Top Ten Tuesday – October 13, 2015: Top Ten Wishful Co-Author Collaborations


October 13, 2015

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

I’ll admit that this isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this… With anthologies coming out like MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME and SUMMER DAYS & SUMMER NIGHTS (expected sometime in 2016!), I’ve often wished for a collaboration of some of those authors within the same anthology. And when I go to events like the Fierce Reads tour where some of my favorite authors are all in the same place, I start to imagine what it’d be like if these authors got together and wrote together. Who are my dream teams? Check ’em out!

  • Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo: They don’t have super similar writing styles but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered what would happen if two of my favorite authors got together to work on one book! I’d love to see how their styles blend, mesh, and stand apart from each other all in one novel.
  • Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell: I consider these two ladies some of the masters of the more serious contemporary books and I would absolutely love to see a story from the both of them. Dual POVs from two main characters? That would be amazing.
  • Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor: CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE.
  • Sarah J. Maas and Robin LaFevers: Gorgeous world building, excellent character development, a fantastic feel, and layering plots. Yes, please!
  • Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson: Oh, the fantasy worlds these two could create.
  • Stephanie Perkins and Kasie West: Smoosh all of the adorable into one book. I’d have a book hangover for daysssss.
  • Erica O’Rourke and Karen Akins: How fun and fantastic would these two be together? I can picture some amazing sci-fi worlds with some sassy and strong YA heroines.
  • Liz Czukas and Lauren Morrill: More of all of the adorable!
  • Robin Benway and Leila Howland: I think these two authors could be great together! I totally get the same sort of vibe from EMMY & OLIVER and NANTUCKET BLUE.
  • Ernest Cline, Aime Kaufman, and Jay Kristoff: So this is three authors BUT Aime & Jay wrote a book together already… so can that count as one and we add Ernest Cline in? Oh boy. We’d all be wrecked.

Which of these duos would YOU love to see? I guess we can only hope one will happen someday (maybe) BUT to be honest, I’m not sure how I’d feel if it really did happen! Their books are so unique and perfectly “them” that I can’t imagine them really being any different!

Underneath Everything – Marcy Beller Paul

Underneath Everything – Marcy Beller PaulTitle: Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
Publishing Info: October 27, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 10, 2015

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.


As soon as I heard that UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING had a Thirteen feel, I knew I had to read it ASAP. There’s just something about toxic friendships that’s so interesting and gripping – I think maybe because we’ve all been there to some degree, even if not quite as extreme.

The rumor about the Thirteen vibe was true for me! I definitely saw pieces of the book that reminded me of the movie but I will admit that I was hoping for a bit more. UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was absolutely a good representation of how seemingly good friendships are actually quite harmful but I guess I was just hoping to see a few more shocking things in there. It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t have quite as many “omg moments” as I expected. It was enjoyable, though, because UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING shows maybe a bit more of a realistic and commonplace side of a toxic friendship and although I still haven’t quite experienced anything to that degree, I’m sure many of us will see pieces of our own friendships in the book which is even scarier.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was a very quick read for me. I actually finished it in a day! I was quickly sucked into Mattie’s world and I wanted to know everything about her crazy friendship with Jolene. I think maybe I’ve read a few too many books because as messed up as their friendship was, I could kind of see things from Jolene’s side. I don’t think she was right in any way but once I got to know her story, I started to understand more why she turned out the way she did. It was very unpleasant and a bit scary but also very interesting.

The book had its highs and lows for me and I wished the pacing had been a bit more consistent. I actually think my interpretation of the pace came because of an expectation so while I found it to be a bit slow at times, I’m sure other people won’t have an issue with it. I was looking for more heart-pounding confessions and emulations but there was also a lot of character development too. While I always appreciate character development, I do think I wasn’t as crazy about those scenes because I was hoping for more thriller in the book than contemporary and personal reflection.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was an exciting read and even though I read it in a day, it was partially my determination to finish… I hoped for a BIT more of a pull to keep flipping those pages. It didn’t quite “wow” me but I think it’s a very interesting read and I hope others will think so too! I know I definitely want to read more books like this.


