Tag Archives: Sarah Fine

BookTube-a-Thon 2016: TBR

I’m back for BookTube-a-Thon with my tentative TBR. It’s mostly tentative because I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to stick to it. I tend to read with my moods, so I’ve never been great at following a set list. With that in mind I’m giving myself flexibility and a LOT of leeway.

Without further ado, here are my plans for each of the reading challenges.

Read a book with yellow on the cover:

   Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)

I have two in mind for this one, depending on how ambitious I’m feeling. Miss Mayhem is the second book in Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle series, and I’ve been listening to the audio version. Finishing this will be totally dependent on how much time I can dedicate to  working around the house. Summer Days and Summer Nights is an anthology of short stories, and I might give myself a pass and count this one complete if I finish at least one of them. (I know, it’s cheating…)

Read a book only after sunset:

Saga, Volume 1

The sun sets late in Seattle this time of year (around 9pm), and I’m usually in bed by 10, so I’ll be going quick-and-easy with this challenge. I’ve been meaning to read Saga for a while, and Volume 1 is one of my book club picks for the month, so now is the time!

Read a book you discovered through BookTube:

Ivory and Bone

I was completely sold on picking up Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh after watching a few of Trina’s videos on her BookTube channel, Between Chapters. I had never heard of it before, and her reviews easily convinced me that it was worth a read. To sum it up VERY briefly (and not having read it yet), it has a unique 2nd person narrative and is a prehistoric fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

Read a book by one of your favorite authors:

Reliquary (Reliquary, #1)  Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)  

This one should be easy, but it’s actually really hard for me to pin down. I tend to store up a bunch of books from favorite authors so that I can pull one out when I need help out of a reading slump, or when I just can’t figure out what I’m in the mood for. These are just a few of many that I might choose from: Reliquary by Sarah Fine, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, and Status Update by Annabeth Albert.

Read a book that is older than you:

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I’ve been meaning to read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones for a couple years now, and this is the perfect excuse! I love the movie adaptation, and I already have a copy of the book.

Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation:

    Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I have a few ideas for this one, each of which is cheating just a little bit. The first is to finish my re-read of the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (began several months ago). The second is to watch the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (read for book club in February). Lastly, if I need to, I’m happy to watch and count Howl’s Moving Castle for this one, too.

Read seven books: This is the challenge I think I am least likely to complete. I have read this much before, but not often, and never on command. If I do manage to finish, it won’t be following a set TBR. We’ll see how it goes!

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Are any of you guys participating in BookTube-a-Thon this year? Let me know so I can follow your progress!

 

Series Review: Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)  Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)

Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine
Marked: 4 of 5 stars
Claimed: 4 of 5 stars
Fated: 5 of 5 stars

Series Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

She laid her cool palms over the backs of his hands. “You’re making this so hard.”

“Good. We’re almost there, then.” He ducked his head until they were nose to nose. “My plan is to make it impossible.”

Servants of the Fate is an adult paranormal/urban fantasy trilogy, with a hefty dose of Greek mythology thrown in. Each book follows a Ferry sibling, a long-living descendant of a family that ferries souls into the afterlife after they die. The setting is post-apocalyptic Boston, and due to environmental disasters, it has been transformed into a dangerous network of canals (think Venice). The world is a fascinating blend of dystopian/urban dangers, the surviving modern technology, and mythological beings – namely ferrymen, Keres, Moros, and the Fates.

Each novel features its own main couple, with their own romance, but the overarching trilogy plot is also compelling, and everything comes together excitingly in Fated.

I really enjoyed this series! It has a blend of both YA and Adult themes that add up to a winning combination for me. As with Fine’s Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy, I was hooked within the first couple of chapters, and I raced through the whole series in less than a week. It helps that I had a great time reading them, and I was always dying to know what would happen next, even without cliffhangers.

Recommendation: Read this if you are a fan of YA urban fantasy with some sexy times thrown in, especially if you’re intrigued by Greek mythology!

Top Ten Tuesday: A Valentine’s Day Rainbow

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to the book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books in a Valentine’s Day Rainbow

This week’s TTT is a Valentine’s Day freebie, so I decided to go with a color theme 🙂 As a result, this mini collection includes a pretty wide variety of romantic stories, including Adult and Young Adult, Contemporary and Fantasy, Series and Standalone. There’s even a novella thrown in.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)  First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)  Fangirl  A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Duology Book 1) – This is my favorite book of those I’ve read this year so far. The setting is absolutely stunning, and it’s perfect for being whisked away for a few hours.

