Tag Archives: Leigh Bardugo

Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2013 (Chicago): Recap, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Leigh Bardugo, Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin
Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 was a magical day for me. Macmillan asked me to be the featured blogger at the Fierce Reads tour event at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL and I literally did   a happy dance when I got the offer (and immediately accepted, of course). For my super special blogger duties, I got to sit down for an interview with all four Fierce Reads authors, live tweet the event, and I have a fantastic giveaway for you as well!

I had a blast interviewing the Fierce Reads ladies! Let’s see what they had to say!
(Portions edited for time and reading purposes and will not affect the overall outcome of the show interview.)

Brittany: We’re all here for the Fierce Reads tour so let’s kick it off by talking about what your favorite fierce reads of all time are.
Leigh Bardugo: Okay! I’ve got one. The Grounding of Group 6 by Julian F. Thompson. It is out of print but this is a book about a group of kids who are problem kids who get sent to a new private school and they go to orientation except really Group 6 is every year designated to be murdered — Their parents have sent them off to be killed. (Surprised looks on our faces) YES! It’s an amazing book and when I was a kid, I was sure this is what my parents were going to do to me.
Brittany: That’s terrible!
Leigh: It would make a great movie. They don’t all die! Some of them get their shiz together.
Jessica Brody: I’m gonna go with the obvious answer which is The Hunger Games. I thought that was AHmazing. I read that in a day and I normally take like two weeks to read books. It was the only book where when I put it down I felt like I was missing something. I was like, “Don’t do anything without me! Don’t kill anyone else until I get back!”
(Penn Gilette walks by in the background (He was at a signing for Anderson’s that night as well) and we all talk about Penn Gilette for a few minutes and how he got the spot in the main store and somehow Fierce Reads ended up in the gift shop. Sidenote: This made me majorly sad because HI. Fierce Reads. More important than Penn Gilette!)
Leigh: Fierce Read?
Gennifer Albin: I’ve forgotten every book I’ve ever read now. Penn Gilette wiped them from my mind.
Ann Aguirre: Do you mean fierce in action or fierce in…?
B: In any way you want!
Leigh: Emotionally fierce?
Ann: I think one of the books that had the most impact on me was actually Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
Genn: I always have such weird answers.
B: Weird is good!
Leigh: Weird is the new fierce! Fierce is the new weird. Fierd. Weirce?
Genn: Ummm.
Ann: Just say Harry Potter and move on!
Genn: My primary reading of all time is in the 18th century and no one will know what I’m talking about!
(We move on to question two)
B: If you were a character in one of your own books — and it does not have to be a main character AND if you feel like you should be someone else, you can even invent a new one.
Jessica: In any of our books?
B: Yes!
Jessica: Well, I would like to be Lexington Larrabee in 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Leigh: And I would like to be your friend! Your dear, dear friend.
Jessica: Well, I would want to be her after she does all the jobs… She’s got a pretty glam life. I would just like her closet! That would be enough for me.
Leigh: I would like to be a member of Sturmhond’s crew in Siege and Storm except that I get really seasick! So instead I think I’m gonna be.. I’m gonna be a Fabrikator, maybe one in charge of delicious snacks, who lives in the grand palace and stays far away from any battles.
Jessica: You’re just the snack maker!
Ann: That’s the problem I have with all of my books! I just want to stay home. I’m like Frodo… or Bilbo. I don’t want to go out and have adventures!
Leigh:  Stay in the Shire, Ann!
Ann: I guess I’d be Mama Oaks because she doesn’t have to go out and fight and I would probably cook things instead of sew things as she does, but she is a homebody character and she takes care of people.
Genn: I don’t know… who would I want to be in my books?
Leigh: Cormac?
Jessica: Yeah, I was gonna say Cormac!
Leigh: Walk around in a tux, drinking my tea…
(Genn reveals possible spoilers!)
Jessica: I want to be the secret character from the end!
Genn: Yeah, that’s actually who I would choose too.
Ann: You can’t be that character!
Genn: Well, there’s lots of reasons why I can’t be that character… Not the least of which is that (… possible Altered spoiler?)
Leigh: It’s me, I put myself in a book!
(Laughter)
Leigh: That would be the best twist! (More laughter) If like, all of sudden your character was like, “And then Leigh Bardugo walked in!” And you just wrote yourself in, Being John Malkovich-style!
Genn: “I’ve been controlling YOU the whole time while you control the fabric of reality!”

