Horror Movie Tropes & Clichés

Nori @ Read Write Love started this wonderful Book Blogger Creativity Project where bloggers are put in groups and tasked with creating a feature or event. It also doubles as a blogger-mentoring service. Team Teal's project is a Halloween special!

Blog Tour: Underneath Everything

Author: Marcy Beller Paul
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 384 Pages
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.  Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.

ARC Envy ~ Why It's Okay

ARC Envy is a very real thing in the bookish community. We want this book. We want that ARC. We NEED all the books. Well not really, we kinda just want to own and obtain all the books ;)

A Letter To My Newbie Blogger Self

Dear Rachel of February 28th, 2014,

Welcome to blogging! I know this is a total spur-of-the-moment decision, as you had to create a blog for Biology about cells and that prompted you to make a book blog. As I am you 1.667 years later, I think I should share some blogging wisdom with you that will make your first forays into blogging much smoother.

Ratings, Reviews, and How They Affect You

I'm sure other bloggers have written about this topic, but I wanted to contribute my two cents and join in on the conversation.

I've often noticed while reading, I have the unyielding desire to boot up my computer, log into my Goodreads account, and see what other members of the book community are saying about whatever it is I'm currently reading.  This doesn't seem bad or wrong, it doesn't seem unusual or unnatural, yet it sparked some internal conflict with myself.  I realized, (at some ghastly hour late last evening), I wanted to be . . . reassured, . . . comforted, that whatever thoughts, feelings, or opinions I had on a particular book were also shared by others.

Creativity and Ideas

I've always known this, but it's become clearer in the past few months to me that the bookish community is a highly creative and involved group. We have great features such as On the Same Page Secret Sisters (by Brittany, Amy, and Alyssa), Nori's #RQWN, Andi's ABCs, Alexa & Rachel's Friends With ARCs, Brittany's Books and a Beverage, Sarah's Fangirl Friday, Danielle's Love At First Page, Brittany & Andi's Have You Seen This? and more. There are also elements that are uniquely others such as Kris' Lego art, Sarah's book trailers, Jess' water color covers for YA books, the list is endless! I love how innovative and inspiring these bloggers are. They manage to personalize their blogging and implement ideas that they enjoy and/or ones that benefit the community. It's these types of acts and ideas that I cherish and adore. It's just another reason why I love the blogging community.

Blog Tour: A Madness So Discreet

I've been so intrigued by A Madness So Discreet since I first heard about it, so I was especially thrilled when Hannah of Irish Banana Book Tours allowed me to join the tour!

The Book:

Title: A Madness So Discreet
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publication Date: October 6th, 2025
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Length: 384 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook | The Book Depository
Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

Why Velvet Undercover Didn't Work For Me

Author: Teri Brown 
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Page Length: 272 Pages
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Source: eARC via EW (Thanks Harper!)

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray comes this page-turning historical spy thriller from Teri Brown, author of the Born of Illusion series.
Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both?

A thrilling story of one girl's journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

Kimberly @ Faye Reads created this super fun tag that matches Harry Potter world spells with books. Thanks to Steph @ No BS Reviews for tagging me! <3

ARC Review ~ Ice Like Fire

Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 496 Pages
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC via Edelweiss (Thanks HarperCollins!)
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

Review ~ The Assassin's Blade

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 435 pages
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Borrowed via library
Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin.  Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin's Guild, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam.

When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes - and questioning her own allegiance.  Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship.  But by defying Arobynn's orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too.  They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn's clutches - and if they fail, they'll lose not just a chance at freedom but their lives . . .

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling - and deadly - world.

Review ~ Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 656
Publication Date: September, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Blog Tour: Romancing the Dark in the City of Lights

Author: Ann Jacobus
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Bookish Serendipity Co Etsy Store Launch!!

My lovely friend Jessica from Bookish Serendipity has decided to start an Etsy store. I love her crafts and products, and today as part of her promo launch tour Jessica shares 5 books she'd love to turn into bookish jewelry.