Saturday, 31 January 2015

Review: First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter Synopsis:
Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice -follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm's three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage... 

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic. 

Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. 

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat... Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

This is going to be one of those reviews where I can’t do the book justice (and have to restrict myself from fangirling which often leads to no longer forming coherent sentences) because First Year was just so amazing!

Right from the start, before I’d even picked the book up I could see that it included all the components to my perfect read. Including: interesting magic, a boarding school that makes me wish I could live there (even though I wouldn’t last 5 minutes), a tough but flawed female heroine, a hot surly guy, great friendships and did I mention that the hot guy was also a Prince…! *swoons* He had me from the first glare.

Well that’s not strictly true, it took a lot of time to warm up to Darren our mysterious Prince, just like it did for Ryiah and even then their interactions were hot and cold (see what I did there… since they have the power of fire… and may or may not have set the other on fire once…). Anyways, I loved how Ryiah was a complete no nonsense girl and could give back as many insults as she took, even when it came to him. Especially when it came to him.

No one in this book was “perfect” and they all made mistakes, it was seeing this that made them feel real. I simply wanted to jump right into this world with them; even though I wouldn’t last 2 seconds as I already said, with the physical competence of a panda and no magic to my name.

Also, everyone played their part. The side-characters weren’t just there for the hell of it, but influenced decisions and made plenty of their own. I’d take a novella based off these characters any day! It would be fascinating to see more on Ryiah’s best friend Ella’s past, or her brother Alex and most definitely Darren. Who wouldn’t want to know what was going on in that secretive head of his? Hell I’d even take a scene from Priscilla’s POV! (Providing she gets hit over the head at least once. With a truck). Just give me more!

There’s no doubting that I can’t wait for the next book. Looking forward to more ass-kicking and maybe a profession of love or two… Let’s see how this love-triangle works out and hope it is just as great as everything else *fingers crossed*

My reaction to this book:
Favourite Quotes:
“The people that tell you what you want to hear are the most dangerous enemies you'll ever meet.” 

“I would join Combat or die trying... A fine choice of words. What had been meant as a melodramatic proclamation was now to be my intended irony.”

“I wonder if you have ever given someone a compliment that wasn't a backhanded insult.
Darren’s grasp on the handle stilled, and he glanced back at me, eyes dancing amidst the surrounding shadows. “I prefer not to, it gives people an unsettling impression of self-importance.”

“Darren, Prince Darren, the sometimes-bane-of-my-existence, had put faith in a future that even I had never bothered to foresee.”

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review & Book Trailer: Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1) by Jen Minkman Synopsis
An ancient land protected by a Tower of Lught,
it's people ever tempted by Siren song,
and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.

On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away.

When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device. The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from? 

While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Sound of Sirens is a brilliant start to a new series that is destined to take your breath away. Jen Minkman’s writing draws you in and portrays new worlds so beautifully that you feel as though you’re witnessing everything first-hand. Music plays such a big part in this book, that I’m glad she was able to make the reader hear it as well as feel it, through reading it.

The sirens story is something I’ve come to know only recently, and to see such a fresh new take was extraordinary. It worked well with the other aspects to form a plot that’s depth is only just starting to show. Our main protagonist Enna is faced with truths that turn her world upside down, but she wasn’t one to shy away from it. From the looks of things the same characteristic runs in the family. So often young adult books forget the parents/family relations and it was nice to see them play their part.

Society is pretty messed up on the island and it will take many people to make the changes they’re striving for. Meanwhile Enna has to make her own decisions. I thought the forbidden romance between Enna and a certain Current boy was a great addition to the story, and I’m looking forward to see where it goes as the plot thickens in the sequel.
Favourite Quotes:
“I just want to help my own people. And if that involves breaking the rules and stirring up a shit-storm of trouble, I don’t care.”

“If I have a choice, I’d rather believe in our own fairytales than in their fabrications.”

“Guess I just wanted to believe in something for a change. Something out of the ordinary. And if Sytse is allowed to dream about changing his stars, then so am I.”

