Friday, December 30, 2016

Yearly Recap: 2016 Edition

For me, every year gets better and better. This summer, I was fortunate enough to attend San Diego Comic-Con for the third year. I met some of my absolute favorite authors for the first time, such as Laini Taylor and Michelle Hodkin. 

Earlier this year, I also met my all-time favorite author, Markus Zusak, in Connecticut on one of his tour stops for the 10th anniversary of The Book Thief. I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet him, but my amazing parents drove me five hours to meet him. It was the highlight of the year.

I also met Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard, two of my favorite authors, at an event in Bensalem, Pennsylvania for "Palentine's Day." This year, I also celebrated my one year anniversary on Susan Dennard's Street Team for her Witchlands series. 

I was also invited to speak on a panel at this year's Celebrate the Book in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which was an amazing experience that I am truly grateful to have had. Along with two other panelists, Kelley Keller and Lindsay Bandy, we spoke about the process of publishing. I spoke mainly about the media coverage needed to promote books. I was enlightened about other aspects of the process by my amazing co-panelists. I also met the amazing YA authors in attendance.

I also turned 16 in late June and it has been an amazing feeling to drive. I am excited to get my license the first week of the new year and have the freedom to go places without an adult. I also had an amazing party with my close friends and I got some really amazing bookish gifts.

I have also had several requests for reviews this year which always excites me. I love that authors enjoy my content and reviews enough to ask for a review and interview. I hope that trend carries on into the new year. In addition, I have been able to review quite a few amazing books this year because of eARCs and ARCs/finished copies sent from publishers and authors.

This year also marks the fourth year I have been book blogging. It is hard to believe that I have kept Little Red's Reviews up and running for four years. Little Red's Reviews also surpassed 100 followers this year and my twitter account, (@littlered630), surpassed 1,200 followers. I barely had 300 twitter followers in May of this year. It is hard to believe that I gained nearly 1,000 followers in seven months! I hope both of those trends continue into the new year.

For me, 2016 was a year of amazing opportunities that I will never forget. I hope you had an amazing year. If it was not, I hope 2017 can make up for it. Comment below your favorite moment of 2016 and what you are excited for in 2017. I wish you all a fantastic new year and I will see you all in the new year!

My Most Highly Anticipated Releases of 2017

(Click on the Title of Each Novel for More Information)

Salvaged (Saints of Denver #4)
by Jay Crownover

Expected Release: June 20th, 2017

Although the third novel in Jay Crownover's Saints of Denver series, Riveted, is also being released in 2017, I am anticipating Salvaged slightly more than Riveted. I am more emotionally invested with the main characters of Salvaged, Poppy and Wheeler, and while Dixie and Church, the main characters of Riveted, deserve a happily ever after, Poppy has come extremely far throughout the Marked Men and the Saints of Denver series. I am excited to see her truly happy and at ease, she has overcome numerous struggles. Poppy is truly deserving of a happily ever after. Wheeler has also been treated poorly in his past relationships. 

I believe that Salvaged also marks the end of the Saints of Denver series. Although I did love the Marked Men series, I absolutely love the character journeys Jay has explored in the Saints of Denver series. If Salvaged is the last Saints of Denver book, it will sadden me; however, I am so glad that Poppy and Wheeler will be closing out the series. Both of them have been crucial characters to the original Marked Men series and it is fitting that they would end the Marked Men spin-off series. Although this might be the end of the Marked Men and the Saints of Denver, I am excited to see what else Jay will explore as her career continues.

Expected Release: June 13th, 2017

I have been in a Cora Carmack withdraw since the release of her latest novel, the third novel in her NA Rusk University series, All Played Out, in 2015. I still have yet to read Finding It, the last novel in her Losing It series because I am afraid of being without any unread Cora Carmack books. (I know I am being slightly dramatic, but have you read anything by Cora Carmack?!) Nonetheless, Roar will most definitely not be sitting on my shelf unread once I get my hands on it.

Roar is the first book in Cora's new YA fantasy series. Not only am I excited because Cora is venturing into the YA genre, I am also excited to see Cora's first venture into the fantasy genre. I know that Roar's beautiful cover is reflecting the novel's inner beauty as well. 

I was slightly disappointed to learn that Cora's upcoming novel was not the fourth book in the Rusk University series or the second novel in the Muse series; however, I am ecstatic to read Roar. Not only is Cora the mastermind behind it, but Tor Teen, the publisher of Susan Dennard's wonderful YA fantasy series, the Witchlands, is publishing Roar. I can only image how amazing Roar will be with Cora Carmack and Tor Teen.

