Friday, 27 February 2015

Review: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini Synopsis:
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

This book pulled me in with its intriguing synopsis and the second it really kicked off I was hooked. The first 50 or so pages which took place in Lily’s home universe were admittedly hard to get through because I was waiting for that action to get me out of my slump, but I was not disappointed.

There was always something going on or at least some disastrous plan being put into place, so I couldn’t (and didn’t) put this book down. One of the best things about this book was the world building. I’ve said it before, but it can either make or break a novel and sometimes I will stop reading if it doesn’t work. In Trial by Fire it was perfect. Josephine works it effortlessly into her writing along with the beautiful descriptions of the world.

I did have one problem with it though; there was a lot of science. It was a huge plotline with the comparisons of science to magic, the problems it’s caused and while it was interesting, when Lily started talking about nuclear energy etc etc it just went over my head. God, I’m taking science but it’s not something I usually want to read about in my books.

That aside though and this was a great quick read. The characters didn’t fall into the usual moulds with Lily as a main protagonist determined to be her own person but able to rely on others when needed, and Rowan who while exasperating at first gradually grew on me. Then there was Lillian who is a whole other story…

In the end I think fans of fantasy, even people outside of that genre are prone to liking this book, so I’d definitely recommend you give it a go.

My reaction to this book:
Favourite Quotes:
“The people who love you will guide you like bright lights into the other worlds.”

“There comes a day when every girl loses the stars in her eyes. And then she can see clearly.”

“Funny how quickly the mind moves, but how slowly time does when you’re in pain.”

"Did you sleep at all?"
"No." She heard him mumble something to himself and decided to cut him off before he could scold her again. "My butt did, though. Slept like a log all night."
"Well, obviously, your butt has more sense than you do."

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Blog Update: GIFs

Argh, can't believe I haven't posted in 4 days when I'd resolved to post every other day... Best laid plans and all that!
     Anyways, you may have noticed that at the end of my most recent reviews, I have started to include gifs that sum up my feeling towards the book and/or characters... this is not just because I finally figured out how to include them in goodreads reviews, or found an abundance of supernatural ones as I was binge-watching the tv show... but because I think they look cool! (I bet you were expecting some insightful or at least important reason there, but nope).
     There wasn't much point to this post except to say that you can expect many, many more and I'll even be adding some to reviews I've written that simply haven't been posted yet!

What do all of you think of GIFs?

And for now, here's more of the bae:

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Review: Acid by Emma Pass Synopsis:
The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. 

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

Being a dystopian standalone… it’s fair to say I had my doubts. To include world building (in a way that wasn’t just annoying/boring info-dumps), plus character development, plus world “destroying” with a satisfying conclusion – looks to be an impressive feat. However I needn’t have worried because Acid managed it all flawlessly.

Dystopias are hit or miss for me. If it works and captures my attention from start to finish I can rave about it all day, but if I’m bored or doubt its authenticity then it can kiss my ass goodbye! This book was definitely the former with an intense and action-packed plot, plus original and tough characters; I couldn’t fault it!

What won me over is one bad-ass heroine called Jenna. She’s tough like no one’s business; something we’re made to recognise from the get go and I also loved reading about how she wasn’t always like that. We see glimpses further on in the book when certain things happen… and she isn’t completely herself, let’s say. We also see a more vulnerable side when she’s around Max. The romance between the two doesn’t take centre-stage, and is often overlooked yet the chemistry is undeniable.

Granted, at times I did find it predictable with coincidences left-right-and-centre, though that’s often the best way to keep the story moving along, particularly when it’s incredibly fast paced. I was so engrossed that I rarely stopped (unless I had no choice) to think about what was going to happen next, and that made me appreciate the plot twists more. Because boy where there many!

One thing I didn’t expect was right at the end, when everything was concluding nicely and suddenly a curveball was thrown in the mix! The nerve… Those 3 lines have opened it up for a sequel (which I don’t think is coming) and I just can’t work my head around whether I’d want one or not! That’s not to say I won’t be looking out for more from Emma Pass in the future.
Favourite Quotes:
“Hopefully he’s got a good view of the tattoo on the back of my neck, the one I did myself last year using ink from a pen I found in the laundry and a shard of metal, telling him and anyone else that cares to read it to FUCK OFF.”

