Friday Reads #20: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

29749085Summary (from Goodreads): She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am loving this book so far! I’m not too familiar with the Wonder Woman franchise, and I’m enjoying the whole concept. There is so much feminism in this story, and it’s very empowering to read. I can’t wait to keep reading and see what happens to Diana next!

Book Beginning:

You do not enter a race to lose.

Friday 56:

The beginnings of another storm, or maybe the same storm that had caught the Thetis was moving in. She peered along the coastline but could see no lighthouse or harbor, no signs of civilization at all. This place really was isolated.

Waiting on Wednesday #117: Devils and Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

25843018Title: Devils and Thieves
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumour begins spreading that someone is practising forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

It has been so long since I’ve read a fantasy, and an urban fantasy is something I’ve read even fewer of. I am intrigued by the idea of a magic community in a modern setting, and the motorcycle gang is also something I don’t see too often. This book seems like the perfect read for the Halloween season, and I can’t wait to pick it up this fall!

Friday Reads #19: Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

34808508Summary (from Goodreads): With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.

“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

“A special book that will make you laugh through your tears with its heartfelt take on happiness and friendship.”—Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Goodreads | Amazon

When I first saw this book, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. I have often seen others on social media completing the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and it is so inspiring to think that doing something simple each day can lead you on your way to a happier life. I am a few chapters into this one and I am already enjoying the characters of Annie and Polly. I look forward to reading on and seeing where Woods takes their friendship and how the challenge plays into the story.

Book Beginning:

You can’t always pinpoint the precise moment that your life goes wrong. Most of the time it creeps up on you, year by year, moment by moment, until one day you look around and realize you’re so far from who you used to be you don’t even feel like the same person.

Friday 56:

Polly’s gaze was fixed on the altar, her face coloured blue by the shifting light. “It’s what I always thought before. I didn’t want to change my mind just because I had cancer. I guess… all this happy-days stuff, the reason for it, was I wanted my life to mean something now, not just after I die.”

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday #116: Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

33913956Title: Ringer
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Like its ambitious companion novel, Replica, this far-reaching novel by powerhouse bestselling author Lauren Oliver digs deep into questions of how to be a human being in a world where humanity cannot be taken for granted.

In the world outside the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human—and neither of them knows where they belong or who they can trust. When Caelum leaves without warning to pursue the dream of a place he belongs, Lyra follows him, convinced that together they will hunt down a cure for the illness that’s slowly consuming her mind. But what they uncover is a shocking connection to their past—even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.

After discovering the uncomfortable truth about her connection to the Haven Institute, Gemma struggles to return to her normal life. But when she learns that her controlling and powerful father has new plans for Lyra and Caelum, Gemma and her boyfriend, Pete, leave in the middle of the night to warn them of the danger they face.When an untimely accident derails them, they are mistaken for the escaped replicas and seized by strangers hired to capture them. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.

Lyra’s and Gemma’s stories can be read separately—with either story first—or in alternating chapters, but no matter which way you turn the book, the two distinct stories combine into one breathtaking experience for both heroines and readers alike.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Replica. It is so unique and has such an incredible concept. I am very intrigued by the whole human cloning theme, and I can’t wait to read more in this companion novel. The way in which the books are written is actually pretty interesting because the reader can choose where to start and how to read them. Not much longer to wait for this one!

Friday Reads #18: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

33245502Summary (from Goodreads): A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am just a few chapters in and I am already finding myself having a hard time putting this one down. It is told in multiple perspectives and it is so interesting how the details about the victim’s life are perceived by different characters. I love a good thriller and I have high hopes for this one!

Book Beginning:

When they came to tell me, I was angry. Relieved first, because when two police officers turn up on your doorstep just as you’re looking for your train ticket, about to run out of the door to work, you fear the worst.

Friday 56:

She was standing at the stove stirring something, and when she turned round and saw me there, she jumped. But it wasn’t like how usually someone gives you a fright and then you laugh; the fear stayed in her face.

