Friday, 17 February 2017

JANUARY '17 WRAP UP!



So, it's the end of the month and that means another wrap-up!

I had a much better month in terms of reading which was great for me. I am very happy to have started off the year, reading well. I didn't get too much blogging done which was a shame but school takes up 97% of my time nowadays.

There's also three billion things to watch which are all good but so time consuming. Also watch Riverdale [CW], it's so good. And watch Timeless [NBC].

Join my book club: here.

 Anyways...

Time to talk about the books I read this month.


PHYSICAL BOOKS





The first physical book I read was Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston. This was a Star Wars book that was written by a wonderful author and I was so pleased by this book. It was a great addition to the Star Wars world which is something I love. I wrote a full review which I will link later. I rated this 5 Crowns.

The second physical book I read was Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. This was a fantasy book with a girlxgirl romance which was refreshing to see and I really enjoyed it despite negative reviews. Basically, the main character, Princess Denna is sent to another kingdom to perform a marriage alliance with the prince and while she's there she becomes friends and eventually falls in love with the prince's sister, Mare. It was a really good book and I highly recommend it. I rated it 4 Crowns.


The third physical book I read was Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl. I adored this book which was about a girl who Natasha Romanoff had rescued from the red room and it was so cute until it wasn't and I cried. :(  But anyways, this was about a girl who was rescued from the red room and then when she was older, she went to a fencing competition and met Natasha again and a boy who becomes very important to her and the story and I loved it so much. I rated it 5 Crowns.

The fourth physical book I read was Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book had an interesting premise. It was about a girl who couldn't go outside due to having a rare illness. To put it simply, she was allergic to the world and anything outside could trigger her illness so she spent her entire life indoors with her mom and her nurse. I expected to like this book a lot more than I did. While I did enjoy the main character, Madeline and the cute romance with boy-next-door, Olly, I was not pleased with the representation.  It was supposed to show the struggles with having this kind of illness and how hard it was to connect with others but it didn't show that. Madeline completely went against rules that had been put in place to protect her and went on a vacation because she "needed to experience it" but she was also apparently sick. And the ending was a shocker that really should not have happened. I ended up rating this 3 Crowns, because while I did not like the representation, I did end up enjoying some aspects of the novel.



The fifth book I read was These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. This was such a good book and I have been putting off reading it since last year when I bought it. It had so much to love especially Mr. Kent. <3  I liked how spunky the main character was and how unique this book was. I rated it 4 Crowns.

The sixth book I read was Glitter by Aprilynne Pike. I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did but my sister recommended it to me so I decided to pick it up and I'm glad I did. It had a lot to love in it. If you have not checked out this book, then please do. It's set in modern day/future France but inside the Palace of Versailles, it is like it is 18th century France. The main character wants an escape and so she makes a deal with a drug dealer. I rated it 4 Crowns.



The seventh book I read was Ash by Malinda Lo. This was another book that I liked. It was a Cinderella retelling with another girlxgirl romance that did not take over the plot. That was one of the best parts of the novel. It was pretty slow going and had a lot of description rather than dialogue which did make it a little boring.  I ended up rating it 3 Crowns because I liked the representation and the main character but I didn't enjoy a lot of side characters and the plot was pretty slow going and a tad bit confusing at some times but maybe some of you would like it better.

The eighth book I read was Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. This was something I have wanted to pick up since I found out about the book but I wasn't sure that I would enjoy it due to some negative reviews. But, I ended up really enjoying it. The main character, Britta, was actually one of the only characters that I liked. There were some people in the book who weren't the best such as Cohen. In fact, the romance also wasn't the best. But, I did rate it 4 Crowns because there were many aspects that I did enjoy.




ARC'S READ




The first and only ARC I read was Frostblood by Elly Blake. I received this from NetGalley and the publisher and it was such a good book. It had a lot of similarities to other fantasy books such as Red Queen, but then again, what book doesn't have similarities to others. I really enjoyed this book overall and I have a full review. I rated it 4 Crowns. 




