Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.


I absolutely adore epistolary novels, but I've had exceptional luck with all of the pen-pal styled novels I've read so far this year. And that includes Words in Deep Blue. I mean, wow. I just might have loved this novel even more than Graffiti Moon, which is saying a lot because I love to re-read that one. I just didn't know a novel could break me and make me feel whole at the same time.

This story is beyond beautiful. Like a love letter to every book nerd out there, Words in Deep Blue pays homage to classics and contemporary favorites alike, all while taking place in a bookshop. And there's a secret sadness between the pages of some of the books in the Letter Library, one that left me open-mouthed and gasping for air, even knowing the end result. There is just so much to love between the pages of this book.

I loved the dual narrative and how Cath was able to capture each character's essence and make them feel completely genuine in their heartbreak. I loved the dynamic between Henry and Rachel, the second chance aspect...the will they or won't they? But most of all, I just loved that they got their friendship back on track, despite everything else. That's what this book felt like to me, more than anything else. Sure, it's about loss and love and growing up, too. But Henry and Rachel's relationship was the driving force of the book for me, and it was just so well-written.

I kind of ran the gamut of emotions while reading this one: sorrow, empathy, anger, jealousy, elation, and some more sorrow for good measure. But I've discovered that's kind of the way with a Cath Crowley novel. She makes you experience things on the same level as her characters and you'll be overjoyed to do so, even when they're in pain.

Re-reading has become a recent obsession, and I totally see myself diving back into this story again and again. That makes two Cath Crowley novels that are utterly re-readable. I haven't read A Little Wanting Song yet, but I imagine I won't be disappointed there either...

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GIF it to me straight:


About the author:

Cath Crowley is an award-winning author of young adult fiction. Her novels include Words in Deep Blue, Graffiti Moon, Chasing Charlie Duskin (A Little Wanting Song) and the Gracie Faltrain trilogy. Cath is a freelance writer, manuscript assessor and teacher.

Find Cath:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram





Friday, April 28, 2017



Wow, for the first time in months, I actually read more young adult novels than adult stories! That's due in part to some awesome re-reads, but still. There were a few surprise hits in my reading this month and a few unexpected disappointments, but all in all, it was fairly good reading. Mostly done outdoors because that's how I do. =)

And without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately...

(More on why I've gone to this format here in lieu of traditional reviews for each.)




Y O U N G   A D U L T

It's Not Me, It's YouThe Heartbreakers (The Heartbreakers Chronicles, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)

It's Not Me, It's You - I wasn't expecting the interview format, but it worked really well for this story and because there was a full cast audio, which is always a plus. This story was very fluffy and light-hearted as main character Avery strives to see where every one of her relationships went wrong by way of interviewing each of her exes. I couldn't imagine doing that myself, and this could have gone really, really wrong, but all in all it was cute and the perfect way to start off the Monday after Spring Break. It's also entirely predictable...but in an adorable way so I kinda didn't mind.  🌟🌟🌟

The Heartbreakers - This story was actually so much better than I was expecting, which was pretty much a fluffy, frivolous, angsty tale of teenage woe. But this book had substance. It had heart. It's also kind of fluffy and angsty, too, but that made the deeper issues easier to bear. There was just such a sense of camaraderie between the band mates and Stella. The only thing I wasn't completely on board with was the romance because Oliver was so hot and cold and I actually felt Stella had more chemistry with the other band members than with him. Still, I would definitely entertain the idea of reading the sequel, if not to see how that romance plays out, then at least for more of The Heartbreakers. =) 🌟🌟🌟

Strange the Dreamer - A new book from Laini Taylor is always reason to celebrate, but this story was truly magical. Lazlo's back story, the city of Weep, the world of gods and monsters and men -- it all culminated into one impressive story with Taylor's trademark writing style adding an air of dreaminess to the whole thing. It was slow to start and longer than most, but even with that chill-inducing ending, I still wasn't ready for it to be over. Plus, Steve West narrates the audiobook and, honestly, you can never have too much of his voice in your ear. ;0) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Blood Rose Rebellion - Very meh. So much meh. I honestly don't have any other thoughts. Besides wondering how/why I bothered to finish...except that the end was kinda interesting. Not enough to redeem the rest of the book, but it was something. I'd probably only bother with the second book if I had absolutely nothing else to read/listen to. 🌟🌟

Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1)Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1)The Bridge

Timekeeper - I did not expect to love this as much as I did. Steampunk is not really my jam, though wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff usually is, so I gave it a chance. And it was way less mechanical and way more time is really weird and tied to all things and I was very on board with that. Also, the boy-on-boy kissing. Such a cute romance, if not a little different, what with one being a real boy and one being a clock spirit. But this entire story is really unique and probably a big reason why I enjoyed it so much. Great narrator, as well. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Defy the Stars - I have to admit, as creepy as artificial intelligence is to me, I love reading about it. This is only the second third time I've read about AI becoming sentient and only the second time I've read about it falling for a human. And though that is a big part of the story for Abel -- expanding his programming to the point that he feels like a human -- the romance wasn't the focus. Earth is basically a hostile force in this story, having overtaxed the planet of its resources and trashed it beyond measure -- you know, basically what's happening right now -- and the people of Earth want to invade Genesis. But Noemi has a plan to stop them...without sending a suicide squad to handle business. Of course, things go awry and there's some interstellar space traveling going on, but it was pretty entertaining, as far as YA sci-fi novels go. Not on par with Illuminae but still fun. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Bridge - This story was absolutely adorable. Clever and funny and full of missed opportunities and misconceptions, The Bridge was not what comes to mind when I think of new adult. I was enamored with the characters and the setting, which became a character unto itself, such were the beautiful descriptions of events and places. Honestly, I was just kind of dazzled by the story in general; I've never been to Paris but I almost feel like I have after reading this novel. I still have heart-eyes just thinking about it. I'm so happy to see that there's supposed to be a sequel out this year! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟




