Sunday, 14 January 2018

Weekly Recap: 1/8 - 1/14

I have decided to start doing a weekly post called weekly recap where I update you on my life, reading and watching. Plus any posts I have done or will do.

I actually wrote posts this week which is very exciting. So far, I am on top of my 2018 goals.

I am about to go see Star Wars The Last Jedi again with a friend and I am so excited for it.

Now, let's get into recapping.


New Books

Purchased:




Library: 





Received for Review: 




In Case You Missed It


This Week I Read




This Week I Watched



This Week I Listened To 

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack


Next Week I'm Reading




Upcoming Reviews




Upcoming Posts


Monday: The Greatest Showman Movie Review

Tuesday: NONE

Wednesday: NONE

Thursday: NONE

Friday: Reign the Earth Book Review

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: Weekly Recap




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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Books I'm Excited For in the Winter of 2018!

Hey guys. 

I am splitting up my most anticipated book posts into four different posts (winter, spring, summer and fall) because it is a lot easier and neater.

These are all the books that I am excited for during January and February aka the winter months of 2018! 

Let's get into it.







JANUARY

1.  Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking  ~ January 2, 2018

This book contains Norse myths as it is all about Valkyries and I am so excited because I love Amanda Hocking's work. 

2.  Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu ~ January 2, 2018 

Marie Lu is a great writer and I just recently read her latest book, Warcross so I really want to try this one. People have been saying that this is mostly about young Bruce Wayne which excites me because I don't really like Batman all that much. 

3. Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey and Krystal Wade ~ January 2, 2018

This book reminds me a lot of Sleeping Beauty and I actually got an ARC of this so I may be reading it sooner than I think. Space books just speak to me. 

4. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black ~ January 2, 2018

I have heard so many good things about The Cruel Prince already and I am so excited to read it. I recently read The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black and I absolutely loved it so naturally, I am excited for another one of Holly Black's fae books.

5. Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely ~ January 2, 2018

There are not enough Wild West books out there and when I heard about this one, I almost screamed in excitement. I have already heard great things about this so I know it will be good. The heroine is marketed as a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley.

6. Everless by Sara Holland ~ January 2, 2018

Time is currency?? That just pulled me in because I have never read anything like that before.  I am a little worried about it, though, as some people have said it was really slow.

7. Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner ~ January 9, 2018

This has been described as Indiana Jones in Outer Space which just sounds amazing. I love high speed action books and having it in space just intrigues me even more. I haven't read their other books together but I am ready for this one. 

8. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman ~ January 9, 2018

I picked up Scythe back in March of 2017 so it has been awhile since I've been in this world, but I am excited to jump back into the story as the first book was very intense. 

9. Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk ~ January 16, 2018

A warrior princess? Gladiators? Rome? This book sounds a lot of fun and seems to contain a lot of action. I am excited to read this even though I got rejected for the eARC.

10. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh ~ January 23, 2018

The protagonist of this novel is a necromancer which is something I haven't seen much of in the YA community. This sounds very original. 

11. Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra ~ January 23, 2018 

Another book that seems to contain a bada** heroine. Do you see the pattern? I love strong female protagonists and this seems like it will fulfill my desires. 

12. The Defiant by Lesley Livingston ~ January 23, 2018

The Valiant was a great book set in the Roman Empire about a female gladiator and I am just excited to continue the story.

13. Wires and Nerve Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer ~ January 30, 2018

Anyone who knows me, knows I love The Lunar Chronicles so of course the latest graphic novel set in this world will be on this list. I am so excited as it's been a year since I read the first one and had so much fun. 

14. Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen ~ January 30, 2018

I have actually already read this book and it really surprised me. It was kind of dark which I was warned once or twice about and it had a lot of triggers that could upset people but I liked how original it was. 

15. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert ~ January 30, 2018

I have also read this book which was very dark and I have a full review up about it. 







FEBRUARY

1.  Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones  ~ February 6, 2018

I just recently read Wintersong which was such a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing book and I loved it so much so I am eagerly awaiting the second installment. 

2.  The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross  ~ February 6, 2018

This is just another Fantasy book that really appealed to me. People say the writing is beautiful and the storyline was also very well done which is great.

3. The Belles by Dhionielle Clayton ~ February 6, 2018

I just got an eArc of this book and I am so excited to try it. People have been saying it is a little bit darker than most books similar to it and I am ready. 

4. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes ~ February 6, 2018

This is the last book in the Falling Kingdoms series which makes me both excited and very nervous. I just hope Cleo and Magnus make it out okay. That's all I ask.

5. Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce ~ February 6, 2018

What? Is she really going to read a book with a male protagonist? That's new.  And yes, you heard it right. This is a YA Fantasy novel with a male protagonist. 

6. Shatter by Aprilynne Pike ~ February 13, 2018

I loved the first book which was called Glitter and set at Versailles where glitter was a drug and the main character was trying to use it to control her own fate but she ended up getting married to the King. I am so excited for the second installment!

7. The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine ~ February 13, 2018

I loved the first book in this series and I am now reading The Wish Granter so I am excited for the third book.

8. Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre ~ February 13, 2018

This is another YA book that is set in space where the main character is a criminal and people live on Mars now which just sounds so cool.

9. Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza ~ February 20, 2018

The first book in this series is so so good and I am excited to see the character's continued adventures. 

10. Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda ~ February 20, 2018

This sort of seems like a pirate story set in space which sounds amazing. This is one of the tag lines: "A future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound." 

11. The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen ~ February 27, 2018

The cover of this one is beautiful and I know it is a Fantasy YA novel but I don't really know much about it.

12. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston ~ February 27, 2018

This is pitched as Anastasia in Space and I love Anastasia so I really want to read this one.


That is it for this blogpost. Are there any books on this list that you want to read?

See you all soon!



Friday, 12 January 2018

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert ARC Review

I received a ebook ARC from Flatiron Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so so much! This is a spoiler free review.




The Hazel Wood
Written by Melissa Albert
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Pages: 368
Source: ebook ARC provided by Flatiron Books and NetGalley
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 15 and up!


Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Review:

This was/is one of my most anticipated books of 2018 and I am so glad that I got to read it before its release date. Thank you to Flatiron Books for providing me with an ARC.

That being said, this book was very slow-moving and a lot of the action didn't arrive until the late half of the book. This book also has some Alice in Wonderland vibes which was very exciting and something I clearly enjoyed. The Hazel Wood is a dark YA fantasy novel that is very reminiscent of the original dark Grimms' fairytales.

COVER

The cover is one of my favorite parts of this book because it is so artistic. The cover has a bit of a creepy aspect to it that just make it that much more beautiful. I love the small designs all along the sides and the colors that are used.

WORLD-BUILDING

The world-building is very slow and was a little bit confusing as there is a world completely hidden within our own. This world is called the Hinterland which comes straight from the pages of her grandmother's book of fairytales. All the characters in the fairytale book Tales from the Hinterland, are real and many of them are out to get Alice. The Hinterland is a very dark place and almost reminds me of a dark Wonderland where everything is not what it seems.

Then there are the characters.

ALICE

Alice, has never had a proper home as she and her mom have never settled in one place for very long. Her mom Ella is sure that bad luck follows them and they must move on whenever they get too comfortable. Alice wasn't a very likable character but she was very compelling and I felt myself reacting to situations in a very similar way as she did. Alice is very self-centered and seems to focus on the fact that she grew up poor and didn't have somewhere to call home. Throughout the book she is a little bit demanding and doesn't acknowledge her mistakes which causes other characters to have problems with her. Overall she wasn't my favorite heroine in a YA novel.


ELLERY FINCH

Ellery Finch was a more likable character. He comes from a family with money and is a super fan of Althea's (Alice's grandmother) work and wants nothing more than to visit The Hazel Wood which is Althea's vast estate in upstate New York. He forms a shaky bond with Alice and they set off on a journey to visit the Hazel Wood which is the one place that Alice's mother told her never to go. I thought he was funny and sweet. By the time I finished this book, I was really missing his character.

FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

The whole plot centers around Alice wanting to find her mom who she believes has been kidnapped. She believes that this journey will also lead her to the Hazel Wood which is where her grandmother lives and she has never seen. Alice loves her mom even though her mom has made her move around constantly causing Alice to not have a steady home and she knows that she will do anything so her mom can be with her.

PLOT

The first few chapters of The Hazel Wood give us some background on Alice, her mother (Ella) and her grandmother, Althea Prosperine, who wrote a book of fairytales which were widely popular. This book was called Tales From The Hinterland, which contained twelve fairytales which were very dark and different. Alice remembers that she was kidnapped when she was six years old, by a man with red hair who said he was taking her to her grandmother. She was not harmed and was found very quickly by the police and her mother. A decade later, Alice spots the redheaded man who looks the same as before and strange things start happening. She and her mother receive a letter that informs them that Althea has passed away. Shortly afterwards, Ella disappears under very strange circumstances and Alice turns to a classmate named Ellery Finch who agrees to accompany on a journey to visit the Hazel Wood and find her mother.

This book is certainly for an older teenage audience as it was disturbing, unsettling and had a lot of graphic violence/gory horror within the fairytales and novel itself. I was warned beforehand that it was very dark but I didn't feel truly uneasy until I started reading this alone. And the story was not wrapped up in a light sort of way so if you are looking for a happy ending, you better turn around.
ROMANCE

There is no romance in this novel.

WRITING

The writing is truly wonderful. I loved how Melissa Albert incorporated some of the fairytales from Tales from the Hinterland which were very dark and unsettling but written very well. Melissa Albert has a way to create a detailed, dark, and complex tale that will intrigue the reader and I really liked that.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I did have some issues with this book as it was slow-going and very very dark but I ended up enjoying it and rating it a little over 3.5 Crowns. I thought the whole concept was really original, and I thought the plot was very intriguing. I recommend that you read this book if you like darker YA novels and like fairytales.

Quotes from the Book:

None At this Time





My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Crowns

Monday, 8 January 2018

2018 Bookish and Writing Goals and Resolutions!


Hello guys.

