ARC Review: Crystal Blade


Title: CRYSTAL BLADE
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Pub. Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads
The peace is unsustainable.

Sonya and Anton may have brought about a revolution, but can they protect their homeland—and their love—with so many forces threatening to tear them apart?

The empire has fallen, Valko faces trial, and Sonya is finally free from her fate as Sovereign Auraseer. But Sonya's expanding abilities are just as unstable as the new government of Riaznin—and her relationship with Anton. Not only can she feel the emotions of others but, unlike other Auraseers, she's learned to make others feel her emotions as well. And Sonya isn't immune to dark temptations.

Now, as Sonya fights to contain her own darkness, she senses a new evil lurking in the shadows of the palace. Someone from Sonya's past has returned. And that someone won't be satisfied until Sonya pays for the mistakes she's made.

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Page Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Blog Tour: First We Were IV (Guest Post)


Today I have the immense pleasure of joining the First We Were IV blog tour. Alexandra Sirowy's  third novel, First We Were IV is a thriller novel that just came out this week. Fun Fact: Alexandra Sirowy participated in the first year of the Meet the Newbies blog event! Without further ado, Alexandra shares a guest post on rebellions and her favorite fictional rebels.

Author: Alexandra Sirowy
Genre: YA Thriller
Page Length: 448 pages
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue


Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
Page Length: 321 pages
Publication Date: September 13, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Borrowed via library
Goodreads
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Zodiac Books: My Dream House Design


I am such a huge fan of Romina Russell's Zodiac series. These books keep getting better and better! I can't believe Thirteen Rising - the final book - will be out this August. Side note: Zodiac was the first ARC I ever got from Penguin! I know, I'm so sentimental... You can check out my reviews for Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon by clicking on the hyperlinks in the book title text! 

Although it's been awhile since I read Zodiac, I do recall that the main character, Rho, had an awesome house near the ocean on her Cancerian planet. So below I've included my own design for a hut by the sea!

Blog Tour: Midnight Jewel (Review)

Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy was one of the first YA books I ever read and loved. I've been a huge fan of Richelle ever since, and I'm avidly following her newest trilogy, The Glittering Court. I am thrilled to join the blog tour for Midnight Jewel, the second book in the series.

Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

ARC Review: Song of the Current

Author: Sarah Tolcser
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 373 pages
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

APCB Adds #8


I love learning about the latest book deals, and APCB Adds is a feature where I share my latest Goodreads book additions. These posts will introduce you to books coming out in the future, ones you can look forward to! 

Review: Bad Romance

Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt/Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Blog Tour: Bad Romance (Tips for Self Worth)

Heather Demetrios is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and I absolutely love and respect her latest novel that centers on manipulative and abusive relationships. This book really taught me so much, and I hope people caught in a similar situation as Grace, the main character of Bad Romance, find their peace. I am thrilled to join the Bad Romance blog tour with some tips for self worth.

Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 368  pages
Publication Date: June 13th, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt/Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Books I Bought Then Forgot (to Read)

Hey, APCB readers!  It's been a minute since my last post.

Senior year has been absolutely crazy with all of my schoolwork, college apps, and other senior-specific activities, but crazy in a good way.  Out of my four years in high school, I think senior year is my favorite.  I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do this year while making new friendships and strengthening old ones along the way.

With just about a month left to go, I hope I can finish off the year strong!

Source: Polly & Books

Unfortunately, the craziness of senior year hasn't allowed me to read as much as I wanted to and was able to in previous years.  Here's a list of five books that I bought a while ago with the pure intention of reading, but then, well, life got in the way, and these books are now burning holes through my bookshelf.


Blog Tour: I Believe in a Thing Called Love (Listicle)

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a book I've been excited for since I read of the book deal on Publisher's Weekly. A book about a girl unlucky in love using k dramas as a guide to make her crush fall for her? Count me in! I raced through this hilarious, diverse contemporary novel in less than a day. I'm thrilled to join the blog tour with a listicle on the top reasons why you should buy and read this book. 
Author: Maurene Goo
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 336  pages
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She's for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It's a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Blog Tour: Flame in the Mist (Review)

I am stoked to join the Flame in the Mist blog tour with a review! Renée's Wrath was easily one of my favorite 2015 debuts, and I loved her latest book just as much. Many thanks to Penguin Teen for putting together this tour.
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Publisher: Putnam/Penguin
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

#Read Dessen: Along for the Ride


Sarah Dessen is a household name in YA contemporary. She is known for writing adorable romance novels that also address tough subjects. In preparation for the release of her thirteenth novel, Once and For All, Penguin is hosting a celebratory countdown to the publication date by highlighting her past novels.

Today I'm talking about my favorite Dessen book, Along for the Ride. I loved this book, and it is the perfect summer beach read!

#Read Dessen: Just Listen


Sarah Dessen is a household name in YA contemporary. She is known for writing adorable romance novels that also address tough subjects. In preparation for the release of her thirteenth novel, Once and For All, Penguin is hosting a celebratory countdown to the publication date by highlighting her past novels.

Today I'm talking about Dessen's arguably most popular novel, Just Listen. I really enjoyed this book, and here are four reasons why you should read it!

