ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

INFINITY SON: Promising Pieces, Though They Don’t Quite Come Together

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Times passes, and the agony doesn’t go away. The faintest phoenix song begs me to survive, but I’m tired of the music and wish someone would put out my fire for good.

There are some books that seem as though they promise everything you love, and everything you want. On paper, in pitches, in a synopsis. You read it out, and you need this book in your hands. Now. And sometimes, it falls into your hands and you’re so excited by the premise and it’s promise that you actually put off reading it (or does this just happen to me?). And finally, you pick it up, and you begin to read.

But books are like puzzles, and sometimes: the pieces just don’t fit together.

Continue reading “INFINITY SON: Promising Pieces, Though They Don’t Quite Come Together”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges

To-Read Tuesday: The Pondathon Edition

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Nothing helps me accomplish goals better than a little accountability (and a deadline, somewhat), which readathons are great for! I’ve never actually participated in a readathon before, but the premise of Pondathon was just so adorable and unique that I couldn’t resist!


What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Continue reading “To-Read Tuesday: The Pondathon Edition”

#FirstRiders Street Team, Blog Posts, Tours and Teams

CROWN OF FEATHERS: Book Tag Edition

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Hey everyone! I’m continuing to branch out with trying new things on the blog, and since Nicki Pau Preto’s Heart of Flames releases in exactly four weeks I wanted to celebrate! And by celebrate, I mean I wanted to do something fun, and different than anything I’ve done before. And so, behold: a Crown of Feathers themed book tag!

Feel free to participate in the tag, whether you’re tagged by someone or not. Everyone is welcome! I’d love to see everyone’s responses, so please link back to my blog in your post. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to do it on Twitter or Instagram. You can use #COFBookTag, or tag me in your posts (I’m @wordsbyholly on Twitter, and @hollibrarybooks on Instagram).

Continue reading “CROWN OF FEATHERS: Book Tag Edition”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

DARK AND DEEPEST RED: History and Fairy Tales Come Together in a Terrifying and Utterly Beautiful Dance

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I would find a way to make sure we never had to destroy something of ourselves just to stop other people from taking it.

Raise your hand if there are authors whose work you’ve meaning to pick up (for year after year, after year), and are only just getting around to it now—or soon. I’m plenty guilty of this, and one of those authors is Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about their books and their writing.

And now, after having turned Dark and Deepest Red‘s final page, I’m kicking myself for having taken so long to get here. But, I’m immensely grateful to be introduced to their work with this particular book.

Continue reading “DARK AND DEEPEST RED: History and Fairy Tales Come Together in a Terrifying and Utterly Beautiful Dance”

Backlist, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reviews

DARK OF THE WEST: Planes and Politics and Perfection, Oh My! (and horses)

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We’ll just keep running. Just be quick enough to stay ahead. It’s what I’ll always do. Because I have you. And I fly for you.

I cannot put into words how much I’m kicking myself for not reading Dark of the West sooner. Within these pages I found so much of everything I love in Young Adult fantasy, and then some.

So really, this is the absolute epitome of better late than never.

Continue reading “DARK OF THE WEST: Planes and Politics and Perfection, Oh My! (and horses)”

Blog Posts, Reviews

GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN: Everything You Want in a Romance, PLUS Amazing Chronic Illness Rep (✔)

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“Life hurts,” he said fiercely. “It’s unavoidable. But I know the difference between torture and growing pains.”

Once upon a time, a girl who spent most of her life reading almost exclusively Young Adult fiction started selectively picking up Adult Contemporary Romance. And she discovered that—often to her surprise—she really enjoyed them.

Once upon a time, prior to the aforementioned discovery, this same girl was diagnosed with a chronic illness after eleven years of doctors telling her that she was exaggerating—even entirely making up—her symptoms. And she discovered that she desperately wanted to find more #ownvoices chronic illness rep in the books she was reading.

Once upon a time, this girl discovered Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

And it ticked off both those boxes.

Continue reading “GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN: Everything You Want in a Romance, PLUS Amazing Chronic Illness Rep (✔)”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

THE DEEP & DARK BLUE: A Charmingly Woven Tale of Identity, Family, and Acceptance

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In spinning blue, we know our true selves…and we find and weave the patterns of the world.

It’s no secret that graphic novels are one of my favourite storytelling mediums. They feature all the elements of any good story you’ll find in a book—characters, plots, and world-building—while also employing a vast array of artistic techniques, mediums, and illustrative styles to tell those stories.

So it’s also no secret that when given the opportunity to read The Deep & Dark Blue early, of course I dove in headfirst. And what a beautiful experience it was.

Continue reading “THE DEEP & DARK BLUE: A Charmingly Woven Tale of Identity, Family, and Acceptance”

Blog Posts, Wrap-Ups

Monthly Wrap-Up: End of the Decade

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Just like that, we’ve reached the end of another month, another year, another decade. Reading has been an interesting experience for me this year. I expanded my horizons in several ways, but I also suffered from some of my worst slumps.

Honestly, I haven’t done wrap-up posts prior to this because I averaged only one or two books. Sometimes, even though I started several, I finished none. And to do a wrap-up like that? Well, just the thought felt a tad disheartening. So I decided to wait.

Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: End of the Decade”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews

ONE OF US IS NEXT: An Adeptly Crafted Whodunnit Full of Teens Being Teens

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It sucks when the person who ruined your life gets to walk around like always.

As if what they did doesn’t matter.

I beg to disagree with your conclusion, though.

There’s always something you can do.

—Darkestmind

I’ll be entirely honest: I know I was in the minority with my feelings for McManus’s debut, One of Us Is Lying. While I loved the concept—because The Breakfast Club but with murder (!) sounds like an inevitable win—I was ultimately let down by the execution.

But. I can happily say that this isn’t a problem with One of Us Is Next, which takes all the best parts of One of Us Is Lying and McManus’s sophomore standalone, Two Can Keep a Secret, to create a truly enjoyable read.

Continue reading “ONE OF US IS NEXT: An Adeptly Crafted Whodunnit Full of Teens Being Teens”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reviews, Spellhacker Launch Crew, Tours and Teams

SPELLHACKER: The Perfect Blend of Fantasy, Friendships, and Feeeelings

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Today is a day for fixing things. That’s what we’re here to do. No point in dwelling on the rest.

One of my favourite things is picking up a book and finding, the further and further that I read, how glad I am that such a book exists. Glad because, while it wasn’t there for me when I was a teen (and teen me really needed it), it’s here for me now.

And it’s here for all the teenagers like me, too.

Continue reading “SPELLHACKER: The Perfect Blend of Fantasy, Friendships, and Feeeelings”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

DON’T CALL THE WOLF: Visceral and Undeniably Beautiful (but not without flaws)

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They have such a capacity to change…and I think that is their real magic. They hold such darkness, these humans, but they still choose the light.

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that seems like it’s going to have pretty much everything you could ask for in your next read: a re-telling of a lesser known fairy tale, terrifying monsters lurking in the woods, a princess trying to save her kingdom and a hunter trying to save his brother, all wrapped up in the promise of a slowburn romance with a dash of magic.

And other times, unfortunately, no matter how promising something seems… it just doesn’t quite come together.

Continue reading “DON’T CALL THE WOLF: Visceral and Undeniably Beautiful (but not without flaws)”

Blog Posts, Frontlist, Look Book, Reveals, Spellhacker Launch Crew, Tours and Teams

SPELLHACKER: Pre-Order Campaign Launch + Look Book Edition

 

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I’m not going anywhere. Besides, I know this city better than anyone. If anyone can figure a way out of this, it’s me. I need to do this myself.

Just in case you’ve missed the exciting news, the amazing international pre-order campaign for M.K. England’s sophmore novel, Spellhacker, was revealed on Monday! I’m ridiculously excited to be part of helping spread this reveal far and wide—almost as excited as I am to read Spellhacker!

I’ve also decided to celebrate this announcement by doing what I do best: another Look Book!

Continue reading “SPELLHACKER: Pre-Order Campaign Launch + Look Book Edition”

#FirstRiders Street Team, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Look Book, Tours and Teams

HEART OF FLAMES: The Look Book Edition

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You are a daughter of queens. Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire. Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin. I pray you are able to pass through the flames.

Hello, hello! As you can probably tell, I’m still a bit new to blogging. Particularly in regards to the posting regularly bit. One of my goals for the rest of the year—and definitely for 2020—is to work on creating more consistent content! I intend to have the Look Book become a regular feature, because I’m having a lot of fun with it.

In case you don’t remember, each Look Book post features two things: a book, and a make-up look inspired by the chosen book’s cover! Basically, it gives me an excuse to create looks I wouldn’t do every day, and to slowly work my way through my ever-growing collection of make-up.

I think part of the delay with this second installment was the challenge of picking a book cover to inspire me. Not because there aren’t enough options—if anything, it’s quite the opposite! But, which book? Another new release? A backlisted favourite? An upcoming title?

It was tough, but eventually I managed to decide…

Continue reading “HEART OF FLAMES: The Look Book Edition”

Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Lightbearers Street Team, Look Book, Tours and Teams

THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD Street Team Blog Tour: The Look Book Edition

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the Lightbearers Street Team Blog Tour! We’re here to celebrate the upcoming release (only six days to go!) of London Shah’s immersive debut, The Light at the Bottom of the World!

Hope isn’t measurable or conditional; it’s not for anyone to try and control. It’s ours—all of ours—boundless, as wild and unfettered as the waves. And always has been.

Originally, this was going to be a review post. But I opted to do something a little different, because my blog thus far is almost exclusively reviews, and I want to start branching out… So, this is also my very first Look Book post!

Continue reading “THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD Street Team Blog Tour: The Look Book Edition”

ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews, Uncategorized

CRIER’S WAR: Here, Queer, and Beautifully Capturing the Human Experience

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Always check their eyes. That’s how you can tell if a creature is human. It’s in the eyes.

I think there are few things that are more exciting and terrifying than picking up one of your most anticipated releases of the year. My heart and my stomach, fluttering like butterflies, as I turn those first few pages. There’s anticipation. There’s a little bit of anxiety, too.

Sometimes, the words between the cover don’t deliver. Sometimes, they do. And sometimes, they go far beyond what you thought you could have ever expected.

Nina Varela’s #ownvoices debut Crier’s War falls firmly in that last category.

Continue reading “CRIER’S WAR: Here, Queer, and Beautifully Capturing the Human Experience”

#ARCAugust, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews

THE SPINNER OF DREAMS: Moving, Immersive and Imaginative, Like All Dreams Should Be

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Never be sorry for showing the world who you are or who you wish to become. These struggles have brought you exactly where you need to be.

The older I get, the more I continue to find Middle Grade books that I desperately wish had been around when I was younger, because they would have made an absolute world of difference for younger me. But since I can’t go back in time, I’ll simply be grateful that these books are here now. Not only for me to read, but to be able to pass on to so many kids that remind me of, well…me.

The Spinner of Dreams is exactly this sort of book.

Continue reading “THE SPINNER OF DREAMS: Moving, Immersive and Imaginative, Like All Dreams Should Be”

#FirstRiders Street Team, Backlist, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reviews, Tours and Teams

CROWN OF FEATHERS: A New Epic Fantasy, Bright and Slowly Burning

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What did the great heroes do when the sun fell from the sky? They leapt onto those wild flames and learned how to fly. — Ancient Pyrean proverb

I’ll admit it: I judge books by their covers. I have been known to buy books synopsis unread, simply because I’ve loved a cover. I’d turned around and bought books I originally took out from the library, because I loved the cover and want to have it on my shelves. So when I say that Crown of Feathers has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever, ever seen, these are the standards I hold it to.

Continue reading “CROWN OF FEATHERS: A New Epic Fantasy, Bright and Slowly Burning”

#ARCAugust, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reading Challenges, Reviews

WILDER GIRLS: Fierce and Unforgiving, as Growing Up Often Is

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It’s like that, with all of us here. Sick, strange, and we don’t know why. Things bursting out of us, bits missing and pieces sloughing off, and then we harden and smooth over.

Content Warnings can be found here.

Have you ever opened a book only to have the words jump off the page, grab you around the throat, pull you in, and never let you go? No? Well then, first: you’re missing out. Second, if you want to familiarize yourself with the experience, pick up Rory Power’s unforgettable debut, Wilder Girls.

Continue reading “WILDER GIRLS: Fierce and Unforgiving, as Growing Up Often Is”

#ARCAugust, ARCs & DRCs, Blog Posts, Debuts, Reading Challenges

To-Read Tuesday: #ARCAugust Edition

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A new month means new books! To be perfectly honest, curated TBRs are usually my worst enemy in that making them almost always guarantees I never get through them. Or, at least, I never get through them on time. It might be because deadlines fill me with so much anxiety that I avoid whatever it is that has the deadline.

(Counter-productive, I know)

That said though, #ARCAugust—an ARC-exclusive readathon created by Read.Sleep.Repeatis exactly the kick in the pants that I need. Continue reading “To-Read Tuesday: #ARCAugust Edition”

Blog Posts, Debuts, Frontlist, Reviews

TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT: The Power of Telling vs. Showing and Finding Connections in the Digital Age

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TYSI Review Text Bubbles

This was my first—and lasting—impression of Lana Wood Johnson’s contemporary YA debut Technically, You Started It, which unfolds entirely as text messages between the two main characters, Haley and Martin (Nathaniel Munroe II).

And I mean this in a good way. A great way. The absolute best way.

Continue reading “TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT: The Power of Telling vs. Showing and Finding Connections in the Digital Age”

#FirstRiders Street Team, Blog Posts, Book Design, Cover Loving, Frontlist, Reveals, Tours and Teams

Cover Reveal: HEART OF FLAMES by Nicki Pau Preto

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today is a really great day for two reasons: the first being that this marks my first ever official blog post, and the second being that I get to celebrate this momentous occasion by sharing the cover for Heart of Flames, the second book in Nicki Pau Preto’s Crown of Feathers trilogy! Continue reading “Cover Reveal: HEART OF FLAMES by Nicki Pau Preto”