Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
Review + Photos + Giveaway

 Blog tour organized by Penguin Teen
See below for the full schedule 

Today I'm excited to be sharing my thoughts on Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead. In and among my review, I've included pictures of Mira's book in places you might find her in the story (or my interpretation of them at least). 

Midnight Jewel is the second in a companion series. See my thoughts on The Glittering Court as well. Aren't these books pretty together? I can't wait to add the third one to the collection.

About the Book: 

Midnight Jewel 
by Richelle Mead
Read: May 20 - 25, 2017
Published: June 27, 2017 by Razorbill
Source: Galley from publisher (TY Penguin!)
Tags: YA, 
Series: The Glittering Court Trilogy, book 2/3

What could Mira be up to near the docks at night?
Book Description: In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

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.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.


My Thoughts: 

It wasn't until I started Midnight Jewel that I realized the story would follow the same timeline as Adelaide's tale in The Glittering Court, but from a different point of view. I was surprised how much I liked that the book did this - though I didn't remember as much as I wish I had of the previous installment. It was fun to get a different perspective of this world, and find out everything happening with Mira, as it was clear she was up to a lot that Adelaide didn't know about. The stories also don't overlap many scenes, so it all feels fresh and not repetitive or stagnate. I thought of it as if the new story was adding on layers to the tale, and I enjoyed the added richness to a world and characters I'd already met. 

I imagine the house in which the girls live in Adoria might look like a stately 1800s home from New England.

Mira's book focuses much less on the lead up to their trip to Adoria, and a lot more on her time on the continent, especially her adventures at night in the city once they get there. This story contains a lot more intrigue and action than Adelaide's did. Mira is more street smart than Adelaide and takes a turn as spy and vigilante both in this book. Mira also has a very specific reason for joining The Glittering Court, and though she still doesn't come across as jaded and broken as Tamsin - Mira is still very much an idealist to Tamsin's harder dose of reality (and Adelaide's innocent naiveté), she's willing to make hard decisions to get what she wants. 

At night, you might find Mira having secret meetings in churches, or
 sneaking out of the house and through the woods into town.

Of course, what's a Richelle Mead book without romance - it's always one of my favorite parts of her stories, and I enjoyed the building relationship between Mira and Grant. He is very much the "I don't do attachments" guy, who changes his tune when he meets Mira. This is not my favorite trope to read, but couldn't help but ship this couple. Mira and Grant have great banter and slowly acknowledge their feelings as they work together over time. I always looked forward to any scene they had together. 

Mira spends time on the ship looking out over the water - much of it with a certain guy standing beside her. 

Richelle Mead excels at building a story and world over time through multiple books. Although I ended up liking this about the same as the first installment (aka not as much as my favorite, Adrian and Sydney in the Bloodlines series), I'm definitely more invested in this story after two books, and I'm very eager for Tamsin's tale! I can't wait to have all the pieces together. 

I wish this book contained a map - or some sort of a guide - to this world and the different countries/cultures, because there are so many and I got a bit confused on who was who and where they all come from. In my head, at least, this world looks like ours with just different mix of societies and country boarders. However, I do like that Mira mixes with a larger variety of people and cultures than Adelaide did. Also, I'll admit to getting a bit muddled about Mira's mission after a while with all the different plots and directions she was going in the middle of the story. But I was excited when the action picks up a lot more near the end. 

Mira is as at home in a dress and in a carriage, as she is wearing pants and wielding a knife on the streets at night. 

I definitely recommend Midnight Jewel for fans of The Glittering Court. But for those new to the series, this is a great time to start reading. I think it would be fun to read both books closer together. Not that many scenes actually repeat, and each girl's experiences are unique so the different books feel fresh and not repetitive. 

Love Triangle Factor: None 
Cliffhanger Scale: Low - the next book will be the same story from Tamsin's POV. I'm very eager to see what she has to say, as she spends the most time separated from Adelaide and Mira. Hopefully, we'll get an epilogue then too. 