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

underneath everything gr updates


Mattie // Character Obsessions: Friendships, laying low, reputation, love life.
I never quite got on board with Mattie… I think it’s hard for me to connect to characters who have a bit of a weaker personality, but it was also necessary for the book. Introvert and quiet does not necessarily mean weak-minded so it’s those characters that don’t seem to have a strong will that are hard for me. I wanted to like her but just didn’t quite make it there.
Jolene // Character Obsessions: Friendships, control, the wild side .
I think I had hoped for a bit more crazy from Jolene but it was actually really interesting to see that line blur between too far and normal teenage behavior. It’s like, how much is too much? How much is pushing it beyond the point of just being a teenager and exploring personal and interpersonal boundaries? I appreciated her back story and thought it was interesting to include instead of just being like, “Here’s the controlling friend.”


Kept Me Hooked On: Toxic Friendships. I don’t think I’ve read too many books with toxic friendships but I totally want to, especially after reading this book!
Left Me Wanting More: Thrilling moments. I appreciate that it was a bit more realistic and a bit contemporary but I was sort of hoping for it to be even more er… messed up. I think I had Thirteen stuck in my head which is just a very shocking movie so I was angling towards more of those “whoa” moments.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was really interesting! If you’re looking for a nice blend of contemporary, a struggle with friendships, and a dash of thriller, UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING is a solid choice!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


10 Things I Felt About This Book | The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

THE RAVEN KING is coming out early 2016 and I’m re-reading all of The Raven Cycle on audio before it comes out. I need a refresher on details and feels before I head into the last book of the series and oh boy, are these books sure giving me a heavy dose of both!

Since I’ve already done one formal review of THE DREAM THIEVES back when I first read it, I’m switching things up a bit with a bit more feeling and a little less analyzing with “10 Things I Felt About” THE DREAM THIEVES!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterTitle: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publishing Info: September 17, 2013 by Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Mythology, Magical Realism, Paranormal
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 5, 2015
Related Posts: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.
Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.



  • EMOTIONAL. Let’s be honest. My re-read of THE RAVEN BOYS stirred up all kinds of feelings and I was prepared to be emotionally wrecked again.
  • INSIGHTFUL. I actually didn’t feel as emotionally wrecked as I had thought (though some parts just killed me — looking at you, Blue & Gansey…) but I did feel like there were a lot of answers and there was a lot more set-up for BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE which was really interesting to see having read the first three books already.
  • IN-THE-KNOW. Like THE RAVEN BOYS, there were sooo many more clues and little things that I was able to pick up on knowing what I know of the series. It was so much fun to see those things and how much more sense they make, as well as how something small really does make a huge difference! (I wonder what I’m missing that’ll be important in THE RAVEN KING…)
  • MORE CONFIDENT. One of the big things I took away from THE DREAM THIEVES during my first read was that the ending was a bit confusing. I think I just didn’t quite wrap my head around what was happening and I was so excited to be reading the book and finishing it that I think I rushed through the ending and ended up confused on the details and these aren’t books you can rush. Knowing it was coming, I paid much more attention and listening to audio really helps because my eyes can’t skip across the page and miss something!
  • FORGETFUL. Not gonna lie… I remembered the things that stood out to me and forgot a lot of the details that actually happened in this book. BUT it was that much more exciting to re-read it! Like the Gray Man. Totally forgot how his story even closed in this book!
  • CONFUSED. … at why Kavinsky’s voice sounded like Christopher Walken on this audio hahaha. It did not seem like an appropriate voice for him, but okay.
  • IMPATIENT. I just didn’t want to put this audiobook down! This series is just so engrossing and all-encompassing.
  • RONAN-CENTRIC.loved learning so much more about Ronan in the book… In a way, it made me feel less and more for him. It’s sort of like the more you know about something, the less mysterious it is BUT those moments of Ronan affection really make you realize exactly how important and extraordinary they are.
  • SHIPPY. With all of the fan art and non-canon things I see floating around Tumblr, it was definitely important for me to re-read and experience each and every one of these relationships again. Not that I have anything against non-canon things but it does muddy things up a bit in my head sometimes!
  • CONTEMPLATIVE. I just keep thinking about ALL the things we learn in this book, what we already know from THE RAVEN BOYS, and what readers will learn in BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE and omg. It’s overwhelming. HOW WILL THIS END. I also fear for Gansey. 


