First We Were IV Playlist + GIVEAWAY

Synopsis: A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

In preparation for the release of this mischievous book, I've put together a playlist with all of the songs I felt really fit with the book and its themes and some that just gave me all the right vibes. FIRST WE WERE IV is the perfect read for anyone in the mood for a thrilling, mysterious, and dark adventure. With vivid imagery, intriguing writing, and an overall exciting plot, Alexandra Sirowy has blown me away with her story. Make sure to catch the giveaway at the end of this post and lemme know how you enjoy this playlist! 

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Alexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women's college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn't writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.

One signed ARC of FIRST WE WERE IV

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Literally by Lucy Keating + GIVEAWAY!

4/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published April 11th, 2017
Hardcover, 256 pages

Synopsis: A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins.

Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.

It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.

But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?

The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”

Lucy Keating immediately impressed me with her debut novel Dreamology, coming onto the scene with a fresh voice, creative storytelling, and immersive writing. With Dreamology being one of my favorite contemporary novels ever, I knew I was in for a treat when she announced Literally. This book is so unlike anything I have ever read before. Lucy Keating has a unique writing style that I adore. It is simplistic, but commands the page. She has an excellent way of setting an elaborate scene and keeping you involved in the atmosphere. Just as the synopsis says, Lucy Keating is able to blur the line between reality and fiction, creating an intriguing storyline that has you really feeling for the characters and getting caught between what is real and what is fiction. Once again, Lucy Keating has stunned me with her writing. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Want by Cindy Pon

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! Breaking the Spine has introduced me to this and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Synopsis: Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

This futuristic read sounds like the perfect book that is appealing to everyone. With a fast paced plot, Asian MC, and corrupt society polluted by the wealthy elite, Cindy Pon sets us up for an immaculately cultivated adventure set in Taipei, Taiwan. 2017 seems like the year for an increase in diverse YA novels and I have honestly never felt more happy about a lineup of releases. I've been waiting for a very long time to see myself portrayed in YA novels as a heroine and with the amount of books written by Asian authors and featuring Asian casts, (Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, A Line in the Dark, Warcross, When Dimple Met Rishi, American Panda, The Bone Witch, etc etc.) I feel like we're getting closer to the representation we as POC, in general, deserve. 

Want is definitely a book you want to place on your TBR and plan on having Cindy Pon's books blow you away in the near future. Want is released June 13th, 2017!! 

Books as Corgis #2

Hello and welcome to another edition of Books as Corgis. I got so many positive comments on the first one, that I thought I might as well continue bringing you these joyous posts. Please welcome, Books as Corgis #2!

Of Poseidon
by Anna Banks

  • this corgi has taken on a mermaids tail and so, I've paired her with of poseidon (even though I haven't read it yet). pretty sure the main character of this book is a mermaid and there's romance involved in-between the waves of the ocean with a human boy. it sounds quite promising and since there aren't an abundance of mermaid novels to choose from, I should pick this one up soon. while reading it, maybe I'll pick up one of those mermaid tails tibby has.
Summer of Sloane
by Erin L. Schneider

  • summer of sloane was one of my favorite debuts of 2016. the story was so easy to read and yet so addicting; I fell in love with the characters and the setting (you can read my review for it here if you're interested). this corgi here reminded me of the Hawaiian setting with his floral shirt and laid-back style. I sure wish I was laying in the sand with my best friends and this cute pup by my side.
The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken

  • the darkest minds has a cast of characters is single handedly one of the best squads ever in existence. ruby, liam, zu, and chubs, the four of them save the world and carry each other's weight on their shoulders and I just love them so much. in this picture of corgis, you see seven little ones which I consider a squad equivalent to that of the black betty squad. plus, ruby, liam, zu, and chubs are like puppies anyways, so it works out.
by Marissa Meyer

  • for this corgi with a donut around its nose, I decided to use heartless, just because it was the first book that came to my mind when I thought of baking. I'm sure y'all already know that catherine makes some of the most succulent treats, because I was always hungry whilst reading it. now, if you have a book that has more food in it, please tell me in the comments below, because I'm always looking for books like that. 
by Lucy Keating

  • for some reason, the way this corgi's eyes are closed reminds me of the cover of dreamology. if you're looking for a very cute contemporary read with magic realism, this is the perfect book for you. this was, again, one of my favorite debuts of 2016 (they killed it - they really did). I love how calm and precious this corgi looks. I wish I could find this much bliss, but alas, college is love college is life.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post! Once again, I had so much fun looking for books to pair with these corgis. I find that my google search history is always extremely strange after these posts (I searched up YA books with donuts, so). Thanks for stopping by!!

Waiting on Wednesday: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! Breaking the Spine has introduced me to this and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Synopsis: Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

I am so incredibly excited for Mask of Shadows. This book features a gender fluid main character, which, quite frankly, I have never ever read about in a YA novel before (if there are more books featuring gender fluid characters, please let me know in the comments below, I'd love to check them out!). This diversity aspect of the book already has me so freakin stoked, but the synopsis also pitches it as perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. Books that are driven by revenge are honestly my favorite books ever. The passion that drives these characters forward is a force unlike anything you could ever encounter, which makes the book and its story that much more compelling. Also, I love assassins and anything that involves competitions - which I assume is why it is compared to that of SJM. The cover for this book is also wonderfully crafted, I love the intricate design and color scheme. I am ready for this duology to blow me away and potential (probably) crush me.