REVIEWS IN NOVEMBER: 





OTHER POSTS: 


MUSIC MONDAY:

NONE

TOP TEN TUESDAY: 

NONE

TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: 

NONE


WEEKLY WRAP-UP:





DISCUSSIONS/OTHER:










FAVORITE COVER OF THE MONTH:





NEW FICTIONAL BAE'S: 


Saber from Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Mr. Kent from These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas


TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS MONTH:

 







WHAT BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:





NEW BLOG FINDS



SONGS ON REPEAT

High - Zella Day 

Soldier - Fleurie

Beauty and the Beast - Ariana Grande and John Legend

Shape of You - Ed Sheeran

Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood

The graphics at the top belong to me. The background pictures for them, however do not.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ash by Malinda Lo Book Review

This is a spoiler free review.


Ash
Written by Malinda Lo
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/LGBT
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Pages: 264
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Review:

I have been recommended this book for so many years that it was hard for me to not pick it up so I checked it out a couple weeks ago from my library and I was relatively pleased with what I got. This is an LGBT retelling of Cinderella but it is only prominent in the last fourth of the book.

COVER

The cover is cute and represents the book fairly well. I like how she is on the forest floor in a tattered dress which represents how she often goes to the forest and her stepmother + sisters don’t treat her well so she can’t have new clothes. I think the font is also really pretty.

WORLD-BUILDING

I was a little bit confused with the world-building which is why it lost a little bit of the points that it originally would have gained. There were fairies and that kind of lore and yet, I was confused as to the point of it entering the book at all.  

Then there are the characters.

ASH

Contrary to what some reviewers previously said, I could connect with Ash. I felt her pain as she lay on the hard ground at night, exhausted after a day of work. However, she wasn’t really a strong female heroine which is what I really wanted/needed her to be. She is in pain after her mother abruptly dies, soon followed by her father and she has no one on her side so most of the time she is heading out into the woods looking for fairies which is not something you do if you want to live, honestly. She isn’t weak, but she is more an everyday girl, even if she isn’t living in the modern world.


KAISA

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t too invested in Kaisa. That was mostly because we really didn’t get to see her that much so I wasn’t really sure what she was like. She seemed to honestly care about Ash, and that’s really all that matters.  Kaisa is the King’s huntress and Ash stumbles upon her on one of her hunts which I thought was a good introduction rather than meeting at a ball.


FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

Ash questions whether she really has a family in her stepmother and stepsisters after her parents pass away. She really doesn’t have anyone to turn to, what with her new step-family treating her like she is below them. Family and friendship is a big thing that is questioned in this book.

PLOT

You all know the original story of Cinderella. The one where Cinderella’s father dies and she is left in the ‘care’ of her stepmother and stepsisters who are evil and make her cook and clean for them? Well that is how this story starts off but then the similarities end. There are balls but she doesn’t attend all of them and she most certainly does not lose a shoe inducing the prince to come after her.  Instead we have the introduction of the King’s huntress whom Ash develops a strong friendship with. There are also fairies and lore which sweep Ash in. There isn’t a lot of battling which is what I thought would have to happen due to there being a strong female but that is not the case and I am actually proud.

ROMANCE

Kaisa and Ash were the main romantic couple in this book, though their romance blossomed rather late in the story. Ash doesn’t have time to fantasize over having any romantic attachments whatsoever, due to her being a maid in her step-family’s household. Her sexuality is also heavily closeted and we don’t really know how she feels towards anyone. Even when the two characters meet, it is more of a friendship that is formed, rather than a relationship.

Nevertheless, the relationship was sweet and wasn’t a big thing which was a little bit refreshing to see as in fantasy’s the relationship is usually the main focus of the story, which makes it veer away from the actual occurrences.

