Saturday, January 30, 2016

#WritersLife: Meeting Author A.G. Howard

#WritersLife from Amber, the Blonde Writer

#WritersLife: Where I talk writing in real life.

Author's note: When you read the above title, please follow it up with a very loud SQUEEEEEEEEE!

I found out on Tuesday that author A.G. Howard, author of the beloved Splintered series, would be at a Barnes & Noble in Frisco, Texas, reading from Untamed at 7 p.m. I immediately made plans to attend because hello, Morpheus.

Amber, the Blonde Writer and A.G. Howard's book signing banner

Stacking the Shelves: Jan. 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves from Tynga's Review on Amber, the Blonde Writer

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. It's about sharing your latest book finds whether they're bought, digital, or on loan from a friend or library. 

This week was really big for me and I'm so excited to share what I got!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: Untamed by A.G. Howard

Title: Untamed
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered Series #3.5
Genre: YA Retelling (Alice in Wonderland)
Release Date: December 2015

Goodreads' summary:


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Unhooked

Waiting on Wednesday on Amber, the Blonde Writer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm talking about a new fairy tale retelling that sounds spectacular!

Title: Unhooked
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Retelling 
Publication Date: Feb. 2, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My five favorite dystopian novels

Top Ten Tuesday, by Broke and Bookish, on Amber, the Blonde Writer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday features a different list prompt where you will, as guessed, choose your top ten choices. 

This week the theme is: Freebie! So I'm going to break down my favorite dystopian choices as a throwback to how this blog all started. Also, I am leaving off some amazing books (The Darkest Minds for ever and always!) because I haven't finished the entire series.

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Monday! What are you Reading? - Jan. 25, 2016


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers for those reading kidlit to YA. You're invited to share the books you finished last week and the books you hope to finish this week.

This past week I read:


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard on Amber, the Blonde Writer

I liked it more than I thought I would after my mass of dystopian reading last year. All my thoughts on it can be found in my review.

Books I plan to read this week:


The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Since The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant isn't YA, I won't be posting any review on it. But it's something I've been meaning to read for years.

An Ember in the Ashes has been on my TBR list since it released, so I'm happy to finally dive into this book that is still going strong in the reading world.

What will you be reading this week?



Recent posts:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA Science Fiction-Fantasy
Publication Date: February 2015

Goodreads' summary:


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above

Waiting on Wednesday (Breaking the Spine) on Amber, the Blonde Writer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm highlighting one of my favorite series!

Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Retelling 
Publication Date: Feb. 2, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten #2: Top Ten Reads on my TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday meme on Amber, the Blonde Writer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday features a different list prompt where you will, as guessed, choose your top ten choices. 

This week the theme is: The top ten books most recently added to your TBR list. I'm finishing quite a few series, so sequels might take up most of this list. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Review: The Heart of Betrayal (Remnant Chronicles #2)

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Series: Remnant Chronicles #2
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 2015

In Remembrance of Kel

Kel Walters riding a train
On January 16, 2015, Kelly Walters, a university student bent on becoming a member of Congress
and a week away from starting another study abroad trip, was struck and killed in a hit and run accident.

I met Kel in high school. We were both officers in the Shakespeare Club and founding officers in the Viking Club for Readers (VCR). I would spend many lunch breaks in the back room of the library with her and others, talking about books.

She encouraged me to read The Book Thief, something I didn't until college with much regret because it's a beautiful story. Looking back on the day of her passing, I find it fitting that the one novel I connect with her above all the others is one about stealing books and the moments that accompany them.

I remember moments with her at the library front desk, talking about how she would be a president that didn't back down or follow political correctives. I remember planning ways to fundraise for the VCR Club by selling cake to teachers. I remember chatting with her about dystopian novels and realize she is the sole reason I even picked up The Hunger Games back in 2009.

I don't know if I stole these memories like Liesel does with books, but I feel like they're only mine now. I'm the only one who knows some of these now that she's gone, and I feel like I'm harboring secrets, treasures that no one else can ever have or sell because when I go, they'll fade with me.

Kel reminded me of so many things, namely going forward and doing what you love. She passed away during a very confusing time in my life, where I realized that at the young age of 22 I was settling. I was settling in my career, in my writing life, within my friendships and family, and within my faith. I was letting things happen because I gave up achieving the dreams that kept me going from the time I was 10.

I named a protagonist after Kel back in high school, but that book has seen no more than a couple of written pages and sparsely written notes tucked into half a dozen folders. But that's okay because that novel is still very much alive in my heart.

Kel taught me to chase my dreams. She taught me to count my blessings when it came to friends because those will be some of the greatest bonds you form. She was political and she was kind. She was determined and she was considerate. I feel like doing anything less than pursing a career as an author is a slap in the face to all the faith she put in me as a writer, the trust she gave me a friend, and the love she showed me simply for being a human being.

Kel Walters reading
It's been a year without you, and the world is so much darker because of it. I wasn't close with you at the end, but you stayed in the forefront of my mind, pestering me when I got too comfortable. I know you think your greatest dreams would have been to end up in Congress and improve this country for the better, but somehow, you did so much more.

You changed a whole community. You changed two classes of schools. You changed the lives of everyone you met while you traveled abroad. You changed the lives of your family and friends.

You changed me into the person I was when I was young and shoving pieces of computer paper into people's faces, shouting, "I wrote this! And I'm going to be a writer!" You're a light, kid, and I'm thankful you blind me still.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 2015

Cover of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads summary:


Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer

*SQUEALS*

Books Read in 2015

*Blogger's Note: This began as a page at the top. However, with the changing of years, this joins the rankings of a blog post under the Reading List category.

The books I read in 2015! They will go in the order that they were completed, including the title, author, and genre.