Monday, February 29, 2016

Mark This Book Monday: The Power by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

Hiya guys!

A new week, a new Monday and not just any other day because today is our leap day: February 29th! I must confess February has passed quite fast but I was quite ready for it to end...

Today I have yet another Jennifer L Armentrout book in the blog as this week's Mark This Book Monday! This woman is a damned machine and there's no book of hers that I read that I don't absolutely devour and love!

The Power (Titan)The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Return totally managed to change my perception of Seth and to put me clearly on his side, and now The Power has managed to have a feelings overload, so much that I was teary for half the book (and nearly the other half I was fanning myself because hot damn!)! I also partly blame the book and its emotional upheaval for my crappy funk the next day.

Seth is still trying to deal with who he is and his actions of the past and despite his arrogance and attitude, he doesn't believe he deserves anything good to happen to him, and seeing him doubt himself and punish himself was absolutely heartbreaking!

I love that we get dual POVs here, with Seth's and Josie's because I love Josie's voice and her determination to do what's right but at the same time try and remain her human self even if she's way much more than that. I also love how clear she is about her feelings and how determined she is to be on Seth's team and to be there for him and show him he deserves good things too!

Aside from the overall arch of finding the other demigods to try and defeat the Titans there's also the fact that since the Breed order was abolished the tension between Pures and Half-Bloods have been increasing, and the authorities are unsure on how to deal with them in some cases, and in others, they don't want/can't deal with it.

We get Alex & Aiden back and I really loved how they reacted to Josie, not so much about their attitude with Seth sometimes, but I must say I would have been right on their side if I had not been on Seth's mind for a book & a half now. But no matter what, now they make quite an awesome fighting team, even if they have to deal with a new demigod to help them, one that is so full of himself that could fill two of him...

Plot wise the book was good, but oh boy, the emotional side of it is what really got to me and made me devour it and cry and gaaaah, that damned ending!! I just cannot wait for the next book and I'm gonna die waiting! Damned cliffhangers, they will surely be the death of me!! Very much deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Pages: ARC Review The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller!!!

Hey there guys!!

How's your weekend going? Mine is going well, I've been trying to work on the blog a bit more after being in a rather crappy funk as of late and today I am gonna be able to celebrate her birthday with one my best and oldest friends, we've been friends since 5th grade!!

Today I have on the blog on my MOST awaited books of the year!! I'm a huge fan of Sharon Biggs Waller since I read (AND ADORED) her debut, A Mad Wicked Folly (the Spanish version of the book happens to be my friend's birthday present btw!) and I was dying to get to read her next book about a girl that defies convention to help her father find a rare orchid in China!

I was so very lucky to be sent a widget to read the book early via Netgalley, so this one will also count towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge!

The Forbidden OrchidThe Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was pretty sure after A Mad Wicked Folly, but now having read The Forbidden Orchid, I know that Sharon Biggs Waller writes the kind of historical fiction that reminds me why I love the genre! Thoroughly researched, painted so vividly you can feel the earth under your nails and the sea breeze on you face! With amazing & complex characters and a journey that is never as straightforward as you'd expect.

Elodie is the oldest on a family of ten girls with a father that spends most of the time away, travelling the world and finding new plants for collectors and scientists. She is both responsible and level headed and also a little bit eccentric since she isn't one to conform exactly to the society's expectations. I absolutely loved reading through her journey of discovering who she is and growing into the woman she wants to be. She had the rebellion and the fear and the strength to try and do what she thought was right. And thankfully also had the common sense to try and learn from others when need be, even if she was a bit of the "I will go on by sheer force of will if need be" variety.

I loved that there was a lot of emphasis in the family dynamics, between Elodie and her sisters, the relationship between their parents, Elodie and her dad, and then the different relationships with a different culture once we start the journey in search of the orchid. I loved that Elodie was most of the time torn between defiance & compliance and that she learnt what battles to fight upfront and which ones to try and turn her way in more subtle ways.

I've already mentioned the fantastic world building and the attention to detail that Sharon so easily slips everywhere, but I just love how completely you feel like you are there in the China seas, or the jungle looking for an orchid, or the English countryside.

The book felt a lil slow in the beginning but I think that was more my impatience with getting onto the travelling in China and getting onto the orchid search than the book's fault. You cannot have a girl in 1861 go trampling in search of an orchid without some proper set up and serious circumstances! But once things started getting in motion, the pacing was as flawless as always!

There's romance in the book, and oh boy, was I rooting for them both since the very first moment! And if we do add the most adorable doggie ever to the book... there's plenty of cute moments! And some very necessary ones to lighten the mood here and there. There's a point when you might want to shake Elodie, but she really needs to learn to make her own choices, so do have patience with her!

