Review + Giveaway: Intercepted by Alexa Martin

This week I'm doing a fun pseudo-tour with some of my friends from our fantasy football group for Alexa Martin's debut romance Intercepted. Because of our great love for football, Berkley sent us copies of the book so we buddy read it! Scroll down to read my review, check out the other ladies' links, and enter to win a copy of Intercepted!


Rating: 3 stars
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: adult sports romance
Format/Source: paperback, from the publisher
Status: book 1 of the Playbook series


Summary:
Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. This does not affect the content of my review.

Listmania Monday: Geeks, Nerds & Fandoms, oh my!


In 2018, it is no longer an insult to be a nerd or a geek. Nerds have gotten their revenge, geeks are chic, and being fully into fandoms, attending conventions, cosplaying characters, playing D&D, and creating fanfic and fanart is fully in. So today I'm going to share all the YA books that celebrate geeks, nerds, and fan culture!


Note: I am including some books about music fandom.

Adorakable - Sarra Manning
Adorkable - Cookie O'Gorman
All of This is True - Lygia Day Penaflor
All the Feels - Danika Stone
Analee, In Real Life - Janelle Milanes
Art Geeks & Prom Queens - Alyson Noel
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl series - Barry Lyga

Band Geek duology - Josie Bloss
Between Us and the Moon - Rebecca Maizal
Bookish Boyfriends - Tiffany Schmidt
Bookishly Ever After - Isabel Bandeira
The Boomerang Effect - Gordon Jack

Camp Boyfriend - J.K. Rock
Chaotic Good - Whitney Gardner
Close Encounters of the Geek Kind duology - Andy Robb
Comics Will Break Your Heart - Faith Erin Hicks
Cure for the Common Universe - Christian McKay Heidicker

Darius the Great is Not Okay - Adib Khorram
Don't Cosplay with My Heart - Cecil Castellucci
Draw the Line - Laurent Linn

Eliza and her Monsters - Francesca Zappia

#famous - Gagnon
Fan Art - Sarah Tregay
The Fandom - Anna Day
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal - Kathleen Smith
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy - Sam Maggs
Final Draft - Riley Redgate
Follow Me Back series - A.V. Geiger

Gamer Girl - Mari Mancusi
Geek Charming - Robin Palmer
Geek Girl series - Holly Smale
The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading - Charity Tahmaseb & Darcy Vance
Geek High series - Piper Banks
Geek Magnet - Kieran Scott
Geekerella duology - Ashley Poston
The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Loves - Sarvenaz Tash
Geektastic - Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci
Gena/Finn - Hannah Moskowitz
Girls Like Me - Lola St. Vil
Going Geek - Charlotte Huang
Grace and the Fever - Zan Romanoff
Guy in Real Life - Steve Brezenoff

Hattie Moore duology - Rae Earl
Hero - Perry Moore
How To series - Cassie Mae

I Am Princess X - Cherie Priest
I Hate Everyone But You - Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak - Brian Katcher
In Real Life - Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
In Real Life - Lawrence Tabak
Internet Famous - Danika Stone
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder - Julie Halpern

Kat and Meg Conquer the World - Anna Priemaza
Kill the Boy Band - Goldie Moldavsky
King Dork series - Frank Portman

Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil
Looking For Group - Rory Harrison

Mechanical Hearts series - J.C. Lillis
Meg & Linus - Hannah Nowinski
The Museum of Heartbreak - Meg Leder
My Faire Lady - Laura Wettersten

Nerd series - Leah Rae Miller
The Nerd Girls duology - Alan Sitomer
The Nerdy and the Dirty - B.T. Gottfred
Now a Major Motion Picture - Cori McCarthy

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You - Lily Anderson

Pilgrims duology - Stephanie Kate Strohm
Playing Defense - Cate Cameron
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek - Maya Van Wagenen
The Pros of Cons - Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar & Michelle Schusterman
Pwned - Shannon Crane Camp

The Queen Geek Social Club series - Laura Preble
Queens of Geek - Jen Wilde

The Replacement Crush - Lisa Brown Roberts
The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here - Anna Breslaw
Ship It - Britta Lundin
Shuffle, Repeat - Jen Klein
Signs Point to Yes - Sandy Hall
Smart Girls Get What They Want - Sarah Strohmeyer
Solving for Ex duology - LeighAnn Hopkins
The Square Root of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Stranger Than Fanfiction - Chris Colfer

Tash Hearts Tolstoy - Kathryn Ormsbee
The Theory of Everything - Kari Luna

Unconventional - Maggie Harcourt
The Unforgettables - G.L. Thomas

What Happens Now - Jennifer Castle
When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon
Who's That Girl - Blair Thornburgh

PS I'm not including Carry On on this list because IT IS NOT ABOUT FANDOM. Fangirl is about fandom. Carry On is a straight up fantasy novel. FIGHT ME.