Re-read it!

You MUST re-read these book if you’re a fan of the series at all. I can tell you they just get even more magical.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE DREAM THIEVES


Pub Date [17] | Halloween + Horror

Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: Halloween + Horror

We did a Halloween theme last year but it’s my favorite holiday (or one of them) and I can’t resist posting about it basically all the time! I’m a total chicken when it comes to scary stuff so I THINK we were supposed to do some horror and scary books which… I really don’t do. I’ve tried and ghost books scare the pants off of me and I don’t do much else in the horror department. I DO have a review copy of DEAD INVESTIGATION from Macmillan which involves *gulp* ghosts so I’m hoping it’s a fun and light paranormal mystery and not “scare the pants off Brittany”!

dead investigation

I also love this time of year because I LOVE fall beers. Bring on the pumpkin!!! Summer is also a fantastic beer-drinking season with all of the crisp and fruity flavors but you can’t beat pumpkin beers, Oktoberfests, and apple flavors. Yummmm! I bought this sampler pack of Magic Hat because OBVIOUSLY and I forgot how much I enjoy their beers! I recently had Magic Hat #9 when we were out to dinner and it’s pretty delicious. The other beers in this sampler were also wonderful and naturally I gravitated towards it because of their pumpkin offering which may be close to one of my favorite pumpkin beers!

magic hat beer

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

Recent Beers 

  • Iowa Pale Ale by Millstream Brewing. American IPA // 5.70% ABV. We headed over the border into Iowa the other weekend and this was one of the beers we had! It was… heavy. Not hop-heavy but super malty. I was hoping for something lighter but it was still all right!
  • Espress-oat Coffee Porter by Galena Brewing Company. Porter // 5.80% ABV. I don’t drink a lot of porters but holy cow this was amazing. I honestly felt like I was drinking coffee. It was so fantastic!
  • Promiscuou’s Apostrophe by Solemn Oath Brewing. Belgian IPA // 4.80% ABV. I feel like I’m liking Solemn Oath’s beers more and more lately! I had this one in a flight while we were out to dinner and it was quite delicious!

** Beer styles and alcohol content from the Untappd app **
** Drink responsibly ** 

Are you a beer fan? On the Untappd app? Add me as a friend!

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Becky Wallace

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

I am SO thrilled to have Becky Wallace on the Book and a Beverage feature today! If you don’t know her debut, THE STORYSPINNER, then get thee to a bookstore or a website where they sell this book ASAP because it was one of my favorites of 2015 and I am so incredibly excited for its sequel THE SKYLIGHTER that comes out in March 2016! I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about Becky Wallace and her books today on the feature — and don’t miss the giveaway for THE STORYSPINNER at the end of the post!

Give a big welcome to author BECKY WALLACE!


Name: Becky Wallace
You know her best as the author of… THE STORYSPINNER (3/3/15), THE SKYLIGHTER (3/22/16)

The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles, #1)          The Skylighter (The Keepers' Chronicles, #2)

THE STORYSPINNER: Amazon // Goodreads
THE SKYLIGHTER: Amazon // Goodreads



What are you reading? I just borrowed a HUGE stack of books from a friend, and the book on top is Truthwitch.  So I think I’ll dive into that first. I can’t wait! I’ve heard a lot of good things 20150930_145030about it.  Other than that, I just finished re-reading Rae Carson’s The Bitter Kingdom series. It had been a long time since I’d read all the books, and I really wanted to jump back into Elisa’s world.
What’s important that we should know about this book?
Two things: First, the world building is fantastic. From the varied landscapes, to the different personalities of the cities, to the type of food, it’s all brilliantly realized.  And second,The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3) HECTOR. If I say anything else, it will be spoilery.  I don’t want to spoil Hector for anyone.  Would you recommend it? For fantasy lovers, most definitely!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Hmmm…it really depends on who is asking. For fantasy lovers who want a strong romance, I always suggest The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.  For readers who want a thrilling ride, I’d say Tracked by Jenny Martin and Nil by Lynne Matson.  And for contemporary folks, I always, always suggest Stephanie Perkins’s, Anna and the French Kiss.