B: Your dreams have come true and you get to live in one of your favorite books or series! What’s the book or series that you would choose and who’s the one person you’d bring with you?
Leigh: I can answer for Genn! Harry Potter!! But we don’t know who you would bring.
Jessica: She’d bring her son James because he dressed as Harry Potter! She’d bring her husband!
Genn: I’d sacrifice myself and let them go together.
Ann: Would you really!?
Jessica: That is really stupid! (Laughter)
Leigh: Well I would have to say it would have been Harry Potter but I’m gonna go with Howl’s Moving Castle. As for who I’d bring with me…. I’d bring my friend Morgan. She’s very charming! She could charm everybody there. She’d be the master of charm and I’d just follow in her wake.
Ann: I would like to go into the Stat Trek universe.
Leigh: Which one?
Ann: The Reboot. The alternate universe they’re doing with Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine.
Leigh: I’ve changed my mind. Can I bring Henry Cavill? I would like to bring him.
B: Of course!
Ann: AND, I would like to bring MacGuyver.
B: Oh, there you go!
Leigh: (Laughing) You’ll end up with just the actor! You’ll end up with Richard Dean Anderson and he’ll be like, “I don’t know how to do anything! Stop handing me paperclips!”
Ann: I want MacGuyer, NOT Richard Dean Anderson. So any problem we have in the Star Trek universe he can fix with a roll of duct tape… and a pancake.
Jessica: I’m gonna go with the shallow answer and say The Uglies series so I can make myself pretty!
Leigh: Don’t they like, mess with your head!?
Jessica: Yes, I will be a bubblehead! But I will be very pretty and drink champagne every day!
Leigh: You can do that now! Who would you take with you?
Jessica: Oh! I would take… my sister.
Ann: Because she’s really homely.
(Laughter)
Jessica: No, because she really, really loves that series and I thought she might like it.

B: Lots of people like to know your favorite literary crush but I want to know your favorite literary villains.
Ann: (Answers right away) Snape!
Leigh: But he’s not a villain!
Jessica: He kind of is.
Genn: He has his moments! He’s an antagonist.
Ann: I’m not gonna lie… If I was at Hogwarts, I would be the teacher’s pet.
Leigh: You’re from Hufflepuff — he never would have given you a second look!
(Everyone “aw”s)
Leigh: You can come to the Slythern common room with me.
Ann: I would just follow him and stare at him with big eyes.
Leigh: Does it have to be literary?
B: You can venture out of literary.
Leigh: Because I’m gonna have to go with Jareth, the Goblin King from the Labyrinth.
B: Ooooooh.
Ann: If we’re doing movies, I’m gonna add Riddick!
Leigh: And I’m also going to add Flagg from Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon — not so much in The Stand. Flagg keep showing up in his work. But yeah, both of those were big influences on the characters in the Grisha trilogy. (Brittany sidenote: I’m now picturing the The Darkling as Jareth.)
Genn: I almost always root for the villains. Is that bad?
B: Not at all! One of my best friends loves the villains.
Jessica: I’m gonna be a kiss-ass and say Cormac Patton!
(Laughter)
Jessica: He’s a great villain! Oh! And President Snow.
Leigh: He’s a really good villain.
Jessica: He smells like blood and roses.
Leigh: (in a creepy voice) He drinks blood!
Jessica: They should release a perfume line.
Leigh: You know, don’t put it past them!
Ann: Scratch and sniff!
Leigh: Like, you scratch Donald Sutherland’s beard and it smells like blood and roses!
Genn: You know who is one of the most delicious villains because I actually HATE them? I hate them with every fiber of my being like my skin crawls and that makes them such a beautiful villain to me is Dolores Umbridge.
All: OOOOOOH
Genn: She’s the villain of bureaucracy!
Leigh: She’s probably the most evil character of the whole series! And she’s so plausible. We’ve all encountered somebody like her.
Genn: She’s SO well-written. She gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Ann: Is it, “The odds are ever in your favor” lady?
Genn: Nooo, she’s the one who wears the pink wool suit in Harry Potter… “I will not tell lies”…
Ann: OHHHH oh oh oh. And she takes over everything, right?
Jessica: With all the kitty plates!
Leigh: Remember that teacher I had that told me I would never amount to anything? She was my Umbridge and her office was decorated all with Scottie dogs and when I read that character, the hair rose on my arms.
Ann: I think we’ve all had some permutation.
Leigh: That’s why she’s so terrifying. Voldemort it’s like, “You’ve got no nose! Saw you coming! Kinda knew you were band news!”
B: That’s what’s so terrible. Because everything’s under a mask of niceness!
Jessica: Kitties!
Genn: I think she thinks she’s doing right and that she’s making the best decisions. I think that’s what makes a good villain a good villain.
Leigh: I would actually love to read her backstory. Like what makes a Dolores Umbridge a Dolores Umbridge.

