Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Pages: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins!!

As the final entry on this week's Saturday Pages I have the book that was chosen as May's book in the Read Discuss Repeat Virtual Book Club!

I was both drawn to and unsure about this book, but after reading a few reviews for it, like Wendy's at The Midnight Garden and Stephanie at Inspiring Insomnia, I voted for it on the book club poll and crossed fingers so it'd be the one picked to be read!

Rebel BelleRebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rebel Belle was one of those books that I wanted to read but I was sort of doubtful at the same time... It sounded interesting but I feared it'd be too much "Mean Girls" and fluff for me.

But when it was chosen as Read Discuss Repeat Virtual Book Club for May, I had the perfect excuse to read it! Thankfully I loved them book and though it has fluff, it also has amazing humour that had me giggling, snorting and chuckling every other page! I remember reading in a review
that this story was like Buffy in the South (minus the vampires) and I have to agree, Buffy was also a very popular girl in high school and not someone you'd expect to go kicking arse at night in a cementery!

The first chapter starts with a bang and it shows you who Harper Price is, with what she shows, what she hides and what is thrown onto her! Harper is an overachiever that is trying to shine on her own right, leaving some events from the past behind and is one of the very popular girls at school. She has a hate-hate relationship with David, the guy in charge of the school newspaper, but she doesn't seem to be one of the "mean girls" that steps on people to be on the top.

But, everything changes when the night that she's gonna be crowned Homecoming Queen... the most bizarre chain of events happen and she ends up with a destiny and a mission and a new set of abilities to fulfill it.

If I had to describe this book using just one word, it'd be "fun". It was a blast reading it! There are plenty of action scenes, some information about the world building, fuffliness for balls and events, witty banter and a very confused Harper that doesn't know how to juggle everything that has come into her life now!

I really liked the idea of the Paladins and Charlemagne and all the background for Harper's abilities and mission and I think that there's much more than we've just seen so far. All the fighting and training reminded me of Buffy, and that's how I'd describe it: Southern Buffy without the Vampires (at least for now, no vampires in this book!).

Something I really appreciated was how much of Harper's family was in the book, mainly her mum and aunts. Her family dinamics are important on who Harper is, who she has become and how she deals with everything. Her three aunts were both adorable and hilarious and I loved seeing them pop up in the pages.

The romance was a bit more complex than I was expecting... mostly because it isn't a love triangle but it is but it isn't, the banter between Harper and David is quite fantastic and that twist at the end made me go " holy shitzu, ha!!".

With plenty of action and humour and fluff without making it ridiculous, Rebel Belle is a book I really enjoyed and very much recommend. Well deserved 4 stars!

View all my reviews

Saturday Pages: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle!!!

Welcome everyone to this week's Saturday Pages! Today both the books I will be reviewing are both part of group readings, but both were books I really wanted to read and just needed a lil push to do so!

The first one is the book chosen for May at The Midnight Garden for their monthly read-along! I had been wanting to read this one for a long time, since I had heard great reviews, so I thought it was the right time to finally dive into the book!

A Wrinkle in Time (The Time Quintet, #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books that I had heard about many times and have been wanting to read for a while, but never seemed to find the time for it. It all changed when the ladies at The Midnight Garden chose it as their May read-along! I jumped at it and am I glad that I did.

This can be considered more middle grade than young adult I guess, but it was a joy to read and I think it can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Some ages will feel the message hit closer to home than others, and some of its messages made me wish I had read it when I was 13-17...

Meg Murray is a girl that doesn't fit it too well at school. She's impatient, very intelligent but selective with the subjects she enjoy. She doesn't fit the mold too well, so she keeps on being chastised and laughed at. She has two twin brothers that do fit in at school and a younger one that is even more peculiar than she is. Her parents are scientists and her dad is away involved in a secret project.

Everything takes a turn for the wondrous when three odd new characters are introduced and Meg, her little brother Charles and their newly made friend Calvin end up going on a journey that they didn't expect and that changed their lives in many ways.

This book is full of science and it's addressed in a way that is magical but also vivid and understandable and solid and wondrous. Seeing science woven this way into the story and presenting the different and alien as new and positive and making us look at how we react at what's different was a joy to read.

I just adored this book and I keep on hoping I could just make my younger self read it! Well deserved 5 stars for this classic but ultimately, timeless book!

View all my reviews

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Reads: ARC Review Paranoia by J.R. Johansson!

As the final Friday Reads entry of this week, I'm having an ARC review! I have to give a big shout out to Flux Books for always approving my requests on NetGalley! Thank you!!

As a review copy, it is included in my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge and little by little, I'm inching towards the 80% ratio!

Paranoia (The Night Walkers, #2)Paranoia by J.R. Johansson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was very lucky to be approved by Flux books on NetGalley for Paranoia, and after finishing Insomnia, I was extremely eager to get some more answers to all the unanswered questions!

I'm gonna try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but you can expect some spoilers for the first book.

Paranoia starts pretty much where Insomnia left us with Parker, Mia, Finn and Addie dealing with the aftermath of what happened by the end of the book, and recovering from it. Parker is now better since he can finally get some sleep and his friends know about his "ability".

Then Finn, Addie and Mia leave for Disneyland and as much as Parker tries to stay in control all hell breaks loose and he ends up being taken over by his darker side and in jail. And low and behold, Jack the guy with the blind skull patch comes back again to save the day.

I'm a bit torn on how to rate Paranoia, because I loved Parker's progression and character growth and we got answers and we got some background story for that answers that made sense and hinted at more things... but I highly disliked Jack for 90% of the book and I was truly annoyed at the twists added to the romance part.

First of all, let's start with Jack. He's been sent by Parker's dad to protect him, but he's been doing quite a crap job and he really isn't helpful at all when training or giving answers to Parker. I knew something didn't add up in his story, and I guessed correctly. He knows everything Parker doesn't about the abilities and how to control them and all the rest of what he calls "the Night Watchers" and despite knowing that Parker had no contact or information about it all, continues to act annoyed and high and mighty every step of the way. He might be hurt, he might be resentful, but he really isn't doing his job very well at all. Very frustrating!

There was a certain uncertainity introduced with Mia and Finn and Parker and if the romance mess would have been limited to that, I would have understand. It made sense and confusion and misunderstandings happen. But how things went with Addie and Parker and Jack, it was once again frustrating!

The way the book ends is quite enough as to leave this as a duology, and we do get plenty of answers (finally!). The climax was interesting, with a few reveals that were quite interesting (one I had guessed, the other I didn't see coming) but I have to say something I know should have been a bigger emotional punch left me a bit unsure how to feel. I don't think neither Parker nor the reader has enough time to process emotionally the changes to feel affected enough.

It was still a very engrossing read, less creepy and full of tension than the first book, but thankfully full of answers. Torn as I am, I give it 3 to 3.5 stars.

View all my reviews

Friday Reads: The One by Kiera Cass!

Hello everyone! I'm gonna be starting this week's Friday Reads with another series ender! Seem like this year I have a lot of series ending! This is also a series that I really need to feature in Ink & Batter soon-ish, cause I want to reproduce the dresses in the covers in cupcake shape!

Even if it's mostly all about the romance, the dystopian setting for it makes it count for my Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014!

The One (The Selection #3)The One by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This year seems to be full of series enders for me! Although I wasn't totally dying to get this one as much as I might have had other books, I still really wanted to know what the deal with the rebels was and who would America end up choosing, Aspen or Maxon?

I promise I will keep this review as spoiler free as possible, I've already spoiled everyone that asked about it, and I refuse to ruin the book for anyone!

Despite the dystopian elements in this book, it always seemed that it was mainly a romance (is dystopian romance a genre? if you, it's right for this trilogy!) with a setting on a dystopian world, but the whole dystopian world was never really a big part of the storyline. We got some hints here and there, and it got a slight bigger part on the second book, and here it also becomes a bit more important.

