Monday, August 31, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: A Curious Tale of the In-Between and The Copper Gauntlet!!

Hello there guys!

Welcome to what I've decided to call the Middle Grade edition of this week's Mark This Book Monday!

Today I have two of my BEA ARCs that I read for ARC August up for review and for are MG books, so both count towards my MG reads category on the 105 Challenge!






A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram, #1)A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I'm not the biggest middle grade reader ever, but I do enjoy some MG books now and then. After reading my BEA ARC of A Curious Tale of the In-Between I know I'll read any and all MG that Lauren DeStefano will write!

Pram is a lil girl that lives with her aunts at the home for the elderly that they run. She's always been special as she can see ghosts, but her aunts think that she's just peculiar and has imaginary friends, which is easier than to think she sees ghosts.

Once I started reading the book I wasn't sure what to expect because I had not re-read the summary since I added the book to my TBR GR list and my BEA list.

But I really enjoyed reading about Pram and how despite being peculiar and not wanting to be someone that she isn't she makes a friend when she goes to school, but she also tries to keep her friendship with ghostly Felix. Clarence and Pram help each other with their own issues that they feel adults can't or won't help.

I was quite intrigued when I saw where the book went with the ghosts storyline and how it was great in terms of world building but also character development, not just for Pram. Villains are not just black and white, even if their actions are despicable enough.

I really don't want to say much about that part, because it is heartbreaking and kept me quite on my toes and turning the pages fast, it's my fave part of the book and I think I enjoyed it as much as I did because I had no idea what to expect from it!

The ending of the book had enough closure to make it a story unto itself but it also left enough open for more of Pram and Clarence and Felix adventures and I cannot wait to read the sequel, which I hope it'll be equally as creepy, disquieting, heartwarming and endearing as this one! Well deserved 4 stars for this one!




The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium, #2)The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I enjoyed reading the first Magisterium book last year, so when I had the chance to grab an ARC of The Copper Gauntlet at BEA this year I didn't hesitate!

As in The Iron Trial we find ourselves with characters and situations that might remind us of other stories at first sight, three friends, a magic school, a connection between the bad guy and one of our heroes... does it ring a bell? Well, this book did it again, and took things in the most unexpected and unfamiliar direction you could expect.

Callum finds himself in an even worse situation than he did in the first book, because he has a big secret to keep about himself, one that makes hum doubt his every choice, and not only that but he suspects his dad is no longer on his corner.

Aaron and Tamara continue to be his friends and partners in crime (and escaping from home and the Magisterium and fighting unexpected Elementals... you know, the usual!) but they find themselves facing a few issues about trust and priorities that end up with Cal and Tamara butting heads.

I was quite surprised about the final showdown and how it was resolved, but also glad for how the auhors once again went for the less expected course of action. I might have not connected with this book as much as I would have liked, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless and will be looking forward to the sequel. 3 to 3.5 stars.



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Sunday, August 30, 2015

ARC August: Final week recap!!

Hey there guys!

I've just returned from a weekend at the cottage so it's time to get on with my final ARC August recap!

How did I do this week? Well, not too impressively, I must confess... I only read one ARC and as it was, I just needed to finish it because I had started it last weekend.

But by finishing the ARC of Tonight The Streets Are Ours I did manage to achieve one of my main ARC August goals, that was reading all the Sept releases ARCs that I got at BEA! Hooray!

As far as to get to 80% ratio on Netgalley, I did achieve it! YAY! But it bloody well only lasted for a day or two because since I have ZERO self control, I requested a bunch of book, were approved for a few and not I'm back at 77%! Bad Pili, BAD!

All in all, I'd say this edition of ARC August was a success and I want to thank Octavia and Shelly for once again organizing and hosting it! You ladies rock!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Re-reading for August: #ReadThroneOfGlass and #TLCReadAlong!!

Hello there guys!

Today I don't have a regularly scheduled Saturday Pages review but I'm gonna be babbling about books anyhow because that's what us bookwyrms do when given half a chance!

Before I fell into the rabbit hole of Goodreads and eventually book blogging I still read and devoured books as much as I do now, but since my TBR pile wasn't as life threatening, I used to re-read my favourite books for comfort. There are some books that I must have read over 20 times, like The Eight or Miguel Strogoff...

But since I started discovering so many new books and series and authors I haven't really given myself time to re-read books, and I decided I needed to change that this year.

I've decided to give myself permision to re-read and not worry about the ever growing TBR pile or the ARCs that I get approved for on NG or anything else! Re-reading books that I loved is a joy that I need to allow myself to enjoy more often!

And to nudge myself into it, I decided to join two re-readalongs! #ReadThroneOfGlass and #TLCReadAlong!




The #ReadThroneOfGlass is a readalong or re-readalong to prepare ourselves for the release of Queen of Shadows on September 1st.

I must say, I couldn't be happier that I have joined the readalong!

I finally read my hardcover of Assassin's Blade because I had read the Kindle versions of some of the novellas only, and reading them all one after the other, inlcuding the new one was fantastic! Highly recommended for anyone wanting to start the Throne of Glass series: READ THE NOVELLAS FIRST! They give a much better understanding of Celaena and her character and her career as an assassin and her complex relationship with Arobynn. And we meet some characters that we'll be meeting again in upcoming books, Queen of Shadows onwards!