WRITING

The writing was eloquent and mostly description and internal thoughts and dialogue rather than actual dialogue of characters interacting and yet it was a breath of fresh air in that respect.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This book is something that I would recommend to all fans of fairy tales, even though the book doesn’t much focus on the original Cinderella tale, it will still captivate lovers of the original tale. There is a cute, very slow burning romance, eloquent writing and a lovely, relatable main character, Ash.


Quotes from the Book:

“You shall not discover the truth being being blinded to faith.” 

“Fear will teach you where to be careful.” 




My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Crown





Saturday, 4 February 2017

Wanted by Betsy Schow [Spelled #2] eArc review

I received an eArc from NetGalley and the publisher. Thank you to them. This is a spoiler free review for the second book but there will be mild spoilers for book one.




Wanted
Written by Betsy Schow
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: eArc from NetGalley


Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood's daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?

Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though...they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she's the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn't in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn't figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi's going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink. 
Not happening. No way in Spell. 
Rexi's plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer...


Review:

I read the first book sometime last year and it was amazing and so different. I usually read books with a female protagonist who galavants across the land searching for someone or something, usually with a male dictating stuff. But this is different.

COVER


I really like the cover and how there is a shoe on the front which is another perfect allusion to the Wizard of Oz.

WORLD-BUILDING


This world still confuses me even though I read the first book as well as the second. I did wish that they had had a little bit more background when I jumped into this one because it had been awhile since I had read the first one but I still managed to figure it out.

The reason

Then there are the characters.


REXI

Rexi was the sidekick in the first book, meant to be there for sarcastic commentary and help battle once in while but generally forgotten. The hero of the story is supposed to be Dorthea but in this one she isn't. Rexi is a lot different from Dorthea. She has different morals and a different personality. She's a lot more sarcastic and snarky and doesn't always seem to have her priorities in check. In this one we get to see her take center stage and it was wonderful. I love her commentary and the fact that she is the real badass of the story.



FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY


Family and friendship is a main point in this book. Dorthea and Rexi are magically linked so if Rexi dies, she can be brought back but they can also feel each other's feelings and thoughts which is a bit of a nusiance as Rexi has to question if things are her own or Dorthea's. They both watch each others backs and Rexi begins to really think of Kato and Dorthea as friends and almost family.

PLOT


I admit that the plot confused me a bit because it jumped about but I got the main gist of it and I was pleased with it. I loved seeing everyone work together even when impending doom was held over them.

But I was NOT PLEASED with that cliffhanger!!! Please let there be another book!!

ROMANCE

There unfortunately seemed to be a kind of love triangle in this book that was very confusing. It was also a little bit unnecessary. I didn't know who to ship Rexi with. Kato or Mordred and I couldn't figure out who she had chemistry with. This would have been fine without any romance or with a new love interest that had potential.

WRITING

The writing is simple but I love all the funny little references to Pop culture and the sarcastic commentary which just made my day while I was reading this. [And helped me get through that emotional ending]

FINAL THOUGHTS


If you liked the first book then be sure to pick this one up but be aware that it might not meet your expectations. It does follow Rexi who is a different character than Dorthea but she was my favorite out of the two. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading anything by this author in the future.

Quotes from the Book:


None




My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Weekly Update: 1/16 - 1/29 TWO WEEK UPDATE

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've been kind of a mess with blogging for the past two weeks and I sincerely apologize. I hope to be back to normal [or at least two-three posts a week normal] by next week.

Despite that, I have had a good past two weeks. Grades were due on friday for school so that stress was lifted off my shoulders and I had a good three-day weekend.  I also got to go see the Swan Lake Ballet done by the American Ballet theater which was beautiful. I have never seen this ballet done so it was new for me, though I knew all the music.

Now, let's get into recapping.


New Books

Purchased:




Library: 





Received for Review: 






In Case You Missed It


This Week I Read
  
  





Next Week I'm Reading








Upcoming Reviews







Upcoming Posts



Monday:  Riverdale Episode 1 Episode Talk

Tuesday: NONE

Wednesday: NONE

Thursday: NONE

Friday: Everything, Everything Book Review 

Saturday: January Wrap Up + February TBR

Friday, 27 January 2017

September - November Book Haul '16

This is insane. I have not done a haul since my birthday haul which is ridiculous and I have gained so many books since then because I have a very obvious problem.

