Goodreads Reading Challenge: Pros and Cons

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It’s now 2018! One of the most popular things to set in January is a Goodreads Reading Goal for the year. It’s a great way to decide how many books you want to read the upcoming year. Or is it? I’ve seen many discussions in the book community about this reading challenge and whether it is good or bad. I plan to discuss it more in my post today. So, what are the pros and cons of setting a Goodreads Goal?

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Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

23308087.jpgFlame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: May 16th, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Son Books
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Length: 493 pages
Format: Hardcover

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

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

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

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2018 Releases We’re Excited For

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2018, with all it’s new book deal announcements, is slowly turning out to be a great year for the bookish community. With lots of debut authors finally getting published, sequels that have been widely anticipated by readers from all over the world, and new and exciting worlds just waiting to be discovered, we’re all pretty sure that the year ahead will be one of the best there is. And today, your Arctic Books crew is proud to individually present 5 of their most anticipated 2018 releases!

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Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

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Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
Series: n/a
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: January 9th 2018 by Clarion Books
Length: 432 pages
Format: ARC (thank you, HMH!)

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

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Between the Blade and the Heart Blog Tour (Q&A!)

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Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Series:
 Valkyrie #1
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Historical

Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Wednesday Books
Goodreads

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

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Review: Meet Cute Edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQPIA+, Anthologies, Short Stories
Publication: January 2, 2018 from HMH Books for Young Readers
Series: No. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: eARC from HMH Teen via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

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Review: The True Queen by Sarah Fine

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The True Queen by Sarah Fine
Series:
 The Impostor Queen #3
Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Length: 384 pages
Format: ARC (thank you, Simon!)

Now that Ansa knows she is the destined queen of Kupari, she is desperate to find a permanent home for her people, the Kriegere, in the Kupari lands. But as the small band of warriors crosses into the foreign territory, Ansa loses her fragile grip on her newly-acquired—and violent—fire and ice magic and puts everyone, including her love Thyra, in danger.

Inside the walls of Kupari, Elli maintains the facade that she is the magical queen, with her secret—that she has no magic at all—on the brink of exposure every day. But as she tries to prepare the citizens to protect themselves from another invasion, unrest spreads as wielders like her beloved Oskar begin to lose control of their powers.

As Kupari grows increasingly unstable, with the land literally crumbling beneath their feet, and a common enemy once again threatening everything, these two young women on a collision course with destiny must find a way to save the realm and their people from total destruction.

In this epic conclusion to the Impostor Queen series, Sarah Fine’s sweeping tale of two fierce leaders imbued with unimaginable power and called to unthinkable sacrifice finally answers the question: who has the strength to be the True Queen?

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