Most Anticipated Releases

I don’t normally do most anticipated releases because for the most part I read older releases and wait for newer ones, but there are the few here and there that I want to get soon after they are released. I’ve realized that there are quite a few that I am looking forward to that are releasing in the second half of the year. I plan to either preorder or get them the week of their releases. Here are my top 8.

Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village by Leila Howland. This is the follow up to Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon. This is based on the television show and brings Rapunzel, Cassandra and Eugene on a whole new adventure. This releases on June 5.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. This is about a woman who finds out she has been left an inheritance, but the problem is that there is a mistake and it’s not money for so she comes up with a plan to get the inheritance anyway. This releases on June 28. Apparently I was wrong about this date and it was released on May 29.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. This is about a group of girls at a summer camp. They spend their time playing two truths, one lie. One night Emma watches a group of her girlfriends sneak out of their cabin and they are never seen again. Years later the camp has been reopened and Emma is offered a position as the art instructor, which she accepts so that she can finally find out what happened to her friends. This gives me a Camp Crystal Lake vibe and I am loving it. This releases on July 10.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. This is a retelling of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I am so excited for this one. I love reading about villains and what they were like before we knew them. I always find it interesting to read all the different reasons that made a villain become just that. Also Ursula is my favorite Disney villain. This releases on July 31.

After Nightfall by A.J. Banner. This one is about two friends and one friend betrays the other and I guess they have a falling out and don’t talk. Years later the friend that did the betraying wants forgiveness so Marissa invites her to her engagement party as a way to reconcile. Things don’t work out so great and the friends body is discovered at the bottom of a cliff. This releases August 7. I have an ARC from Netgalley that I am so excited about and hoping to get to very soon.

A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs. This is the fourth novel in the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children series. I can not wait to dive back into this world. Because this is the fourth book I’m not going to say anything else about it so I don’t spoil anything for people who haven’t read the other books yet. This releases on October 2.

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks. I am so excited about this one. If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while you might know that Nicholas Sparks is my all time favorite author. I don’t want to know anything about this one. I want to try to go into it blind and just enjoy the story, but I’m sure there will be love and heartbreak and many tears and I’ll love every minute of it. This releases on October 16.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer. This is the follow up and conclusion to Renegades. I have a spoiler free review of Renegades posted if you’re interested but I’m not going to say anything else about it because it is the second book. This releases on November 6.

Honorable Mention:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber. This is the second book in a trilogy. Caraval was the first book and is told from Scarlet’s point of view. Legendary is told from Tella’s point of view and I believe it picks up right where Caraval left off. This releases on May 29. I have it preordered and I am getting a signed copy, hopefully, so this will definitely be on my June TBR.

Those are the books that I am most looking forward to. There are others coming out but these are the ones that I think will be preordered for sure or at least bought within days of release. What are some upcoming releases that you are excited about?

Keep reading…Lola

* All images are from Google.

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Book Review: Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

TRIGGER WARNING FOR BIPOLAR DISORDER AND TALK OF SUICIDE.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert is a Young Adult book with lots of diversity. There is mental illness, bisexuality, religion, an interracial relationship and blended family.

Suzette “Little” and Lionel “Lion” are practically step siblings. Their parents have been together since the kids were young although they have never gotten married. Lionel and his father are white and Jewish and Suzette and her mother are African American. Lionel was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and during that time, Suzette was sent to boarding school so she could have a little break from all the stress and scariness. While away at school she starts a relationship with another girl. When Suzette goes home for the summer she starts to date a boy, who is half African American and half Asian, that she’s known for years and she also learns that her brother has stopped taking his medication.

This was such a moving and powerful novel. There was so much diversity packed into it and it was amazing.