B: Do you have any quirky reading and/or writing habits?
Ann: I am a gluttonous reader… I have to be really careful about starting a book after midnight. Even if it’s terrible, I will most like read it until it’s done and even if that takes me all night long and I’ve got no sleep and it’s time to get up in the morning and then make breakfast, I’m like “I regret everything about the decision making I’ve done for the last eight hours…” So I have to be reasonable about my start times otherwise I will get no sleep.
Genn: I do the same, but I regret nothing!
Leigh: My weird reading habit is I will never stop reading on the fourth page, or the twenty-fourth page or any page number that ends in a four.
Jessica: That is very strange!
Genn: If you want Leigh Bardugo to read your book paginated —
Leigh: I’ll never be able to stop!
B: What if it’s the last page of the chapter?
Leigh: I will go on to the next chapter.
Jessica: Where does that come from?
Leigh: Ever since I was a kid, I had a hang up with the number four. It’s not like to the extent where it’s real OCD but I’m aware of it all the time. And even if I write an email, I have to make myself — if there are four things in a list, I’m like, “I need a fifth!” or like “Number Five, because I don’t like four things in a list!” It’s pretty common actually! Number obsessions. And I didn’t know that until I was listening to this radio show one night and he was like, “I have a problem with odd numbers,” and I was like, “I have a problem with even numbers!”
Jessica:I guess my weirdest thing is that I’m obsessed with Audible audiobooks and I listen to them all at two times speed. And everyone thinks that really weird AND the misconception about two times speed is that everyone thinks it sounds like a chipmunk but they don’t actually speed up the voice — they just take out the gaps between the words so it really is just someone reading it faster.
Leigh: I wonder if the books seem more exciting because of that!
Jessica: I think they do! And anyone who gets in my car and there’s an audiobook playing, their head spins, like “What are you listening to!? I’m going to have an aneurysm!”