A really wonderful historical fiction book that I absolutely adored and cannot wait to read as a finished copy next!! Very much deserved 5 stars!

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Reads: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab!!!!

Hey there guys!

It's Friday!! And this time I do have the week off too, like most people! Wheee!

Today I have one of the top 10 books of 2016 for this week's Friday Reads and you might think it is a bit early to be so sure, but I have no doubt about it!! I'm now a massive Victoria Schwab fangirl and the Shades of Magic series it's one I'm recommending & pushing onto everyone!

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Massive book hangover in place, I keep thinking of the characters and what happened ALL THE TIME!

Shades of Magic is a trilogy so AGOS is the second book and one that not only didn't suffer from the middle book syndrome, but that simply made you forget that such a thing even exists!

I was dying to get my hands on this one since the moment I finished A Darker Shade of Magic and re-reading it to prepare was also a great idea, because I soaked all the details in a way I hadn't done the first time!

A Gathering of Shadows was brilliant and I didn't want to stop reading, wanted to read slower because I didn't want the book to end and I wanted to devour the book because I needed to know what was coming next!

The pace of the book, plot wise, might have been a bit more leisurely, at least if we think of the end game where things were leading up to, BUT give the amazing character development that was going on and how central it is to the plot and will continue to be (I'm sure of that) I was simply enjoying (and/or suffering) every minute of it!!

Lila, Kell & Rhy are simply put amazing, nuanced and deeply flawed and multidimensional characters (no pun intended about the multiple Londons) and I loved having all three as POV characters in this one!

I really loved Rhy's voice and seeing his struggle with the new situation with his own voice was something I was very glad we got to read! I adore Kell and so feel for him and his struggles between his restlessness, his need of freedom and his unfaltering loyalty to his brother, because Kell & Rhy? BEST BROMANCE EVER! But Lila... LILA IS EVERYTHING! I adore her and she's the best thief because she stole my heart in ADSOM and I'm sure it won't be returned to me, ever!! She's brave, reckless and ONE OF A DAMNED KIND! *sigh* Lila is my patronus!

The tension in this book, both plot wise and character wise increases exponentially as the ending gets closer and you cannot turn pages fast enough but will also need a breather for some tea now and then because you might experience a feelings overload or two (or maybe more, just be warned!).

And the final warning, we get a cliffhanger, and dear Lila almighty it's a MASSIVE BIG DUAL CLIFFHANGER and I don't know how I'll survive till the final book in the trilogy comes out... *is dead of feels*

All the bloody stars to this one!! As Travars! (damn, doesn't seem to work for time travel...)

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: ARC Review of Save Me, Kurt Cobain!

Hey there guys!

I've been a bit mind-gone as of late! I don't know exactly how to describe it but time gets away from me and when I have the time I don't have the motivation and... gah! I don't even know how February it's almost over!!

Today I have another edition of Thursday Thoughts to get more reviews in this week, given that the pending reviews are piling up and I have a few days off now so I hope to squeeze some blog productivity in between some chores, errands and social life!

Lucky enough to be approved for this one, it counts towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge as well as my 2016 Debut Author Challenge! I'm doing pretty well so far on these two challenges, and I hope to keep it up like this for the rest of the year!

Save Me, Kurt CobainSave Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I requested this book on a whim on Netgalley because I was a huge fan of Nirvana as a young teen (dating myself right here) and I wanted to check out a debut that was not in my preferred genre, since this one is a contemporary.

I'm quite torn about the book since I really enjoyed all the Nirvana references, all the music talk (confession time, my favourite music is still from the 80's & the 90's... I'm an oldie, what can I say?) and I really liked the writing, but I absolutely failed to connect with the main character. I don't know if it's an age thing, or maybe is the completely different emotional place where we both come from... or maybe it's because except for this one I've been in a fantasy books kick and the change of pacing was jarring... but I just couldn't connect with Nico.

Given that the pacing and writing of the book is great and that the voice is raw and feels very real, if you have better luck connecting with the main character that I did, I'm sure that you'd love this one, because it's bound to be a very emotional journey of discovery and finally getting some answers as well as growth for Nico. I wanted her to get some answers and at some point I was wondering if she'd be right and this one would veer a bit onto the magical realism side, but I couldn't put myself in her shoes, so sometimes I felt my age shaking my head at some of her fancies, even if I could understand her obsession with Mr Cobain and Nirvana's music.