Blog Tour: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll



Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone
Links: check out my 4.5 star Unclaimed Baggage review!


Summary:
Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang



Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Genre: young adult graphic novel
Format/Source: finished copy, from the publisher
Status: standalone


Summary:
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Epic Reads Epic Giveaway

I've been to several really cool author events in the past couple months, and you know what that means: it's time for a random giveaway just because I want to send someone a bunch of books! And since most of the events I've gone to have been signings with HarperCollins authors, you're getting an epic Epic Reads prize pack!

The Prize:
Heart of Thorns - Bree Barton (signed)
Two Dark Reigns - Kendare Blake (signed)
My Plain Jane - Lady Janies
The Towering Sky - Katharine McGee (signed)
As She Ascends - Jodi Meadows
These Rebel Waves - Sara Raasch (signed)
Epic Reads tote bag



The Deets:
One winner will receive all the books above. Open to US. Entrants must be 13+ with parents' permission. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST October 1. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck!

BTW this giveaway is NOT affiliated with HarperCollins & Epic Reads. I just named it that because all the books I have are Harper books. :)

Mary in the Library: Purchasing Digital Materials for My Library's YA Collection



If you guys read my first Mary in the Library post (it was a long while ago!), you'll know that one of the duties I have at the library is purchasing ebooks for the YA collection. Apparently many of my friends on Twitter did not realize that because last year when I was working on my next ebook order at the library, I tweeted this:
and I received several replies of concern for my personal budget. I may spend a lot of money on books, but I personally am not going to blow over $2,000 in one go! This happened again last week when I was talking about receiving a supplemental budget at the end of my library's fiscal year.


There were a few questions about why ebooks for libraries are so expensive and some about the process, and voila! A post was born! Just a head's up: this post is LONG.

Disclaimer 1: I am not a librarian as I do not have a degree in library science. I am a senior library assistant, which is a paraprofessional position one step below librarian in my system. This post is based on 4 years of purchasing experience for three different platforms.

Disclaimer 2: As always, since I haven't worked at another system, the only library I can speak specifics about is my own. Also, while the process for purchasing physical items is similar, I don't have experience with that so I'm just going to be talking about digital materials.

Disclaimer 3: Ebooks and digital audiobooks are two separate entities, and to keep this post from being completely massive, I'm going to primarily focus on ebooks.


Review: Unclaimed Baggage




Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the content of my review.

Summary:
Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

Challenge Accepted: ARC August 2018 wrap-up

This month I participated in ARC August, and I'm delighted how well this year's challenge turned out for me! I deviated a little from the TBR I initially planned in my ARC August goal post in order to tackle the second part of the challenge: the ARC August BINGO card. At first, I figured I wouldn't hit any BINGOs because my goal was only 5 books. But... then I realized a lot of the books I'd picked fit the categories on the card so I began intentionally reading books that would fit certain spaces. Then I decided to get real and aim for filling up the whole board. It required me to add some books I hadn't initially included, and then I amended a couple times this past week in order to read more books from more publishers (because at first Macmillan was DOMINATING my stack!) and also to read some shorter, older ARCs just to finally clear them off my TBR. Buuuut I do think I did a good job of reading off that initial TBR.

Sadly, I ran out of time Friday night when I had 120 pages left in Wildcard to read but only 24 minutes left in which to read them so I admitted defeat for BINGO. But then Octavia extended the challenge two days SO I GOT TO FINISH! I got my mojo back!! Thank you Angie, Octavia, and Shelly for this amazing challenge!!

Books read goal: 5
Actual books read: 19 + 1/2 of one & 64 pages of another

Reviews goal: 5
Actual reviews written: 3 1/2 (lol)

Books read:
The Chase - Elle Kennedy
Dance of Thieves - Mary E. Pearson
Check, Please!: #Hockey - Ngozi Ukazu
Star-Touched Stories - Roshani Chokshi
Famous in a Small Town - Emma Mills
The Real Deal - Lauren Blakely
Heart of Thorns - Bree Barton
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
Before She Ignites - Jodi Meadows
Unclaimed Baggage - Jen Doll
See How They Run - Ally Carter
To Be Honest - Maggie Ann Martin
Seafire - Natalie C. Parker
Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating - CL
Love Ă  la Mode - Stephanie Kate Strohm
Heart of Iron - Ashley Poston
Take the Key & Lock Her Up - Ally Carter
Mirage - Somaiya Daud (half)
Illegal - Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin & Giovanni Rigano
Wildcard - Marie Lu
Darius the Great is Not Okay - Adib Khorram (64p pages)