Expected Release: March 28th, 2017

Like many others, I began highly anticipating Strange the Dreamer after it was announced in late 2015. I was devastated that its original release date of fall of 2016 was pushed back into early 2017, but I am glad that Laini was given the opportunity to develop the book further. I was fortunate enough to meet Laini at San Diego Comic-Con this year and it was an absolute dream come true. I was even more excited for Strange the Dreamer after I had the opportunity to meet her and receive a sampler and some Strange the Dreamer buttons. 

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is one of the first YA Fantasy series I read and it is one of my absolute favorites. Laini's writing ability only increased in style and beauty as the trilogy progressed, I can only imagine how much more her writing has grown in Strange the Dreamer

I am most certainly not alone in my excitement for Strange the Dreamer. I have read countless tweets from book lovers who are begging for an ARC of Strange the Dreamer. I cannot blame them, especially after seeing how beautiful the UK ARCs are. If that is only a preview from the finished UK edition, I will most definitely be preordering the UK edition. It will put all my other books to shame.

Expected Release: June 6th, 2017

Out of my entire list, I know the least about Royal Bastards. I briefly read the summary of Royal Bastards a month ago and I remember nothing about it except the fact that I was intrigued. I saw a few people with an ARC of Royal Bastards that got a copy from New York City Comic-Con and I considered trading for an ARC; however, I was accepted to read and review a copy of Netgalley. I am extremely excited to read my eARC of Royal Bastards after I finish a few other books for review.

Royal Bastards is a YA Fantasy novel; however, I do not know whether it is in a series or if it is a standalone. In addition, I believe that Royal Bastards is Andrew Shvarts debut novel. I have yet to read any reviews because I want to start it with a clear mind. I am excited to see the cover reveal sometime next year and hopefully more hype surrounding it as its release date approaches.

Expected Release: July 11th, 2017

Because You Love to Hate Me is one of my most highly anticipated releases of next year because of the number of amazing authors featured in the anthology. In addition, each of these talented authors are in collaboration with one of thirteen Booktubers. This anthology is bringing together the book community in a new and exciting way. I hope publishing companies continue to bring the book community together in a similar fashion. 

They recently released the pairings of the authors and booktubers in addition to which villain they have. I was surprised by how many villains I was unfamiliar with. I am interested to learn more about these particular villains from these amazing authors and booktubers. I am also excited to see how these talented writers will go from writing longer books to short stories. Because You Love Me will be an interesting experience that I hope I love.

Expected Release: June 27th, 2017

I absolutely loved the first book in the Conqueror's saga, And I Darken. (You can read my review for And I Darken here). The landscape, the characters, the plot, everything was magnificent and beautifully done. The Ottoman Empire is my second favorite empire and it was amazing to read about it in a YA Historical Fiction novel. Although the covers make the novels appear to be fantasy orientated, they are strictly historical fiction with a gender-bender twist.

I have heard mixed reviews on And I Darken. Many individuals did not enjoy the novel because of its slow pace, but I personally loved that element of the story. It allowed the reader to familiarize themselves with the characters and their circumstances. If you enjoy those types of novels, I would highly recommend Now I Rise

I am highly anticipating the release of Now I Rise, I cannot wait to continue reading about each of the characters and their journey. I also cannot wait to read about the Fall of Constantinople in book two.

Expected Release: February 28th, 2017

I recently learned about Daughter of the Pirate King and it instantly reached my most anticipated list. When I read that Anna Banks referred to the main character as "a Lady Jack Sparrow" I was sold. I can only imagine the journey the readers will go on. Daughter of the Pirate King appears to be an epic, action-packed adventure and thrill ride that leaves readers breathless. I am excited to see if it lives up to its comparison with Pirates of the Caribbean.

Besides Anna Banks', I have not read any other reviews for Daughter of the Pirate King. I have heard several others say that they are highly anticipating it as well. I am also excited to discover Tricia's writing style since this is her debut. I am excited to see how the Daughter of the Pirate King compares to other YA Fantasies. The YA Fantasy genre is bustling next year.

2017 is going to be full of phenomenal YA/NA releases. It will be a year full of stunning debuts, heart pounding sequels, and monumental finals. 2017 is also home to important diverse books such as The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasUnfortunately, I could not mention all of the amazing books being released this year. Comment below with your most highly anticipated releases, I would love to add them to my preorder list.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. The potential of a commission by no means influences my opinion on the item, the link is simply there to assist my readers if they are interested in purchasing or knowing more about the item.