What can you tell us about your current work in progress? It’s very different from anything I’ve written before, while still being fantasy. The main character is not a particularly nice person….but I love her!  She’s a little manipulative, crafty, flirtatious, and smart. She has a tendency to do awful things for completely logical reasons. Her love interest is her perfect foil. He’s patient, kind, and thoughtful. He’s passionate about solving a family mystery, and the main character is standing in his way. I love it. I just hope the rest of the world will too!
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I’m an uncomfortable hybrid. I tend to write the stuff that pops into my head, but my agent and editors need to see outlines and proposal. So I do a bit of both!
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? Honestly, I love to write in my kitchen, but it’s been invaded by a baby monkey (or my two-year-old daughter), who climbs on the counter and pounds on my laptop. Sadly I’ve been relegated to using the office I share with my husband.  My view is not fabulous. I get to stare at the back of his monitor.  

3What are you drinking? A dirty Diet Coke (Diet Coke with coconut syrup). It’s fabulous and
refreshing, and the only way I can stand Diet Soda. When it’s empty there’s all that delicious ice to chomp on. Bonus!

What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? When I can’t get to Sonic, which is far too often, I really like drinking water with an obscene amount of lemon slices or Mt. Dew Kickstart.

thoughtprovokingIf you could co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? Nicole Castroman (author of Blackhearts out February 9, 2016!) is one of my best friends and critique partners. We’ve been bouncing some ideas around about coauthoring, but we’re always stuck between deadlines and life. Someday a Light Fantasy (Historical Fantasy, if that’s a thing??) based loosely on the German Feudal system will make its way onto the page.
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Growing up, I was 100 percent Hermione. Super student, super bossy, super bad hair?? Yes. That was me. Maybe still is. Sigh.
If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? Of my own characters?  It would, without question, be Dom. I could write a whole book of that slightly naughty, work avoiding, guilt-ridden character. He is so much fun!
What type of scene is your favorite to write? Kissing scenes! I could write kissing scenes all day long. Sometimes when I get stuck in a story, I fast forward to the next kissing scene and write that to get my brain functioning.  I have sooooo many make out scenes that will never see that light of day. Sad face.  

 A huge, huge thank you to Becky Wallace for being on Book and a Beverage today! I’m so thrilled and honored!
Pretty much a big fat YES to all of your recommendations (and those that I haven’t read are going on my TBR because I’ve loved every other one!) and that dirty diet Coke sounds delicious!!
And of course, I am all for more stories about Dom. Love him. 


Becky Wallace
is the author of THE STORYSPINNER and its sequel, THE SKYLIGHTER (available March 22, 2016from Simon & Schuster). She lives in a happy little village in Texas with her own real-life Prince Charming and their four munchkins.

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Connect With Becky
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Would you like to win a copy of THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace? (The answer is yes, YOU DO!) Just enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter! Becky is generously giving a book away to one lucky winner! US residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 

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Blog Tour: A Madness So Discreet | Author Interview + Giveaway!

Madness Tour Banner

Welcome to the blog tour for

Today I’m on the blog tour for A MADNESS SO DISCREET hosted by Irish Banana Tours and Harper Teen! I am SO excited to share my interview with Mindy McGinnis with you today and talk to you about A MADNESS SO DISCREET! Before we hop into the interview, let’s have a refresher on the book first!

Blog Tour: A Madness So Discreet | Author Interview + Giveaway!Title: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Publishing Info: October 6, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 29, 2015

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.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook | The Book Depository


Brittany: I really enjoyed that A Madness So Discreet is a historical horror/thriller novel! Did you have any specific references or influences from history when creating the setting and characters?
Mindy McGinnis: Yes, definitely! For setting I was relying heavily on the history of the Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio. It was a beacon of moral treatment in the late 1800’s for the insane. Characters I always allow to grow and inform me on their own time. I start with a shell and let the story make them, so, no historical influences there.

B: I just loved the gothic horror feel of the book. Did you have any specific inspirations for this time period while writing Madness
MM: Not necessarily. I love the 1890’s because it was a huge cultural change for a lot of people. Technology was moving forward in leaps and bounds, medicine was changing, schools of thought across the board were morphing constantly. There was a lot of quiet upheaval going on, which relates well to the book.