Waiting on Wednesday #115: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

28421168Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): 

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

Does this book not scream adventure and excitement? I absolutely love Marissa Meyer and if this series is as amazing as The Lunar Chronicles, we are in for an epic ride! I was honestly sold when I read “secret societies.” It will be interesting to see how Nova’s quest for vengeance pays out and whether we have a new swoon-worthy YA character in Adrian.

Friday Reads #17: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

35505494Summary (from Goodreads): It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Goodreads | Amazon 

Does this book not sound like a fun, girl power kind of story? I have just started listening to this one on Audible and it is such a great listen so far. The whole concept of the boarding school and singing is something that I really enjoy and I can’t wait to know more about what happens next!

Book Beginning:

Monday morning was the worst time to have an existential crisis. I decided on a Monday morning while having an existential crisis.

Friday 56:

My parents tracked my school performance like baseball nuts tracked the World Series. I never told people about it.

 

ARC Review: The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition by DeeDee Stovel

33590140

I received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Pumpkin Cookbook 2nd Edition: 139 Nutritious Recipes for Year-Round Enjoyment
Author: DeeDee Stovel
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): The 139 recipes in The Pumpkin Cookbook celebrate the varied ways that you can use pumpkin in everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, salads, main courses, side dishes, and desserts. Some of DeeDee Stovel’s creative spins on incorporating this highly nutritious, low-fat vegetable into delicious dishes include Caribbean Black Bean Pumpkin Soup; Pumpkin Sage Risotto; Spring Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Pepitas; White Bean, Chicken, and Pumpkin Chili; Pumpkin Pizza with Gorgonzola Cheese; Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Pumpkin Sauce; Lemon-Pumpkin Strudel; Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies with Apricot Surprise — and seven kinds of pumpkin pie!

Goodreads | Amazon

When I saw that The Pumpkin Cookbook was available for review, I was so excited! I don’t want to wish away the summer quite yet, but the fall and all of those yummy foods that come along with it are my absolute favourites. What is notable about this book of pumpkin inspired recipes is the fact that there are many ideas to incorporate the nutritious benefits of this vegetable all year long.

 

ice cream

Pumpkin-Ginger Ice Cream

 

I always like to try a few of the recipes for my reviews because knowing whether or not the instructions are clear and easy to follow is key to any cookbook. Also, taste is a big factor here, and I can honestly say that The Pumpkin Cookbook delivers in its ability to provide simple, tasty recipes for all of the pumpkin-loving chefs out there.

 

smoothie

Orange-Banana Smoothie

 

It is sometimes difficult to assess the quality of the images in an eARC, however, I was quite pleased with this one and its ability to convey all of the different types of pumpkins and pumpkin dishes that are included in the recipes. There are some stunning pictures that will absolutely have you drooling for one of those delicious pumpkin breads.

 

dip

Black Bean Dip

 

Not only is this a book of recipes and ideas for creating meals and pumpkin inspired treats, it is a guide on all things pumpkin. Readers will learn how to select, store, and prepare pumpkins for enjoyment year round. I have bookmarked so many recipes, that I am definitely considering purchasing a copy of this book.

 

Waiting on Wednesday # 114: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

29622131Title: The Glass Spare
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

The Glass Spare puts an interesting twist on the lethal touch concept. I am so intrigued by the main character’s ability to turn people into gemstones and her seeking redemption. The cursed prince’s character also seems like one that will bring a lot of mystery and eeriness to the book. I can’t wait to pick this one up in the fall!

Friday Reads #16: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

31145064Summary (from Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.

So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.

But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am loving this book so far! The main character works at a medieval restaurant, which I have never seen before, and the book is filled with medieval dialect. I can’t wait to keep reading to find out how Wesley James actually ruined Quinn’s life!

Book Beginning:

King Henry VIII won’t shut up.

Friday 56:

Spending more time with Wesley is the last thing that I should be doing. And yet I find myself telling him yes.