I am so super excited today to be sharing a conversation I had with Kalyn Josephson, the author of The Storm Crow, which will be hitting shelves this Tuesday, July 9th!!
The Storm Crow is an such an amazing book, but don’t let me tell you about it. Read on to see Kalyn talk about her new book, as well as writing mental illness in YA, magical creatures, and perhaps a hint of what to expect in the sequel!
This year is absolutely flying by. I can’t believe it’s April already! This month has some of my most anticipated releases of the year, with a good mix of debut novels, series starters, and continuations! My wallet may hate me this month, but I’ll be very happy once all these books come out.
Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Queen of Air and Darkness was the perfect ending to this fantastic series, and now I’m really bitter we need to wait until 2021 to see these characters again! That’s not fair.
Yes. I know December was almost two weeks ago. But I still want to talk about the books I read!
Reading slumps are the absolute worst. 2018 had been awful for me in terms of reading slumps. It seemed that every other month, I lost all motivation to read. I’m really hoping 2019 will be better for me!
In December, I barely read. It was awful. I did manage to reach my monthly goal of 10, but there were a lot of short stories and novellas mixed in there to help me out. Read more to see what I actually did manage to finish!
Rating: 4.75/5 Series: N/A Review: Yes After reading Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett, I knew I had to read her previous books. Alex, Approximately was so fun and really cemented Jenn Bennett as an auto-buy author for me!
Rating: 4.5/5 Series: Velvet #1 Review: Yes Not enough people know about this book series. I know people are hesitant of vampires after it became the trend to hate on anything vampirey after Twilight, but this book was just so entertaining. It never takes itself too seriously, includes a lot of fun tropes, and has a really interesting take on vampires that I absolutely love. I’m still dying for book 3!!
Rating: 4.7/5 Series: The Darkest Minds #1-3.5 Review: Yes I had been wanting to read these books since 2013, and I kept putting it off until I had no choice but to read it because the movie was coming out. And I absolutely loved it. While I’m definitely still in my post-2012-dystopian-boom exhaustion, I really loved this series (I think US politics at the time I read it also played a part in why this book impacted me so much).
Rating: 5/5 Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1-3 Review: Yes I’ve never been one for murder mysteries, but I have always been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper case. I think this book made me a fan of murder mysteries. It’s so dark and twisted and gruesome but has plenty of wit and adorable romance.
Rating: 5/5 Series: The Dark Artifices #2 Review: Yes I was going to include The Dark Artifices #1 and #2, but Lord of Shadows was just so amazing that I felt it needed the extra shout out. Don’t get me wrong, Lady Midnight was absolutely fantastic, but Lord of Shadows brought it to the next level. I’m so glad I waited until Queen of Air and Darkness was out to begin reading because that ending killed me.
Rating: 5/5 Series: N/A Review: Yes I have been hearing, for so long, how perfect and amazing this book was. When I went into it, I knew nothing except that everyone loved it, and that beautiful first paragraph. It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but in the best way. This book exceeded every expectation and blew me away.
Rating: 5/5 Series: N/A Review: Yes This book. Not only is it well-written, but the message is so important, and this story is one that absolutely needed to be told. If you haven’t picked this up yet, please do. No matter what your political beliefs, you need to read this.
Rating: 5/5 Series: The Raven Cycle #1-4 Review: Yes Hello, Katie from high school. You told me to read this back in 2014 and I put it off. This is my apology. I should have listened to you and read this when you first mentioned it because it is so freaking amazing. This series is so beautifully written, with amazing characters and a fascinating plot and setting. Everything about it is perfection.
Release Date: March 19th, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Series: N/A Synopsis: A reckless kiss causes Babe Vogel and her two best friends to break up, the summer before they go away to college. If that wasn’t bad enough, her ex-girlfriend has come to town bringing a mix of memories with her. But things begin looking up when she meets Levi Keller, an artist from out of town there for the summer. “Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?” (Goodreads)
Release Date: June 4th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: A monster is released from the magical library Elisabeth has grown up in. “Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: May 7th, 2019 Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: The Kiss Quotient #2 (can be read as a stand-alone) Synopsis: Khai Dep avoids relationships, but his mother decides to handle things herself and returns to Vietnam to get him a bride. When given the opportunity to go to America and get a husband, Esme Tran thinks this could be just what her family needs. But seducing Khai isn’t as easy as she expected, and with her time in the U.S. dwindling, she realizes she’s fallen for someone who doesn’t think he can ever feel the same.
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Series: N/A Synopsis: Annie Mathers is heir to a country music legacy and owner of a skyrocketing youtube channel. Clay Coolidge is a superstar who’s label will drop him because of his bad reputation. But they’ll keep him if he can convince Annie to join his summer tour. When she agrees, fans make it clear they want them to be more than tour mates, but Annie wants nothing to do with a relationship in the spotlight. However, convincing her heart of that is another matter.
Release Date: January 29th, 2019 Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: N/A Synopsis: For Darcy Berret, no man could compare to Tom Valeska. The issue? He’s her twin brother, Jamie’s best friend. When Tom comes to help Darcy flip the cottage she and Jamie inherited, sparks fly, but will Darcy be able to stand up to her twin?