B: November is National Novel Writing Month! Are you working on any new projects for NaNo or  in general?
Jessica: I’m just trying to finish the third book in my trilogy so that’s my NaNo… My every day, really!
Ann: I cleared my desk before I left for tour so I got notes two days before we left from my editor and I was like, “We’re going on the road! I hope you don’t expect these revisions back any time soon!” So that’s what I’m going to be doing November is revising, before I can write new words.
Leigh: I don’t really do NaNo in the sense that I don’t post my word count and I try to avoid other people’s word counts, but I do like to use it to get things done and I knew I wasn’t going to write while I was on tour so before tour, I cranked out almost 30,000 words and I”m hoping to jump back in when I get home. We’ll see. I usually need some decompression time when I just lie around watching all the old episodes of Project Runway!
Genn: Now for me is like the holiday season? It’s like the whole year just starts over for me. It starts with NaNo and then your whole writing year starts over that’s just how it is for me BECAUSE my first book was written during NaNo. So I’m really, really eager to get home to and actually do something towards it because I kept telling myself I would write on the road… It’s really, really hard to write on tour because you’re like “Well, I’ll do it tonight because there’ll be time after the event” and then you just sit in bed and you’re like, “My brain is made of jello!” But I will be doing NaNo… We have the Night of Writing Dangerously so I do have to write something before that because I can’t walk in like, “Listen to me give you advice! I’m going to give you a speech but I haven’t written a damn word in November!” Do as I say, not as I do!

That interview was an absolute blast. Everyone was so much fun and they had really creative answers! Sorry I had such difficult questions! Another MANY MANY thanks to Leigh Bardugo, Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin! They were absolutely fantastic and I had such a blast!

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Ann Aguirre, Gennifer Albin, Leigh Barugo, me, and Jessica Brody (sorry my iPhone takes truly terrible pictures. Time for an upgrade!)

Okay, okay, I know you want to get to the giveaway. It’s pretty EPIC if I do say so myself. Firstly, a huge thanks to Macmillan for providing all of the books for this giveaway! I got to take a whole stack of literally ALL of the featured Fierce Reads series that are currently available (and some that are not!) and get them signed by the authors. Here’s what we have to offer:

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UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody  (Unreleased ARC!)
UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody (Hardcover)
CREWEL by Gennifer Albin (Paperback)
ALTERED by Gennifer Albin (Hardcover)
ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre (Paperback)
OUTPOST by Ann Aguirre (Paperback)
HORDE by Ann Aguirre (Hardcover)
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo (Paperback)
SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo (Hardcover)

The winner will receive ALL NINE BOOKS. That’s right. ALL NINE. ALL SIGNED. How exciting is that!?! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below! Winners must be 13 years of age or older and the shipping address must be US or Canada only. Sorry, International!

Runners up will receive some various Fierce Reads swag! You could win a Fierce Reads tote bag, Fierce Reads posters, and swag from the books! If you want to win some swag, just let me know when you fill out your Rafflecopter entry!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fan Art: Game of Thrones Sigils for Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy

A couple weeks ago, Alyssa was reading SHADOW AND BONE for the first time so naturally, we got in a grand discussion about it. We looked up all of the Grisha powers and decided which ones we would be (I’m a Squaller, in case you were wondering). I was looking at Leigh Bardugo’s website with those fantastically designed sigils/shields for each of the Grisha Orders and the idea came to my head to create sigils for the main characters, Game of Thrones style. The GoT ones are generally a bit plane, so I took my own liberties in adding some extra flourishes because hey. It’s my art. I can!

So without further ado, here are the sigils I created for The Darkling, Alina, Sturmhond, and Mal.

THE DARKLING

TheDarklingSigil

lines

ALINA

AlinaStarkov

lines

STURMHOND

Sturmhond

lines

MAL

Mal

 

That’s it for now! If you choose to use these pictures or re-post them anywhere, PLEASE link back to me! 🙂 Hope you all enjoy them!
I’m thinking of doing this for more series as well… Knowing my love for The Lunar Chronicles, that will probably be next haha! If anyone has any recommendations or suggestions, I’m always open! I am by no means a photoshop pro, but I have fun with my amateur skills and I think these turned our pretty well!

 

Review: Shadow and Bone Novellas + Extras

    

The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5)
The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5)
The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5)
by Leigh Bardugo

Completed: June 18, 2013
Source: The Witch of Duva + The Too Clever Fox read on Tor.com; The Tailor read on Facebook.com (all available to read for FREE!)
Genre: Fantasy
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha#1) // Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) // Casting Call: Shadow and Bone // Five Good Reasons to Read Recap! // Fierce Reads Tour 2012 Recap

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The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo is easily one of my favorite series (dare I say it) of all time, so when I was having a bad day at work the other day, I snuck in all three of these series extras to brighten my day. Granted, they’re not all exactly bright and sunny stories, but good writing will always make me feel better, even if the content is a little on the darker side!

