Weekly Round-Up #13 - January 24-30, 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

So many books came out this week. And they're good books.

1) Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22489107-fairest?from_search=true

Summary: In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?


Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


2) The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17901125-the-mime-order?from_search=true

Summary: Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.


3) We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18801694-we-can-work-it-out?from_search=true

Summary: When Penny Lane started The Lonely Hearts Club, the goal was simple: to show that girls didn’t need to define themselves by how guys look at them, and didn’t have to value boyfriends over everything else. Penny thought she’d be an outcast for life…but then the club became far more popular than she ever imagined it would be.

But what happens when the girl who never thought she’d date a good guy suddenly finds herself dating a great one? She doesn’t need a boyfriend… but she wants it to work out with this particular boyfriend. And he wants it to work out with her.

Only, things keep getting in the way. Feelings keep getting hurt. Words keep getting misunderstood.

Penny Lane worked hard to declare her independence. Now she needs to figure out what to do with it — and how to balance what she wants with what everyone else wants. In We Can Work It Out, Elizabeth Eulberg returns to the world of her first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, and gets to the heart of how hard relationships can be… and why they are sometimes worth all the drama and comedy they create.
 


4) Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17993765-woven?from_search=true

Summary: Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.
 



5) Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17838490-playlist-for-the-dead?from_search=true

Summary: A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular NowPlaylist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.


6) A Cold Legacy by Megan Shephard

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16182308-a-cold-legacy?from_search=true

Summary: After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of Where She Went

Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

Today I've got a review for you all. And yes, it does contain spoilers for If I Stay because it is the sequel. 

Book: Where She Went 
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Penguin 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sequel
Cover:











Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: 

Review: Where She Went was the better book I'm the If I Stay duology. It had something to it that I can't quite describe as anything but the book just felt more exciting to read. 

This probably had to do with the fact that Adam's situation wasn't great but it still felt very real and relatable despite the fact that he was a successful rock star. He also came off as a more interesting person than Mia (which I had suspected in If I Stay).


The writing was also amazing and I was very pleased with the way Gayle Forman told the story.

Basically, Where She Went is by far better than If I Stay in my opinion and I'm still kind of hoping someone makes the movie despite If I Stay's "failure at the box office".

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

More Books I'm Highly Anticipating

Monday, 26 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

Today is the last day of my blog-a-thon and I'm listing some more amazing books I can't wait for. Only these ones don't have covers or proper release dates and/or titles.

1) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 2015

2) Embassy Row 2 by Ally Carter

Release Date: 2016

3) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Release Date: Fall 2015

4) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: 2016

5) The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

Release Date: 2016

6) Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Release Date: 2016

7) Ruined by Amy Tintera

Release Date: 2016

8) Ashes & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Release Date: September 15, 2015

9) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 

Release Date: August 4, 2015

10) Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: Fall 2015

11) Untitled by John Green

Release Date: TBD

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

The Jewel Read Along - February 2015 + Changes

Sunday, 25 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

So I think I have the perfect book for February. It's called The Jewel and it's by Amy Ewing.

Hashtag: #AJewelRead

Goodreads Synopsis: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
 


Add it to your Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068780-the-jewel?from_search=true

Join the Goodreads group: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2180223-a-jewel-read

New thing: There will be no more spoiler reviews here on my blog (including the one for All the Bright Places). Everything will be over on the Goodreads group. :)

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's blog-a-thon time and I'll be posting again very soon!)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of Anna and the French Kiss

Saturday, 24 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

I've been meaning to review this book for ages (oops!), but that's okay because I'm finally getting around to it. :)

Book: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Penguin 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Cover:











Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


Review: This book makes me want to go to Paris. Seriously though, how amazing does Paris sound in this book?

Between the awesome characters, Etienne St. Clair (who will satisfy your need for more fictional boys), and the cute story, this book was the perfect summer read. It was very easy to read and I practically flew through it.

Stephanie Perkins is definitely a great writer. I fell in love with her writing style while reading this book. Her characters were well developed and had very distinct personalities so I never got confused despite the huge ensemble cast.

Overall, if you ever need a super cute, light, fun-hearted book, definitely consider giving Anna and the French Kiss a try!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's blog-a-thon time and I'll be posting again very soon!)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Weekly Round-Up #12 - January 17-23, 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

It's weekly round-up time and based on the books that came out, I think it's safe to say that this week had some amazing new releases!

