5 Reasons to Read Cast in Firelight | Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be a part of the Cast in Firelight Blog Tour! Please remember to click the tour banner or the schedule below to access the tour schedule. There are a lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers who are also a part of the tour.

Title: Cast in Firelight
Author: Dana Swift
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count: 448
Goodreads Rating: 4.29

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida.

Links
Website: https://www.danaswiftbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/swift_dana
Instagram: https://www.instagram/danaswiftbooks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19510928.Dana_Swift
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danaswiftbooks


My Thoughts

All opinions below are my own.

I really enjoyed reading Cast in Firelight. Swift created an interesting magic system that revolved around Gods and Goddesses she created. I love when authors take the time to create an intricate magic system with equally intricate spells that allow the person to use magic. Magic systems that are cool like the one Swift created really enhance a story. I would have loved an explanation at the end of what the spells meant (because I like knowing a lot of things like that), but the story is still amazing without it.

What I really enjoyed was how Swift characterized all of her characters. Adraa wasn’t made out to be a weak, female protagonist who needed a man to save her. She very well could have completed all of her missions on her own in the book, even if she had to die trying. Jatin was an interesting character and I loved learning more and more about him as the story went on. All of her characters were amazing in their own ways, but Adraa and Jatin were my favorite. Their alternating POVs made me want to keep reading because I wanted to know more about what happened to the other when I was finishing one chapter.

Many thanks to Delacorte Press for giving me an early copy to review!


5 Reasons to Read Cast in Firelight

  1. Strong female protagonist
  2. Intricate magic system that is really cool
  3. Sassy characters who kick butt
  4. Fast-paced storyline that keeps you intrigued and wanting to read more
  5. Parents who actually care about the main characters

Where can I buy Cast in Firelight?

You can buy Cast in Firelight at your favorite local bookstore or through one of these links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound, or Indigo.

Is there a giveaway?

YES! One US reader will win a finished copy of Cast in Firelight. The last day to enter the giveaway is January 25, 2021. Go enter today: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59516/

Be sure to check out the rest of the TBR and Beyond blog tour for Cast in Firelight! You can either click here or on the blog tour banner found above to see the other blogs that are participating in the blog tour.

What are your thoughts on Cast in Firelight? What would be your top five reasons to read Cast in Firelight? If you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, will you be adding it to your TBR? Let us know in the comments!

2021 Reading Goals

A new year means starting new reading goals! All three of us have several reading goals for 2021. They will be listed below so that you can see what we’re trying to achieve this year.

We understand that our reading goals may not be realistic for everyone and you shouldn’t feel bad if your goals are less than our’s. Everyone has different reading habits and every reading goal is valid.

Now, onto the reading goals!


Danielle

My reading goals are:

  1. Read 50 books
  2. Read (and review!) 12 ARCs
  3. Read 24 books from my personal collection
  4. Read 12 books from book box subscriptions
  5. Finish 5 series
  6. Read 5 books from independent authors

Out of my reading goals, my second is really important to me. I joined NetGalley in 2019 and since then, I have been approved for several ARCs (I may have mistakenly requested more ARCs than I had time to read, but I am more strategic in my requests now). As such, in 2021, I want to focus on reading through my backlist and consequently, improving my feedback ratio. Included below is a picture of my reading goals.


Rachael

My reading goals are:

  1. Read 75 books
  2. Read 24 owned books
  3. Read 24 ARCs
  4. Read 8 adult books
  5. Finish 10 series already started

I’m notorious for not finishing a series. I (literally!) won’t read the last book because I don’t want the series to end. An image of my reading goals is included below. When I originally took this photo, I only had one book finished. I’m completed two books now.


Skyler

I have two reading goals for this year: to read 50 books and to read two books a month. With school being largely virtual this year, I sometimes find it hard to devote time to reading each month.

Wish me luck!


What are your reading goals for 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

Self-Care: What Is It All About?