This one is a very intriguing debut, one that didn't exactly work for me but that might be exactly the book that many teens need to read. Worth giving it a try for sure. Very positive 3 stars.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Mark This Book Monday: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton!!!

Hey guys!

It's Monday and you know what this means? Yes, a new week is here and this one is full of amazing books that release tomorrow, so just one more day till AGOS!!!!!! And The Forbidden Wish, and The Power, and Titans!

I'm trying to start this week right after my blogging failure of last week when I only posted two reviews, but were two great books that deserved the 5 stars they got!

I'm starting the week with yet another 5 stars and it being a debut no less!! My second debut of the month and so keeping me in track for my 2016 Debut Author Challenge.

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fantastic debut that had me up till late with the old "just one more chapter" lie!!

Rebel of the Sands is one of those books that catch your eye with a stunning cover, a very intriguing premise (mixing middle eastern lore & the wild wild west?) and that grabs you from the very first pages!

Amani is a girl that wants to run away from a place where her future is not hers to a less certain but more hopeful one and she's not afraid to bend and break any rules that will get here there, even doing things she wouldn't be proud of. But she's resilient and brave and kind and damn I fell in love with her so very quickly!

The world is brilliant mix of the world out of the arabian Thousand & One Nights stories and feel, but also with the outlaw and shoot first and ask later feel of the wild west. Like the perfect mix of east & west, the world feels gritty and hard and magical all at once! There are trains, shoot outs, caravans in the desert, djinns and magical horses, a Sultan allied with foreigners, and rebel prince...

The plot might seem pretty straight forward at first, but be assured there'll be a few surprises to keep things interesting along the way and few twists that will make go "well played, Ms Hamilton, well played!". This one is a proper page-turner that will you continue to read till 4 in the morning because you want to know what comes next!!

There is romance, but is more of the slow burn variety and it's mostly in the back because things are rather dire and there are a few issues about trust that need to be resolved here and there, but I so ship those two!!

Thankfully there is NOT a cliffhanger in this one, I repeat, there is no cliffhanger. The story is self contained to a point and although the bigger picture is unresolved and there's more to come and I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2, this one can be read like a standalone with an open ending! Very much deserving 5 stars to one hell of a debut!!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Reads: ARC Review of The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins!!!

Do you know that feeling of reading a book quite well in advance of release date and then when you next think about it, release day is almost there now and you need to write a review??

Well, that's exactly what happened to me with the book I'm featuring on this week's Friday Reads! I was beyond lucky to get an ARC of this one back in October and read it right away, and now March 8th is nearly here and a review must be written! (And writing it is making me itch to re-read it, cannot wait for my finished copy!).

The Great HuntThe Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore Wendy Higgins since I first read Sweet Evil, quite a while ago, before it was even picked up to be the trilogy we all know and love, and when she announced that her new book would be a fantasy duology I was super excited and not even the fact that it was a fairy tale retelling (yep, I'm not overly fond of those) made me doubt that I'd love it! And as always Wendy didn't disappoint!

The Great Hunt is a retelling of The Singing Bone, one of the Grimm Brother's tale that I haven't read before (I'm quite curious to read it now) and so I cannot say how much it was changed or taken from it, but I absolutely loved how Wendy wove the story with a certain fairy tale feeling but gave it her own flair!

There is so much tension on this book! First of all with the monster murdering people and no one feeling safe, then with the hunt going on, the civil unrest and the romance development... I had to take a breather while reading now and then because it really got intense at times!

I really liked how Princess Aerity was loved and happy with her family and how she found herself in a less than ideal position and although she was unhappy and angry she also felt that she had to do her duty to her kingdom & help however she could, even if it meant sacrificing her own future happiness. I really loved her less formal side and her silk aerial abilities!

Paxton is a bit of a play on the broody and distant boy and not entirely your usual fairy tale hero, and I loved that he had his secrets but that risked everything to help rid his people of the monster's danger. I loved how ready he was to work with other hunters to try and kill the monster and was not all about the glory.

We do get more than a few surprises and twists along the book, and that combined with all the tension building up during the book makes for an absolute page turner that ends in quite an awful cliffhanger (of the emotional kind, just not a death) that leaves you pinning for the next book and for me the wait is even worse because lucky me I read this book in October 2015 and the next book doesn't bloody well come out till 2017!! *wails & whimpers in despair*

Very much deserved 5 stars to this one. Highly recommended if you love retellings and if you don't? Give this one a try, it'll surprise you for sure!

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine!!!

Hey there guys!

Given my failure this week at blogging so far, I needed to add another extra Thursday Thoughts to the so far empty week!