B: Are there any awesome trivia facts or anecdotes about the writing and creation of Madness (I recently read that you wrote it in three weeks!)? 
MM: Ha! Yeah, I did write the majority of it (probably 90%) in three weeks. I was confused about when my deadline was, and writerare better at procrastinating than actually writing. So… that was interesting. I don’t recommend it, although I was immersed in the world.

B: What did you find the most challenging about writing a historical fiction piece?
MM: I researched for an entire year before writing a word of this book. There was much to learn – the beginnings of criminal psychology, the history of asylum medicine (both the good and the bad), and of course historical details in general. What kind of lighting would be in a room in 1890? What would an asylum inmate be wearing? I’m very particular, and there were days when I couldn’t finish a sentence without doing half an hour of research in order to make sure I got it (hopefully) right.

B: The different locations throughout the book were so vivid for me! Did you have a favorite setting within the book or one that was exciting to have the characters explore? 
MM: The Athens Lunatic Asylum in Ohio has an amazing history. You can do a quick Google and learn about how it’s one of the most haunted places in the world and hear horror stories about the graveyard. And while I’m a fan of the supernatural, I’m also a fan of data. That type of history doesn’t interest me, because most of it quite frankly, just isn’t true.
I toured the buildings, which are now part of the Ohio University campus. You can’t go into the patient wards for safety reasons (they are literally crumbling), but some parts of the building are currently in use as staff offices as well as an art gallery. The gallery is open to the public, and when you visit you can see original floors, staircases and woodwork from the insane asylum years. Definitely hit up my Pinterest board if you want to see some pics from my tour!
You can most definitely repost some of my pics from Pinterest, just make sure if you use any of the older ones that you use the attribution that I did, b/c some of those actually belong to University Archives.

B: Is this book the start and end of A Madness So Discreet or do you think you will revisit it somehow (novella? Companion? Inspiration for another historical novel?) at a later date?
MM: I would love to write more in this series. I have an outline for another Grace / Dr. Thornhollow adventure, but it is unsold, as of this interview. If Madness does well, that could change!


Mindy McGinnisMindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

A big, big thank you to Mindy McGinnis for this awesome interview! I had an absolute blast and it’s always so neat learning more about the writing process and inspiration before and after reading the book! 

Be sure to check out all of the other awesome blogs and post on this tour! There are some truly great posts in store for you!


There is also a tour-wide giveaway! One Winner Will Receive a Harper Teen Horror-themed prizepack! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please!

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Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) – Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: September 1, 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 29, 2015
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

The queen has returned.
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 has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. 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.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


** This review will contain spoilers for the previous three books in the series but NO specific plot spoilers for QUEEN OF SHADOWS, however, if you have not read QUEEN OF SHADOWS yet, you may consider some things I talk about in my review to be minor spoilers (about the romance!) so reader beware! ** 

QUEEN OF SHADOWS was just utter, utter perfection for me. I was a bit of a late-comer to the Sarah J. Maas fandom having just started the Throne of Glass series last year (I binge read the first three books right as HEIR OF FIRE came out) and I absolutely fell in love. Even though it’s been a year since I’ve been immersed in this world, picking up QUEEN OF SHADOWS just felt so comfortable and I easily fell back into all of the magic that this series has to offer. It’s hard to review the 4th book in a major series without giving plot points away so I’m going to stay off of plot (for the most part) and try to talk about more about specific elements of the book that I enjoyed as well as how the book seems to be standing up to criticisms (yes, people have them and I don’t understand them).

One thing that I’m always incredibly impressed with is Sarah’s ability to really make this series one long story. Even though it’s broken up into six books, each novel relates back to another in the series and I’m always so impressed with not only how they tie in to one another but also how they are constantly connected right from the beginning and we only get to find out those connections as we dive further into the series.

I also really just love how this book feels like “coming home”. Reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS gave me that feeling of “Yes, I love this world. I know this world. This is where my heart belongs” and I feel that each time I read the next book in the series. Sarah J. Maas does a fantastic job of making these books come alive in every possible way. The settings and world building are incredible and I really do feel like I’m experiencing the novel as I’m reading it — I’m fully immersed. The characters and their personalities really just come to life and I feel like I’ve really come to know these people and places.