My Favorite Books of 2016

(Click on the Title of Each Novel for More Information)

I read An Ember in the Ashes during the summer in preparation for the release of A Torch Against the Night. I had heard, read, and watched countless reviews in which the reviewer raved about An Ember in the Ashes. One of my friends, Sarah, constantly raved about Ember and she convinced me to start it. I was hesitant that I would not enjoy it because hype has ruined a few books for me; however, An Ember in the Ashes deserves all the hype surrounding it. You can read my review of An Ember in the Ashes here.

While I did encounter a few problematic things in certain characters and their relationships, the world, the plot, and Helene made up for it. An Ember in the Ashes was the perfect first book in an epic YA Fantasy series. I am currently halfway through a Torch Against the Night and I am enjoying it; however, I still love Ember more. If you have yet to read An Ember in the Ashes, I highly recommend starting it. Ember has the perfect balance of action and romance in a beautifully created world that leaves the reader wanting more. 

My favorite class last year was AP World History. I loved learning about the history of the world and my second favorite empire is the Ottoman Empire. When I discovered that And I Darken was a gender-bender retelling of the life of Vlad the Impaler, I began highly anticipating it. Throughout the years, I had heard mixed reviews on Kiersten White's other novels and series, but And I Darken was a gorgeous tale of love, trust, and self-discovery. It features an amazing cast of diverse characters based in a beautiful historical setting. You can read my review of And I Darken here.

And I Darken is a long novel with a slow pace. While I loved that element of the story because it allows the deeper development of its characters, the slow pace was a flaw others found in And I Darken. If you are not interested in a slow-burning tale, I would not recommend reading And I Darken. If you either enjoy slow novels or can look past the pace, I highly recommend trying And I Darken, especially before the release of its sequel, Now I Rise, in late June of 2017. You do not want to miss And I Darken, I can see it gracing your TV screen.

Burying Water was the novel that surprised me the most this year. While I had read several rave reviews for an array of K.A. Tucker titles, I never expected to feel so much for the characters of Burying Water. It is most certainly a novel that the reader should know little to nothing about it before starting it. The most I will say about it is that there are two points of view, one that is based in the present and the other is based in the past. Both perspectives seamlessly weave together a chillingly gorgeous tale. You can read my review of Burying Water here.

Burying Water is a New Adult novel that I highly recommend to everyone. Burying Water is a beautiful story of love, loss, and self-discovery that is slowly weaved together with tiny threads that eventually form a massive picture. The characters, the plot, everything in Burying Water is truly beautiful. It is hard to describe how amazing the novel is. Burying Water gripped my heart from page one and never let me go, not even after I turned the last page. 

I was fortunate enough to review advanced copies of both Truthwitch and Windwitch. Although Truthwitch released in early January and I received an ARC five months earlier, I did not read Truthwitch until February. However, when I received my ARC of Windwitch last month, I quickly devoured it. You can read my review of Truthwitch here and my review of Windwitch here. Windwitch is expected to be released January 10th of 2017 and is currently available for preorder.

The first two novels in the Witchlands series are absolutely magnificent. Truthwitch is the first novel in a new YA Fantasy series that follows four main characters, Safi, Merik, Iseult, and Aeduan, and their paths cross throughout the course of the novel. The sequel, Windwitch, takes place a couple weeks after the concluding events of Truthwitch and I loved it even more than Truthwitch. In Windwitch, the reader meets new main and secondary characters that assist the deepening of the story and its intricate world. The novels are full of magic, friendship, and hijinks. If you love YA Fantasy and have yet to read Truthwitch, I highly recommend putting it on your wishlist.

While I did read some other fantastic books this year, those five books were my absolute favorite reads. Comment below about your favorite book that you read this year. Also let me know if you have read any of the books I listed and what you thought of them. I hope 2017 is a great reading year for each and every one of you!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. The potential of a commission by no means influences my opinion on the item, the link is simply there to assist my readers if they are interested in purchasing or knowing more about the item.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Fourth Blogiversary + Giveaway

For whatever reason, this is the first year I have decided to celebrate Little Red's Reviews' Blogiversary. It is unbelievable that I began blogging four years ago. If you read my earliest reviews, which I advise you not to, they need editing. I am almost positive that most of them were never edited, I simply posted them. My more recent posts over the last two years have drastically increased in quality. I began adding more images, editing my posts, and adding more creative/diverse posts such as author interviews, blog tours, giveaways, etc. 

