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My Life Expressed as Four YA SF/F Books {INT Giveaway Hop}

Getting to Know You Hop

 My Life Expressed as Four ARCs

Cuddlebuggery Getting to Know You HopThose four to be specific: Death Marked, Unleashed, A Wicked Thing, and Quake. And yes, those are the four ARCs the US winner can receive. If an international reader wins, then they’ll have their choice of pre-orders from those four or one of the previous books in the series! :D

How can my life be expressed in just four books you ask?? Well, it’s not the books themselves particularly, but particular things about them that quite wonderfully capture my current reading and studying spirit:

  1. Death Marked – I really adored Death Sworn, and in particular I loved that the main character, Ileni, used to be insanely magical, but is losing her power and is now just insanely learned in the magic arts. I adore fantasy of course, but I deeply connected with Ileni because of that feeling of grasping for something that you used to feel so confident about. Grad school is basically a long lesson in humility: everyone in grad school was the smart kid previously, and you spend grad school realizing that you aren’t the smartest person in the world or even in your little corner of it. I knew this going in intellectually, but still didn’t really think that I’d find my true mental limits because I never had before. I was the kid who didn’t have to study for tests because the information just intuitively made sense to me, no matter the subject. Turns out that my brain isn’t infinitely capable and that I will probably never will a Nobel Prize in science (or a Turing Award, the computer science equivalent, he). But Death Sworn ends on a note that I loved and won’t spoil, so Death Marked is full of the potential that I’m now discovering I still have even if things don’t come effortlessly anymore.
  2. Unleashed – I had a rocky relationship with Uninvited because it largely misrepresents the field of genetics and what we know about the human brain and its connection to your genes. My biggest gripe, however, was that I wanted Davy to stand up for herself and believe in what she knows about herself instead of what everyone is telling her she is. This is also the struggle I’ve had in my last couple of years of graduate school: no matter how many times my advisor told me flat out that I was a great scientist and did great research, I simply couldn’t believe him; I convinced myself that he was just trying to be nice. This is despite the fact that even deeper down, I did still have that “I’m hot shit” corner of my brain, but I didn’t want to be overly cocky because of above reasons. I feel for this series not just because I feel cool for being able to point out the scientific flaws (sorry, it’s just fun for me at this point), but also because yelling at Davy ended up feeling kind of like a mirror in hindsight. I think I’m too afraid to read Unleashed without some reassurance from friends first that everything doesn’t go horribly wrong though >.>.
  3. A Wicked Thing – Fairytale retellings are obviously da bomb, but I’ve been nervous about any Sleeping Beauty ones because the original myth is seriously effed up. I’m therefore both hopeful and terrified by this one. I love it though mostly for the title and a little because the blurb sounds like it’ll go along with the title: I’d rather be a bitch than a push-over. It’s said way too often that powerful women often have to decide between those two things and if I continue with my goal of being a prominent researcher and professor in the male dominated field of computer science, I fear that I’ll have to make that choice. However, wouldn’t it be fun to completely pull the wool over the eyes of people who think they can walk all over you and instead be the wicked thing that takes back your kingdom for good? :D
  4. Quake – Finally, a slightly less deep reflection: Quake is for all the series that I have yet to start even though I’ve wanted to from the beginning darn it! This series feels like the epitome of the too many books problem because I’ve always been fairly interested in it from when I saw book one and yet have never gotten back to it. It is also the only book on this list written by a guy, and brings the strange situation of female-dominated SF/F in YA versus male-dominated SF/F in adult into sharp focus. I have nothing deep to say beyond that here, just that I want to hear some hype about this series so that I finally remember to read it. Last tidbit: I’m crazy absent-minded these days because of trying to balance ALL THE THINGS!

Whew, my soul feels all naked and stuff *gets winter jacket*. You all complained that I never got personal enough on this blog so there you go! Now I must distract you with shiny things to make you forget all the emotions I’ve revealed:

You can enter this giveaway as long as The Book Depository ships to you! However, US winners will receive all four ARCs because I can ship them then and non-US winners will get a pre-order of one of the four of their choice or a prequel of one of the above four (if you’re in the US and really want that instead, I suppose I can’t force you to accept all four ARCs >.>). The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email and I’ll be checking entries so please don’t cheat!