I also thought it would be fun to do a section on my ARC August stats, kind of like the yearly reading wrap-ups Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner, Brittany of Book Addicts Guide, and Andi of Andi ABCs do so here's how my ARC August books stack up:

Average books per day: .61
Total pages read: 6,654
Longest book: Strange the Dreamer (544 pages)
Shortest book: Illegal (128 pages)

Category
Young Adult: 18
New Adult: 1
Adult: 2

Format
Physical ARC: 11
Digital ARC: 3
Finished copy: 7
└Hardcover: 6
└Kindle ebook: 1

Genre
Fantasy: 6
Realistic: 2
Contemporary Romance: 8
Sci-Fi: 3
Mystery/Thriller: 2

Type of Fiction
Novel: 18
Graphic Novel: 2
Short stories: 1

Release
Pre-release: 8
Read before release but now published: 2
Already published: 11

By year
2015: 1
2016: 1
2017: 2
2018: 16
2019: 1

Series vs. Standalone
Standalone: 8
Part of a series: 13
└First book: 9
└Middle book: 1
└Last book: 3

By publisher
Self-published: 1
Disney: 1
HarperCollins: 3
Little Brown: 1
Macmillan: 8
Penguin: 3
Scholastic: 2
Simon & Schuster: 1
Sourcebooks: 1

Rating
5: 4
4: 9
3: 5
2: 1
1: 0
Not yet rated: 2

Favorite: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll and
 Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Least favorite: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely and Mirage by Somaiya Daud

ARC August went so well for me that I'm going to try to do a personal challenge this month called Series September because I have been really bad about finishing series! So my new goal is to knock out at least 10 last books in series!

If you participated in ARC August, how did your challenge go? Are you participating in any other challenges this month or this year?

Blog Tour: Here Be Dragons: As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows


YOU GUYS. I have an AMAZING post for you today! To celebrate the upcoming release of As She Ascends, Jodi Meadows is stopping by the blog to share some tidbits about the dragons that populate the Fallen Isles, I'm sharing some amazing DIY dragon crafts, AND there's a giveaway! PLUS PLUS PLUS if you haven't yet preordered your copy of ASA (honestly, why haven't you??), I've got all the information you need to snag some fantastic goodies from Jodi!


Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: DRC, from the author
Status: Book 2 of the Fallen Isles trilogy


Summary:
MIRA, THE HOPEBEARER
Mira Minkoba is on the run with her friends after a fiery escape from the Pit, where she’d been imprisoned for defending the dragons she loves. And she wants answers. Where have all the dragons been taken? Why are powerful noorestones being shipped to the mainland? And did the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sell out the Fallen Isles to their enemies?

MIRA, THE DRAGONHEARTED
As her connection to the dragons—and their power—grows stronger, so does Mira’s fear that she might lose control and hurt someone she loves. But the only way to find the truth is to go home again, to Damina, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust.

Home, where she must rise above her fears. Or be consumed.

The second page-turning novel in Jodi Meadows’ Fallen Isles trilogy scorches with mysterious magic and riveting romance as one girl kindles a spark into a flame.

Review: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroy family & Carey Pietsch




Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Genre: fantasy graphic novel, humor
Format/Source: paperback, library
Status: book 1 of The Adventure Zone series


Summary:
Welcome to the Adventure Zone!

SEE! The illustrated exploits of three lovable dummies set loose in a classic fantasy adventure!

READ! Their journey from small-time bodyguards to world-class artifact hunters!

MARVEL! At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in real time!

Join Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior for an adventure they are poorly equipped to handle AT BEST, guided ("guided") by their snarky DM, in a graphic novel that, like the smash-hit podcast it's based on, will tickle your funny bone, tug your heartstrings, and probably pants you if you give it half a chance.

With endearingly off-kilter storytelling from master goofballs Clint McElroy and the McElroy brothers, and vivid, adorable art by Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: Here There be Gerblins is the comics equivalent of role-playing in your friend's basement at 2am, eating Cheetos and laughing your ass off as she rolls critical failure after critical failure.

Listmania Monday: Pirates & Mermaids


One subgenre that has absolutely stolen the show in YA for the past couple years is that of the high seas adventure! Whether based in history or set in a more fantastic lands, books starring pirates and mermaids are sweeping bookshelves all over! For this list, I've collected books that contain something seaworthy, although for some, it's a small part of the plot overall.

The Abyss Surrounds Us duology - Emily Skrutskie
Airborn (Matt Cruise series) - Kenneth Oppel
The Aquathari duology - Amalie Howard
"The Assassin & the Pirate Lord" - Sarah J. Maas (part of The Assassin's Blade bindup)
The Assassin's Curse duology - Cassandra Rose Clarke
Atlantia - Ally Condie

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray - I DON'T CARE IF THESE PIRATES ARE MTV-ESQUE REALITY FUCKBOYS. I AM COUNTING THEM, BY GOLLY
Blackhearts duology - Nicole Castroman
Bloody Jack series - L.A. Meyer
The Buccaneer's Apprentice - V. Briceland

The Celestial Globe - Marie Rutkoski

Daughter of the Pirate King duology - Tricia Levenseller
The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

Fathomless - Jackson Pearce (book 3 of the Retold Fairytales series)
Forgive My Fins trilogy - Tera Lynn Childs

Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue duology - Mackenzi Lee
The Girl from Everywhere duology - Heidi Heilig

Hook's Revenge duology - Heidi Schulz

In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan

Jane Unlimited - Kristin Cashore

The Language of Thorns - Leigh Bardugo
Lies Beneath Trilogy - Anne Greenwood Brown
Lost Voices trilogy - Sarah Porter

Midnight Jewel - Richelle Mead

The Necromancer's Song series - Caitlin Seal
Never Never - Brianna Shrum

Over Raging Tides - Jennifer Ellison

Pacifica - Kristen Simmons
Passenger - Alexandra Bracken
The Pirate Captain's Daughter - Eve Bunting
Pirates! - Celia Rees
Princess Bride - William Goldman

The Reader - Traci Chee
Real Mermaids series - Helene Boudreau
The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Salt & Storm - Kendall Kulper
Sea Change - Aimee Friedman
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning
The Seafarer's Kiss series - Julia Ember (HECK yeah this series has BOTH mermaids AND badass girl pirates)
Seafire trilogy - Natalie C. Parker
Siege & Storm - Leigh Bardugo
The Siren - Kiera Cass
Song of the Current duology - Sarah Tolcser
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Steel - Carrie Vaughn
Stream Raiders series (These Rebel Waves) - Sara Raasch
Syrena Legacy trilogy - Anna Banks

Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz
Tempest trilogy - Tracy Deebs
Tiger Lily - Jodi Anderson
To Catch a Pirate - Jade Parker
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi - Not so much pirates as an awesome sea voyage book, but I can't leave it off. Charlotte Doyle is, like, OG girl pirate
A Tyranny of Petticoats: "Mother Carey's Journey" - J. Anderson

The Unbinding of Mary Reade - Miriam McNamara

Water Tales duology (Aquamarine!!!) - Alice Hoffman
Waterfire Saga - Jennifer Donnelly
Watersong series - Amanda Hocking
Witchlands series - Susan Dennard


What do you think of my seafaring list? Which of these are your faves? Did I leave anything off? Let me know in the comments!

Blog Tour: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi



Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: young adult fantasy short stories
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 2.5 of the Star-Touched series


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the content of my review.


Summary:
Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night
He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold
Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword
There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

Blog Tour: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson


When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Dance of Thieves, I was given the opportunity to ask Mary Pearson one question about the books. One thing that fascinated me about The Remnant Chronicles is the world itself. There are all these kingdoms that were formed by several very different groups of people for various reasons, and the books in TRC and now Dance of Thieves explore the very complicated relationships between the kingdoms and a few individuals living in them. At this point, we are very familiar with Morrighan and the Komizar's Venda with a splash of Dalbreck thrown in... but now it's time to see NEW lands (and a splash of Venda under new management). So check out my question to Mary-the-author and be sure to enter my giveaway for a SIGNED copy of Dance of Thieves, the start of an all-new series set in the world of The Remnant Chronicles.

PS Anyone who has not yet read The Remnant Chronicles: YES, you can read Dance of Thieves without reading TRC first! It will definitely spoil the ending of the series (a couple deaths & some relationships), and I LOVE TRC so I absolutely recommend you read them, but you can totally jump right on board with Kazi & Jase in Dance of Thieves.

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 1 of the Dance of Thieves duology
(spin off series from The Remnant Chronicles)
Links: The Heart of Betrayal review (book 2 of TRC)

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the content of my review.


Summary:
A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions. 

Challenge Accepted: Arc August 2018


In case you don't know about it, ARC August is an awesome reading challenge hosted by Octavia, Shelly, and Angie of Read. Sleep. Repeat. that allows bloggers the opportunity to focus on the unreleased titles we have in our possession but haven't read yet. 