Fated by Sarah Fine – (Adult, Mythology/Fantasy/Apocalyptic, Trilogy Book 3) – I love Sarah Fine’s work because it never fails to draw me into the story 100%. This is the third book in her adult series, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones – (Adult, Paranormal/Chick Lit/Urban Fantasy, Series Book 1) – A fun, quick read that is full of snark, this is a prime example of a beach book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – (YA, Contemporary, Standalone) – One of my favorite YA novels, Fangirl is an excellent valentine’s day read!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Series Book 1) – This one is a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling with fae lore thrown in, and now is the perfect time to read it, since Book 2 is coming out in May.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, #1)  Entwined (Darkest London, #3.5)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Die for Me by Amy Plum – (YA, Paranormal/Fantasy, Trilogy Book 1) – This is a perfect choice for fans of romantic paranormal YA! To top it off, the series is set in Paris, the author’s home, and is full of romantic Parisian atmosphere.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (YA, Contemporary, Companion Trilogy Book 1) – Another YA set in Paris, this one is contemporary fiction and ALSO full of romantic Parisian atmosphere 😉

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee – (Adult, Contemporary, Series Book 1) – This is probably the most stereotypical romance novel on this list, but it is also a quick, fun read with a satisfying ending.

Entwined by Kristen Callihan – (Adult, Fantasy/Steampunk, Series Prequel Novella) – Despite being a companion novella to a larger series, this is a good representative of Callihan’s work, and the novella is perfectly enjoyable on its own. It is also one of my favorite novellas in general, and I think of the story as a loose retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – (YA, Contemporary/LGBT, Standalone) – This one was tied for my favorite 2015 read. I can’t recommend it enough 😀

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What books do you read around Valentine’s Day? Do you read romance or avoid the genre altogether? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books for Surviving Seattle Rain

This week’s theme is a general freebie, so I decided to go with one that is meaningful to me. While the internet has been bombarding me with posts about the American East Coast’s epic blizzard, I’ve been getting drenched each time I set foot outside (dog walks and uncovered bus stops certainly don’t help). This is about the time of year when the constant wet really wears me down. Thank goodness for good books that help us survive the winter.

Without further ado, if you can’t beat it, join it!

Books to BEAT the rain:

No matter the genre, these books will take you to a place where winter rain isn’t even a blip on the radar.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Uprooted  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Venetia

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – For fans of YA contemporary romance – This one features a sunny, pan-American road trip.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – For fans of quirky urban fantasies- The Heartstrikers series will suck you in with its post-magical-invasion-Detroit setting and amazing cast of characters.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – For fans of fantasy and/or fairy tales – A vivid fantasy featuring a seemingly unstoppable corrupted wood.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – For fans of fast-paced science fiction – This is the start to a really approachable sci fi trilogy with a bit of fantasy on the side.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – For fans of Regency romances – This one is set in a sunny countryside and is generally lighthearted and goofy.

Books to JOIN the rain:

If you just can’t seem to ignore the rain, these are great books for embracing the foul weather. You can read all about crazy antics in gloomy worlds from the comfort of your own chair, blanket, and hot beverage of your choice.

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)  Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1)  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)  Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – This fast-paced trilogy is set in a dark, vivid world – no rain, but LOTS of grey.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn -For fans of Victorian mysteries with a side of romance – This is a fun, quirky murder mystery set in rainy Victorian London.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – For fans of historical sci fi/fantasy – As a fictional memoir by the world’s leading dragon naturalist, there are plenty of muddy, wet adventures to be had in this one.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – For fans of YA paranormal/fantasy – The dark, mysterious setting of Prague is, hands down, my favorite part of this trilogy.

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett – For fans of period romance – This is the first book in a paranormal series set in rainy-but-vibrant Roaring Twenties San Francisco.

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What books do you read when the weather gets you down? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

The Emoji Book Tag

Book Tag - Emoji

Time for another book tag! I was tagged for this one by Zezee over at Zezee with Books. It’s pretty simple – I post 5 of my most used emoji with some books to match.