You might remember that I did a post like this last year, where I went over all the goals that I hoped to complete during the year 2017.  Even if you don't remember, here are my 2018 New Year's Resolutions. These are all goals that I aim/hope to follow. 

Let's get into it.




 2017 RECAP 


1. Try to Read at least Six Books a Month: COMPLETE

I feel as if I actually did complete this goal because for most of the months, I did read six books. There were a couple months where I only read four or five but I was trying which is what counts. 


2. Blog 3-4 Times a Week!: NOT COMPLETE

This year was a horrible blogging year. I had a lot more school work and things to do than I thought I did which caused me to lose blogging time. While I am sad that I didn't complete this goal, I am hoping I can do better in 2018.

3. Post/Write One Book Review a Week: NOT COMPLETE

As I said in previously, I did not have a good blogging year and I didn't write very many book reviews which is very sad because I read so much and I want to tell people what I read. 

4. Spend more time writing quality posts: NOT COMPLETE

I hoped to write discussion posts and reviews during 2017 but I didn't write too many of those in 2017.

5. Catch up on NetGalley Books: COMPLETE

Towards the end of 2017, I got my NetGalley life together and I have a 72% rating which is exciting. I count this as a completed goal.



6. Plot Books Before Writing Them: COMPLETE

I would count this as a completed goal because I ended up plotting out some novels (not fully, but partially is better than not at all). I am so excited to do more of this in the future as it is very helpful.


7. Actually Finish Writing at Least One Book: NOT COMPLETE

I did not complete this goal in 2017. I did write the whole second part of one of my novels for Nanowrimo and I can't wait to write more of that book when I have time.


 2018 BOOKISH AND WRITING GOALS 

1. Read 80 Books

My Goodreads Challenge is currently set at 80 books which is the amount I hope to reach this year. This won't be too hard as I reached over 90 books read this year, however, I will be ending senior year and probably going off to college so time will be limited.

2. Edit Parts 1 and 2 of Camelot Anew

I have written two parts of my novel called Camelot Anew. I love this novel with all my heart but it is a bit of a mess right now. I would really like to edit these parts and clean them up a bit this year.

3. Finish Writing One Novel

I put this on my goals every year, but I haven't managed to complete the goal yet. I hope to writ a whole novel this year and to not worry about editing it before I finish it.

4. Plot Out my Whole Pirate Novel

My pirate novel (which has a title, I promise) is one that I have been trying to write for years and I feel like I can't get it right. I am going to plan it all out this year so I can just get to writing it whenever I have time.

5. Reach 80% on NetGalley

I have reached 72% on NetGalley which is pretty good but I want to reach 80% so more titles will be available to me and I don't have to be denied for just that reason.

6. Reread At Least Five Books

I did not reread any book this year because there are always so many books to read for the first time. There are quite a few books that I'd really like to reread this year and I am going to try my best to get to those this year.

7. Try to Read 5-6 Books a Month 

As I mentioned in my recap part of this post, I didn't always have time to read this year, but I did end up reading about this number a month. I hope to read 5-6 books a month this year as well, so I can reach my Goodreads goal and feel accomplished.

8. Possibly Start a Bookstagram Account

This is not one of my main goals. I have never had an Instagram account and didn't plan to, until I discovered Bookstagram. Bookstagram photos are just so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, that I've tried to take a few. I am not sure if I will do this yet, but I am considering it.

9. Write at Least One Book Review a Week

Writing book reviews is a long and involved process. I didn't write very many this year and I am disappointed in myself because I know I can do better at this.

10. Try to Post At Least Twice a Week

This is going to be the hardest of all my goals for this year. 2017 was a bad blogging year and I admit that. I am hoping to do better this year, although I don't have much time for blogging. That being said, I am going to work harder to have posts planned out/written out before I want them to go up. I can write posts when I have time and then I don't have to be going for weeks on end with no updates.


And that is it for this blogpost. I hope you all enjoyed and maybe considered adding one of these goals to your list for 2018.

I'll see you all soon.



Weekly Recap: 12/31 - 1/7

I have decided to start doing a weekly post called weekly recap where I update you on my life, reading and watching. Plus any posts I have done or will do.

I actually wrote posts this week which is very exciting.

Also, I saw The Greatest Showman this past weekend with a group of friends and it was amazing. Everything about it was just done so well and the soundtrack is beautiful. I highly recommend going to see it, if you haven't already.

Now, let's get into recapping.


New Books

Purchased:




Library: 





Received for Review: 






In Case You Missed It


This Week I Read

  
 




This Week I Watched




This Week I Listened To 


Don't Blame Me by Taylor Swift
Bloodstream by Transviolet
Dusk Till Dawn by Sia and Zayn
The Greatest Showman Soundtrack


Next Week I'm Reading




Upcoming Reviews




Upcoming Posts



Monday: NONE

Tuesday: NONE

Wednesday: NONE

Thursday: NONE

Friday: The Hazel Wood Book Review

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: Weekly Recap




Around the Blog Community