Stacking the Shelves

Yep, it’s my monthly Stacking the Shelves. I seem to only do this once a month this summer. Maybe I’ll get better at it? Maybe not. I have so many awesome books and bookish things to share with you. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff but here it goes…

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

For Review

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Updraft by Fran Wilde
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons

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Pyromantic by Lisha McBride
Freya by Matthew Laurence
Duels & Deceptions by Cindy Anstey
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Cruelty by S Bergstrom
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Purchased

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass Coloring Book
Pre-order Gift from Bloomsbury- Quote Notebook
Sarah and Worm Labyrinth Funko

Gift/Won/Trade

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Traded- The Dark Days Club UK arc
#currentlyreading bookmarks gifted by @herbookishthings check her out on Etsy
Dead Girls Society won from the author

Bookish Repping

On Instagram I am so lucky that I’m repping a few bookish business’ with their awesome products. I’m so honored and really it never loses the excitement. I wanted to share what I received this past month

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Pillow called Vintage Reading Collage by the incredible Evie Seo

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Candles by Novelly Yours. These candles *happy sigh* My tenure will be up at the end of this month and I’m so so sad. But that means that if you want a discount of 10% you should get on it (use code MFAF10 on any purchase). My time with NY has been so incredible. Brittany is professional, kind, and amazingly creative.

And…I think that’s it! How are YOU? What are you reading? You might notice a fall theme to all my pictures- I keep thinking if I pretend it is fall the temperature here in Texas will drop. Sadly, that’s not been the case. Today the heat index was 120. Just no.

You can find more bookish pictures on my Instagram (where all of these were originally posted)

Blog Tour-Review of A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir + Giveaway

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I am so excited to be involved with the blog tour for A Torch Against the Night. Early on I fell in love with An Ember in the Ashes and Tahir’s writing. I had high expectations for this follow-up and wow…it was beyond even what I imagined.

My Review

ATATNA Torch Against the Night
By: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy 0f this book was provided by the publisher in consideration for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

My Thoughts:
It is rare indeed when a sequel is capable of being even better than the first book- and A Torch Against the Night actually succeeded in this.

This time we join Laia and Elias as they run to escape the fall-out from the last book. We get a much broader look at the world, the Empire, and how things are for people living in this land. Laia was determined as ever to do whatever it took to save her brother from his fate in Kauf Prison. This book had a lot of traveling (which if done poorly can be dreadfully dull) but it was done so beautifully with a very even pacing and just the right amount of description to give the reader a vivid vision but never veering on too much.

One of my favorite aspects of Torch was that we got a point of view from Helene- I think we all grew to love her in the first book and I loved being able to see from her view point as well as learn more of her inner thoughts and motives. She was such a complex character, pulled in so many directions I couldn’t help but have my heart break for her. To have her tasked to find the now traitor Elias and be responsible for his demise- just AHHH. What a cruel twist.

Elias was by far, once again, my favorite character. I am so intrigued with his backstory and really everything about him. His chemistry with Laia was perfect though I could always use more scenes with the two of them together (I’m a greedy reader).

All of these characters are so well developed, and all straddle what’s good and what’s not. I love that I never exactly know who to trust-this adds a level of connection to Laia since I am learning as she does. I’m as unsure as she was about who to trust, what other’s motivations are and this adds so much to the tension. Even slower paced scenes were enveloped in tension which to me, made the entire book an incredibly fast read since I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.

I was so happy also that we get to learn more about the fate of Laia’s brother. He was such a pivotal character for her story arc it was wonderful to learn a bit more about who he was as well as what happened to him after he was taken. And, I’ve not even mentioned yet how unpredictable the story-line was for me and how there were twists, turns and reveals that sort of blew my mind.

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Final Thoughts:
I felt that A Torch Against the Night was an even stronger than the first book. Tahir dove into her characters giving them further depth as well as incorporating some incredible twists and turns in the story. This was the type of sequel that totally exceeded my expectations and took the story somewhere I’d not expected. I highly recommend this series.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a finished copy of A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and an An Ember in the Ashes quote tote bag (ARV: $30.00).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:01 AM Eastern Time on August 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on September 16, 2016.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 23, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#HeleneWeek: Favorite Helene Quote and Excerpt

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Today Bustle.com has revealed an excerpt from Helene’s point of view! That’s right, A Torch Against the Night has a POV from Helene. I know that while reading An Ember in the Ashes I was so curious about Helene’s thoughts and now we get to read them. You can check out the excerpt here.

I’d also like to share what I feel is one of the very best Helene quotes there is. To me, this captures so much of her struggle:

They always underestimate me.  page 84

I find her character such a strong force in these novels and I feel her dedication to her role and duty fight her heart-which is something a lot of us can understand.

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Let me know in the comments what you think of Helene and also if you’re excited to read from her POV.

Stacking the Shelves- What an Epic Week in Books

This past week all my bookish dreams came true with the help of some really amazing blogger friends and publishers. I am soooo excited by each of these books.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

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This week I was THRILLED to have the A Torch Against the Night ARC box land on my doorstep. The box contained the Torch arc plus an paperback copy of An Ember in the Ashes AND that beautiful cuff. What a great package Penguin/Razorbill made. I’m so in love with it. I’ve started to reread Ember since I first read it in 2014 and can’t remember lots of details. So far I’m just as enraptured as the first time.

The other goodies are a mix of publisher sent and from bloggy friends. I’m so excited for each of them-Gemina! Strange the Dreamer sampler (and those buttons!!)! The Graces! The Female of the Species! GAH, so excited about them all. I wish I could read faster. Have you heard of Spare and Found Parts yet? It looks FABULOUS.

Those cute little magnetic bookmarks are from Happy Hello! Art. I ADORE them and want moooore.

I have to include this picture of the Torch cuff and book. It’s one of my favorites I’ve taken recently for Instagram.

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Speaking of Instagram I’ve fallen in love with Bookstagram and have been spending a ton of time over there. I have really found a passion for bookish still life pics! haha Are you on there? If so if you would like to see my pictures you can here.

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A Torch Against the Night Excerpts and Giveaway

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Last year I was swept away by An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I found it to be such a strong, vivid and often disturbing fantasy tale that was dark yet had that glimmer of hope that kept me reading. I can’t wait to dive into the follow-up A Torch Against the Night. I do think I’ll do a bit of a reread of the first book since there was so many details and I don’t’ want to miss anything in this sequel.

If you’re a fan like me then I have a treat for you- two excerpts from A Torch Against the Night and a giveaway hosted by the lovely people at Penguin.

Have you read An Ember in the Ashes? If so I want you to leave me your review link or let me know what you thought in the comments. If not, I highly recommend it! You can check out my review here and look for me to give you my updated thoughts after I do a reread.

About A Torch Against the Night

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A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

Pre-order here

Excerpts

Chapter 1 reveal
Chapter 2 reveal

Giveaway

This is an US only giveaway of 10 ARCs of A Torch Against the Night

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