Monday, August 10, 2020

State of the ARC [24]

State of the ARC is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah at Avalinah's Books! It's an opportunity for readers to catch up on their long overdue ARCs, but right now I'm using it to keep up with my upcoming ARCs instead. It helps me stay organized! Edit: State of the ARC is temporarily being hosted by Sarah (All the Book Blog Names Are Taken) while Evelina is on hiatus.

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy (8/4)
Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber (8/4)
Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn (8/4)
The Switch by Beth O'Leary, Daisy Edgar-Jones (Narrator), Alison Steadman (Narrator) (8/8)
All Eyes on Her by Laure Elizabeth Flynn (8/18)

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1) by Janella Angeles (8/25)
Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil, #1) by Kevin Hearne (8/25)
A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2) by Evie Dunmore (9/1)
Fable (Fable, #1) by Adrienne Young
Recommended for You by Laura Silverman 

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman (9/1)
The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage (9/8)
The Barren Grounds (The Misewa Saga, #1) by David Alexander Robertson (9/8)
The Roommate by Rosie Danan (9/15)
Furia by Yamile Saied Mรฉndez (9/15)

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro (9/15)
The Hunter and the Mage (The Raven and the Dove, #2) by Kaitlyn Davis (9/21)
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi (9/22)
A Neon Darkness (The Bright Sessions, #2) by Lauren Shippen (9/29)

The Clockwork Crow (The Clockwork Crow, #1) by Catherine Fisher (10/4)
The Wrong Kind of Woman by Sarah McCraw Crow (10/6)
Everything I thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka (10/13)
Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse (10/13)
Love & Olives (Love & Gelato, #3) by Jenna Evans Welch (11/10)

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (11/10)
Admission by Julie Buxbaum (12/1)
You Have a Match by Emma Lord (1/5/21)
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (1/5/21)
Outlawed by Anna North (1/26/21)

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (2/16/21)
Float Plan by Trish Doller (3/2/21)
When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert (3/9/21)
Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels (5/4/21)

I need to catch up on my August books, because September is going to be BUSY. Are any of these books on your TBR? I've tried to accept/request less, but it's sooo hard! 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Sunday Post [54]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.

News: 

We've had a really rainy week, but the kids have loved it! They've been warm summer storms, so the monsters have been able to play outside to their heart's content. Occasionally, Jacob and I will join them on the trampoline, but they're happy just running around like the sky is a giant sprinkler. ๐Ÿ˜Š

We're still house hunting, so fingers crossed something pops up that we like! I really don't want to read through another contract though, haha.

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying what's left of the summer! I know a few of you have kids that are already back in school, and I'm thankful we still have another month before tackling that particular beast.


What I'm currently reading:

The Clockwork Crow (The Clockwork Crow, #1) by Catherine Fisher
Quintessence by Jess Redman
The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman
  • I'm reading The Clockwork Crow with my son, which we're both enjoying. It's very short, so we should finish it soon! Quintessence is one I'm reading with my girls, and while they're too young to fully comprehend the story, they do ask questions occasionally. I'm really liking it so far! The Silver Arrow is an audiobook we've been listening to in the car, so it's taking us a little longer to get through it (we never have a reason to go anywhere anymore). I've been reading through a physical copy on my on, just so I can review it on time. I highly recommend all three of these for fans of MG!

What I plan on reading next:

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1) by Janella Angeles
All Eyes on Her by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Ink & Sigil (Ink & Sigil, #1) by Kevin Hearne

What I'm watching: 

Nothing!

Challenge updates:

Saturday, August 8, 2020

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.


๐‘‹๐‘‹๐‘‹

House of Salt and Sorrows was a haunting story that I'll likely never forget. I loved the seaside setting and the rituals the townspeople followed. They believed in and prayed to gods I'd never heard of before, and I enjoyed learning about them. Annaleigh shared a few stories that her mother told her as a child, and they were easily some of my favorite parts of the book. I only wish we'd gotten to learn more about the various deities that existed in their world.

This book was delightfully eerie, and I honestly had no idea what was actually happening most of the time. I started to second guess what was real and what was imagined. It reminded me of the movie Inception, because it really messes with your head! Are they dreaming? Are they dancing? Are they dead? Are they dangerous? Annaleigh is thrown into the middle of something inescapable, because it's her mind and memories she can no longer trust.

My one quibble would be the romance and how quickly they fell in love with each other. It wasn't overtly an insta-love, but their relationship did progress quickly and with some intensity. They didn't really know each other and both had secrets they were unwilling to share. Eventually those came out and they started working together, but they still fell hard and fast for someone they barely knew (and in a situation most people would've wanted to avoid). The lies were explained and understandable, but the YOU'RE MY ONE TRUE LOVE FOREVER was a tad too much for my liking. I don't think Annaleigh would have survived without him though, since he had information she needed and was willing to risk everything to keep her safe and alive.