R E - R E A D S

Shadows (The Rephaim #1)Haze (The Rephaim, #2)Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)Burn (The Rephaim, #4)

The Rephaim series - God, I love this series. It makes me with I was a half-angel bastard so I could travel the world in the blink of an eye and kick some ass while doing it. Gaby and Rafa will forever be one of my favorite couples but that whole cast of characters is just phenomenal. I really wish they'd release this series on audio so I could listen to it again and again...and so I could hear the accents. I imagine them while I'm reading, but it's just not the same. At least I can rest easy, knowing there's a new Paula Weston novel on the horizon, even if it's not in the world of the Rephaim. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneThe Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Listened to this favorite with Katie while we followed along in the book. Jim Dale is KING. Such great narration and I hear it only gets better with each book. And Katie really seems to get into it more this way. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Assassin's Curse - Was in between audio again and saw that they're re-releasing this duology together after the fall of the original publishing house. So, I thought, why not? I'll tell you why not...because I only have the first book on audio and it leaves off on a gigantic cliffhanger. Guess I'll be using one of my Audible credits sooner than planned... 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Cruel Beauty - This novel will always be a favorite. Always. And with all the attention on Beauty and the Beast right now, how could I not give this a re-listen? I've loved Hodge's other books, but her debut will always hold a special place in my heart. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Star-Touched Queen - Re-listened to this one in preparation for A Crown of Wishes. It's a companion novel rather than a true sequel, so it wasn't entirely necessary. And I kind of wish I hadn't because I loved this book so much that I think it lessened my enjoyment of ACoW a bit. :( 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Crown's Game - My friend loves this series, but I only mildly liked this book the first time I read it. So, I thought I'd give it a second chance before the sequel releases. And I think I did like it more this time, but I still feel like it's a lesser version of The Night Circus. 🌟🌟🌟

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

The Raven Cycle - I've been on a roll re-reading favorite series lately. And right as I was finishing this one up, there's news that it's been optioned for TV. I hope they do it justice. These characters are so vibrant and full of life...casting the wrong actors could ruin everything. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

TorchedHuntedA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Torched - For some reason, I kept thinking about this book. I read it like five years ago, but I remembered really liking it, and as I was between reads, I decided to read it again. Except my old copy was on my Nook, which I no longer have. So, I ended up spending $3 and buying it again for my Kindle. Worth it. So cute and funny and swoony and hawt. But with a title like Torched, it had better be, right? ;0)  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Hunted - You ever just love a book so much when you read it that you want to read it again almost immediately? But maybe you don't have time to do that so you listen to the audiobook and love it just as much? That's this book. This is among my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings and I don't see that changing. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury - Necessary prep before A Court of Wings and Ruin. The re-read of ACOTAR wasn't really necessary, but I was not going to read ACOWAR without re-reading all of the Rhys goodness in ACOMAF first. :D 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟




A D U L T

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)

Assassin's Apprentice - Well, that was fairly depressing. I'm certain future books will be great, and I'll get to them eventually, but I need a palate cleanser after that. For a story about a bastard-born royal apprentice, it sure did seem like Fitz had his share of enemies and those that would kill him. This first book was really long - even on audio - and really drawn-out but it reminded me of Alanna in some ways, and I ended up loving the later books in that series, so I fully intend to pick this one back up. Just not today. The threads of a great story are there, though. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Devil in Spring - I'm not caught up on the Wallflowers series, and I only read Devil in Winter because I knew this book featured the son of that infamous couple. And maybe I shouldn't have because I preferred the parents' crazy road to wedded bliss a bit more than Gabriel's and Pandora's. But not overly much. I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop because things were just too easy for them. I enjoy this series immensely, though, and I'm happy to hear that there are three more books in the works, especially considering that big ole hint that was dropped in this novel. :) 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul, #1)Lady of Light and Shadows (Tairen Soul, #2)King of Sword and Sky (Tairen Soul, #3)Queen of Song and Souls (Tairen Soul, #4)Crown of Crystal Flame (Tairen Soul, #5)

Tairen Soul - I saw someone - whose reviews I follow and trust on GR - RE-reading this series at a considerable pace, and since I loved the only other book I've read by C. L. Wilson ([book:The Winter King|10485751]), I thought I'd give this series a go. When I heard the not-so-great narrator for the first book, I almost gave up. But the story soon sucked me in and when a story is this good, I can forgive it a multitude of things, including a narrator that's all wrong. Featuring fae magic, a fated love, and a shifter king, this series seems made for me. You've got the supreme but tender alpha, the heroine who doesn't know who she is or what she was born to do, and a cadre of fae soldiers hell-bent on protecting them both. And the dark magic element is equally intriguing. 🌟🌟🌟🌟




Have you read any of these? What did you think? Find any new titles to check out? ;0)

Until next time! Happy reading!



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thanks to Little, Brown & Co for sending a copy of Defy the Stars and for providing a prize pack to give away! Here's more about the book and the promotion:

Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Defy the Stars, book #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is a seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.


Read the first chapter on Entertainment Weekly!



In case you were wondering, I belong on Genesis. =)



About the author:

Claudia Gray is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author of the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and the forthcoming Bloodline. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and a particularly ineffective waitress. Her lifelong interests include old houses, classic movies, vintage style, and history. She lives in New Orleans.

Find Claudia:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram



I've partnered with Little, Brown to bring you this awesome giveaway!



One (1) winner receives:
  • a copy of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
  • $25 Visa gift card to forge your own path!
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.


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