Posts in waiting on wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday -- September 19, 2018

Hey y'all!It's Grace, comfortably settled into the first few weeks of school. It's such an exciting time to be in Lexington, and surrounded by friends. I love the frenzy of the beginning; stressfully plotting out classes, getting into a routine, and generally figuring out what the flavor of the year is looking like.While I'm not looking too far into the future, I still want to highlight some books as I go that I'm looking forward to as I forge into the fall, head-on.

The Book

Novel: Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst | GoodreadsRelease Date: December 4, 2018Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

In Sky Hawkins's family, leading your first heist is a major milestone--even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It's a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you're a wyvern--a human capable of turning into a dragon.Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family's wealth and rank in their community.With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society--a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

For one, although I love anything magical or odd in YA, I rarely read books about dragons. They don't exist!Sarah Beth Durst is the perfect writer to tackle subject matter like this, because she has a middle-grade oriented touch. One that's absorbing and sweet, with plot that's just developed enough to engage you but not get bogged down in details. It's thorough and inventive. Also, I love the twist about jewel heisting! It's an excellent reinterpretation of the hoarding bit of the legend.Reviews mention that it reads more like a contemporary than a fantasy, but I think that could be refreshing -- or at least worth a shot.

Which books are y'all excited for?

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Hey y'all!It's Grace, on a rather sleepy Wednesday. While I procrastinate Latin translation, I figured I'd spotlight a book I've been waiting for.Novel: Foolish HeartsRelease Date: December 5, 2017Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR (Macmillan)

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

Emma Mills wrote one of the most refreshing books I've ever read.I'm beyond astonished at authors that can write well-balanced stories, because I always struggle to find ones that satisfy all my various requirements. As I know from This Adventure Ends, she has a talent for it. Her characters are engaging, unique, and lifelike -- a combination that you wouldn't think works but does. In reading reviews of her latest, people have commented on the characteristic witty dialogue and lovable characters -- qualities I loved about her first one. If it feels like her first one, great because I could use another. If Foolish Hearts feels distinct, I'm curious about what else she can do.I put This Adventure Ends in my "quiet reads" post a few months back because I couldn't believe it hadn't gotten more attention.

"Art. Jokes with her dad. A funky group of friends. Road trips. Freshness. It’s super witty and light, but also meaningfully tackles a lot of obstacles present in a good ol’ coming-of-age. This is the type of book that makes me want to cry because it’s so warm and full of life. It’s just a really comforting but invigorating read."

With that being said, I should read her next book, right?Even if I weren't an Emma Mills fangirl, I'd still be drawn in by other parts of the synopsis. I've taken two Shakespeare classes in college, and so I have a lot more appreciation nowadays for Shakespearean elements. Plus, boy bands! Rivalry!

What are y'all excited to read?

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Hey y'all!So I'm back to the blog again, and I'm currently figuring out what books are coming out soon. Normally, I'm pretty good about updating my spreadsheets, stalking Goodreads, all that jazz. This week though, I realized I had no idea.In looking at some upcoming releases, I started to get really pumped for quite a few. The first of which is...Novel: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović | GoodreadsRelease Date: August 15, 2017Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic's debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.

I've read a lot of books with similar storylines - and gorgeous floral motifs - and I love or at least appreciate all of them. They're usually lovely, and dark in a certain way fits with my love for poetic fantasy.Forbidden romance, twins, and the magic aspects are appealing. Plus, the reviews I've read have pointed out flawed, real characterization, which I'm quite excited for.The main point though? The writing is supposed to be absolutely astonishing. I'm weak for prose -- hello, Words Like Silver -- and I want a book that's going to make me underline every sentence.

What books do y'all want to read?

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Hey y'all!It's Grace here, in the midst of midterms - so excuse me if I go bury myself in Latin for the week. One thing I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend is my ability to finally read again. I've been able to in bits and pieces - short stories and poems mostly, with a reread or two throne in there - but not in the holistic way that I'd like. Last week, I gushed about my excitement for Traitor to the Throne, and I'm back this week with another sequel. Without further ado...Novel: The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye | GoodreadsPublisher: Balzer + BrayRelease Date: May 16, 2017

Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

My mark of a good fantasy is whether or not I'm entirely absorbed into the story. The synopsis compares it to Red Queen and Shadow and Bonebut I personally think it's much better. If anything, I would liken it to The Night Circus - something powerfully distinct and dreamlike.For one, I'm a sucker for Imperial Russia. Such an underrated setting, conveyed so beautifully! Such opportunity for richness!Also, the characters are passionately different, with compelling reasons to root for them. They also clash quite a bit, which is unbearably fascinating.It can be a little slow, but not in a bad way. In a way that lets you sink entirely into the premise and the writing. I wrote about it in my mid-year favorites of last year.

Lush teenage version of The Night Circus in imperial Russia? Sign me up. The absorbing storytelling, colorful characters, and sizzling conflict set up for a marvelous series. Each time I dove into this one, it felt like an utter treat.

You can read my full (mini) review of the first book here.One note is that this isn't simply a sequel; it's a conclusion. That means that I will inevitably be crying at the end of it, both from the joy of reading it and the bitter pain of knowing I have to wait a while for the next Evelyn Skye book. Give it to me now please!

What do y'all think?

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Hey y'all!It's been a while since I've done a Waiting on Wednesday post, mostly because I haven't been sorting through new releases. But I've seen some books pop up in various places, and there are a few that I'm dying to read already. Without further ado, here's one of them.Novel: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton | GoodreadsRelease Date: March 7, 2017Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

Rebel of the Sands was one of my first (and favorite) books of 2016, and I still remember my heart beating so quickly when I finished it. That was a book that I devoured, wholeheartedly.The plot twists. The characters. The world-building. The romance. All of it. I described it within my gift guide - and within an earlier post about some of my mid-year favorites - in the following words.

I had the pleasure of reading this one at the beginning of this year, and I wholeheartedly fell in love with it. I loved how vibrant the desert setting was, how insane the plot twists were, the chemistry between the characters.  I wrote earlier on the blog that it has “A weathered protagonist [who] still manages to seem fresh, thanks to thoughtful world-building, a Western vibe, and a supporting cast that keeps her on her toes.”

You can read my full (mini) review here.I need to go back and reread it before the sequel - perhaps a Washington break task? - and I just know it would be the perfect way to unwind with a book I know will get me hyped up. May or may not harass Penguin to see if I can get in on some publicity for this one, because I will gladly shout it from the rooftops. I'm so pumped to see what happens with this series, and I would love to see it get the recognition that it deserves.Hello, gorgeous cultural infusions. Hello, mind-boggling villains and myths and fight scene choreography. Swoonworthy. I am such a fan.

What do y'all think?