First off Suzette and Lionel come from a blended family. Their parents have been together for 10 years but have never gotten married. Lionel and his dad are white and Jewish and Suzette and her mom are African American and converted to Judaism. When Little and Lion are 15, Lionel is diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and at the beginning of his diagnosis, things were hard and often got scary so Suzette’s mother thought sending her to boarding school as a way to get her away from everything for a while was the right thing to do. I don’t completely agree with this. I know her mother was doing what she thought was best, but at the same time this is something that Lionel will deal with for the rest of his life and I think Suzette might have a different decision later in the book of she had been there to see everything happen. I don’t think she fully understood the seriousness of his illness.

While away at school, she starts a relationship with her roommate and when the other girls on the floor find out, she let’s the roommate blame it on herself and act like it was one sided. When shes home for the summer she begins a relationship with a boy and then begins to question her sexuality. I, myself have never struggled with my sexuality. I’ve always known that I was straight, but I know that there are many people who struggle daily with who they are and I think this book did a good job of showing this struggle. Suzette knows she is attracted to girls and boys but shes wondering exactly who she is and what she wants and I think a lot of teenagers struggle with this at some point.

I loved the relationships. Suzette and Emil’s summer romance was so sweet. Lionel and Rafaela were sort of a quick and intense thing. I really enjoyed the flashback scenes with Iris and Suzette. You can tell that they cared about each other and get to see through Suzette how confusing it can be if you’re attracted to both girls and boys. I also really loved the fact that both of Suzette’s relationships were written they way they were. It really shows that love is love no matter what. My favorite was definitely the relationship that Suzette and Lionel had. They aren’t technically half siblings but they treat each other as if they were biological siblings. They have such a close bond and love each other so much to the point that they may not make the best decisions in the name of helping one another.

As for the mental illness aspect of the novel, I think it did a pretty good job of representing what it can be like to live with such a thing. I am not very familiar with bipolar disorder but from what I’ve read and from other comments I’ve read, it seems to be pretty accurate, but of course every person and case is different.

I really did enjoy this novel. I gave it 5 stars and definitely think everyone should check it out.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker is a Mystery Thriller about two teenage sisters who vanish without a trace and three years later, one of them returns home.

I loved the mystery in this novel. It had me hooked from the beginning and I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to know what happened. I was completely surprised by the ending. I’ve seen alot of people write reviews saying they guessed the plot twist early on but I didn’t. I was shocked and I thought it was great.

I enjoyed the parent-child relationships. They were not great at all but sometimes that is how life and family works. Nothing is perfect and this novel shows that so well. I hated most of the parental units for the most part but at the same time I also loved how real they were. Although the adults were not in the majority of what actual adults are like in real life, I know that it’s a real possibility for a lot of families.

I just want to talk about Cass and Emma’s mother for a minute. Judy Martin is a horrible woman and mother. She is a narcissist. She’s jealous of her daughters beauty, as she ages. She favors Emma, the older daughter and sometimes tries to turn them against each other. She cares only of herself and her image. She was such an unlikable character, but that made her great in my opinion. I love to hate characters!

The sibling relationship was so good. Emma and Cass were sisters and they loved each other. They wanted to protect each other at all costs. When Cass gets back home, all she wants to do is find Emma. The lengths she goes to learn the truth were some of the best parts of the novel. I loved watching the mystery unfold and when I learned the truth, it was great.

I loved the relationship that Emma and Cass had with their step brother, . He seemed to love them both so much even though they had different mothers. He was such a great brother even as a young boy. When Cass comes back after missing for three years, their first meeting is so sweet. You really find out the type of bond they have in the end and it’s beautiful.

The ending was so good and so satisfying. It tied up everything and explained all that happened so well. There was no weird cliffhanger type thing and I loved where all of the characters ended up.

I gave Emma In The Night 5 stars and think that everyone should read it, especially if you are a dan of mystery thrillers.

Keep reading…Lola

Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

TRIGGER WARNING FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT.

Wrecked by Maria Padian is a YA novel about a college rape. It is told from two perspectives, Haley who is roommates and friends with Jenny, who was raped and Richard, whose housemate is Jordan, who is being accused of the rape. Between the chapters there are also short paragraphs that tell the story of what actually happened that night.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was going to be told from the victim and the accused points of view which of course would have been she said it was rape, he said it wasn’t, but with it being their friends perspectives I think that changed the way the story came across.