As 2021 begins, we thought it would be a good idea to share some self-care ideas with everyone. The holidays just ended and we’re all struggling with COVID-19, so taking some time for yourself is always a good idea. These ideas are based on how we take care of ourselves and our mental health during these trying times.

We know this post is a little different than our typical content, but we wanted to make sure everyone practices self-care and takes care of their own mental health. Stay healthy out there, everyone!


  1. Reading: Curl up in your bed, your couch, or your favorite reading chair and read a good book. You can immerse yourself in another world and live vicariously through the main characters.
  2. Taking a bath: You can add in a bubble bath solution or a bath bomb for a truly relaxing experience. If you’re not able to take a bath, hot showers are a great alternative.
  3. Taking a nap: Everyone thinks taking a nap is not a form of self-care, but if you’re not sleeping well, take that nap. You’ll feel so much better afterward.
  4. Unplugging from your devices: Taking time away from your devices helps you to recharge and relax without constantly worrying about what everyone else is doing.
  5. Going for a walk: Getting some fresh air and going for a walk is always a great idea. By going outside, you’ll get some well-needed vitamin D and the fresh air can also help clear your head. Just make sure the weather is cooperative for the day that you wish to go outside!
  6. Going to a bookstore: Ever heard of retail therapy? This suggestion uses that idea, but instead, you can buy books. Just remember that if you set a budget, stick to that budget. 

A Personal Note: I was in therapy over the spring and summer of 2020. It’s a long story that doesn’t need to be rehashed, but my therapist said something that really resonated with me. She told me that I should treat myself whenever I finish a goal. The treat could be anything you want: big or small. By treating yourself, you’re reinforcing that you can meet your goals and get where you want to be. Your goal can be anything you want as well. It could be reading a certain amount of books a month, reading a certain amount of pages/chapters a week, etc. As long as you meet your goal, treat yourself!

– Rachael


How do you practice self-care? If you have other self-care ideas that we didn’t list, please write them in the comments and we’ll add them to our list with proper credit.

2020 Bookish Favorites

Because 2020 was a very confusing and trying year for all of us, Danielle and Rachael wanted to share what some of their bookish favorites were for the year. All of these items were bought during 2020 and used throughout the year. We’ll provide links for those items that are still in stock. If an item isn’t currently in stock, be sure to keep an eye on the company’s website as they may restock it or add something similar.


Reading Beans: Rachael’s reading bean is not in stock anymore, but BookBeau offers so many other options to choose from. Click here to browse the reading beans that are currently available for purchase. BookBeau also has a ton of sales, so you can easily get the reading bean for less than $25. Danielle is strongly considering purchasing one for herself this year.

Book Sleeves: The book sleeve pictured below is the book sleeve that Rachael is currently using in her purse. Book Gizmo is an amazing company to purchase book sleeves from. If you aren’t interested in the Book Dragon sleeve, browse the shop and you might find another book sleeve that interests you. Danielle is currently using the Serpent & Dove book sleeve. Click here to browse the other book sleeves that are currently available for purchase.

Necklaces: Danielle and Rachael love necklaces. Rachael’s favorite necklace right now was one that OwlCrate featured in their November 2020 box. The necklace is pictured below. If you’d like to purchase it, you can click on this link. Danielle’s favorite necklace right now was a Lunacorn exclusive add-on for LitJoy Crate’s 7.2 Magical Edition crate. The “All is Well” necklace isn’t in stock anymore and doesn’t seem to be listed on LitJoy Crate’s “Vote for Restock” page. If you are interested in purchasing the “All is Well” necklace, you’d need to email LitJoy Crate to see if they would consider adding it to their “Vote for Restock” page.

Reading Journals: Danielle and Rachael use Happy Planners as their reading journals. Linked here is an example of what we use: a notebook with inserts. Pictured below are our actual notebooks. Other options for reading journals are: OwlCrate, OwlCrate Jr (not currently available for purchase – yet), The Librarian Box, and LitJoy Crate (currently out of stock, but LitJoy Crate has mentioned a possible restock after the Chinese New Year).