“It’s time to rebuild – and I suspect the result will be worth waiting for.”

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Teaser Tuesday (21)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate
“All her life she’d heard the same noise when the shadows came – whooshing, ugly, wet noise. But now it was different . . .”

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Review: Fire in the Woods (Fire in the Woods #1) by Jennifer M. Eaton Synopsis:
When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. 
But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel. But her father runs their house like an army barracks. and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. 

So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. 
That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. 
It just means she can't get caught. Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. 
After all, she can't really fall for a guy whose not exactly from here. As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it. 

FIRE IN THE WOODS is Star-Crossed meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

I’d heard a lot before release day about this book, and while aliens aren’t usually my favourite thing to read in YA, after I heard a comparison to the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout it was a must-read. I owe a lot to that series (though I haven’t read the final book…) since it introduced me to book blogging and without which I would probably be watching tv right now blissfully ignorant to the fandom life; but I’m going off topic, because what I was getting at (somewhat slowly) is that Fire in the Woods has also now inspired me to look at more photography.

It’s hard not to feel that excitement when you’re reading from a perspective with enthusiasm radiating off the pages. I do have an Instagram account (ignore my shameless self-advertising) devoted to my blog and of course books, but that’s only one section of photography which I find interesting.

Again, I digress. This review is such a ramble I’ll admit but stick with me!

So what definitely won me over and gave Fire in the Woods my 5 star rating was its brilliant set of characters. It’s no spoiler that David is an alien (since it’s stated immediately in the synopsis, and if you haven’t read that you’ll figure it out soon enough; either from me telling you right now or when you start the actual book).

I thought it played into his character well because you saw the beauty of everything often taken for granted as a stranger does, making him less of a stranger in a way. Also he was hilarious! One scene particularly stood out to me when he reads someone’s mind and they’re thinking of… something aliens who’ve never kissed before are a little unnerved by. It cracked me up so that’s why it’s one of many favourite quotes.

There were so many moments like this, along with lots of action that comes naturally from a national man hunt. I rushed through the last few pages apprehensive of its conclusion and I had every right to be since the ending was so open. Not cliffhanger open, but enough that I’m dying for the sequel to be in my hands right now!

This rambly review cannot do the book or the author justice, but I definitely recommend it because even if like me you’re not the biggest sci-fi fan I’m sure a fast-paced and epic plot will at least intrigue you to pick it up…!
Favourite Quotes:
“Sometimes your brain can’t compute what your eyes see. Sometimes you need to stare, hoping maybe you’ll wake up and find out everything was a dream. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t wake up.”

“How many of my friends had fallen victim to a handsome face and a mouth filled with lies? I refused to be one of them.”

“David’s eyes widened. “Why would you want to do that?” He looked away. “I’m not even sure what that is.”
I smacked Maggie on the arm.
“What?” she giggled. “He’s hot.” Her forehead crinkled. “Hey!” You just read my mind. That was sooo cool. Do it again.”
“David backed away. “I’m a little afraid to.”

“Ugh, when did my life become fodder for a cheap science fiction novel? I could see the teenage girls flittering about it already: super-cute alien, stupider-than-thou heroine and a bigger than life story with no chance of a happy ending.”

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Review: Silent Echo by Elisa Freilich Synopsis:
Haunted by silence, a mute teenage girl is mysteriously given back her voice ... and it is divine.

"Silent Echo is a gripping, original read, with a heroine you won't forget. Katniss Everdeen-watch out for Portia Griffin." -Erica Wagner, Author of Seizure

Rendered mute at birth, Portia Griffin has been silent for 16 years. Music is her constant companion, along with Felix, her deaf best friend who couldn't care less whether or not she can speak. If only he were as nonchalant about her newfound interest in the musically gifted Max Hunter. 

But Portia's silence is about to be broken with the abrupt discovery of her voice, unparalleled in its purity and the power it affords to control those around her. Able to persuade, seduce and destroy using only her voice, Portia embarks on a search for answers about who she really is, and what she is destined to do. 

Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, Silent Echo: A Siren's Tale is an epic story filled with fantasy, romance and original music.

