Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston


The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble The Book Depository IndieBound
Series: Yes, #1 in the series
Release date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Length: 372 pages
Source: ARC from ALAMW
Rating: *victorious Cantii war cry*



Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.



Well, that was totally bad ass.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: The Princess Saves Herself in this One


The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound
Series: No
Release date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Andrew McMeel Publishing
Length: 208 pages
Source: Netgalley
Rating: Save me from this one



From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.


Okay. Yeah. That was....well, not my favorite ever thing. I feel like I just read my middle school AIM away messages or 200 pages of emo Myspace updates. I need to go listen to some Dashboard Confessional STAT. (YES, I AM OLD, OLDY OLD OLD)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour


We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository IndieBound
Series: No
Release date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Length: 240 pages
Source: ARC from ALAMW
Rating: Gillian is NOT okay



"You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother."

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.


This book is brilliant, and Nina LaCour is a master. And she owes me a stiff drink.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In Which I Apologize to the Goodreads Challenge and Acknowledge I Have Been a Nincompoop




Oh, past Gillian. HOW FOOLISH YOU WERE.

Let's journey back to the halcyon days of 2015 and this post full of past-Gillian nincompoopness. The post in which I said things like this:

Every time I log on Goodreads, there's this bright purple banner begging me--no, urging me--to set a Goodreads challenge. Goodreads wants me to set a goal of how many books I'll read this year, but je refuse, Goodreads. Je hardcore REFUSE. No matter what number I set, high or low, I'll end up wayyyy too married to it. I'm competitive even with myself. I'll feel like crap if I fail, and I don't want to feel like crap about reading books! I love books! This is why I like to take as much reading pressure off myself as I can...which is hard, considering I've already got a bunch of it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber


Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound
Series: Yes, #1 in the Caraval series
Release date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron
Length: 407 pages
Source: ARC from BEA16
Rating: Hmmmmm



Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

A mesmerising, magical and stunningly imaginative debut novel for anyone who loved The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.


I struggled sooooo hard with what to rate this. There's one thing about Caraval I can unequivocably rate five stars, and that is the imagery. I'm an EXTREMELY visual reader, so it makes sense that by far my absolute favorite part of Caraval were the visuals. I could see this place completely. I wanted to live in in and roll around in it and eat it. It was sumptuous and the descriptions were wildly evocative. I'm glad this has a good chance of becoming a movie, because I could already see it in my mind, and it was stunning. The writing--after the bizarrely clunky opening chapters--is STUPENDOUS. The metaphors and rich details and sumptuous setting really accented the whimsy and seductive madness of the magic.

I want to live inside Caraval. It's vivid and rich, I want to read a million stories set in it...

...starring different people.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: By Your Side by Kasie West


By Your Side by Kasie West
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound
Series: No
Release date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 352 pages
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Rating: I am betrayed and disapoint


In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?



You guys, I am so betrayed.

This book could have been my everything. A fluffy romance novel about a ship TRAPPED IN A LIBRARY?? By Kasie West, goddess of squee, author of my favores The Distance Between Usand PS I Like You?? STARRING AN ANXIOUS HEROINE??? Be still my heart! Hold back the tears! My body is ready!

My body was lied to.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Double Bloody Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake and RoseBlood by A.G. Howard



There's a theme to today's double review! Both have blood in the title, both have magical doodads and whatsits, and both release today! Alas, I only liked one of them. But the one I did I loved a whole lot, so it's not a total wash!

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Bookish Resolutions



I have never been a New Year's resolve-y sort of person (possibly because I'm far too lazy to have much resolve in the first place). I don't have the discipline for diets or exercise, and my favorite hobbies are eating baked goods and sitting down with a book until my spine curves into a c-shape and my muscles dissolve into pudding. I never do hard numbers for reading goals (see why here). I go with the flow, man. Peace and love and baked goods.

But this year, for the first time in my whole life, I FEEL RESOLVE-Y.