Backpack: Danielle and Rachael are both obsessed with this backpack from LitJoy Crate! We use it every day. The backpack was originally offered as add-on for October’s “Ancient Alchemy” box and is currently available for purchase from LitJoy Crate’s store. It can fit a hardcover, a planner/journal (if you take one with you; Danielle does, but Rachael doesn’t), a small pencil pouch full of accessories, your keys, and your glasses/sunglasses.

Scarves: Danielle loves to occasionally add a scarf to her outfit and LitJoy Crate has created some great ones this past year! Pictured below are her two favorites: a Heartless-inspired one and a Discovery of Witches-inspired one. The Heartless scarf was offered as an add-on for February’s “Once Upon a Retelling” box and the Discovery of Witches scarf was originally included in October’s “Ancient Alchemy” box. Only the Discovery of Witches scarf is currently available for purchase on LitJoy Crate’s shop (click here to see the listing). The Heartless-inspired scarf isn’t in stock anymore and doesn’t seem to be listed on LitJoy Crate’s “Vote for Restock” page. If you are interested in purchasing the Heartless scarf, you’d need to email LitJoy Crate to see if they would consider adding it to their “Vote for Restock” page.


What was your favorite bookish from last year? Let us know in the comments!

December 2020 and End of Year Wrap-Up

Whew, this year flew by! We can’t believe it is already January. Did you meet all of your reading goals for 2020? What are your reading goals for 2021? We’ll be sharing a post about our 2021 reading goals shortly, so be on the lookout for that post!

Our December reading stats are in the table below.

DanielleRachaelSkyler
Number of books read992
Favorite bookIt’s a tie between The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid KemmererCast in Firelight by Dana SwiftDash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Goodreads Challenge84/80 (I upped my Goodreads challenge from 50 books to 80 books. I wanted it to reflect the revised reading goal that was in my bullet journal.)110/7536/50
Other ChallengesBesides the Goodreads challenge, I did not complete any of my other reading challenges. For 2021, my goal is to complete at least one of the reading challenges that I am participating in.I don’t think I finished any of my challenges. I’m striving to finish them in 2021.I didn’t complete any reading challenges.

We’ve read a total 20 books this past month! Below are images of all the books that we’ve read. All images are gathered from Goodreads.


End of the Year Stats (gathered from Goodreads)

DanielleRachaelSkyler
Pages Read29,20637,3989,989
Books Read8411036
Shortest Book97 pages (Other Worlds: Short Story Collection)32 pages (Beauty & the Beast)32 pages (I Am Every Good Thing)
Longest Book803 pages (House of Earth and Blood)870 pages (Voyager)560 pages
(Archenemies)
Average book length347339277
Average rating3.84.03.9

Please know that however much you were able to read this past year is still commendable. Due to numerous factors, some of us are able to read more than others. We hope you are happy with the amount of reading that you were able to complete in 2020!


Let us know what your stats are in the comments. If you do a wrap-up, link it so that we can take a look. We hope everyone has a great start to their January and that you are able to get lots of reading done!

10 Last-Minute Gifts for A Bookworm

Happy holidays, everyone! No matter which holiday you celebrate during the winter season, you might be looking for a last-minute gift for your favorite bookworm. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! All of these gifts are ones that any bookworm will be sure to love. However, we (and the companies) cannot guarantee shipping before Christmas (if that is the holiday you celebrate).


