New ‘Heist Society’ Book by Ally Carter!

I have been waiting for this day for the past three years, and I am SO excited to announce that Ally Carter is finally coming out with another “Heist Society” book!

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I’m terribly depressed that it is just going to be a novella and only available in e-book, but honestly, I’ll take anything that I can get when it comes to the characters in Ally’s “Heist Society” series. My only wish is that her new novella doesn’t sign the end of this series, because I desperately need just one more full-length novel with Hale, Kat, and Gabrielle.

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Okay, on to the novella!

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“The Gift of the Magi” by Ally Carter

(Heist Society #4)

Release Date: November 15th

Format: e-book

Summary:

“Katarina Bishop is a thief. To many it wouldn’t matter that she now uses her considerable skills to resteal valuable works of art and return them to their rightful homes. She’s still a thief.

So that’s why Kat’s surprised when an Interpol agent comes to her one snowy evening, asking for her help.

The Magi Miracle Network was set to auction off a very rare, very valuable Fabergé egg two days before Christmas, but the egg’s been stolen and now the charity’s reputation—and their future—is on the line.

Kat’s family and Interpol might be on opposite sides of most jobs, but someone just stole Christmas.

Now it’s up to Kat and her crew to steal it back.”

I am super excited to read another book by Ally Carter, especially a Christmas themed story, and I just hope that this isn’t the last time we get to see these wonderful characters!

Happy reading to my fellow Ally Carter fans!

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See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2)

See how they run by Ally Carter book

“See How They Run” by Ally Carter

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Grace Blakely discovered that the Scared Man of her nightmares, the man she had believed to be her mother’s murderer, is innocent, and that her mother was actually a part of something important enough for someone to want her dead. Grace’s already upended world is shaken once again when she’s told a great secret that has been kept for centuries, revealed only to a select few in all of Adria.

Still reeling from what she has been told about the true history of Adria and her mother’s past, tragedy strikes Embassy Row. When someone closely connected to the Blakely family is found dead on one of Adria’s beaches, Grace and her friends have to uncover the truth behind what happened to the victim before one of their own is accused of being the murderer. Soon they discover that the victim’s death is closely connected to the untold story of Adria, and Grace begins to realize that her fate and the fates of friends depend upon her uncovering the truth buried beneath the ancient city. She just hopes that she can expose it before her time and luck runs out in Embassy Row.

Wow, I had a lot of fun while reading this book! Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors because of her clever writing and fast-paced plots, and whenever I pick up a book written by her, I know that I will enjoy reading it. In January of last year, Ally Carter had released the first book in her new “Embassy Row” series, and I had enjoyed it a lot, but it did not capture my heart quite like the “Gallagher Girls” and the “Heist Society” books had. I could appreciate that “All Fall Down” was a fast, enjoyable read, but I was not in love with the characters of this new series and that kept it from becoming an instant favorite for me. With Ally Carter, though, I always know to just sit back and wait, because each successive book in her series gets better and better, and I am quite happy to announce that “See How They Run” was not an exception to the rule.

“See How They Run” was instantly more interesting and enjoyable to read than the first book, and now that I knew Grace a little bit more, I could really get into the story and mystery that Ally wrote in this book. When I read “All Fall Down” in January of last year, I had liked reading it, but I had found it to be a bit more predictable and some of the suspense was taken away because of that. With “See How They Run,” however, I did not know what Ally Carter would do next and was just along for the very fun ride that it took me on.

Grace was a harder perspective to read at times because of her darker, more negative outlook on life. Obviously she had valid reasons to feel the way she did, but her point of view did not make for the most lighthearted or funny reading experience like the “Heist Society” and the “Gallagher Girls” had been. Ally Carter has an amazing sense of humor that comes across in her writing really well, but the “Embassy Row” books have been quite serious compared to the other books due to Grace’s fairly constant stream of negative thoughts. Although Grace’s was not the most reviving or refreshing of perspectives to read from, I still enjoyed “See How They Run,” and after the first half of it, Grace definitely curbed some of her internal pessimism. Once I reached that point in this book, I found myself caring a lot about Ally’s beaten down heroine, and I wanted to see her forgive herself and get a fresh start.

One of the many reasons why I love Ally Carter’s writing so much is that her books and series always become more and more layered as they continue. “See How They Run” was so much more intriguing than “All Fall Down,” and I loved that I learned more about the history Adria and the secret circle that Grace had been invited into. All of those new additions to the plot and background of Adria created an extremely interesting dynamic between the main and secondary characters in this book, which only added to the fun of it! Besides the added mystery of “See How They Run,” and that I had grown accustomed to Grace’s slighter dark perspective, I loved that Ally Carter had Alexei play a much larger role in her second “Embassy Row” book.