When I first read this book I was left speechless (which doesn’t happen a lot) simply because it was such an emotional story and to have the ending it had… just wow.

All the characters go through so much emotional turmoil which as a reader you feel first-hand and it pulls on your heartstrings. Portia particularly is such a strong character because while there were times her courage slipped and she wanted the easy way out (as we all would) it takes a special kind of strength to even admit that.

Her best friend Felix was also a very deep character who had already gone through so much alongside Portia, so to see their relationship was beautiful. The love triangle between Portia, Felix and a transfer called Max didn’t feel at all forced and while it had many theatrical moments, I wasn’t annoyed that it was there because it played just as much of a part in the story as anything else.

Plot wise, I thought the mythology elements, old and new, blended beautifully into the overall story. The story of the sirens didn’t quite catch my eye like the other Greek myths, when I first heard of them, but reading it again in this book with the added music was breath-taking.

I’m very musical at heart, so the songs scattered here and there were beautiful additions to an already addicting book. Also the references to our modern day with things like Apple and Twitter (there was also Harry Potter mentioned so props to the author for that) made it so much more interesting combined with the ancient mythology. Dionysus in particular should not be given access to the internet when he uses it to find new wine recipes, then get too drunk to remember how he’s supposed to be helping!

Silent Echo is a hauntingly beautiful story where old and new collide creating a rollercoaster you simply have to go on.
 Favourite Quotes:
“There is no such thing as a perfect world – or a perfect anything –”
Zeus let out a gruff “ahem.”
Well, perhaps excepting you, Zeus.”

“Opening her MacBook, the Goddess couldn’t help but smile when she remembered first suggesting to Zeus that they get Wi-Fi at Mount Olympus. The assembled deities had looked at her like she was trying to stage some kind of technological coup. She was persistent, though, bringing her laptop with her one day and showing them all how easy it was to navigate this thing called the Internet. Within weeks, her fellow immortals had e-mail addresses and were setting up websites, birthing an entire divine virtual underworld.”

“You’re that reason, Portia. My reason. The reason I get out of my bed every morning. The reason I didn’t give a shit about cochlear implants and exploratory surgery. The reason I Google bird trivia and even venture into secondhand bookshops. It’s all for you. Silent you, talking you, I don’t care. It’s like I told you that day all those years ago – you are my forever.”

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

ARC Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski Synopsis:
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

I have to thank the lovely Preethi @ Time Turning Reads for hosting the giveaway to win an ARC of this book; sending many virtual hugs your way!

The first in the series was captivating and I read it in one solid sitting, pushing aside homework and people and even school (almost late for class… but I wasn’t! *phew*) This just so happened to be the same case for the sequel. I loved everything about this book, so much, from the plot to the characters to the way it constantly broke my heart.

I was not prepared for the emotional hell Marie Rutkoski put her characters through, along with us as readers. There were so many tough decisions that went beyond them, but the way it circled back to their decisions was amazing to read. There was also scheming and lying galore in this book, something that seems to be a common factor in this series. However when those secrets were between a certain two people, and one thought badly about the other, argh I wanted to scream and slap some sense into them!

One of the things I particularly loved, was how we see a lot more of the interesting world Rutkoski has created (shame the digital arc didn’t include the map though; I guess I’ll just have to buy a beautiful physical copy when it comes out! And with it my book buying ban will go out the window. Again) At times it did feel like the middle book in a series because of this, with the way it was setting the groundwork for the conclusive book coming next year. NEXT YEAR! I can’t wait that long… The ending has me dying for more, and I have no doubt that the trilogy’s finish will be just as perfect. That doesn’t mean the wait isn’t killing me though…

My advice: read this series (duh) but prepare to have your heart ripped out and crushed with cliffhanger endings and enough of everything to satisfy any reader!
Favourite Quotes:
“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

“Sometimes you think you want something,” Arin told him, “when in reality you need to let it go.”

“Brother, you are mad,” said the queen.
“He loves me,” Roshar protested. The cub was sleeping huddled against Rosher’s leg.
“And when it has grown, and is large enough to eat a man?”
“Then I’ll make Arin take care of him.”

