It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – May 6

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Mya’s Strategy to Save the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – May 5

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Nocturna

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – 2018 Books Still Unread

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is 2018 Books Still Unread. Here’s my list:

1. Sanctuary by Carin Lix

2. An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

3. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

4. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

5. Sky in The Deep by Adrienne Young

6. Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of 2018 Books Still Unread?

Review: Carmilla

Title: Carmilla
Author: Kim Turrisi
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An adaptation of Shaftesbury’s award-winning, groundbreaking queer vampire web series of the same name, Carmilla mixes the camp of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the snark of Veronica Mars, and the mysterious atmosphere of Welcome to Nightvale. Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas University. But when her roommate, Betty, vanishes and a sarcastic, nocturnal philosophy student named Carmilla moves into Betty’s side of the room, Laura decides to play detective. Turns out Betty isn’t the first girl to go missing ? she’s just the first girl not to come back. All over campus, girls have been vanishing, and they are completely changed when (or if) they return. Even more disturbing are the strange dreams they recount: smothering darkness, and a strange pale figure haunting their rooms. Dreams that Laura is starting to have herself. As Laura closes in on the answers, tensions rise with Carmilla. Is this just a roommate relationship that isn’t working out, or does Carmilla know more than she’s letting on about the disappearances? What will Laura do if it turns out her roommate isn’t just selfish and insensitive, but completely inhuman? And what will she do with the feelings she’s starting to have for Carmilla? Produced by Shaftesbury, and available on the YouTube channel KindaTV, Carmilla is a global sensation. A scripted transmedia series that puts a modern spin on the cult-classic gothic vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla has generated over 71 million views and 245 million minutes of watch time across three seasons since its launch in 2014. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and also been made into a feature film. Author Kim Turrisi brings her trademark humor and sensitivity to an adaptation that offers a deep dive for existing fans and a portal for new fans around the world. 

Review:

I read Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu years ago when I was in university. I loved the book! I was always fascinated with it because it is a vampire story that came out years before Dracula. Carmilla was the original vampire story.

This story was a fun adaptation. I haven’t read a vampire story in years! There were some serious parts, but many things were quite funny. In particular, the frat boys were funny. They insisted on “protecting” the girls from whoever was kidnapping the other students, but they always showed up when they weren’t wanted.

This story is also an adaptation of a Canadian movie. It didn’t read like an adaptation of a movie. I’ve read other books that were written after a movie, and they weren’t as well written. They often sound like the closed captions that would go with the movie. This book was like an original story.

I really enjoyed this story. I’m going to watch the movie version next!

What to read next:

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi

Have you read Carmilla? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – May 4

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received two of my preorders from Indigo:

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) by Victoria Aveyard

I received four books from Simon and Schuster Canada:

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa

I was approved for an ARC on NetGalley from Penguin Random House Canada:

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra

I was approved for an ARC on NetGalley from Page Street Publishing:

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada, Simon and Schuster Canada and Page Street Publishingfor these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)

Title: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her?

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge. 

Review:

This book definitely lived up to my expectations! It was fast paced, and I flew through it. It felt short because I read it so quickly.

I can’t say much about the plot without giving away spoilers for this book or the other ones. This one had more of a scientific theme, with time spent in laboratories with medical tests and operations being conducted. There were some horrifying science experiments being conducted, including one on a newly discovered character, Emmaline. That one was disturbing and difficult to read.

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking of the first book in the series, Shatter Me, and how much has changed since then. Juliette and Warner have grown so much throughout the series. There have also been lots of new characters introduced, including some new ones in this book. There were some parts of this book that echoed the first one, with some characters being kept in a prison/asylum, like how Juliette was imprisoned in Shatter Me.

Now that I’m caught up on the series, I’ll have to wait a long time for the next one.

What to read next:

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

Have you read Defy Me? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – May 3

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“OMG, Mom’s gone insane.
Not normal Mum-insane. Serious insane.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Have you read Finding Audrey? What did you think of it?

Review: Order of the Majestic

This was a fun, original story! The magic in this story was in the form of magical illusions, rather than fantasy. There was more than just card tricks, including magical portals to other worlds, but it seemed a little more realistic than other stories.

Title: Order of the Majestic
Author: Matt Myklusch
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Aladdin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Fans of Brandon Mull and James Riley will love this action-packed, accessible fantasy story about one kid’s journey to discover magic as he’s caught up in an epic battle between two powerful ancient orders.

Twelve-year-old daydreamer Joey Kopecky’s life has been turned upside down. After acing a series of tests, he’s declared a genius and awarded a full scholarship at a special (year-round!) school. He’s understandably devastated, until he takes one last test, and the room around him disappears, replaced by the interior of an old theater.

There, Joey meets the washed-up magician, Redondo the Magnificent, and makes a shocking discovery…magic is real, but sadly, there isn’t much left in the world. It may be too late to save what little remains, but for the first time in his life Joey wants to try—really try—to do something big. Soon he’s swept up into a centuries-old conflict between two rival societies of magicians—the Order of the Majestic, who fights to keep magic alive and free for all, and the dark magicians of the Invisible Hand, who hoard magic for their own evil ends.

The endless battle for control of magic itself has reached a tipping point. For Redondo and the Order to survive, Joey must inherit the lost legacy of Harry Houdini. Will he prove himself worthy, or will the Invisible Hand strike him down? The answer will depend on Joey’s ability to believe, not just in magic, but in himself.

Review:

This was a fun, original story!

The magic in this story was in the form of magical illusions, rather than fantasy. There was more than just card tricks, including magical portals to other worlds, but it seemed a little more realistic than other stories. I loved that this was a world built on magic tricks, because it is more accessible to kids. I had a set of magic tricks that I loved playing with as a kid. I think this setting makes the story much more relatable for young readers.

I loved the comparison of magic and science. A few times the characters say “Magic is just science that people don’t understand yet.” I love this description of magic. Some things that people used to think of as magic centuries ago are now classified as science, such as medical advancements. I loved the way this brought the magic into the real world.

I also appreciated that Joey has both of his parents in this story. Often in children’s stories, the main character is either an orphan or from a single parent household. That is supposed to put the characters at a disadvantage right from the beginning, but it doesn’t always have to be like that. I liked that this was a different way to start a middle grade fantasy novel.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a great magical story!

What to read next:

The Lost Prince (Seaborne #1) by Matt Myklusch

The Revenge of Magic by James Riley

Have you read Order of the Majestic? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – May 2

My pick this week is The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin.

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?