I think it might have been what lead to this book not working too well with me. These books have been a fluffly read, fast and adorable for me, and I feel like too much was crammed into this final book for its size. The resolution of the love triangle, with a few key revelations about the rebels, a change on plot direction and then a final showdown with something that for me felt like taking the very easy way out to solve some of the conflicts that were given so much importance.

I enjoyed the book, I got emotional at quite a few scences, though I'm not entirely sure of how necessary the death of a certain character was... and I was pretty happy with the resolution of the love triangle, since I was never clearly Team Aspen or Team Maxon. But once I finished the book I just felt that everything was solved too quickly, taking the easy way out sometimes. I was glad to see that the girls managed to tranform their competitive ways into something better for females everywhere, so thank you for that Kiera Cass!

Not the best series ender ever, but I enjoyed it well enough, so I give it 3 stars. I know I will be recommending it to a friend of mine that will probably totally love it, since it's right down her alley!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ink & Batter #4: A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller!!

Hello everyone & Happy Thursday! Welcome to a new edition of Ink & Batter!

This week's cupcakes have been inspired by the one book I've been pushing on everyone as of late, and one of my fave debuts this year so far! A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller!

As usual now, I've teamed with the very awesome Becca from Pivot Point Reviews and so this week's Ink & Batter and her amazing feature Cover Puppies are matching!! Go check her Cover Puppies of this week NOW!!

I had been debating what recipe should I use for these cupcakes, since the book is set in Edwardian times, and after having a chat with the author via Twitter, the Lady Grey recipe was decided! Btw, Sharon Biggs Waller might be sharing the recipe for the cupcakes with you all on her website, stay tuned!

After the choice for recipe was done, all I needed were some adorable and classy cupcake liners, and I had the perfect ones already. So let the baking commence! As always, Dylan wanted to help!

Some of the ideas were a given, and others I got as I was making the fondant decorations. The mermaid in the WSPU colours was a twist on how important the Mermaid is for Vicky, and a way to represent the brooch that meant so much to her (but my modelling abilities ain't all that great!). The leaves represent the wisteria vines that Vicky used to climb down from her wall to escape her house. The yellow dress is Vicky's debut dress and next to it Vicky's beloved pinkelets. WSPU pin and banner were a must, since the Suffragettes have a big part in this story. The rowing oar is there to represent Vicky's fiance. And I couldn't leave out Vicky's art with the easel, canvas and brushes.

Hope you liked these ones guys! I had a blast working on them, and the Lady Grey buttercream is one of my favourites! ;)

Stay tuned for more book inspired cupcakes on next week's edition of Ink & Batter!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #44!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I totally-dying-to-get-my-hands-on this week? In The End by Demitria Lunetta!!

Goodreads Summary:

"The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After."


Why am I eagerly awaiting In The End? Well, it is the very much awaited sequel of one of my favourite debuts from last year, In The After. It is a dystopian, it is the final book and the first book totally manage to shock me and creep me out, so I'm dying to see how the author wraps up everything, and what other surprises she might have in store for us!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: The Truth Against The World by Sarah Jamila Stevenson!

As the next and final entry on this week's Mark This Book Monday I have another ARC review, this one I was approved on NetGalley by Flux Books, so a big thank you to them!

As an ARC it is part of my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge!

The Truth Against the WorldThe Truth Against the World by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I requested The Truth Against the World on NetGalley I read the synopsis and was drawn towards the Wales setting and the paranormal touches, but then for some reason I got it confused with something else and kinda was expecting this one to be another dystopian!

It took me a little while to realize it was told in dual POV, I kept getting confused and was wondering who was Gareth and why all of a sudden everything seemed different and the narrator was referring to himself as Wyn but then it was not a he but a she? I usually don't get confused too easily, but it took me quite a few pages to actually figure who was who and where were they and what was going on with them.

If there was something I completely loved in this book was the setting, I adored how genuine and well researched all the Welsh and the locations in Wales seemed to be. I felt very much present in the place and location and it made me wish I was there walking those green rolling hills. I loved the Welsh proverbs at the start of each chapter. And I loved the lil tidbits of history we keep on snatching here and there about life in the Welsh countryside during World War II.