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Do you ever find yourself connecting to characters in completely different situations than you but strangely similar at the same time? Don’t forget to visit all the rest of these great blogs to find out about them :D

Good luck!
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings-Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I know exactly what you mean about grad school! It was a truly amazing experience, though.

    Shame I can’t sign up on BlogLovin, though.
    Jemima Pett recently posted…Friday Flash Fiction – Bella and the AyrshiresMy Profile

    • I’m definitely happy to be in it most of the time ;-)

      BlogLovin’ is free if you do decide to sign up, but that’s why I wanted to include the Freebie as well :)

  2. I need to get on reading these books! I have Death Sworn to read and an ARC of the sequel. Glad you enjoyed both! Definitely makes me eager to read both now!! I hadn’t heard of the other books, so now I have bigger TBR haha because now I must read them! I’m particually eager to check out A Wicked Thing because I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings too.

  3. Word on all your grad school woes. I decided about 2/3 through my masters in a biological science that the main point at least of the masters degree was to learn by screwing up and running in obstacles and to make sure you could deal with any and all pressure and stress thrown your way and defend your work. If you also happened to produce some useful research that was a bonus:0). A PhD is different I think but maybe not in a huge way. Sounds like you are doing great, really! Also, thanks for the giveaway!
    Stephanie recently posted…Saturdays in the Garden – The Lazy Garden makes its DebutMy Profile

    • Haha, I think the first part of the PhD is basically the same as with the Masters since there’s all the classes and things, and I’m hoping the second half gets easier >.>

  4. I’m not entering, but I loved this post. I need to check out some of these books.
    Midnyte Reader recently posted…Feature & Follow – Book song! (11/14/14).My Profile

  5. This is such a cool post!! Completely agree about the bitch/pushover binary, by the way. If people are gonna put me into one of those boxes than a) I’d rather be in the box that empowers me and b) I don’t care what those people think anyway. *drops mic*
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuireMy Profile

  6. Adelynne Chang says:

    Thanks for this giveaway! I’m kinda scared to read Unleashed too- I liked Uninvited but Unleashed’s summary doesn’t look too promising.

  7. I loved the ending of Death Sworn, too! And I still haven’t read Uninvited, but I think I can relate to your thought process; you don’t want to get too cocky and set yourself up for a big fall, but trying to downplay your abilities too much has downsides and can be frustrating for those around you who keep telling you you’re great. :(

    If you need a good Sleeping Beauty retelling, go read McKinley’s Spindle’s End. Now. :)
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Gratitude Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • Yey, wasn’t it awesome?? :D I’m so excited for Death Marked and just need to find time to freaking read, haha. Yeah, my advisor set my main goal after my first year as “gaining confidence” >.> I think I succeeded so far though, since I gave multiple talks and things :D

      Oo, excellent, I’ll add that to the recommended list :D

  8. Jeebus! You got personal! This is exactly what I wanted when I thought up the Getting to know you blog hop. Great job. I have bookmarked this page for further perusal!
    Kat Kennedy recently posted…Blog Tour: Endsinger by Jay Kristoff + GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Hi Anya :)

    So, I have been following your blog for, hmm. . .about nine months now, and yeah, I absolutely love it! Did you even know that? Probably not, because I seldom leave a comment :( BUT I do read every post you share! For this reason, I am here, to let you know that I have nominated you for One Lovely Blog Award.

    Please know that you are not obligated to respond or do anything by any means, I just wanted to drop by and let you know that I think your blog is quite lovely :)
    Claudia {Sparrowhawk} recently posted…One Lovely Blog AwardMy Profile

  10. I love the idea of relating yourself to your giveaway books :-) I’ve started A Wicked Thing and so far I’m enjoying it. I’ve put it on hold for another book but I plan to get back to it soon.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Getting to Know You Giveaway Hop (INT)My Profile

    • Thanks! I looked at that stack and was in one of those weird writing moods where my soul just decided to spill out easily, haha! Awesome to know about A Wicked Thing, I’m excited to read all the books in December ;-)

  11. YAY!! Great books!! i am sooo excited for A wicked Thing and am THRILLED that you enjoyed it!! Thanks for this awesome giveaway you amazing woman!
    Brittany T recently posted…Getting to know you…getting to know all about you! (Well about me + a giveaway!)My Profile

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