THE WITCH OF DUVA

I started with THE WITCH OF DUVA, which is a Ravkan folk tale about… well, the witch of Duva. Girls keep disappearing mysteriously with only the slightest trace left behind. In the suffering town of Duva, the girls no longer wander alone and parents try to keep their girls indoors for fears that the witch will snatch them up and take them away. This tale follows Nadya, her father Maxim, and his father’s new love interest Karina Stoyanova who Nadya suspects may be the town’s awful witch.
This story was dark for sure — it reminded me a bit of Hansel and Gretel from Nadya’s encounters with a real witch who lives deeper in the woods and a few events that occurred towards the end of the tale. Pieces of the tale were a bit shocking, others gruesome, others enlightening. While I suppose all folk tales & fairy tales are fictional (or at least fiction based on possibly true stories), this really felt like I was reading a fairy tale that has existed for centuries. Even the fact that fans of The Grisha Trilogy get to read these folk tales really makes the world come alive that much more. I feel like these characters are real people by getting this extra layer of their history.

THE TAYLOR

THE TAYLOR is a snippet of SHADOW AND BONE told from Genya’s point of view. Genya was actually one of my favorite characters from SHADOW AND BONE because of her personality and her friendship with Alina. Although THE TAYLOR is listed to come in between books one and two, I’m actually glad that I read it after SIEGE AND STORM because of certain events in book two that show another side of her character. I don’t think it will spoil anything to read it before S&S, but for me personally, I was glad to know a bit more about her character as a whole before starting THE TAYLOR.
It was nice to read about Genya because we not only get her point of view from one of her encounters with The Darkling (Helloooooo, Darkling!), but also we receive a little backstory of how Genya came to work for the Queen, how their relationship evolved and deteriorated, and what really goes on behind the scenes in the palace. It was just a quick little snippet (only 15 pages), but I was glad to have that little something extra from Genya!

THE TOO-CLEVER FOX

In SIEGE AND STORM, Alina compares Sturmhond to the Too-Clever Fox so it was really fun to be able to read the folk tale that accompanied this thought. I feel like The Too-Clever Fox is really somewhat of a fable more than just a tale because there’s a nice little “moral of the story” at the end and we learn something from the fox’s encounters in this tale.
I loved how clever the fox was and there were even some tiny twists, making the entire tale clever in itself. This story wasn’t as gruesome as THE WITCH OF DUVA, but it’s also not without it’s own touch of villains and it does get a little dark at times. It’s billed as #2.5, but really this can be read at any point in time in the series. It’s another folk tale, like THE WITCH OF DUVA, so there really aren’t any spoilers or major plot points for the series.

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Go read them! All three of these are available to read online for FREE (I think you have to ‘like’ some content on Facebook before you can read The Taylor, but still free) and they were really great additions to add more depth to the series. Leigh Bardugo is a master at her craft and I easily got swept away in each of these short stories.

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     Shadow and bone      Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 4, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 30, 2014
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Darkness never dies. Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

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OMG, YOU GUYS. Siege & Storm. SIEGE AND STORM!! It was amazing. And now I need to write a review for it… Where do I even start? So right off the bat, I was in love with SIEGE & STORM. This book hits the ground running with lots of exciting action, reuniting readers immediately with Alina & Mal, and introducing one of my favorite new characters, Sturmhond. I have to say that the action throughout the book was incredible. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book — there are periods of time where the story slows down and we get more of a slow build to the overall plot, but even that was exciting! I honestly took a step back from the book and sat there in awe as I was reading because I had to wonder how Leigh Bardugo not only came up with this story and its details, but observed how well it was written. Leigh Bardugo’s writing is eloquent, exciting, funny, thoughtful… The book honestly amazed me from start to finish.

