A Note: Returning to Blogging

Dear Bookworms,

I must be honest – when I wrote my last post on June 11th, I truly didn’t expect to find myself here, on August 10th, having gone two months without posting on here. I truly didn’t anticipate the toll, both emotional and physical, that would descend upon me once the school year ended.

Now, two months later, I find myself struggling to post again. In part, it is because I am still feeling a wee bit burnt out; but another part of it is fear, if I am being entirely honest with you all (and myself). Having been “out of the game” for so long, its intimidating the rejoin the blogging community. 

Despite this, I have made it my goal to slowly but surely work my way back into all things bookish; reading regularly, blogging and reviewing, engaging with the community on Bookstagram. Because I love this community, and I honestly do miss it.

Love Alanna

 

May 2020 Reading List

Well Bookworms, this month has certainly been a month to remember. With much of our daily lives changed for the foreseeable future, I have found myself struggling to commit to reading – or to anything really. Instead I have been spending time exploring some of my other hobbies, including gardening and painting! Another big change in April was the launch of Distance Learning for public schools here in Ontario, which was both a welcome challenge, and a huge learning curve. Teaching Kindergarten online is not something that I ever imagined I would be doing – and yet here I am!

While I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped to this month, I did finish The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon! This is hugely exciting, because The Priory of the Orange Tree had been sitting in my to be read box since June 2019. Some other books that I read include The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThe Silvered Serpents (ARC) by Roshani Chokshi, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. That being said, I really do have to catch up on my book reviews as well!

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Havenfall by Sara Holland

Released in North America on March 3, 2020, Havenfall is Sara Hollan’s newest Young Adult Fantasy novel. In Havenfall, Sara Holland has taken the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and woven it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return. For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle. But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

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A Song Below Water (ARC) by Bethany C. Morrow

Set to release in North America on June 2, 2020, A Song Below Water is Bethany C. Morrow’s newest YA Fantasy novel. A Song Below Water promises to be a story for today’s young readers – a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today’s racism and sexism.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow, in exchange for an honest review.

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

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February 2020 #IndigoStaffPicks: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, which was released in North America on January 21st, 2020, promises to be a witty romantic comedy that turns classic romantic tropes on their heads, taking readers down a path of family, love, and life.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Tweet Cute by Emma Lord from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming – mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. All’s fair in love and cheese – that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life – on an anonymous chat app Jack built. As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate – people on the internet are shipping them?? – their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

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March 2020 #IndigoStaffPicks: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier’s Moon, set to release on March 3, 2020, is the newest Young Adult Fantasy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie. Bone Crier’s Moon is the first book in a new, high-stakes fantasy duology flush with doomed romance and macabre magic.

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love. Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love. Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death. Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

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The Shadows Between Us (ARC) by Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King, is back with an epic YA tale of ambition and love in The Shadows Between Us, set to be released in North America on February 25, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller, in exchange for an honest review.

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power: woo the Shadow King, marry him, kill him and take his kingdom for herself. No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it. But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen-all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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Storm from the East (ARC) by Joanna Hathaway

Set to release in North America on February 11, 2020, Storm from the East is the second installment in Joanna Hathaway’s epic Glass Alliance series, following on the heels of Dark of the West. And it certainly lives up to its description of being “part war drama, part romance” – though it will be up to readers to decide whether that mix is for better, or for worse.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of Storm from the East by Joanna Hathaway, in exchange for an honest review.

War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital – where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined. When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared… but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.

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February 2020 Reading List

Well, as January comes to an end (finally, might I add?), I find myself looking towards February – and debating what, exactly, I plan on reading throughout the upcoming month. And while I had a relatively successful month of reading in January (I read 6 books – yay!), there are still quite a few unread books staring at me accusingly from my To Be Read Box – making me feel even more guilty about my pre-orders that are already enroute!

So, as always, you’ll find that this list is a little bit of a mix of everything – older releases hoping to escape my To Be Read Box, new releases I can’t wait to pick up, and even a couple ARC’s I’m excited to crack open. Oh, and also? I still haven’t read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but… one day, right?

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