Release Date: January 15th, 2019 Genre: YA Historical Fantasy (Paris, 1889) Series: The Gilded Wolves #1 Synopsis: Severin Montagnet-Alarie wants nothing more than to receive his inheritance from the powerful Order of Babble. When they offer him just that, in exchange for finding an ancient artifact, Severin must enlist his band of experts to get the job done. “What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: May 7th, 2019 Genre: YA Sci-Fi Series: The Aurora Cycle #1 Synopsis: Tyler Jones is prepared for his first mission after graduating Aurora Academy, but the team he’s stuck with is less than ideal. However, his biggest problem is “Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: February 26th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: “As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: February 12th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling (Cinderella) Series: Ravenspire #4 (can be read as a stand-alone) Synopsis: “When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and [Prince Kellan] must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?” (Goodreads)
Release Date: June 4th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling (Anastasia) Series: Blood Heir #1 Synopsis: “A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A black-hearted conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.” (Goodreads)
Update (1/18/2019): After seeing reviews that have come in for the ARC, I’m removing this from my list of anticipated releases for the year. Many reviewers have stated that it contains problematic content, and is racially insensitive.
Update (1/30/2019): The author has now announced that, in response to the reviews, she will not be publishing Blood Heir.
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: After her father’s murder, Princess Hesina of Yan finds herself the queen of an unstable kingdom. Desperate to find who killed her father, she seeks the help of a soothsayer. Magic had been outlawed centuries before, making her actions punishable by death. She turns to Akira, an investigator with his own criminal past, to work through the information she received. But will the cost of justice be too high?
Release Date: May 14th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: We Hunt the Flame #1 Synopsis: Zafira is the Hunter. In order to restore magic to her world, she journeys to find a lost artifact that may help her. Nasir, the Prince of Death, an assassin for his father, the king, is sent on a mission to kill the Hunter and retrieve the artifact as well. “But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.” (Goodreads).
Release Date: July 23rd, 2019 Genre: YA Sci-Fi / Retelling (Anastasia) Series: Heart of Iron #2 Synopsis: “Once, Ana was an orphaned space outlaw. Then she was the Empress of the Iron Kingdom. Now, thought dead by most of the galaxy after she escaped from the dark AI program called the HIVE, Ana is desperate for a way to save Di from the HIVE’s evil clutches and take back her kingdom.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy / Paranormal Series: The Devouring Gray #1 Synopsis: “On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…” (Goodreads). Violet Saunders has just moved to a new school in Four Paths, a small rural town. She meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, who, like her, are descendants of the town’s founders, she sees the destruction they can create. When bodies start to appear in the woods, they must solve the mystery of the town, and their part in it.
(no cover released yet) Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Dystopian Series: Shatter Me #5 Synopsis: “Juliette Ferrars isn’t who she thinks she is. Still reeling from the explosive events of the Continental Symposium and the secrets Warner has been keeping, Juliette has nowhere to turn and doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s desperate for answers, but to get them, she’ll have to face the nightmares that have been chasing her for a lifetime.” (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 8th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: The Folk of the Air #2 Synopsis: After binding herself to Cardan in order to protect Oak and the throne, Jude has more power than she could have imagined. Managing the politics of Faerie is a challenge on its own, but Cardan makes a point to undermine and humiliate her whenever he can. With a traitor endangering everything Jude has fought for, she must find a way to maintain control.
Release Date: January 29th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Nikolai Duology #1 (Part of the Grishaverse) Synopsis: “Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: March 5th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Legacy of Orïsha #2 Synopsis: “… With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Something Dark and Holy #1 Synopsis: “A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.” (Goodreads)
Even More Books!
Since I have no self-control, I have who-knows-how-many more books to mention! As I was writing this list I realized I wouldn’t be able to fit many of the books I’m dying to read, so here they are, in order of release date:
Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Cassandra Clare somehow managed to make me fall deeper in love with this world and these characters, and absolutely crush me, in just under 700 pages.
“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.”
The Mortal Instruments Seriesby Cassandra Clare US Hardcover (2007-2014) vs US Paperback (2015)
The first book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, City of Bones, was published in March of 2007 with, well, not my favorite cover. Let’s face it, a shirtless guy standing behind the NYC skyline isn’t exactly a book cover I would feel proud showing off. Cassandra Clare announced they would be changing the covers in 2015. She said it was “time for a change” but it could also be linked to the release of the TV inspired by the books called Shadowhunters. I really like how each book focused on a different character, and none of the poses felt cringey!
The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare US Hardcover (2010-2013) vs US Paperback (2015)
The Infernal Devices also got the cover change treatment in 2015, supposedly for the same reasons. In this case, I don’t really care either way about the cover change. I liked the original, and I like the new version. I do prefer seeing Tessa with a book in the original set, but I love the picture of Jem with his violin in the newer version. I don’t know, they’re both pretty nice to me.
Do you like this cover change? Have you read either of these series? What cover changes do you want me to talk about next?
Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Lady Midnight is a fantastic read that will hold you hostage until you finish.