  1. A gift card to a favorite local indie bookstore: With all the problems surrounding Amazon (we won’t get into it) and the fact that a lot of indie bookstores are having to close due to COVID, giving a gift card to your favorite bookworm to spend at his or her local indie would be a great idea.
  2. A gift subscription to Libro.fm for audiobook lovers: If you’ve never heard of Libro.fm, they support indie bookstores when you make purchases from them. The best part is that you get to pick which indie bookstore you’d like to support.
  3. A reading bean from Book Beau: Reading beans are amazing! They help you reposition yourself while reading so that you don’t get uncomfortable. Rachael loves her’s!
  4. A book sleeve: Book sleeves are great for protecting all the precious books that your favorite bookworm has collected. Two of our favorite shops are Book Beau and Book Gizmo; some other shops that fellow bookworms like are BookishBling, CPickeringCo, and StoryHero.
  5. A library stamp: Having a library stamp allows you favorite bookworm to ensure that he or she get his or her books back (if he or she ever decides to loan a book out). We’ll link a few here from Etsy, but be sure to browse and find the one that fits whom you will be giving the gift to. Some examples of library stamps are ACOTAR, Leaf circle, Cat with books, Teacher, and Embossed.
  6. A subscription to a book box: While a book subscription box may not arrive before the time you’d like to give the gift, most offer gift messages to give the recipient. Each book box is a little different, but generally, each offers a newly released hardcover (sometimes the book is signed and/or contains other exclusive variations) and 4-5 bookish items. Dreamy&Co (linked below) is an items-based subscription box. Each month, the items are based around one fandom and no book is included. A few of our favorites subscription boxes are Unplugged Book Box, OwlCrate, OwlCrate Jr., LitJoy Crate, and Dreamy&Co.
  7. A bookmark: Bookmarks are always a welcome gift for book lovers. You can never have too many! Bookmarks can be found any where, but there is one shop that does offer custom bookmarks, which we have bought several bookmarks from in the past. That shop is called TotalBookishEclipse. The bookmarks are so adorable, too!
  8. A mug with tea/coffee: Mugs for those who drink tea or coffee are always appreciated, especially if they are fandom or reading related mugs. If you pair the mug with a bookworm’s favorite tea or coffee, they will most likely love you forever (Rachael would!). If they enjoy drinking tea or coffee while reading, this is the perfect gift!
  9. A blanket: Blankets are always appreciated, especially if they are fleece. They keep your favorite bookworm warm while he or she is reading. Fandom related blankets (which can be purchased from many shops) are particularly desired because your favorite bookworm can show off his or her blanket while talking about his or her favorite books.
  10. A reading/fandom related item (such as clothing or jewelry): Fandom and general reading related items, like clothing and jewelry, are becoming more and more popular. Two shops, The Dear Writer Co and Chasing Chapters, create clothing that are related to fandoms. Both shops are size inclusive, so they have clothing that will fit everyone! Hello Lovely Box creates clothing and other items (such as pouches, mugs, and tote bags) that are reading related and aren’t related to any specific fandom.

Let us know in the comments what you think would be a perfect last-minute gift for a fellow bookworm. We can always add to our list!

Blog Tour | A Universe of Wishes, edited by Dhonielle Clayton

I’m so excited to be a part of the A Universe of Wishes Tour! Please remember to click the tour banner or the schedule below to access the tour schedule. There are a lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers who are also a part of the tour.

Title: A Universe of Wishes
Edited by: Dhonielle Clayton
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Page Count: 416
Goodreads Rating: 4.0

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Samira Ahmed, Libba Bray, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, Natalie C. Parker, Rebecca Roanhorse, Victoria Schwab, Tara Sim, Nic Stone, and a to-be-announced debut author/short-story contest winner.

Praise

“A refreshing anthology depicting worlds where everyone can belong.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A noteworthy collection brimming with empowering tales that confirm all readers deserve to have their stories told.” –Shelf Awareness


My Thoughts

I wasn’t always a huge fan of short story collections because I usually wanted more from the story. A Universe of Wishes was an amazing short story collection with stories from a lot of amazing authors. While I loved all of the stories, there were three in particular that I loved. VE Schwab, being one of my favorite authors, wrote a prequel short story to her A Darker Shade of Magic series, featuring Alucard and Rhy, called “A Royal Affair.” If you haven’t read A Gathering of Shadows yet, there may be spoilers for the book, so beware when reading the prequel short story.

