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Cover Reveal: Seduction Game

 

Seduction Game
by Candy J. Starr
Publication date: March 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Do a overseas exchange, they said. Tokyo. It will be good for your artistic development. Yeah right. The only reason I agreed to the whole deal was so that I’d be well out of reach of my abusive ex.

The student co-ordinator even arranged for me to stay with a host family so I didn’t have to stretch my budget. Only, I seem to attract crazy – and this “respectable” family had their dark secrets. Can you believe they offered me money, a lot of money, to give their oldest son some life experience? Life experience meaning sex.

I know why they asked me. They think I’m a trashy whore.

But I’m not. Even though that money would give me an escape from my ex when I return home, I have principles. Anyway, Junichi is an uptight, arrogant jerk.

Then I discover Junichi’s secret life – and, as we grow closer, he comes far more enticing.

I’m tempted. Oh yes, I’m tempted.

This is just a game, a seduction game, and no one is going to get hurt.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

 

Author Bio:

Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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19

The Friday 56 (#7)

thefriday56

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.
Or join The Friday 56 on Instagram!
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Today’s #friday56 comes from #gregorymaguireand #afteralice !!!

I am so wanting to drop everything and #read this #book this second, but alas, it must wait! Have you read this one ? Thoughts on it, if so?


“Let me think,” said Rosa Rugosa. “No. Rosinathorn, Rosadolorosa, have you seen an Alice?”

Perhaps they didn’t know what an Alice was. Rosinathorn and Rosadolorosa refused to reply.

Ada hurried on. “It’s just that–well, if she’s here, I seem to have lost her.”

“Perhaps SHE has lost YOU,” said Rosa Rugosa. “You aren’t much in the way of sparkling companionship so far. You’re new here, aren’t you?”

My thoughts: first off, wow with the rose names. I think it’s safe to guess these are the lovely singing flowers. Secondly, I forgot how much I looooove Gregory Maguire?! Everything he writes is so entertaining!

After AliceFrom the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis’s Carroll’s beloved classic

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

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Are you participating in #Friday56 ?!  Link me below if you are, or find me on instagram at betwixtthesepages !
Until next time, happy book-ing!
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Book Photo Sundays (#3)

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Hello everyone! Welcome to “Book Photo Sundays” where you get the chance to showcase photos of your books, bookshelves and book conventions you have gone to!  The goal of this book meme is to basically just post up a photo of the various books you have read or your book hauls on your blog and link back here so that way everyone can check out your wonderful book photos!  You can get your book photos through your Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Iphone or any other account where you can get your photos!

— See their latest post RIGHT HERE! —

YAAAAAAAAAY, book pictures!  I just… I can’t even!  Uhm…so, let’s jump right into this, because…I post a lot of book pictures?! which means there’s not much room to chitchat.

So….in fact, I think I’m just gonna pick my favorites from the last week, because there are a lot and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?!  So yes.  My favorites.  TOOOOOTALLY easier, that!

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choker

This cover is soooooo gorgeous, I drool over it every single time?  LOVE the color choices made here.

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DOBBY!  Because he’s the best example of cute-ugly I’ve ever seen and I love him.

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And Izzy Malone.  I just love how sweet this cover is; you can tell, just looking at it, that it’s a middle grade read.  There are also SO many elements from the story used in the cover art, it’s beautiful.

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There you have it–my favorite book pictures from my bookstagram this last week!  Are you participating in Book Photo Sundays?!  Feel free to link me to your post below, or find me on instagram RIGHT HERE!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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5

Unlocked: The Answer Lies Underneath

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Unlocked

304 Pages
Merit Press Publishing
Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2016
Preorder a copy here!

17-year-old Hannah is losing her grip on reality, which is affecting not only her but her friends and family too. She wrecked the car when bugs crawled over her hands, but were the creepy things even real? Now someone is moving Hannah’s possessions around in her room, or is she imagining that also? Why does she feel like she isn’t in control of her own brain anymore? Hannah is terrified she’s headed for a horrible life in and out of the mental institution, just like her dad.

When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Her boyfriend, Manny, doesn’t believe her wild stories, and new girl Chelsea is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah discover the truth, but even he can’t help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever is taking over. She’ll have to do that on her own, especially if she wants to save her friends, her mom, and herself.

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: TONS of mystery and drama; this book kept me guessing; unique premise; creeptastic villain; great use of character regression and growth; I didn’t really “connect” with the characters (except Plug! PLUG IS BAE!)

HUGE thank you to Margo Kelly, Merit Press Publishing, Edelweiss, and Sara @ YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Let me just start by saying, this book was…weird. Of course, I don’t mean that in a bad way! The plot, at least in my opinion, takes an unexpected and unique twist–I haven’t read another book with QUITE the same premise (except perhaps False Memory, by Dean Koontz… but again, not QUITE the same). There were so many sudden twists and red herring moments in this book, I was kept guessing until the very end!

 

I felt like the writing was just a bit lackluster, though. There was a lot more “tell” than “show” happening, and I didn’t really get a feel for most of the characters. A majority of them felt stiff and a bit awkward to me–they played their roles, but it felt just a smidge rehearsed. This made connecting with them on an emotional level, as a reader, difficult. Of course, Hannah goes through SO many changes throughout this book, it was hard to connect with her–and in her case, it was MEANT to be, I think. Still, the only character I felt a semblance of anything for was Plug, who pretty much stole my heart immediately.

 

I think the most successful part of this read was Hannah’s journey. Margo Kelly did SUCH a beautiful job crafting the plot around the regression–and then regrowth–of Hannah and her world. There was a ton of thought put into this story line, and it worked SO well in the end. I was confused from the very beginning, which is a good thing–it meant there was no chance for me to put the pieces together and figure out the “twist” too early. I promise, penguins, these pieces get stitched together coherently in the end–you just need to find the patience to roll on with the confusion.

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Overall, this was a super quick, beautifully confusing, and unique read–and I had SO much fun being taken on the journey. Hannah’s story, in particular, was entertaining and character-driven, though the writing felt a bit lackluster. And Plug? Plug is the newest book bae in my world; I adored him so hard. I recommend this to lovers of thriller/mysteries, paranormal contemporaries, and creatively twisted plots. This book is wild from beginning to end–and SO great, if you’re willing to look past the confusion and stick it out. I can’t wait to see what Margo Kelly does next!

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Wishlist Wednesday (#34)

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WISHLIST WEDNESDAY
Hosted By:  PEN TO PAPER
Description: Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that we can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves..

Find their latest post here!

I’m all about breaking bending the rules to my will, so I’m switching it up!  I’m going to do four books–two that are out in the wild, and two soon-t0-be released! Click the covers to be taken to the Goodreads page!

Books in the Wild

The Replacement

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Why I want it: Can anyone say CHANGELINGS?!  Seriously, I just… my life is upended by changelings, okay?  I NEED this book in my world.  I need it like I need air.  I need it like I need another head! (and I mean this one seriously, unironically–I could use another head to do all this reading I need to do!)

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…

Why I want it:  This book has been recommended to me SEVERAL times, and it just sounds soooo soopah interesting.  Also, I think this is based on some fairy tale or other?  Which…you all know I’m a sucker for.

Never Let Me Go

As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

Why I want it: I’ve seen the movie version (with Kiera Knightly?) and I just feel like the book might be MUCH less confusing for me than the movie.  I mean, I liked the movie, don’t get me wrong…but I feel like we missed out on an explanation somewhere.

Books Soon-To-Be

Of Fire and Stars

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

Why I want it:  Forbidden, hidden magic?  Assassins?  F/F romance?!  JUST ALL OF THIS SOUNDS EPIC, OKAY?! And I neeeeeeeeeed it.  I need it so freaking hard, penguins.  Give me this book.  Give me this book, and no one will have to eat the tuna at the bottom of the barrel.  GIMME.

What do you guys think–have you read any of these…or WANT to?  What did you think of them, if so?  Let me know your thoughts below or link me to your Wishlist Wednesday post, and as always…

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Top Ten Tuesday (#34)

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HOSTED BY: The Broke and The Bookish
DESCRIPTION:  Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s theme: Ten Books with Settings We’d Love to Visit

Find their latest post here!

Except…

Because I don’t wanna.

SO, instead, I give you:

The Top Ten FIVE Things this Penguin LOVES to See in Books

Snark

Because you all KNOW I lay little snark eggs that hatch little snark penguins.  I am ALL ABOUT snark, so books colored fifty shades of it? are always the books I most enjoy.

Snark, penguins–it’s like Skittles for me.  I long to taste the rainbow…and I can NEVER get enough!

(of course, this often leads to a strong sense of need-to-sass while I’m working… it’s a good thing most of my customers tolerate my mouth, because lately it’s been HUGE)

creativity

I mean really, who?!  wants to read the same “girl meets guy, falls head over heels, gets hurt” drivel time after time after time?!  Not me, for sure!  Give me something different.  I don’t MIND romance, but I don’t want it to be the entire plot, you know?