I’m constantly impressed with the character growth throughout this series as well. If you look at Celaena/Aelin from THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE or THRONE OF GLASS and Aelin in QUEEN OF SHADOWS, she’s a totally different person and I love seeing how much she’s grown throughout the course of these books. She went from arrogant teenager into blossoming queen and it’s been amazing to witness that slow and subtle transition. She’s really grown so much and she’s starting to own this queen-business and I am 100% behind her!
I was actually surprised that character growth seemed to be a negative thing in some reviews… I did a rather silly thing and read some one and two star reviews because I couldn’t fathom why people were so put off by the this book when I felt so in love with it and some people said that Aelin was totally different and where is old Celaena. But… YES! Of course she’s different! If the whole series had been about arrogant and cocky Celaena, I wouldn’t have liked it. There would have been no character growth at all. She’s been growing and changing this whole time and I think most of that happened in HEIR OF FIRE so I was kind of shocked that this — what I felt was slight — change in demeanor was so surprising and so many people were taken aback. I think Aelin has been growing up this whole series and I’ve been so impressed with the changes she’s made! I think she still has the same personality but because of her goals, because of what she’s been through, and because of what she’s learned, she’s changing from a girl into a young woman and handling herself differently. You can’t be a spoiled and arrogant queen.

The way the romantic feelings have evolved and changed have also been handled extremely well. Personally, I was never a Chaol/Celaena shipper. I would have been happy if they ended up together (hey, they still might — series isn’t over yet) but I was never fully invested in it for some reason. Things really start to change in QUEEN OF SHADOWS and as these characters grow, they start to explore their true romantic feelings and pulls even more and in some cases, they’re not quite what they used to be. It sort of felt like growing out of your old high school crush or boyfriend — what you had in common when you were younger may no longer be applicable and as people grow, they tend to change and refocus their goals, what’s important in life, and who a perfect match for them might be. I felt like that’s what happened with Aelin and Chaol. Maybe Celaena and Chaol would have worked well together but I don’t think Aelin and Chaol are meant to be. They’ve both been through a lot throughout the course of this series and their end goal is still the same but their paths may not be quite identical anymore. I think both characters started to realize this, especially in QUEEN OF SHADOWS.

Of course, the story itself was just amazing. QUEEN OF SHADOWS was a hefty book at over 650 pages and there was so much that happened… and none of it ever felt unnecessary. I never tired while reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS and wished I could stay within these pages long after the book ended. I was constantly captivated and didn’t want to put the book down! Sarah J. Maas is an expert story teller and I could get lost in the pages of her books forever. I’m a huge fan of this series and Sarah’s stories and I will be forever anticipating new works from her! This series is incredibly well-done and I can’t wait to see where else this plot takes us.


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

queen of shadows goodreads


Aelin // Character Obsessions: Defeat of the Valg, protecting the kingdom.
I am so impressed with how much Aelin has grown throughout this series. I’ve loved witnessing her changes and how she’s been handling things in the past couple books. She’s still the same badass and has that same personality/attitude, but her focus has changed so much more now that she’s owned being the Queen of Terrasen.
Lysandra // Character Obsessions: Evangeline, debts, revenge.
There is SO much of THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE that we see coming back in QUEEN OF SHADOWS and guess what! Lysandra is back! I loved seeing the role she ended up playing in this book and I LOVE that it ties all the back to THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE.


Kept Me Hooked On: Epic epic fantasy. This is some EPIC epic fantasy. I love how books and series like this just fully pull me in and make me feel like I’m a part of the story.
Left Me Wanting More: Manon/Aelin encounters. I’m still enjoying the Blackbeak side of the story BUT I do wish there was a bit more connection to the main plot. I love Manon and I’ve been so happy to learn more about her but I can’t wait for this half of the book to tie in some more!

Addiction Rating

This is easily one of my all-time favorite series. The books, the characters, the world-building, the writing — all have grown throughout the series and I just can’t get enough.



(Click the cover to see my review!)

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) – Patrick Rothfuss   A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin