The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Audiobook Review!

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1)
by Melissa Grey 

Goodreads Summary:
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

My Thoughts – 5 Stars!

I LOVED this book! In fact, this has become one of my favorite books this year.

The Humor: The humor is in this book is fantastic. Our main character Echo is super sarcastic and witty. She says the things you wish you could say and she has great comebacks. Plus her remarks seem very “real”. Jasper is another character you meet in the book and he’s also quite hilarious and the charmer.
The Romance: Sometimes romance is done poorly in books, but in The Girl at Midnight, it’s done very well. I love when thoughts are battling as to why their hearts feel certain ways and I think the internal struggles with all the characters involved doesn’t feel forced or fake.

Magic: For me, all great books have magic. The book set in modern day but there are two races of people the Avicen (bird-like people) and the Drakharin (dragon-like people) along with humans of course.

The Story: 
Echo is just a girl. But when she ran away at the age of 7 she met an Avicen woman who took her back to her people. She grew up among them, however never fully belonged. Echo along with the other main characters of this book go on an adventure to find answers that will end the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin.

This story is full of great dialogue, perfectly written and thought out characters (including secondary characters), a swoony dragon prince (yay!) and witty banter. It’s truly a wonderful read!

The Audiobook!

Julia Whelan does an AMAZING job narrating this book. Caius and the other Drakharin have a slight Scottish accent which Julia does perfectly. Also, in the book there is a lot of world traveling and I was impressed with Julia’s pronunciation of other languages.

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook.

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link for more info and join in!

For this week, I have only a few auto-buy authors. There are many authors I’ll read their books but I may just get them from the library instead of buying.  

But below are authors I will auto-buy, always.

1. Veronica Rossi – Hands down Veronica Ross is my favorite author. (Under the Never Sky series and co-author to the Boomerang series)  Veronica is the best at writing worlds in a way you can visually see and characters that are extremely well written. Her secondary characters are just as strong as the main characters. 

2. Samantha Shannon – Samantha is currently writing The Bone Season series (there will be 7 books, and only 2 are out! Eeek!) and it’s a wonderful adult fantasy/dystopian series. I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of book 3 title and cover. She also is writing a fantasy series, which I’m super excited to hear more about!

3. Sarah J. Maas – Of course, Sarah is an auto-buy. Her Throne of Glass series is one of my favorites and she’s such a great and fun person. I got the pleasure to meet her last fall during her Heir of Fire Tour.

4. Jodi Meadows – Jodi’s book The Orphan Queen has become a favorite of mine (you’ll know that if you follow me on Twitter). I love Jodi’s humor and can’t wait for The Mirror King to release in April along with her co-written book My Lady Jane!

5. A. C. Gaughen – I am a huge fan of her Scarlet (Robin Hood retelling) series! I don’t know if there is another series that gives me as many feels as her books!

6. Lissa Price – Lissa wrote the duology Starters and Enders. I LOVED these books. She is still working on her next project but I will auto-buy it once it finally is released!

7. Marissa Meyer – Marissa is a fantastic writer and I’ve been waiting FOREVER for the release of Winter. Her new series Heartless that releases next fall sounds very good!

New Authors who have become auto-buys!

9. Virginia Boecker – I LOVED The Witch Hunter so much and she now has become an auto-buy author. She is hilarious and can write fantastic secondary characters!

10. Melissa Grey – I just finished listening to the audiobook of The Girl at Midnight and it quickly became a favorite for me this year. I will buy the second book to this series!!!

Who are YOUR auto-buy authors!

How I started making Book Trailers and How!

Hi Everyone!

I thought I’d do a quick post to explain why I got started making book trailers and how I go about it.

It all started with the Witchlanders Truthwitch Street Team, I guess you could call it, competition. You could create entries so you could get picked to be on the street team.

So, I decided to make a video entry to Truthwitch! I had so much fun with it, that I decided I’d start making trailer for other books.

Here is my >>> Channel

How do I choose?