Dragons, pirates, polka-spotted coat-fondling ghosts…there are so many ways you could go!  Spice it up a little and try one of them out.  Or get crazy and do five.  OR get SOOPAH EPIC AMOUNTS OF CRAZY and do all of them.  At once.  In the same chapter.  And then add about a gazillion more.

(actually, no, don’t do this–your book would be a mess and that’s one lawsuit I don’t ever need on my plate.  seriously, you guys should know better than to listen to ANYTHING I say!)

No Romance

Yeah, I looooove love as much as the next book penguin…but romance (and romess!) gets a bit plain Jane tedious after a while.  Some of my FAVORITE reads this year have been, surprisingly, romance free (or pretty darn close to it).

Why?  Because these books have the freedom to focus on OTHER things.  The characters as complete individuals ON THEIR OWN, the plot and yummy twisty-turns, the emotions beyond “he/she broke up with me and now I’m crying.

Romance free is the best thing EVAR, penguins, because there’s no pressure to “ship” anybody.

Girl Power

I’m sure you’ve all come across at least one of these characters in your reading careers:  that girl who, for unexplained reasons, is “not like other girls” (even though she really toooootally is.  LIES, I tell you, LIES!)

Maybe she’s into video games (leGASP!) Maybe she wants to be a zombie when she grows up (I mean, who wouldn’t?!) Maybe her hair smells like lemons and she lays golden eggs (if this is the case, you should probably run far far away–there’s no telling what else she’ll do, and golden eggs can easily bust your face open in a fit of rage)

Whatever the case, she thinks she’s the BEST VERSION OF GIRL to ever exist since men discovered their own two feet… and this?  Annoys the crap out of me.  Because usually, it leads to girl hate.  It leads to cat fights.  It leads to a whoooooole lot of drama that could be effort put toward other portions of the plot.

Give me girl power, and you’ll find a solid reader in me.  Give me unnecessary girl hate, and…well, I might just find a golden egg of my own to throw at you.

Family

Some of my favorite reads share ONE important, but often overlooked, thing:  awesome familial relationships!

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not necessarily talking the “perfect” family.  This is 2016; perfect families don’t exist aaaaanywhere.

BUT.  Books that focus on and implement familial relationships (of any kind, not just blood-related) are the bomb diggity.  Mostly because these days, books paint families as either completely nonexistant…or the most evil of evil things in all history of evilness.  Which… No.

Don’t do those things, okay?  There are all sorts of families out there.  Even if the parents are dead and your MC’s an only child, they can–and probably should be!–close to others in the same type of way.  Figure out WHO those others are.  Make them IMPORTANT to the story and your character.

I will love you so hard for it.

And that’s it!

What sort of things does YOUR little penguin heart go pitter-patter over in books?  Based on the above, do you have any book recommendations for me?  Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments, or link me to your own Top Ten Tuesday!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Book Outlet Haul

Recently, the awesomely fantastic Book Outlet had a PHENOMENAL book sale–fittingly called Booktober.  OF COURSE, I had to jump all over that (despite my husband’s intense judgement, because hello, books!)

Without further ado, and with some pictures, here are all the books I got (for $33 with shipping!  I think I shopped well, all things considered.)

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The Leviathan Trilogy, by Scott Westerfeld:
Leviathan
Behemoth
Goliath
The Skinjacker Trilogy, by Neal Shusterman:
Everlost
Everwild
Everfound

I can’t even explain how excited I am about BOTH of these.  I LOVE myself some steampunk, so Leviathan was a given (also, $10 for the box set?!  There’s no way I could pass that up.)  Skinjackers was ALSO only $10 for the set….and I loved UnWind, which I read recently.  I can’t wait to dive into these!

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Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
Because it just sounds so good?  Also, the nod to Robert Frost in the title is lovely, and the cover is absolutely gorgeous–like, more than the picture lets on!

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Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay
Because Beauty and the Beast is BAE, dangit!  Also, I have a SLIGHT obsession with retellings.

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The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
I watched the entirety of this youtube series within like……a few days?!  And then needed more.  I’ll probably pick up the sister book to this, as well, for Lydia.  Because DAMN, I loved Lydia in the youtube vids!  Also, Pride and Prejudice is my other bae.

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Second Star, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Annnnd… Again, retelling.  Also, Peter Pan is my other other OTHER bae.

