Weekly Wrap || February 22nd, 2020

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February 22nd, 2020

It’s not usually a Weekly Wrap unless I lament how little time I had for the things I enjoy, or how much time I managed to waste. But! This week is different. This week, I learned a new skill.

And this week, it’s possible I bit off more than I can chew. 😳

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Top 5 Tuesday || Bookish Habits

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We all have our own little bookish habits, whether we realize it or not.

Since Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm Blog choose bookish habits as this week’s topic, I sat down to think. What exactly do I do when I’m reading besides, well, read? Do I have any notable habits at all?

And it turns out, the answer is yes. I am nothing if not a creature of habit, and I can’t believe I missed noticing these five habits until now!

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Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

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Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Goodreads || B&N || Joy’s Twitter

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father’s paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome’s most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

3 STARS

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Dragon’s Den Discussions || What Makes a Good Love Interest?

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It’s not Valentine’s Day without some talk about love interests!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been around the internet long enough to witness people have some very strong opinions about which characters should end up together. It’s always a contested subject, and when you talk about YA, the staple love triangle tends to figure in, among other things. So what makes a good love interest? What makes us care?

YMMV, but today, I’m spotlighting some features that make for interesting LIs. ❤️

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Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

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Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Goodreads || B&N || Abigail’s Twitter

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

5 STARS

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Top 5 Tuesday || Books That Exceeded Expectations

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Some books are exactly what you expect…and some go above and beyond!

Typically, I’m pretty good at guessing how much I’ll like a book, but today’s T5T topic is all about the books that exceeded expectations! Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm Blog gave us a topic that’s perfect for sharing hidden gems, don’t you think?

So go on, take a look at the books that impressed me the most!

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Miscellaneous Magic || Warmaidens Cover Reveal

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Last year, Gravemaidens showed us what one healer can do.

This year, Warmaidens is going to bring Kammani’s story to a close, and the Warmaidens cover reveal is upon us for just that reason! If you think you’re ready, you’re not.

No, really. Remember how stunning the Gravemaidens cover is? Have a refresher, before we take the big plunge. Look at how beautiful and blue and delicate it is!

Gravemaidens Cover

Now, brace yourself. If you love bugs, get hyped. If you hate them, please look anyway. Because it’s here. It’s Warmaidens. And it is incredible!

And please, have a complementary scorpion emoji along the way. 🦂

Warmaidens Cover Reveal

BEHOLD!

Those jeweled scorpions? The busted bottle? All of that dark, dangerous pink? You can thank Sammy Yuen for this incredible cover (and view his outstanding portfolio here)! He was the designer for Gravemaidens, and he’s knocked it out of the park here with Warmaidens for sure! That cover has not come to play, not even a little.

But if you’re still on the fence about it, here’s a glimpse at what’s in store, complete with some scorpions… 🦂

Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.

But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.

Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.

But when do we get Warmaidens?

It’s coming October 20th, 2020! We’re only six months and change away (haha… only… 😭), and there’s already a whole bunch of ways you can get your pre-orders in! GetUnderlined has all the details and the purchase links right here, and if you follow Kelly Coon on Twitter, you’re bound to hear about more exciting things in the future. Like pre-order campaigns. Maybe tours, publisher permitting? Oh, and I’m almost certain there will be info about pre-ordering signed copies at some point…

(While you’re at it, you should follow me as well. I did a giveaway for a signed copy of Gravemaidens and a unique booksleeve last year, and mayhaps it will occur once more…)

And in the meantime, be sure to pick up Gravemaidens from your local library, or your nearest bookstore! But if you’re waffling over it, let me direct you to my review from October. There’s a girl who knows exactly what she wants, siblings to die for, and a cinnamon roll LI. Plus a hefty dash of murder, of course! Where would YA fantasy be without murder? 💛

So what do you think of the Warmaidens cover reveal?

Add more scorpions? More smoke? Enjoy it in its deep pink glory, changing nothing? Let’s chat!

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

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The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Goodreads || B&N || Maureen’s Twitter

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

4 STARS

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Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

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Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Goodreads || B&N || Isabel’s Twitter

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

3.5 STARS

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