As great as the other characters in this book were, Alexei Volkov was by far my favorite!

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Alexei reminded me a bit of Zach Goode from Ally’s “Gallagher Girls” series (in the best possible way!) while still feeling like a new, fresh male character, and I really enjoyed getting to know him better in “See How They Run.” Alexei was introduced in “All Fall Down,” but he did not play a huge role in the story other than occasionally making an appearance, which I was okay with at the time. I had really liked Noah, Grace’s friend, in the first book because he was in it the most and was the comedic aspect of it, but then Alexei effortlessly stole the show in “See How They Run,” and I just fell in love with this character and wanted him to be in every scene possible. I loved getting to know Alexei a little bit more in this book, and the secrets was keeping created some extra suspense. Alexei was a really interesting and mysterious character, and I ended up massively enjoying the second “Embassy Row” book because he played such an important role in it. Another reason why I liked “See How They Run” was because of the tension that existed between Alexei and Grace.

I wouldn’t say that there was an actual romance in “See How They Run,” but it was obvious that there was something between Grace and Alexei that went beyond just having known each other for years. I seriously loved seeing Alexei and Grace together, the history they had with one another, and I thought that they were, or would be, really good together. Alexei was Grace’s pillar at times in this book, and I think that Grace made him a little bit softer, kinder. Yeah, I am definitely shipping the two of them, and I am excited to see where Ally Carter will take them in the next “Embassy Row” book.

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Besides Alexei being amazing and Grace making my heart hurt, I really enjoyed the other characters that Ally Carter wrote. Ally has a knack for creating fabulous secondary characters, and I loved the dynamic all of her characters in “See How They Run” produced. I felt a little nostalgic at times reading this book because I missed some of the characters from Ally’s other series, but I thought that all of the characters in the “Embassy Row” series were still great, and they were already growing on me while I was reading the second book.

As good as “All Fall Down” may have been, “See How They Run” was a much better book! The mystery was so much fun and did not seem predictable, and all of Ally Carter’s characters and their adventures were even better in this book! I thought that the mystery Ally Carter wrote into “See How They Run” was interesting and it kept me reading quickly, and I definitely did not expect that kind of ending! It was getting down to the last few pages and the mystery Grace and her friends had been working on was still unsolved, and then, on the last three pages, the big reveal came. It was one of those endings that you reread two or three times and end up thinking about how long the wait for the next book is going to be.

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I was mildly stunned at first, and then it set in that there would be no more Alexei until the next book came out!

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Overall, I really enjoyed “See How They Run”! It was a fun and fast-paced read, and I loved getting to know all of Ally’s new characters better. I just wish that I didn’t have to wait so long for the next book to come out…*sits here and waits*

Fangirl Friday #9…Around the World in YA

Around the World in YA

So, a little while ago a blogger I follow (The Candid Cover) did a post about reading around the world in YA, and I thought that it would be really fun to join the book tag and do that for this week’s fangirl friday! One day I want to officially do this book tag hard-core by planning a book for at least ever continent and a few countries in each of those continents (another blogger I follow did that and it was amazing, too), but for right now, I just decided to select few of my favorite books that have transported me to another place and taken me on fun adventures. Okay, here they are!

book 5 to 1(Futuristic India)

“5 to 1” by Holly Bodger was a really interesting book, and I loved that it took place in India.

18798983 The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh book(Historical/fantastical Saudi Arabia)

“The Wrath and the Dawn” took me on such an amazing journey, and I keep falling more and more in love with Renée’s book the more I read it and the longer I own it.

cress by marissa meyer book(Futuristic Africa and Beijing)

I loved the African desert in this book. For some odd reason I found it extremely fun and adventurous despite how deadly it was for the characters. I also adored Cress and Thorne together, so that’s one of the reasons why I loved the setting so much.

23399192 Rook by Sharon Cameron book(Futuristic France and England)

“Rook” by Sharon Cameron became one of my favorite books after I got a chance to read it earlier this year. I fell in love with Cameron’s writing style, the setting, and oh my, did I ever fall in love with René Hasard. Yeah, he was a Parisian heart stealer and I adored ever minute of “Rook.”

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer(France)
Also taking place in the gorgeous streets of Paris was Katie Alender’s book, “Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer.”Don’t judge me, but I really enjoyed this book. Alender’s descriptions of Paris were AMAZING and I felt like I got just a little taste of the City of Lights.
ally carter Heist Society book(England, Italy, and France)
The “Heist Society” series by Ally Carter is one of my absolute favorite series! I love Ally’s crazy cast of characters, the “Ocean’s Eleven” vibe that the books have, and that Kat and the gang get to travel around the world. These characters have been all over the world, and it has been so fun to join them on their travels.
the infernal devices(Victorian era England)
Yeah, I succumbed to the lure of “The Infernal Devices.” It’s a wonderful and wretchedly painful trilogy that I can never get enough of. I love the setting and the characters. Nuff said.
16182308 a cold legacy megan shepherd(Victorian era Scotland)
Yippeeee!! I friggin’ love Scotland and Megan Shepherd did such a good job transporting me to the beautiful and fiercely eerie manor of von Stein and the Scottish highlands.
 
the golden braid melanie dickerson 598dea8044bbd7c48c6e382f91c82d7f big book(Medieval Germany)
I really liked “The Golden Braid” and was so happy to find another retelling of my favorite fairy tale that was done well.
Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie, #1)
(Norway)
“Valkrie Rising” by Ingrid Paulson was a really fun book because not a lot of stories take place in Norway, and it was so much fun learning about the country and some of its folklore.
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Alright, there you have it! My list of some of my favorite books shows that I haven’t traveled around much, but I have certainly enjoyed the adventures I was able to go on thanks to these wonderful stories. So, where was your favorite place that you got to read about or travel to?
Thanks for joining me, and happy Friday!!

Best Day Ever!

Today was a very, very good day for me! This morning I woke up to twitter and found that I had won a signed copy of “All Fall Down” by Ally Carter for participating in the #AllyAmbassador movement. It was crazy exciting because I did not even realize I had been entered to win. Cue my reaction to the amazing news:

cris pratt what!

I was quite surprised and excited to say the least! Crazy as it may seem, my day got even better from there. Low and behold, Mari Rutkoski, author of “The Winner’s Curse Trilogy,” was doing a twitter chat. Since I was already on twitter when it began, I thought that I might as well participate. MOTHER OF MOSES I am so glad that I did! After an hour of having a blast tweeting questions and learning some tidbits about “The Winner’s Crime,” Fierce Reads and Marie Rutkoski chose a few tweeters to give prizes to. I didn’t think it possible, but I won. It was crazy cool and shocking as well, and I was kind of like,

lokiHoly….

tom hiddleston2 lokiand a little bit of this…

psychand this…

psych3and this…

monsterand last, but not least, like this.

And to make a great day even better, my favorite roast of coffee was on sale!

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Alright, keep your eyes peeled for a review of “The Winner’s Crime” in the next couple of weeks!

All Fall Down by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #1)

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“All Fall Down” by Ally Carter

4 out of 5 stars.

Grace isn’t crazy like people say, she’s just dealing with the trauma of losing the one person she loved most in the world, the only person who could make her feel safe and sound wherever she was: her mother. Years of therapy and medications haven’t healed a single wound concerning that awful night where her world came crashing down, and nothing, and no one, has been able to help her because they don’t believe a word she says. That’s the hardest part for Grace; everyone who has the power to do something to catch her mother’s killer assumes that the trauma got to her, that she’s just some crazy young adult trying to cope with something no one should have to ever witness. Added to Grace’s list of problems, she has been shipped off to Adria, where her estranged grandfather is an American Ambassador.

Three years is a long time to not see or talk to someone and Grace can feel the yawning distance between her and her grandfather. He was the only one who would take her and that’s why she’s in Adria, the only reason she’s here. Life can’t be too awful having Alexei, her brother’s best friend, next door and Noah, who has dubbed himself her new best friend, visiting her fairly often. The longer Grace stays in Adria, though, the more her memories begin to haunt her. She wishes she could forget that she witnessed her mother’s murder, but she also never wants to forget it so that, when the time comes, she can catch her mother’s killer. But what can a sixteen year old in a foreign country do when their mother’s killer could be anywhere in the world? Grace has always believed that her timing was off–she been in the wrong place, wrong time for most of her life. But after a life changing discover rocks her world, Grace realizes that sometimes the best place is to be here and the best time is now.

“All Fall Down” was a really good book. Ally Carter is one of my all time favorite authors because every book she writes ends up being fabulous, and “All Fall Down” was no exception. It was fun, interesting, and intricately plotted just like the “Heist Society” and the “Gallagher Girls,” and it also had a bit of its own flair too!

Grace came off as a very prickly character at first: she was intense, broken, frail, and strong all at the same time. Those are all very extreme things to be, but Ally pulled this character off wonderfully. Grace never grated on my nerves, and sure, I was frustrated at times but it was more out of, “Don’t hurt yourself like that again, Grace!” than anything else. My heart ached for her to stop picking at her wounds so that they could heal, and I desperately wanted her to trust the people who loved her. Some people may think that Grace was too harsh, too broken, but I liked her because I enjoyed reading about a character who had been wounded in the deepest possible ways and she was still breathing. I kept thinking of a puffer fish or a porcupine when Grace lashed out because you could see how desperately she needed someone to believe in her and help her, but she wouldn’t let anyone get close enough for them to  truly help her.

Ally did a great job of creating a wounded heroine who had to learn that it was okay to let people in and to trust them. I also loved the relationships that bloomed between Grace and all of her new friends in Adria. Some of them reminded me of characters from the “Heist Society” and the “Gallagher Girls,” and it was really good to see that Ally Carter didn’t lose her talent for making awesome secondary character!

Noah was a great supporting character. At first he reminded me a tad of Hale ( for his cheekiness and charm) and Simon (for his nerdy awkwardness) from the “Heist Society,” but the more I got to know him, the more he became his own character and I ended up really liking him. Noah was sweet, kind, and charming and exactly the kind of friend that Grace needed. The two of them had some really funny moments, and it was wonderful to see Ally’s humor show up in her new characters! Another reason why I liked Noah was that he was the first character who really believed in Grace and what she witnessed the night of her mother’s murder, and it was great to see the two of them work together and build a team to catch the bad guy. Five golden stars to the adorable boy that is Noah!

I liked how Ally also brought in Megan and Rosie. The two of those girls were awesome and I loved how everyone started working as a team. Megan reminded me a bit of Macey from the “Gallagher Girls,” so I ended up liking her character a lot, and Rosie was just plane adorable! There were some ups and downs with all of the character on the team, especially with Grace, but I liked how they worked things out by the end of the book.

I feel like the only person I was unsure of was Alexei, the boy next door (literally). Alexei was Grace’s brother’s best friend, and so he was watching out for Grace while she was staying in Adria, but we all know that he will become a love interest of sorts soon enough. This saddened me a bit because I liked Noah and Grace together; I get that they will only ever be just friends, so I’m learning to accept that fact even if I don’t like it. I think the reason why I wasn’t super into Alexei was because I honestly discovered zero about him in “All Fall Down,” and so I don’t know anything about him other than the fact that he was a nice guy. I’m not against Alexei, I just don’t know him yet, and because of that, I’m not the hugest fan. I hope that the next book in the “Embassy Row” series will develop him a bit more so I can give him a chance, but for now, Noah’s my favorite.

That ending!! I think that my brain came to the correct conclusion before I even finished this book, but it was like I hadn’t registered what was right before my eyes; I did peg something else, but the MAIN thing was still kind of a surprise. It made sense, but it was super sad and I almost cried. Ally always knows how to hit right where it counts, that’s for sure.

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Overall, a really great read. Thank you Ally for another fantastic book! Now I have to wait a year for the next “Embassy Row” to come out. *weeps*

Cover Reveal: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Quick post here today! Ally Carter is coming out with a new series this coming January, and the cover just got released about a week ago. Do you want to see it? Alright, here it is…

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I am really looking forward to it, and I cannot wait until it comes out!

United We Spy by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #6)

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“United We Spy” by Ally Carter

5 out of 5 stars.

Cammie, Zach and their friends return one last time in “United We Spy” for an explosive and entertaining conclusion to the Gallagher Girls series. “United We Spy” is a wonderful and thrilling end to a fabulous series.

Cameron Morgan is a senior. A real senior at the Gallagher Academy. That means big choices, and big choices mean that she could make some big mistakes. She has the brains and the grades to get into practically any university she wants. But that’s the problem: Cammie Morgan, for the first time in her life, doesn’t know what she wants. But Cam soon finds out that she will have to decide what she wants to do quickly or else her current circumstances will make that choice for her, whether she likes it or not. One thing Cammie does know is that she wants to be the one to take down the Circle, and she won’t stop until every last leader is found and taken into custody. The Circle needs to pay for what they have done, and Cam is more than willing to deliver them their sentence. In person.