I read Throne of Glass first and the novellas later, and at first it took me a while to understand Celaena and cheer for her. And then I read the novellas, and I understood her so much better!

Re-reading Throne of Glass was such a different experience, with so many little details that I had not noticed or had forgotten about and that will have such a relevance in the upcoming books! And some definite foreshadowing and hints that I missed on the first read! I loved reading about the interactions between Chaol and Dorian and Celaena and her meeting and growing friendship with Nehemia, her hate for the King and her intense fear of the man... So many things that make sense from the very first moment in a way that the didn't the first time!

The same thing happened with Crown of Midnight, I was so shocked to realize how many important things I might have missed and how I had forgotten about some of the things that happened! Of course that the revelations aren't as shocking, at least not the big ones, but there are plenty of things you read hoping to find more clues that you might have missed the first time, and some are really ominous knowing what we do know now! But even knowing what will happen doesn't lessen the heartache or the pain of the bad things when they happen, and the one thing is that at least I know that Fleetfoot WILL be okay!

Now I am re-reading Heir of Fire and I'm hoping to finish it this weekend so I can have it fresh in my mind when I read Queen of Shadows next week!




The #TLCReadAlong is hosted by Britt from Book Addicts Guide!

To prepare myself to reading Winter when it releases, I decided to join this low pressure read along because I have a month to read each of the books, so I'll manage to squeeze them in between whatever other books from the TBR pile and ARCs I plan to read without worrying about "I should be reading this or that instead of re-reading"!

Cinder was a surprise the first time I read it because a retelling of Cinderella with a cyborg and in a futuristic science fiction dystopia? But this time I already knew what kind of book it was gonna be, so I had less trepidation that let me enjoy the book more. And of course I also managed to notice the lil details here and there that didn't seem as relevant at the time of reading and maybe forgotten when reading the next books.

Some of the obscure mentions make a lot more sense and the first time we meet Cress? My poor adorable Cress! Cinder didn't know what to make of her! And of course the big reveal is not surprising any more, but I think it's fun to see the clues you might have missed at first!

And of course it was simply a joy to read again all the interactions between Cinder and Prince Kai and of course my fave lines had to be the ones by Iko! I still giggle when I think of "Do you think she's seen him in the nude?", her crush on Kai is so delightful!

Now I cannot wait to re-read Scarlet starting next month!! =D


Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Reads: Firewalker by Josephine Angelini and The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts!!

Happy Friday guys!

I've been reading loads as of late, which is great of course, but I've been really remiss at writing reviews, and now I have a backlog of reviews to write and publish, but hopefully I'll manage to sort that out!

I'm starting with two reviews for this week's Friday Reads! I'm having an ARC review that counts towards my ARC August goals first!



Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Last year I read and loved Trial by Fire, so getting my hands on an early copy of Firewalker was one of my top priorities at BEA, the fact that I met the author and got a signed ARC were one of my highlights of the event!

Firewalker starts pretty much where Trial of Fire left us, and so you might expect some spoilers for the first book in this review but I will try my best to avoid spoilers for this one.

Lily and Rowan are back in Lily's own universe and her own version of Salem, having escaped Lillian... more or less. Being back means having to deal with the consequences of her disappearance and having to explain a lot of things to her family and friends, the first one Rowan and her burns, even if her mum does help with everything in very unexpected ways.

But the respite of reality does not last long, and Lily find herself facing some really tough choices and keeping secrets from everyone, even from Rowan, which she knows is a very bad idea, but once started doesn't how to stop or explain.

Firewalker was a brilliant sequel because it takes us in a direction we really weren't expecting to go, with Lilly finding herself a new coven and being able to be who she really is with her family and friends.

We learn more about Lillian and her motivations for her despicable actions, and although we might still not agree with her genocide and killings, we do understand better her reasons and the fear behind what she's doing. Things stop being clearly black and white for Lily and for us, and she has to make her choices in what's clearly more in the grey spectrum and finds herself having to choose between the lesser of two evils. And she finds herself keeping more and more secrets, some with the power to break those she love.

But Lily proves that she's herself and not Lillian, no matter how she can understand the tough choices she made, and she finds herself trying to find an answer to the Woven to try and save Lillian's Salem and that reality from turning into a cinder world with her friends and some of her old allies, but not all of them.

Firewalker has plenty of new information, loads of unexpected twists and some hints at even more baffling reveals to come. Plenty of heartbreak and jarring revelations. The world building is expanded in many ways, the characters are challenged in different ways, the plot moves forward in unexpected ways and we are never sure what will happen next.

The ending was shocking, heartbreaking and a proper game changer and although I'm not a fan of cliffhangers, I have to say that Josephine Angelini really managed to left me both speechless and excited, shocked and intrigued and quite a bit shaken!




And then as my second Friday Reads review, I have August's book for The Midnight Garden Classic MG & YA challenge!





The Girl with the Silver EyesThe Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This month I read the #tmgreadalong book on time and I really enjoyed it!
I keep on thinking how much I would have liked to have read this one as a young girl and how I would have dreamed that I could also move things with my mind, like Katie does.