“Max’s frown disappears and he smiles back. It’s a tired smile, a mere ghost of the one he woe in the picture I saw on the news screen at work that day; the one that made my heart skip a beat. But it still has the same effect.”

“How can he seep so peacefully when he’s responsible for so much misery, so many deaths? He deserves never to sleep again. Or to sleep forever.”

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Series Review: The Descendants Series by Melissa Wright Book’s Goodreads Synopsis:
Twenty-two-year-old Aern is done watching his brother destroy the only thing that matters. He never wanted to take Morgan’s place among council, never wanted to rule their hidden world. But when the key to the prophecy is found, a young girl named Brianna whom Morgan will destroy, Aern knows he has to take action.

What he really wants, is for things to go back to normal. But now he’s kidnapped a girl, and his brother’s men are after him. His only hope is to join with the Division, but they have plans of their own, and it’s the last thing Aern is willing to do.
Emily just wants her sister back. She doesn't care about the prophecy, or realize what’s at stake. But when she goes after Aern, the truth of the matter uncoils, and Brianna isn't the only one who’s in danger.

Suddenly, they’re at the center of a secret war, and unless they can work together, they’ll both have a sacrifice too big to make.

This is a series where it takes a long time for you to get your head around the intricate plot, and then leaves you with a million questions even after you’ve finished the very last page! Understandable in the first book, and then continuing because it keeps your interest at its peak, but my problem came in the last book. Simply because it turned everything on its head leaving you to try and fit all the pieces back together, something I’m not sure I’ve actually done correctly…

I sped through these books in a matter of days; the action meant I never wanted to put them down. However it also caused me to overlook subtle plot suspicions, so my advice to you (apart from picking it up obviously): is read and take in every word. You don’t want to miss anything.

There are so many characters introduced throughout - all with their own agendas, so likelihood is they’re going to clash. A lot. And result in some major fights… Figuring out who to trust was a test not just for the characters, but the reader, because it wasn’t always clear as day. It was hard of course for the mass-murdering psychopaths to be inconspicuous, but like I said: everyone has motives.

It’s exceptionally hard to go into detail without spoiling something so I’m ending my review here; keeping it short and sweet!
Favourite Quotes:
“For thousands of years, the Seven Lines have held a prophecy. The details are vague, as such things often are, but it can pretty much be summed up like this: Do things right, or everyone will die.”

“It struck me then that I had the perfect comparison for the prophecy. It was like reading the end of a book, knowing what would happen but having to wait to see how the chapters played out in between.”

“Sometimes,” I said, “you have to choose between two bad things.”

“There were plenty of words to be said, but neither spoke them, because “if we die tomorrow” is never the best preface to confess your feelings.”

“Rest,” he said. “We are all safe.” It wasn’t a promise to remain unharmed, only the reprieve to shut your eyes. To recover until the next round.”

Monday, 16 February 2015

Ebook Sale & Interview with Giveaway: The Black Mage Series by Rachel E. Carter

I know I missed Saturday's post, but I have a lot of amazing things coming today which more than makes up for it! <3, the origin of this post, which is to notify all you lovely readers about the ebook sale for First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter which is available in all formats for only 99cents! If the cheap price isn't enough to convince you (and it totally would be for me; just saying), I wrote a review a couple weeks back that can be summed up with "this book is awesome, you must read it so we can fangirl together!"
The sale ends February 28th so you've got a couple weeks left...
Here's the links:
The sale is to commemorate Rachel's newest release: Apprentice, the sequel to First Year which I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of. Again, I have written a review, with again the same idea of "you need these books in your life". It releases tomorrow, and I can't wait for you to read it!

Here's an interview with Rachel herself about both books:
1) Hi Rachel, thanks for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book First Year which is the first in the Black Mage series?
To keep the summary short and sweet I’d say it’s like if “Harry Potter” and “Divergent” had a book baby with a guy as arrogant & hot as Damon Salvatore for a love interest. That’s not to say it is exactly like those books/that character, but it’s the easiest way to describe First Year (the sequels are definitely a bit harder to describe).

