Saturday, February 27, 2016

So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.  April's also doing her own Stacking the Shelves posts on Sundays.  Stop by and say hi!  =)

So, quite a few things I've been waiting for finally panned out this week. First, I got an approval for a book that I've been dying to read. Then, I waited to buy a book last week that my library notified me was up for grabs this week. Yay! And they also uploaded a ton of audio that I'd been trying to resist purchasing on Audible. I guess my dad was right and patience really is a virtue. :P

This is also the week I've decided to be better to myself. I'm going to stop drinking, go on a diet, and start working out again. In that order, and in baby steps, so that I hopefully stick with it. I always feel great after working out and when I'm eating better, but then the weekend happens and it all goes to shit. But if I stop drinking, I think I'll have a better chance of success because that's one of the reasons I always screw up on the weekends. And I wouldn't normally advertise this publicly, but I'm hoping for some accountability here. I just want to feel better. And I'm trying to convince myself that time spent on the elliptical and jogging means more reading/listening time, not less.

Okay, okay. On to the books. Here's what I scored this week...

From Publishers:

The Star-Touched Queen

As soon as I downloaded The Star-Touched Queen, I couldn't help starting it. And it is amazing. I love it. Absolutely love it.

Thanks to Chronicle Books for The Vanishing Throne, which I cannot wait to start. And thanks to Booki and HarperTeen for The Mirror King (which I've already read and loved), Mr. Fahrenheit, and Forest of Ruin. Thank you to HMH for Tell the Wind and Fire, which I also already loved. And thanks to Bloomsbury for Long Game.


Look for a new #booksfortrade | Have You Seen This? post coming soon. I made someone else's dream come true this last month and would love to help others...while also hopefully completing some of my own collections. I think that damn Throne of Glass ARC is going to remain elusive for the rest of my life, though. :(


Sabrina just keeps surprising me with lovely little presents. I am sooo happy to add Belle to my collection of Funko Pop figures, and I already have the perfect place for her on my shelves, among the many retellings I adore. Thanks so much, beautiful lady!


In case you were living under a rock, A Gathering of Shadows released this week from the brilliant mind of Victoria Schwab, and I couldn't help pre-ordering a finished hardcover, as well as the UK paperback and the audiobook version (not pictured). Always a pleasure to help support my favorite authors.


Riders (Riders, #1)Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1)The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)Stand-Off (Winger, #2)Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse, #1)The Killing Jar

I am so glad I didn't purchase Riders last week since my library did a major upload this week and I must have been the first one to see it because I snagged quite a few awesome audiobooks. Most of these I had review copies for but just didn't have time to get to, so I'm really excited to get to listen to them all. The only exception is Stand Off, for which I own the first book -- and still need to listen to it. No time like the present. Guess all my whining about having nothing new to listen to has paid off. But that means my epic re-reads are coming to an least for a little while. :(

So, that's my haul. =) What fabulous bookmail did you get this week?

The Week in Review:


This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)The Love That Split the WorldThe Forbidden Wish

Current Giveaways:

Check back soon!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  
Currently Reading:

The Star-Touched QueenI'm serious. This book may go down as my favorite this year. It is incredible and beautiful and I just love it ever so much. I feel really, really bad for the next book I read.

Currently Listening:

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)So, earlier this week I didn't know what to listen to and I saw Ksenia re-reading this series, and well, here we are. Even though I like, JUST read/listened to this series for the first time a few months ago. But Flamecaster will be out soon and I still need to read that book, so this seemed the best place to start.

Upcoming Reviews:

The Star-Touched QueenA Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)Riders (Riders, #1)Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1)The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)Stand-Off (Winger, #2)Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse, #1)The Killing Jar

Just as soon as I finish all that audio. :) Some will probably be mini-reviews.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

The 15 Weird Questions Tag

Friday, February 26, 2016 with 2 comments
So, my friend Christina posted her answers to the 15 Weird Questions Tag earlier this week, and I was intrigued. And because y'all needed further proof that I am indeed weird, I give you my answers to 15 weird questions:

1. A nickname that you get called

Nowadays, my nicknames aren't weird or cutesy. They just are. For example: Jen or J, which are short for Jeannette. But when I was a kid, my dad used to call me Nette, obviously shortened from my full name. And when I was asked my nickname in class in the 5th grade, I was an idiot and told my classmates this name, and my crush decided to call me Netterbug. Which stuck, for like, EVER. My family even started calling me that. Course, that kid's name was Daniel, same as my dad's, so dear ole daddy told me what they used to call him as a kid: Daniel the Cocker Spaniel. Worked like a charm. DtCS never called me a name again. Well, okay, also...we moved away in the 7th grade, so he didn't have much of an opportunity after that.

Previous childhood nicknames included Broken-neck and Broccoli-head because of my last name. As it was my maiden name, I shall not share that information here. But it was a doozy and was the source of much childhood angst. =(

2. A weird habit

Um, so I have a really shy bladder. I have to close my eyes and squeeze them real tight to distract my mind from the fact that there are other people in the restroom at work just so I can go. Other weird habits include some mild OCD-tendencies, like checking my alarm clock 20 times before I go to sleep to make sure it's set.