The characters that Leigh Bardugo has developed all feel so REAL. We definitely see a new Alina in the end of SHADOW & BONE and we continue to see how she’s changing even more by coming into her power in SIEGE & STORM. I felt like Mal was much more present in this book than he was in S&B, at least for me personally. I didn’t really get into the romance until the end of Shadow & Bone and although I felt like it was still a little slow to develop in SIEGE & STORM as well, it was still SO good and I think I much prefer it that way than introducing it too soon. The romance didn’t take over the story because really, the primary focus is Alina’s powers and her role as possible savior of Ravka. The romance surely does help mold and shape this major plot line and it was wonderful to read, but I was just glad I felt like the powers and the magical elements were still the main focus of this book.

You may be happy (or unhappy) to know that The Darkling is still a major part of this book! I admit, I was a little concerned because for some reason I felt like he was going to fall into the background in book two, but nope. He is back with a vengeance and it’s delightfully wicked. Book two is (no pun intended) much darker than book one and readers really get to see more into the history of things as well, both from Alina’s side and The Darkling’s side. I loved all of the history/mythology/legends that we get as a background in SIEGE & STORM. Sometimes it’s not easy to picture a fabricated history as real, but I found myself gobbling it up and just wanting more and more clues, more and more details.

My final opinion of the book is that if you liked SHADOW & BONE, you’ll love SIEGE & STORM. I guess if you LOVED the first book, you’ll love this one even more (I hope)! I feel even more amazed than I was with book one. The plot and the characters are just SO well done and I felt like everything was just an expansion of what went on in SHADOW & BONE instead of introducing too many new things. This was truly a continuation of a series and it didn’t feel disjointed as so many second in a series do to me. I was overjoyed with how much I loved this book and I cannot WAIT for everyone to read it and love it as much as I did!!!

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You may notice from the reading progress picture above that I actually started SIEGE & STORM on April 8th and didn’t finish until April 30th. Usually that’s an extremely long time for me to read a book. Yes, I did put it down so I could read for a couple other obligations, but honestly? This was a book I wanted to savor. I really took my time reading it, made sure I was in the right frame of mind, and really did not want to rush through it at all. I really took it all in and to be honest, I kind of didn’t want it to end!

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Alina: Alina got way more complex in S&S! She’s definitely dealing with a lot and can even see herself changing… But it’s a slippery slope and it’s difficult to be a teenager AND be in love AND have powers AND save the world. All of her reactions and emotions felt so real, though. Sometimes with the main characters, I feel like too often their actions fit just to make the story work but this really seemed like I was watching Alina’s life and really seeing her make decisions. They weren’t always the right ones, but I could always understand what was going on in her head.
Mal: You know…. I wasn’t totally sold on Mal in S&B. I felt like he was MIA in part of the book so I was just missing that connection with him. Right from the beginning in S&S, I totally connected with him and I’m so glad he played such a huge part in so many different aspects of the story. I also have suspicions about him and I’m not sure if I’m just making something out of nothing, but I can’t wait to see his role in book three! Oh geez, that’s still so far away. How do I get into Leigh Bardugo’s mind to answer these questions…?
The Darkling: Ooooh boy, he sure is dark! The Darkling becomes an even more complex character and has a much creepier presence in S&S. I actually kind of loved him as a villain because I loved to hate him in this book. So many interesting things going on with his whole story as well! You just have to read it!!

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Buy it… NOW!

WHEWWWW holy cow. This book was SO good. This is the best I’ve felt about a book in a looong time and I’m just so over the moon right now.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SIEGE AND STORM

     Through the Ever Night      The Darkest Minds

Oh yeah, and there’s also a GIVEAWAYYYYY!!! I’m passing my ARC of Siege and Storm along to one lucky winner! Only thing you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Sorry, this giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only! Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Tuesday – February 26, 2013: Top Ten Authors on My Auto-Buy List

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

TOP TEN AUTHORS ON MY AUTO-BUY LIST
(Young Adult)

GF

 

No doubt about it that Gayle Forman is my number one answer to the question “Which authors are on my auto-buy list?” I have adored all of her works and after each book, I’m left dying for the next or to go back and re-read every book that’s come before it!