2) What was your inspiration for First Year (ideas, particular authors etc)?
My true inspiration came from a song I listened to in 7th grade (yea, that’s right, over 10 years ago!). I always get my favorite book/scene ideas when I listen to music. Anyways with the song I envisioned a guy & girl who were dueling in a huge arena with magic. They were rivals but you could tell there were some feelings involved that made it difficult to fight one another. Thus the concept of the Candidacy (a gladiator-style tournament with magic) and Ryiah/Darren were born.

AUTHOR-INSPIRATION: There are four authors that really formed the base of my early YA reading years and because of that and because of them my writing kind of formed a melting pot for my own style.
Tamora Pierce does medieval fantasy and strong female protagonists like no other –she is the reason I fell in love with that time period while everyone else is reading dystopia.
LJ Smith gave me my first dose of hot bad boy syndrome so I always knew in my first series I wanted a love interest that you spent alternating between wanting to punch the lights out of & make out with. I really liked the idea of a prince but I hate the whole “prince charming, first-in-line to the throne” concept so I decided to make him an arrogant jerk that was the “un-special non-heir” with a bone to pick.
Meg Cabot of course gave me my love of first-person narration & sarcasm.
JK Rowling is the queen of making me fall in love with magic.

3) What scenes were your favourite and least favourite to write?
My fave: ANYTHING WITH DIALOGUE!!! & Of course any scene with Darren:D
My least fave: The battle scenes –I suck at choreography and I’m not a weapon expert so why I picked a book all about fighting… le sigh. I spend a lot of time watching fight scenes in movies or youtube to help me get an idea, and of course wiki/”how to fight with an axe”/etc. are constant google searches on my computer. I never want the same fight to happen twice so it’s a lot of research!

4) How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I think some of Ryiah’s sarcasm is the equivalent of my inner thoughts, and I certainly felt her struggles in college, but she is so much more determined than me. Plus she always has a comeback and I only have them on paper ;P I’ve never met anyone that remotely resembles Darren , and I think Alex/Ella remind me of my favourite qualities of my close friends. I think the masters remind me of my professors in college, only I took them to a whole other level of intense.

5) Which faction would you choose to join: combat, alchemy or restoration? Do you think you’d actually make it past the first year... or first week?
I’d pick Alchemy hands down! When I was reading “Harry Potter” potions was always my favourite class & I always wanted more scenes like that. Plus I’m squeamish around blood and hate PE so there’s no way I’d want the other factions anyway.
Would I make it past the first week, or first year? I’d leave after the first week – that environment is way too intimidating for me plus Piers’ conditioning would kill me. I do not do boot camp.

6) You originally quit your job at an insurance company to pursue writing full time (every author’s dream I imagine), how has that worked for you?
Well I work part-time now so I have two full writing days to myself (which is nice because before I was always too burned out to write after a full day and rush hour or the weekend since we always had errands)! The bummer is money, which obviously is very tight right now (unless I can NYT bestseller famous, haha) but honestly I’d rather be happy & broke than miserable & rich! I’m living my dream every day now and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

7) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author?
I fell in love with reading in 6th grade with Harry Potter and Tamora Pierce’s fantasy books but I didn’t fall in love with writing until I did a short writing assignment my freshman year of high school and literally couldn’t stop writing it (it was supposed to be a scene for one page & I wrote 20 pages without sleeping) which gave me the idea to write mini-short story fanfics with my best friend about Julian & Damon from LJ Smith’s books. I tried to write a couple books (I always had a million ideas) but I would get bored/give up about 30 pages in. I wanted to be an author but I just didn’t think I could finish a book... It wasn’t until after college in that insurance job that I finally decided to get serious –after I wrote half of First Year I begged my fiancĂ© to let me quit and there is nothing like the pressure of  no money/letting the person you love down to make you get serious about writing.

8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
After The Black Mage series is done I have like 30 project ideas but five I’m really serious about. I want to do a couple standalones before I write my next series – just because series take so much energy & I don’t trust myself to work on more than one book at once (Jennifer Armentrout rocks that but I can’t!). My first book would be either a YA thriller that takes place over the course of one night with a murder (think similar to the concept of “House on Haunted Hill”) or a YA contemporary (I’ve got a couple diff. ideas).

