Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Giveaway!: Tiny Pretty Things

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 28th, 2015

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed debut novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

Hey guys! I'm here to basically just spread the word about Tiny Pretty Things, and showcase this amazing giveaway the authors and publishers are hosting through Rafflecopter!

One of the reasons I am very excited to read this is 1) it's about ballet, and even though I don't seem like the type that would like it, I actually DO like reading about it. I used to take ballet classes when I was younger, I mean who didn't hahah. And also 2) the cover for Tiny Pretty Things is gorgeous! It really caught my eye while I was scrolling through Edelweiss.

And with that, I hope you guys enter the giveaway!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Black Dove, White Raven

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 4/16/15 to 4/22/15
368 pages

Emilia and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em's survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes-in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.

Seeking a home where her children won't be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

It honestly does not come to a surprise that I loved Black Dove, White Raven so much. I mean, after Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, there was no way I wasn't going to love this other historical fiction masterpiece.

Oh boy where do I start? Let's see. Well this particular story takes place mainly in Ethiopia, where things are getting more and more tense with Italy, a country that takes pride in attempting to colonize the last self-governed African country (in other words, invade them). But let's take a few steps back to when Teo and Emilia come into play.

Teo and Emilia are born to the original Black Dove and White Raven, Teo's mother Delia and Emilia's mother Rhoda. Both are amazing, stunt airplane flyers; performing acrobatic acts in the sky. But after a tragic accident that leaves Teo motherless, Rhoda takes him in, and then promises both him and Emilia that they will fulfill Delia's dream of moving to Ethiopia, Teo's homeland.

But with all of Wein's works, things take a turn for the worse. War starts, Emilia and Teo remain stuck in Ethiopia, their mother refuses to teach them how to fly. But even so, Emilia and Teo still hang on and they become the second generation of Black Dove and White Raven. AND MY HEART. Even though at first they were just drawing comics and making up stories, you could see how they portrayed themselves through their own characters, Black Dove and White Raven, so well. Teo just so badly wanted to remain invisible in America, and now that he's finally in Ethiopia, he can. Emilia is now the one who stands out, but she still aspires to be the master of disguise that White Raven is in the comics.

Can't handle them, my babies

Character development is gold. Absolute perfection. I was incredibly impressed with the way Emilia overcame all her fears and became her version of White Raven, and not just simply imitating her mother. Even though the story is narrated through both of Emilia and Teo's flight logs, the majority of it is from the perspective of Emilia.

Did I mention how badly I want to own a small plane now because of all of these books I've read by Elizabeth Wein? Well, I want one. 


The only reason this isn't getting the full 5 stars from me is just because it didn't have as many feels as her other books. I know it's not fair to compare books by the same author, but I have high expectations haha. I mean I love love LOVE Emilia and Teo and would love to spend more time with them, but I definitely felt more with Code Name Verity and also Rose Under Fire. But man this novel was something. I'm kind of upset I haven't seen many reviews for this! Come on now.

I worship Elizabeth Wein. Write more please. Yes. Thanks.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #25

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

So I've already read Beastkeeper, and it was really good! I just loved the fact that it was more on the mature side for a MG novel.

And then I finally got The Sin Eater's Daughter, FINALLY. It was at the library this time and didn't disappear on me. I swear a librarian was holding on to it without checking it out that one day. grr.

Ohhhh Black Dove, White Raven. I already read it, no surprise. AND IT WAS AMAZING. I actually wish I never finished it, I want to go back to being with Emilia and Teo.

The reason I picked up Hourglass, is because it's #2 on my TBR on Goodreads. I've made it my goal to at least read some of the books that have been on my TBR FOREVER. So yeah, I hope it's good!

I also picked up Unhinged, because come on I need to finish this series! I've also made it my goal to pick up a book in a series that I have already started, just so I don't leave any series unfinished. Plus I start wayyyyy too many new series hahah.