Mask of Shadows releases September 5th, 2017.

Romantic Books + Playlists

Romantic Books + Playlists 

this post was originally featured on Alex's  blog for Fictional Fever Week, but I loved writing up the post so much, I decided to tweak some things and switch out some books so I could share it with all of you here! 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 

"As I was saying. He could never use you. You own him. You should've seen the way he was looking at you while you were out"


"Like you're the ocean and he's desperate to drown."

  • Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw, aka madness, is my go to couple when people ask me who my favorite OTP is. There is so much dimension to the way these two care for each other. My heart bursts for them. Also, this isn't exactly a romance book, because I remember when I was reading it I was actually scared, but I think the dark themes and mystery of the story really enhance the romantic aspects. You can't help but root for these two to be alright and to end up together, and I just love them. I cannot wait to see what Michelle Hodkin has in store for us in The Shaw Confessions. 
                          The Darkest Minds

"Now, darlin', I just had myself a little thought."

"Did you?"

"I did indeed. It being that you are seventeen and I'm eighteen, and we have every damn right to make out like teenagers. Like normal, happy, crazy kids."

  • ok rubiam is one of my original otps. I love these two so much. liam loves everything ruby is made and capable of, and she loves him something fierce, and my whole world revolves around these two being in love and happy. their dynamic as a couple makes me extremely happy, because not only do they feed off of each other in terms of strength, but they also allow others to find a feeling of empowerment. together with chubs and zu, I love this cast of characters with my entire heart and soul, and now I really have to reread it. 

The Raven Cycle

"His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; 

he'd let them over flow and now there wasn't a damn place in the ocean that wouldn't catch fire if he dropped a match." 
  • my sons Adam Parrish and Ronan Lynch. This was the slowest of all slow burn romances ever, but I am here for it and I love them. Ronan adores Adam so much and will likely do anything to see him smile, and I'm just wrecked. I am beyond happy with how this series ended up and am so excited for us to get our very own Ronan Trilogy. Ronan Lynch is my favorite character ever, so this trilogy will likely be my favorite trilogy ever. Hopefully my boy Adam makes an appearance, or better yet, just tag along for the whole trilogy - that would be quite nice. 
A Darker Shade of Magic

"So you confess it, then?" -
He brushed his lips against Rhy's throat.
"That you are mine."
  • Alucard Emery and Rhy Maresh - I love them and didn't know I needed them together until it happened, but I've been drowning ever since. I haven't finished AGOS yet, so I don't even know if something terribly horrible happens to either of them, but I only need to read 100 more pages, please bear with me. So far that one little cameo of the two of them is enough to let me know that I need more of it. Hopefully I will finish AGOS in time for A Conjuring of Light to come out (which is right in time for spring break yay!). Anyways, I love these two and really hope they stay alive have more scenes together in the next book. 
The Love That Split the World

"If we were in the same world, the one where Kincaid was in love with you, I'd still be here. If you wanted me, I'd be here."

"Why?" I ask.

"I'm not sure the world and me are as complicated as you think, Natalie. I didn't mean to choose you or anything. I just know if I only get to build one porch in my life, I'd like it to be yours, and if there's one person I never have to hurt or disappoint, I'd want that to be you too.
  • ok The Love That Split The World is one of my favorite books ever. I love everything about it - the characters, the plot, and especially the writing. Emily Henry has become one of my favorite authors in just the span of one book, but I am already so impressed by everything she does. A Million Junes comes out this year, May 16th, and I will literally move the entire world for this book. I've heard amazing things about it thus far and will only continue to push people to read her books. I love Natalie Cleary and Beau Wilkes - they complement each other so well. Their personalities are incredibly meshy and they're so mushy and ah I love this book.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

4/5 Stars 
Published by Disney Hyperion
Published January 3rd, 2017

Synopsis: All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. 

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

Wow, I am so impressed by this book. Alexandra Bracken has grown tremendously in her written capabilities. Passenger was my favorite book in 2015, as I read it right after YALLFest, and I was immediately ready to be wrecked by the second book. As I predicted, I was absolutely correct - I was destroyed by this book. Alex has this amazing ability to create luscious depictions of locations around the world and scenery that sticks with you. As much as I was lost in the writing, I was lost in the world of time traveling. I want to experience what these characters can do (without being hunted, of course). Wayfarer has to be the best book Alex has written in terms of rich writing, decadent plot development, and just overall amazing story telling. I've so much respect for the author she has become and cannot fathom the great things she will accomplish in the future. (*Also, maybe slight spoiler alert, because this is a sequel and a lot happens in this book that would probs spoil the first. So I'm gonna try to review it without spoiling anything, but please take caution!!)