9) What can we expect from the sequel Apprentice and the rest of the series; which looks nice and long with a total of 4 books *happy dance*? Is it already planned?
“Apprentice” is coming out 2/17/15 (WOOT)!!!! “Candidate” (the third book) which I am almost done with should be around Nov 2015 or Jan 2016 depending on how fast I can get it finished! “Final Stand” should be around next summer (July/Aug 2016), we shall see. I’ll be honest every book was outlined/planned from the beginning so I already know every major scene for books 3 & 4. I always knew how I wanted this series to end and what would be the outcome for the major players. Trust me when I say the best is yet to come.

10) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors in the Young Adult genre?
Read, read, read all your fave books/authors and study what works. Invent a style of your own and write what you always wanted to read. Don’t write because you want to make money/write the next big trend, write what you are passionate about because readers will be able to recognize that and hopefully share your passion!

Quick Questions
Fan fiction yay or nay? Yay. Honestly that’s how a lot of authors started out!
Ebook or paperback? Paperback! I like ebooks for taking a chance on new authors & then when I find books I love I buy a physical copy for my eventual Beauty & the Beast-style library.
Tea or coffee? COFFEE! Iced coffee with 2% milk, no sugar –from Starbucks, to be exact.
Zombies or vampires? Vampires because of Spike (from Buffy). the Author
Rachel E. Carter lives in Placerville, California with her fiancĂ© and their two spoiled pets: a feisty feline named Charlie, and Zoey, an Australian Shepherd who gets jealous of her own shadow. She loves to organize –and when she is not color-coding her closet she is always looking for the next good book. She grew up reading about magic, hot bad boys, and lady knights. The Black Mage, her debut series, is a tribute to all the things she never stopped loving. Facebook * Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

Last not least, an amazing international giveaway that will have not 1, not 2, but 3 winners!

1st prize is an ebook copy of First Year + a signed bookmark
2nd prize is a signed bookmark
3rd prize is a signed bookmark

Thursday, 12 February 2015

ARC Review: Apprentice (The Black Mage #2) by Rachel E. Carter Synopsis:
She survived a trial year at the Academy, but that was just the easy part…

Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice in Combat, her school’s most notorious faction of magic. When she finishes she will be a mage, but in order to do so she has to survive four years with a training master she hates and her old nemesis, Priscilla. To make matters worse the unwanted attraction Ry feels for her sometimes-friend-sometimes-rival Prince Darren is at an all time high –even though he is betrothed to the very girl she can’t stand.

Really, the only bright spot to Ryiah’s new life is the time she spends with her friends, including an older apprentice named Ian, who she finds herself thinking about quite often.

Just when things start to get comfortable they take a turn for the worse. An apprentice is killed in a rebel attack and several mages end up dead. Unwittingly, the apprentices find themselves in the midst of a budding unrest between Jerar and its northern neighbor, Caltoth. For Ryiah the impending conflict means many things, but as her apprenticeship draws to a close she finds her biggest problem at home.

Unfortunately for her, Darren’s not going anywhere.

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

Just give me a second to stop dancing round my room and grinning like a fool… okay, I’ve calmed enough to write this review, though the grin is going nowhere anytime soon!

This book is more than I could have hoped for, with all the awesomeness from the first book there isn’t a doubt in my mind that it deserves all the stars in the sky for a rating. The second it was on my phone, I was reading it and when I had to put it down (school’s annoying like that) I was counting the hours until I could continue. Even walking between classes it was in my hand; thankfully I didn’t crash into any other students or, god forbid, teachers!

What definitely stuck out to me while reading this was the romance. A promised love triangle always puts my guards up, but I found that I loved it just as much as everything else in Apprentice. There was plenty of angst to go around, and rightly so, but I never hated anyone/anything for it. Unlike many, many other series which I won’t go into since they’ll take forever to name…. I actually found myself warring over who was best with Ryiah, and even after a few doubting moments my heart remains with Darren: the brooding un-heir.

However this didn’t distract from everything else going on. And there was lots happening! With a span of 4 years, we see action and character development to the max. The “side characters” like Ella and Alex were engaging, and never truly felt like they weren’t just as important to the story and it’s other characters. The different types of love showcased, between family and friends warmed my heart. This is where the constant grinning came in.