The paranormal aspect was quite well done, with enough plausibility to it, with enough creepiness and tension added with the dreams, visions and strange happenings related to the ghost.

The mystery of sorts that needs to be discovered or figured out to put the ghost to rest was intriguing enough but not so difficult to figure out since there was a lot of emphasis on the connection between the two main characters. Still, it was quite well woven, even if it seemed to have dragged at bit all over the book and was only solved in the two final chapters.

Wyn and Gareth felt like genuine teenagers and their frustration at being treated like kids and being watched too closely and feeling suffocated by their families came out quite well on the page. I was quite glad that despite their odd connection and strange happenings, no romance was thrown onto us on this book and for that I'm grateful.

With a very well done setting and genuine characters this was an interesting book, it just seemed a bit too leisurely paced, with not too much happening in it, though there are plenty of issues addressed. Still, I'd give it a 3 stars, maybe a 3.5 since it managed to really make me want to visit Wales soon!

View all my reviews

Mark This Book Monday: After The End by Amy Plum!!

Hello everyone! This week starting the week & as the first entry for Mark This Book Monday I have one of those very much awaited books for this year. At first I had added this to my dystopian challenge, but after reading it, I have taken it out because it is not dystopian, but still was a very cool read!

After the End (After the End, #1)After the End by Amy Plum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of Amy Plum's previous series and I really was excited about this one when I started hearing about it on Twitter (as the author was writing it, commenting on Juneau). I was even more excited when I heard about it being dystopian, even if it ended up not being so.

I will try my best to keep this review spoiler free, and to do so I'll try and keep it as vague as possible, as to allow you to discover things for yourself as much as possible.

I loved how the book started, with Juneau living in this postapocalyptic world with her tribe. We get a very good overview of the life she had and that would help us understand the massive shift the next events will mean to her.

When Juneau starts her travels to this new world she didn't know it existed, trying to save her father and her tribe, she continues to use her connection to the Yara and her abilities. And that leads her to Miles, the son of the guy that is hunting for her. These two are extremely different and make the most charming, hilarious and somewhat irritating travelling companions ever!

The biggest part of this book is taken by the road trip that Juneau and Miles take: Juneau trying to find her tribe, trying to deal with her shift in what she believes and what she thought was true; and Miles spends it trying to take Juneau to his father to win back his approval, trying to deal with Juneau's crazy past and abilities and trying to find out what are the real reasons for his father to get his hands on Juneau.

I was always entertained while reading, may it be cause of the small details here and there about the Yara, because of the banter between Miles and Juneau, or all the information that we seem to be gather about what was the real reason for Juneau's parents and those to were part of the tribe to retire to Alaska and lie about the fate of the world.

The ending was an absolutely awful cliffhanger, but also the kind that is awesome, and I cannot wait for the next and last book! Yay for duologies! Well deserved 4 stars for this one!

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Showcase Sunday #35!!

Showcase Sunday is a weekly feature hosted by Vicky of Books, Biscuits, and Tea where all book lovers can share with others what bookish goodness we got this week, be it purchased (physical or eBook), won, gifted or for review!

This week I went a bit crazy with the book shopping, but since some of that was on Book Outlet and The Book Depository, those books haven't arrived yet! Buuuut to compensate for that I got some really amazing signed swag that I won in a giveaway from Wendy Higgings and also finally gonna show off the signed swag that I got for preordering The Taking from Kimberly Derting and the just because on Twitter signed swag that I got from Sharon Biggs Waller! Thank you so very much to all the awesome authors that are so generous to the readers!

Giveaway or otherwise won/received swag

That's my own copy of the book with the awesome swag that Sharon sent!

No, I didn't win the books, just the awesomely signed bookplates!

Purchased (via The Book Depository)

The Lovely And The Lost by Page Morgan

Purchased (via Kindle app)

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Sixth Grave of the Edge by Darynda Jones

Free To Fall by Lauren Miller

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

And that's my haul for this week! Next week I won't be having a Showcase Sunday cause I'm gonna be super busy all week baking 200 mini cupcakes for one of my besties' wedding and on Sunday I'm gonna be hungover and recovering for all the wedding celebrations from Saturday!!