The second short story I really liked was “The Takeback Tango” by Rebecca Roanhorse. This short story combines space, pirates, and revenge plots. All of the things I love in a novel and honestly, what more could you ask for? Roanhorse was able to create relatable characters that you wanted to know more about. I love that Roanhorse included artificial intelligence because if anyone knows me, you know that a few of my favorite characters recently have been artificial intelligence (AIDAN, Di from Heart of Iron, etc.). That being said, I really enjoyed the interactions between Evie (the AI) and Vi. It seemed like Evie was really there for Vi throughout the whole short story.

The third and final story I really enjoyed was set in the Gemma Doyle (A Great and Terrible Beauty) series by Libba Bray. “The Scarlet Woman: A Gemma Doyle Story” made me more interested in the world that Bray created many years ago. I haven’t read the Gemma Doyle series yet, but this story was so interesting. I definitely have Bray’s series on my TBR list now. I’m hoping I can get to it soon!

I do have other novels by most of the authors on my TBR. Fingers crossed that I’m able to get to them soon as I’d love to enjoy more novels by each of the authors. I think A Universe of Wishes may be a short story collection that I’ll read again as I loved it so much.


Where can I buy A Universe of Wishes?

You can buy A Universe of Wishes at your favorite local bookstore or through one of these links: AmazonBarnes & Noble, or IndieBound.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Terminal Tours blog tour for A Universe of Wishes! You can either click here or on the blog tour banner found above to see the other blogs that are participating in the blog tour.

Which story in A Universe of Wishes was your favorite? What did you think of the rest of the anthology? Let us know in the comments!

November 2020 Wrap-Up

Can someone please explain to us how it is already December? What happened to this year?! It’s been a busy November (like most months), but the year is almost over! We do hope you had a great November and got a lot of reading done!

What is your favorite winter activity? We all enjoy staying in and reading. Rachael hates snow (even though she lives in Virginia). It’s slowly getting colder here in VA, when the weather’s not switching back and forth between cold and warm temperatures (most common for Virginia residents; we can experience all four seasons in one week!). Our reading stats for this past month are down below!

DanielleRachaelSkyler
Number of Books Read764
Favorite BookIt’s a tie between The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson and How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly BlackFable by Adrienne YoungZikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Goodreads Challenge75/50101/7535/50
Other ChallengesABC Challenge: 7/26
Little Inklings: 25/40
ABC Challenge: 22/26
Fox and Wit: 9/35
Little Inklings: 38/40
Top 5 TBRI never did get to my science fiction binge in November, so I’m going to try read some more science fiction this month.
1. The Midnight Library
2. Master of One
3. A Heart so Fierce and Broken
4. Soul of Stars
5. Crownchasers
I’m still doing the mood reading thing. I got in a slump this month, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish out the year strong in December.I am not putting the pressure of a TBR on myself. Virtual teaching is taking so much of my time and energy. I am proud of myself when I get through ONE book. 🙂

We’ve read a total 17 books this month! Below are images of all the books that we’ve read. All images are gathered from Goodreads.

Let us know what your stats are in the comments. If you do a wrap-up, link it so that we can take a look. We hope everyone has a great December and that you get lots of reading done!

Blog Tour | The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West (Review and Favorite Quotes)

I am beyond excited to be participating in TBR and Beyond’s blog tour for The Bitterwine Oath! For my stop on the blog tour, I will be sharing my review of the young adult book as well as some of my favorite quotes. A list of my favorite quotes can be found below my review. If you have had a chance to read The Bitterwine Oath, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments! I would love to discuss the book with you!

Title: The Bitterwine Oath
Author: Hannah West
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Holiday House
Page Count: 320
Goodreads Rating: 3.68

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?

Hannah West is the author of young adult books including The Nissera Chronicles series and The Bitterwine Oath. ​She’s been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when she penned her first tale about a princess who ran away and lived at the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn’t until she studied abroad in Orléans, France during college that the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a novel. 
Hannah currently lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two rambunctious rescue dogs. 