  • This slightly difficult. First of all, I pick a book I’m actually excited about. If I’m not inspired, it’s not gonna happen.
  • Then I go and read the Goodreads summaries.  There have been books I’ve wanted to make a trailer for, but the summary is too long, explains too much, or just doesn’t flow.
  • Once I finally have my “eureka” moment I get to work.
How do I make them?
  • Search, search, search.  Because I do not film my own video, I search YouTube and Vimeo for the types of video I’m seeking. There are lots of amazing indie films on Vimeo that have been wonderful to use.
  • Then I have to find the right music. Sometimes I’ve used songs that author was inspired by (such as for the Truthwitch and Queen of Shadows trailers). Other times, they are songs suggested to me by friends (Thanks Pili) and sometimes it’s just searching YouTube.
  • I also make sure to check out any Pinterest boards the authors may have. This really helps me with how they envision the world and the characters.
  • Then I record my voice for the narration. I went to college for Broadcast and Cinematic Arts so I have some background in video and audio editing. On my home computer I’m editing with Sony Vegas Pro 8.0.
I’ve had a TON of fun making these and am always up for suggestions! I made the Vengeance Road and Six of Crows trailer because friends suggested.

Let me know what you’d like to see and it may be my next trailer!

Watch my latest for Never Never by Brianna Shrum 
(Side note: I do this on my own free time because I love it. I already was contacted by an unknown author to read their book and create a video…for free! Please don’t contact me to make you a video. I always do the choosing.)

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman – ARC Review + Eleanor’s Fan Casting

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)by Eleanor Herman

Release Date: August 25, 2015

Goodreads Summary:
Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Legacy of Kings was a book that I instantly wanted!  Why? Because of that cover! I received a copy of Legacy of Kings from the publisher for review. Thank you!

The World:
One of the most interesting aspects of this book was when in history it occurs. It takes place in the time of Alexander the Great (340 BC) when he was still a teen before he ruled the world.  This was one of my favorite things about the book. I had never read a book that took place in this time-frame (except the Bible) and was curious if it would seem confusing or if there would be difficulty understanding the world. But, I had no problem with the world building in Legacy of Kings at all. Everything was described wonderfully by Eleanor, and it doesn’t leave you lacking.

Not only is this world set in BC history, there is also magic! I love the combination of historical fiction AND fantasy. Not only is magic prevalent in this world but so are magical creatures. Who doesn’t love that?

I was really wishing for a map in the ARC because I had to Google the area in which these events take place. I was told that the final copy of the book would indeed have a map which will make this book even better!

The Characters:
This book has 6 main point of views (there are a few others). Sometimes, in books, this bothers me and other times it doesn’t. I didn’t particularly have any issues with the amount of voices in the book. I found them all distinct and well written. Most, if not all, the characters all are carrying around secrets. It was fun guessing what those secrets could be or how they would play out.

Legacy of Kings is a high fantasy full of romance, magic, secret plots and adventure. To me this book felt like a set-up book for the rest of the series. Events that occur in this book set the stage for the story line to continue and pick up in book two.I enjoyed the book, however, I found it rather long and it took me a while to read it. There was nothing wrong with the book but I didn’t find myself emotionally invested in it. However, it’s a strong first book to a new high fantasy series and I have high hopes for the next book.
I gave Legacy of Kings a 4 out of 5 Stars

Eleanor Herman’s Fan Casting:

In the ARC, Eleanor lists who she would fan cast for all the main characters so I thought that would be fun to include in this review.

Alex: Daniel Sharman

Heph: Jack Falahee

Kat: Emma Watson

Jacob: Matt Lanter

Cyn: Caitlin Stasey

Zo: Shay Mitchell

A Month of Indies: Sanguine Mountain by Jennifer Foxcroft Book Review

Sanguine Mountain (Camazotz Trilogy #1)
by Jennifer Foxcroft  

An anonymous letter shatters the world Connie thought she knew and trusted. The news that her parents aren’t really her own leaves her angry, devastated and alone. The search for the truth leads her down a dark, desolate forest road where she meets a boy in the shadows who has secrets of his own.

Rockland’s life has been ruled by an ancient curse since the day he was born. Forever labeled a misfit and a rebel, he is desperate to convince his leaders that integration with the modern world will be the salvation of their kind—not their demise.

After their worlds collide in the middle of a dark forest, Connie and Rocks strike a deal to help each other find the answers they both need—away from her lying parents and the judgmental sneers of his colony. But, can they find love on their journey to discover who they are and where they belong in the world?

My Thoughts 3.5 Stars

Sanguine Mountain was a PLEASANT surprise! I was asked to join A Month of Indies hosted by Sanovia at and read Sanguine Mountain written by Jennifer Foxcroft.

This was my ever first Indie book I’ve ever read completely. Usually Indie books don’t appeal to me because I worry that they won’t live up to what I want or expect out of books (proper editing, etc.). 