“Arin hadn’t fallen asleep on the deck of his strangely still ship, yet, it felt as if he’d been dreaming. As if dreams and memories and lies were the same thing.”

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Review: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner Synopsis:
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. 
There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. 
Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broke. All the bets are off.
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

There’s a big part of me that is disappointed by the lack of answers this books gives, even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The writing was so addictive, with plot twists around every corner, and it was only a few pages from the end of the book that I stopped to think “What the hell is going on?” Thomas was always going on and on about unanswered questions but I had more than him by the end of it with an extra addition of, “Where is this series going?”

Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it, and I’ll no doubt be continuing the series in hope of those answers, but to be honest I don’t know if James Dashner even has them. He could have easily been making it up as he went along…

One thing for sure is that he can spin suspense! A lot of the book was spent travelling and waiting for the next twist, but it was still captivating (when the characters didn’t complain too much). None of them were weak, because as Minho said they’d been weeded out already until only the strong survived. However that didn’t stop complaints, most of which came from Thomas. It’s understandable I know, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t irritate me beyond belief.

I’m pretty sure I’m making this out to seem like I didn’t like the book, when I did! And that’s where the mixed feelings come in. All the same, this series might be worth picking up if it sounds interesting to you.
Favourite Quotes:
“Yeah, right," Minho said. "And Frypan's gonna start having little babies, Winston'll get rid of his monster acne, and Thomas here'll actually smile for once."
Thomas turned to Minho and exaggerated a fake smile. "There, you happy?"
"Dude," he responded. "You are one ugly shank.”
“Can you do that?” Thomas asked. 
“Kill someone three times.”
“I’d figure out a way.”

“False hope," she said. "Guess that's better than no hope at all.” 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Review: Split Second (Split Second #1) by Sophie McKenzie Synopsis:

What the hell was this? I stared at the numbers, numb with horror. The box was a bomb. And it was going to go off in two minutes.

Charlie's life is torn apart by a terrorist bomb in a London market. Months later she meets Nat, whose family has been left devastated by the same explosion. But as Charlie gets closer to Nat she starts to wonder if he knows more about the attack than he is letting on...

Life can change in the blink of an eye - whether you're ready or not. 

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

Sophie McKenzie has an amazing talent for writing action packed YA thrillers that are simply impossible to put down. Split Second was no exception.

There was a high level of dystopian content which was done well, in that you weren’t bogged down with endless details at the very beginning. It was partly due to the fact it closely resembled the world we live in today but where society has changed drastically as a response to budget cuts and unemployment. You could clearly see the parallels, which was interesting; but I didn’t get the sense that the book was designed to make you think about your own life, any more than it was a story to enjoy.

It’s told through a dual narrative with Charlie and Nat as the main protagonists and narrators. Something that often stumps authors is writing the voices so they’re easily distinguishable, but after reading her other series The Medusa Project I already knew McKenzie could do it. Once again I was right. Both characters were very different, but their strengths complimented the others weaknesses. I particularly loved Charlie’s bad-ass character, though it didn’t stop her getting into a few close scrapes…

There were so many twists and turns with regards to just about everything, it was hard to keep up so if that’s your type of thing (like it is mine) you should definitely pick this book up!
Favourite Quotes:
“This hole in the earth was no storage space. I was digging my own grave.”

“It was funny how bomb and wars looked so thrilling in movies and computer games, when the reality was so heart-stoppingly terrifying.”

“Take it easy, Charlie,” Taylor warned, a low murmur in my ear. “He’s a boy, not a bomb.”
I swore under my breath. “Well you get out here and do this, then.” I muttered.
Taylor chuckled in my ear. “I somehow don’t think I’d have the same effect that you’re having.”

“Taylor looked for a second as if he were suppressing a smile. “Why aren’t you scared?” he said. I shrugged. Taylor tilted his head to one side. Then he took a gun from inside his coat and pointed it across at Nat. “I could kill him,” he said. “Would that scare you?”
“No,” I said, careful not to let my horror at his words show. “But it should scare you.”