I like to split my ARC August goals into two different groups because for me, ARC August isn't just about getting books read, it's also making sure I give them proper attention and get some reviews up. I also want to take the opportunity to review books from earlier in the year because they deserve some special attention too.

To Be Read:
As She Ascends - Jodi Meadows
Before She Ignites - Jodi Meadows
The Chase - Elle Kennedy
Check, Please! - Ngozi Ukazu
Damsel - Elana K. Arnold
Dance of Thieves - Mary E. Pearson*
Famous in a Small Town - Emma Mills
Heart of Thorns - Bree Barton
Ignite the Stars - Maura Milan
Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating - Christina Lauren
Love a la Mode - Stephanie Kate Strohm
Mirage - Somaiya Daud
Muse of Nightmares - Laini Taylor
Odd One Out - Nic Stone
Ogre Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
The Real Deal - Lauren Blakely
Seafire - Natalie C. Parker
See How They Run - Ally Carter
Star-Touched Stories - Roshani Chokshi*
Strange Grace - Tessa Gratton
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
These Rebel Waves - Sara Raasch
To Be Honest - Maggie Ann Martin
Unclaimed Baggage - Jen Doll
Wildcard - Marie Lu

To Be Reviewed:
Ice Wolves - Amie Kaufman
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang
The Prince & the Dressmaker - Jen Wang
A Reaper at the Gates - Sabaa Tahir
Royals - Rachel Hawkins
Save the Date - Morgan Matson
Whisper of the Tide - Sarah Tolcser

I don't expect to read all of the ARCs on my TBR list, but this is the stack I'll be picking my reads from. The two starred books are the two that are definite must reads for the month, and everything else will be decided on by a mood reading basis (or if there's an event coming up, which is the case for a couple of these). Edit 8/9/18: I just realized I never said a number. I want to read at least 5 off this list before the end of the month, and write at least 5 reviews from the bottom.

Are you participating in ARC August? If so, what's on your list? Which book do you guys think I should start with? Let me know in the comments!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows


Today I'm giving the My Plain Jane blog tour an epic (and ghostly) sendoff! Check out my list of the best ghosts and ghost hunters and enter to win a copy of the book. Don't forget to check out the other amazing & creative stops on the tour (Fashion! Food! Famous Janes! Ghost hunting tips! Reviews! Gift guide!), and don't forget to enter to win a My Plain Jane prize pack on Instagram. Details below!


Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: young adult historical/paranormal romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 2 of the Jane companion series
(the books aren't connected in any way, but they're still the Jane series)



Summary:
Move over, Charlotte BrontĂ«. The authors of the New York Times bestselling My Lady Jane are back with an irreverent spin on Jane Eyre—a tale of mischief, romance, and supernatural mayhem perfect for fans of The Princess Bride or A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.


Blog Tour: Freshmen by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison



Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, TLA conference; finished copy, publisher
Status: standalone


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher at a work conference and volunteered to be part of the tour. This does not affect the content of my review.



Summary:
Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can’t wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew…she’ll be free. And she’ll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter…the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn’t set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don’t stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke’s soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they’ll ever make it through freshman year.

Listmania Monday: The Prettiest Naked Covers


The fun thing about creating these lists of books with unique design aspects is that I'm learning a lot about... well, book design. And one of the best things I've learned is the technical terms printers & designers use for the various parts of a book. So most readers just call a hardcover book without its dust jacket a "naked book," which is always a fun term, but a hardbound book's cover is actually the case cover. If you're interested in learning more about the different parts and design aspects of printing books, my favorite source is The Book Designer. Today, I'm talking about books with case covers that have been embellished in some way as a nod to the book or the author.

How are case covers embellished? Again, most of us typically use the term embossed. I have discovered that this term is factually incorrect as emboss means to raise, and because case covers are cardboard that have been covered in fabric or paper, the surface isn't able to be raised. Deboss is the correct term when talking about stamped case covers, and the two kinds of debossing that occur are a blind stamp—an uncolored depression on the case cover—or foil stamping—using colored foil to make the stamp stand out. Dust jackets, on the other hand, ARE able to be embossed because a stamp can be applied to the bottom, and the title, author name, or art can be pushed up. Source

The other way covers are embellished is by using a specially designed wrap instead of the more typical paper/cloth wraps. These covers are smoother and glossier, and usually more colorful because they can be printed, unlike the cloth covers. Examples include Suzanne Young's The Program series, Kayla Cagan's Piper Perish, and Matthew Quick's Every Exquisite Thing.

