Thursday, October 29, 2015

In the Limelight #1

Just over the course of my little blogging career, I've come to stumble across many different original features around the blogosphere. Which is why I wanted to take the time to showcase some of them so that 1) you get to discover new bloggers that you may never have heard of before, and 2) you get to discover these wonderful, unique features that really represent the blogger's personality. These features come from their creative minds, their experiences, their lives, which is why they all deserve a shoutout.

Amber @ YA Indulgences 

In which Amber @ Young Adult Indulgences spotlights three different covers that all revolve around a theme or attribute. For example, this week, the books all featured stars on their covers.

I love this particular feature because it doesn't just show ALL the covers, but the ones that pertain to Amber's likes. It gives us a glimpse into who Amber is as a blogger, while showcasing all these beautiful covers.

Her latest Wondrous Covers Wednesday is here, and hence the title, she posts this feature on Wednesdays! 

Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

Kayla @ The Thousand Lives has a feature that REALLY pertains to her, and that is Saturated Reads, in which by the powers of synesthesia, Kayla can see colors while reading. With this feature, she gives us a first hand experience of the colors she encountered while reading the book, and presents a modified cover in those associated colors.

I only recently started reading this feature (which I don't know why I didn't discover it earlier), and I am in love with the new color changes that Kayla implements. Plus, this is another example of how unique this one feature is to her, and how it affects her life (reading, more specifically).

Her latest Saturated Reads is here, and it's on The Weight of Feathers!

Lauren @ The Bookmark Lit

Lastly, I wanted to bring attention to Lauren @ Bookmark Lit and her feature that showcases other bloggers and their favorite bookmarks and book covers! In other words, the bookmarks are the "inside" and the book covers are the "out". She has featured a number of my blogger friends, and many others that I have never heard of before (yay blog-hopping!).

I adore this feature because I love bookmarks, but I don't have a huge collection of them myself. So seeing the bookmarks of other bloggers is really fun! (Totally makes me want to HAVE THEM ALL). Plus, this feature really shows Lauren's love for bookmarks, I mean it is no surprise since it IS part of her blog name, but still. You can see her own answers to her lovely feature here.

Her latest Inside & Out post featured Lauren from Scribbles & Wanderlust!

And that is all I have for now! I hope to do more posts like this sometime in the future, where I showcase three new features every now and then! I hope you enjoyed the post!

What are some of YOUR favorite original features?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This Is Halloween! This Is Halloween!

I think this post is very self-explanatory. As you all know, Halloween is coming up this Saturday, and it is one of my favorite holidays even though I almost rarely dress up (yay for being poor and uncreative).

In preparation for Halloween, I have mashed up all the Halloween features, as you will see below. This includes tags, the TTT, and of course, books. HALLOWEEN HERE I COME. 

Shay @ The Story Goes... tagged me in her own, original tag featuring the upcoming holiday, Halloween! It's called The Forever Bookoween Tag, and of course it fits right in with my post. I will also be tagging ANYONE WHO SEES THIS, so consider yourself tagged!
Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: Fire Falling

Fire Falling by Elise Kova
Air Awakens #2
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: November 19th, 2015
Source: eARC from Author
Date Read: 10/22/15 to 10/23/15
378 pages

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I see that the author has NO QUALMS about making me suffer throughout my reading of Fire Falling. And here I was, expecting a nice, fantasy read that did not play with my feelings. But I was very, very wrong. And now I am sad, yet ready to read the third book, Earth's End, which, oh isn't coming out until 2016. I HATE WAITING.

If you haven't read Air Awakens, here's a short list of why you must read it. Also my review is here if you need more convincing! 

  • Vhalla discovers that she is a sorcerer, and not only that but she is the only Windwalker left. In other words, if you like Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is definitely the book for you.
  • The banter between Vhalla, Aldrick, and her friends are incredibly fun to read! And this continues on into the Fire Falling (there is SO MUCH MORE snark, I approve entirely)
  • Gorgeous cover art is always a plus!
  • I really cannot stress the fact that not only was Air Awakens a strong start to the series, but Fire Falling surpassed it in every way imaginable. In other words, this series is worth starting.

In continuation of the first book, Fire Falling starts with Vhalla's preparation to go to war as the property of the Emperor. One of the things I want to point out is the development of Vhalla from the first book to this one. Even though she did harden through the events of the first book, her true character still showed when she was around Aldrick. Also, can I mention that I have never shipped two characters as hard as I did while reading Fire Falling? Because as much as Aldrick's hot and cold temperament frustrated me, the two of them together were perfect for each other.

Also, how do authors do that to their own characters? I had a favorite character, I really did, and now, NOPE, NOTHING. It happened really quickly as well. I was also expecting there to be more reflection on the event, but the story moved on too quickly to cover it. 

There was something severed and rough about her, something tainted and, yet, at the same time those jagged pieces were the makings of something fearsome. She'd wanted to become someone the Senate would fear, why not shatter the sky?” 

The writing also was a major improvement from Air Awakens, though that is not to say that the writing was bad then. It is just that I immediately noticed the difference in writing. There was just more of a flow in the language, like in the quote above.

Oh, let us not talk about the ending because I feel like I have been betrayed. Betrayed, I tell you.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Fire Falling, and just like Air Awakens, I read the whole book in only two days. I think this is a series that is incredibly underrated and needs more attention in the book world, because it deserves it. It belongs up there with the other highly rated YA fantasy reads. Believe me when I say this! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Dumplin'

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 10/16/15 to 10/20/15
384 pages
Rating: 1/2

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dumplin'. It was a very fun and cute read that had a very good message, even though I didn't necessarily love the book. As much as I tried to view things in her perspective, it was hard to do so since I could not connect with her. Plus, I also felt that reviews I have read overstated the confidence of the character.

Don't hurt me guys. Sorry

Willowdean has never felt the need to change the way she looked for others. She's perfectly comfortable in her own skin, until she meets Private School Bo. Bo, who works at the same fast food joint, and who surprisingly likes her back when he wasn't supposed to. Being overwhelmed by all of these feelings, Willowdean does the unexpected. She enters in her mom's beauty pageant. But it's not because she wants to make it a joke, but because she and her new friends are standing up to the ideals of society. You do not have to be stick thin to enter a beauty pageant.

I think this is the first time in awhile that I have been struggling with writing a review. There are a number of things that felt a little off to me, especially the relationship between Willowdean and Bo. For one, I did not understand why she did not want to be with him, even though both of them really liked each other. One of the reasons Will did not get with Bo was because she had mixed feelings about him touching her body. And the other, more "confusing to me" reason was that she didn't want to be THAT girl, the one who got someone who was out of her league. I just did not expect this from a confident character. However, then again, I do have to agree that everyone has something they are self-conscious about, even if it doesn't seem like it. But even so, I still felt that the relationship was just there. There was barely any development between Bo and Willowdean, and I am not sure how it happened, especially since it happened so quickly.

Also more importantly, I did not understand how her relationship led to Willowdean entering the beauty pageant, something she has loathed since the beginning. Or why she ended up going out with another guy, Mitch, which again, had a very fast development.

Besides the whole messy romantic situation, I loved the parts about the pageant, especially since it made me think differently about them. I used to think they were all about beauty, and that's it, but I also think that it has to do with who you are on the inside. And HER FRIENDS. They were actual individuals with real life problems, and yet they were able to gain the confidence to overcome them. If I were to be honest, I would rather have the book be about Millie rather than Will. She is the character I was expecting from this book.

Oh I said a lot. At first I thought I would not have much to say, but I guess that didn't happen. To conclude, Dumplin' was a good read, but I just could not connect with Willowdean, and this affected my enjoyment of the novel.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Playing With Nostalgia [Game + Giveaway]

Have I mentioned that I love childhood books? So much that I even came up with a guessing game, in that YOU have to guess the book based on the description I give. 

This was inspired by my post about trying to remember some childhood reads, and also the fact that I love talking about my childhood books. These are books that I have read throughout elementary school and middle school, and they make me feel super nostalgic. (Also inspired by those “Guess That Cover” games, which I have seen on Kelly @ Effortlessly Reading, and also Cait’s at Paper Fury. At least I think it was those blogs. Either way, it was some blogs). 

Okay, to elaborate, I've always wanted to discuss the books I've read as a child, and after receiving comments on my other post, Where Are All My Books, which also included a game, I figured that everyone has a pretty good idea of the books I was talking about. So, I have EXPANDED. Instead of it being books I forgot the titles to, I'm quizzing YOU. Do you remember these books? Do you know the ones I am describing?

  • Correctly guess the book that matches the description given. (No author required)
  • Winner will be chosen at random based on the Rafflecopter. However keep in mind that the more books you get right, the better the chance you get of winning. 
  • And yes, you must get the book right for the entry to count! (Spelling does not have to be 100% correct)
  • You are not required to follow me to play. 
  • No cheating! I do check. (No multiple entries, using bot accounts, etc.) I will be going through all the entries before hand to check anyways. 
  • Winner will be emailed, and must respond within 48 hours! Or else a new winner will be chosen. 
  • You can comment on what you think the answers are, but don’t forget that this will lower your chances of winning! Because then everyone will know the answers (or the potential answers) 
1. A girl is discovered on the shores, and apparently she has been raised by dolphins. Scientists bring her to the human world. The book itself is a journal of her experiences in the human world. In the end she has to choose between living with humans or dolphins.

2. Where we are introduced to the boy who lived. Has a lightning bolt scar. YOU GOT THIS ONE GUYS.

3. Tells the story of a family that lives in the woods of Wisconsin. This is the first book in a pretty long, but old, series. (e.g. The next book features the family moving from these woods to the big open prairie.)

4. A brother and sibling discover a tree house in the woods that somehow brings them back in time, all the way to the age of the dinosaurs! Also part of a long series that is still publishing today! (I think)

5. A boy runs away from his uncle and aunt, and ends up in a racially divided town, where he changes the lives of pretty much everyone. He also is super good at untangling knots.

6. After accidentally dropping some magic crystals in the garden, a huge peach grows to an enormous size. A boy explores the peach, and discovers talking bugs! Together they all embark on an adventure in the peach!

7. A girl's father has the ability to read out any character from any book. But this unfortunately has some consequences, which leads to him being missing. His daughter goes looking for him, and along the way also discovers she has this ability as well!

8. A girl discovers a book on hypnotism, and learns that she can hypnotize people very well. And although she uses this new ability to get out of her awful foster home, she ends up attracting some bad attention, including a man who wants to use her power for evil.

9. A tree gives up everything for its friend.

10. A frog and a toad living by the pond having some good times :) Hint: Title is in this description

The winner will be able to choose any book equal to or less than $17 USD from The Book Depository. If you are International, look here to see if TBD ships to you! 

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #74

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

10 Wishes I'd Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

This is just going to be a mix of ALL THE THINGS I WANT, because I do want a lot of things, and NO not just video games guys. And this includes impossible wishes as well, because why not. I want them all!

To Be Able To Stop Time While Reading A Good Book - Time would literally stop FOREVER if I just kept reading books, and then I would probably run out of books since I would be finished with my entire TBR. But hey, I would LOVE the extra time!
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - Can this book just come out already? I'm sure that everyone is just waiting for that release date to STOP moving around. I mean, this is coming out in 2016 still, right? BOOK GENIE GET IT FOR ME NOW.

Instant Book to Movie Adaptations - With my own perfect cast of characters, either real actors or not, BECAUSE I CAN. I seriously need movies of every book I read, because I want to see it. I know the book won't be better than the movie, usually, but I still want to see it in a different way. 

Remembrance by Meg Cabot - This is the SEQUEL to The Mediator series! Do you know how much I love that series? A TON. So yes. I need this, right now. Wait, when does this even come out? OH 2016 OK FINE. I need to find a way to buy the entire Mediator series somehow. OH I can just ask the Book Genie. BOOK GENIE GET THE WHOLE MEDIATOR SERIES FOR ME.

Have Unlimited Money For Books - When it comes to Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or the Book Depository, OR ANYTHING. Or a glitch in Amazon's website that lets me buy all the books without having to buy them. Ha. Haha.

A Gathering Of Shadows by Victoria Schwab - Yes I know I already have this pre-ordered, BUT TOO BAD. I want this book to come right now. I need it. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I NEED MORE KELL. AND LILAH. Book Genie make it happen please 

Gimme them both. Oh I want my art cards too. Source

Have Incredible Art Skills To Make Own Fan Art - Based off of books! Because don't you hate it when you've read a book, but the fanbase is just too darn small to have a wide variety of art and merchandise? Because YES that absolutely sucks.

Winter by Marissa Meyer - IT'S COMING. Yes I know the actual season is coming too. BUT THIS BOOK. I want it. I need it.

Have The Ability to Enter Any Book World - (or Video Game world, HEY ASSASSIN'S CREED HAS BEEN ADAPTED INTO NOVELS). I would kill to attend Hogwarts. 

Illuminae #2 by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman - Yes, you read this right. No I don't care if there isn't a title yet. I NEED IT. Book Genie. Make it happen. Thanks.

Now let's all wait for the Book Genie to grant our wishes. I want my superpowers, and I want my new releases.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The Illuminae Files #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Source: Netgalley & Book Expo America
Date Read: 10/13/15 to 10/14/15
608 pages

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Here is the first thing I want to say. Never have I ever shipped a ship. You’ll understand what I mean once you read this book. In other words, read this book.

Illuminae is unlike anything I have ever read, and I’m sure you’ve heard this said a lot in reviews. But it’s true. Not only is it about a girl and a boy trying to find there way to get to each other, but also about space travel, a universe wide conspiracy, and oh don’t forget the epidemic that turns people into crazy, insane cannibals.

Like in Bioshock. Full of fun, insane, crazy people

After an invasion of their home colony Kerenza, both Kady Grant and her ex-boyfriend Ezra Mason are brought onboard three ships for evacuation. As they escape, a dreadnought, the Lincoln, tails them in order to destroy what is left of their planet. So all three ships, the Hypatia, the Alexander, and the Copernicus hightails it out of there, but unfortunately no one got their calls for distress, and they cannot space jump due to a malfunction.

And not only that, but let’s add on to the problems. One, there’s a disease, most likely due to a biological weapon, spreading on the Copernicus, infecting everyone. Second, the A.I. has gone mad. And third, no one is coming to help them. And all of this is discovered by Kady, an expert hacker who knows there is more to the situation than is let on.

Look at this beauty

This book killed me. I was near tears by the middle, and then full out bawling at the climax. You would think that a book in the format of case files, emails, instant messages, and even in code, wouldn’t move me. But it did. And now I am sad to say that the next book doesn’t come out until, what, 2017? Who knows. All I know is that I don’t have it.

The one gripe, and it’s really small, is that sometime I had to physically turn the book in order to read some of the sentences. I am far too lazy to turn this heavy book. Yep. That was my gripe. My laziness.

Wow I feel like I barely talked about anything. Feelings wise. Well, I don’t want to explain too much, and I rather have you guys read it for yourselves and be surprised. Am I not merciful?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: The Memory Painter

The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack
Publisher: Picador
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 10/7/15 to 10/9/15
336 pages

Two lovers who have traveled across time. A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research. A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there's a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people's lives.

Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan's shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan's most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer's, died in a lab explosion decades ago.

As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists' deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.

I read The Memory Painter for book club, and I was completely misled as to what this was going to be about. Then again, maybe I should have read the blurb for it first.

What I thought I was going to get with The Memory Painter: A nice, mellow tale about a man who could paint his past memories, and meets a woman and falls in love with her.

What I ended up getting: DEATH and REINCARNATION and DECEPTION

What I thought was a book about romance with a supernatural twist ended up being more science fiction driven, filled with tons of historical references and mystery. Not that I am complaining because I enjoyed it completely.

Bryan has these dreams of what he thinks is his past lives. It has gotten so bad that he ends up passing out in the middle of the day. However, these are more than just dreams. When he wakes up, not only does he learn all the language and the skills of the person he has dreamed about, but he also ends up painting a scene from their lifetime, subconsciously. This is why he has such a hard time fitting in with society, because he can't.

Which is why, when he meets Linz, it's kind of a rough start. Yet Linz also has dreams, though it's only one particular dream in general. But still, after visiting a gallery and finding a painting of HER specific dream, of course she has questions for the painter. And the painter is none other than Bryan, so cue excitement.