What all did you guys get this week?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Pages: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong!!

Well, as the second and last entry for this week's Saturday Pages, I have a book that was chosen by Alyssa from The Eater of Books! We decided to push a book on each other for every month of the year (inspired by Epic Recs) and for this month, I chose this one! And quite unsurprising... Alyssa triumphed once again! This girl has such a similar taste to mine that it's scary!

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I read after reaching an agreement with my fellow awesome blogger friend Alyssa from The Eater of Books, based on Epic Recs, we've decided to push one book on each other each month! She actually sent me a huge list, but I went for Sea of Shadows cause I already had it on my Kindle app!

I am so very happy that I chose this one! It was a great read and totally put me in the mood for reading more epic fantasy!

This is the story of two sisters, twins. Physically identical but quite different in attitude and ways to deal with their responsabilies. They're the Keeper and the Seeker of the Forest of the Dead and they live in the village of Edgewood, right at the start of the forest. Ashyn and Moria are facing the rituals to put the spirits of the dead at peace on their own for the first time and each in their own way are trying to deal with the nerves and stress of the situation in their own way.

As with most fantasty books the pacing is not fast but with the wonderful world building we have entangled with the plot progression, I was kept enganged, entertained and even mesmerized! The mythology in this series simply seems amazing. The world seems like a mix of Japanese and Middle Ages with a twist, and the depth of information we glipse at everytime we peel a small layer here and there it's amazing!

The story is told in dual POVs from Moira and Ashyn, and I always felt they were distinct enough to never feel confused or wonder who were following in each chapter. The first chapters are prefect to introduce us to the world and to show us enough of the sisters together, to show their bond and their interactions. Then some unexpected and quite dire events happen and the sisters are separated, and both end up on their separate ways with varied travelling companions. Both trying to get to civilization to get help for themselves and their village.

Each of the sisters go through their own inner and outer journey, each with a guy that they wouldn't have chosen to accompany them. You can expect some romance because of this, but nothing really prominent at all. For most of the book, if not all, we see these relationships develop, getting to know each other, how to work with each other, and they first start with a friendship that seems to be progressing to something more.

Before I continue babbling about this book more, I cannot miss mentioning both Tova, Ashyn's hound and Diago, Moira's wildcat! Both beasts were no mere pets, but bonded to the girls since they were chosen as Seeker and Keeper. They're loyal and protective of the girls, and they're as important companions as any of the other human characters!

This a great first step on a larger journey, with plenty of world building, establishing our characters and although the ending leaves more than enough opening for more to come, with an actual twist that was quite a shocker that I didn't see coming AT ALL! But we close a chapter and the journey comes to an end. No real cliffhanger per se, so that's a plus!

Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars for this one! Thanks Alyssa for pushing this one me! Cannot wait for book 2 now!

View all my reviews

Saturday Pages: The Lovely And The Lost by Page Morgan!!

Happy Saturday everyone! This week I'm starting Saturday Pages with an amazing sequel to a pretty great book that my favourite book pusher made sure I read (THANK YOU ALYSSA!). Not only is an awesome sequel that brings the story to a higher level & broaden the world building but also is one of my reads for the 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program!

The Lovely and the LostThe Lovely and the Lost by Page Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a fantastic series with a great first book and an even more amazing sequel that doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome, you NEED to get your hands in The Dispossesed series! (Thank you again, Alyssa, for making sure I read them!).

The Lovely And The Lost start right after the events that take place in the first book, so you can expect some spoilers for book 1 in this review. Otherwise, I will try to keep my review as spoiler free as possible.

After their battle with Axia, the Waverly siblings are back to their abbey, but their return hasn't brought things back to normal. Gabby has returned with visible marks and a desire to learn to fight and join the Alliance. Ingrid is trying to learn to control her powers after discovering more about them and is trying to deal with her own emotional mess after Luc's declaration at the end of the book. And Grayson is even more confused and unhappy that before, having a very hard time reconciling his two natures.