I had a fairly good reason for the radio silence since I've been reading multiple books at once (not that it is new) but most have been re-reads or readalongs and also, FINALLY my living room furniture arrive!!

And because I'm crazy excited about them, I'm just gonna share a pic of them just as they had been finally assembled, will have to share pics of them filling up with stuff next time!

Now, onto today's review!! I think those of you who know me a bit are aware that I love fantasy books, but at the same time I'm not usually a fan of retellings, but one of my auto-buy authors go and write one, I have to check it and thankfully, trusting the author pays off!!

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First things first, I'm not the biggest fan of retelling stories there is, and when I see a book is a retelling of something else I'm usually a little wary of it. BUT C.J. Redwine became an auto-buy author since the very first book of her Defiance trilogy, so when she announced this one, a retelling of Snow White, I knew I'd read it!

And I'm really quite happy that I kept my trust on the author, because The Shadow Queen was a fantastic retelling! It mixed the fairy tale feel & also made it more regular fantasy-like if that makes sense! The prologue was very much done in a more typical fairy tale story format & style, but then when we move forward in time to meet Lorelai again, the narrative is less typical and much more engaging!

We have two main POV characters, Kol and Lorelai, but Lorelai IS our main character, our Snow White! I feel like the story is a bit inspired by both the classical story and the Snow White & the Huntsman movie, at least given that our Snow White is a fighter and not like the Disney version! ;) And no, there are no dwarves in this one, we get something way cooler, since we get DRAGONS!!

Lorelai has magic and is determined to defeat the evil queen, Irina, and is simply an amazing main character! Driven, brave, capable and compassionate. She's an absolute warrior and ready to do the right thing at any personal cost but not at the cost of those around her. I simply adored having a princess that didn't need rescuing, although she welcomed allies of course! She dealt with grief but didn't let it paralize her turn her cold, didn't let a pretty boy make her loose the view of what's the most important and has been for the past 9 years, but still allows herself to be open to connections and to love!

Kol is the other POV character and he is so much more than a prince that kisses our girl to wake her up, although weeeell, nope, not saying anything else. Kol is a reluctant prince that finds himself in a position that he never thought he'd be in and never wanted, but that raises to the occasion and that like Lorelai, is fighting to do what's right for others more than for himself.

The relationship between those two was quite fantastic, and slowly developed from "casual meeting where the girl save his life and his friends" to "I'm going to kill you but I don't want to" to allies and much more!

I must also talk about the Evil Queen in this story... Irina is evil but not because of her magic but for her own twisted reasons that you sort of can understand. You really don't because she's just blinded about her sense of entitlement and what she thinks she's been robbed of, but it's not random evil, it's rooted on a sense of loss and it twists her to forgo love for power. A very intriguing character and a well developed villain!

All in all, I really loved this one! It's very much its own story although you can see the nods here and there to the original story and the roots of it. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series and see what fairy tale will be retold, C.J. Redwine style! Well deserved 5 stars!!

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saturday Pages: Sword & Verse and The Dirt on Ninth Grave!!

Hey there guys!

How's the weekend going so far? Mine is going well, will be re-reading Red Rising and reading Rebel of the Sands today and tomorrow! YAY for reading plans ;)

For this week's Saturday Pages I have another installment of one of my all time fave urban fantasy series that I am NOT losing interest in and my Alyssa Recommends book for February that will also count towards the 2016 Debut Author Challenge!

The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9)The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the massive cliffhanger and wrench that Darynda threw on the previous book and all the info we were given and all the shocks and battles, I wasn't sure how this one was going to work out... aaaand I really should have not doubted Ms Jones because it was perfect!! And if you aren't up to date with the series yet, this is the moment when you stop reading because I'm not sure I'll be able to review this one without spoilers cropping up!!

Janey is trying to figure out who she is after waking up with amnesia in a small village in New York and if amnesia wasn't bad enough, she can see dead people and many other things that would land her in a psych ward if she ever were to tell anyone. It was so endearing to see her figuring out the why's and how's and doing what she's always done without knowing that she is. And she finds herself surrounded by the people that love her and she doesn't even know who they are!

Being in her shoes has to be hard, not knowing who you are or if you have anyone that cares for you and wondering where they are? But I think for the rest of the gang and specially Reyes, it had to be even MORE painful! Given all that, this one was a terribly emotional book, and I'd take a guy like Reyes Alexander Farrow any day of the week, son of Satan or not!

By the end of the book her amnesia is more dangerous than ever and we find ourselves hoping that Janey can put things together before the shit seriously hits the fan, and we get more than a few surprises along the way, with one or two tidbits of information that were as unexpected for her as they were for us!! Now I'm wondering what Darynda Jones will have in store for the next book and I SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT!!

