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Quarterly: Book Riot YA

Oh how busy, busy, busy things have been! I’ve been experimenting with Quarterly since July 2014. Originally I started with their monthly book club, Riot Read (sadly, they are no longer operating this box). I was given a $25 voucher for feedback, so this option was a smart first choice. The first book I received was a smash hit. However, I felt that a new book every month was an expense I couldn’t take on. It was a gamble I didn’t want to take. 

I moved on to the every three month option from Book Riot. Just what I wanted! 

Book Riot announced in January that they would be offering a new subscription, this time for YA. Naturally I signed up and finally…my box of goodies arrived!

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Such lovely, lovely, goodies. 

I must say I am very pleased with this parcel. However, I’m not sure subscribing to both Book Riot boxes is something I should be spending my money on!

Here’s what I got in my lovely, #BYA parcel of Books & Bookish Goods for YA Fans!

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Rory Story Cubes

“Today I’m Reading” mug (with chalk to write/draw on it!)

Novel Tea Pouches

How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

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I wrote about Novel Teas ages ago. You can imagine how thrilled I am to finally give them a go! My quote this morning was, “I read, much in the night, and go South in the winter.” T. S. Elliot. Seattle’s experiencing a bit of a brief freeze, so I must say this quote was very appropriate. 

The hardcover books are truly beautiful and sound like relevant and thrilling reads! 

All in all, an excellent first subscription. My next one for #BYA is in July. I’ll have to see how the next regular Book Riot stacks up before making a choice to keep both or stick with one. (I actually received my first Quarterly of 2015 last month, but life has been hectic. Details to come!)

Has anyone else tried Quarterly? How have you found it? Better yet, is there a different book subscription I should know about? Let me know!

Until next time, 

Ashleyisee

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit

I know The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten lists are on Tuesday, but I do my posts on Wednesday, so I’m mixing it up! I love this list! I love Halloween! It’s almost here! Here are my top ten spooky books to get into the thrilling spirit of All Hallow’s Eve!

1. The Shining by Stephen King

The ShiningI want to start with an epic classic. However, I personally feel that The Shining the book is VERY different, almost completely from the movie. They’re kind of like Harry Potter, both mediums should be experienced separately. I love both of them in different ways. The frightening psychological suspense is fantastic.

2. It by Stephen King

ITRead this when I was in 7th grade. I’m also afraid of spiders. Perfect for bringing back all your childhood fears to relive them now that you’re an adult.

3. Hell House by Alison Rattle and Allison Vale

Hell HouseThis short story collection has creepy tales from all over the world! I love it! Balancing different cultures with a perfect blend of truth, this book is not to be missed if you can find it.

4. Carrie by Stephen King

CarrieYes, I have a strong affection for King. I just recently finished Carrie and it is so much better than the movie! It’s like the Titanic, you know how it ends but you keep turning the pages hoping it might be different.

5. The Greywalker novels by Kat Richardson

GreywalkerYay my city! Spooky Seattle! What’s not to love? Richardson’s research and ability to blend local history and folklore is standout! I’m so sad she’s ending the series next year, but it’s been a great run!

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

RansomA frighting combination of prose and real photos, Riggs is brilliant at making Wales come alive in a paranormal way. Full of mystery with a hero you pull for each page, this debut is essential for October.

7. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine

H234_SCH_GB11Haunted_0.tifSelf explanatory. I wish these were just as scary as when I first read them.

8. The Legend of Spookiley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano

SpookilyFor personal reasons. A fantastic picture book that has a great moral that’s perfect for Halloween!

9. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp ObjectsFlynn’s debut that is harsh, dark and looming, it’s my favorite of her books! For a traditional mystery, this book has an ending that is horrific and spine tingling!

10. Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll BonesThis is the only book I haven’t read on the list, but I’ve heard really good things and this cover alone makes it a must read for this month. I hope to read it eventually, but for now I’ll enjoy the beautifully spooky cover!

What are your favorite reads during October? Any special books that scream Halloween??

 

Epic Reads Summer Story Crush Tour

If you’re familiar with Epic Reads at all, you’ll know they periodically hold Story Crush tours throughout the year! It’s a wonderful time when amazing YA authors tour the US promoting their latest books! 

Seattle was fortunate enough to be a part of this Summer’s Story Crush Tour. As the last destination at our oldest independent bookstore – University Bookstore!

The lineup was to die for! 

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Tease’s amazing Amanda Maciel, Seattle’s own Kevin Emerson with Exile and…

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The One Cover

KIERA CASS OF THE SELECTION SERIES promoting the finale – THE ONE! *Fangirls all over the place*

The bookstore was packed with people, many of them teens and preteens dressed with tiaras for Cass. It was adorable. They seriously knew EVERYTHING about her! I was filled with emotions and excitement for myself at the event, but to hear these young girls squealing with excitement at meeting this author…there are no words at the joy it caused my heart to swell. 

