Stacking the Shelves

I hope everyone had a great week! Mine was productive. I got the urge to paint my bathroom vanity so I did that which led to me painting base boards throughout my house and doing other random home stuff. House seems nice and clean so I’m happy for that.

May has such an amazing line up of releases including A Court of Thorns and Roses which I had to preorder. It is lovely in person. Has anyone gotten the UK version? I’d love to see how it looks in comparison.

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.

Books

DreamaLittleDream
StS58
Thank you Abrams, St Martins and McDuffie Communications! Also, thank you Kelly and Macmillan for Dream a Little Dream. It’s oh so pretty.

Last Week’s Posts

  • My May TBR Pile– I’ve also added a link up so you can link to your TBR post!
  • Interview with Renee Ahdieh author of The Wrath & the Dawn + Giveaway
  • Blog TourA Matter of Heart– Giveaway
  • Review of End of Days by Susan Ee

Next Week’s Posts

  • Review of Rook by Sharon Cameron
  • Discussion Post
  • Review of The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
  • Blog Tour- 5 to 1– Guest Post
  • Blog Tour- The Girl at Midnight– Interview

Current Giveaways

TwitterGiveaways
To all the Moms out there Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you all have a great week.

Favorites of 2014

I figure I have to share my favorite reads of this last year. A few 2014 books, that are obviously missing from this list, made my favorites of 2013. You can find them here.

As with anytime I’m making a list I feel like I’m forgetting a couple really wonderful ones but this gives you an idea.

Favorite 2014 Published Reads:

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Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Sadly, I felt that 2014 in general was sort of a let down in my blogging and personal life. I feel incredibly optimistic about 2015–I hope to maintain motivation for blogging and work on more interesting content. Here’s to a bright and shiny new year.

Favorite 2015 Reads (that I read in 2014):

16096824 20443207 20560137 18798983 EveryWord

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabba Tahir, The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and Every Word by Ellie Marney

Let me just tell you from what I’ve read from 2015 so far the books are absolutely stellar. It looks like it’ll be a huge year in fantasy and I can’t wait to read them ALL. Side note- Every Word (sequel to Every Breath) hasn’t released in the US yet but you can order the UK/Australian version.

What were your favorites of 2014?

Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway of Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

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I am so honored to be included on the tour for Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. This book was breathtaking and one of my favorites of the year (and all time really). I will read anything (and everything) Forsyth writes. If you enjoy retellings or historical fiction with adult themes you will love this book. Go forth and read!

Today I have my flail ridden review and a giveaway provided so kindly by the publisher.

Bitter GreensBitter Greens
By: Kate Forsyth
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: friend (thank you Anya!)

This is an adult book so has mature content.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. She is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death, sixty-four years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition, retaining her youth and beauty by the blood of young red-haired girls.

After Margherita’s father steals a handful of parsley, wintercress and rapunzel from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off unless he and his wife give away their little red-haired girl. And so, when she turns seven, Margherita is locked away in a tower, her hair woven together with the locks of all the girls before her, growing to womanhood under the shadow of La Strega Bella, and dreaming of being rescued…

Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic and the redemptive power of love.

My Thoughts:
This book was breathtaking and I have failed to find words to adequately describe how much I enjoyed it. I’ve sat on my review and notes for over a month attempting to figure out how to convey my emotions while reading. I can’t promise this will be coherent but I can say that I loved this book.

I went into it knowing only that it was an adult fiction retelling of Rapunzel. I was not nearly prepared for the epic and historical scope of what I was getting into.

Bitter Greens was written as a story within a story. We start first by meeting Charlotte-Rose and her banishment to a nunnery. Forsyth took me on a journey around France and Charlotte-Rose’s story and life. She was based upon a historic character that I had no knowledge of so I found this story to be incredibly intriguing. The setting was expertly done and I was easily transported to the Sun King, Louis XIV’s court.

It’s clear that Forsyth did her research to be able to convey the world and characters so realistically. The characters are the driving force behind this novel. Each was complex with incredible depth and motivations. I loved that we saw multiple view points, even that of the villain. The fact that the villain’s story had be at the edge of my seat and nearly crying for her was incredible.

Along with the historical feel we also have a very in depth and compelling retelling of Rapunzel. I will say I think this book was the most researched and best done look into a classic fairy tale I’ve read.

As I stated above, this review has been an ongoing struggle for me to write. It is not often that a book has left me completely speechless but this one did.

Final Thoughts:
If you like adult historical fiction, retellings, character driven stories and complex villains then Bitter Greens would probably be for you.

About the Kate Forsyth 1Author:
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bitter Greens Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at Literary, etc
Review & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, September 19
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review & Giveaway at Icey Books

Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 23
Review at Book Dilettante
Review & Giveaway at Build a Bookshelf
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at SurLaLune

Wednesday, September 24
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at Ink Gypsy
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, September 25
Review & Giveaway at No BS Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 26
Review at The Gilmore Guide to Books
Review at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 29
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Bookworm Blues

Tuesday, September 30
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Review & Excerpt at Books-n-Kisses
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, October 1
Review at One Book at a Time
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Thursday, October 2
Interview at Layered Pages
Review & Giveaway at Oh Magic Hour

Friday, October 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Review & Giveaway at Gone Pecan
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Sunday, October 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, October 6
Review at Book Babe
Review at A Bibliotaph’s
Reviews
Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Harlequin Junkie

Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at The Pretty Good Gatsby

Wednesday, October 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Giveaway at My Friends Are Fiction

Thursday, October 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 10
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Review & Giveaway at No More Grumpy Bookseller
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Layers of Thought

Tuesday, October 14
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Crossroad Review
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Thursday, October 16
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 17
Review at Mary Gramlich
Review at She Reads Novels

Monday, October 20
Interview & Giveaway at The Reading Frenzy

Stacking the Shelves

I didn’t do my StS last week so this is two weeks worth. I’m very excited about each of these books especially Princess of Thorns (eeep).

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.

NetGalley:

Princess of Thorns

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

For Review (and being on the blog tour):

 BitterGreensBlackbird

ANewDarkness

Bitter Greens by Kate Forysth, Blackbird by Anna Carey, Echoes of Us by Kat Zhang and A New Darkness by Joseph DeLaney

I’m on the Bitter Greens blog tour so look out for that at the beginning of October. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in retellings, adult fiction and historical fiction.

Won:

Lost

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

My August TBR Pile

It is August so that means my kiddo will be staring pre-k at the end of this month. This will be his first time away from me (he’ll only go a couple times a week) but I’m nervous regardless. I’m sure it’ll be great for the both of us…I’ll be having more alone time which I can’t imagine as of this moment. I hope that I’ll be able to dedicate some time writing reviews, discussion posts and reading.

I’ve been enjoying rebuilding old (and new) Lego sets so that’s why Hogwarts Castle is in my TBR picture. I couldn’t help but include it. As you can imagine my son is very excited by my latest hobby since he’s getting to play with it all.

AugustTBR

I hope to read most (or all!) of these this month. I’ve started Firebug and am enjoying it so far (only 100 pages in). I’ve heard some mixed things about VoD but I hope it surprises me. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year so there is a lot of room for disappointment. The Miniaturist and Bitter Greens are both adult fiction so that should spice things up some.

What books do you plan on reading this month?