Katie has just moved into a new place with her mum and she's having to adapt to the new place and living with her mother and a new place and new people. Something that might be hard for any kid, but Katie has never been a normal kid, and adults tend to be wary of her.

She finds herself dealing with unwanted babysitters, nice neighbours and others that are certified jerks and she makes some friends, and finds some acceptance to her oddity but still finds herself very much alone.

It was hard for me to read about how alone Katie really was, not able to confide in her mother or having her support, but instead feel like she was judged weird and held at arms lenght. She entertained herself and even if she tried to hide how she was "peculiar", she still felt like she shouldn't have to be ashamed of it.

I loved to see how resourceful she was once she found a hint of answers for her being different and how determined she was to finding someone else that would maybe be like her and would understand how she felt.

Seeing Katie use her powers for both good and mischief was a lot of fun, and I kept rooting for her to get rid of the babysitters and instead hang out with her neighbour, who would lend her books and was kind and understanding for a change. And once more silver eyes enter the fray, it was a lot of fun to see them understanding each other and working together.

It was quiter heartwarming seeing Katie's mum proving herself reliable and a better mother figure than appearances led us to believe at first, even if something dramatic had to happen to shake her into it.

All in all, a great read, both fun and with enough depth to hold its own well with younger and older readers alike! Well deserved 4 stars!



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Cover Reveal: Cursed by Christina Bauer!!

Hello there guys!

It's Friday and the weekend is almost here!

And to celebrate it, I'm taking part of the cover reveal for Christina Bauer's new book, hosted and organized by Xpresso Book Tours!


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Cursed by Christina Bauer (Book One of the Beholder series)

Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult


Although Elea’s the most powerful necromancer in history, she’s spent most of her nineteen years imprisoned in the Midnight Cloisters. Enchanted manacles keep her unique brand of soul magick in check. While the guards and initiates seem contented to torment her, the Cloister’s Mother Superior is obsessed with finding a safe way to destroy Elea, both body and soul.
Escape seems impossible until a handsome hunter named Asher offers to help. Elea takes a chance and soon develops feelings for the mysterious stranger. However, Asher may not be who he claims. Then again, Elea may not be, either…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26016579-beholder


 Preorder links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo.



 About the author:

Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Brainshark. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.





Monday, August 24, 2015

September is for Sequels Challenge by Lisa Loves Literature!!

Hello there again!

Today is the day for challenges it seems! Not only I have the recap for ARC August, but I'm also doing the sign up post for the September is for Sequels Challenge!



This is my third year signing up and I really hope I will do better than I did last year because to my shame and horror, some of the books that were in my original pile, STILL remaind unread, so I do hope to do much better this year and READ THEM ONCE AND FOR ALL!

If you want to know all about the challenge read Lisa's post HERE! But long story short, Lisa from Lisa Loves Literature has this challenge for the month of September where we go pay attention to all those poor ignored sequels of books we loved!



So there's my pile, rather ambitious this time, but I really hope I can finally finish some of those series, because I really loved the first book and I want to read the sequels and finish the series too! I hope having Mini-maug and Morrigan in charge this year, they'll keep me accountable!

The Rules For Breaking by Ashely Elston (#2 and final book)
Unravel by Imogen Howson (#2 and final book)
Altered by Gennifer Albin (#2 in the trilogy)
Unraveled by Gennifer Albin (#3 and final book)
Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff (#2 in the trilogy)
Endsinger by Jay Kristoff (#3 and final book)

Let's hope I reach the end of September with all or most of these read!

ARC August: Third Week Recap!


Hey guys!

This post should have been done yesterday, since it's the recap for last week and all that, but since I was unplugged at the cottage, it'll have to be done a day later!

Clearly I do much better with my reading when I don't get distracter with Twitter and logging my reading progress on GR, so whenever I need to kick the TBR pile real good, I need to pack my books and head off for the cottage!

I finished Into The Fire before going to the cottage and I hope to review it soon! While at the cottage I read A Curious Tale of the In Between, Firewalker, Walk on Earth a Stranger and started Tonight The Streets Are Ours! (I also finished one book and read another two, but they are finished copies and therefore don't count towards this challenge).

Now... now I need to get my arse in gear and WRITE ALL THE REVIEWS!!

How did you guys do??

Sunday, August 16, 2015

ARC August: Second Week Recap!


Hey guys! Welcome to my recap of the second week of ARC August!

This week I haven't done as well as I would have wanted, but being the mood reader than I am, I got through two re-reads and read a newly released book and started another... and so I only finished two ARCs, one physical : The Copper Gauntlet, the review will be up tomorrow and an eARC: The Bollywood Bride, review HERE.

I gave up on Legacy of Kings so I've DNFed that one, and will write a short DNF review after its release. Now I've started two ARCs and I hope to finish them early next week: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano and Into The Fire by Manda Scott!

Into The Fire is one of my backlogged ARCs and I cannot believe I had forgotten about it because it's an adult historical fiction mixed with actual events novels by an author I love and I'm completely immersed in the book now!

Let's hope my mood reading is better and I can get through more ARCs since I'll be spending a few days at the cottage!

How did you guys do this week?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of A Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev!!!

Hey there guys!

