Y’all…. I went hard this month. 12 books… My bank account is in tears! I bought some really great books this month: a full paranormal romance series, the book it was (sort of) based on; two stories that fit into already established series in my collection, and a few ARC’s from some wonderful publishers! Below you’ll find the publishers synopsis, the books cover, and what made me pick the book up!
1. Plank’s Law by Lesley Choyce
Trevor has known since he was ten years old that he has Huntington’s disease, but at sixteen he is informed that he has one year to live. One day while he’s trying to figure stuff out, an old man named Plank finds him standing at a cliff by the ocean. It’s the beginning of an odd but intriguing relationship. Both Trevor and Plank decide to live by Plank’s Law, which is -just live.- This means Trevor has to act on the things on his bucket list, like hanging out with real penguins, star in a science fiction movie and actually talk to Sara–the girl at the hospital who smiles at him.
With the aid of Plank and Sara, Trevor revises his bucket list to include more important things and takes charge of his illness and his life.
I was sent Plank’s Law by Orca Book Publishers, a fantastic Canadian publishing company. The author, Lesley Choyce, is also Canadian and a Creative Writing professor at Dalhousie University. I read the description and knew that this was going to be a book I’d like. My review for Plank’s Law will go up on Canada Day (July 1).
2. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
I picked up Serafina and the Black Cloak early in the month after I was contacted by Robert Beatty’s marketing team. I’m so excited to get back into reading some Middle Grade novels, and I’ve only heard wonderful things so far!
3. Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty
The storms are coming….
Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.
A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it’s too late.
With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.
In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.
Robert Beatty’s marketing team reached out to me about reading the third book in the Serafina series, and I said absolutely! I haven’t read a good middle grade novel since Percy Jackson, so this was a great opportunity to read some younger material!
4. Paradise Lost by John Milton
John Milton’s Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind’s destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds – heaven, hell, and earth – as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, who are motivated by all too human temptations but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Marked by Milton’s characteristic erudition, Paradise Lost is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years, it has held generation upon generation of audiences in rapt attention, and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.
I picked up Paradise Lost after reading Lauren Kate’s Fallen series. I’m very intrigued about the idea of angels being forced out of Heaven over a war between Heaven and Hell. But mostly, I’m interested in how the conflict was created by human love. I’m very excited to dive into something more mature.
5. Fallen by Lauren Kate
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.
Get ready to fall . . .
This book was so, so good! I absolutely loved it. I had seen it in the bookstore a few times, and decided to investigate on Goodreads. Then I saw that 80% of the reviews were negative. So I decided to investigate, and am I ever happy that I did. This book was gorgeous and I absolutely adore the idea that moved the plot. You can find my review for Fallen here.
6. Torment by Lauren Kate
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for?
In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future . . . and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened . . . what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?
The second book in the Fallen series. Torment was just as gorgeous as Fallen. While I’m not crazy about this book, it was still essential to move the plot forward. I’m very happy that I picked this one up. If you’d like to read my review for Torment you can find it here.
7. Passion by Lauren Kate
‘Every single lifetime, I’ll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever.’
Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way . . . Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
Passion is my second favourite book in the series, right after Fallen. Watching Luce move through her past lives while Daniel desperately chased her, trying to find her… It was beautiful. I love this book! If you’d like to read my review, you can find it here.
8. Rapture by Lauren Kate
The sky is dark with wings . . .
And time is running out for Luce and Daniel.
In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all of their fates.But as Dark Forces gather, great sacrifices will have to be made in this final, epic struggle . . .
In the fight for Luce, and for Love, who will win?
The astonishing climax to the Fallen series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.
This book wins the “Most Beautiful Cover” award. I loved this series finale so much. I cried through the whole thing, and was numb afterwards. It was perfect. All Lauren Kate needs to do now is write a contemporary about Daniel and Luce after they’ve moved onto their next adventure. If you’d like to read my review for Rapture, you can find it here.
9. Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.
And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first and last time, Daniel and Luce will spend a night together like none other. Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.
True love never says goodbye . . .
This novella, full of short stories, was so cute. It was super useful too, as it filled in some plot holes from Passion. This one technically falls between Passion and Rapture, but you could read it in whichever order you choose. You can find my review for Fallen in Love here.
10. Unforgiven by Lauren Kate
High school can be hell.
Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.
Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.
Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.
So, Unforgiven was not my favourite. The Fallen series felt like it had ended with Rapture, and if anything, I didn’t want more Cam; I wanted more Daniel and Lucinda! However, if you read the Fallen series, and you love Cam, this book is definitely for you. You can find my review for Unforgiven here.
11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 20th Anniversary Edition (Ravenclaw) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!
I managed to get my hands on the Ravenclaw 20th Anniversary Edition for my Harry Potter collection! I’m so happy that this beauty is mine. I’ve heard that they’re unavailable in the USA, so if you can’t find a copy I’d recommend checking out Indigo.ca where they do have copies and ship to the states!
12. Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (editor).
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.
Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
I’m a Tolkien buff, so when I saw last year that his son was releasing more material, I lost my mind. I’m so excited to read about the relationship that Aragorn and Arwen were compared to.
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