All in all, Apprentice is one of those books which you want to read in one sitting but at the same time you want to make last as long as possible. I went with the former (to be honest my heart demanded I had no choice) and loved every second. The only problem being, I now have to wait 9 months for a sequel. I can be patient… or I can at least try…

My reaction to this book:
Favourite Quotes:
"I'm not that pitiful little girl you bullied last year."
"My apprenticeship is more important than strangling Master Byron. I repeated the motto over and over again. If I said it enough times it would become true, or so I hoped."
"I wanted to dance. I wanted to be swept up in the long desert night, sending a farewell to the fallen and embracing the living."
“I was tired of my traitorous heart wanting things that were taken.
Or, more importantly, people that I didn’t want to want.”
"It's an easy thing to want someone, it's another to love them."
"I respect you, Ryiah. I told you last year you were the only good thing aboutt he Academy and I meant it. You aren't like anyone else here, or any person I've ever met. You've overcome so much and yet at the end of it you are still kind. You still care."                                                             "I don’t want to be the person to make you mad or cry, Ryiah. I want to make you laugh. I want you to make me laugh, because gods know you are the only one who can. So, yes, I am sorry, I am sorry because even if I was right, I was also wrong. And I’d rather lose a silly battle than your friendship.” 
“I told you not to trust a wolf,” he continued. His words dripped like honeyed venom. “Because it would only ever want to break you.” Darren let out a small, harsh laugh. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? I’m the wolf, Ryiah. I guess what I really should have told you was to never trust a prince, but that’s not quite as memorable.”

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Teaser Tuesday (22)

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!

Reign of Shadows (Descendants #3) by Melissa Wright
"Gods, had she been doing it wrong? She shook her head, closing the distance, and came nearer than she ever had to the man who was once the stuff of nightmares."

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Review: Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate Synopsis:
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 

Get ready to fall . . .

Here’s my problem: I enjoyed this book, but I also had an endless list of problems with it. So that’s why instead of my normal formatted review, it will be 2 lists with what I did and didn’t like. Maye that will help me decide once and for all… or maybe it won’t.

What I liked:
·         Cam. He was one of the only tolerable characters because he was willing to kick the shit out of Daniel, and knew how to get what he wanted (in a normal way, like I dunno asking a girl out instead of ditching her in a forest *cough*Daniel you douche*cough*).
·         The plot. Though we barely see any of it there looked to be some important war going on in the background that I’m hoping will play a bigger part in following books. God knows if I’ll pick them up though…
·         Luce’s parents. Even I couldn’t put up with Luce! Their reaction seemed completely normal, even if in their daughter’s eyes they should have tried harder to understand her *rolls eyes*
·         A gorgeous cover. And it actually relates to the book *falls off chair in shock*. Usually when it’s just a girl in a pretty dress, it’s shallow and has no meaning but this time I could see the correspondence; so props to the cover designer.
·         The side characters? Sometimes… I’m really scraping the barrel here because I have nothing else.

Onto things I wanted to hit with a bat, then chuck off a cliff into a raging river full of piranhas:
·         Luce. I just hated everything about her. The way she’s so full of self-pity and self-importance, her weird fixations on people, and the lack of curiosity towards anything weird. More on all of these in upcoming points.
·         The insta-stalking (worse variation of insta-love). When a guy gives you the finger on first meeting, refuses to talk at all and spends most of the time staring with dirty looks, DO NOT STALK HIM! He’s not interested and you’ll come off as pathetic.
·         Luce dragging Penn to research the Grigori family history, and then wanting to back out for no apparent reason! Grow a back-bone girl and stick with your guns.
·         Luce spends more time trying to “work out” Daniel than figuring out what the shadow things are that have followed her for years, and may or may not have killed a fellow student she liked romantically which then landed her in a reform school in the first place *deep breath*
·         Daniel. Again, I have a list: 1) Hot and cold personality. 2) Knows something might kill someone and what does he do? You guessed it, he does it anyways for selfish reasons. 3) Expects people to trust him when he’s treated them awfully. 4) A bad case of abandoning people without explaining: it does not make you seen mysterious, just a douche.
·         The story dragged. First 300 pages were teen angst, and then more teen angst. Where’s the mystery? The intriguing plot? Oh right, it was never here.
·         The reveal. Making it such a huge deal when readers worked it out from the get go (it’s in some of the synopsis’s for goodness sake!) just seemed condescending.
·         Luce’s response to the big reveal. She runs away. After spending the whole book searching for answers by invading people’s privacy in their personal files, and seeing supernatural shadows when she gets the truth it’s too much for her little brain to handle and she runs. I’m needing some serious character development from her to have any kind of sympathy.
·         The death. I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for someone to die. There’s a whole list of people I wouldn’t have grieved starting with Luce, but no, it had to be someone I liked. For god’s sake there was no point to it either! It was just brushed over, when it should have had a much greater impact and had more than 2 lines reflection before going back to Luce’s self-centered “who will save me” act.
·         The decisions. There were sooo many from sooo many different characters who didn’t learn from their mistakes. And they made lots!
·         The story’s message. Every story has an underlying message but while this book claims it to be love, the version included made me cringe with its un-believability. Makes the book seem pointless…