Very much deserved 4.5 stars to this one!!

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 Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse #1)Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those times when you have things that you really really loved about a book and then things that really annoyed you so you end up giving it 3 stars because it feels fair, and decide to add a .5 extra because you really liked how everything was wrapped up in the end!

The big positives for this book for me? The gorgeous writing and the stunning world building!! I loved the story of the Gods snippets that we got at the beginning of every chapter, I loved everything that surrounded the writing and the God's language and the one of the Learned Ones and the Arnath and the way the society and everything was described, so visually and not stopping the flow of the book.

The negatives are mostly two: I wasn't sure where the book was going plot wise, was the rebellion attacking? Was there gonna be a coup? Both? Neither? It felt like it took forever to things to come clear. And then I didn't connect with Raisa nor with Mati and I wasn't 100% sold on them or their relationship. I don't know why they kept irking me so often and made me want to shake them so badly sometimes! I'm usually much better at empathising with characters, but Raisa and Mati continued to make unwise choices and then wonder why shit happened... GAH! I feel like I'm somehow being unfair to the characters, but there were so many occasions they irritated me... *sigh*

The climax and the ending was done really well and I loved how Mati and Raisa had stopped making choices that irritated me to no end and of course the unexpected twist was quite something! The ending is open enough but also conclusive enough to work for both a standalone and first in series, and if there is a sequel, I'll be checking it out! After all, Kathy MacMillan's writing is great and so is the world she has created! 3.5 stars for this debut!

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Reads: Love Fortunes And Other Disasters & ARC Review of Menagerie!!

Hey there guys!

Friday is here! And since I work the weekend is a different kind of Friday for me. Hopefully work won't be too bad during the weekend, at least I have some awesome co-workers during the weekend!

For this week's Friday Reads I have two reviews, one being one of my backlogged ARCs for my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. And the other one is another of my buddy reads for the RockMyTBR Challenge, this one with Valerie from He Said Books Or Me.

 Menagerie (Menagerie, #1)Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One hell of a book for sure, tough one to read and one that needs a few warnings because it really confronts us with some of the ugliest parts of humankind. It might not be a book for everyone, but it's one that we might need to have our eyes open to many cruelties that go on in this day and age.

Reading it made me think of the cruelty towards circus animals and their existence between cages & whips, and also made me think about the modern slavery of the human trafficking, either to be sold for parts (organ trafficking is a powerful big black market) or for prostitution, and how that feels justified for those that take part in any way in it, how we might ignore pain and humiliation and we might not agree with what's going on, but don't know how to stop it or how to help.

Menagerie takes place in a world were mythical beings exist and one changed by an event that happened in 1986. Mermaids, sirens, mynotaurs... they are real and are persecuted and exploited in private collections, hunting grounds or menageries like travelling circuses. All animal or even part human, none of them are left with any dignity and treated worse than animals.

Told on different POVs, most of them third person, although the POV with the most page time and chapters is Delilah Marlow, a girl that discovers she isn't just human while visiting Metzger's Menagerie with her bf and friends. We quickly see how fear pushes us to extremes, and how easy it is to dehumanize others to justify even the most base and unfair treatment of others.

I couldn't help but admire Delilah's strenght and courage to not let go of her sense of self and of what her goal was but at the same time how she was so kind and looked out for others so much! Strenght, courage and compassion are the traits that define her, and she's really a heroine to root for!

For some reason I thought the book was a standalone and I think it works pretty well as one, except that I was ready to take a star off because of the lack of information we really get about the events of the Reaping and what might be known about it, we only get some snippets of media information as events were unfolding at the time. But now that I've learnt that it's a series, this is one fantastic first book, with a great introduction of the main players, a game changer thrown in and enough world building to get your bearings but wanting to know more!

Menagerie is clearly an adult book and even if I'm usually worried about intense books (gross out easily, being a nurse has its perks in life) there were a few moments when I was seriously shocked and going EWWW!! There's blood and gore but it fits the story and the characters and it doesn't feel like it's done just for the shock factor, but... it is a shock! Add that to the abuse and mistreatment going on the cryptids and experienced my Delilah and once again I must warn that this book is not for those faint of heart.

Very well deserved 4.5 stars to this tough but brilliant book, my first Rachel Vincent book, but it surely won't be the last, since I'm now highly anticipating the sequel!

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Love Fortunes and Other DisastersLove Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another #RockMyTBR buddy read! This one was quite adorable and cute, even if I was confused at first and not that keen on the book or its world. Since it was a buddy read I decided to push through the "head shaking" moments, even if I wasn't entirely sure if this was a contemporary, paranormal or magical realism... I guess that's part of the charm of it, but it kept bugging me throughout the book.

