (Audio) on October 20th 2015
Genres: Sci Fi, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

This book totally screwed me up in a really good way. It was creepy and unsettling and terrifying at points. I loved how the author made being a stalker and a serial killer almost normal at points because it really made me think about things. Being in the mind of a crazy person and reading the story from his point of view really emphasized how screwed up Joe is.

Top Ten Tuesday #4You by Caroline Kepnes
Series: You #1
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on September 30th 2014
Genres: horror, Thriller
Pages: 422
Buy on Amazon

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

What were your Top Ten reads of 2016?



Six of Crows Buddy Read Review

Posted March 3, 2016 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments

Six of Crows Buddy Read ReviewSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Dregs #1, Grisha #4
Published by Henry Holt and Company on September 29th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 465
Format: hardcover
Buy on Amazon

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

This is the final episode of the Great Grishaverse Buddy Read Review, at least until Crooked Kingdom comes out. I’m so lucky that Jade from Bedtime Bookworm and Brittany from BrittanyÂ’s Book Rambles started this crazy journey with me. I loved their reactions and their opinions. I can only post a small snippet of all we talked about here but these girls made my day, more often than not. Our side conversations were almost better than the book talks. So happy that I’ve become friends with these two!

Other Buddy Read Reviews
Shadow and Bone
Siege and Storm
Ruin and Rising

So let’s jump right in. From the beginning I was shocked by how deep the story is.



Yet again, I love this world. I don’t quite want to move there because its so ruthless and unforgiving. Still, that’s what I love about it.



OK, just one side conversation.



Even in the beginning, I could see that I was going to be completely obsessed with Six of Crows. Six of Crows is a new favorite. I’m so glad I preordered it and have a hard cover but now I must have all of the Six of Crows things!



I admitted my shame. This book was so hard to stick to the Buddy Read Rules.




Then things really got rolling. Britt started smirking in classic Britt form.



I don’t know if this one is a spoiler or not. It’s my dream though. Who doesn’t like kissing?



All good things come to an end. It makes me sad that I will never be able to read Six of Crows for the first time again.



I had to read the last section in on burst. It was glued to my hands. I couldn’t put it down if I had wanted to.



So it begins again.


Until next time, friends. Don’t worry, I’m going to talk Jade and Britt into buddy reading again.





Buddy Read Review: Ruin and Rising

Buddy Read Review: Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo Series: Grisha #3 Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 17th 2014 Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult Pages: 422 Format: hardcover Buy on Amazon The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future sheÂ’s fighting for. I had the honor of finishing my Buddy Read through the Grishaverse with Ruin and Rising with Jade from Bedtime Bookworm . Then Grishaverse Expert, Brittany, fromBrittanyÂ’s Book Rambles chose our stopping points,  listened in to our twitter […]

Posted January 26, 2016 by Emily in Review, Special Feature / 1 Comment

Buddy Read Review: Siege and Storm

Buddy Read Review: Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo Series: Grisha #2 Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4th 2013 Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult Pages: 435 Format: hardcover Buy on Amazon Darkness never dies. Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She canÂ’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the DarklingÂ’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. I had the honor of continuing my Buddy read through the Grishaverse with Siege and Storm with Jade from Bedtime Bookworm . Then Grishaverse Expert, Brittany, from BrittanyÂ’s Book Rambles chose our stopping points,  listened in to our twitter conversations and laughed at us good-naturedly. […]

Posted January 20, 2016 by Emily in Review, Special Feature / 1 Comment

Buddy Read Review: Shadow and Bone

Buddy Read Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Series: Grisha #1 Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 5th 2012 Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult Pages: 368 Buy on Amazon Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart. Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. I had the honor of Buddy Reading Shadow and Bone with Jade from Bedtime Bookworm . Then Grishaverse Expert, Brittany, from Brittany’s Book Rambles chose our stopping points, […]

Posted December 31, 2015 by Emily in Review, Special Feature / 6 Comments