Before I get into the celebration, I want to thank every single person who has clicked on my blog's link. Whether you were intrigued by whatever I had to say or you accidentally clicked on one of my posts, I am truly grateful for all of you. Your support allowed me to be invited on a panel at the Celebrate the Book event this year and you have allowed me to receive ARCs and review many of my highly anticipated reads. You have no idea how much your support means to me, I wish I could hug every single one of you. Thank you for supporting Little Red's Reviews for the last few years or the last few days. In an attempt to thank all of you, I am giving away four signed bookplates from bestselling Young Adult and New Adult authors to four lucky winners. To enter, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter the Rafflecopters. I wish you an amazing New Year and an amazing upcoming blogging year!

To celebrate Little Red's Reviews' fourth birthday, I decided that I wanted to list some of my goals for the upcoming blogging year.

  1. Add more creative/diverse content! I know I said that my last couple years of blogging have increased in quality because I have diversified my blog, but I have only added a few diverse posts. This coming year, I want to post more unique content. I am constantly posting reviews or promotions, but I am never posting anything else meaningful. I am proud of what I am posting, but I want to be even prouder that I am stepping outside of my comfort zone. If you have any recommendations of what I should post, please comment below!
  2. Post more on Instagram! While this is not necessarily a blogging goal, I want to post more bookish images on Instagram. Several people that I attend high school with follow me on my Instagram account, so I am nervous to post anything book- related because I feel as though I would get ridiculed. I need to get over my fear and post bookish images. Most of them know about my blog anyway, they would already have something to tease me about. An Instagram could not make it worse.
  3. Read more blog posts! I struggle to post regularly and read blog posts regularly. I follow numerous bloggers on Twitter and I occasionally read a post if the title is intriguing, but I am not active enough in the community. I want to befriend bloggers and read more bookish content, but I never allow myself the pleasure of doing so. If you have any blog recommendations or if you have a blog, comment them below, I would love to check them out! 
  4. Read more ARCs & review them! I have been fortunate enough to receive physical ARCs from several book events I attended and eARCs from a few publishing companies. Most of them simply pile up and take up space on my Kindle or bookshelves. Although I have cut back on the amount of books/ARCs I get at conventions and request, they simply sit around and gather dust. I need to push myself to either reading them or passing them onto someone who will read them. Books deserve to be read and loved, not stuck on a bottom shelf covered in dust.

Two Winners Will be Chosen to win a Signed Young Adult bookplate and
Two Winners Will be Chosen to win a Signed New Adult bookplate

  • You must be 18 years or older, unless you have a parent's permission
  • This giveaway is open Internationally
  • There will be four different winners. You may enter both giveaways; however, you will only win the giveaway you are chosen from first.
  • Whoever is chosen first will have first choice of the bookplates. The second winner will be able to choose their prize from the remaining bookplates.
  • Once contacted, the winner will have 72 hours to respond with their address, or a new winner will be chosen
  • STARTS December 27th, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. EST 
  • ENDS February 7th, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. EST

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any lost or damaged packages

Good Luck!

Prize #1: A Signed Young Adult Bookplate

Two Winners Will Choose One
 of the Following Signed Bookplates:

-Marie Lu (Author of the Legend Series, the Young Elites Series)

-Rachel Hawkins (Author of Rebel Bell, Hex Hall...)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #2: A Signed New Adult Bookplate

Two Winners Will Choose One
 of the Following Signed Bookplates:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC Review: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard


Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak―which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her―yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge―especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands. (Via

Pages: 377

Expected Release Date: January 10th, 2017

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Last year I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Truthwitch at San Diego Comic-Con and you can read my review for Truthwitch here. This year I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of Windwitch from Tor Teen as a thank you for being a part of the Truthwitch Street Team. In addition to the ARC of Windwitch, I also received a pair of Windwitch inspired socks in addition to a Windwitch and a Tor Teen button. If you live in either Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom and would like to receive a pair of Windwitch inspired socks as well as a Windwitch inspired patch and a bookplate signed by Susan Dennard, preorder a copy of Windwitch and submit your designated preorder form below.

Windwitch Preorder Goodies

Windwitch is the perfect sequel to Truthwitch, readers are reunited with all their favorite characters and meet new ones along the way. While the Witchlands series is based in a massive world with an intricate magic system, the series is also based on the characters themselves. The world is truly intricate with vast landscapes and numerous types of magic; however, the real magic is the characters. I cannot deny that I was confused while reading Windwitch due to some of the fantastical elements and geography; however, that confusion is due to how fast I inhaled Windwitch and possible errors since the copy I read was an ARC. My point is, whether you love fantasy or not, the Witchlands series is meant for readers who cherish the characters and their struggles. The series is based in a phenomenal setting; however, that is simply the setting. The books are so much more than their magical environment. The characters and their interactions are the true magic. If you have yet to read Truthwitch due to its genre being fantasy, ignore the label. A novel is so much more than it's tag-line or label. 