LO

Lauren Oliver is another author that I would follow to the ends of the Earth. I’m a little scared to be reading Requiem right now, but so far I’m enjoying it! I’m just praying the series wraps up well because I just always get scared when series end!! Anyway, Lauren Oliver’s writing is gorgeous and reading her books is always amazing!

WH copy

I fell in love with Sweet Evil over the summer and now I’m anxiously awaiting Sweet Peril! Before I knew what fangirling really was, I was fangirling for Sweet Evil! You can bet when SP comes out, I’m buying it immediately!

LDS

I just finished the last book in The Chemical Garden trilogy, Sever. I really enjoyed how Lauren DeStefano wrapped the series up (although I heard a lot of mixed reactions from people) and I look forward to purchasing anything else she writes!

SP

Anna and the French Kiss became an instant favorite when I read it. Although I wasn’t as big of a fan for Lola, I’m definitely buying any new books from Stephanie Perkins the nanosecond they come out!!

LBD

I never expected to like a fantasy book so much so when I read Shadow and Bone, I was blown away. I loved Leigh Bardugo’s writing and you can bet I’m barely able to contain my excitement for Siege & Storm!! I’ve also been able to meet Leigh Bardugo a few times and knowing that she’s such a genuinely nice person and how much fun she is makes it that much more exciting to pick up her books!

KM

I’ve only read The Sea of Tranquility but the sheer beauty of the book and the amazing characters that Katja Millay created has made me a believer! You can bet I’m getting this book when it comes out in print so it can have a home on my shelf and I’ll be buying any future books from this amazing author!

LM

What a fun debut from Lauren Morrill!! I had just a blast with her characters and a really great story line. I’d be happy to buy any new books from her!

RM

Okay, admittedly, I haven’t actually purchased any of Richelle Mead’s books. SAD. I know. I borrowed all of the Vampire Academy series from the library since I was zipping through them and I then I quickly caught up with Bloodlines in anticipation of The Indigo Spell. Richelle Mead technically hasn’t been an auto-buy author but she’s definitely an auto-read author for me!!

RLF

Same with Robin LaFevers – I borrowed Grave Mercy from the library, but absolutely plan on buying it because I loved it so much! I have Dark Triumph on my Kindle right now, but I’ll be buying that too when it comes out!!

 

So those are my auto-buy authors! Anyone we have in common? Looking forward to see other people’s picks this week!!

 

 

Shout Outs for my Fav Adult Auto-Buy Authors:

1. Meg Cabot (Yes, I know she writes YA too but for some reason I’ve only ever read her adult books)

2. Lisa Lutz

3. Janet Evanovich

4. JD Robb

Casting Call [6] – Shadow and Bone


Welcome to Casting Call, hosted by Tee @ YA Crush, Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Candice @ The Grown-Up YA, Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan, and of course, me too! Each Friday we’ll take a couple characters from our favorite books and discuss who we’d think would be perfect for the roles! And of course this gives us the opportunity as well to rehash our favorite parts of the story and swoon over all those dream literary crushes of ours.
Casting Call is now a weekly meme for you to join in on the fun! Just check out the schedule at any one of the host blogs and join us on Fridays!

First up this week, we’re casting for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo! If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick summary from Goodreads and a link to my original review:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

My original review:  Shadow and Bone from 8/26/12
Leigh Bardugo appearances: Five Good Reasons to Read Recap, Fierce Reads Tour

We are so excited to officially introduce this as a meme for everyone to participate in now! Since we’re all casting, we’re no longer breaking up the cast amongst up. Now each week, all of us will do the full cast of characters of our choice – and we look forward to seeing your picks as well!! 