Samsung's White Smiling Face  Firelight (Darkest London, #1)

Firelight by Kristen Callihan – As my happy and satisfied face, this emoji fits well with almost all of my 4 or 5 star ratings, but it’s especially fitting for Firelight. The paranormal/fantasy, steampunky setting is one of my favorites to be swept away in.

Samsung's Expressionless Face  Be My Prince

By My Prince by Julianne MacLean – This is my “just make it stop” face to go along with one of my “no thank you” picks. The constant distrust and cyclic drama really didn’t do it for me…

Samsung's Flushed Face  Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine – Here’s a world-weary emoji that is perfect for all of the dystopian or otherwise hellish settings I’ve been reading lately. As one of them, Sanctum is a great story, though most of it takes place in a specific section of hell. I love these books but they always leave me looking like this emoji!

Samsung's Frowning Face With Open Mouth  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach (also writes as Rachel Aaron) – This emoji is perfect for a book that is intense, a little bit heartbreaking, and so engrossing that I can’t put it down. I’m not usually much of a science fiction fan, but Fortune’s Pawn includes a great blend of action, fantasy, and romance that really drew me in.

Samsung's Smiling Face With Open Mouth and Smiling Eyes  Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – There is so much joy in this emoji, just looking at it makes me grin. Thinking about Carry On works the exact same way. It’s quirky, magical, witty, romantic, wonderfully written, and otherwise amazing. On that note, I think I’m going to go read it again 😉

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I’d like to pass this tag on to:

If you’ve done the Emoji Book Tag, link your post in the comments 🙂

Minute Review: Vigilante and Chaos by Sarah Fine

Now that I’ve finished the series, here are my reviews for books 2.5 and 3 of Sarah Fine’s Guards of the Shadowlands trilogyCheck out this post for my Minute Reviews of books 1 and 2!

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Vigilante: A Guard's Tale from Ana's Perspective (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2.5)

Vigilante by Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 2.5)
My rating:
 4 of 5 stars

So many times, in so many ways, Takeshi had rescued her. “I’m going to rescue you this time,” she said, staring at the black city in the distance.

She clenched her fists and took her first steps into hell.

Written from Ana’s point of view, these 49 pages make up the perfect bridge between Fractured and Chaos.

Recommendation: If you’re working your way through the series, don’t skip this one just because it’s a novella!

 Chaos (Guards of the Shadowlands #3)

Chaos by Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 3)
My rating:
 4.5 of 5 stars

I was still exhausted. Still grieving. Still feeling like all my insides had been smashed up and stomped on. But I wouldn’t stop until I had done the job I’d been sent here to do. It wasn’t about loyalty to the judge. Not at all.

It was about me choosing who I wanted to be.

This exciting conclusion to the trilogy is really intense, full of more emotional pain and perseverance, and complete with an ending that actually managed to wrap up all the varying story lines!

Recommendation: Read this if you FINALLY want Lela and Malachi to find some happiness, especially if you enjoy the prospect of some crazy Mad Max action thrown in along the way.

Introducing the Minute Review!

In the wake of a crazy new university term beginning, I’ve found that my review-writing time has been magically transformed into study time. I’m still reading, though, and I want to keep writing about these crazy books, so I’m going to try something new: The Minute Review. My goal is for these mini reviews to be quick and fun to write, but still informative for anyone looking for some new additions to their TBR.

The Anatomy of a Minute Review:

  • Book cover with Goodreads links
  • My star rating (0-5)
  • One quote
  • One descriptive sentence
  • One recommendation

Without further ado, here are my first two minute reviews, for books 1 and 2 in Sarah Fine’s Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy.

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 Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

Sanctum by Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 1)
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

“Figures. The first time a guy tells me I’m beautiful, I’m in hell and he’s delirious.”

Bravely diving into the issues of suicide and the afterlife, Fine creates a fascinatingly dark world and cast of characters (and a LOT of self-sacrificing love).

Recommendation: Read this if you loved The Mortal Instruments or Vampire Academy!

Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2)

Fractured by Sarah Fine (Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 2)
My rating:
3 of 5 stars

“And in the meantime, I have to save the world and be home by ten.”

This one is rife with middle book syndrome, but I still couldn’t put it down!

Recommendation: Read this is you enjoy the gory, romantic agony of preppy high school seniors by day and vigilante warriors by night.