1) All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22571275-all-fall-down?from_search=true

Summary: A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.



2) Polaris by Mindee Arnett

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20455682-polaris?from_search=true

Summary: Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.

With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.

The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novel Avalon, Polaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to.
 


3) The Prey by Tom Isbell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22061971-the-prey?from_search=true

Summary: A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies. 

4) Twisted Fate by Norah Olsen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22171558-twisted-fate?from_search=true

Summary: When Alyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit—shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him. 

As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney's mind, Graham's odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Alyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too. 

And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right—and wrong—she is about everything.

Perfect for fans of Michelle Hodkin, and E. Lockhart’s We Were LiarsTwisted Fate is an unputdownable novel, teeming with suspense.


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's blog-a-thon time and I'll be posting again very soon!)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Eating While Reading

Thursday, 22 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

Today I wanted to talk to you all about a very serious problem that almost every single book nerd has ever faced: Eating while reading.

Now, if you're a pro at this and have never stained a page, had to put down the book, made a mess, or not eat the food until you finished the chapter that you were reading (even though we all know that you didn't simply just stop reading after that one chapter), then I am super jealous of your magical/supernatural abilities.

For the rest of us, eating while reading is somewhat difficult. What if you want to turn the page and your hands are greasy or you're holding the food in one and the book in the other?

What if you accidentally ruin your book?

Food stains do not look pretty. Especially when the pages are really white.

And then when you can't find a way to turn that page and you're stuck.

It's pure torture not being able to find out what happens next.

The. Struggle. Is. Real.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's blog-a-thon time and I'll be posting again very soon!)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of Yes Please

Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

Welcome to Day One of my Blog-A-Thon! Today I have a review for you all on Yes Please by Amy Poehler so I hope you all enjoy it!

Book: Yes Please 
Author: Amy Poehler 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Adult, Memoir, Humour, Non-fiction
Cover:











Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.

Review: I would just like to first say that I listened to the audiobook with the author, Amy Poehler reading the book to me and I'm pretty sure I would not have laughed nearly as much as I did if I had read the book instead. So this is technically a review of both the story and the audiobook but it doesn't make a difference because I still enjoyed it.

Let's get one thing straight before we begin: This book is not for you if you don't like Amy Poehler. It is a memoir all about her life and you will not enjoy reading about it unless you at least somewhat like her. I personally think that she is hilarious and I should to binge Parks & Recreation soon.

Amy Poehler provided entertaining stories about her life like when she was on SNL, when she was a waitress, her experiences working on her current TV show Parks & Recreation (which I believe is on its last season), and more. Plus, a lot of the advice she gave in the book was great even though this came as no surprise after some of the stories she told.

Basically, if you like Amy Poehler or getting good advice, read this book.


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's blog-a-thon time and I'll be posting again very soon!)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of All Fall Down

Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

All Fall Down by Ally Carter comes out today and I'm super excited for you all to read this amazing book! I may be biased as an Ally Ambassador, but this book is so good that I feel confident in saying that you will probably love it as much as I do and need the sequel just as much as I do. To prove it to you, here is my review of All Fall Down.

Book: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Awesome Books

ISBN: 978-0-545-65474-6

Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22571275-all-fall-down

Buy it here: Chapters/Indigo/Amazon.ca/Amazon.com/Barnes and Noble/Books A Million

Cover:











Rating: 1000000000/5 Stars (It was that amazing!)

Summary: A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.


Review: Ally Carter did it again. 

She made me fall in love with another one of her books (all of which I highly recommend), so it came to me as no surprise when All Fall Down became another one of my all-time favourite books.

The politics were interesting as well as they had an impact on the story. Since Grace lives in the U.S. embassy, certain things are expected from her and considering that everyone thinks she went mad after her mother's death, it was almost humorous to read about their interactions with Grace. 

The mystery element of Grace's mother's death and how it affected Grace and continues to affect her was cleverly done so it felt realistically similar to what someone grieving a loved one might feel. She was also very well developed and I really liked her character since I found her easy to relate to (as I imagine others will as well).

If you miss Zach or Hale from Ally Carter's other novels, you'll definitely enjoy reading about a certain boy in this novel. Also charming, this character was super swoon-worthy and so much fun to read about because he lives in the Russian embassy and he looked out for Grace. 

The plot of this book was very unique and exciting throughout the entirety of the novel. In fact, I found the book hard to put down when I had things I had to do because I just wanted to keep reading! It was that good! The chapters end in a way that you feel compelled to keep turning the pages until you've run out of them.

