10 Books to Look Forward to This Year!

10 Books to Read this Year | read more at nyctalon.com

Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise! We’re well into the first month of 2017, and you might be looking to escape into a new book. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. These new releases, or continuing series, will be sure to get you on your reading game. Fair warning, most of these are YA, as is my preference. For other genres, follow me on Goodreads for some other exciting reads!

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser – January 3rd

The Book Jumper

This fantastical YA fiction story features Amy Lennox who, after moving to Scotland with her mom to stay at the family’s home on Stormsay Island, finds out she is a book jumper. Able to leap into a story and interact with it, Amy’s powers are as dangerous as they are thrilling. When someone starts stealing from the books that Amy visits, she must team up with fellow book jumper Will in order to solve the mystery of the thefts. Available now!

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly – January 31st

When I found out one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Donnelly, was writing this book I was so excited. Then when I saw the cover – well, just look at it! It’s gorgeous. You all know that we loved the Beast not for his baroque-style castle, but for his envy-inducing library. Talk about happily ever after. Here’s that cover:

Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – February 7th

Wintersong

Liesl is the innkeeper’s daughter, the secret composer, the girl with magic in her soul. She abandoned fantastic tales of the Goblin King long ago in favor of taking care of her family and helping her brother in his musical studies. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. I give this book a solid rating – see my review here.

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey – February 14th

Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and Caliban is bestselling fantasy author Jacqueline Carey’s exciting retelling of The Tempest. Carey explores the themes of twisted love and unchecked power that lie at the heart of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, while serving up a fresh take on the play’s iconic characters.

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen – March 7th

They say that Château Beaumont is cursed, but servant-girl Lucie doesn’t believe it—how could anyone as handsome as Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont and master of the estate, be cursed? She cannot imagine the monster that lurks behind his handsome façade, and after the chevalier reveals his brutal cruelty, Lucie clings to the hope of revenge. She wishes to see Jean-Loup suffer, and a wise woman grants her wish, turning Jean-Loup into a hideous beast and Lucie into a candlestick, sleek and silver and impervious to harm. For months, Lucie casts her enchanted light on Beast and illuminates his grotesqueness…until the night an intruder shows up on their doorstep and changes everything. Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s imaginative retelling transforms a classic into a lyrically written, psychologically complex exploration of good, evil, innocence, and truth that defies expectations.

This story offers a unique twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast story, keep an eye out for reviews!

Hunted by Meagan Spooner – March 17th

Hunted

Beauty and the Beast retellings always have a special place in my heart (see my Uprooted review here), and this year is especially friendly for this type of tale in light of Disney’s much anticipated live-action film. Check out what Goodreads has to say about this promising book:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – May 2nd

A Court of Wings and Ruin

This NA (that’s New Adult, for you young’uns) series has captured the hearts of Maas fans everywhere. The third installment of this riveting series picks up with Feyre back in the spring court with Tamlin, and the entire world on the brink of war. Expect to feel all of the feels. All. Of. Them. Also expect to wish for a time machine (a little blue box, perhaps?) that will bring you closer to the release date of this book, because May 2nd is too far away.

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye – May 16th

The Crown's Fate

If you liked the first installment of this series, The Crown’s Game, then you’re bound to love the second. If not, now’s the time to dive into this historical fantasy. Pick up on May 16th, or pre-order here.

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson – May 30th

Dark Breaks the Dawn

A princess, magic, a corrupt king, romance, the battle between light and dark. What are you waiting for? Oh yeah, that May 30th release date. Preorder here.

Sparks of Life by Janet B. Taylor – August 1st

Sparks of Life

For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

The second addition to this exciting time-traveling series is sure to be a hit! Pre-order here.

What books are you reading this year? Leave your comments (and recommendations!) below.

August Favorites – The Hit List!

August has been a whirlwind month for me. Between BlogHer ’12, getting ready for back to school, and enjoying the last days of summer, I’ve managed to find so many new favorite products!

At the top of my list is the hottest toy at my house right now- the Perpluxus Epic 3D Puzzle! I can honestly attest to the fact that this game, despite being marketed to kids 8+, thoroughly appeals to puzzle-lovers of all ages. Picked up at the BlogHer ’12 swag echange at the Hilton, everybody in my house has had a go at solving it (although not everybody has actually solved it, including *cough,cough* yours truly). We love it, so if you’re looking for a game for a birthday, or if you’re already making a gameplan for Christmas – definitely look into getting your hands on one of these. Although, you should be careful, because if you drop it (or if it rolls off your bed, like ours did) – then a little piece could pop off the puzzle and render it semi-broken (like ours is).

