Top Ten Tuesday #9: Ten Books on Your Spring TBR

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

Spring is in the air! And with a new season comes a new batch of releases to fall on my TBR list. While thinking about the compilation of my choices, I decided that I would not only include upcoming new releases; here you will find a mixture of the new and the old because there were a lot of books I was not able to reach in the Fall and Winter that I’d like to read now

 1. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton — There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this book, making me hope that I will be able to get to it soon. The setting of this one is what appeals to me the most thus far.

259826852. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen — Cookbooks count, right? Chrissy is one my my favorite people to follow on Twitter because I think she is hilarious. If you have ever seen the pictures she posts of her food on Instagram then you know it looks delicious. I am not a very skilled cooker, yet I am still willing to give some of her recipes a shot. Plus I want all the picture of her, John, and their dog, Pippa!

3. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman — I have had this book on my shelf for so long! Why have I not read it?! Its predecessor, Prisoner of Night and Fog, is one of my favorite YA historical books I have read in the past few years, as it follows a girl named Gretchen and her relationship to her “uncle” Adolf Hitler. If you like WWII books then I can not recommend this one enough! Must get to Conspiracy, must get to Conspiracy

4. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi — I’m at the point where I will do anything to get my hands on this book as soon as possible. Everything about the premise appeals to my tastes: Indian folklore, Greek mythology, horoscopes.

5. The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig — So, I have already read this book… It needs to be on my Spring TBR list because over a year ago I embarked on a series reread of The Pink Carnation series to prepare for the release of the final book, which was in August 2015. Things came up and my reread got pushed to the side. I hope to fall back within this world though.

104857516. The Winter King by C.L. Wilson — I can’t remember how this fell on my radar. Every time I look at my TBR list on Goodreads, then click on this book, and read the synopsis, I am immediately reminded of why I need to read this. Fantasy Romance!

7. Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella — When I was in the midst of a reading funk, Morgan  tweeted about currently reading this book, and my interest was immediately snagged. I love anything to do with the Classics, I am always on the lookout for a new perspective on the characters involved in the Trojan War.

8. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee — It has been nearly a year since this was released… I just need to push back my apprehensions and read this. It. Will. Not. Destroy. My. Love. For. Mockingbird. (I hope)

9. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski — Just a few more weeks! Soon I will be able to walk into Barnes & Noble before work, buy this baby, spend my entire work-day itchin18304322g to start reading, and then, finally get home to learn what is to becomes of Kestrel and Arin. I have needed this book for so long and it is such a relief to know the wait will soon be over. All other books will be pushed aside once Kiss is released.

10. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy — Another ‘What have I been waiting for?’ book. Dumplin’ has been sitting on my shelf for way to long, I need to read it this Spring.

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Top Ten Tuesday #8: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love or You’d Love To See

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about historical settings I love, and I also decided to incorporate historical settings that I would love to see. It should be known that I am a massive fan of the historical fiction genre; this topic is perfect for me.

  1. Ancient Greece — I have a minor in Classics. I became a Classics minor because of my love for mythology and the civilizations of the ancient worlds of our past. Nothing makes me happier than finding a story set within the ancient world of Greece. Bonus points are also given if the Gods and Goddesses are included.
  2. Ancient Rome — Because of the reasons mentioned above. There is so much to work with if you take the time to look into the history of the Roman Republic, or even the Empire! Give me some stories about Caesar, Augustus, Nero, etc. The Empire expanded so far that the opportunities are limitless.
  3. Ancient Egypt — For the same reasons as mentioned above. And also because I so rarely find books set in ancient Egypt during the time of pharaohs. I think the YA genre in particular could benefit from this setting since many of the kings and queens began their rule at young ages…
  4. Tudor/Elizabethan England — Simply because this setting never manages to get old.
  5. Regency England — I really love romance books set in this time period. Maybe it has something to do with how strict the rules were, making every glance, word, or touched exchanged infinitely important.
  6. Atlantis — The Lost City!! Come on! Why are there no book on the market about this? It could be about the days leading up to the disaster; it could be about a team going underwater to find the city, and discovering an alternate dimension that sucks them back in time a la Outlander; it could be anything.
  7. Mesopotamia — Sand as far as the eye can see. The jinn. The caravans. I am ridiculously in love with books set an a desert landscape.
  8. Africa — Let me be honest: I come across a lot of stories set in Africa, but they always seem to be told from the same demographic’s point of view. How about we have some more stories set in Africa about Africans?
  9. The Wild West — I have only recently begun to search for books set in the Wild West of the Americas due to how much I enjoyed Vengeance Road. I am also going to include within this category a desire to see more books set on the Oregon Trail.
  10. The Yukon — While we are on the subject of trails, let us move into the topic of the gold rush during the 1980s in the Klondike. The journey there was dangerous, and if you did manage to reach your destination, the hardships did not let up. I think some good stories could be told here.

