Friday, May 26, 2017

ARC Reviews: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi & The Broken Ones by Danielle L Jensen!!!

Hey there guys!

Yes, surprisingly enough, I'm back here to continue with a  bit of a catch up on reviewing some of the books I've read so far in 2017! I will not be trying to catch up on all them, because they're many, and I don't want to kill the little motivation I have with trying to do too much!

Today I'm reviewing two highly awaited ARCs that I got approved for this year, to my surprise and delight!

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After adoring The Star Touched Queen I was sure I was going to equally love A Crown of Wishes, and when my "wish for it" was granted on Netgalley I was squealing and more than ready to dive into it straight away!

I knew I was going to love it, but I didn't expect it to love it even more than I did TSTQ! Right after finishing ACOW, I was ready to re-read it right away, and that's always the mark of an amazing book for me, because I don't want it to end and I don't want to leave its world!

A Crown of Wishes is a companion/sort of sequel to TSTQ and it shares the same amazing brilliant and lyrical writing, the same immersing descriptions and narrative and the same magical and threatening vibe throughout! It's a wondrous world you'd want to visit but once there you might not be entirely sure if it was such a good idea after all!

Roshani Chokshi always manages to ensorcell me with her words, makes me crave desi food like there's no tomorrow and makes me want to read more Indian/Hindu mythology books! I feel like rushing through the book to find out what comes next but slowing down at the same time to savour every word and description!

I was very happy when I heard that ACOW would be about Gauri because I adored her as Maya's spirited little sister in TSTQ and I simply loved who she had become in this book, strong and full of thorns and I loved her path to realize who she could be and how to became the person she really wanted to be. And I simply adored her interactions with Vikram, the Fox Prince, charming, cunning and entirely too irresistible if irritating at times!

They are to be allies to win the Tournament of Wishes and they don't entirely trust each other too much, although most of the resistance comes from Gauri. They do make quite a fantastic team and their banter is simply perfect! I love how they goad each other, how Vikram challenges Gauri and tries to get to know the fascinating and utterly dangerous girl better without getting himself killed in the process. Just thinking about these two I'm itching for a re-read already!

I just loved the beauty and danger of the tournament and their unexpected allies and enemies and how the different tasks of the Tournament challenge them to work together and to discover things about themselves and about each other.

Brilliantly written, full of magic, wonder and dread! Highly recommended!

The Broken OnesThe Broken Ones by Danielle L Jensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so happy when Danielle announced that she was writing a prequel and it would be the story of Marc and Penelope!

I knew the story was heartbreaking but it also gives us so much insight about the characters we meet in the Malediction Trilogy and really helps us understand them better too!

Reading from both Marc and Penelope's POV was the perfect way to see their friendship and love emerge, even if they both thought it was one-sided in the beginning. I had wanted to know more about Penelope and not only reading about her story but having her POV was the best way to see how strong she was and how messed up her family really was. The power plays and the political intrigues more common than any sort of affection. Marc I had always liked as a character but in this book I got to love him even more. Torn between duty and his heart and trying to juggle what's right with what he wanted and see him struggle with the choices he had to make and see others make was so heartbreaking!

We meet and get to know Anäis as a different person that the girl she has become in Stolen Songbird, and her love for her sister and how she behaves and puts the cause and others before her own ambition made me see her in a very different way. Tristan we get to see from Penelope's eyes and from Mark's eyes and it's so clear how he presents himself to the world and how she has to hide his cause and what he wants to do. Tristan does have quite a bit of growing up to do in this book, and it really broke my heart how he treated Marc sometimes.

For some reason I expected the story to be centered about Marc and Penelope and had completely forgotten how very shrouded in power struggles and political manouvering everything was in Trollus, and how their story could not have been otherwise. The Duke of Angouleme and his power games with the King and how he tries to manipulate everything, how Tristan tries to hide his real self and real purpose, how Marc and Penelope struggle to find their own happiness within that maelstrom, it was all both fascinating and so very heartbreaking!

If you've read The Malediction trilogy, you really NEED to read this one and if you haven't read the trilogy yet, what are you waiting for??

View all my reviews

Monday, May 22, 2017

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor and Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh!!!

Hellooooo there guys!!


Is there anyone still there? I wouldn't be surprised if this poor corner of the internet has been mostly forgotten because I've been updating so rarely as of late.

I'm not entirely sure why I've so completely lost my blogging motivation as of late, because I have not lost my will and love to read, or stopped raving about books I've loved... I guess I didn't have the mental energy to try and write and be somewhat coherent in putting my opinions to the page.

But here I am! With reviews for two books I've thoroughly loved recently, and hopefully I'll manage to keep a consistency with blogging once or twice a week from now on!

Strange the DreamerStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars are not enough for this gem of a book. I foresee a massive book hangover, mostly because I've already re-read it, once again via the audiobook, even if I'm also perusing the Kindle edition while the most awesome Steve West utters the magical words that the dreamsmith & word mage that is Laini Taylor. After two re-reads I'm itching for a third one and wishing I could wrap Laini's words around me like a comfy blanket and cocoon myself away from the world and lose myself in the stories of Weep.

I've heard people say that the book dragged or was slow in parts, I don't know if it's because of the kind of reader I am, or because I could listen to Steve West read a grocery list and be enthralled, but it was never the case for me. All the myths and legends and Lazlo's story and his exploits were utterly fascinating, his obsession with Weep becoming mine too! I adored Sarai and her family of scared but powerful children of gods.

I must confessed I was so completely wrapped in Lazlo's story that the firs time to turned to Sarai's part of the story it jarred me a little, because I wanted more Dreamer and more of his adventures and the mysteries that might be revealed, but soon enough I was lost into the pain and small joys and odd life that the children of the gods had carved for themselves, even if it seemed driven on by revenge and pain. It made the story bigger, more relevant and it burrowed itself into my heart even more.