If things were not complicated enough, two paternal figures are introduced and none of them are nice at all. Both were ignorant, headstrong and in short... awful! We also find out a lot more about the Alliance and more about the others with demon blood. We also find out about new players in the game, ones that even being human don't have anything to envy to Axia's on evil plans to gain power.

The love triangle that was hinted at in book one is more present here, even if Ingrid was always quite sure who her heart belonged to, no matter what was happening. Might be that why this love triangle didn't bother me as much, and I'm NOT a fan of love triangles at all!

The stakes are higher, the conflict gets even more broader and not only you're fighting demons but you no longer know who your allies are, if you even have any allies left. There's a war brewing and even those on your side might be taken away from you.

The atmosphere of the book was fantastically historical and gothic at the same time, and the way the plot moves along had me turning the pages barely fast enough! I love the relationships between the Waverly siblings, even if I wish someone would help Grayson somehow fight better to accept himself and gather some control, instead of just giving himself into self loathing.

This was a fantastic second book and one of the best sequels I've recently read! Very much deserving of 4.5 stars and damn, where does the third book come out then?!?

View all my reviews

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Reads: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes!!!

As the final entry for this week's Friday Reads I have a book that I featured earlier this week, and one that I was quite excited about reading that not only didn't disappoint but that also worked as therapy for my currently quite messed up emotional state!

It is also part of my list for my 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program, and I'm quite glad to say that so far I'm doing pretty well on this one, even if I'm a bit behind on reading the books as they're releasing!

The Art of LaineyThe Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had been quite excited about this one after reading some fantastic reviews for it, so much that I preordered it and I started reading it that very same night while at work! (I promise I didn't ignore my patients or my work, you just have some time to kill from 4 to 6 am if everything goes well!).

This is the kind of contemporary book that even not huge fans of contemporaries like myself can enjoy and that leaves you with a wonderful feeling upon finishing the book (and also hoping for more!).

I'm guessing I might have connected with this book more given my own state of heartbreak, even if Lainey's and my situation are completely different and I'm way older than she is. Still, a broken heart is a broken heart, and all the lessons she's learning and how's trying to patch herself up just made me feel so much hope and smile through the tears while reading.

Lainey thought she had her summer and senior year of high school all figured out, until her "perfect" boyfriend dumps her in front of everyone, without very good reason, at her family's coffee shop. Lainey refuses to believe all her perfect plans are over, and wants to get Jason back more than anything else. Her best friend decides to support her through and through although she might not agree with her choice, and they decide to use The Art of War for advice on how to win the boy back.

This might sound bizarre, and it kind of is, but it works so well! Not only made me want to read The Art of War (that I can't believe I haven't read yet) but works great to show the interactions and the relationship between Lainey and Bianca, and it also helps reveal some sides of Lainey's character to us and to herself.

Lainey wasn't exactly the most sympathetic of characters in the beginning, she's a teenager and as such, she's a bit oblivious of anything outside her own perfect bubble until it is burst and by trying to put it back together she goes out of her comfort zone and realizes she wasn't even sure who she was, so she starts learning about herself. She seemed to have been going on an inertia of getting the perfect life and perfect imagine, but as soon as Jason left her she wasn't even sure who she was anymore. There's a lot of growth to Lainey, and although I felt like shaking her at some point, mostly when she dealt with Kendall, I felt extremely proud of her by the end of the book!

Bianca and Kendall are both Lainey's best friends. As I see it, only Bianca really deserves that title. She's amazing and supportive, even when she thinks Lainey is wrong! She helps her trying to win Jason back even she doesn't think it's the right choice. She's always loved Lainey as she was, and was there for her through thick and thin, the same that Lainey was for her when she needed her. Kendall I really couldn't feel much empathy towards her, no matter how hard her life was, she just acted like a bitch all the time, and I kept on hoping Lainey would be more assertive and put her in her place.

Jason was very oblivious and a very typical bratty popular guy. Inmature and going with the flow, and I was clearly never rooting for Lainey to get back to him, not after the way he was treating her. Then we went Micah, a bit more prickly, with plenty of layers and contradictions, a rocker chef! And I knew I was gonna be rooting for him like mad! I loved him and Trinity, his younger sister! I loved how he kept on challenging Lainey and showing her that out of her comfort zone was a good place to be!

I guess I could just go on and on about this book, rambling about how much I love it, but I'll just say this: GO READ IT, NOW!! Very well deserved 5 stars for this one!

View all my reviews

Friday Reads: Insomnia by J.R. Johansson!!

Hello everyone! Welcome to yet again another edition of Friday Reads! This week's first entry is another recommendation by the quite awesome Alyssa from The Eater of Books, and one that had been on my TBR list for quite a while, and as such is part of my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!

Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1)Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read! I had it in my TBR list for a while, and when I got approved for the sequel in NetGalley I knew it was the right quick to get to reading it already!

Insomnia is the story of Parker, a teenager that cannot sleep, he doesn't have his own dreams, he ends up inhabiting the dreams of whomever he made eye contact last. No sleep is taking a horrible physical toll on him, and a mental one too, since he hasn't told anyone around him for fear of being thought insane and sent to a padded room. It all changes when he meets a girl with different dreams, the kind of dreams that allow him to sleep for the first time in forever. But instead of things getting better for him, it all starts going downhill from there.

This book was fantastic at building the suspense and to make me feel all the creepy-ness in it! I could really feel for Parker and how he suffers, how torn he is about all his choices. His descent into certain degree on madness and obsession is written so well that you feel like you're going downwards with him!

The other characters were also great, I loved Finn as main sidekick/best friend/comic relief, he never felt like an add-on but always had a voice that served as a contrast of normalcy with Parker's increasing otherness. Mia was a great character, even if at first we aren't sure how important she'll really be. Addie is a bit of an odd one here, she's Finn's sister and Parker seems to have a crush on her, but we never really get to know her too much or feel for her much until the very end.

The mystery and the twists in the book were fantastic, but the one thing that annoyed me and that actually costed this book one star was the lack of answers we get. We only know what Parker has somewhat figured out about his "curse" or "ability" and although we suspect something bigger is at stake and we're even teased at and hinted at more answers coming we are not given any in this book, and that really irked me!

This was a very engaging book that kept absorbed and intrigued, turning page after page, and I give it well deserved 4 stars. I'm only annoyed at the lack of answers by the end of the book about the bigger picture! Hopefully I'll get some of them in the sequel!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ink & Batter #3: The Ring And The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz!!

For this third week of Ink & Batter I'm making cupcakes inspired solely on the cover of a book! It is a book I do not own yet, so it's a book I haven't read. But I got it suggested to me, and just by looking at the cover, I had the perfect inspiration for making some decorated cupcakes: The Ring And The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz!

Since Becca has already done this cover for her Cover Puppies already, go check it out HERE! Ain't Gentry perfectly cute with her flower crown?? 

Here's the cover you can all oooh and aaaahhh at it, and tell me if you like my cupcakes take on it!

And now, onto the cupcakes!

For these decorations I decided to go for the flowers that make up the crown in the cover, so I made some stenciled ones and some with fondant in reds and oranges and one purple. The liners were gifted to me by a good friend a lil back, and being light blue with flowers and with a whimsical feeling I felt they were perfect! The buttercream was once again done with two colours to achieve the double tones of pink of the cover.

As for the recipe, I tweaked my mango lassi recipe and made it with strawberries (since they're in season) and made a buttercream with a Romanian cherry liquor gifted to us by my next door Romanian neighbours. That yummy liquor was what inspired the recipe as much as the book inspired the decorations!

What say you? Did I success with my recreation despite not having read the book? Hope you'll like them!

Stay tuned for more Ink & Batter cupcakes next week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #43!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I biting-my-nails-while-waiting-for this week? The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings!

Goodreads Summary:

"An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings."

Why am I eagerly awaiting The Murder Complex? I love dystopians, this one sounds like a thrilling and action packed one, and it's one of my most anticipated debuts of the year! I'm even more excited after having seen some really positive early reviews, so I cannot wait till this one is in my hands!

 What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?