I didn't instantly like Fallon because for how sensible she seemed, she was completely and overwhelmingly turned upside down by a love fortune, and now matter how accurate they are supposed to be, it just didn't feel as dire to me... but that could be my old age and grunchiness showing.

It was an easy read and once it progressed it got a hold on me and I wanted to know what was being Zita's fortunes and why all the other love charm makers were gone and I was somehow invested in the developing relationship between Fallon and Sebastian, which thank goodness was done through the common ground then friendly then like then love, even if was a bit accelerated at times, but after all Grimbaud is a magical place where love lives.

Some of the secondary characters felt a bit more underdeveloped and carntoon-y so to speak, but I felt that the main ones had quite enough charm and life in them, and I loved that Fallon decided to fight fate and help her friends do the same too. We not only see Fallon's fortune be fought but also her best friends' and I'm glad that there was a gay relationship included and treated no necessarily as a come out story, but just as another relationship threatened by a bad love fortune.

All in all, a very cute read, well deserving of 3 stars because it kept me turning pages to find out what happened next once I got over my innitial confusion.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Mark These Books Monday: I'll Give You The Sun & Carry On!!!

Hey there guys!

For this week's Mark These Books Monday I have two books that count both towards my Diverse Reads Book Challenge as well as the Rock My TBR Challenge!

Carry On was my buddy read with Melanie from One Less Lonely Blog for #RockMyTBR and the other one, I'll Give You The Sun, I finally decided to read because of Mel too! It is one of her fave books, and I decided to read it while I waited for her to catch up with me on our buddy read!

I'll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cannot decide if I should give this one 4 or 5 stars. My gut feeling after finishing was 5 stars but this morning I was thinking of a few issues I might have with it...

I really enjoyed this one, it grabbed me and wouldn't let me go! I kept reading and reading and I really needed to know what would happen, what was going on, what happened in the past, simply everything!

The book is told in dual POV from Jude and Noah, the twins, but one is present time (Jude) and the other one is 3 years in the past (Noah). I loved both their voices, even if Noah's was the more bright and emotional, at least at first. He's the artist and he's falling in love with a guy and also has all his hopes up to join the arts school that's his dream. We meet a different Jude there that the one we spend time with as a 16 year old on her pages and Noah is also different in her pages, not just because we see him from his sister's eyes, but because of events that happened 3 years ago.

Changing from one POV to the other was quite a bit jarring because how different things and characters were in each of the narratives, but I really liked the character development and the complex family dynamics and relationships. I really loved also how important art was for both Noah and Jude, but how differently they both felt and lived it and expressed it.

After a bit of thought, I'm giving this one 4.5 stars but will leave the rating as a 4 stars here. The changing POVs sometimes interrupted the flow for me, even if sometimes they complimented each other very well, I was left a bit unsure about how I felt about the family complex dynamic and how it was resolved in the end. Also a bit unsure about the age differences in the relationships and how it was presented. I'm still not sure if I feel like they can be problematic or not, so those small bits are nagging me from giving it a full 5 stars.

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Carry OnCarry On by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this one! It has not dethroned Fangirl as my Rainbow Rowell favourite book, but it was close! I loved her take on the Chosen One story and the magical school, and I simply loved Baz and Simon and Penny and Agatha! I'm also extremely glad to have buddy read it with Melanie from One Less Lonely Blog because we've had a lot of fun chatting about the book as we progressed!

I know not everyone loved the Baz & Simon snippets on Fangirl, but I loved them as much as the story itself, so I was super excited to read their full book story when I was announced, but for some reason once it published... I was wary of starting it, I guess? I dunno, but since October last year it had been sitting in my Kindle. And boy, why did I doubt Rainbow Rowell? I was hooked probably since page 1!

The vaguely Hogwarts-y feeling was there but in such a way that it was different enough to be its own story but some winks that simply made me want to re-read the Harry Potter books! This magical world is different, and so is our Chosen One. But I must say, that my favourite part and what I think the strongest of the book is not exactly the magical world of Chosen One plot, although it is very well done and wrapped up in a single book. No, the strongest part of this book is the characters, their dynamics, relationships and their development.

The book is told on multiple POVs, the main ones being Simon, Penny, Baz and Agatha, althought we also get Lucy's which at first we aren't sure who she is, and the Mague. I really enjoyed all the main 4 POVs but I must confess my favourite has to be Baz! I really liked his voice, his self-deprecanting voice and how he accepted who he was, and how he made himself the villain if need be. I couldn't stop shipping him and Simon like mad since his POV chapters started! Simon seemed well obsessed enough with him too, even if he seemed to be think it was just concern for whatever Baz could be plotting against him (yeah right... denial is not just a river in Egypt, indeed).