The Story:
It took me about 100 pages into the book to finally be hooked into the story line. But once I reached that 100 page mark, I couldn’t stop! 

The story is about a girl who finds out a devastating secret that her parents had kept from her her whole life. While she was investigating she gets lost and meets some very strange people in the woods. One of them being a very tall, gorgeous, tattooed guy named Rocks (Rockland) who is more than he seems.

Connie and Rocks discover that they both need each others help and their own adventure begins.

World Building:
I actually really enjoyed the world building a lot. Like I said, it took me a while to get into the book but as it went on more and more of the world building came into play. Rocks comes from a people who over centuries has been cursed where they have become shapeshifters. They are humans but also bats. I appreciated how Foxcroft dealt with the common issue people have with shapeshifting people. How are they clothed and not naked when they become humans. Foxcroft actually does address this and I was pleased to see how she handled this.

The Romance:
Yes there is romance, which is always important to me in story lines. I’m not gonna lie! The chemistry between Connie and Rocks is sweet and hot. There is this dance club scene…

Overall I LOVED this book. It left me DESPERATELY wanting book 2! I found the characters likable and the story-line fun and exciting. If you like bat folklore told in a new way, then pick up Sanguine Mountain. 

2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour

The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is hosted by The Book Bratz. I was asked by my friend Kim to buddy up with her as her partner because her partner was unable to participate.

Today I have a guest post from my super awesome German friend, Kim from Dreaming in Libraries. She talks about her favorite German authors! How exciting!

Check it out!
Hey Everyone!
I’m Kim blogging over at Dreaming in Libraries.
So this post was originally planned for another blog during the Summer Blogger Promo Tour taking place right now. But when one of the blogger from my group was removed from the tour I had to find a solution. I knew right away that I’d love to feature Sarah on my blog instead of the one planned, because Sarah is one of the nicest people out there on twitter and really one of my favorite bloggers :-)! I was even happier when she agreed on introducing my blog on hers, too!
Thank you SO MUCH, Sarah, for jumping in and having me on your blog today!!
Sarah liked the idea of me talking about my favorite German authors, so I did. I hope you enjoy this post!

Reasons why I mainly prefer reading in English

Before I dive head first into talking about my favorite authors, I might need to explain why there are so few. I generally prefer reading in English, even though the reading itself is so much slower than when I read German books to be honest. But the thing is: The English language contains so much more words than the German language (about twice as much, if I recall right). And I really think this affects the way a book is written. I honestly feel the lack of words while reading German books. English authors have a lot more possibilities to describe the same thing with a huge choice of words which German authors don’t really have. That’s as well one reason why I often don’t like translations too much.
I just recently read an article by a German translator about translating sex scenes. She said that you couldn’t just translate a sex scene word by word, because in the German language you simply wouldn’t use specific words English authors use as they would create a completely wrong image in the reader’s head. It’s no problem at all in English books, because in the English language you can get it out of the context, but in German you just don’t use certain words in that exact same way. Also, in German books the translator leaves a lot of imagination to the reader instead of translating exactly how the sex scene had been described in English.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that in English there are more possibilities for authors to create a vivid picture. At least that’s my opinion about it and it can very well be that other readers feel differently about it ;-)!

But now onto my favorite German authors who aren’t translated into English:

Bettina Belitz and Sandra Regnier
Bettina Belitz and Sandra Regnier are my two favorite German authors by far. They are even amongst my favorite authors of all time (including Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Maas). The reason why I love their books so much isn’t just about their stories, but it’s about their writing style and their use of the German language, as well.
Bettina Belitz for instance has a magical writing style. She’s able to create such a vivid picture in your head – it’s unreal! You’re able to dip into her world and shut out the real world completely. She’s also a master at phrasing things. It’s hard to explain, though, if you haven’t experienced it yourself.
Sandra Regnier has an awesome writing style, too. It’s different than Bettina Belitz’, but very vivid nonetheless. Her strength is writing humorously. You’re reading her stories and have to laugh out loud, because her characters are hilarious and it’s just fantastic the way she writes her books.
Sadly, neither Bettina Belitz’ nor Sandra Regnier’s books have been translated into English yet (at least as far as I know), but I really hope that one day a foreign publisher will discover these two amazing authors, too!
If you’re able to read in German, though, you really should check out “Linna singt” and “Vor uns die Nacht” by Bettina Belitz and the “Pan” series by Sandra Regnier!