But it doesn't end there, oh no. If you think this is the end, be prepared. Not only is there a reason behind the dreaming, but there it also involves something even deeper. And you have to read til the end in order to figure it. Because I was hooked until the end. The characters were easy to get into, the historical snippets of different people in the past were super interesting to read as well, and then THERE WAS A FREAKING TWIST. And it completely threw me off guard because I was already so immersed in the other parts of the story. 

One of the reasons I couldn't give this a full 5 stars was not because of the idea of reincarnation, but the people that were featured as being Linz's and Bryan's past lives (and all the other characters for that matter). I know that this is fiction, but it just seems highly unrealistic to have your main character be reincarnations of famous people such as Lord Asano, Origenes Adamantius, and etc. Like there are millions, billions of people on the planet, let alone in history. Why did you have to be someone super important? This probably had more to do with having material to write about in the book, I suppose.

Other than that, The Memory Painter was such an intense read, and it definitely wasn't something I was expecting. Which turned out to be great. I highly recommend this, even if this may not be in your comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #73

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Author Duos You'd LOVE To See Write A Book Together

I know this is incredibly hard, since how am I supposed to know who works well together? But I still love the idea of having two of my favorite authors writing a book together. I don't know if I'll be able to come up with the books I want them to write, but I will try.

Brandon Sanderson & Victoria Schwab - Let's just put these two INCREDIBLE fantasy world builders together. That in itself would be amazing, plus just THINK about the CHARACTERS and the PLOT. Oh just getting the chills just thinking about it.
Elizabeth Wein & Markus Zusak - JUST DESTROY ME WITH FEELS. I know Markus Zusak doesn't exclusively write WWII novels, but I would like, just this once, for him to team up with Elizabeth Wein and create the most beautiful, heartbreaking WWII book of all time.

Laini Taylor & Marissa Meyer - JUST THINK. The detail of Daughter of Smoke & Bone combined with the plot and amazingness of The Lunar Chronicles? IT WOULD BE AWESOME. 

Maggie Stiefvater & Sarah J. Maas - I know, this seems like a weird pairing, but just imagine the action from the Throne of Glass series, and the writing of The Raven Boys, and just PUT THOSE TOGETHER. It would definitely lead to something amazing, I just know it.

Garth Nix & Tamora Pierce - I feel like both of their series, Alanna and the Abhorsen, are kind of similar in setting. Which is why they would make a perfect pair, I'm sure.

And there you have it, five pairs, ten authors. Did you think of any other variations?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: Wolf By Wolf

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Source: Book Expo America
Date Read: 6/6/15 to 6/7/15
400 pages
Rating: 1/2 

Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

So, I read Wolf by Wolf awhile ago, and I'm going to be honest I do remember some of that, but that's pretty much it. And then I gave my copy away, and now that's that. Whoops. Let's see how I do~ 

Wolf by Wolf is not really a book I would read, seeing as it is about motorcycles, which I'm not too interested in. But let's be honest, put Code Name Verity in your blurb, have the story set during WWII, and I'm down. Let's not forget the fact that this is a reimagined WWII story. GOLD.

Yael has a personal vendetta against Hitler, especially after surviving and escaping a death camp. Which is why her one goal is to kill him. But since he's so well protected (after winning WWII and such), the only why she can do this is by 1) impersonating Adele Wolfe and 2) winning the motorcycle race that is basically like The Hunger Games, but for countries. And it doesn't involve too much killing. But it can, apparently.

Now you may ask, how can Yael impersonate someone who looks nothing like her? EASY. She has superhuman, shapeshifting powers! All due to human experimentation in the death/concentration camp. Actually, I was surprised at the route the book took. I was not expecting there to be science fiction intertwined with this dystopian. So that was a plus. 

Unfortunately, the positives end there. As much as I didn't mind the story, neither the plot nor the characters left an impact on me. And without that, the novel wasn't as memorable. (Though what was I expecting, nothing can top Elizabeth Wein's novels). I didn't feel much for Yael, or the side characters for that matter. I also felt that she was a little too much of a prodigy. First she's a shapeshifter, and suddenly she has mastered motorcycle riding (in a matter of months). It just felt unreal. It also doesn't help that there are two guys, but apparently it is not a love triangle because 1) Yael is imitating Adele and Felix thinks that she is really Adele, who is his sister. And 2) Luka is the one who has a thing for Adele. So in theory, it should not be a love triangle. 