Thank you HarperCollins for all the amazing eARCs, Dumplin', This Monstrous Thing, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Ash & Bramble, Walk On Earth A Stranger, and Dreamland. I'm pretty much excited for all of these! REALLY. I have a lot of goodies :)

There are so many things that happened this week, and a ton of things I need to work on this week. Which is why I won't be that active, because it's the end of the term! Sadly that means one exam and three papers. And I'm just waiting until Wednesday because then I'll have most of those things out of the way.

On the other hand, the reason why I wasn't able to post this on Saturday (not that it really matters but you know), is because I've been really busy these past two weeks. First off, last weekend I traveled back to Boston with my friends because on Monday my mom ran the Boston Marathon! And she completely crushed it.

This morning, I actually participated in a heart walk! It was 3 miles, and it was a lot of fun! Even though it was slightly cold outside, I give up on waiting for spring/summer. 


Kind of the first time I tweeted an author, and that's why I'm excited about this. Haha I'm such a weirdo. But yeah, it's really coincidental that I went in a Heart Walk and I'm reading a book that deals with the same issue.

So yep there ya go. Don't expect me to be around for awhile. Sadly.

How has your weekend been going?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: Beastkeeper

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: February 3rd, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 4/14/15 to 4/15/15
208 pages

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Are you looking for a wonderful, happy fairy tale? One with a happy ending and all that jazz? Well then, you are in the wrong place! If you thought this would be a cute MG retelling, you are wrong.

Beastkeeper is a nice, quick read about a girl, Sarah, longing for magic, but unfortunately she really doesn't know what she's asking for. Once she encounters it through a family curse, one that turns her grandfather, her father, and even herself into a beast if their first love doesn't love them. After finding that out, after living a semi-normal life, who wouldn't want to go back to being ordinary?

I used to be a huge fan of Newgrounds, a site dedicated to animated shorts and movies. One of the animated movies I watched featured this character, Bitey the last of the Dashkin. So the whole "beast" concept really reminded me of him. Art link on image.

There are a number of aspects I loved about this dark MG, one being that it questions the little things other fairy tales often ignore. How are curses passed down through the family? Who does it affect? What happens if love doesn't last? Is love real if it's only based on outside beauty? Do happy endings actually exist?

The curses in the book all revolve around the two families, and it's fascinating to see how everything weaves together and affects one another. So many coincidences! And it's all up to Sarah to fix everything, which ends up seeming more and more impossible as the story goes on. I did like Sarah, but I was more fixed on the whole story rather than the characters. Though I do want to know more about Alan, even though I may or may not hate him.

Also, guess what? No romance! Don't get me wrong, I love romance sometimes, but I'm just glad this didn't have any because it doesn't need it. And yes it is MG, which is why. The focus was on the plot and the story, and no meaningless fluff was added in to detract from that. My one gripe is that I'm not entirely sure I understood the ending, but that is so typical of me. And also, when does this take place? At first I thought it was in our normal world, but then we were whisked away to this medieval, forest like place which held a lot of magic, and from then on I didn't know when or where.  

Beastkeeper was overall, executed very well, and it's a great refreshing take on retellings, even if it isn't exactly a happy one.    

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's Time To Admit That I Like Writing

You know, I tend to reserve Thursdays for fun posts like tags and discussions, but I have run completely out of ideas! Of course, I definitely want to come up with some original features, but since I'm not exactly too good at coming up with unique ideas, for today I've decided to stick with talking about my life.

So, for today, I will be talking about writing! Well, my take of it.

Ever since kindergarten, my mom has raved about how I was an exceptionally good writer. I wrote a lot, journals, stories, made up randomness that I recently looked back on and wondered "what the heck was going on in my head when I was a young'un?" The truth was, I hated writing. I didn't get it. How did people enjoy forming strings of words together? How do you portray what you're thinking accurately on paper? To me, writing was torture. I just couldn't "English". And I didn't understand how people liked it.