With Haley’s point of view you get Jenny’s side of what happened at the party. You also see how she reacts after and how the girls around her act and what they feel as well. There is also Haley’s thoughts and feelings and you see her trying to figure out what to do and say. She is going through her own stuff but she’s still trying to be there for her friend. She also has this dilemma of whether or not she should even be involved and if it’s even her place to have thoughts about it.

With Richard’s point you get Jordan’s side of what happened at the party. He tells Richard he hooked up with a “hot freshman” and that’s it. With this point of view you get Richard’s thoughts and feelings, especially when he finds out that Jordan is being accused of rape. He gets to this point where he doesn’t know what or who to believe and then just doesn’t want any part of it.

While all of this is happening, Haley and Richard meet and end up liking each other, but then they find out about their connections to Jenny and Jordan. Now they have to figure out not only their feelings about the tape but also about each other. Are they on the same side? Does Richard believe Jordan? If Richard sides with Jordan can they be together at all? Can friendships and relationships survive all of it?

In addition to Haley and Richard’s chapters there are also short little paragraphs in between that tell the story of what happened that night. I thought this was a great addition to the story. You get more details and learn what actually happened that night, which is something that normally doesn’t really happen in real life. It’s always he said/she said and even with substantial proof, the perpetrator can sometimes get away with it. For example Brock Turner, don’t get me started on him, I’ll end up writing a full length novel!

As for the ending, I was a little disappointed with it, but at the same time it wasn’t a surprise. I thought the book in general depicted a very real situation with real feelings and reactions. I loved that they included the consent class in the novel. It was so important and really Informational. I think Wrecked is a very important book for everyone to read. Young adult males and females especially could learn from it and really learn what consent means.

I gave this book 4 stars and obviously I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone.

Keep reading…Lola

May TBR

These are the books that I want to read this month.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I have had this on my TBR for a while and it fits with one of the prompts for the Popsugar Reading Challenege so it’s time that I check this one off my list.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. This is also one that I’m reading for the challenge and it’s the May book for the Goodreads Popsugar Reading Challenge page.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. This follows a group of friends after one of their group disappears.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. I thought this would be perfect to read this month since Mother’s Day is in May.

I’m hoping to get to these and maybe a couple more but we’ll see how it goes.

Keep reading…Lola

April Spearcraft Book Box: Pirates Vs. Pan

This box is everything! The theme was Pirates Vs. Pan so of course I had to grab it…

We got to pins this month. The first is a pin from Swoon Reads. You can find them at swoonreads.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. They also have an app.

The second is a Peter Pan inspired Enamel pin designed by Laura Stites. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy at laurastitesart.

Close up of the pins. I love the Peter Pan one.

This months packaging was so cute. The next two items came in these pretty little mesh bags.

This is a Tinker Bell inspired zipper pull with a quote on it. This is one of my favorite quotes and also I dont know if I have ever mentioned it but I love Tinker Bell so this was just great.

This is a Peter Pan inspired metal bracelet. I love this so much. Its silver and has an adjustable clasp so it fits everyone which I love.

I am so glad that they included another candle. This one is Neverland and its green and smells so amazing. This candle was created by Dio Candle Co. just like last month and this is also a Spearcraft exclusive.

We also got a bookmark from Swoon Reads and the monthly magnet has a quote from Pirates Of The Carribean.

This is the back of the bookmark and it just tells you how Swoon Reads works.

Close up of the magnet. I love this movie series and this quote is to die for.

We also got a Swoon Reads promo card.

This is the back and it shows you how it works and a little more about what they do. Definitely go check out their website.

We also got the Author Spotlight. This months author is S. Jae Jones. She wrote Wintersong and Shadowsong.

We also got the monthly Spearcraft photo challenge insert.

Here’s a close up of the Author Spotlight if you want to read it. @sjaejones.

This is the April art print. It was designed by Laura Stites as well (she also designed the pin) and is inspired by Pirates Of The Carribean. I love love love this print.