3. A weird phobia

Aren't all phobias a little weird? I'm trying to think, but nothing's really coming to mind. I don't think I have any true phobias now that I'm an adult. But when I was a kid, I was terrified that a green witch's hand - complete with long red fingernails - was going to come up from the toilet and grab me and pull me down into it. Maybe that's what led to my shy bladder? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4. A song you are ashamed to like so you blast it in private

Honestly, it depends on the company I'm keeping at the time. Most of my friends and family like country -- I do live in Texas -- so it's weird to listen to anything else around them. But then my older sis likes the same kind of music I do -- Chvrches, Two Door Cinema Club, Phantogram, etc. -- so it's weird when my husband play country music around her. I will admit that neither set is welcoming toward TSwift, so I blast that like nobody's business when they're not around. =)

5. A pet peeve

One. Ha. I'm probably the most easily peeved person alive. It's always the little things: not clearing off the microwave if you take your food out before it beeps, not shutting cabinet doors after getting a dish out, not replacing the toilet paper roll, and the like.

6. A nervous habit

I don't really have cause to get nervous these days, except in conversation with people I don't know well, and then I tend to babble. I daresay I'm nearly incoherent when meeting new people. On paper, I'm cool as a cucumber, but in person...someone please save me from myself.

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

That depends. Which side is my husband sleeping on? Because he's the protective type, so he needs to sleep nearest the door in case we get burgled or there's a fire or something. At our old house, that meant I slept on the right. Now, I sleep on the left, so he can get to the door quick and get to our daughter who's on the other side of the hall, if need be.

8. The name of your first stuffed animal

Bear Bear. He may have not been my first stuffed animal, but he's the first one I remember naming myself. Real clever, huh? :0)

9. What do you buy at Starbucks?

I don't. Might seem like one of the weirdest things about me to most people, but I've never actually stepped foot in a Starbucks. I've had it brought to me exactly twice: my hubby got me a smoothie when I was in the hospital recovering from giving birth and my sister brought me a caramel macchiato at work one morning. We have a Keurig at home and at work, so Starbucks runs just aren't necessary for me.

10. Beauty rule

Less is more.

11. Which way do you face in the shower?

Toward the shower head? I mean, I rotate as needed, but I guess I mostly face that way? Are you looking for a NSEW direction here? Because I'm not good with those...

12. A weird body skill

I used to could tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. No reason to use that to impress people anymore, though, lol. Um, I can lift my eyebrows really high individually, à la The Rock.

13. Comfort food

All the foods bring me comfort. But when I'm feeling bad, I like to make stir fry or pasta. And there had better be apple pie à la mode.

14. A word or phrase that you say all the time

Stahp. Or staaaaaaahp. I try to be unpredictable.

15. What do you sleep in?

I always start off the night in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms, but I hate how the pants get trapped around my legs while I'm sleeping, making me super uncomfortable, so then I usually end up in just a tee and my undies.

Well, those were some weird questions. Not tagging anyone but feel free to tell us more about yourself in your own weird post. =)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

I am really, really digging this onslaught of YA novels featuring Middle Eastern culture, and more specifically, jinn and related folklore. I know that there have been retellings of Aladdin previously, but this tale isn't retold all that often, especially compared to some, as seen in this graphic of YA retellings created by EpicReads. That being said, I don't think I've ever read one that turned the original story on its head quite like this one.

The Forbidden Wish is told from the jinni's perspective, and I think it's all the more gratifying for it. Zahra's been locked away for centuries, but even so, she still feels the bitter sting of betrayal her actions caused all those years ago. That palpable grief and guilt can be felt throughout the story and it made my heart ache for her character.

Zahra's voice is flowery and full of beautiful prose, even especially when she is withholding the full truth or scope of things. Aladdin's voice, on the other hand, was course and clipped and made him sound every bit the "street rat" he'd been when he discovered the lamp. I loved that as much as the author changed the larger aspects of the story, she left some of them just the way I remember. That is, from childhood memories of watching the Disney version. =) The story felt familiar in all the ways that count, but it also stood on its own, apart from any previous iterations.

The Forbidden Wish was enchanting, making me fall for the story of Aladdin and his jinni all over again -- and in a slightly different context than I loved their story before. ;0) This retelling was daring and full of sacrifice and sweeping declarations of love. Oh, was very romantic. Unfortunately, it's purported to be a stand-alone, though the mention of another iconic Middle Eastern hero at the end leads me to believe the author may not be done with this cycle of stories yet. One can only hope after the beauty and magic of this story.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.

When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.

Find Jessica:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

's Pick:

Title: The Female of the Species
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Add to Goodreads
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever. Acclaimed author Mindy McGinnis artfully crafts three alternating perspectives into a dark and riveting exploration of what it means to be the female of the species.

I've been intrigued by this book since I first saw the title, and now we have a cover and a description to kill for and I'm so excited I couldn't wait and read the four chapter excerpt that came along with the cover reveal last week. Whew! And now I'm wishing I hadn't because I am seriously so impatient to read the rest of the book. Why do I do this to myself?

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

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