This haul does not include the many things I got for Christmas. This is just all the books that I have accumulated since my birthday but before December. It's a lot but not as many as I thought which might mean I am getting better at not binge buying.  [Plus, I have bought one book in January which I am very proud of myself for doing because normally I would have bought eight by now. And there have been some releases that I am dying to get my hands on but I won't buy them for awhile]


Anyways, let's jump right into this haul. 







BOOKS









1. Wendy Darling Stars by Colleen Oakes 

This is a Peter Pan retelling which I live for so I bought this one. I have heard some good things about this book and I have decided to check it out. I believe that it is also a little more NA rather than YA which I am excited about. 

2. Never Ever by Sara Saedi

This is another Peter Pan retelling and I have read many reviews on this one and have decided to try it for myself, although I haven't picked it up yet which is annoying. I am excited to though so that will be fun to try. 

3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Blake

I have heard controversial things about this book but I did end up purchasing it because do you see how gorgeous that cover is? I kid. I really want to read it because it sounds so different and new. 

4. Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

I own the first book and now I have the second. Plus, I always buy his books because why would I not? They always excel at making me amused. Well except for those cliffhangers. :( 

5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 

I finally read Six of Crows and I had to purchase the second book. Plus, the cover is so beautiful. I really need to start this book because I want to find out what is going on with Kaz and his crew. 

6. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I honestly don't even know why I bought this when I am so behind on this series. I even preordered it for some reason. But it has really thin pages which is cool and I plan to catch up with this series this year. 

7. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I have heard so many good things about this book and I got it at a book sale for pretty cheap so I purchased it. And it is an Adult Fantasy so I'm excited. 

8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I also got this at the same book sale and I was missing the second book so now I have it. But I am a little sad that it is the paperback when all the others in the series are hardbacks. :( 

9. City of Ashes by Cassandra Claire

I do not like the old covers of this series so I am so happy that I found this for like a dollar at a sale. And it is in such good condition so I purchased it and am getting rid of the old cover one. I really want to get the whole series in the new covers. 

10. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

I have not read any of this series but I purchased this one because it was a dollar and I had to. I'm kind of upset with myself for purchasing it but I will get to this series as soon as I am able to. 

11. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I have heard mixed things about this book but I bought it because I was going to read it before the movie came out. Unfortunately they changed the rating from PG-13 to R on the movie so I was unable to see it with my friend which sucks. I still plan on reading this though. 


12. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

I really enjoyed this book so I bought it at a book sale. It doesn't currently have a good spot on my bookshelf as it is kind of full but I will fit it in. I will probably reread this one as well. 

13. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

I bought this at the book sale as well because it was pretty cheap and it is also in hardcover which I am not too thrilled with but I made it work on my shelf. And I have a special home for Sarah J. Maas' books. Well, until I buy all the ACOTAR books [I only have the second]. 


14. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

This was available at the same sale in the mass market paperback form. I am not thrilled with having them in this form but they fit easily on my shelf which I am happy about. I really want to read these as well. 


15. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Same goes for this one. It was also available in the mass market paperback form so I bought it. 


16. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Same goes for this one. It was also available in the mass market paperback form so I bought it. 


17. Maximum Ride School's Out Forever by James Patterson

I read the first of these books a couple months ago and ended up really enjoying it so I purchased this one in mass market paperback form. I hope to get to it soon. 



POP VINYL DOLLS



1. Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time POP Funko

Pop Funko figures are honestly the cutest thing ever. I love them so much and am happy that they are branching out to so many tv shows and movies. I bought her from Barnes and Noble because she was on special and I couldn't resist. I love the show and the character. 


That is it for this haul and blogpost. What have you purchased recently?