The following are German authors I really like, as well, and which you might also know, since their books have been translated into English:

Cornelia Funke, Kerstin Gier and Kai Meyer
I loved the books of these three German authors, too, but they didn’t stick with me the way Bettina Belitz’ and Sandra Regnier’s did. Nonetheless these are great authors (obviously, since they have been translated), too, and I highly recommend their books. I’ve devoured the “Inkheart” series by Cornelia Funke just as fast as the “Ruby Red” series by Kerstin Gier. Those two series are amazing and I’ll reread them at some point – that’s for sure! I didn’t like all of Kai Meyer’s books (and guys, he has A LOT), though, but one series I particularly enjoyed was “The Wave Runners” series. Also, I’ve met him twice during readings and he’s such a talented narrator, too. If you’re ever able to go to a reading with him, it’s absolutely worth it!

So, these are my few favorite German authors, but I know there are probably a lot more amazing German authors which I simply don’t know yet.
I hope you enjoyed my post!
Thanks again to Sarah for having me!

Yours, Kim

About Kim

Kim is a book-obsessed girl from Germany studying Physics of Earth. When not struggling with mathematic formulas, she’s busy fangirling over her latest favorite book. She loves to do everything concerning books: reading, blogging, writing, making bookish pendants,… Kim started her book blog “Dreaming in Libraries” in 2014 and thereby discovered a new hobby. You can find her blog at and she’s more than happy to talk to you on Twitter (@DreamingLibrary)!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Book Review


by Naomi Novik 

Goodreads Summary:

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

My Thoughts 3.75 Stars

I have mixed feelings about this book which is why I can’t decide between 3.5 stars and 4. 
So I’ll go with random 3.75 stars.
The Story:
Uprooted is about a world where a mysterious evil, referred to as The Wood (which is also actual woods with trees, scary animals and alike) keeps expanding. There is The Dragon, a sorcerer, in the town of Dvernik who ever 10 years comes and take away a girl from the village back to his tower.
Over the book, bad things start happening and you learn what The Wood is really after.

The Characters:
The Dragon. He was probably my favorite character of the book. He was sarcastic, blunt and rude, but I still enjoyed his character. 
Agnieszka. She’s a character that starts off pretty naive in the beginning and learns a lot on her journey. She also will speak her mind and won’t be shut out. I love to see characters who are true to themselves and act on it.

The Magic:
One of my problems with Uprooted is the mysterious Wood isn’t explained very well. It kinda of reminds me of a math teacher I had in high school. He assumed we already knew everything in geometry and taught us as though we understood. There seemed to be an assumption that we understood what the Wood was. So, it was a bit confusing until the end when things get cleared up. I’m not sure if this was intentional to keep it a mystery factor, but I didn’t like that the world building was assumed and not better explained.
I did enjoy the magic throughout. I love when characters just start to learn magic and over time come to realize just how powerful they are!
I LOVED how Novik explained and worded the spells. It was beautiful. This perhaps was my favorite part of the book. The writing is fantastic!

Overall I enjoyed the book. It definitely has an old school style fantasy novel. I walked away liking it, but unfortunately not loving it like others I know. It took me WEEKS to read it, which I think contributed to my lack of passion for this book. It was beautifully written so that can’t be argued against!

Side Note: This book isn’t YA, so there is some very graphic sexual content. 

My New Thing: Book Trailers!

In preparation for #TruthwitchStreetTeam, they (Susan Dennard and @truthwitch) were running a campaign to find those who had LOTS of enthusiasm for Truthwitch, the new series soon to be released by Susan Dennard in February of 2016.

So, I made a video!

I had so much fun making it, I decided to start making more book trailer videos for books I’m very excited about.  You can subscribe to my channel as I will try to make more and more.
Here are the other two I’ve made so far. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas and The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig!

This was my newest, and quite possibly my favorite video so far!

What would you like to see?

2015 Racially Diverse Books and Why I Support Them

Earlier this month I did a guest for for the wonderful Avid Reader blog and I chose to speak about racial diversity specifically in YA.

Here is the link to the original post.

I wrote up this post because diversity in books really hits home for me personally. Almost three years ago my husband and I adopted a sibling group who, even amongst themselves, are diverse racially.

Racial Diversity In YA Over The Last Year 

If you follow me at all on my blog or Twitter @thebooktraveler, you’ll know a few things about me: 1. I love reading fantasy, and 2. I adopted a sibling group (Daughter: African American, Son: Biracial (African American/Mexican), and Son: Biracial (African American/Caucasian)) three years ago with my husband. After my kids moved in I became grossly away of the MAJOR imbalance of racial diversity within books, TV and movies. 