The Darkling: I knew EXACTLY what I thought the Darkling looked like in this book. I don’t even think I need to explain my choice of Matt Bomer as his role in the Darkling. He would kill it.

Mia Wasikowska as Alina

Alina: Mia Wasikowska is my Alina, no doubt about that. I always pictured her looking something like Mia and even in the Q&A, Leigh Bardugo herself said that  she thought Mia would be good for the role! So… maybe that made me a little biased too.

Deborah Ann Woll as Gadya

Genya: I actually pictured Genya looking like a young Angie Everhart. Since we can’t go back in time, I had to pick a more age-appropriate choice.  I love Deborah-Ann Woll in True Blood and I think she’d be a great glamorous red-head for Genya.

Do you agree with my choices? Who would you have put in these roles? And as for every week, be sure to check out everyone else’s choices! Catch who they picked and show them some comment love too!

And don’t forget, this is a weekly meme for you to participate in too, so link up over at Teen Lit Rocks so we can see who your choices are!

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
Tee @ YA Crush
Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan

And don’t miss us next Friday when we cast The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting! 

*Disclaimer: In our development of this feature, we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays” back in 2010. Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities in  format, casting choices, etc are purely coincidental.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: June 5, 2012 by Macmillan
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 26, 2012
Related Posts: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

bookreview1

Once again I find myself singing the praises of high fantasy! I’d seen tons of praise for this book pretty much everywhere and after seeing Leigh Bardugo at Anderson’s Bookshop first on the Fierce Reads tour in June and again at Anderson’s on August 30th (although I actually finished the book before then!), just seeing her personality and hearing her talk about the book and how she came up with it really drove me to get into the story.

I absolutely loved the development of the Grisha and the story behind their history and abilities. It seemed utterly magical but as we learn more about the talents, there’s a little bit of practicality mixed in as well. It was really interesting to learn about and I found it quite unique.

Another thing I really enjoyed is that the romance aspect isn’t overdone. We first learn that Alina has developed a crush on Mal in the very beginning of the book, so that’s something we already know, but since Mal is also her best friend and pretty much only friend, that also makes him so much more to Alina. He’s incredibly important to her and it’s not just a lust factor. As for The Darkling….. well that’s just a pure lust situation!

So yes, I really loved where the story went and I loved how it all came together in the end! Leigh Bardugo’s writing was also extremely enjoyable and I loved the new elements that she brought to the story.

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Alina: I didn’t find myself like Alina so much as I could understand her. As an orphan, Alina grew up alone. She’s stubborn, she’s protective, she’s independent; it’s not like I’d want her for my friend but I admire her courage and determination to make the best of herself and the situation she came from. It did get a bit tiresome at first once Alina was figuring out her abilities and once she became part of the Grisha society that she spent most of her time trying not to be noticed and pining for Mal. But then the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. If you’re a person who’s not used to attention, it’s overwhelming when people are constantly praising you, following you around, and giving you special treatment. As a poor orphan, Alina never experienced anything like that before. Even though her ability is extraordinary, it’s now something that has put her in an uncomfortable spotlight and ripped her away from her only family – Mal.
The Darkling: **Mild spoiler alert in The Darkling section (it’s not really a spoiler, but if you want to be kept totally in the dark, skip this part!)** He’s mysterious, he’s sexy, he’s…. old? We find out that due to the nature of The Darkling’s power, it severely enlongates his life. He reveals to Alina that he’s well over 100 years old so um, thanks but no thanks? It’s kind of a TWILIGHT situation here (which somehow I was totally okay with in TWILIGHT but not okay with in SHADOW AND BONE — I don’t know — don’t ask me why). I can understand he looks sexy and he acts sexy, but.. but.. he’s an old man? So yeah, he totally just didn’t appeal to me after I heard that! Had the age not been a factor, we’d have a little bit of a swoon situation going on. After knowing that? Yipes.

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 Buy it!

This book was sooooo good. I’m SO glad I picked it up and really glad that the Anderson’s even introduced me to it!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SHADOW AND BONE