I really loved how the author messed with my head, despite guessing who the real culprit was before the characters had figured it out. The explanation was unexpected, so the author still managed to surprise me at the end. It was also a lot more gruesome than I was expecting. People were left bloody, broken, mangled, and some of the descriptions were gross. Maggots crawling through carcasses, and the body parts of old fish being unknowingly consumed, nearly made me vomit.

If you're looking for a story that will make you second guess yourself and the characters you're reading about, then House of Salt and Sorrows might be a good fit for you! However, if you have a sensitive stomach, or an unwillingness to be disgusted by a book's content, you might want to look elsewhere. Craig delivers a mind-bending story that focuses on family and what they'll do to survive, whether they're battling grief, ghosts, or gods. (★★★★☆)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

My Weekly Pull [127] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [102]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Ant-Man #4 by Zeb Wells, Dylan Burnett
Deadpool #6 by Kelly Thompson, Kevin Libranda, Greg Land
Guardians of the Galaxy #5 by Al Ewing, Juan Cabal

Jim Henson's Storyteller Ghosts #4 by Michael Walsh, Naomi Franquiz
Undiscovered Country #7 by Charles Soule, Scott Snyder, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello 
Grassi
Seven Secrets #1 by Tom Taylor, Daniele Di Nicuolo

๐Ÿ’ฅ Jacob's comics for the week! Batman My Little Pony + Transformers are for the kiddos. ๐Ÿ’ฅ

DC Classics Batman Adventures #3 by Kelley Puckett, Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett
Batman: The Adventures Continue #3 by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Ty Templeton, Joe Quinones
My Little Pony Transformers Friendship In Disguise #1 by James Asmus, Ian Flynn, Tony Fleecs, Jack Lawerence
Usagi Yojimbo #11 by Stan Sakai

I am so happy I checked my email before ordering comics this week, because BOOM! Studios decided to release Seven Secrets REALLY early, and it's one of my most anticipated reads for 2020. Apparently, they were only selling one issue per store (trying to generate buzz for the story), but since we order our comics online at the moment (our LCS has temporarily closed down due to COVID), I'm not sure how distributing copies worked. Regardless, I did manage to snag an issue, and I cannot wait for it to get here! First of all, it's written by Tom Taylor. Second, the cover is amazing. Third, this synopsis: 

"For fans of Once & Future and Undiscovered Country comes an all-new original series from #1 New York Times best-selling author Tom Taylor (DCeased) and artist Daniele di Nicuolo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) about seven powerful secrets - words, wonders, weapons, and worse - with the power to change the world..

For centuries, the Order has trusted in Keepers and Holders to guard the Secrets in seven briefcases against all harm, but when their stronghold is attacked and the secrets put in peril, the entire Order must face their greatest fear-an enemy who knows too much and is willing to kill to get what he wants.

Now, the Order's newest member, Caspar, must discover the truth of the Secrets before the enemy does, or risk losing everything."

Right?! Once & Future and Undiscovered Country are two of my faves! 

Before you ask, no, I have absolutely no idea why they did a Transformers and My Little Pony mashup. It looks super weird! It's also hilarious that our son is suddenly interested in Batman, because Jacob has been the one reading it to him, and he doesn't really care for the character or his comic. ๐Ÿ˜…

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Homerooms and Hall Passes (Homerooms and Hall Passes, #1) by Tom O'Donnell

Expected publication: September 8th 2020 by Balzer + Bray

Synopsis (via Goodreads): “You can’t help falling in love with this hilarious upside-down take on Dungeons & Dragons. I read; I cheered; I laughed out loud.”—Gordon Korman

In the mystical realm of Brรญandalรถr, every day the brave and the 
bold delve into hidden temples or forgotten dungeons, battling vile monsters and evil wizards to loot their treasure hoards for sweet, sweet magic items.

But in their free time, our heroes—Thromdurr the mighty barbarian, Devis the shifty thief, Vela the noble paladin, Sorrowshade the Gloom Elf assassin, and Albiorix the (good!) wizard—need to relax and unwind.

That’s why they meet up once a week to play Homerooms & Hall Passes: a role-playing game where they assume the characters of average American eighth graders.

But when the five young adventurers are magically transported into their H&H game by an ancient curse, they must band together to survive their toughest challenge yet: middle school.

Who knew that battling ogres would be easier than passing algebra or navigating the cafeteria social scene? They must use what they’ve learned from playing Homerooms & Hall Passes to figure out how to save their game world (which might actually be real...).

Dungeons & Dragons meets Jumanji in this new, laugh-out-loud adventure series from the author of the beloved Hamstersaurus Rex series.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!