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Teaser Tuesday (20)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
"The way I tricked you. The order I gave to have you imprisoned."

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Review: Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1) by Lili St. Crow Synopsis:
In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

I really thought I was going to love this book, and so I ignored some of the more negative reviews on goodreads to read it anyways, but on the whole they were right. While it sounded like the exact thing I love reading everything fell flat on its face.

The plot was simply one unanswered question after the next, with nothing to really spur the reader on and it made it a very slow read. Some people like the idea of constant mystery and it can be done well when you get some answers for the story to be based on, but it didn’t work for me.

It didn’t help that Dru was a complete mess. I expected a strong bad-ass heroine (which is again something I love) but she spent most of her time crying on the boys shoulders. Graves took it all in his stride, and I thought the way he dealt with everything dumped on him all at once was incredible and also unbelievable. A guy with a very dramatic introduction to the “Real World” was stronger than a girl who has known and been involved with it her entire life.

The writer was constantly trying to get us to feel sympathy for Dru by repeating thoughts and bringing up how bad Dru had it with her father now gone etc but without witnessing what life was like before it was impossible to feel the gravity of the loss.

Christophe and Grave were what really pulled me through this book and if it weren’t for their interesting characters there’s a high chance I would have put it down. I’m interested in where the story goes for them more so than Dru even though I’m still undecided whether to read the sequel Betrayals. This book has the potential to lead onto a good series but I’ll likely give it a break before I consider returning to the world.
Favourite Quotes:
“Things can go very, very wrong. They go wrong all the time in the normal world, and the Real World just means they go wrong with teeth and claws, quicker than your average bear.”

“There are two species of teacher – the soft and the hard. Soft teachers might genuinely want to help, or they might have been broken in. They’re usually nervous and afraid of kids, especially high school boys. The hard teachers are another thing entirely. They’re like sharks – machines made for eating, with a finely tuned sense for blood in the water.”

“That’s the funny thing about old hurts – they just wait for a new heartache to come along and then show up, just as sharp and horrible as the first day you woke up with the world changed all around you.”

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare Synopsis:
Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

I can’t stop smiling. This book is perfection <3

I’ve read a lot of hate about Cassandra Clare, but this review isn’t about that, because to be honest, they can do whatever the hell they want so long as Cassandra Clare keeps writing.

I have fallen in love with the world she’s created and everyone (well almost everyone…) in it. Magnus Bane was a favourite of mine in the other books and I jumped on the chance for more revolving around his life. I wasn’t disappointed. You see how much depth his character really has, because while his sarcastic humour and eccentric fashion is what first made me take notice, it was the shadowy feelings of love and loss which captured my attention.

We see so much of both, meaning you won’t be hearing any complaints from me!

All the individual stories were so interesting in their own ways, but my favourite had to be “The Course of True Love (And First Dates)” which features so much Malec (Magnus & Alec) that my inner fangirl rose to the surface and went crazy.

This combination of the short stories is a fabulous edition to the Shadowhunter World that all fans of will love and must read.
Favourite Quotes:
“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate.”
“I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!” 

“If one could look this fabulous, one had an obligation to. One should wear everything, or one should wear nothing at all.” 

“Go to faeries for gossip on vampires, to werewolves for gossip about faeries, and do not gossip about werewolves, because they try to bite your face off: that was Magnus’s motto.”

“Time was something that moved in fits and starts for Magnus, dissipating like mist or dragging like chains, but when Alec was here, Magnus’s time seemed to fall into an easy rhythm with Alec’s, like two heartbeats falling into sync.”

“Humans did not live forever. They could only hope that what they made would endure.”

"Love did not overcome everything. Love did not always endure. All you had could be taken away, love could be the last thing you had, and then love could be taken too. Magnus knew, though, how love could be a last hope and a star to steer by. Light that went out had still shone once.”