The Circle of Cavan has been breathing down Cammie’s neck for her entire senior year. Now that she remembers the “list”, Cam and her crew are able to track down the Circle’s leaders one by one. Things never go as smoothly as we plan, though, and Cammie’s first confrontation with a Circle leader since last semester doesn’t go as well as she had hoped. Basically, as Bex and her were questioning and attempting to persuaded one of the Inner Circle’s descendents, he got snipered. Needless to say, he didn’t make it and Bex and Cam were quite close to ending up like him. So close, but still so far. But Cammie and Bex don’t come away completely empty-handed in their encounter. Before he had been shot, the Circle member had said that something big was going to go down, was beginning to happen at that very moment, and that he was completely terrified of it. And Cammie dearly wishes she knew what it was.

Soon, though, Cam and her friends all find themselves caught up in the middle of a war that has been storming since long before they were born, and it only a matter of time before they, and the whole world, is swallowed whole by it. This band of misfits must figure out how to save their family and friends, and discover what treacherous thing the Circle of Cavan has planned before the whole world is plummeted into complete and utter chaos. But Cammie, Zach, Liz, Bex, and Macey, the whole Gallagher Academy, are fighters and they won’t give up until the Circle is destroyed and the world is once again safe from Cavan’s original and sinister plans.

My sister and I have been reading through the Gallagher Girls series recently, and it was taking much too long for “United We Spy” to come into the library. So, instead of waiting, we decided to buy ourselves each a copy, because, well, we wanted it RIGHT now.

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After waiting a few days for it to come in the mail, we were a little impatient (at least I was), and then Columbus day came, and that means no mail. *Sighs*. Then, it happened! The nice mail lady walked up to our porch bearing IT. My reaction (once she was safely back in her mail truck) was as follows.

yaaaaaay

So, without further adieu here is my review.

“United We Spy” by Ally Carter is, sadly, the last book in the Gallagher Girls series. It is a bittersweet thing when a beloved series or trilogy ends. You are so happy to see it all get wrapped up but then you realize that it’s really over, and the wonderful ride you’ve had with these characters is about to come to a good, yet sad end; you don’t want the pages to run out, but they eventually do. The end is so sweet but a little bitter too, and that was how “United We Spy” was.

“United We Spy” was a great end to a fantastic series. Ally Carter just gets better and better as her series go on and it was so much fun to see all of these characters grow up and fit into their own two “shoes”, if you know what I mean. Cammie was great as usual. She was a strong, smart, fun, and a realistic eighteen-year-old girl (who just so happens to be a spy and fictional, but you get my point) in “United We Spy.” I think that Ally Carter wrapped up this character really well, and I had fun experiencing her story.

I think despite how much I liked Cammie, my two favorite characters in this book were Liz and Zach. Liz is the most adorable thing ever and I just love her! She was the awesome nerdy girl who saves the day. She may not be great out doing field work, but she helps save everyone (and the day) in her own brainy, technological way. Ally added a lot of depth to this character in this book (as well as in “Out of Sight, Out of Time”), and you found out that Liz has some demons of her own to deal with, and it takes everything in her to fight them and make things right. I was rooting for Liz the whole time.

Zach, Zach, Zach. He was a very interesting character in “United We Spy.” As I stated in my “Only the Good Spy Young” and “Out of Sight, Out of Time” reviews, Zachary Goode has a lot of secrets. You know he is a good guy, but there are still a lot of things that remain unsaid in those books, as well as this one. I was a bit bummed about that, but the way Ally Carter did it made me okay with the undisclosed secrets. He and Cammie will work it out in their own time, and they’ll do it together this time. There was one thing, though, that Ally Carter did put in “United We Spy” that I really liked, but didn’t expect to happen at all. Call me stupid, but that had not entered my mind.

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The way the secret involved Zach made me understand him more, and so I liked that a lot. I liked him a lot. Overall, I very much enjoyed Zach’s character and I am kind of sad to see him, as well as the other characters, go. I wish he didn’t have to go!

“United We Spy” was a really well written and fast paced book. Ally’s characters were so fun and enjoyable to read about, and I especially liked Preston; I wish I would have been able to see more of him and Macey together. Ally Carter wrapped everything up very nicely but not quite with a pink bow, and that made me respect her a lot as an author. I mean it ended happy and good, but it wasn’t perfect and that was good for the age of the characters and the story she had written. This is a great read for Carter fans or anyone who just wants a fun, entertaining read! Loved it, and I am looking forward to future works of her’s.

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