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2018 Reading Challenge Update

My 2018 bookshelf so far! I’m eight books in to a ten book challenge, but obviously I’m going to be upping it as we go throughout the year. I like to start out with a small, obtainable goal and then challenge myself each month. What about you? Do you follow the Goodreads Reading challenge? And if so, what’s your goal this year? Let me know in comments!

Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonTeardrop by Lauren KateWonder Woman by Leigh BardugoFirst Shift by J.L. WeilCarrier of the Mark by Leigh FallonThe Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra ClareThe Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scars That Made Us by Inda Herwood

 

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“The Scars That Made Us” Cover News!

As I was up late last night, working with my marketing cap on, I decided that I needed a solid plan with the release of the TSTMU cover. All of my other reveals have been spur of the moment, overly excited posts that didn’t have any real build up. Of course, I was seventeen then and I didn’t know a freaking thing about marketing/advertising a book. So…that leads me to now, nearly five years later and still with little knowledge on how to get people excited about my releases lol. But nevertheless, I have decided that on March 25th, ten days from now, I will officially release the cover for “The Scars That Made Us”. I’ll be releasing it here, on my Insta (shown on the right ->) and also on Twitter (@IndaHerwood, also shown on the right ->). I may even find a few people who will help me out with my endeavor, like Julia from The Romance Bibliophile.

Also, my friend, author Laura Holt, is having a slow release cover blitz of her new YA dark fantasy, “Fathoms Between”, over on her Instagram (@authorlauraholt). It would be awesome of you to go check it out and give her some love!

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“The Scars That Made Us” Synopsis Release!

I am so, so, SOOOOOO excited to finally release the synopsis of my latest NA romance, “The Scars That Made Us”! And hopefully you’ll all get a peek at the cover soon too!

P.S. You can also add “The Scars That Made Us” to your to-read shelf now on Goodreads!

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Ultimatums suck.

I don’t even know why I was surprised when my father handed me one on my eighteenth birthday, especially one so ridiculous and degrading. He thinks that I can’t take care of myself, that I need a man to fall back on in case my college dreams fail. All because of a nightmare incident that happened to me when I was seven years old. An incident that has left scars of both the physical and emotional variety.

And what is the ultimatum you ask?

He’s forcing me to marry a man I’ve never met before, or else I don’t get his check to go to college and complete my dreams of becoming a doctor, helping the sick.

I had no idea that my life was set in a Bronte novel.

But it gets worse. Not only am I supposed to marry a man who only wants me for the check my father is obviously writing him, but he’s hot, too. Like, super hot. The kind of hot only put on display in magazines and TV shows. Honestly, I don’t trust him, and I certainly don’t intend to go through with my father’s insane plan.

But when Jagger Wells, my intended, explains the real reason behind his going along with this scheme, and I see the kind man beyond the pretty face, I decide that maybe there’s a way we can both get what we want without having to sign a marriage certificate. And at the same time, teach our meddling parents a lesson.

After a while, though, it doesn’t feel like we’re tricking our families anymore, but ourselves. And when lines blur, feelings become something real, and the truth is questioned, hearts ultimately shatter.

In the end, I discover that I’m not the only one with scars.

But these are the scars that made us. The ones that have shaped our present.

I can only hope they aren’t the ones that break us, too.

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Reading Challenge Update!

I just finished reading “Tiger’s Curse” last night, and I realized that means I only have one book left to read to complete my Goodreads reading challenge of 15 books. I know 15 isn’t very impressive, but for me, that’s progress compared to last year’s list which was probably half that.

But what about you? Did you set a goal for yourself this year? And if so, how close are you to reaching it? I’d love to know the answer, so leave me a comment down below! We can cheer each other on : )

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REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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Synopsis:

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

REVIEW

As I said in the previous post, I had only ever read the final book to the Harry Potter series and that was a good six or so years ago. And it was my mission this summer to read the first one and possibly the rest in the series. And I did it! (Well, at least one, that is 😉

So, my first thoughts?

When I read (*coughs* audiobook “read”) this, all I could think was that if I had been able to get my hands on this when I was eleven, I would have been obsessed with it. The world building, character eccentricities, magical classes, DRAGONS and UNICORNS, I would have DIED to read the next book and the next. But alas, I am 21 now and I still felt a wonderful connection to each and every character. It’s funny, the older I get, the more I want to connect to things from my childhood, or the things I wished I’d had, like this amazing book here. I guess we all have a kid in us that never leaves, huh?

I thought Rowling did an amazing job with this one, just like she had with the last. The writing is simple – explanations not too long or detailed for the age of the children reading this story. I loved how every character had something you could relate to, whether it be Ron’s sarcasm, Hermione’s wit, Harry’s loneliness, or even Neville’s lack of courage, and then redemption. I especially loved Harry’s enrollment into the Weasley family, and how we got a more detailed look at Percy, George, Fred, and even a little bit of Charlie, unlike with the movie. All in all, I really enjoyed it, and see myself re-reading it again, if only to get sucked into the wizarding world one more time 🙂

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling = 5 stars

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REVIEW: ENCLAVE (RAZORLAND, #1) BY ANN AGUIRRE

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Synopsis:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

REVIEW

So like I said in my previous post, ENCLAVE was a fun look back at a book I had read from about five years ago. And boy has a lot changed in those five years. I’ve read a few hundred more books, many of those being dystopians, so I feel I have a bit more experience with the genre now unlike the last time I rated this story. With that being said, lets get to the review!

ENCLAVE is a book that reminded me much of DIVERGENT and HUNGER GAMES in that it had both a competitive feel as well as a breaking of conformance to the “government” they were to obey and live under. This book also had what I would call “simple writing”. There weren’t over explanations of the world building – confusing you and deviating from the heart of the story – and all of the scenes moved along quickly, as well as the pace of the book. A lot happens in just 259 pages, and none of if was filler fluff or unnecessary additions simply to add length. In that way, I really enjoyed reading this.

Though the characters are younger (fifteen and seventeen) there was much to be said about their maturity and the way they handled themselves as well as hard situations. I could really appreciate how the author managed to combine hardness and cold logical thinking along with a  sense of fragile innocence in both of the main characters. You were reminded every once in a while that though they were brought up in a world without much hope, aging them beyond their years, they would still showcase a bit of their naivety along with having feelings of being lost and unsure of themselves, and wondering what to do next. In doing so, Ann did a fantastic job of keeping it realistic.

If you are a romance fiend like myself, then you aren’t going to find the mushy stuff you’re looking for in this read. Despite there being a touch of romance between the main characters, it definitely isn’t a main focus. We’re more learning about their world and how things are changing for them rather than diving too deep into the relationship side of things. Thoughts of making out and holding hands kind of falls to the wayside when death is knocking at your door with every turn you take lol.

Overall, I thought this was a really interesting story with a good amount of plot expanding potential for the other sequels, which is indeed what the author has done with the series. I would recommend this to anyone who is just starting to get into the apocalyptic/dystopian genre, or perhaps have been wanting to read something of that nature but haven’t found the right one yet that doesn’t look too intimidating. It was a well thought out story, easy to follow, and I’m glad I decided to give it another read.

ENCLAVE BY ANN AGUIRRE = 4 POST APOCOLYPTIC STARS

 

 

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CURRENT READ: LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE

So my current read at the moment is the first installment in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare, and it seems like I’ve been waiting for this book’s release a life time too long. At this point, expect many memes in the review to come 😉

P.S.

Let me know in comments if any of you are reading this book at the moment or plan to in the future!

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Synopsis:

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.