The next item on my list is another product that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, and that’s Kiss’ Impress Nails. This has already received a lot of hype all over the internet, in magazines, everywhere- but this is really one of those rare products that actually is deserving of all the hype surrounding it. So get your talons on a set of these, they’re perfect for when you’re on the go and want chip-proof, professional looking nails. Check out their designs, and get a $1 coupon here!

Have you ever purchased one really good-for-you sounding snack bar only to find that it’s chock full of sugar and carbs? Yeah, been there, done that. Rickland Orchards new Greek Yogurt Bar’s are the solution to your snacking woe’s (because there’s nothing worse than a snacking woe). Not only do they taste really really good (my favorite is the Cherry Almond one’s), but they only have 22 carbs, and boast 5 g’s of fiber (leaving your net carb at 17), and 7g’s of protein – which is pretty good as far as snack bars go.

I cannot get enough of the smell of the Apotheke:M Coconut Jasmine Enriched Body Creme- it’s definitely my favorite body creme right now. It has a nice coconut scent, without being heavy like most products with shea butter usually are. The jasmine acts as a toner, chamomile as a soother, argan oil as a emollient, and avocado and shea butter acts as moisturizers. I haven’t had a chance to try the whole line (which is priced at $8.99 a piece at Target), but if they’re as good as the creme then I’ll definitely purchase the whole set!

So that’s it for my August monthly favorites! Have you discovered any new products you love??? Let me know in the comments section below!

BlogHer ’12- Oh the Places You Should Go!

If you’re a blogger planning to drop in on the greatest city on Earth for the greatest blogging conference on Earth (aka BlogHer), or if you’re an eager visitor gracing this city for a short while- then this is a list for you. While quintessential tourist stops are fun and kitschy, they can be a bit overwhelming (or underwhelming, depending on how you see it) and you can actually miss a lot of what makes this city so darn great and memorable. Here’s a list of places, that as an experienced New Yorker, I would recommend to any out of towner looking to get a taste of the big apple.


Central Park- This is both a tourist attraction and treasured New York favorite- and with good reason. Central park is one of those places you can spend hours upon hours wandering around in and taking photo’s. If you decide to go in August, make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

Chinatown-Chinatown has great restaurants each with its one specialty, take the six train to Canal St. and stop by local haunts like the New Green Bo. Their shrimp dumplings are amazing, they also offer great vegetarian dumplings- in a word… yum. Next door are truly authentic steamed pork buns where people line up to take home a fresh batch of these lovelies, if you never had one go in and try one you’ll be glad you did. Feel free to wander around Chinatown, just keep your GPS enabled device with you, or ask a local or store worker for directions out.


St. Marks Place (The East Village)- The East Village used to be crazy, wild, and dangerous – with St. Marks at its heart- way back, back, back in the day. Having been gentrified since then, the village is full of hispters and cool places to eat, with NYU dominating the Union Square area. St.Marks is a great place to take a glimpse back into what was, you can get $1 pizza, egg creams, frozen yogurt, and killer $2 falafel. A few blocks away is insanely yummy old-school Italian bakery- Veniero’s.

34th Street- If you’re looking to shop 34th street is where you want to be. Take a picture in front of Macy’s famous windows, then head down their ancient wooden escalator to the cellar and pick up one of my fav. Macy’s treats- a slice of chocolate chip cheesecake. My favorite 34th street stop is Jacks 99 cents store- they’ve always got amazing deals on great products (don’t forget to head up to the third floor).

Little Italy- I remember being in elementary school and every other week my mom and dad would take me and my sister down to Chinatown. After a meal filled with dumplings, general tso’s chicken, chicken and broccoli, lo mien, the obligatory tea pot, and a handful of fortune cookies, we would walk from Chinatown into Little Italy. There’s something enchanting about NYC’s tiny piece of Italy (besides the Bronx’s Arthur Ave.), that’s always brought me back here. Anyways, after our meal we would head to Ferrara’s on Grand Street (btw. Mott and Mulberry Street) where my dad would buy my mom, my sister, and I some unforgettable tiramasu. Don’t leave NYC without stopping by here!

The best site to use when traveling around the city is HopStop, although GoogleMaps works well too. Don’t be afraid to ask directions, despite our reputation New Yorkers are actually pretty nice people even when we look like we’re always sprinting to our next location ;)

Do you plan or have you gone to any of these places? Going to BlogHer ’12? Let me know in the comments! Any recommendations or questions??? Let me know those too! Also, if I was planning a guided tour around these locations the day before BlogHer, how many of you would be interested??? Let me know!