Happy Saturday! I came back from spending a pair of days (mostly) unplugged at my parents' cottage, getting loads of puppy love, getting pampered by my mum and watching shooting stars at night with my mum and bro. And reading, loads of reading! Less ARCs than I should have, but I despite my best intentions, I'm always a mood reader at heart!

Still I managed to read a pair of ARCs and start another, and one of them is the one I'm reviewing today for this week's Saturday Pages, counting it towards my ARC August challenge and also since it is a diverse read, towards my 105 Challenge!






The Bollywood BrideThe Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read and loved Sonali's debut last year so when I heard about her next book coming out this year I knew I had to read it! Of course I did a lil jig when I got approved for it on NetGalley by the publisher and after reading it I already have it preordered for myself and for my ex didi.

Ria's story is not an easy one, given what a traumatic past she had to deal with and what she fears will be the sure consequences to her future. She's carved herself a career on Bollywood and she keeps everyone away from her. But when her cousin calls her and begs her to attend her wedding, she feels like she needs to go and be there for the family that loves her, and after a potential scandal, leaving Mumbai for Chicago seems like the best option.

While I don't know all that much about the insides of the world of Bollywood, I have been treated as part of an Indian family both in India and in the US, and reading this book felt like being back there. The descriptions are effortless and vivid and the relationships between the characters always so well developed!

Ria is a very complex character with many different sides to her, and we can very well see them at play when she is just Ria with her family, to when we see her as Ria Parkar, the film star. She's both strong and enormously fragile, always battling with herself and trying to get through everything on her own. I wanted her to finally allow others to help her and seeing how hard her path was through it all really made my heart ache!

The romance here was particularly heartbreaking because of the history between Vikram and Ria and how meeting again after ten years there's a lot of pain and anger and suffering but still an undeniable chemistry and a knowing about each other that was painful to read about. I don't know if it'll be as painful for other people as it was for me, but the emotions jump out of the pages!

Mental health and the stigma still associated to mental health illnesses is also a big component of the book. Ria's life has been defined by that stigma and it's what continue to define how she sees herself and how she shapes her future.

A fantastic book with a wonderfully complex romance and a lot of depth. Bravo Sonali Dev! Very well deserved 5 stars!



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Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Beastly Bones by William Ritter!!

Hey there!

Friday is here once again and I'm back from the cottage to get ready to go back to work this weekend, but at least I have some awesome co-workers this weekend, which is always a relief, and even more during the summer months!

For this week's Friday Reads I have another ARC review for ARC August and one that I hope it'll help reach the ever-ellusive 80% ratio on Netgalley!




Beastly Bones: A Jackaby NovelBeastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel by William   Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


After reading and loving Jackaby last year, I was thrilled to be approved by Algonquin books via NetGalley!

This book is also from Abigail's POV and it starts like any other day in the life of our paranormal investigators, with an intriguing and strange case of dangerous but apparently fluffy kittens.

And with such an intriguing but mostly harmless case we start and things get more intriguing and more dire once there's a murder and then they're hired by the police to help on the investigation because there's been another similar murder at the village where a certain handsome and somewhat canine policeman was destined after the events of the previous book.

We meet a peculiar friend of Jackaby's that has a special love for "unique" creatures and a whole new cast of characters quite distinctive all of them! Some a bit more exagerated than others but not to the point of being ridiculous, even if it was rather humorous at times!

Abigail gets to be more than just Jackaby's assistant because she gets her time to shine when it comes to her passion: paleontology! The murder happened close to a dig with an amazing dinosaur discovery and things start getting more and more mysterious and it seems like they might be related somehow.

I love how Abigail worries about her feelings for Charlie and if acting on them would end up cutting down the freedom she fought so hard for, to the point of crossing the Atlantic on her own. And I loved how Jackaby's reactions and advice were odd but somewhat on point (rather reminded me of the Tenth Doctor in those moments, with a lil of 11th too!).

So threads seemed to be unconnected: Jenny's acting unusually ghoulish, the strange kittens, and odd man that Abigail sees twice, the whole murders case...

It was a super fast read and I was never bored but I did get a bit frustrated because I felt that they took too long to put two and two together and I had guessed something rather big quite early on, although I had not guessed exactly who or how was responsible for it.

I was extremely excited about the end because it opens rather epic possibilities for the next book! A mastermind behind paranormal cases! Jenny's case! Cannot wait!

Well deserved 3.5 stars for this one! Quite recommended to those who want something that mix urban fantasy with historical fiction!



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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tell Me Tuesdays #30!!


Tell Me Tuesdays
is a meme/feature created by the awesome ladies of Please Feed The Bookworm and La La In The Library, where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!


Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancĂ©e, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.




 Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.







 First Class Murder by Robin Stevens

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday through Europe on the world-famous Orient Express. From the moment the girls step aboard, it's clear that each of their fellow first-class passengers has something to hide. Even more intriguing: rumour has it that there is a spy in their midst.

Then, during dinner, there is a bloodcurdling scream from inside one of the cabins. When the door is broken down, a passenger is found murdered, her stunning ruby necklace gone. But the killer is nowhere to be seen - almost as if they had vanished into thin air.
 

Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first ever locked-room mystery - and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case as they are.



First Class Murder is my reward read right now to motivate myself between ARCs reading and writing reviews. It's a MG murder mystery and I'm loving it so much!

Legacy of Kings... I am quite disappointed with it right now, I'm at 43% and I stopped reading it for a few days because it was feeling too slow and with the 7 POVs, the plot didn't seem to be going anywhere and GAH! I might end up DNFing this one...

Cinder is a re-read! I joined the #TLCReadAlong organized by Brittany from Books Addicts Guide because I want to have the books fresh for reading Winter! Cinder is August book and I've just started it last Sunday. I'm already loving re-reading it!


So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of A Riot of Storm And Smoke by Jennifer Ellision!!!

Hello there people!

Today is a new week and one of those Mondays after working the weekend, so nothing much is different for me!

I'm hoping to get some quiet time to read at the cottage during this week since I work the weekend once again... On the bright side that'll mean a lil extra on my next pay check, which will be highly welcome!

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I have an ARC of a book that I have been eagerly awaiting and when the author asked if I wanted to get I'm surprised she didn't go deaf from my squealing... I guess she's like she lives in Florida!

As an ARC it is part of ARC August and as a fantasy book it'll also count towards my 105 Challenge!





Riot of Storm and Smoke (Threats of Sky and Sea, #2)Riot of Storm and Smoke by Jennifer Ellision

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


What a fantastic middle book! It's got everything that a second book in a trilogy should have: plot development, action, character development, new conflicts and new characters!

Riot of Storm and Smoke starts right were Threats of Sky and Sea left us, but Jennifer does a very good of jogging our memory to bring us up to speed with lil nudges here and there, but nothing too repetitive that could bother someone binge reading the books.

The book is told in (mostly) alternating dual POVs, Bree and Caden's, and it manages to be distinct enough and to move along the plot, showing us what is going on both sides.

Bree is on the run with her friends and she's keeping quite a few secrets from them, which usually isn't the wisest course of action, but give the situation, I cannot really blame her for trying to figure out things on her own and trying to clutch to the last vestiges of her old life, even if she knows nothing is as she once believed. She's struggling with all the revelations and it shows in her grasp of her power.

Scaping the king will prove difficult enough even with the Underground's help and at every step of their way there's a new difficulty and we get quite a few surprises! We even meet some unexpected allies and an enemy comes back in a very different way winning a measure of reception even!

Kaden's side is no less painful and worrisome to read and although he grows a lot as a character, he is also dealing with some deep worries that sometimes hinder his ultimate goals of freeing his country and doing what's best for his people. His search for allies is not without even more danger than Bree's flight but he also finds himself with a loyal ally and friend that also has enough sass to keep him in check! I adored Lilia's names for him!

There's a lot of tension in the book, with a few more calm moments now and then that simply lull you into a feeling okay before some new worrisome twist is sprang on you! And the ending? Well, talk about an explosive climax in more ways than one! And yes, it does end in a cliffhanger!! BUT it's the exciting kind of cliffhanger, one that leaves you excited and making grabby hands for the next book, but not one that leaves you screaming in frustration!

A fantastic second book very much deserving of 4.5 stars!



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Sunday, August 9, 2015

ARC August: First week recap!

Once again I joined ARC August hosted by the lovely ladies of Read Sleep Repeat and this is my first recap post to keep myself accountable!

Between work and my apartment stuff related, I'm not reading as much as I hoped, but on this first week I've focused on reading eARCs, to try and get on with the ever ellusive 80% on NetGalley! I'm happy to report that right now I am at 79%! NEARLY THERE!!

I finished two eARCs this week, Fated by Sarah Fine that I reviewed HERE and Beastly Bones by William Ritter, which will be reviewed next week on the blog.

I've also got two other eARCs started, Riot of Storm & Smoke by Jennifer Ellision that I hope to finish today itself (and hopefully have up for review on Monday) and Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman that I hope to return to at some point and not just give up on... I'm currently at 43% but not too invested, too many POVs seem to be a problem for me...

For week 2 I plan to focus on physical ARCs, and since I'll be gone to my parents cottage for a few days next week, no distractions will mean loads of reading time, or so I hope!

I'll be back next Sunday for another recap!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Fated by Sarah Fine!!!

Happy Saturday guys!

I hope you're weekend is being quite fantastic, I'm only hoping that things won't be too terribly busy at work and that I can get some quiet reading time tonight!

For this week's Saturday Pages I have an ARC review that I was supposed to leave for later in the month but thanks to miss Alyssa from The Eater of Books I ended up devouring in one day!

It's my first full ARC read and reviewed for ARC August! and since there's quite a lot of Greek mythology involved in this one (with the three Fates and all) it'll also count towards my 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge!





Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)Fated by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Servants of Fate books were my first contact with Sarah Fine's books and I couldn't have chosen a better gateway because I've loved them all, and now I want to read all of Sarah's books!

That said, this one has to be my favourite book of the trilogy and an absolutely perfect and brilliant ending for it!

When I finished reading Claimed I suspected and hoped that the final book would be about Jason Moros and Aislin Ferry and when it was confirmed, I was both very happy and intrigued! None of them had seemed easy characters to like or understand in the previous books, even if Moros had a certain charm to him, if he seemed unreliable and dangerous.

But from the first moment we see things from their POVs things quickly change on our perception. Aislin is not the seemly cold and ambitions person we thought on Marked, but someone that is fully dedicated to protecting her family and to do what's necessary to keep humanity safe too. She knows how to handle power and how to hold it and use it, thankfully for the right cause! I loved that she allowed herself to lose control here and there and that her feelings towards her family are showcased so strongly too!

And Jason Moros... oh dear, I have massive crush on the personalization of Death ladies and gents! From his worry about his sisters (the three Fates) to his growing devotion to Aislin and how determined he was to fight Chaos no matter what! I loved how he proved that he was not just worried about keeping himself in business so-to-speak but he had the well being of his Keres very much in mind. And he's ready to fight for what's right even if no one expected him to!

One word of warning, this is a fantastic book, but not an easy one to read sometimes, because there are some tough bits, with Aislin suffering at the hands of Moros' other siblings (Lies, Strife and Vengenace) and with things getting really dire and with very little hope of a HEA, you might need a lil breather now and then while reading, just be sure to persevere!

Not only we are fighting for Aislin to keep the Ferries under control and supporting her for whe she'll have to face the Keepers but we also continue with some fantastic world building by visiting yet another realm that could not be more diffent from what we've seen so far!

I'm having a very hard time trying to review this and not spoil anything (anymore than I could possibly have done already!) but this was such a fantastic book and even if I got a few suspicions on what could happen in the end, I was still surprised that it happened the way it did!

I give up, just... READ THIS! IT WAS BRILLIANT! Very much deserved 4.5 stars to this one!!



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Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of The Eternity Key by Bree Despain!!

Hey there guys! Happy Friday!

I hope you guys are getting ready for the weekend! I am, but for a weekend at work! ;) My off days were Wednesday and Thursday this week!

Today for Friday Reads I have one of the ARCs that I had intended originally for ARC August, but that I ended up reading earlier.

Since it's a retelling of sort of the myth of Persephone and Hades, it totally counts towards my 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge, that had been very much abandoned for these past months!




The Eternity Key (Into the Dark, #2)The Eternity Key by Bree Despain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When last year I read The Shadow Prince I was quite pleasantly surprised about the twist on Greek mythology that the author had worked on. Qith some obvious references and a few surprises about who was who, I was left really looking forward to read the sequel!

Then I got approved for the sequel by the publisher on Netgalley (thank you!) and then came the Egdmont debacle and we had doubts about book 3 happening... and I ended up pushing back reading this one. Finally decided to go back to this series and very happy that I did, although I'm glad I didn't read it too much in advance of release date (rather quite a while after!) because there's quite the cliffhanger in the end!

I felt that the book was a bit slow at first... after all the revelations at the end of the first book, to find the crew stuck trying to find the Key and having no clue of what they're doing and trying to figure it out... I guess I was expecting them to be a bit more organized or to have more of a plan, but in the end they're such a bunch of teenagers, Greek myths or not, and they don't have a lot of knowlegde easily gathered, laying around.

What left me scratching my head was how wishy washy the team feel was, I was expecting that after all that they went through, they'd rely more on each other but it seemed like although they had THE common interest, they had gone back to their own lives, pretending like the clock is not ticking and the Skylords are not likely to make an appearance at any point.

Maybe it was because it's been a while since I read the first book but I felt like the relationship between Haden and Daphne had taken a few steps back in the beginning of this one, and we spend a good part of the book with these two not just trying to continue with school work, trying to find the Key, but also figuring out (again?) what they feel about each other (in Daphne's case) and how to express said feelings (in Haden's case).

We meet some new characters in this book and some are clearly the enemy while others are a bit more in the grey area, if not undercover allies, but with such high stakes at play, I feel that Haden was being wary enough but also keeping secrets from each other was a problem the group shouldn't have at this stage of the fight, but secrets they kept.

The relationships in general were well developed and we didn't just limit our focus to Daphne and Haden, but also Daphne and the very hard relationship of trusting him again after all that she found out, and how her father makes every possible effort. We also see Tobin struggling with his wanting to find his sister and how knowing his mother's secrets has killed their relationship.

The last part of the book was the best part, since we had the musical opening night with the Key search in a very heist like plan, and the action doesn't stop because there's plenty of surprises, revelations about characters that we thought that weren't important, and quite a dire betrayal! I suspected the traitor a pair of times while reading, but I was NOT expecting THAT kind of betrayal!

A very cliffhangery ending that leaves us wondering how anything can be fixed and worked around and very excitedly (if a lil vexed) awaiting the next book! Well deserved 3.5 stars for this one.




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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Blog Tour for The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett: Review & Giveaway!!!


Hey there guys!!

Today I'm more than honoured to be part of The Nightmare Charade Blog Tour hosted by IFB Tours!
Mindee is one of my auto-buy authors and I'm really sad to say goodbye to The Arkwell Academy series and Dusty and Eli! But with Nightmare Charade we say goodbye to the series with a proper bang!

Before I share my spoiler-free as possible review of The Nightmare Charade and you guys can enter the giveaway, I'll let you know a bit more about book and author, in case you aren't familiar with either of them!

And don't forget to check the rest of the tour schedule HERE!


The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
Series: Arkwell Academy #3
Release date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Synopsis via Goodreads:
 

The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.
 

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.
 

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she'll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends. 

Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

REVIEW


From the first moment that I read The Nightmare Affair, I fell in love with Dusty and her slightly awkward charm and loved this school for different magickind and here I am now trying to review the final book...

Whenever we read the final book in a series we've loved and enjoyed, it's always a very bittersweet feeling and there's a lil trepitation about how well the final book will wrap up the story. In this case, I'm more than happy to report that we needed not fear! Mindee did a fantastic job to solve the big mysteries, move the story along, keep us turning pages like mad and worry about everyone because it seemed like no one was really safe!

I will try my best to remain spoiler free for not just this book but also the previous books in the trilogy, but keep in mind something might slip if I get overenthusiastic, as it might happen!

We knew to expect a mystery since we're talking about the Dream Team after all! (is it cheesy? Yes, but hell I love it!) But things are getting darker and creepier and even more dangerous than ever before! Do you see that barge/boat on the cover? You won't look at it in the same way after you've read the book, let me tell you that!

Not only we have out main guys fighting to be together as the star-crossed lovers they're now (some revelations happen here) but we also have more distrust and misdirection that ever since our new bad minion can be anyone!

We also get a good look at profiling and discrimination done through how different kinds of magickind are treated by each other. Easier to digest when it's not presented as obvious as it'd be through our normal reality but will give plenty of food for thought if applied to our every day life.

High stakes, evil that can be anyone and anywhere, and loved ones that keep on disappearing make for a tense read and if we add the very disquieting dreams that are the only clues our Dream Team has, along with some memories from the sword... Guessing who the bad guy is, turning the page hoping things can be fixed somehow, it all makes for a tense and at the same time fun read, because no matter how high the stakes are, there is always a lil bit of humour in these books, and I'm really thankful for it!

Very well deserved 4.5 stars to this final chapter! Fantastic way to end this trilogy full of charm, fun and plenty of mystery!


GIVEAWAY




Monday, August 3, 2015

Meet Parvati from Liars INC: Guest post with Paula Stokes & Giveaway!!!

Hiya there guys!! Happy Monday!!

Today I'm more than happy to welcome to the blog one of those very special authors to me because not only I love her books but I also think she's just plain AWESOME!

And so do Dylan, Mini-maug and Morrigan! I'm actually afraid the dragons will smuggle themselves out with her because they want to read her books before anyone else! Check your pockets Paula!




And today Paula doesn't come to the blog alone, she brings Parvati, one of the liars from Liars INC so we can get to know her better! Give them both a proper welcome!! Thank you so much for coming Paula!!


Hi! Thanks to Pili and her dragon and sheep friends for having Parvati and me on the blog. The response to Parvati’s character by people who read Liars, Inc. was fairly mixed. Some didn’t like her because she did thoughtless and reckless things. Some liked her a lot because she did those things without being apologetic. I personally love her. She’s not what you’d call a nice person, but she’s tough and smart and self-sufficient and brave. And she learns from her mistakes, which is probably the #1 thing I look for in a character—how do they grow and change? 


A lot of you know I was hoping to write a companion novel from Parvati’s point-of-view. As of right now that isn’t on the table for 2017, though my publisher is willing to consider it for the future. So don’t lose hope completely if you want to read more Parvati. And in the meantime, you’ll probably like Winter from Vicarious (Tor Teen 2016), who shares many qualities with Parvati, but also manages to be a nice person, if a little bit distant. 


I have undergraduate degrees in psychology and nursing and a nursing graduate degree, and I use this background to analyze my characters as I write. It’s important for me to know why they do what they do. So today I’m sharing a mini-interview I did with Parvati in order to figure out more about what makes her tick. 


Paula: Describe yourself in five words.
Parvati: Ambitious, intelligent, spontaneous, manipulative, lonely 


Paula: You have friends and a boyfriend and parents who love you. But you still feel lonely?
Parvati: Yeah. Tragic, huh? I guess it’s because I hide who I am from people most of the time. I spend a lot of time in my own head. 


Paula: Is there anyone you feel like you can be yourself around?
Parvati: Preston. And Max, for the most part. 


Paula: Tell me about the day you met Preston.
Parvati: I met him the first week of freshman year. We both went to the same private school and there was this big orientation for freshmen. Every night we had a different activity. The first time I saw Pres was on the football field. He was playing in a pick-up game and was really good. Everyone wanted to be on his team. Later in the week there was a dance competition, and then a movie night. Everywhere Pres went, this cloud of people swarmed around him, like satellites orbiting a planet. Normally I would hate someone like that, but then we ended up in the same English class. We were writing poetry and Preston wrote this dark stuff about feeling like an alien and living in his own private hell. It was incongruous with the laid-back popular boy I saw that first week. I figured maybe he felt the same way I did. 


Paula: So then the two of you struck up a friendship?
Parvati: Basically. It turned out I was right. Preston was mostly pretending for his parents’ sake. Playing the dutiful senator’s son. Smart. Athletic. Popular. But inside he was messed up, just like me. Misery really does love company. 


Paula: What about Max?
Parvati: Max is messed up too, but in a better way. He’s a really good guy. Decent. Trustworthy. Loyal. I don’t feel like I have to impress him, which is nice. But at the same time, I feel like if he knew everything there was to know about me that he might not want to be with me anymore. 


