Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#Audiobook Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory #historicalfiction #excerpt #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Tudor Court #2)
Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the upcoming Starz original series The White Princess, a gripping new Tudor story featuring King Henry VIII’s sisters Mary and Margaret, along with Katherine of Aragon, vividly revealing the pivotal roles the three queens played in Henry VIII’s kingdom.

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

Audio Excerpt

My Review

Philippa Gregory's books have been - and will continue to be - some of my favorite guilty pleasures. I'm behind on her War of the Roses series, but there was no way that I could pass up one of her Tudor novels. Three Sisters, Three Queens follows the life of Henry the VIII's oldest sister, Margaret Tudor, and it is quite unlike any other Gregory book that I've read.

In most of Gregory's books, the protagonist is extremely likable, and there's a healthy dose of sexytimes. In Three Sisters, Three Queens, Margaret is quite disagreeable, and there are only a few, very brief, sex scenes. Margaret spends the majority of the book obsessed with how her sisters - Katherine of Aragon and Mary Tudor, and their lot in the world. She only seemed to be happy and loving whenever she was better off than them or if they were showering her in gifts. Her love/hate sentiment toward Katherine is one of the biggest recurring themes in the book. It did make the book drag sometimes, but I'm always interested in experiencing a different sort of character - in this case rather unpleasant woman.

Margaret's multiple husbands is also a big deal in Three Sisters, Three Queens. As a Tudor princess early in a new ruling dynasty, she was expected to only marry whomever would be most advantageous to her family. Her first marriage to James IV of Scotland was just that. However, he subsequent marriages were both scandalous because she married for love both times, but divorced Husband #2 (Archibald Douglas) to marry Husband #3 (Henry Stewart). Margaret seeking a divorce coincided with Henry VIII's increasing disinterest in being married to Katherine, and the world was watching to see how everything worked out for her. It is interesting to see that Margaret was able to get her divorce, yet Henry was unable to get the Pope to issue his.

I enjoyed the narration of Three Sisters, Three Queens. Bianca Amato did a great job reading the various parts, and each of the three sisters was distinct from the others. Her depictions of the men did not stand out to me, but they didn't sound goofy. (Believe me when I say that happens all the time.) Honestly, I always looked forward to Margaret receiving a letter from or visiting with Katherine because I loved Amato's accent for her. I would definitely listen to more books that Amato narrates.

Overall, Three Sisters, Three Queens was a fun fictional read, and it led me to read quite a few articles online about Margaret Tudor and her two husbands. I cannot wait until Gregory's next book is released.

- 3/5 Stars -

Pre-Order Links
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours @epicreads #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
Kendare Blake
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose...it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Review

I'm at a bit of a loss about Three Dark Crowns. I love Kendare Blake, and her writing is good enough that this book did not *feel* like Anna Dressed in Blood or the Greek gods series. (The name escapes me, sorry.) That's a pretty major accomplishment. Here's my issue: Three Dark Crowns had me at the edge of my seat from the time I started reading it, but the ending was a little disappointing.

Let me explain.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Early Review: The Continent by Keira Drake #yalit #AroundTheWorldARCTours #BibPleaseReview

No comments:

Title: The Continent (The Continent #1)
Keira Drake
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Harlequin)
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Get swept away in the majesty and danger of Keira Drake’s sparkling debut fantasy novel The Continent.

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two “uncivilized” nations remain perpetually at war. Most citizens tour the Continent to see the spectacle and violence of battle—a thing long vanished in the Spire. For Vaela—a smart and talented apprentice cartographer—it is an opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But an idyllic aerial exploration is not to be had: the realities of war are made clear in a bloody battle seen from the heli-plane during the tour, leaving Vaela forever changed. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, she has no illusions about the true nature of the danger she faces. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Engaging with questions of social responsibility, the nature of peace and violence, and the value (and danger) of nationalism, Drake’s debut is as thought-provoking as it is fast-paced and surprising, a heart-pounding and heartbreaking story of strength and survival.

My Review

It has been a long time since I've read a book before there was even a cover. Hell, it's been a long time since I've read a physical book. (Audiobooks have been my jam since Life has gone crazy.) But this book. This. The Continent . It reminded me of why I'm a reader. I got adventure and escape from the unpleasantness and monotony around me. I got to hang out with a tough girl named Vaela Sun who should get the Survivor of the Decade award.

There's NOTHING better than finding a book to make you fall in love with books again. The Continent rekindled that romance.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Where Did Everybody Go?

Hi, guys - Kayla here. I'm sure you've noticed a lack of activity over here on the blog. I've been having some health issues going on since last year, and it's been difficult to get into a reading mood or be consistent enough for reviews. I'm also battling a lack of internet availability where I live. (In case you were wondering, it is the very worst. We survive on phone data. *shudders*)

I was trying to do more than I actually could do, so I got really behind and let quite a few of you down. I did some soul searching to see if blogging was even something that I wanted to do anymore, and I have to tell you, it still calls for me. Anywho, I'm going to slowly try to get back in action and meet all of my obligations.

Thanks for sticking around and stay tuned for exciting things to come!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Debut Author Bash (Interview): Bridget Hodder, author of THE RAT PRINCE #giveaway @YaReads @BridgetsBooks @MacKidsBooks


Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my third and final date of the fun 2016 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Bridget Hodder and her debut novel, The Rat Prince.

Title: The Rat Prince
Bridget Hodder
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)
Release Date: August 23, 2016

Cinderella thinks she must work alone to save her noble family from the ruin and disgrace her stepmother has brought to Lancastyr Manor. She has an ailing father, a sweet, innocent little stepsister and dependent servants to protect from the wicked Wilhemina–and no way to call attention to their plight unless she figures out how to attend the royal ball.