Getting all my thoughts out in this way makes it pretty clear what I thought about Fallen. It was a mess. I might try and read the next book, because a tiny part of me that won’t shut up, wants to see where the plot is going so this book didn’t seem like such a waste of time. However whether that plan will even work is beyond me and in Lauren Kate’s hands.

So I can’t recommend this book. Not unless you like a predictable YA angsty romance between two downright infuriating protagonists who have less brain cells combined than it took me to read this book.

My reaction to this book (and Luce):
Favourite Quotes:
“Trust is a careless pursuit at best. At worst, it's a good way to get yourself killed.” 

“The only way to survive eternity is to be able to appreciate each moment.” 

“I do all of these things," Daniel said, leaning into her so that their foreheads touched, "because you're my love, Lucinda. For me, you're all there is.”

“She spotted a lone dandelion,and it crossed her mind that a younger Luce would have pounced on it and then made a wish and blown. But this Luce's wishes felt too heavy for something so light.”

Friday, 6 February 2015

Star Jar (for read books)

So this post is just to let you guys know about a new idea I decided to do, inspired by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes on YouTube who started a "Star Jar".
This is where you fold these cute origami stars as you'll see in my pictures, which represent the books you read in the year. Simple!

I also decided to colour them by genre, so:
Science fiction - blue
Dystopian - green
Fantasy - purple
Contemporary - pink
Retellings - yellow
Other (e.g. thrillers & classics) - white

It looks like a really fun way to keep up with what I've read and also see what I want to read more of without the added stress of reading challenges. Goodreads is usually what I use, but some books I don't add on there and it also doesn't count re-reads (which I think is stupid, but that's something for another day!).

I've already started this project of mine, and caught up with the 20 books I've read so far; even made some stars in advance so I don't fall behind for whatever reason (I'm sure there'll be one at some point...)

And I think that's all I have to say in this post. If you plan on doing this I'd love to know, and while I used a book for instructions on how to make the origami stars I'm sure there are tutorials on YoutTube somewhere for you to check out :)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

January Wrap Up

This will be my first wrap up post, which sounds pretty ridiculous to me since I've had this blog for almost a year now! but I simply never got around to doing one (schedule keeping is not my strong suit as you might be able to tell by the lack of consistency in my weekly memes...) So when I got tagged on good old instagram to post a picture, I thought why not include it in a blog post as well!

So in January I read 16 books, getting me ahead of my goodreads reading challenge by 5 books
Though it's only the first month... out of 12...
Side note: I also finished season 3 of Supernatural, and my god THAT ENDING!! Argh so many... bad... things have happened to my favourite characters today; I don't think I could take any more.