About the Author:

RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Find Richelle Mead: Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

Follow the Tour:

Week One:
June 26 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Top 5 Reasons to Read Glittering Court Before Midnight Jewel
June 27 – Mundie Moms – Favorite Quotes from Midnight Jewel
June 28 – Love Is Not A Triangle – Review
June 29 – A Perfection Called Books – Midnight Jewel Mood Board & Review
June 30 – BookCrushin – Top Leading Ladies Who Escaped Their Fates
Week Two:
July 3 – ButterMyBooks – Midnight Jewel Inspired Drink
July 4 – Books, TV, & More… Oh My! – Female Royalty By Birthstone
July 5 – A Page With A View – Midnight Jewel Photos & Review
July 6 – Once Upon A Twilight – Top 5 Reasons to Read Midnight Jewel
July 7 – YA Wednesdays – Couture Cloak & Dagger
Week Three:
July 10 – The Fandom
July 11 – Ex Libris – Review
July 12 – Novel Knight Reviews – A Book in Quotes
July 13 – The Eater Of Books! – Midnight Jewel Swoon Thursday
July 14 – Fiction Fare – Review



Enter to win a copy of Midnight Jewel*


Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (ARV: $19.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

*grape arbor not included (in the book either)

All photographs in this post taken by me. Find more of my bookish photographs on my Instagram @loveisnotatriangle 

Monday, June 26, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Knife's Edge by Hope Larson,
Illustrations by Rebecca Mock

Blog tour organized by First Second books
See below or go HERE for the full schedule 

I'm thrilled to be a part of the Knife's Edge blog tour. This is the second in a duet that began with Compass South, and I had so much fun reading both books back to back. 

Knife's Edge
by Hope Larson
Illustrations by Rebecca Mock
Read: June 4-5, 2017
Published: June 27, 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Finished copy from publisher (TY!)
Category: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Twins, Adventure, Ships
Series: Sequel to Compass SouthFour Points Duet 2/2

Book Description: Twelve-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexandra Dodge are reunited with their father and realize that two family heirlooms reveal the location of a treasure that is their birthright. When they set sail with Captain Tarboro on the Almira, they know they’re heading into danger—the ocean is filled with new and old enemies, including their nemesis, the infamous pirate Felix Worley. But like a coral reef that lurks below the surface of the waves, trouble is brewing between the siblings. Alex is determined to become a sailor and is happy with his role aboard the Almira, but Cleo—the only girl on the ship—is tired of washing dishes in the galley. In an effort to find her own purpose, she begins studying sword fighting with Tarboro, but neither Alex nor her father approves. Can the twins remain close as they pursue different goals and dreams, or will their growing differences tear the family apart before the treasure can be found?

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Compass South, Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock once again create an outstanding seafaring adventure.

The Four Points duet is about twelve year old twins named Alexander and Cleopatra Dodge. In the first book, Cleo and Alex are living in New York in 1860 and trying to survive in the wake of their father's disappearance. After getting into trouble because of their involvement in the Black Hook Gang, they embark on a journey with the ultimate goal of reaching San Francisco. In the second installment the twins head back out to sea to find a lost treasure, guided by family heirlooms and the crew of the ship Almira. Discovering friends and running from foes through both installments, Alex and Cleo encounter pirates, find things once lost, and learn more about themselves and their family. 

My Thoughts on the Duet:
I read Compass South and Knife's Edge one right after the other, and had such a great time with this duet! I am not a big reader of graphic novels, but am slowly changing that about myself. I am such a streamline reader (focusing on one element) that stories combining pictures with words, always take me some time to get into. But once I do, I always love them, and this series was no exception. The pictures in these books are beautiful and expressive, capturing the movement and emotions of the characters so well. I loved seeing both the grittiness of ship life and the wonder of Alex and Cleo as they traveled from North to South America and across islands in the sea. 

I love books about twins, and this series plays with that theme in some fun ways, including one of my favorites, hidden identities. But within the excitement of following Cleo and Alex on their adventures, we also see the difference between being a girl and being a boy in the nineteenth century. One of the most compelling underlying parts of this series is watching Cleo figure out who she wants to be in a world that is heavily dominated by men, and has very specific roles for women (that definitely don't involve wearing pants or sword fighting).  

Both of these books are just so much fun. They feature lots of adventures, pirate ships and lost treasure. But under all of that intrigue are orphan twins who are trying to find out who they are and where they belong in the world, and anyone can relate to that. I definitely recommend these books!

About the Authors: 

Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, for which she won an Eisner Award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander DreamGray HorsesChiggers, and Mercury. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comics artist. Her work has appeared  in various publications, including the New York Times and the New Yorker.  She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is  her first book.

Follow the Tour: 

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