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This is why YA is important. Maciel, Emerson and Cass stand as fantastic role models for these young readers and the non reading part of society need to understand that this genre is more than just romance.

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Anyways, there was a lovely talk from the authors, about their books, what they’re about, why they wrote them and what they are hoping for the future of the industry. *diversity* – well said by Maciel (She also loved my dress! Sisters in pink unite!). There were also some selfies. Emerson even brought his guitar and played us a song that was in his book! This evening had everything! 

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University Bookstore ran the event exceptionally well. There were prizes being given, and once the signing was under way it was organised and professional. 

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It was brilliant to hear this diverse range of authors speak. I of course bought all of their books to have signed, Emerson’s isn’t one I would normally pick up and that is why I’m such a big supporter of these events. You should always read books that are outside of your comfort zone! You might find a new favorite author! 

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Meeting Cass was definitely the highlight of the evening. She is like my role model for life. Her energy, wit and humor made me gush like the preteens behind me. She is down to Earth, kind and smart! I adore her and if I ever got a wish from a genie I’d totally wish to be a real life friend of hers!

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I had a bit of photo trouble, but Cass was like a best friend, making funny faces until we got one that worked! SHE IS SO COOL! 

Because the evening was successful and fun, I only hope that Epic Reads adds more stops to Seattle for their future Story Crush tour dates! 

Have you read any of the authors books? Which one did you love the most?

 

January 2013 Purchases

DSCF1122I had a lovely time with my friend over at Books and Berries last weekend. After having a few pots of tea at my favourite teahouse, Yumchaa, we breezed through Soho in the bitter wind. Down through the streets, rounding corners and dodging other people walking with speeds of an urgent mission, we finally made our way to Foyles bookstore.

It’s so nice to be surrounded by so many books, even if it did become overwhelming after ten minutes. I settled on these two books, one because I believe it was suggested by the Seattle Public Library YA newsletter and the other because my friend works for that publisher and said I should give it a go! Here are the summaries provided from Goodreads:

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Black:

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING reimagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical powers are put to death as babies. Lina’s father, however, refuses to kill her but when vendetta explodes in their village and Lina’s father dies, their lives are changed forever. Their new guardian Masko sends Anna away and reduces Lina to the status of a servant. Damek—mad with love for Lina—attempts to murder Masko, then vanishes for several years. Anna comes home five years later to find Lina about to marry a pleasant young farmer, and witnesses Damek’s vengeful return and its catastrophic consequences.

Passionate, atmospheric and haunting, BLACK SPRING will stay with readers long after they turn the final page.

I am so excited to read these! Did anyone else buy something they can’t wait to start breezing through the pages?

The Long Walk by Stephen King – Vintage YA

People love to complain that Battle Royale was the original of The Hunger Games. True, both of the stories have similarities: Teenagers being forced to kill each other until one stands as the living victor within a secluded ‘battleground’. BA was published in 1999, HG was published in 2008. However, there is a book that was written before either of these dystopian realities. 20 years prior, Stephen King under the pen name Michael Bachman wrote The Long Walk that was published in 1979. 

The Long Walk

Every May there is a lottery where boys enter their names. 100 are selected to embark on a walking contest until one of them remains. This last survivor is crowned the winner. The winner of the contest receives whatever he wants for the rest of his life.

There are similarities to BR and HG: it’s set in a futuristic time period, technology is used to determine that the boys are walking more than 4 mph at all times and if they try to leave the road they get shot.

Thrilling and horrific, The Long Walk precedes these books that have rocked the world with their cruelty and grief. King, the master of terror has paved the way with this book that was before it’s time. Can King write YA? With this book I think the proof is more than exceptional.

Freshly Published January 2013

 

Oh to live in a world where one gets paid to sit around all day and read and write. 

This is not my life, but perhaps, one day. 

For the time being, these books are on my radar and are hot off the publishing presses this month! I really hope my local library will have a few of these titles in stock soon! Please note, all blurbs are from Goodreads. 

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

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Hannah Moskowitz’s (author of BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER) TEETH features a sixteen-year-old boy whose family, in an effort to cure his ailing brother, relocates to a remote island where legendary magic fish are said to have healing powers, and he discovers the island has terrible secrets, including a half-teenager, half-fish.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived cover

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous-it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

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‘I pause to look around the hive – all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories … I’ve wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.’

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend … and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

Eek! Splintered, one of the books on my 2012 Wish list is finally published! Hurray!

Splintered by A. G. Howard

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This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Finally, the wait is over! I was lucky enough to get a early copy of this fantastic book. Check out my review here, but go out and get yourself a copy too! The cover is simply gorgeous! 

Broken by A. E. Rough

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Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

What new books have you bought this month? Leave me a comment, I am curious to know!