Author Links
Website: https://www.hannahwestauthor.com/
Twitter: @hannahwestya
Instagram: @hannahwestya
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14881425.Hannah_West


My Thoughts

I’ve never lived in a small town, so I’m fascinated by books that are set within that community. In such an intimate setting, I’m always skeptical that secrets are even possible. Yet, each time that I read a book about a small town, I’m in awe at how an author decides to creatively reveal the hidden secrets.

The Bitterwine Oath is no different. West cleverly crafts the story in such a way that San Solano’s secrets are gradually revealed to Natalie. Readers learn the town’s secrets along with Natalie, which allows for a smooth read that is not overburdened by a mid-novel information dump. As Natalie processes this new information about a town that she has lived in for 18 years, readers are also privileged to her character growth. Through her journey in The Bitterwine Oath, Natalie learns exactly what is she capable of achieving.

The Bitterwine Oath features a small town, mystery, and magic. I would recommend the book to YA contemporary (in particular, fans of magical realism) and fantasy readers who are looking for a quick, light read for the upcoming holiday season. The novel may be a standalone, but it is concluded in such a way that there is potential for a sequel.

Many thanks to Holiday House for the ARC! All opinions are my own.


Favorite Quotes

I was blind to half the world, and she was my guide. It was as though she could see in the dark and I could not. Her suffering made her sage; the darkness educated her in its terrifying mysteries. She spoke its language, and she was drawn to others who spoke it.

“Life doesn’t grind to a halt when you’re fighting to protect your town. It’s vital to keep up appearances.”

“We’re the light that fights the dark, but a candle burning on its own will get snuffed out. I don’t want you to get snuffed out. Don’t try to go rogue.”

“Doing nothing is so much harder than fighting back.”

“It’s okay to be in shock. Just sleep on your decision another night. Strange things happen under a dark moon.”

“Then protect me from grief,” she said. “Protect me from knowing I could have stopped you from dying and didn’t.”


Where can I buy The Bitterwine Oath?

You can buy The Bitterwine Oath at your favorite local bookstore or through one of these links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository, IndieBound, or Indigo.

Be sure to check out the rest of the TBR and Beyond blog tour for The Bitterwine Oath! You can either click here or on the blog tour banner found above to see the other blogs that are participating in the blog tour.

What are your thoughts on The Bitterwine Oath? Do you have a favorite quote? If you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, will you be adding it to your TBR? Let us know in the comments!

Winter Themed YA Recommendations

Winter is fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere. We thought it would be fun to provide you all with some winter themed YA recommendations. All of the recommendations have been read by one of the three of us.

Starting tomorrow, December 1, we will be reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares for our book club as well as watching the Netflix show! If you’d like to join us, check out this post for all of the discussion information. The first discussion date will be December 14! We will be posting a photo with a few questions to start the discussion.

All images and summaries are gathered from Goodreads.

What is your favorite winter themed YA novel?


Fantasy

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Disney Frozen: A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Told in alternating chapters from both Anna’s and Hans’ perspectives, A Frozen Heart takes a sophisticated look at events of Frozen, exploring the couple’s backstories, motivations, and doomed relationship.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.


Contemporary

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

What Light by Jay Asher

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since.


Science Fiction

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

16-year-old Emily is on the run. Between her parents and the trouble she’s recently gotten into at school, she has more than enough reason to get away. But when she finds a little boy named Aidan wandering in the woods, she knows she needs to help him find his way home. But getting home is no easy matter, especially with Emily finds out that Aidan isn’t even from Earth. When their plane crashes into the side of a snowy mountain, it’s up to Emily to ensure Aidan and their pilot, Bob, make it off the mountain alive. Pursued by government forces who want to capture Aidan, the unlikely team of three trek across the freezing landscape, learning more about each other, and about life, than they ever thought possible.


Have you read any of our suggestions? If you have, which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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