Happy 3rd Birthday APCB!!

As you can tell from the title it is A Perfection Called Books' and my third blogoversary! Actually it was March 1st... exactly a week ago. I'm so upset that I forgot my blogoversary until days after the fact, but honestly that's exemplary of what blogging has been like for me as of late.

Since starting college blogging has been so hard. It is a mix of not being able to find the time, motivation, and desire to blog. The desire ebbs and flows, and I am not quitting this blog anytime soon. Thank you dear readers for staying with us. 

Blog Tour: Cashmere

Author: Temple West
Series: Velvet #2
Genre: YA Paranormal
Page Length: 432 Pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: In Medias Res Publications
Source: eARC 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble
This high-stakes sequel to Velvet proves that when you’re the only human caught in a paranormal war, high school can get a little tricky. With Adrian’s brother trapped in hell, the Praetorian Guard has made Stony Creek their base-of-operations, but Caitlin has a bad feeling they’re more interested in her than in finding Lucian. Caught in a sea of conspiracies and lies, Caitlin and Adrian perform a risky magical procedure in an attempt to protect Caitlin from compulsion.

Relieved that her nightmares have ended, Caitlin is disturbed to find that something even stranger has taken their place.

Determined to get on with her life, even amid a crazy paranormal manhunt, she applies for a competitive summer fashion internship in New York. Searching desperately for answers about what Caitlin might be, how Adrian’s father is involved, and where Lucian has been kidnapped to, Caitlin and Adrian must rely on each other to survive. But when the truth finally comes to light, the consequences are unimaginable.

And the question still haunts them both: even if they survive, how will they deal with the fact that Adrian is immortal and Caitlin is not?

Review: The Crown's Fate



After reading all of the amazing Tsar's Guard spotlight posts, I am honored to finish off the tour with a review of The Crown's Game. This book far surpassed my expectations, and I ended up loving it even more than the first book! 

Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 432 Pages
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kepler's Books
Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Author: Jessica Cluess
Series: Kingdom on Fire #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 Pages
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Henrietta can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

ARC Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: DotPK #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 320 Pages
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Classics/Contemporaries in the Classroom

Source

It's no secret that English has remained my favorite subject throughout all of high school.  While other subjects sometimes felt like a series of closed doors with pre-worked math formulas and innumerable facts to memorize, English was whatever I wanted it to be.  Sure, I had to learn (and still am learning) the fundamentals of grammar and the little nuances of the language, but many of the assignments I faced didn't feel like assignments.  They were open-ended questions for me to answer in any way I pleased through writing.

The Post I Was Scared To Write

*Disclaimer: I am not trying to silence anyone. You are free to say whatever you'd like to say. This post focuses on how people feel after you say what you say to them and why your message isn't being heard. 
*Disclaimer: I am not saying that anyone is a bad person nor am I labeling anyone as "wrong." I want to clearly express my opinions in a calm manner that will hopefully encourage conversation and change if needed. I am addressing something I see as a problem just as you have addressed problems in the past and hopefully continue to address problems in the future so we may all learn.
*Disclaimer: The quotes listed below are from active members in the YA/book community.

Thank you to the many people who reached out to me on Twitter and shared their stories and quotes. This post would be nothing without the conversations we've had, the stories you told, and the courage of your voices.

The Beginning:

On Thursday a brave lady on Twitter by the name of Sierra expressed in a Twitter thread a sentiment that I and many others shared regarding Book Twitter. She highlighted the very scary and true realization that many teenagers are terrified to speak up and share their opinions in the book community. This is very problematic because our book community is centered around young adult books, books meant for the teenage age group. Can you see the problem when people in the community who are supposed to be writing for you act in such a way that you can no longer trust them? Book Twitter is unrecognizable. It has twisted into something I now cringe at when I think of it. The culture that has permeated through Book Twitter has left a foul taste in my mouth, and the community has warped into a hostile and unwelcoming environment.

ARC Review: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 Pages
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever

ARC Review: How to Break a Boy

Author: Laurie Devore 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 352 Pages
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.

APCB Adds #7


I love learning about the latest book deals, and APCB Adds is a feature where I share my latest Goodreads book additions. These posts will introduce you to books coming out in the future, ones you can look forward to! 

ARC Review: After the Fall

Author: Kate Hart
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 336 Pages
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn't want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

Julia's Trip Recap: Hiroshima, Japan


This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Hiroshima, Japan for about eight days in August.  Every year, two members from the junior class at my school are selected to travel to Hiroshima as "Hiroshima Peace Scholars."  It's been months since the end of my trip, but I can't stop thinking about the people I met and all that I experienced.

Your Guide to 2017

 

 As you may know I love to keep track of upcoming releases. I stalk Publishers Weekly on a daily basis, and I love the question: What are some upcoming book releases? Below I've cultivated a list of books I'm ridiculously excited for (as you should be as well!). I've split it up into semi-practical categories and left Goodreads links for all the books. Keep in mind that some books fit in multiple categories, but please tweet me @yaperfectionist if I forget a 2017 book you know of and can't wait to read. Enjoy! And flail about these books with me in the comment section.