What do you think of my list? What are your top historical settings? I’d love to hear from you!

Top Ten Tuesday #7: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR.

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is kind of perfect for me, mainly because it was not too long ago that I was blog hopping and came across many books that I want to read. I don’t know about you, but I always retreat to my blog or my Goodreads page when I am out shopping for books. There is something about lists that I love. So here we are: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR.

  1. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi — Look at that cover. Now go look up25203675 the synopsis about a cursed horoscope promising a marriage of Death and Destruction. This one sounds like it is going to be incredible, and I am very much looking forward to the diversity this book will bring as it is inspired by Indian mythology.
  2. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare — Another story in the Spindle Cove series! I didn’t even find out about this one until I was wandering aimlessly around Goodreads. Very much looking forward to this one because Dare is one of my favorite romance authors.
  3. Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman — A new story from the author of Prisoner of Night and Fog focusing upon Milton’s Paradise Lost.
  4. 26156203The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye — A story set in Fantasy Russia? I’m here for it.
  5. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem — Like many of you, I have also joined Emma Watson’s feminist book club, and this book is her first choice. My library’s  hold list for this one is unfortunately pretty long, so I guess I’m going to be reading it after everyone else…
  6. 6. Living Color by Jodi Picoult — Her upcoming book about racism. I hope she does this well.
  7. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton — I really like books set in the desert. I think the setting is magical and always becomes a character of its own within its story. This book has been reveiving a lot of praise on Twitter, making me add it to my list as a must read.
  8. Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor — Time-traveling YA historical fiction to the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The email I received about this book from Netgalley said it was 24934065perfect for fans of Outlander, so…
  9. Red Rising by Pierce Brown — The final story in the trilogy is being released this year; I now feel ready to read this one since I have heard so many wonderful things about it but was wary about having to wait for another series to complete.

What books have you recently added to your TBR?

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

For a minute, I was tempted to put off another Top Ten Tuesday and resume my participation in this with the coming year. But then I figured I might as well begin as I mean to continue on… So here I am: talking about my Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016!

204432351. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – I am so in love with this series, and this world, and the writing, and ARIN AND KESTREL. This is probably not only my most anticipated release of 2016, but the entire year. I wanted this yesterday.

2. Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – Not gonna lie, this one came on my radar thanks to a Twitter retweet, in which the author used a picture from A Royal Affair to describe her book. SOLD. (Then I went to look it up on Goodreads, and yes, it appeals to my tastes).

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – Because Rhysand was my favorite part of A Court of Thorn and Roses, and I think I ship him and Feyre. Their chemistry was hot! Bring on The Night Court and all of the sexiness I know it can give.

4. Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little – I was surprised by my reaction to Forbidden in the best possible way. I loved the Mesopotamian location of this one, and the way in which the author was able to really throw me into the landscape. I formed a bond with the main character, Jayden, and have been looking forward to rejoining her, as well as hoping that her relationship with Kadesh develops more.

233080845. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – As someone who has been in love with the story of Sharazad since a young girl, The Wrath and the Dawn was one of those books that I had always wanted. And it met my expectations, completely. The romance in this is so perfectly done that I still can not get enough of it. I can’t wait to see how this duology ends.

6. When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris – I just love the Sebastian St. Cyr series. This book will the eleventh, and I think this series is a good example of how to sustain a character’s longevity through development and the change of circumstances.

7. The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine – This one is all over the book blogging community lately, and once I looked it up I began to feel the interest to read it and get involved in the conversation, too.

8. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – I’m not sure its the entire book, per se. I think I am just eagerly anticipating that wedding, and I really hope the marriage is between the characters I want to read about!

9780399175411_OutrunTheMoon_BOM.indd9. Outrun the Moon by Stacey LeeUnder a Painted Sky was such a wonderful debut novel; I now have this author on my to-read list whenever she releases a new book. Historical fiction with diverse characters is such a needed addition to the YA world.

10. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin – Because I won’t give up hope that he is finally going to publish this book this year!!

Review: The Other Daughter

23014679Title: The Other Daughter

Author: Lauren Willig

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died, suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage…and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three month before. He’s an earl, respected and influential, and he is standing with another daughter-his legitimate daughter. Which makes Rachel…not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past-even her very name-is a lie.

Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity. There she insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father’s perfidy and bring his-and her half-sister’s-charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn’t as simple it appears; and she might just be falling for her sister’s fiancé…

Review: Word of warning: for the first fourth of this book I had my doubts. The story did not mesh with me in terms of connection to characters or amenability towards the slang of the Bright Young Things. So if you too find you have similar troubles, then I would advise to read on because the book really does improve once the plot begins to unravel the darkness that lurks behind the glittering façade presented by the characters.

The Other Daughter is the story of Rachel Woodley, who learns from a newspaper clipping discovered after her mother’s death that the father, whom she was told had died when she was four, is still alive. And not only is he alive, he is an earl with another family. Disbelief soon turns to anger for Rachel; under the force of her rage, however, there also remains the remnant of a four-year-old girl desperate to know her father had loved her and did think of her as the years went by. So with the help of man loosely connected to her uncle, Rachel masquerades as Vera Merton to place herself within the company of her father’s children to gain access to him.

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, the initial introduction of Rachel to the Bright Young Things set was not the easiest to get through. It is a series of parties, and empty conversations; I have always read characters from this time period and wished that I could be shown some depth, because I have always had to believe there is something there to a person. When The Other Daughter shows the truth behind the people, it became a story I was much more invested in. Emotions do exist for these characters, the most notable in my mind being the truth about CeCe and the two scenes in which Rachel comes face to face with her father.

When the truth behind what really happened to Rachel’s family twenty-three years ago is revealed, I was not too surprised for my thoughts since the beginning had fallen along the correct lines, even though I did not grasp the reasons. Transparency aside, I was still engaged with the unraveling of the mystery and motivations of all parties involved. I leave the book satisfied with the answers given. In conclusion, with the exception of the vapidity displayed by the Bright Young Things set along with the exclusion of true presence for Rachel’s sister despite her often in the same space, this book was a decent enough read that fans of Lauren Willig’s stories should enjoy.

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we are talking about the Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015! Be sure to tell me your thoughts and what books you have on your list in the comments!

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer — I fell in love with Jacin and his snark during Cress, and I adored the scenes between little Winter and little Selene in Fairest. Combine these two together in a retelling of Snow White and I am ecstatic. I also can’t wait to see how things end for all the other characters in the series!

2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee — Adult Scout. Hopefully Adult Jem. Elderly Atticus, who in my imagination is aging as gracefully as Gregory Peck. Need. Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, so I really need this.

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo — The Grisha combined with Oceans Eleven? I’m there. Plus, Leigh knows how to write the boys that I want to come to my yard  😉  High praise, indeed!

4. After You by Jojo Moyes — Have you heard me rave about Me Before You yet? Because I can, I do, and I will. That book made me feel so many things, and the thought of reuniting with Lou really excites me. Jojo Moyes is becoming one of my go-to authors anyway.

5. All the Stars in Heaven by Adriana Trigiani — My mother introduced me to Ms. Trigiani’s books, and I am so grateful to her for doing so. The Shoemaker’s Wife is a five-star read in my eyes, and I was also incredibly fond of the Valentine series. Trigiani’s next novel is set in Hollywood and features the love affair of Loretta Young with…wait for it… CLARK GABLE. I already knew of the history between these two, but that in no way diminishes the hype surrounding seeing one of my favorite male actors of the Golden Age of Cinema brought to life in fiction. (*obligatory “Oh, Rhett” sigh*)

6. The Last Star by Rick Yancey — I loved The 5th Wave, but was not a fan of The Infinite Sea. All the same, here is to hoping the series finishes out strongly. (EDIT: Have to take this one off the list, since apparently it isn’t coming out until NEXT YEAR NOW?!?! When did that change happen?! I’m so disappointed.)

7. The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig — In some ways I am a bit distraught at the thought of this series ending, for I love it so much. But I have complete faith in Willig’s ability to end it perfectly and we finally get to have the perspective of Jane so that is something to cheer for!

8. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz — Steig Larson’s story continues on after his death, as a new writer takes over the helm of Lisbeth Salander’s story. I must be a fool, or something, because I know I am still going to read this despite my worries concerning new authors taking over another’s characters and world.

9. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin KwanCrazy Rich Asians was such a wildly fun story, so I can’t wait for the sequel. Luckily, I only have to wait a week for this one to hit stores.

…and now that we’re here, I am realizing that I surprisingly don’t have a tenth book. So, The End…