But Cinderella knows nothing of the ancient pact between the House of Lancastyr and the rats who live within the walls of her ancestral home.

Nor is she aware that the sleek black rat she thinks is her pet is actually the Rat Prince...

and she is not alone.

Author Interview

Kayla: What made you choose the Prince of the Rats as the hero in The Rat Prince?

Bridget Hodder: Because sometimes, being an outsider is an advantage--it allows you the freedom to think and act the way no one else dares. And no one's more of an outsider than an actual rat!

In my story, Cinderella has a real problem, and she's tried again and again to seek justice and aid through traditional channels. But it just isn't working. So the time has come to turn it all upside down. And Prince Char--The Rat Prince--is just the one to help her do it.

In Silicon Valley tech terms, the rat in this story is a "disruptive innovation". And by that I mean, once Prince Char shows up, the game changes forever in the Kingdom of Angland. (There's more to this metaphor, but you'll have to read the book to figure it out!) The Rat Prince's vision isn't bound by the ordinary human conventions; and once the fairy goddess makes him human for the night, Cinderella doesn't know where the evening will end up, but she knows things will never be the same!

Kayla: Who would you be in this fairy tale world that you've created?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016 Debut Author Bash (Guest Post): @JulieEshbaugh, author of IVORY AND BONE @YaReads @epicreads #giveaway


Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my second date of the 2016 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Julie Eshbaugh and her exciting debut novel, Ivory and Bone.

Title: Ivory and Bone
Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 7, 2016

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

Praise for Ivory and Bone

“Exquisitely written, ferocious, and haunting—what a breath of fresh air. Ivory and Bone is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Don’t miss this one.” — Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series

“Julie Eshbaugh is a unique new voice with talent enough for a whole team of writers. Ivory and Bone transported me to a richly crafted world of life-and-death stakes, and I’m still under the spell of her storytelling.” — Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae and These Broken Stars

Guest Post

Five Tips for Surviving in the Ice Age World of Ivory and Bone
Julie Eshbaugh

I’m so excited to be the guest of the blog today! If you’re not familiar with my debut, Ivory and Bone, it’s set in prehistory, at the end of the last Ice Age. The world the characters inhabit is beautiful but dangerous, and their survival is never guaranteed. In fact, I’m pretty certain that if I were transported to the setting of the book right now, I wouldn’t last long!

The main character of Ivory and Bone is a seventeen year old boy named Kol. He spends a lot of his time focusing on survival, and in helping his family and clan to thrive. Still, he’s not immune to danger, and he can’t always prevent bad things from happening. So with Kol in mind, I brainstormed five tips we would need to survive in his Ice Age world.

1.) Never go anywhere without a spear.
Kol would definitely tell you to carry a spear everywhere you go. You never know when you might encounter a saber-toothed cat, a dire wolf, or a short faced bear.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

2016 Debut Author Bash (Guest Post): Gordon Jack, author of THE BOOMERANG EFFECT @YaReads @gordojack @epicreads #giveaway


Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2016 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Gordon Jack and his debut novel, The Boomerang Effect.

Title: The Boomerang Effect
Gordon Jack
Publisher: Harper Teen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: November 8, 2016

A hilariously subversive YA debut that explores the meaning of friendship and loyalty, and also why you should avoid being trapped in a small space with an angry chicken. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith’s Winger and Frank Portman’s King Dork.

It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he participates in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but the social skills of the periodic table.

Then disaster strikes. Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairytale-inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Spencer may be the one friend Lawrence never knew he needed.

Guest Post

We're sending Gordon back to work as a librarian.

If someone has walked up to you wanting books in the following genres/descriptions. Which book(s) would you recommend and why?

‒ Realistic Science Fiction

I would have to go with The Martian by Andy Weir for this one. His book hooks readers from the first line. I mean, how often do you pick up a book where the narrator begins by saying, “I’m pretty much fucked”? Usually you have to wait until page 50 for things to get that bad. And things are bad for Mark Watney. He’s stranded on Mars and has to survive for over a year on potatoes before there’s any hope of a rescue. Watney is a great character, who never loses his sense of humor, despite being trapped on an inhospitable planet.

‒ Most Readable Book with Heavy Literary Elements

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blog Tour (Guest Post): Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson #yalit #giveaway @chroniclebooks @hannahmosk @katmankat

No comments:

Happy Tuesday! Thank you for visiting my stop on Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson's blog tour for their collaboration, Gena/Finn. Today, Kat is telling us about the music that helped shape the book.

Title: Gena/Finn
Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: May 17, 2016

Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences—Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend—the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena's world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.


"This one definitely kicks up some emotional landmines, it’ll also make you legit lol, hard." — Barnes & Noble blog

"If Hannah Moskowitz writes it-or in this case, co-writes it-I will read it." — Leila Roy, Bookshelves of Doom, a Kirkus Reviews Blog

“Vividly portrays the minute-to-minute nature of modern communication.” — Publishers Weekly

“It's very satisfying to see this moment in fandom and Internet-originating relationships so capably represented.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Allows readers to close the cover pondering all the different ways humans can love.” — School Library Journal

“This portrayal of the fan world is spot-on... focused firmly on the real, messy relationships that can form in the digital age.” — Booklist

Guest Post

Gena/Finn Playlist
Kat Helgeson

Music played a huge part in the writing of Gena/Finn. Together we created a playlist that helped us get to know our characters better and define the plot of the story. Listen along as you read the book for a fully immersive experience! Here are a few of our favorites from the list:

Holiday From Real - Jack’s Mannequin. At the beginning of the story, Finn is acclimating to the California lifestyle. It’s a very drab left coast song that suits her to a T.

Please Be Patient With Me - Wilco. This might be the most definitive Finn/Charlie song on the list. It’s about knowing you’re a challenge for somebody and asking them to love you anyway.