Note 1: Unless specified, the default is the US "regular" edition.
Note 1A: German editions are really fucking cool & super underrated, you guys. Everyone always talks about US & UK/Australia, but GERMAN EDITIONS ARE GORGEOUS.
Note 2: Most of these are YA fiction, but I AM including some middle grade and adult fiction and YA nonfiction.
Note 3: Many books published by HarperCollins's Greenwillow Books imprint are stamped with a Greenwillow-specifc stamp, but I don't know if it's all of them, nor do I have a complete list of those titles. Eliza and Her Monsters is one of these.
Note 4: If I have one book in a series listed instead of the entire series, it's because I can't confirm the entire series has a stamped cover.
Note 5: This list got way longer than I expected. I didn't want to cut the MG & adult fiction because I WORKED HARD TO FIND ALL OF THESE, DANGIT, SO I'M GOING TO SHOW THEM ALL. But I have bolded the "regular" YA editions to make those easier to spot.

10 Things I Can See From Here - Carrie Mac
99 Days - Katie Cotugno

Abarat - Clive Barker
Absent - Katie Williams
After Alice - Gregory Maguire
Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary - Martha Brockenbrough
All the Bright Places (US & Turkish editions) - Jennifer Niven
The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman (not sure which edition)
American Panda - Gloria Chao
And a Happy New Year - Holly Bourne
And the Ocean Was Our Sky - Patrick Ness
Arc of a Scythe series - Neal Shusterman
Armada - Ernest Cline
Artemis (UK) - Andy Weir
Ash - James Herbert
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

Batman: Nightwalker - Marie Lu
Beneath the Haunting Sea - Joanna Ruth Meyer
Birthright trilogy - Gabrielle Zevin
Bitterblue - Kristin Cashore
Black Widow duology - Margaret Stohl
The Blackcoat Rebellion trilogy - Aimée Carter
The Bone Season series - Samantha Shannon
Born Wicked (German edition)  - Jessica Spotswood
Borne - Jeff Vandermeer
The Brightest Stars of Summer - Leila Howland
Bumped duology - Megan McCafferty

Caraval trilogy (UK and US editions have different designss) - Stephanie Garber
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell
Carve the Mark duology - Veronica Roth
Catwoman: Soulstealer - Sarah J. Maas
Chaos Walking series - Patrick Ness
Charlotte Holmes series - Brittany Cavallaro
Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi
The Chronicles of the Black Tulip series - Barry Wolverton
Circe (UK) - Madeline Miller
City Love series - Susane Colasanti
Clash of Kingdoms series - Erin Summerill
The Conquerer's Saga - Kiersten White
The Cost of All Things - Maggie Lehrman
Court of Shadows - Madeleine Roux
A Court of Wings and Ruin (Target edition) - Sarah J. Maas
The Crown's Game - Evelyn Skye
Cruel Beauty & Crimson Bound - Rosamund Hodge
The Cruel Prince - Holly Black
The Curiosities - Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff & Tessa Gratton
A Curse Dark as Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce

Da Vinci's Tiger - L.M. Elliott
The Dark Artifices (special Waterstones edition) - Cassandra Clare
Dark Breaks the Dawn - Sara B. Larson
A Darker Shade of Magic (special edition) - V.E. Schwab
Deadmen Walking - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dear Killer - Katherine Ewell
Department Nineteen - Will Hill
Divergent series - Veronica Roth
The Diviners (original hc) - Libba Bray
Dorothy Must Die series - Danielle Paige
Draw the Line - Laurent Linn
Dreamology - Lucy Keating
Driving by Starlight - Anat Deracine
Dumplin - Julie Murphy

Echo - Pam Munoz Ryan
Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia
Embassy Row - Ally Carter
Ember Quartet - Sabaa Tahir (definitely Ember & Torch. Will have to see if the newly designed covers keep the stamp)
Enter Title Here - Rahul Kanakia
The Ever Never Handbook - Soman Chainani
Every Exquisite Thing - Matthew Quick
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon
Exit, Pursued by a Bear - E.K. Johnston
Exo series - Fonda Lee

Fangirl (special editions in US & UK) - Rainbow Rowell
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy - Sam Maggs
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them - J.K. Rowling
Farmer Giles of Ham (50th anniversary edition) - J.R.R. Tolkien
Female of the Species - Mindy McGinnis
Final Draft - Riley Redgate
Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella
Firewalker - Josephine Angelini
First & Then - Emma Mills
Foolish Hearts - Emma Mills
The Forgetting duology - Sharon Cameron
Frannie & Tru - Karen Hattrup
Freshmen - Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
The Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs

Geekerella - Ashley Poston
The Geek's Guide to Dating - Eric Smith
Giant Days - Non Pratt
Girl Against the Universe - Paula Stokes
Girl in the Blue Coat - Monica Hesse
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
Give Me Some Truth - Eric Gansworth
The Golden Yarn - Cornelia Funke
Goldenhand - Garth Nix
The Gracekeepers - Kirsty Logan
The Graces - Laure Eve
The Great Hunt - Wendy Higgins
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein - Gris Grimly
Gris Grimly's Tales from the Brothers Grim - Gris Grimly
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King & Richard T. Chizmar

H20 - Virginia Bergin
Harry Potter & the Cursed Child - J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Heartless - Marissa Meyer
Heraclix & Pomp - Forrest Aguirre
Hereafter - Tara Hudson
Hidden Figures (Young readers' edition) - Margot Lee Shetterly
A History of Magic
Holding Up the Universe - Jennifer Niven
Holly Jolly Summer - Tiffany Stewart
Honor Code - Kiersi Burkhart
Horizon - Scott Westerfeld
House of Night - P.C. & Kristin Cast
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert
The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
The Illuminae Files - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Illusionarium - Heather Dixon
Illusions of Fate - Kiersten White
Impostors - Scott Westerfeld
Incarnate trilogy - Jodi Meadows
The Infinite Moment of Us - Lauren Myracle
Ink - Alic Broadway
Iron Cast - Destiny Soria

Jane Unlimited - Kristin Cashore
Jasper Dent series - Barry Lyga

Kaspar: Prince of Cats - Michael Morpugo
Kill the Boy Band - Goldy Moldavsky
The King of Bones & Ashes - J.D. Horn
The Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss

La Belle Sauvage (US & UK have different designs) - Philip Pullman
The Land of Laughs - Jonathan Caroll
Landline - Rainbow Rowell
The Language of Thorns - Leigh Bardugo
The Last Ever After - Soman Chainani
Last Star Burning - Caitlin Sangster
The Last Time We Said Goodbye - Cynthia Hand
A List of Cages - Robin Roe
Listen to Your Heart - Kasie West
The Looking Glass Wars - Frank Beddor
The Loom Saga - Elise Kova
The Loose Ends List - Carrie Firestone
Lorien Legacies series - Pittacus Lore
The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna
A Lotus Grows in the Mud - Goldie Hawn & Wendy Holden
The Lunar Chronicles (German editions) - Marissa Meyer
The Lure - Lynne Ewing

A Madness so Discreet - Mindy McGinnis
The Magic Misfits - Neal Patrick Harris
Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard - Rick Riordan
Magonia - Maria Dahvana Headley
Maleficent - not sure of the author, but probably the Elizabeth Rudnick version
Maresi - Maria Turschaninoff
Matilda - Roald Dahl (this is a special edition, but I don't know which. Case cover is blue)
Mechanica - Betsy Cornwall
The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
Messenger of Fear series - Michael Grant
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children trilogy - Ransom Riggs
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
Ms. Bixby's Last Day - John David Anderson
Munmun - Jesse Andrews
My Heart and Other Black Holes - Jasmine Warga
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows
My True Love Gave to Me - Stephanie Perkins

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
The Nevernight Chronicle series (UK) - Jay Kristoff
Night of Cake & Puppets - Laini Taylor
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Nightmares: The Lost Lullaby - Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Noir - robert Coover
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Obsidian (German edition) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Off the Page - Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
Once Upon an Alphabet - Oliver Jeffers
Ones and Zeroes - Dan Wells
Otherbound - Corrine Duyvis
Otherworld - Jason Segel & Kristen Miller
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
Out of the Blue - Sophie Cameron

Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff
Paperweight - Meg Haston
Passenger duology - Alexandra Bracken
Pax - Sara Pennypacker
Pearl - Dierdre Hall
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
Picture Us in the Light - Kelly Loy Gilbert
Piper Perish - Kayla Cagan
Police - Jo Nesbo
The Power - Naomi Alderman
Pretty Little Liars series - Sara Shepard
The Program - Suzanne Young
PS I Like You - Kasie West
Pushing the Limits series - Katie McGarry

Queer City - Peter Akroyd

Rain - Karen Duve (possibly German edition)
The Raven Cylce - Maggie Stiefvater
Rebel Rising - Beth Revis
Red Queen (collector's edition for sure) - Victoria Aveyard
Revenge & the Wild - Michelle Modesto
Reign of Shadows duology - Sophie Jordan
Release (I think this is the UK edition) - Patrick Ness
Renegades (Target edition) - Marissa Meyer
Replica series - Lauren Oliver
The Rest of Us Just Live Here (US & UK have different stamps) - Patrick Ness
Rook - Sharon Cameron

Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys
Say What You Will - Cammie McGovern
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (unknown which edition)
The Selection series - Kiera Cass
Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty
Seven Ways We Lie - Riley Redgate
Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy - Matt Ruff (not sure of the edition. Possibly German. It's a red cover with a SHARK on it!)
Shadow & Bone trilogy (German edition) - Leigh Bardugo
The Shadowhunters Codex - Cassandra Clare
Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi (I have no idea which edition, but I HAVE SEEN ONE)
The Shepherd's Crown - Terry Pratchett
Shine - Lauren Myracle
Ship It - Britta Lundin
Sightwitch - Susan Dennard
The Silver Trilogy (German edition) - Kerstin Gier
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young
Skylark - Meagan Spooner
Slade House - David Mitchell
The Sleeper & the Spindle - Neil Gaiman
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Newvel
Sleeping Beauties (Waterstones edition has 5 different designs) - Stephen & Owen King
The Smoke Thieves (UK edition, I think?) - Sally Green
Snakehead - can't confirm which author, but possibly Anthony Horowitz
Snow & Rose - Emily Winfield Martin
Snow Like Ashes trilogy - Sara Raasch
So, und jetzt kommst du (obviously German) - Arno Frank
A Song of Ice and Fire series - George R.R. Martin
Spellcaster trilogy - Claudia Gray
Spill Zone - Scott Westerfeld
Spindle Fire - Lexya Hillyer
Splintered trilogy - A.G. Howard
The Stand - Stephen King
Star Wars illustrated novels
└The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy - Alexandra Bracken
└So You Want to Be a Jedi - Adam Gidwitz
└Beware the Power of the Dark Side - Tom Angleberger
Starbound trilogy (German editions) - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (German covers are almost always super fucking cool, guys)
Strange the Dreamer duology - Laini Taylor
Struck - Jennifer Bosworth
Summer Days & Summer Nights - Stephanie Perkins
SuperMoon - H.A. Swain
The Summoner series - Taran Matharu
The Sun is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon
The Surface Breaks - Louise O'Neill

Talon series - Julie Kagawa
Teardrop - Lauren Kate
Tell Me Three Things - Julie Buxbaum
This Adventure Ends - Emma Mills
This Dark Endeavor - Kenneth Oppell
This is My Brain on Boys - Sarah Strohmeyer
This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales
A Thousand Nights series (UK & US have different designs) - E.K. Johnston
The Thousandth Floor - Katharine McGee
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake
The Traitor's Game - Jennifer Nielsen
The Trials of Apollo - Rick Riordan
Trickster's Choice - Tamora Pierce
Trigger Warning - Neil Gaimon
Turtles All the Way Down - John Green

Under Rose-Tainted Skies - Louise Gornall
Unearthly trilogy - Cynthia Hand
The Unlikelies - Carrie Firestone

Valkyrie Rising - Ingrid Paulson
Villains series - Serena Valentino

Warcross (UK) - Marie Lu
Watership Down - Richard Adams
We'll Fly Away - Bryan Bliss
What If - Robert Munroe
What to Say Next - Julie Buxbaum
Whenever I'm With You - Lydia Sharp
The Wicked Deep - Shea Ernshaw
Wild Awake - Hilary T. Smith
Wing & Claw: Forest of Wonders - Sue Park
Winner's Trilogy - Marie Rutkoski
The Witch Hunter (German edition) - Virginia Boecker
Wolkenschloss (German edition) - Kerstin Gier
The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware
Wonder - R.J. Palacio
Wonder Woman: Warbringer - Leigh Bardugo

Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Zombies vs Unicorns - Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier

Gallery
 Blood of Eden trilogy - Julie Kagawa

 Dumplin - Julie Murphy

 Embassy Row trilogy - Ally Carter

 Emma Mills's books
top: First & Then, This Adventure Ends
bottom: Owlcrate Foolish Hearts, regular Foolish Hearts

B&N exclusive Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

 Geekerella - Ashley Poston

 Girl Against the Universe - Paula Stokes

 Illusions of Fate - Kiersten White

 Night of Cake & Puppets - Laini Taylor

 Not if I Save You First - Ally Carter

 Talon & Rogue - Julie Kagawa

The Wicked Deep - Shea Ernshaw

Which of these hidden designs is your favorite? Is a book missing? Let me know in the comments!