Thursday, June 15, 2017

On My Shelf: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab

On My Shelf is an awesome feature hosted by Teresa at Readers Live A Thousand Lives that anyone can join. The idea is to spotlight a book from your TBR shelf; it's a fun way to discuss books with fellow bloggers and, with their help, decide which books are must-reads... and which ones can wait a while longer.

On My Shelf is usually a Friday post, but we have to cut out early this week and we're getting a headstart on the weekend!

I got Our Savage Song last year, and I was reminded by the newly released sequel and conclusion Our Dark Duet that it was still on my shelf! I've seen this shelved as YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Dystopian...

Seriously -- I'm not sure which one of those it is, but we like them all! These lines from the synopsis of book two are what makes me think this series would be a perfect read for Mckenzie and me:

"Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost." 

I'd love for my fellow bloggers and readers to weigh in!

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)  Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)

Have you read This Savage Song? What are your thoughts? 
Do I drop everything and start reading -- or put it back on my shelf for later?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you next week! 

© at A Belle's Tales


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #68: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, #3) 
Author: J.K. Rowling 
Illustrator: Jim Kay 
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. 
Expected Publication: October 3rd, 2017 
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst. 


We can't wait to add this third illustrated edition to our collection! Jim Kay has stunningly illustrated these amazing books, and they are treasures for new and old fans alike.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

© at A Belle's Tales


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Release Day Review: The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Title: The Space Between the Stars 
Author: Anne Corlett 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: Berkley 
Published: June 13th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit...

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive. 

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be...


This debut novel by Anne Corlett isn’t at all what I expected, and I ended up enjoying it even more because of what it really encompasses. When I hear “science fiction” and “apocalyptic,” my mind goes to a very distinct kind of book with a certain feel. While this book has the setting of both of those things, it is more about humanity and main character Jamie Allenby’s experiences in the aftermath of a virus that has wiped out most of the population and her determination to return to Earth. The loneliness that Jamie feels in the beginning of the book is palpable, and my mind was spinning with “what would I do in this situation?” thoughts. Fortunately, Jamie is not completely alone, but meeting other survivors is an experience all on its own. I felt for Jamie not only because of what is happening currently, but because of what Jamie has been through. She has experienced such incredible loss in her lifetime. I found it completely understandable and quite realistic that she would be cautious and a bit reserved toward her fellow survivors. I was glued to the pages, wondering what would happen next for Jamie as well as the other characters.

This book is beautifully written; and though it sets a leisurely pace at times, there is a thrilling twist near the end. I was very much drawn in by the author’s writing and Jamie’s story. It’s a frightening concept that the world as you know it could change so drastically so quickly. I want fellow readers to know that this isn’t the kind of story you might envision when you hear “sci-fi” and “post-apocalyptic.” Those descriptors are the backdrop for this thought-provoking novel that feels to me more like literary fiction. This book is about self-discovery and second chances. It’s about hope and love and realizing what to hold onto and knowing when to let go. It’s about one woman courageous enough to face her fears and strong enough to overcome them. Jamie survived the end of the world, but now comes the hard part: living in it.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
© at A Belle's Tales


Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

I only managed two posts last week; and after my second post, I had to desert the blog and my blogging buddies because I was brought down by a tiny, one-pound monster. Here's how it all began: the weekend before last, we heard pitiful cries coming from the woods by our house. When we went outside to investigate, this is what we found:

We searched for siblings and a mom but didn't find anything; he was all alone, filthy, and starving. It took most of the day to earn this little guy's trust, but we finally did, with patience and bribery.

We took him to the vet, and he got a clean bill of health along with shots and everything a new kitten needs. He's a little small for his age, which the vet estimated to be seven weeks, but he is doing amazing and we're sure he'll be caught up in no time.

So meet Loki, god of mischief!


Here's the part where I should probably tell you that not only am I more of a dog person, but I am also very allergic to cats. Not that I let this stop me because I love all animals. I had a rough reaction last week and thought we would need to find the little guy a new home, but I'm on some new meds and am feeling better. I think he'll be staying with us for three reasons:

1. my self-portrait:

2. this widdle face:

and 3. he's clearly a book-lover:


I'll be by to catch up with all of you later today; and of course, if you have any advice on kittens and allergies and introducing Loki to the other pets (which we haven't done yet), please feel free to share :) Now, onto the books!

Previously read:


Currently reading:  


Up next: 


Previous posts: 

Review: The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs
Mother-Daughter Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Review: Spectacle (Menagerie, #2) by Rachel Vincent
Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Review: Skitter (The Hatching, #2) by Ezekiel Boone
Review: Flame in the Mist by RenĂ©e Ahdieh

What are you reading this week? 
We hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

Title: The Bright Hour 
Author: Nina Riggs 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Published: June 6th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: An exquisite memoir about how to live—and love—every day with “death in the room,” from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air.

“We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.”

Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer—one small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. 

How does one live each day, “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty?

Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggs’s breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time?

Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and it’s about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Nina’s other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. It’s a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying “this is what will be.”

Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words. 


Growing up, there was a multitude of words I was not allowed to say. My sweet southern spiritual mom was very strict about language.  I have amazing parents, but firm believers in freedom of speech and children expressing themselves however they wished – they were not. They’ve mellowed out a lot since those days, though I am apparently not too old to be chastened for the occasional expletive I let slip. One of the words my mom didn’t like was the word hate. “But I hate that dress” or “I hate Cassie… she’s a jerk.” For the record, Cassie was a jerk, but I still wasn’t supposed to hate her. I could dislike her. I could be unhappy about the way she treated me. But hate was an ugly word. To this day, if I use the word hate, I get a funny little feeling that I’m saying something I’m not supposed to say. But I think my mom will let this one slide: I hate cancer. I hate cancer with all of my being. I hate that we’ve lost family members to this terrible disease. I hate that it attached itself to my father, then my mother, and then came back for seconds with each of them. I hate that I live in fear that it will come back for more. I hate that my friends have lost their parents and their loved ones to cancer. I hate that it preys on children. I hate that it infects our pets. That it is not selective, and it is not fair. I hate that we still don’t have a cure. And I hate that it robbed us of author Nina Riggs and her beautiful writing that I only just got to read. But I love that I was fortunate to read it. I love that Nina wrote such a raw, realistic memoir. I love her and her beautiful family. And though my heart broke, I adore how she injected humor and genuineness into The Bright Hour. This is a book about dying, but it is also a book full of life. And I feel very honored to have read it. 

“We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. 
They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.”

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

© at A Belle's Tales