Now, to my mother's excitement, I don't mind writing. I enjoy writing about myself, and I especially enjoy sharing it with the world. I loved being able to analyze a book, discussing what I did or didn't like about it, or what was so incredibly amazing about it (even though I do end up not talking about the book but rather just "flailing" about it. Haha.) 

However, when it comes to creative writing and writing fiction, that's a whole other story. "How do people do it?", I ask myself. "How do you just put together a plot, put it down on paper, and write it all out?" I wish I knew all the secrets of writing, of coming up with ideas and being original, of forming coherent sentences that show what's going on clearly, and of creating realistic yet beautiful conversations between characters. Oh and characters. How do people even come up with well-developed characters so easily? But this is all another story.

I'm sure everyone else has encountered the obstacle of being intimidated by writing a novel or story, and I'm sure plenty of people have finished writing and editing their masterpiece, and think that it's a piece of cake. Well, this summer, I want to try writing. And I don't mean blog writing or journal writing. I want to WRITE A BOOK. Or a short story. Or something fiction. It's my next challenge, to prove that hopefully even I, an almost but not quite native speaker of English (who can't remember exactly when and where certain idioms are used, resulting in awkward phrases) can write and finish (hopefully) a fictional story. 

I used to admit I wasn't interested in being an author. I used to admit I would never write fiction unless forced. But then again, I used to admit that I hated writing. And look at me now, writing blog posts almost everyday, and enjoying it. 

Seriously, the book blogging world is changing my view on writing, and I guess that's a good thing right?  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #52

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors!

Favorite authors? Hmmmm. I have a lot. Well kind of. I kind of read a lot of books and I don't just binge read all of a single author's books, just because I don't want to get bored, you know? But I'll definitely give this one a shot!

Brandon Sanderson - I really don't think this comes as a surprise, especially since I've read MOST of his books. I AM A FAN OF HIS FOREVER.

Elizabeth Wein - Reading Black Dove, White Raven right now and just so so so so so so happy about it. I love her historical fiction books even though they make me cry and feel and asglkjsdfg.

Marissa Meyer -  I seriously hopes she writes more after The Lunar Chronicles or else I will be eternally sad.

Markus Zusak - AN AMAZING STORYTELLER. I wonder if he's going to write more books, because all I've heard of is The Book Thief and I Am The Messenger, WHICH ARE BOTH AMAZING.

Laini Taylor - Again, she better be writing more after the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, PLEASE I NEED MORE BY HER.

Rainbow Rowell - I've an avid fan of Rowell (haters gonna hate I guess? She's pretty hyped up but I've been following her since the beginning-ish). And I've read all her books hahaha.

Maggie Stiefvater - I still need to read the rest of her books, but so far I'm LOVING THE RAVEN CYCLE!

Garth Nix - I have yet to read the last book in the Abhorsen trilogy but I WILL GET TO IT. I really like his books. Maybe he's not a FAVORITE favorite but still good!

Meg Cabot - MY ALL TIME FAVORITE AUTHOR even though your recent books have been kind of eh I still forgive you.

Cornelia Funke - It's sad because she was my childhood author and I don't think she writes anymore. Sad panda.

What do you think? Any you recognize? I'm really hoping for more from ALL of these authors. GIMME.

Side note: I got a couple updates on where I've been and such, since I feel like I've been gone forever.

1. I traveled back home to Boston
2. My friends came with me and I spent the weekend with them
4. She came in 103th in her age group, at 3 hours and 52 minutes.
5. I'm driving back to Rochester today, so I won't get back to blogging life til probably Wednesday? Maybe.

Monday, April 20, 2015

DNF Reviews: The Memory Key & At The Water's Edge

The Memory Key by Liana Liu
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: DNF
368 pages
Rating: --

In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

DNFed at 30%

I wasn't going to review this at first, but then I thought, eh why not, I have another book to review so I might as well lump both of them together. This is also my third DNF since the start of my Goodreads account.