Anyways, the books I read last month which you could see in the pics ^^ are:
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
My first book of the year and I loved it! <3 Got me out of a slump and distracted me when life was being it's annoying self. Not only will it be one of my favourite books this year, but all time! Definitely worth checking out, and before the movie (though it looks so different, I'm not sure if I'm going to like it as an adaptation).
In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexander Bracken
Pretty sure I gave this book 5 stars, even though it had a rocky start and my review (which has already been written) is on it's way to being posted sometime soon. Along with a series review, in the meanwhile you should definitely pick up the first book; if you haven't already! Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner
Honestly, I wasn't much of a fan though I did think it was better the the first book. You can see my review here.
The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
Okay this book was even worse than both the 2 previous combined. Such a disappointing ending :( Second (Split Second #1) by Sophie McKenzie
I was lucky enough to receive this through Edelweiss a few months back and finally got around to reading it. Definitely worth the wait. As I hoped it would be. The sequel is already out and I'm hoping to buy it soon, so make sure to check out my review to see if it's something you'd like as well!
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
I still can't find the words to express my love for this book...! It was a literal one sit read that almost made me late for school :D and just look at that cover *swoons*
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Another beautiful cover, but the book was even better! This time around I did manage to gather my thoughts into a review posted before it's release coming March since I won a giveaway *happy dance* I couldn't have survived the wait, but now I'm impatient for the next book.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han
In all honesty, I can't really remember what I thought about this one. I gave it 3 stars because I did enjoy it, I just don't know why... The sequel's cover has just been released and I' tempted to buy it when it comes out May but that's a decision for later. of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake
My heart <3 </3 (that's my heart breaking fyi), this was such great book which I gave 5 stars even though I wasn't completely happy with the ending. This is obvious from my very short review on goodreads. (Asylum #1) by Madeleine Roux
This was a very unique book with the creepy black and white pictures every so often; something I hadn't seen before. However it wasn't my favourite and since writing a quick few lines on goodreads decided not to read the sequel. for Alaska by John Green
My second John Green book, and I loved it a lot more than originally thought (though not more the The Fault in Our Stars). Especially since until the second half it was only a 3 star book for me, and then it was a 5 star!
Fire in the Woods (Fire in the Woods #1) by Jennifer M. Eaton
This was one of those books which I wanted to read for ages, and never got around to it until a spur of the moment decision when I bought it and started reading immediately. AND LOVED IT! My review's here for you to check out. Always nice when the cover is gorgeous too.
Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1) by Jen Minkman
Currently reading the sequel, this is definitely a quick read to check out. Along with my review is the book trailer.
First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter
Such an easy 5 stars for me; I have written a review but as I say at the beginning it can't even begin to do the book justice. Also there's a lot more I have planned to do with this series so keep an eye out!
Fallen & Torment (Fallen #1 & 2) by Lauren Kate
I have a lot to say about these books (not incredibly positive) which you'll be able to see in upcoming reviews, so for now I'll just say that I was surprised I lasted so long with the series though I did stop part of the way through Passion: Torment's sequel.

I know this post has dragged on a bit since I didn't quite realise how many books there was but I'm happy with what I read and found some new favourites among the not-so-good ones.

What did you read in January? And have you read any that I've mentioned above?

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sample Review: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows Synopsis:
Adventure, intrigue, and romance combine in a new fantasy duology from Incarnate series author Jodi Meadows.

When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil's throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed.

But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others. . . .

The Orphan Queen delivers epic fantasy, perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. 

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

I was seriously debating whether I’d write a review just yet for this book, because little did I know (likely thanks to my own stupidity) that the ARC on Edelweiss was in fact just a sample of the book and stopped a third of the way through! Wasn’t that a nice surprise just as I was getting into the story… The signs were all there including its shorter length but I was so excited about reading The Orphan Queen that I took no notice. Apparently my face when I realised was quite the sight!

It doesn’t feel right to recommend a book, that I haven’t (and can’t) finish but that doesn’t mean I can’t review what I did read right? So please keep in mind that this short review will be for the first part of the book. No more. God knows that when it’s finally released (3 months away for me *grumbles*) my opinion might change drastically, in which case I’ll likely be writing another review!

However what I did read was fantastic. There was a lot of intricate world building but you were never bogged down with too many details at once. The characters were really interesting, and I already have a few suspicions about what’s going on with them, including the identity of a certain vigilante: Black Knife. Something is obviously going to happen between him and Wilhelmina; who I also found a great character but I’m going to have to wait to see that play out.

That’s where my enthusiasm drops somewhat, when I realise how long I have to wait: not for the next book but the second/third part of this one. So I’m keeping this review short and sweet.

My reaction to this book:
Favourite Quotes:
“I was going to have to face the man who'd destroyed my kingdom, and the boy who was the reason.” 

“The pain of what happened – it won’t last eternity.”
A lie. I knew very well how pain could last, and fester, and shape a person in unnameable ways.”

“The Ospreys, these children, were my life. Without them, I had nothing. But with them… With them, I would take back my kingdom.”