Truthwitch introduced me to wonderful characters, my two favorite are Aeduan and Iseult. In both Truthwitch and Windwitch, readers realize how lonely they both are. While I will not be spoiling anything from either Truthwitch or Windwitch, both Aeduan and Iseult develop over the course of both novels and it is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I cannot wait to read about the rest of their journeys as the series continues to unfold. Merik's journey and the journey of others around him were both heartbreaking and heartwarming. They were the most unexpected. Safi's journey also had some twists. It was amazing how past incidents in Truthwitch were incorporated into her journey in Windwitch.

While that was probably the most cryptic review I have ever written, Windwitch was an amazing sequel to Truthwitch. Windwitch surpassed all my expectations and I love it even more that Truthwitch. Susan's writing, the character development, and the expansion of the Witchlands gave Windwitch and the overall series a spot in my absolute favorites list. The Witchlands series has barely begun, but I can only imagine where the series will go before the end. Susan Dennard is the new Queen of YA Fantasy. Laini Taylor, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo better watch out.

ARC Review: Insidious (The Marked Mage Chronicles #1) by Victoria Evers

Summary: All Kat Montgomery wanted was a fun night out on the town. What she got was a death warrant. As it turns out, the quaint little hamlet of Mystic Harbor, Maine houses more than sandy beaches and adorable B&B’s. Beneath the New England charm rests a deadly world where shifters, demons, vampires, and angelic hunters all vie for power. 

A world where magic is the greatest weapon. 

Magic that Kat now possesses.

After that one fateful night, she can feel the changes beginning to take hold of her. Only problem, she doesn’t even know what she’s turning into. With threats hiding in plain sight, deciphering the lines between friend and foe is nearly impossible. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Kat learns her only real ally rests in the one person she can’t stand: Reese Blackburn, an insufferably handsome magician whom the town fears most.

Kat’s very soul is at stake, and destiny doesn't seem to be playing out in her favor. Can these two unlikely partners challenge fate itself before it's too late?

Pages: 458

Expected Release Date: January 6th, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received an advanced copy of Insidious from the author, Victoria Evers, in exchange for an honest review. Insidious is the first book in a new YA paranormal romance series that should be added to your wish list. Countless authors have adapted paranormal romance novels from the general idea of Nephilim, but Evers weaved a new classic tale. In her YA debut, she created two witty and lovable characters that will stay with the reader long after the last page.

Recently I have been reading rather tiny books that have left me unsatisfied. The novels have been simply too short for the novel's content. It was refreshing that Insidious' content was given enough pages to grow and develop. The characters and plot are what make a story a certain amount of pages. Many authors cut books off to create a longer series; however, Insidious was the perfect length for its story. While reading Insidious, I could tell that the actual story was dictating the page length, not the author. Although Insidious' story resulted in a rather chunky novel, the plot and characters are so captivating that the reader easily flies through the story. 

The two main characters, who also happen to be the love interests, have undeniable chemistry. I was hesitant toward Reese at the beginning of the novel because I assumed he would fill the clique bad-boy/outcast role, but I ended up absolutely loving his character. Following the prologue, the beginning of the story was rather bumpy. The reader is spontaneously introduced to numerous characters and Reese's character was frankly off- putting and creepy. The biggest complaint I have about the book is the cast of characters. While I began enjoying Reese and Kat's characters around page one hundred, none of the other characters stuck with me. Although most of the other characters did not matter as much as the main two characters, I often found myself confused by the secondary characters. 

Each of the secondary characters had too many similar personalities and names that I was constantly asking myself who was who. I was able to distinguish a few other characters, such as her best friends, Carly and Vanessa, and her ex-boyfriends, Blaine and Adam, none of them shined as much as Reese and Kat did. I found that the most difficult characters to remember were her guy friends. They were mainly basketball players and they really had no function in the story until the end. 

Nonetheless, Reese and Kat were the stars of the novel and I loved them both individually and together. I loved their Star Wars references and their heartwarming interactions. They both constantly made me smile and laugh throughout the course of the novel. I could easily relate to both of them, they were the perfect choice for main characters.

Insidious was a great first novel in a new YA paranormal romance series. I highly recommend reordering your copy of Insidious (you can pre-order a Kindle copy for only $.99 here). Insidious brought to life a new classic YA paranormal romance that featured captivated characters and an intricate plot. I am highly anticipating the sequel of Insidious, I am curious to read more about Reese and Kat's journey. I am also excited to watch Victoria Evers' writing career develop as the series continues and as she creates new content.