And not only that, but the motorcycle race reminded me a little too much of The Hunger Games. Although it didn't include all the gore and monitoring, it had the same idea in that anything could happen. And the fact that Yael is in the middle of the rebellion. Against a dictator. Who hosts a game. Which in this case is a race.

So that will be an interesting turnout. But I'm going to be honest and say I'm planning to not read the sequel. I wasn't all that interested in this first book, and although the story has a lot of potential, it's not really high up on my list. But hey, another WWII book on my read list!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Air Awakens

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Air Awakens #1
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: August 27th, 2015
Source: Physical ARC from Author
Date Read: 9/26/15 to 10/5/15
377 pages
Rating: 1/2

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I just want to mention that that was the most epic last line I have ever read. After I read it, I immediately wanted to get to the next installment. BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BE EPIC.

Okay, onto the actual review.

I heard about Air Awakens through one of my favorite blogging buddies Ely @ Tea & Titles. And seeing that it is about magic involving the elements, I immediately looked into it. I was able to get a hold of a copy through the author herself, since Amazon messed up and had ARCs instead of finished copies.

Anyways, I seriously could not stop reading this. I even got annoyed at my roommate for disrupting my reading time by asking to prepare pizza for dinner. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO MAKE PIZZA. I needed to read Air Awakens at every waking moment. The plot had me hooked. Vhalla Yarl, a library apprentice with a love of books (!!!), discovers that she's actually a sorcerer. This comes as a huge shock, seeing as sorcerers are kind of looked down upon as evil. And as much as the Tower, where the sorcerers live and learn to use their powers, try to persuade her to join, she's still uncertain. It really doesn't help the fact that she's the only sorcerer with an Air Affinity.

Just like this weirdo from Avatar: The Last Airbender

And then enter in Aldrik, the crown prince who also is a sorcerer. Ever since he pushed her off the roof to ascertain her powers, she hates him. But then hate turns to tolerate, and then to some sort of attraction between them. And it's great because Aldrik is sometimes cold-hearted, but he really wants Vhalla to forgive him, especially since [spoilers] he originally only wanted to use her for her powers. [spoilers] And it also doesn't help that the two of them are bonded to one another, since Vhalla saved his life in the beginning.

The plot kind of reminded me of Shadow & Bone, with Vhalla having a special power that is extremely powerful. And plus the turn in plot, seeing as it went from casual meetings with Aldrik, to BOOM, ACTION AND DECEPTION. Did I mention how I couldn't put this down? Well yeah, I couldn't.

Also, at first I thought there was going to be three love interests, but luckily that barely caused any drama, something I was afraid was going to happen. This was due to Vhalla actually being smart, and realizing that she didn't have any feelings for the other guy. And of course what happened in the end was unfortunate, but what's done is done. I didn't really liked him too much either, and I was expecting the book to take a different route when he started going to the library to research magic.

Pretty much the only reason it's not a full five stars is because I felt like the book was unusually fast paced in the beginning. But the pacing evened out the further in, and then it just got more and more amazing.

So yes. I can't tell you enough to READ THIS BOOK. It's well-written, the cover is gorgeous, and just amazing in general. Plus the sequel is coming out on November 19th, and it's called Fire Falling!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Fine Line: Twitter Chats

Welcome to the first post in this feature which will be shared by Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway, Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight, Amber @ YA Indulgences, and I. I think it comes as no surprise that we have teamed up again, though this time it will be more than just a book discussion. 

The important thing about this feature is that it brings up topics that are highly controversial. For that reason, I will try to remain as neutral as possible. These posts are not aimed to cause offense or target anyone. Instead they are observations as a whole of the book blogging community. And more importantly, the reason for these posts (for me at least) is to see what YOUR thoughts are on the topic at hand. Because I am interested.

Also, please don't be afraid to comment or discuss your thoughts. There's no right or wrong answer to anything I've discussed, and of course you do not have to agree with me on anything. The only thing I do ask is that you don't mention any names or the such. And if you do have a problem with anything I've said, feel free to DM me. Though just remember that I am allowed to state my own thoughts.

