July 6, 2014

Showcase Sunday #15

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Thank you, thank you, HarperTeen and Netgalley! This is one of my most anticipated releases for 2014, so I was definitely happy to see Netgalley's approval message in my email. I admit I'm a bit concerned that this not only deals with the friendship between a white girl and black girl during Civil Rights-era America, but with a romantic relationship between them. It just sounds like a lot of ground to cover in one book. But I'm really hoping that Talley is able to pull this one off!
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Thank you, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Netgalley! This is another 2014 YA debut that I've been highly anticipating. All that I need to know, really, is that this is a historical fantasy about witches. But it sounds like it's also about family legacy and fate and sacrifice and I don't know how long I'll be able to resist before starting this one.
Egg and Spoon by Gregory Macguire
Thank you, Candlewick Press and Netgalley! I haven't been the biggest fan of Macguire's adult stories (Wicked in particular felt a little too weird for me), but I respect the fact that his works have helped popularize retellings and fairy tales to some degree. And his newest is for a younger audience and about Tsarist Russia and Russian folklore. I'm hoping this is a winner for me.
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Thank you so much, Amulet Books and Netgalley! I'm so psyched about this one that I won't even complain that it's a non-Kindle-compatible file...well, not much. I adored Winters' In the Shadow of Blackbirds last year and am so honored I have the chance to help with the early promotion of her sophomore novel, about a suffragette imbued with some mystical powers in 1900s Oregon.

...I think I'm suffering from a case of ARC anxiety here. These are ALL publishing between September and October. I guess I better get my reading schedule in order.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1) by Jenny Han
So I can't say I'm too interested in Han's Summer series. Or in her Burn for Burn series. But her newest offering about a girl whose private love letters suddenly become public sounded just perfect. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite perfect, but it was light and compulsively readable. Though I'm not okay with that ending - or lack thereof, really.
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers
I've already read and reviewed Grave Mercy on Late Nights with Good Books. It was nearly two years ago now, however, and since I just bought a Kindle copy of Dark Triumph last month, I figured it was time for a re-read. I like re-reading older books in series before moving on to newer installments, especially for something as historically- and politically-heavy as this one.
Another Little Piece by Kate Karkyus Quinn
I debated buying this back when the Kindle version was on sale last fall/winter. I decided against it, but then I saw it on sale again in June and realized that I was too curious to let the opportunity to read this one pass me by again. I've heard it features an unreliable narrator (which I love), a confusing storyline (which sounds intriguing), and some horror (which I'm not so much a fan of). 
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Because OF COURSE. And I got my copy signed (as well as my copies of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm). I think this is also the first series ender in a while (if not ever) that I'm finding myself a bit reluctant to read. I trust Bardugo and it's good so far, but I don't want this to end/I'm afraid to see how it ends. I should be done by the time this posts.
The Chocolate Rose (Amor et Chocolate, #3) by Laura Florand
The first book in this series, The Chocolate Thief, and I had some rough spots. But I mostly attribute that to issues that I had with the protagonist and love interest and their relationship overall. Not only is this series actually companion novels (a major saving grace for me in this case), but The Chocolate Rose was free on Kindle. Yup, totally willing to give Florand another try.

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1) by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
Veronica Mars! In book form! Okay, so this isn't quite as good as having the show renewed or another movie made, but it's a whole lot better than nothing. And...that remained my general opinion throughout my read of the book. The story's mostly for established fans. Not bad, but not too much new, either. Next time I shall have to try it on audio, since Kristen Bell narrates.
Pointe by Brandy Colbert 
Theo, the novel's protagonist is a competitive ballerina (pointe dancer, to be precise). My knowledge of ballet is super limited, so I thought reading this might be a good way to learn a bit more. It's a heavy-hitting novel to be sure (also deals with kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug use, and eating disorders), but it's fairly well written by a debut author worth watching.
Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1) by Anne Blankman
Oh, do I love a good work of historical fiction. This 2014 YA debut recounts the rise of Hilter and National Socialism in Germany from the eyes of his "adoptive niece." Yes, there's some forbidden love between her and a Jewish boy. But this isn't a story about love: it's a story about Gretchen's disenchantment about all the truths she's held dear. And while it's not perfect, it's fairly good at that.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
July book club pick! I believe this is a work in translation, having originally been published in Dutch. So that's pretty cool; I enjoy reading works in translation and haven't read one for a while now. From what I understand, this mystery/thriller takes place entirely over the course of a single dinner party.

But unquestioningly the best bookish goodness of all...

 What books have you recently acquired?
author image


Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. I really want to read The Dinner by Herman Koch. Waiting on your thoughts on it! :D

    Lovely showcase of books. Congrats on the signed copy!

    1. Literally just started it a few minutes ago. It seems interesting. Different, but interesting. Fingers crossed I'll enjoy it.
      And thank you, Nidhi! :)

  2. You've received good ARCs, I've picked up The cure for Dreaming and I'm still waiting for my approval for Lies We Tell Ourselves-I'm highly expecting this to be a good read. I've borrowed The Dinner by Herman Koch from the library as well.I just finished To All the Boys I've loved Before, it wasn't perfect but good. I hope you enjoy all the books, Amanda!! Wonderful haul (:

    1. Me too! I'm excited to read both those ARCs (though, to be honest, I'm a bit upset that The Cure for Dreaming isn't Kindle-compatible). It's going to be a while before I get to that, probably.
      Awesome - I didn't even hear of The Dinner before it was selected. Now I'm more excited to read it.
      Thank you, Ini!