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Taylor Swift Book Tag

With so much going on over the past few days I realised I haven't posted since the new year, so to remedy that I decided to do The Taylor Swift Book Tag (as you can tell by the title and huuugggeee picture) which the lovely Erin @ The Hardcover Lover tagged me to do :)

We Are Never Ever Getting Back together – Pick a book or series you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with
The Divergent Series. While Divergent will always be a favourite of mine and Insurgent was a good sequel, Allegiant ruined it for me with plot holes galore, whiny characters, and a death which made me throw the book at the wall. Not good. Bye Allegiant! I’m going back to pretending you never happened and it finished after the first book *waves manically*

Red – Pick a book with a red cover
Talon byJulie Kagawa. Not only does this have a beautiful RED cover, but the premise looks interesting and it’s by an author I already love.

The Best Day – Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic
Re-reading Harry Potter takes me back to the time when I read every book I could get my hands on. They had all been released but I had to wait for weeks and weeks for my local library to get them in stock, and it actually bought the last one (Deathly Hallows) specially because can you believe they didn’t have it! Unacceptable ;)

I Knew You Were Trouble – Pick a bad character you couldn’t help but love
The Morgenstern family (Sebastian and Valentine) from The Mortal Instruments are some of my all-time favourite characters because of their depth. Sebastian more so, because he’s simply so twisted and I loved him for it. City of Heavenly Fire was a cry fest!
Innocent – Pick a book someone ruined the ending for
I’m pretty good at avoiding spoilers and my friends know to be careful because I tend to react badly… But being on social media and as a fan of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare it was only a matter of time before I was spoiled about the ending of Clockwork Princess. It wasn’t just once either, but multiple times for the whole series to the point where I could tell someone exactly what happens without reading any of the books! No harm done though I still loved them and still cried.

Everything has Changed – Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development
Juliette from the Shatter Me series changes so much from the first book to the last. Originally I had some respect for her, then her whiny character frustrated me to no end, and then finally she grew up (that about sums up the books!)

You Belong with Me – Pick your most anticipated book release
This year has a lot of amazing releases, and I actually did a whole post on it last December (which you can see here) but right now it would have to be Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard because I just keep hearing more and more amazing things about her writing <3

Forever and Always – Pick your favourite book couple
There are a lot of choices for this one, but my top OTP ever since City of Glass by Cassandra Clare is Malec : Magnus and Alec. They are complete opposites and therefore suit each other perfectly. The Bane Chronicles which contains their first date had me laughing and crying. Simply beautiful. They deserve that happily ever after, and if it doesn’t happen… I won’t be held responsible for my actions.
Teardrops on My Guitar– Pick a book that made you cry a lot
I cry in books. A lot.  The worst though must have been The Fault in Our Stars by John Green when I lasted half the book and at least an hour after non-stop river. It was hard to even read the words! They’re probably even smudged…

Shake it Off – Pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters
If I love a book I will always defend it while trying to be respectful, unless they’re hating for the hell of it and that’s when the gloves come off. Most recently it was The Duff by Kody Keplinger.

Blank Space – Pick the most over hyped book or series that didn’t work for you at all
I’m gonna have to agree with Erin on this one and say Matched by Allie Condie. She at least stuck it out for the three books but I couldn’t get into the first and so didn’t finish. There will be a review coming soon to explain why.

Invisible – Pick the most under hyped book or series that you think deserves the spotlight
I tend to read more under hyped books as review copies, and that includes Thunderlight by Adrienne Woods which is the second in The Dragonian Series and one of my all-time favourites. You can see why here and there’s also an interview with the amazing author. Definitely pick this book up!

The Story of Us – Pick a couple you think should end up together
For the most part the people I want to be together are (in the end) and the only one I can think of is in the Shadow Falls Series by C. C. Hunter when Kylie picks the wrong guy (in my opinion).

Love Story – Pick a forbidden love in a book or series
I had to think for this one, because while most romances have their problems or are unconventional, they weren’t exactly forbidden. Except of course Forbidden byTabitha Suzuma since they are brother and sister. This book was heartbreakingly beautiful <3

So that’s the end of the tag! I’m not sure who’s already done it so feel free to link your posts in the comments, or if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged by me!