I requested this book because it had to do with memory. And Alzheimer's, but a viral disease. And I thought I would really like it, but no. I think the first warning sign was the typical community/futuristic setting. I'm sick and tired of that setting because there's never any world-building. And you have to assume everything.

Second, the writing style is tell not show, and imitates diary form. It's basically "This is what I did today and this is what I found out". Boring. 

Lastly, the mystery itself isn't intriguing. Main character Lora wants to find out what REALLY happened to her mother, especially since her memory key keeps bringing up memories of her. (Also what kind of name is Lora Mint hahaha). And I just wasn't invested in the story, the characters, and what's-his-name romantic interest, so a DNF it was.

At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Publisher: Spiegel $ Grau
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: DNF
368 pages
Rating: --

In this new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s personal awakening as she experiences the devastations of World War II in a Scottish Highlands village.

Madeline Hyde, a young socialite from Philadelphia, reluctantly follows her husband and their best friend to the tiny village of Drumnadrochit in search of a mythical monster—at the same time that a very real monster, Hitler, wages war against the Allied Forces. What Maddie discovers—about the larger world and about herself—through the unlikely friendships she develops with the villagers, opens her eyes not only to the dark forces that exist around her but to the beauty and surprising possibilities.
There must be a coincidence because this is also 368 pages hahaha. 

DNFed at 25%.

The only reason I picked this up is because 1) It's Sara Gruen and I read her other book Water for Elephants, and I liked it. So I thought, hey this could be good! And 2) It takes place during WWII and you know how much of a sucker I am about those books.

And not only that, this is about the Loch Ness Monster. That is just cool on its own, and when I found that out in the book, I was more excited.

It could also be A SWIMMING ELEPHANT

Unfortunately, I was bored. BORED. 

Everything proceeded at a very slow pace, and I wasn't interested in the topic of parties, social events, and especially the little village they stayed in Scotland. I wanted more exciting events like finding Nessie, or at least trying to. I mean maybe it happened in the last 3/4's of the book, but I have a feeling that it doesn't because we're in the POV of Madeline. And she doesn't do anything. 

To be honest, I might pick this up again later in the year. It's just that right now I don't want to deal with it. I care about nothing.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: February 3rd, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 3/31/15 to 4/1/15
379 pages

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I'm pretty I was forced to read I'll Meet You There. Well, here I am, Paula and Holly, blown away by this powerful story. Did I mention how raw and gritty this was? I think the book cover accurately portrays that, don't you think.

Although I don't relate to any of this, I still emphasized with our MC, Skylar. She wanted to so badly get out of her little town, yet every bad thing kept piling up on her, so much so her future was up in the air. And then Josh, a marine returning home from Afghanistan due to his missing leg, jumps into the picture.

The book is mostly narrated by Skyler, but there are chapters that are Josh's thoughts on his life. This is where you see how the war affected him so, and also why he refuses to get close to Sky. If it weren't for those chapters, I would've been very frustrated with Josh and his actions and inactions towards Sky, but because of the insight the author gives us, it's more tolerable. Sure I still got a little mad, but that's because I've never experienced such a thing.

Honestly, I want to keep this review short because I don't want to give everything away (obviously), but I do want to gush about Skylar. She's smart, artsy, and has this full ride scholarship to a college a couple hours away from her trailer home. She CAN get out of Creek View, but is willing to throw it all away for her mom. If you think about it, I'm not sure if anyone, even I, could do that. I think that takes guts, and that for me places Skylar up there with all those kickass heroines. 

Also slight spoiler, I'm glad that she didn't stay in Creek View for Josh, because I would've been pissed. I'm glad they could work out a long distance relationship (not that I know anything about it because the book ends before that) end spoiler.

Yeah, so basically READ THIS. It's raw and real and is something you really shouldn't miss. I can't really think of anything else to say, other than the fact that this book really made me feel grateful for my life.