  3. I'm not sure if Salt & Storm is going to be one I enjoy, but I got my copy of Cure for Dreaming as well and cannot wait to crack it open soon--I know it's going to be fantastic! I really enjoyed Another Little Piece along with Florand's work (but I love ALL her books, so... (; ) and loove that signed copy of Ruin & Rising. I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on that one and definitely need to bump Prisoner of Night and Fog up my TBR since I've been hearing only good things about it. Fantastic haul, Amanda, and happy reading! :D

    1. Really? I'm hoping it's something I'll enjoy...now you've made me doubtful! I guess I'll find out soon enough, though.
      Glad to hear Another Little Piece and Florand's book have your approval. :)
      Thank you, Keertana!

  4. I just got The Cure for Dreaming and holy moly am I excited for that one. I adored In the Shadow of Blackbirds too!
    Grave Mercy is one of my all-time favorite YA books. Re-reading this before Mortal Heart sounds like an excellent plan. :)
    A signed copy of Ruin & Rising?? Too awesome. I purchased a Kindle copy so that I'd have it super early but... I haven't read it yet. I'm trying to convince myself the series isn't actually over. haha Happy Reading!

    1. Yay! We'll have to exchange thoughts once we both get around to reading The Cure for Dreaming. :)
      I know it was difficult to let go of the Grisha series. But I enjoyed it and am happy with it overall. I hope you are as well once you finally read it, Bonnie!

  5. First, I noticed for the first time that your website has UK in it. Are you British? I had NO IDEA. Clearly I'm not going to be solving any Sherlock mysteries with the way I miss details. Anyway, I cannot wait to read SALT & STORM and THE CURE FOR DREAMING too. I need to get onto reading more of that Paris Chocolate series. I loved the first book so much! And YAY for a signed copy of R&R. I hope you loved the book! Great haul.

    1. I am not British haha. My best guess is that you were on a UK-based blogspot account before and it kept the same area designation when you went to mine. I've seen that happen with Canadian-based sites.
      I'm excited to give the Amour et Chocolat series another try - think I'm going to wait until I go to a friend's wedding at the end of the month so I'll be in a romantic sort of mood.
      Thanks, Lauren!

  6. Gahhhh congrats on getting approved for all of those books! I hope you enjoy them all! I'm so excited to get my hands on The Cure for Dreaming, and I might just have to preorder that one and make an exception to my no buying books because of the house rule. I mean, it's Cat Winters and I loved her first book! Also, I can't wait to read Salt & Storm soon! That cover is awesome! And Another Little Piece! Thank you for letting me know about that deal because I have been looking forward to this one. I hope we both love it! And hopefully I'll read To All the Boys I've Loved Before soon, as it's waiting on my Ipad. I look forward to all of your book reviews for these! Well except Grave Mercy, since that one is already up and read. haha Awesome book haul, Manda!

    1. Thanks, Cort! :)
      And I know. I kind of feel like I will read The Cure for Dreaming and then promptly pre-order it and order In the Shadow of the Blackbirds. Just because.
      Yup, definitely got some books I'm super excited to read. And no worries - I'll be pushing my favorites on you once I read them haha.

  7. Ooh great haul! Of these, I've only read Grave Mercy and I am interested in the rest of them, so I'm curious to hear what you think.

    Lies We Tell Ourselves - I only heard about this one a few weeks ago, but I was instantly intrigued because I have not read anything at all like it. I do agree with you though that it sounds like a lot to take on so hopefully the author can manage it. I will be very impressed with them if they do!

    Salt & Storm - I also got this one for review and aahh can't wait for it! I mean, I have already read some not so positive early reviews for it, but I'm trying not to let that affect me because I really want to like it!

    The Cure for Dreaming - STILL need to read In The Shadow of Blackbirds after everyone raved about it last year.

    Ruin and Rising - lucky you with your beauteous signed copy!! I have been putting off reading it as well actually... I will also be sad to say goodbye to the series!

    1. Hopefully I'll actually start reading these and posting reviews again in the near future!
      I did just finish Lies We Tell Ourselves - it's fantastic. Seriously, one of the best books I've read so far this year. I'm going to try to have my review posted soon to help spread awareness, but definitely push this one towards the top of your TBR list. :)
      I hope to get to both Salt & Storm and The Cure for Dreaming this month. We'll see.
      And I've heard a lot of people saying that about Ruin and Rising. I'm not really like that with my series, because I'm always in a panicked SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME mood, but I did end up reading it a bit more slowly than usual. It is sad it's over, but at least more books will take place in that world!

  8. Grave Mercy and Prisoner of Night and Fog are amazing! I hope you enjoy them! I am really looking forward to The Cure for Dreaming as well - I wanted to request it on NG but then figured I'd just buy it when it comes out. :P Great haul and happy reading!

    1. I enjoyed both! Although I have high hopes that I'll enjoy Dark Triumph even more than Grave Mercy.
      And I'm definitely the same way with not requesting books I really, really want to read.
      Thanks, Danielle!


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