Paula: Do you love him?
Parvati: I think so. At first I worried my feelings weren’t about him, that they were just about the way he made me feel. I can be selfish like that sometimes. But now that we’ve spent more time together, I know that I like him for who he is. I wish I were more like him. It sounds clichĂ©, but Max makes me want to be better, you know? I do fewer stupid things now that I’m with Max. 


Paula: What do you mean by stupid things?
Parvati: Well, there was this girl at school I didn’t like—I don’t even remember what it was about her, you know how some people just rub you the wrong way? One day I just got sick of listening to her brag about everything—her perfect GPA, her perfect family, her perfect boyfriend. I did some research on her boyfriend and found out he was a math tutor. I paid to tutor me even though I’m great at math. It took a few weeks but I wore him down and eventually we hooked up. He felt guilty about it but I convinced him it was no big deal—it’d be our secret. We talked about it over email and I then I forwarded the emails to her. They broke up. 


Paula: How did that make you feel?
Parvati: I know I should say it made me feel terrible—that girl had done nothing to me specifically and neither had the guy. Afterward, the few female friends I had kind of pulled away. But honestly, even though I knew what I did was wrong, I just felt kind of numb about it. I think that was the first time I realized there was something wrong with me. 


Paula: What do you think is wrong with you?
Parvati: I don’t know. It’s almost like I have this handful of people that I care about, but other people, whatever, I mess with them because I can. Sometimes just to see if I can. I know that’s screwed up, but that’s what I mean about Max. He started out as one of those strangers I didn’t care about and now I’d basically do anything for him. So maybe I’m getting better…but I’m not sure.


So that ends my mini-interview with Parvati. Fun fact—I actually have a narrative for her and Max outlined through five novels, and both Parvati’s emotional well-being and her relationship with Max have ups and downs and setbacks. They’re definitely an interesting couple to me, but both of them have enough issues that I’m not certain they’d be able to make it last. Hopefully I’ll be able to further explore their dynamic in additional books someday :-) 

And now for a giveaway! One lucky person is going to win a hardcover of Liars, Inc. If the winner has a U.S. mailing address, they’ll win a signed book mailed by me. If int’l address, the winner wins a copy of the book from The Book Depository (please check to see if they ship to your country) + signed bookplate mailed by me. Be sure to drop by my blog all month for more chances to win mystery books written by friends of mine, and join my mailing list to stay up on all my upcoming giveaways for Girl Against the Universe and Vicarious. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Liars INC by Paula Stokes

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more info, check out the official Liars, Inc. website.



About Paula: 

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Liars INC | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook



 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday Pages: Hatchet and The Secret of the Mansion for The Midnight Garden Readalong!!

Hello there guys!

Things are getting crazy once again because juggling everything with very few days off is complicated and I cannot wait till I get some more days off soon so I can do stuff at the apartment and have time to post a bit more!

Today for Saturday Pages I have two mini reviews for two books that are part of The Midnight Garden Classic MG & YA Readalong Challenge! They're May and July books (because I haven't yet managed to finish June's book...).




HatchetHatchet by Gary Paulsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


3.5 stars. The narrative style and Brian's voice threw me a lil bit at first and it took me a while to get used to it and to his stream of consciousness mixed with his narration of current events style of writing. Even when I thought I had managed to get into the book, sometimes an event will jar me out of it because it was a bit difficult to keep events and feelings separate and making sense of both.

But I really liked how he was resourceful but nothing that he did seemed too far-fetched or impossible with some knowledge of basic survival, even if I know I'd fail at starting fire with the hatchet as Brian did!

His small failures and triumphs felt very well balanced but also made you think about for how long can he keep up with his limited supplies and knowledge? Small in a scale, but such a big thing because they could be the difference between life and death.

There was quite a strong message about how very poorly prepared we are to deal with the outdoors and how frail humans are left to their own devices and having to confront wild animals, not even counting the carnivores!

And even if it was a bit obvious, the message about appreciating what we have and thinking about where our food comes from would be a good message for all of us, food doesn't come in neat wrappers at a supermarket only, and we ought to remember what's behind it all!








The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden #1)The Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was such a fun sweet book! And it reminded me of one of my fave series as a child, The Happy Hollisters! Oh, how I devoured their adventures!

A perfect summer read and even if it'll be a bit of a different read for younger kids these days, given how old timey it can read at times, it was full of charm and reminded me a lot of both very loved books I read when I was Trixie's age and also of the summers of my childhood, that I also spent under very little supervision, safely roaming and playing around in a small village, far from the rest-of-the-year-life-in-the-city!

Trixie was both an endearing and irritating character at the same time, because she was sweet and enthusiastic but could also be a bit too quick to judge and rather prone to act first and think later! Often rash and always determined she was also a very honest and open girl that was the best kind of influence for the very city girl and sheltered Honey (also, that name?).

They both form a team that keeps each other on balance and once they find a very unexpected friend that they want to help and a mysterious inheritance to find. I was expecting a lil bit more of the house mystery but I wasn't really disappointed because the book was full of summer goodness and the mystery was just another part of it!

3.5 stars to this one and I'm curious to give a try to more books in the series, if I can get my hands on them!



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