As I say, I adored all the main characters, Penny was a delight, outspoken, loyal and not letting Simon be self sacrificing in stupid ways and Agatha? Agatha was trying to find her place in a world where magick is everything and she couldn't care enough about it, and I loved how she ended up being true to herself and her true feelings, not to family pressure. And I loved how Baz & Simon's relationship progressed in the midst of a murder investigation and the onset of a massive war.

The conflict was explained and solved in a rather more satisfactory way than I expected and I was happy to see what happened after, even if it was just the immediate aftermath. A bit unusual for a fantasy but pretty much in line with how unusual a fantasy story this one. After all, it was all about the characters and who they are/were.

Very well deserved 5 stars for this one!

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Cover Reveal: The Rise of The Genesis by M.R. Merrick!!

Announcing a new book by M.R. Merrick!

In a world where being Supernatural means you’re in danger, Ash Lawson is front and center. After years of helping others escape ATOM—a government entity known for abusing Supernaturals—he’s captured, and saving himself will prove to be the most difficult task he’s undertaken.

Tryst Rivera is a Succubus and veteran at the Academy, a facility tasked with converting underage Supernaturals into cooperative ATOM soldiers. She’s endured her time mostly unscathed, but when Ash arrives and their lives are tethered to one another, she’s placed in immediate danger.

With escape at the forefront of his mind, Ash struggles with the idea of life under ATOM’s thumb. He’ll die before he converts, but his life isn’t the only one he’s responsible for, and he already has more blood on his hands than he can bear. When a chance for freedom arises, Ash needs to decide how much—and who—he’s willing to risk for a second chance.

Coming March 15, 2016

About the Author

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, and The Rise of Genesis. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and a large bowl of cereal.

Connect with the author

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Reads: The Case of The Blue Violet by Robin Stevens!!

Hello there guys!

Today I have only a lil novella up for review because I couldn't get myself to write a review for I'll Give You The Sun that I finished at 3 am... hopefully I'll have it up tomorrow!

But I found out about this delightful novella on my favourite Middle Grade series, The Wells& Wong Mystery Series, and I read it and loved it, so it is my Friday Reads!

The Case of the Blue Violet: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini MysteryThe Case of the Blue Violet: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini Mystery by Robin  Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another delightful story from Robin Stevens and the Deepdean girls! Of course I wish it would have been longer, but I wouldn't mind having a lil story like this one once a month in the wait in between the full length books!

This one was written by Daisy instead of Hazel as usual, and our Daisy might be frightfully clever, but she doesn't have the same eye for describing setting or characters as Hazel does! ;) It was a rather cute and short case and I cannot believe after all the whodunit books I've read, I'm still so little observant! I guessed the case quite later than the Detectives, as soon as a certain telegram was received, but still... too late! *shakes head*

Very excited also about the small sampler for the next Wells & Wong Agency case! Next month! Soon, but not soon enough!

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little Release Blitz!!

Hello there guys!! Today I'm very pleased to take part of the week long blitz & release week celebration for Banished by Kimberley Griffinths Little!

Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little
(Forbidden #2)
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
She thought she’d lost everything . . .
After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

Sequel to:

Booklist Review:

“This sequel to Forbidden (2014) picks up with desert girl Jayden, distraught that the young man she loves, Kadesh, might have died. But, of course, he hasn’t. Scarred and missing an eye, yes, but he’s escaped the clutches of Horeb, Jayden’s malicious betrothed. Traveling bravely through the desert, Jayden finds him. But that perilous trip is only the first of the dangers to come. Gathering an army, Kadesh is determined to return to his faraway home, where the valuable frankincense grows, and introduce Jayden as his future bride. First, however, they must face betrayal, danger, and a waiting evil. Jayden achieves almost superhero status here, moving from adventure to adventure—not even a near-death stoning can stop her. Little’s descriptions of the landscape are evocative in both desolation and in beauty. Just as good is her pacing, which gets the blood pumping for both characters and readers. Far more than a bridge book, this will heighten anticipation for a no-doubt exciting conclusion.



A dirty, callused hand slapped down over my mouth and the stale breath of a man hissed in my ear. “Don’t move or I’ll slit your pretty, little neck.”

I clawed at the stranger’s cloak, trying to push him off, but he was too heavy. A moment later, I realized my ankles were tied together. I couldn’t run, couldn’t even move. Shrieks gurgled in my throat as if I was drowning, his hand cutting off my air.