Have you guys read any of these?  If so, what did you think of them?!  Let me know your thoughts below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

12

Versatile Blogger Award

versatileblogger

Here are the rules:

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
  3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

HUGE thanks go out to Jordan @ IWillNeverOwnEnoughBooks for nominating me!  She had an awesome and unique way of doing her own Award post–click it to see!  Using this as inspiration, I’m going to do something different as well!

All About Me
All About My Books:

I am OBSESSED with all things Pride and Prejudice!  Seriously, I own like 30?! different variations/retellings at this point.  My husband thinks I have serious problems.  I think you can NEVER have too much Darcy/Elizabeth.

My husband and I own, physically, about 750 books at last count.  He gives me a sort of disappointed pleading look each time we go anywhere near a bookstore…but he never stops me from going into them.  Every time we add a new addition to our list, it’s like:

I sometimes read TOO much into a plot line–my imagination gets away with me, and suddenly I’m seeing potential endings in places no foreshadowing even exists!  Often, these endings are dark, violent, and emotional.  Somehow, I’m always disappointed with the author for not fulfilling those tragedies travesties heartaches wishes?…

I’m beginning to loathe cliff-hanger endings in series.  Gena Showalter has proven, with the White Rabbit Chronicles, that books in a series don’t HAVE to end with a suspenseful “mystery” to keep people reading/make them pick up the next book.  And really, HOW MANY TIMES can we read about characters “going missing” or “maybe dying” or “doing something stupid” before it gets boring?

I think I’ve read more books this year alone than I’ve read in pretty much my whole life.  Which…is weird, because I’ve always liked reading?  It doesn’t make much sense–I guess I had a life before, or something.

I ADORE lyrical/poetic prose; it’s one of my favorite writing techniques (perhaps because I’m a poet? I don’t know).  Sometimes, I wish ALL books were written this way–I imagine the world/characters so much better with finely honed descriptions!

Finally… I might have an unhealthy attraction to crazy “bad” boys.  Like… Peter Pan?  The Mad Hatter?!  Koschei the Deathless, from Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless?!?!?!  I just can’t handle them at all–they break me into pieces.

My Victims Nominees:

kindlykickingback
Kim @By Hook or By Book
malireads
therosewoodreader
Trisha @Yellow, Green, and READ All Over
 IK @Calliope the Book Goddess
Stefanie @ Your Daughter’s Bookshelf
Kar
readheadedbooklover
Evelyn @books With Chemistry
Audrey @Forwards and Bookwords
Rebecca @Powder and Page
J and E @thewildbookworms
Cristina @My Tiny Obsessions

Until next time, happy book-ing!

7

Loved and Loathed–September Wrap Up

Cue old-timey Western, just-before-the-shoot-out music!

Okay, okay, I know–that was a stinker of a joke.  (I’d put Pepe Le Pew here to make my point, but…I have to show SOME control, people!  C’mon, now!)

No, but really:  I READ A TON this month.  At least, it feels like I did.  And I loved…like…half?! Of my reads.  Which means this post is going to be a DOOZY.  You’d better grab some popcorn, water, and a fluffed up pillow and settle in.  This is going to take a bit of time.

Here are the books I read this month (click the cover to go to the goodreads page!  Also, I’ll be putting my LOVED and my LOATHED ratings right beside the correct book covers, because I need to save the space!):

Descender #1
Nirvana (Nirvana Series #1) LOATHED (but will be re-reviewing in the near future!)
The Girl In Between (The Girl In Between Series Book 1)
Entwined
Side Effects May Vary
Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) LOVED!
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) LOVED!
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) LOVED!
Unwind (Unwind, #1) LOVED!
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2) LOVED!
Freak of Nature (IFICS, #1) LOATHED.
The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1) LOVED!
Firsts LOVED! (review to come in December, sorry guys!)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)
Between the Lines LOVED!

JEEZE, okay, that was a TON of freaking books!  That was… 16!  Plus a re-read that I didn’t even INCLUDE here!  That’s a LOT!  😄

I feel like… I need a nap now.  Or some caffeine pills, or… SOMETHING!

Now then… There are a TON of books being released next month that I’m super excited about, but I think I better wrap this post up and put them in their own.  Because really–there’s about as many new releases as there are books I READ this month, and that’s just way too much for a single post!

What did your Septembers look like, guys?!  Did you do a wrap-up post?  If so, link me to it below please, I’d love to read!

For now, I’m going to go collapse into a heap somewhere.  This post was insane; someone knock me out!

Until next time, guys, happy book-ing!