There were two books included this month. The first book is Traveler by L.E. DeLano. The spoiler card says “What if every mirror was a portal to another life”. That just pulls you right in!

The second book is Dreamer which is the sequel to Traveler and was released this month.

This month they also included a letter from the author which I think is so great and adds a special little touch to the box.

Here’s a close up of you want to read it. It looks like it was typed and photo copied so even in person the writing is a little weird to read. Also check her out on Instagram @le_delano.

And last but not least, a signed book plate! I absolutely love this! I think it’s just so special when a book is signed by the author or a signed book plate is included. It just adds more to the box and who doesn’t love a signed book?!

By the way, both of the books have such beautiful covers. Pictures don’t even begin to show the beauty of these babies!

This is definitely a box that I will be getting from time to time when I love the theme because I just think it’s such a great box. Go check it out if you haven’t already. I highly recommend it.

Keep reading…Lola

April Wrap Up

These are the books I read in April. I read 7 books and enjoyed them all.

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn. This is a psychological thriller about a woman who is agoraphobic so she can’t leave her house. She spends her days drinking and playing online chess. She was a therapist before she became a recluse and she has an online forum where she talks to other people with similar problems. She likes to look in the windows of her neighbors and one day while spying on the family across the street, she sees something horrible happen, but when the cops learn more about her past, they begin to wonder if there was a crime at all. I gave this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the story but I think it started out a little slow. The “accident” doesn’t even happen until 100 pages in, but then it picks up and I couldn’t put it down.

TRIGGER WARNING for sexual assault.

Wrecked by Maria Padian. This is a campus rape story. Jenny says that Jordan raped her at a party. Jordan says that he hooked up with a hot freshman at the party. They were both drunk. The story is told from the points of view of Haley, Jenny’s roommate and friend and Richard, Jordan’s housemate. With two sides to the story, which one is the truth? I gave this 4 stars and there will also be a review up soon.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book about a problem facing society today. This is part of the advanced list.

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker. Seventeen year old Emma and fifteen year old Cass vanish without a trace one night. Three years later, Cass returns without Emma and with a story about being held captive on an island. The psychologist sees that there are some holes in Cass’ story and works with the lead detective to try and solve the case. I gave Emma In The Night 5 stars and a review is coming up.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book with a time of day in the title.

TRIGGER WARNING for suicide, self harm and molestation.

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. Francesca and Mira are pulled from the Quarry with rocks in their pockets. What could cause two young beautiful teenagers to drown themselves? Ben receives a letter from Mira telling him to search the seven places where he touched her, in each place she has left him a note and when he’s found the last one, he’ll know what made them choose to end their lives. I gave this 4 stars. I liked the story and characters. There were some surprises that I wasn’t expecting. I also wish that we got to see some more of Ben and Mira’s romance.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. This book has so much diversity. Suzette “Little” is African American and Bisexual. Lionel “Lion” is bipolar. He is also white and Jewish and Little’s brother. Little and Lion’s parents have been together since they were 6, but they have never gotten married. When Lionel started to get sick, Suzette was sent away to school to give her a break. She comes home for the summer to find that all of their friends have basically cut ties with Lionel and then he tells her that he’s stopped taking his medication and makes her promise not to say anything. What will Suzette do? I gave this 5 stars and have a review coming up for this too eventually.

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book with an LBGTQ+ protagonist.

TRIGGER WARNING there is lots of murder and torture

Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This is a West African inspired fantasy novel. It was AMAZING! That’s all I’m going to say because there will definitely be a review coming very soon. 5 stars way up high!

*PopSugar reading challenge book for a book by an author of a different ethnicity than you.

His Property by R.R. Banks. This is a New Adult romance that follows a man trying to turn his father’s former mob business legit and along the way he saves a woman from being sold to a sex trafficker. I gave this 4 stars. I liked the story but there are quite a bit of sex scenes.

That’s what I read in April and I can’t wait to get into my May TBR.

Keep reading…Lola