Only one day into my journey to find Kadesh and I was already dead.

The sharp tip of a blade pressed against my neck, and I whimpered.

“Give me the frankincense of the stranger we killed.” The man’s foul breath dragged across my face. He was referring to Kadesh, the boy I loved, who’d been murdered by Horeb, the prince of my tribe.

With myself as a witness, I’d watched Horeb plunge his sword into Kadesh and then order his soldiers to drag his body off.

Shock flooded me when I realized who my attacker was. I wrenched his fingers away from my mouth and with a raw voice, said, “Gad? What are you doing lurking about the cliffs of Mari?”

This man was a childhood friend of Horeb’s and one of my own tribesmen. His body pressed against mine, and I writhed in disgust.

There was only one reason Gad was in the foothills of Mari, far from the oasis of Tadmur where my tribe camped for the summer. He was a member of Horeb’s army.

Horeb, my betrothed. The man who’d attacked and scarred me. Blackmailed me for the murder of his father to hide the fact that he’d killed his own father so he could steal the tribal crown.

About the author:

When I was a kid I read a book a day, scribbled stories, and dreamed about having my very own book on the library shelf. I grew up in San Francisco, but now live in an adobe house on the banks of the Rio Grande with my husband and sons. I think I've drunk so much Land of Enchantment water that some of that ancient magic got into my blood and now spurts out my pencil--I mean ergonomic keyboard. I adore anything old and musty with a secret story to tell.

I'm the author of 10 award-winning middle-grade and Young Adult novels with Scholastic and Harpercollins and I make way too many cookies when I'm writing - and I've got the best book trailers in the universe - for reals! Check them out here: Please find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Youtube.

Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Whitney Award Finalist and Association of Mormon Letters of Art Award, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, 2013, and 2015, a Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Starflight by Melissa Landers Release Day Blitz!!

Hiya guys!! Today I'm super happy to be part of the Release Day Blitz for Starflight by Melissa Landers! The moment Melissa said it was Firefly inspired I was sold, and I cannot wait until I get my hands on my own copy!

Now I leave you guys with Melissa!:

Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.


To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” 

For more information or just to say hello, visit

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mark These Books Monday: We'll Never Be Apart & Discover Ruta Sepetys sampler!!

Hello there guys!!

*waves* *yawns*

Today is a Monday off work, even if it's because I worked night shift on Sunday! But hey, I've slept a bit in the morning and I don't have plans beyond sorting some books, doing some chores around the house and start my buddy read of Carry On with Mel!

For this week's Mark These Books Monday I have two more reviews that shall count towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge, both backlogged eARCs from Netgalley that should help me remain with my ratio at 80% or more!

Discover Ruta SepetysDiscover Ruta Sepetys by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this sampler for both Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea from Netgalley because I've heard many things about Ruta Sepetys' books and all of them good, so I wanted to check the writing for myself and see if they are my kind of books.

And well, the answer is yes, they are my kind of books for sure! I only got a few chapters of each book and I already was turning pages fast, completely engaged and very much drawn into the stories of those I had just barely met! The characters voices felt so very real and the writing is simply fantastic, drawing you into the story and keeping a hold of you!

Now I need to get me both Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea ASAP!!

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We'll Never Be ApartWe'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We'll Never Be Apart was a book that I requested last year because it sounded very intriguing, it was a debut book and I wanted to read a bit more contemporary. For some reason or other I couldn't get to it before release date and then it joined the ranks of my poor backlogged eARCs.

I read most of the book last Friday during night shift, and that means both that I had a rather good shift and that the book was a fast and engaging read! The book would have got a higher rating if I wouldn't have suspected so early what the twist at the end of the book was. I'm not saying it was super obvious, because there was not just one thing to point out that might have given it away...

The book is told from Alice's POV while she's at a mental health institution and also by her journal entries and memories. Alice is a complex and intriguing character and discovering her past anew and her reflections on it were also quite fascinating.

The way the author wrote the tension and the fear and trepidation that Alice felt was fantastic and the pacing was also done very well. The book makes you want to turn pages and find out more about what might have happened, about who Jason really was, what happened that night and how Alice can get better.

I wasn't too keen on the possibility of a romance when we first met Chase, but I have to say it was done so well and it really didn't bother me as much as I would have thought at first. Chase was more than what he might have seemed at first, and his character development was done really well.

All in all, it was a very engaging book, even if the epilogue did change things around a bit again, and although I had guessed the twist, the book managed to keep my interest! 3 to 3.5 stars to an intriguing debut!

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