Also, can someone get me a copy of that letter between Skylar and Josh from the pre-order? Haha just kidding (no but really). 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Art of Skimming

To be honest, this discussion idea came to me after a bunch of people commented on my April Fool's Prank, where I made up a book, a cover, and a review for The Innocent Centaur Strikes Back. Surprisingly, almost everyone who wasn't in on the joke fell for it. And I thought it was freaking hilarious.

So on that note, I wanted to discuss skimming, not only when reading blog posts, but also in books. 

This is definitely something I can relate to because I myself am a fast reader (when I put the time into reading), and skimming is a habit I want to break because I want to take everything in. Sometimes I miss details because I'm too busy looking ahead. Especially if the scene is embarrassing. I suffer from second hand embarrassment all the time.

Annnnnd this may be the reason why I'm confused a lot. Because I skim and then don't understand how something happened. BUT I AM WORKING ON THIS. I've started to reread parts I don't understand, because confusion is not okay (of course if the book itself is confusing then it's not my fault, obviously...hahaha).

And that brings us to you!

Do you skim at all? Why? Are there certain parts of a book you skip?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nessie Review ☆ Fiend

Fiend by Peter Stenson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: July 9th, 2013
Source: Library
Date Read: 3/18/15 to 3/22/15
295 pages

There’s more than one kind of monster.

When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he’s no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations.
But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.

The funny thing is, Chase’s life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He’s lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents’ hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.

And if your life’s already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption…well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity. Maybe it’s a last chance for Chase to hit restart and become the man he once dreamed of being. Soon he’s fighting to reconnect with his lost love and dreaming of becoming her hero among civilization’s ruins.

But is salvation just another pipe dream?

Propelled by a blistering first-person voice and featuring a powerfully compelling antihero, Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion—not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

To be honest, outside of The Walking Dead comics I've never really read much zombie fiction. I thought it was cool and provided an interesting background to test humanity and morality and stuff but I never really got too into the whole genre. But look at that summary! An addict making their way through a zombie apocalypse? That's something that I'd definitely heard of or imagined before so I had to check it out.

So the plot has the same straight forward as any other other zombie story--survive. The one key difference is that in addition to food, water, shelter, and guns, our heroes need meth. Throughout this book meth is their number one priority, which is makes sense. Literally the first thing Chase and his friend Typewriter do after figuring out that the end of the world is really happening is drive to their dealers house to see if they can find some meth.

They are so focused in their drive for this drug that we never really learn more about the outside world, and why all this is happening, and the state of everywhere else. We do learn that these zombies are called Chucks because they laugh when they are trying to kill you. But that's really all, nothing about what caused it or anything. However, that didn't bother me at all. That's because it made sense that the characters wouldn't know since they are just concerned about getting their next fix.

This book is written in present tense, so it moves pretty fast but it works. It's even a bit stream of consciousness-like at some points, it's actually really cool to be in the mind of a drug addict like that. Also one thing I liked is that the main character is a HORRIBLE person. He lies, throws his friends under the bus, is self-centered, disgusting...and somehow, I still end up rooting for him and sympathizing with him a tiny bit. It's weird, but cool.


But outside of that this is a cool, and really different read you should definitely check out.

Vanessa is Val's bestest buddy, and she will be guest posting throughout because she loves to read and write. She loves video games, reading comic books, working out LIKE A BEAST and photography. You can also find her at her own blog, Musings of an Aspiring Writer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #51

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books

Or as Amber says, Top Ten Million. Hahaha. I'm actually REALLY excited for this, because now I can apply my PicMonkey skills. And new fonts. Because I love fonts. 

Note: Books will not be linked because I'm a lazy bum.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Messenger of Fear

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Source: Library
Date Read: 3/27/15 to 3/27/15
272 pages
Rating: 1/2

I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . .

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Ahhh, I'm a little bummed out at how this turned out. Picking up Messenger of Fear, something I have been anticipating since, oh, last year, I expected a more complex plot with mysterious characters and fabulous world-building. And although I got the mysterious aspect of it all, nothing else came close. 

This is what I was expecting:

What I got instead:

Mara wakes up in this strange place, believing that she's dead. But she remembers nothing else other than her name. Then, she comes across the Messenger, who refuses to reveal to her exactly what is going on. Only that 1) He punishes the people who are guilty of something but aren't caught, and 2) there's something significant about the suicide of Samantha Early. 

So cool, we meet a bunch of cool characters. Mara, who's apparently the apprentice, the Messenger, who makes the guilty play a game of life and death, and then Oriax and Daniel, who I wish I knew who they were really. The reason why this novel didn't turn out as expected was because it only followed the flashback of Samantha and how she came to commit suicide. There wasn't anything about how the Messenger came to be, or who Oriax and Daniel were, and why and how they can do such things. I would forgive the book if it was a series, BUT NO, this is a standalone. I'm pretty sure.

Though with that said, I did not see that twist at the end. I mean I should've, but I didn't. 

So as I said, I had no idea that the emphasis would be on bullying, which I never really like to read about because it pains me. But it did have a very good message, kind of. I mean in the way that bullying isn't something that should be tolerated because it can push someone to suicide. Which is sad. And it needs to stop. But when it comes to this book, I wasn't expecting so much on Samantha Early. I just wanted more on everyone else.

This was a very fast read that although I enjoyed, didn't meet all my expectations. Honestly I was expecting something similar to A Darker Shade of Magic, but we can't all get what we want. This is a hard book to rate, because it's well written yet lacking in some aspects, but it's not necessarily bad either. I definitely suggest reading this and forming your own opinion. (I actually was persuaded by Cait to read this, who gave it 5 stars.)

Friday, April 10, 2015

ARC Review: Shadow Scale

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina #2
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 3/23/15 to 3/26/15
608 pages

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I know I specifically read Seraphina just to read the sequel, but come on, some readers have been waiting FOREVER for a sequel. Honestly I would've thought it would be fine as a standalone, but maybe everyone else thinks otherwise.

Don't miss the first installment, Seraphina! Because as much as I hated the audiobook, I still think it was an awesome read. Plus I mean by now you must have HAD to heard about it. 

This is a pretty spoiler-free review! But I do suggest reading the first book.

Oh what to say, what to say. Let's start with the good bits. First off, we get to see Seraphina! Again! Which I can't complain about! She's on a new adventure to bring together the half dragons in order to defend Goredd from the soon to be upcoming Dragon civil war that is brewing in their homeland. Too bad one of her grotesques, Jannoula, who are all representations of real people in real life, has started causing trouble, for, oh, basically everyone. No one really knows whose side she's really on, but it can't be good.

Random Toothless gif because Toothless

I loved meeting all the new half-dragons, and also bonding with Abdo, because he is just a squishy little ball of cuteness. Oh I just want to hug him. 

However, as happy as I am for the continued adventure and the plot surrounding Jannoula and her "evildoings", I am NOT HAPPY with Lucien Kiggs. NOT AT ALL. First of all, he 1) Barely appears in the book, and when he does 2) LEAVES AFTER LIKE, what, 5 MINUTES? So yeah, I am not okay with this. In fact, my major gripe with this sequel is the ending. 

Major spoilers, highlight at own risk!

Not only does the romance barely progress throughout the story (I want to say there is none AT ALL), but that ending is literally almost the exact ending as Seraphina. 1) Lucien says he will still marry Glisselda, and 2) Orma is basically lost and still needs to be recovered, his mind at least. SO WHAT WAS THE FREAKING POINT OF THIS BOOK?

Sorry I tend to get carried away with these things

I mean honestly, I'm glad there was a sequel, and I enjoyed it immensely, I was just, oh I don't know, EXPECTING MORE from everything. I didn't get enough and now I want more and I am sad.
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