The way the stories merged, with the Dreamer and the Muse of Nightmares meeting in dreams and weaving their own worlds and dreaming about a world were hatred from both sides wouldn't be the main driving feeling of the story was enchanting, heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

By the end of the book there are quite a few unexpected revelations that even then were not completely explained but that challenged both the characters notions and our owns and definitely ends with a cliffhanger, because even if the events are resolved, we're left with much dread and uncertainty and I have no idea where the next book will take us, expect that I fear & expect a lot of heartbreak to come, in many ways and I expect to continue to feel both a lot of empathy and frustration and anger at Minia.

I also adored whatever small winks to the DOSAB trilogy in the shape of myths that were probably history, and they also left me wanting to check with those other characters so much!

Do I recommend this book? With all my heart!! I want to wrap these words around me like a warm blanket, even those who were utterly heartbreaking.
Am I dying to get my hands on the sequel? You betcha!!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew I loved Renee Ahdieh's writing style from her previous duology, but I was once again ensorcelled by her words, descriptions, character and the worlds she creates!

Mariko is a character that might not be entirely easy to love at first, but I simply felt so much for her and her struggles, trying to survive, then trying to get revenge and some measure of freedom and then as she continues to learn things that challenge her world view, trying to find out what she really thinks it right and worth fighting for! She's resourceful, obstinate, passionate and not too prideful to end up admiting when she's wrong.

As I'm not Japanese or have more than a passing knowledge of its culture, I cannot speak of the accuracy of all the cultural details included, but I felt that there must have been so much research done and I felt really immersed into the culture and could almost see, feel, smell and touch the surroundings and every single detail included in the book!

I knew there would be some measure of romance and I really enjoyed it being of the hate to love variety. I expected something that seemed to be wrong but I ended up being proven right when I wasn't really expecting it to be so. Criptic I know, but in case you're as oblivious as me, I don't want to spoil any possible surprises!

There's so much political intrigue going on that is driving the story in ways we don't really put together until quite further on, and so much more both political and magical that is only hinted and partially revealed at the end and that obviously leaves us really wanting so much more!

The ending is rather cliffhangery but at the same time not? It's hard to explain because we definitely are left with everything hanging, with many revelations and parts of the past unexplained but at the same time we're not left in the dark about the fate of the main characters, they're just left at really crappy places, but ready to fight even if we're not sure how they will do it!

Very much deserving of 5 stars! I'm still not sure if I devoured it or if it devoured me, but I cannot wait till I get my hands on its sequel!

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Girl Against The Universe: 7 Days 7 Giveaways Paperback Blog Tour!!!!

Helloooo there guys!!

Getting back into the blogging sphere because one of my most re-read and most beloved books is being released in paperback!

I think it's no secret that I love Paula and her books, and also that you can meet my fictional version if you read GATU (What?!? IKR!! There's a nurse called Pili in there!!) and I adored GATU from the very first time I read it, before I was included as the nurse that Paula needed for a few scenes! ;)

If you haven't yet read Girl Against The Universe, you're in luck! It's been released in paperback which means it's even more affordable, and you can even win a copy during this blog tour!

And in case you need a few reasons to read GATU: it's the perfect mix of fluffly and issue contemporary, deals with mental health issues in a way that is positive and relatable, there's an adorable romance that does NOT cure the mental health issues, and positive female friendships, present and realistic family dynamics! Well, I could add many things because I've already said this before... I adoooore this book!

From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about a girl coping with PTSD and the boy who wants to help her move on from the past. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Sixteen-year-old Maguire knows the universe is against her. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when she's around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or the time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash--and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

Despite what her therapist tells her, Maguire thinks it's best to hide out in her room, far away from anyone she might accidentally hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star who wants to help her break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for him is to stay away, but it turns out staying away might be harder than she thought.
 And now, over to Paula, who'll tell you all about the giveaway!

Paula: Hi everyone! Girl Against the Universe releases in paperback on June 6, 2017 and I’m so excited about that I decided to do an entire blog tour of giveaways to celebrate! In the story, main character Maguire creates her own list of seven challenges to help her overcome her fears. This week I have seven challenges for you, and seven chances to win a shiny GATU paperback :D These contests are international, but due to shipping costs, US winners will receive signed copies sent by me and INT winners will receive their books from Wordery or The Book Depository, with signed bookplates mailed separately.

All contests will end on May 31, 2017. All winners will be contacted via Instagram, Twitter, or email as well as posted on my blog in early June. If you’re going to enter a Twitter or Instagram challenge, be sure your account is set to public during the contest period so I will be able to see your entries and contact you if you win. 

Ready for still more ways to win?

Challenge #6: 

Tweet and/or Instagram an image of one of your personal good luck charms! People, pets, lucky socks—whatever it is that gives you a little added boost on a hard day. Your posts must include these tags so I can find them: @pstokesbooks, #GATU, #SevenDaysSevenGiveaways, and #LuckyCharms. 

Here’s an example using one of my favorite lucky charms ;)

Here’s my entry for @pstokesbooks #GATU #SevenDaysSevenGiveaways contest! It’s Taz, one of my #luckycharms giving my next release a kiss of approval :)

You can enter up to two entries on Twitter, Instagram, or one of each by May 31, 2017. If you enter twice, you must use two different lucky charms. Questions? Put them in the comments :)

That's all guys! Don't forget to check the rest of the tour for more chances to win a copy, because trust me, you want, nay, NEED, to read this book!

Adventures of a Book Junkie

My Bookish Itinerary

Mary had a Little Book Blog

The Forest of Words and Pages

Xpresso Reads

In Love With Handmade

Author Paula Stokes