And with that said, let's do this!

Twitter Chats

The number of Twitter Chats popping up recently

The increasing number of chats appearing on Twitter is allowing for more bloggers and authors to communicate with other bloggers. And because of this, there have been many more conversations then there used to be. Authors can use chats to spread word of their books, and bloggers can use them to share their blog, especially bloggers who are shyer than others. There is no doubt that Twitter chats have led to more conversation in the blogosphere.

There are a lot of chats, many of them having the same theme as others. There will be at least one chat going on every day, and sometimes it clogs up the Twitter feed.

I think that Twitter chats are awesome, but I seriously wonder why there are so many. I am not suggesting that hosting Twitter chats should be entitled to certain bloggers, however, I do feel as it has become another one of those requirements to be a successful book blogger. The reason I have come to this conclusion is due to my observation of all the chats, and how some are very similar to the chats that have recently become popular in the blogosphere.

Another reason on why I wanted to talk about this is also the topic of plagiarism. Ideas being plagiarized seems to be pretty taboo in the blogosphere. Does this also apply to these chats? Is this even considered plagiarism? Or are Twitter chats too abstract and common of an idea to even be considered original anymore? (In other words, should Twitter chats be considered an original idea). 

  1. Is hosting a Twitter chat the new "thing" to do as a blogger?
  2. Do you view similar Twitter chats as repetitive?
  3. Does it count as plagiarism? Or is it too hard to say or to prove? (Or is it just not an original thing in the first place)
  4. What do you think of Twitter chats as a whole? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: The Iron Queen

The Iron Queen
The Iron Fey #3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 25th, 2011
Source: Library
Date Read: 9/6/15 to 9/17/15
384 pages

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

And here it is, my final review for the Iron Fey series. Because no, I will not be reading the last book in the series, only because I liked how Kagawa originally ended this. Also, I seriously wonder whether she wrote the epilogue after her editor commented on the ending, causing her to write a fourth book. 

Haven't read the Iron Fey Series? Read at your own risk for spoilers for the last two books!

So, let's review.
  • In The Iron King, Meghan is introduced to the Fey Realm, and she finds out that not only is her half-brother kidnapped by the Iron Fey, but she is half Fey herself. Cue saving her brother, and meeting the Winter Prince along the way, Ash.
  • In The Iron Daughter, Meghan spends her time in the Winter...uh...Kingdom? And it's all pretty boring, and this was my least favorite book because I liked Puck 100x better than Ash. And this was just a huge love triangle drama that I didn't want to deal with.
Fun Fact: I was actually spoiled by the author herself as to what would happen at the end of this book, which is one of the reasons why I ended up reading this, just because I wanted to see how it would work out. Sadly, I wasn't too impressed with the ending, since it was exactly as I predicted. I think I was expecting something more complicated, but nope.

Yet with that said, I did enjoy the continuation of Meghan Chase's adventures of saving everyone from the Iron King (Though I still hate her name, there is seriously no way to say her name without making it sound cheesy). And I really should've looked up a review or a recap of the first book, because I remember nothing. Like who this new Iron King was, or why Machina turned out to be nice, in the end? I don't know.

And let's not forget Puck and Grim, who unfortunately appeared less than in the other books. And also, let's talk about the ending of The Iron Daughter to the beginning of The Iron Queen. First off, I'm pretty sure Ash was devastated when he followed Meghan into the human world and was exiled for life. But then come to this next book, he's all like "I'll follow you no matter where you go in the world", and I'm like "where the heck did this come from?" I honestly don't remember Ash having super strong feelings for Meghan, since he was so wishy washy in the second book. I did skip most of the Ash-Meghan scenes though. Bleh.

The series itself definitely started out strong, and ended pretty well. I highly doubt I will be reading the "last" book, seeing as this technically was supposed to be the last book. But though saying that, I did enjoy The Iron Queen, especially with all its action against the remaining Iron fey and the new Iron King. I'm going to be honest and say that I am quite curious as to what Meghan will do now that it's all over, but I think I'm just going to leave that for another year, or two, or never.
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