It is so unequal I found, and still find, myself getting frustrated…a lot!

For this post I wanted to address racial diversity within the confines of YA literature specifically. I’ve seen, just over this year, a major shift and change in regards to diversity as a whole in YA. If you asked me a few years ago to name Non-White MAIN CHARACTERS in a YA book, my options were VERY limited. Allison Sekemoto from The Blood of Eden trilogy by Julie Kagawa is Japanese, and To all the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han is Chinese American. Other than that, I could only name secondary characters: Nehemiah from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Magnus Bane from The Immortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Jie Chen and Daniel Boyer and from Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. Obviously, this was not ok! I’m sure there are more but none that I had read.
Every time a book cover is revealed and another “white face” appears, I cringe. Come on! Really? Do they ALWAYS have to be white?
Sarah Ockler, author of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, wrote a fantastic post encouraging authors to diversify their books. Check it out here: Race in YA Lit: Wake Up & Smell the Coffee-Colored Skin, White Authors! (My good friend Sarah @EscapingSarah shared this post with me)
When it comes writing diversity, I see things twofold:
  1.       If the world is make believe, such as fantasy or science fiction, racial diversity is EASY to put in. There are no cultures that need to be researched in order to make the character authentic and real. My example is Jubilee from Their Shattered World. Her race wasn’t really a focus of the book, at all. I loved that this book had a MAIN character who was not white.
  2.       If the book is a contemporary or historical fiction book, diversity must be taken more cautiously. If a white author wants to write about a black family, then the author should do research in order to make sure stereotypes aren’t written in and that facts are correct. However, there is no need to HAVE to write white if you’re white! (Again reference Ockler post)
I am quite pleased to see SO MANY MORE diverse books this year. I have not read many of these books yet so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the racially diverse characters. I’ve read a few of these books on the list I’ve put together and many more I plan to read (especially The Wrath and the Dawn, 5 to 1, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids) over this next year.
Let’s keep the trend going, but please authors, don’t write racially diverse books just to write them because it’s “popular to do so” but rather, write them because all races deserve to be seen and let these characters be beautiful inside and out.
Below is a list I created with the help of suggestions from others on Twitter. (I apologize if any of the information is inaccurate. I tried my best to get as many books as possible, get the ethnicity correct with the characters and also including book release dates. It is by no means exhaustive)
*Click image and zoom in to see the ethnicity of the characters and release dates!  

Find Me Tag

I haven’t done a tag in FOREVER. But my good friend Carrie from Once Upon a Dream Books tagged me for this FIND ME book tag created by Beautiful Bookish Butterflies. 
Thanks Carrie!
I had to do a bit of cheating…so bear with me!


A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean – I actually have never read this book but it was the only one I could find that looked like it had a sunset. I think!


Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – Guilty…I still haven’t read it! I’ve had it for almost a year and still haven’t gotten to this book. But hey it has water! (Or lack thereof in the books)


New Moon by Stephanie Meyer – Flower! I can’t remember if a flower was significant in this book. It’s been a while since I read it. But I also really enjoyed Twilight and don’t care for all the Twilight bashing I see all the time. 


Boomerang by Noelle August – This is such a fun book! I highly recommend this NA series co-written by Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I do NOT have a book with the word “Gone” in it, so I chose another 4 letter G word…Girl! It works! (Cheating here….)


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins – This book also is on my TBR shelf! I won a copy and have heard it’s really good!


The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss – If you look closely there is a moon! I was excited to find a book that worked!


Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett – I recently was given this ARC by a friend and look forward to reading it. I don’t really read YA Horror, but it sounds good!


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles – This is as close as I could get! I don’t have a lot of contemporaries and this book actually is borrowed from the library!


Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway – Ok…cheating here. There are NO headphones on this cover, HOWEVER the entire book is about a song and music. As close as I could get!


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – DRAGONS! Dragons have wings!


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – Another TOTAL cheat. No book…BUT a pensieve is kinda like a book. They would see memories and study them…kinda like a book! 


The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss – Yes, I used it again! I have no books with doors folks! I had to use it again.


Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi – Finally an easy one! All three books in the Shatter Me trilogy have eyes on them. I love these covers.

Now I tag:

And of course, YOU! Anyone is welcome to do this tag!