Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 3/6/16

HA! I out-read Michaela this week! …but it was mostly for my thesis, so that was sad. Anyways. There’s also a bunch of great content this week, including some great ARC reviews, hilarious videos and more! Do I need say anything else? Let’s go!







Worth It Wednesday: “Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

SeraphinaTitle: Seraphina

Author: Rachel Hartman

Goodreads Description: In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Why it’s worth it: This is not another basic dragon story–and trust me, I read EVERY dragon book I could get my hands on as a kid. When Seraphina came out, people upon people (including Tamora Pierce!) said I should read this book … and I didn’t. The blurb on the front from Christopher Paolini didn’t inspire me, since I’d long outgrown his books, and I was so … tired of dragons. I really thought there was nothing new in that trope for me.


Again, I repeat, I’ve read A LOT of dragon stories. Most of them, really. This one, however, takes the lore and turns it on its head. These dragons can take human(ish) form, and are extremely mathematical and pragmatic. They’re kind of like the wise dragons we so often see, except for the fact that they can’t “human” very well and therefore their wisdom often comes across cold and alien. The set up of humans and dragons at tentative peace is also not new, but Hartman brings it into a whole new political and economic context that makes it interesting again.

Seraphina herself is a fun character. I loved getting to know her and watching her grow. The cast of characters around her is also pretty great, and I didn’t even hate the romance aspect. Actually, after reading Shadow Scale (the second book in the duology), I’m AMAZED at how Hartman has yet again taken something that I thought I’d seen before and turned in into something COMPLETELY unexpected. And I don’t say that often.

(Yes, I know that Shadow Scale also made my list of Top 5 Disappointing Books of 2015. IT WASN’T A BAD BOOK. It just wasn’t as good as Seraphina. Don’t let that stop you from reading this series.)

…I literally derailed myself WHILE WRITING THIS POST looking for information on when her next book is coming out. That’s how bad I want it. She’s writing another duology set in Seraphina’s world, and I NEED IT because I am so not over Seraphina’s story. So Shadow Scale wasn’t as good. It’s still a great book. READ THESE.

Read it if you’re looking for: dragons, a love story that won’t make you gag, interesting characters, fantasy, not another fantasy trilogy, excellent worldbuilding, strong female friendships

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This is actually a really exciting topic, because it’s different then one I’ve done in a while. Obviously, Santa can’t bring me books that haven’t come out by December 25th. So I get to show you guys some older books that I really want to get my hands on!

The Gathering1. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

I’ve heard great things about this series, and I enjoyed her YA series as well. I’ve been thinking about these for a while, but I still don’t have them!

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithStatistical

Apparently, this is supposed to be a really adorable book. I don’t know exactly how I’ll react to it, which is why I’d love Santa to bring it instead of buying it myself. 😛

Everneath3. Everneath by Brodi Ashton

I almost, almost picked this book up once. Instead, I decided to pick up a book that turned into my most popular bookish rant ever. I guess that was a good thing (sort of), but that door closed right there. I still want to read it, though!

4. Scarlet by A. C. GaughenScarletUS.indd

I’ve heard fantastic things about this one, and I admit the idea is growing on me. I actually wasn’t sure at first, but you in the blogoverse have convinced me it might be worth a go!

Wentworth Hall5. Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

Yes, I’m a Downton Abbey fan. Yes, that is the pure, single reason why this book interests me. I have no shame.

6. While He Was Away by Karen SchreckWhile He was Away

Sometimes I shy away from contemporary YA romances because they are always really hit or miss with me. But Santa could bring me this one and I’d be happy!

Hemlock7. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

This has made my shortlist a few million times, but I’ve never actually walked away with it. I can’t wait to, though!

8. The Hunt by Andrew FukudaThe Hunt

Vampires. I still have the bite. I can’t help myself. And apparently these are supposed to be pretty good.

For Darkness Shows the Stars9. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

This has me from the moment I saw the cover. It’s just never hit the apex of my list.

10. Seraphina by Rachel HartmanSeraphina

Tamora Pierce told me I should read this book. I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

Waiting on Wednesday #18

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: The Unnaturalists

Author: Tiffany Trent

ETA: August 14, 2012

Summary from Goodreads: In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

Why I’m Waiting: When Tamora Pierce tells you to read a book because it’s amazing, you don’t exactly brush that aside. She mentioned this one, along with Seraphina and Cinder in one of her lectures, and I instantly added it to the to-read pile. This also looks SO AMAZINGLY COOL, I would have read it even if she didn’t think it was amazing. I mean, steampunk and a female heroine Tamora Pierce approves of? YES PLEASE!