This was also due to the fact that Ally is a phenomenal writer who definitely has a way with words.

Overall, Ally Carter never disappoints and this book was no exception.

Perfect for anyone and everyone, All Fall Down is Ally Carter at her best.








Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way, shape, or form affected my review.

New Releases and Other Things

Sunday, 18 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

This will be a quick post today as I'm currently working on reviews and other posts for the blog-a-thon starting this week. I also wanted to let you all know that even though it technically starts on the 21st, there will be a review going up on the 20th but I'm not going to bother changing the blog-a-thon dates.

Anyway, there are some amazing releases coming in the next two weeks that I'm very excited for like The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepard, The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall, and I Was Here by Gayle Forman.

All this means is that there will be more books on my bookshelf which isn't a problem.

For a proper list of the new books coming your way, I post my Weekly Round-Ups (in case you didn't know) where I tell you all about the week's new releases.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's almost blog-a-thon time.)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Weekly Round-Up #11 - January 10-16, 2015

Friday, 16 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

There seems to be only one YA release after last week when everything just came out. Here is that one book:

1) The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20958632-the-darkest-part-of-the-forest?from_search=true

Summary: Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
 


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's almost blog-a-thon time.)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Six Month Blogaversary

Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

This post has come later in the day then I originally intended, but that's okay because I've literally just written this post if you're reading it exactly when it goes live.

In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, I'm announcing another blog-a-thon. This one will run from January 21-26 and will only be six days long (one for each month).

For those of you who don't know what a blog-a-thon is, it's a period of time in which I post daily (sometimes multiple times a day) usually done to celebrate something exciting.

Also, the last day of the blog-a-thon (January 26) will be a review of a certain book that I've been waiting ages for!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post! (Especially since it's almost blog-a-thon time.)

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Guess What's Tomorrow

Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Nerds,

Somehow time has flown by over the past (almost) six months and as of tomorrow, I'll have been blogging for six months (crazy, right?), which I find to be pretty cool.

Blogging is a lot of hard work. It takes time and energy to read and write and you have to stick to your schedule (though mine isn't really a schedule) otherwise there might be long gaps between blog posts and not a lot of people like that.

However, if you like what you do (as I do most of the time) then it doesn't feel like work. Instead, it's a lot of fun and you get to interact with the publishing business in a way that you might not have before. You help people discover new books and no one can tell you to stop talking about books because your blog is your space.

Basically, blogging is fun, I'm glad I get to do it, and I'm debating as to whether or not I should post tomorrow. I probably will.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter @HeartsAndCrowns, and Instagram @heartscrowns (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of Knightley and Son

Sunday, 11 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

I have a review for you all today and I hope you all enjoy it!

Book:  Knightley and Son
Author: Rohan Gavin
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Cover:











Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: The once highly in-demand detective Alan Knightley has just woken up after an unexplained incident kept him asleep for four years. While he was out cold, his son, Darkus, took it upon himself to read of all his dad's old cases, and he's learned a lot about the art of detection. It's a good thing too-because suddenly the duo find themselves caught up in a crazy conspiracy that involves a group of villainous masterminds (who keep appearing and then vanishing), some high-speed car chases (that will have everyone fastening their seat belts), and a national, bestselling book with the power to make people do terrible, terrible things. But because Alan is still suffering the effects of his coma, he tends to, well, fall asleep at the worst possible moments, Meaning that young Darkus might just have to solve this mystery . . . by himself.

Review: This book is definitely quirky in a good way. And no, it is not a Sherlock Holmes wannabe (thought it does have Sherlock Holmes-like elements).

It was cute in a middle grade book kind of way where its target audience would love it. However, I don't believe I fall under that category so this book was a small let down in a way. The thing was, it was written like the author had constantly had his intended audience in mind and sort of forgot about anyone else who might have picked up the book.

Thankfully though, I found that the writing didn't take away that much from the plot line and that sometimes everyone needs something a little bit simpler.

With an exciting premise and quirky characters (because there is truly no better word to describe them), Knightley and Son is perfect for younger fans of Sherlock Holmes.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Instagram (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

***Disclaimer: I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. However, this has had no affect on my review whatsoever.

Weekly Round-Up #10 - January 3-9, 2015

Friday, 9 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

In case you didn't know, a LOT of books came out this week and they're all very exciting releases which is super cool.

1) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18460392-all-the-bright-places

Summary: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
 
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.


2) Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18966819-golden-son?from_search=true

Summary: With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices. 


3) Ensnared by A. G. Howard

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22447220-ensnared

Summary: After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

4) Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18297655-willowgrove?from_search=true

Summary: Willowgrove is Kathleen Peacock's riveting conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy, a dark, romantic, paranormal suspense series that pits friendship against survival, and trust against love.

Ever since Mac's best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy's ex, Jason, have investigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf "rehabilitation" camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is now at an all-time high, and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf.

What makes Mac even more afraid, though, are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on wolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Uncovering the truth about what happened may be the only way for Mac to save everyone she loves and end her nightmares for good.
 


5) Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18105451-frostfire?from_search=true

Summary: Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?
 


6) Save Me by Jenny Elliot 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20945113-save-me?from_search=true

Summary: Debut-novelist Jenny Elliott’s thrilling romance, chosen by readers, writers, and publishers for the first list in the new Swoon Reads imprint, pours on the tension and danger in an addictive combination that will keep you turning pages!

Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.

But then she learns something about David that changes everything, and Cara is devastated. She turns to her best friend for support, but Rachel has changed. She’s suddenly into witchcraft, and is becoming dangerously obsessed with her new boyfriend….

Cara has lost her best friend, discovered that her soul mate is off limits, and has attracted the attention of a stalker. But she’s not completely alone. Her mysterious, gorgeous new friend Garren is there to support her. But is Garren possibly too perfect?


7) The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21853719-the-boy-next-door

Summary: Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.  

Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.


But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?
I think my biggest problem this week is keeping myself from buying all the books because they all look SO GOOD (and All the Bright Places is excellent!).

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Instagram (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

My 2015 Book Challenge

Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Hello Book Lovers,

Recently a lot of people have set reading challenges for themselves whether it be the Goodreads challenge where you set the number of books you want to read in 2015, a debut author challenge to read as many 2015 debut novels as possible, a genre-type challenge to see how many books in that genre they can read, etc. and I want to set up my own on top of my Goodreads challenge.

I have decided that I would like to challenge myself to accomplish the following in the year 2015:

1. Read a complete series that is highly recommended. This can be a duology, a trilogy, a quartet, or any other type of series so long as someone has highly recommended it to me.

2. Read a DRC and review it here on my blog. For those of you who don't know, a DRC is a digital reading copy/e-ARC and I'm pretty good at neglecting them for the physical books on my shelves or anything new that comes in the mail so I'm trying to make an effort to review more of them.

3. Read a book as soon as you get it. I love when you get a book and it never reaches your shelves before you've read it so I'm going to do that this year.

4. Complete my Goodreads challenge. Currently it's set at 20 books, but I will most likely have to increase it to something bigger.

5. Listen to an audiobook. I think audiobooks are great and I hope to listen to more of them this year.

These are my goals right now and I might add some more in the year if I finish all of these early on.

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Instagram (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

Review of All the Bright Places

Monday, 5 January 2015
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

Today I have for you all a review of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven! (Also, just remember to have some tissues nearby when reading this book.)

Book: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Dual POVs, Suicide, Death, Thought-Provoking 

ISBN: 0385755880

Cover:











Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
 


Review: When I first read the synopsis for this novel, I knew that I was going to absolutely love this book and I did. Perfect for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, this book is a tear-jerker that will leave you in thought long after you finish the last page.

The relationship between the protagonists, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey was very real and raw in the sense that it blossomed over time and they didn't just instantly fall for each other and decided they were soul mates. It was the adventures that they went on to visit places in their town for their geography class and all the time that they spent together that drove the relationship forward as it should have been.

Since the novel is told from both Finch's and Violet's POVs and is told in first-person, you really get to see how their experiences shaped who they were and their thoughts and emotions. However, I, personally, found Finch to be slightly more interesting to read than Violet if only because he was a sarcastic and slightly darker character than her. This is not to say that she wasn't also a dark character considering that she did think about the tragedy of her sister's death and experienced grief in the novel.

I also wanted to quickly mention how great Jennifer Niven's writing is. It's very poetic and lovely to read.

Masterfully crafted, this beautiful, touching story that stays with you long after you've finished the book makes All the Bright Places a must-read!


Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, and Instagram (links in the sidebar to your right) so you never miss another post!

See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

***Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts.