Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Pages: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev!!

As the final Saturday Pages entry of this one, and with it I end the two reviews per day for now, since I've finally caught up on reviews, I have yet another ARC that I read late and after release day.

I was approved for this one by Kensington Books via NetGalley and for that I'm extremely thankful! It was a book I loved reading and that I would recommend for someone that wants a lil insight to modern India and its many contrasts.

As an ARC it does count towards my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge and I'm hoping to continue improving my NG ratio!

A Bollywood AffairA Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a lover of India in my own particular way whenever I see a book set in India I get excited and a bit wary but the latest two books I've read with Indian settings have been both gorgeous, powerful in their different ways and have made me feel like I was back there in my beloved Hindustan.

A Bollywood Affair is not so much a book about Bollywood, but there are plenty of references to it. It's first and foremost a romance, but one where friends and family are present and important, and for the most part, the biggest motivators for everything to start.

Mili, our main character, is a girl from a small village from Rajasthan, that got married when she was 4 years old and that has never again seen her husband. She's worked and tried her best to be the wife she thinks her absent husband would want, except for when she decides to move to the US to study, because she is following her passion. While being there, she's sought out by her husband's brother but for very different reasons that she'd ever imagine.

I don't usually read romances but this one simply grabbed me by the heart and wouldn't let go! It's told in alternate POV of both Mili and Samir, and that's always fantastic to get the full scope of what's going on, although it adds to the reader's angst when you see the full picture but neither of the characters do!

From India, to the US and then back to India, the settings and the cultural details and differences between one place and the other felt so genuine and real that simply made me feel like I was there. And the craziness of Indian families and Indian functions and the food, the relatives, the clothes... it was so much fun to read!

The romance was a slow burn in a way, but not so much since it spans roughly 4 weeks and there was a certain level of attraction very early on. Still it never really felt rushed and you find yourself rooting for these two and hoping they will finally talk truthfully to the other.

I cried a lot with this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves romance and India or is midly curious about India. You'll long to visit and eat some of their wonderful food and will want to wear a saree or two! Very much deserving of 4 stars!

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Saturday Pages: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers!!!

Hello there!

The weekend has arrived and I'm actually highly awaiting Tuesday next week cause it'll be my first day off since last Tuesday!

But since I work on the 3 to 10 pm shift, I'm still managing to read and keep up on the blog, more or less! To start this week's Saturday Pages I have one of my most awaited final books in a series (a trilogy in this case) and thankfully it was yet another that didn't disappoint it at!!

Also, this one has been in my list for my 2014 Series Challenge, so I'm gonna do a bit better than I expected, since I have done rather poorly with that particular challenge as of late!

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with the first book in this trilogy within its few first pages, and that love has only kept on growing with each book and this one was not the exception.

Mortal Heart is the story of Annith, the girl that has been at St Mortain's convent longer than anyone else, the one that helped Ismae and Sybella when they first arrived, and the one that keeps being the one left behind while her sisters are set out on missions to serve Mortain.

Annith always seemed like the perfect student, quiet, hardworking, and ready to help whenever and whatever is asked of her, but when she discovers that she is losing the freedom she always dreamed of and always trained for, she decides there's a rebel in her and leaves the convent.

I was quite surprised about the direction the book took and in a very good way! I loved seeing how the author protrayed the leyend of the Wild Hunt/Santa Compaña/Dance of the Dead and how Annith was such a fighter and so resilient, and even when she was a bit reckless, I couldn't help but continue to cheer her on!

I wasn't sure what I was expecting for Annith in terms of the romance, but for sure it wasn't Balthazaar. But boy, was I shipping this two like mad since the moment he walked into the page! It was slow on developing and exactly how it should be!

As with the previous books, there's the internal struggle and the discovery of who you are, what you want to do really, and there's the political and historical fight going on. The history lover in me continued to jump up and down in happiness with the progression of the story and some of the new things we encountered, how the world of the gods/saints was expanded...

We also get quite a few unexpected twists in this book, one of the I didn't see coming at all and literally jaw dropped when I read it "WAIT, WHAAAAT!?!" and others I wouldn't have imagined before reading the book, but started suspecting as I was reading. Still, very well mastered!

I don't think I can continue to be coherent any more... I simply adored this book and I love this series to bits. It simply seems to have everything I love so very well mixed! 5 and all the stars to Mortal Heart and to the series as a whole! READ IT NOW!!

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Reads: Review of The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher!!

As the final Friday Reads entry of this week I have the review for one of those books that I was expecting to like and was not surprised when I did, but that surprised me on how they managed to make me love it! It's urban fantasy, with the Fae as central part of the story but also set in high school and it's one of those wonderful diverse books full of queer characters that weave everything together flawlessly!

I read the finished copy of this one, but I also got an ARC from Flux Books via NetGalley (THANK YOU FLUX!!) so I'm also counting this one towards my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge and I'm hoping it'll also improve my NG ratio! Will I manage to reach 80% before the end of the year??

The Last ChangelingThe Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved Chelsea Pitcher's debut last year, The S Word, a wonderful contemporary book and when I heard she was writing a fantasy book about the Fae next, I knew that I had to read it too. She had written a contemporary that I had loved, and I'm not the biggest contemporary fan, so I knew she'd write a Fae book that I as a not a big Fae fan would like. And I was right!

I got the ARC for The Last Changeling via NetGalley but with my vacation time I run out of time to read it before release day, so I ended up reading my finished copy I had preordered. I also read the finished copy because Chelsea said she had added a lil change to the finished book and I decided I wanted to read that small but big detail.

The Last Changeling is the first book in a duology of urban fantasy with some queer characters mixed with Fae politics. The book is told in dual POVs, Elora a Fae princess of the Unseelie court and Taylor, a broken boy that is surviving along and not living.

Elora comes into the human world on a quest to find the answer to a riddle to end the war between the Fae but she finds herself embroiled in human life and human affairs in a way she didn't expect. She comes to care for humans, their lives and their causes and she finds herself leading another revolution, like the one she leads in Faery. And most surprising of it all, she finds that some of the rules she has always believed in are harder to believe in when your feelings say a different thing.

Elora was a character not as hard to connect with at first as I had expected, give her Fae princess on a mission, but when she shows that she will always find herself fighting for what she thinks it's right now matter if it's about the Fae or the humans, I was rooting for her and hoping she will find a way to get the Seelie court on her side without turning herself again into a monster.

Taylor was somewhat easier to connect with, even with his grief and his prickly exterior, even when it seems to take him a while to take a stand against what he thinks it's wrong. He finds himself falling for a stranger girl he takes into his small space and ends up not only head over heels in love with her, but also finding a way to heal himself from his emotional wounds of the past because of her.

I was mesmerized at how well Chelsea managed to mix both the fantasy part of this book with the wars between the Fae courts and the Fae politics with the contemporary setting and the fights the characters are undertaking, all mixed up but separate till the very end when from one victory we go to an unexpected fight with what looks like a sure defeat.

The ending felt like both a proper conclusion to a book but of course more than open enough to prepare the way for book two. The stage is set, the players have already shown some of their cards, but there are some questions teased about and there's some things that happened that change everything. Thankfully no horrible cliffhanger in this one and for that I'm ever so thankful!

Very much deserving of 4 to 4.5 stars this one!

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Friday Reads: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder!!

Hello guys!

I'm starting this week's Friday Reads with another wonderful MG & YA classic from the Midnight Garden's challenge and readalong!

This year I joined late, because I think I only started reading in June or July, but I do hope they will do the Classic MG &YA readalong challenge next year again, because I'm loving discovering some lovely books that I never read when I was younger!

Farmer Boy (Little House, #3)Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is both a very sweet book and a lesson of history on the everyday work that pioneers in America did. And of course it's full of the most amazing descriptions of food ever!

I had never read any of the Little House On The Prairie books before but now after reading Farmer Boy, I feel like I really need to read them all! The writing is lovely, apt for both younger and older readers and the descriptions of the family life and the characters are absolutely charming!

Almanzo lives with his family in a farm and he's a little boy that is about to turn 9, and doesn't like much going to school. He prefers staying home and helping with the chores, wants to grow up and have his own colt to tame.

Reading this book kept making me hungry with all the wonderful descriptions of food, pancakes, pies, marmalades, jams, and anything and everything, and alternatively made feel like I wouldn't last a day working in a farm like the Wilder's, because chores start at 5 am and there was so much hard work! Still, it was done with some love, dedication and pride in their job, and Almanzo was so willing to prove his worth that it was never made feel like grueling and terrible work.

I was expecting the books to be a bit more preachy for some reason, but they never felt so. The kids misbehaved on occasion and they were never perfect and they simply sounded so genuine when they were a lil naughty and then repented. The time when they were left alone in the house and used up all the sugar making ice cream and almost ruined the parlor's wallpaper is the best example!

With plenty of details about genuine frontier living for the pioneers and a lot of love for that way of living in the way it's written this was a great book for me to read as an adult, and one that I'd recommend for kids nowadays to read for sure. Just a word of warning, you'll want to eat everything mentioned in the book for sure!

Well deserved 4 stars for this lil gem!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ink & Batter #9: Ensnared by A.G. Howard!!!

Well, well, well! Finally Ink & Batter is BACK!!

After a loooong hiatus, longer than I had planned at first, I must admit, my beloved feature with book inspired decorated cupcakes is BACK!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to manage weekly posts from now on, but I'm gonna try my best for sure to return to the weekly Ink & Batter posts from now on, since I can bake without melting and the fondant doesn't get sticky easily any more!

I have quite a few recipes & books & notes for decorations in my lil notebook, but it was quite coincidence the way I chose the cupcakes I'd first bake for this return. I planned to bake some cupcakes to take to work at the request of one of my co-workers and I wanted to try this recipe and then I realized it was the recipe I had planned for when I made the Ensnared cupcakes... so one thing lead to another and I ended up making Ensnared cupcakes!

Ensnared by A.G. Howard is the third and final book in the Splintered trilogy and it's a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland! It's a pretty inspiring series because I also made Ink & Batter cupcakes for the other two books in the series: Splintered and Unhinged!

Since I still haven't read the book because it doesn't release till Jan and I haven't got an ARC, I used the cover as inspiration and all the clues about it that A.G. Howard gave during the reveal of the cover.

The red liners were a must, give the colour of the cover, and then I used red, orange & yellow colours to dye the whipped cream of the grasshopper cupcakes, that seemed the more fitting recipe for the series (even Anita chose that recipe when I asked her on Twitter!). Hearts & monarch butterflies are the most important things in the book accoring to my friend La La that has read the ARC, but somehow I also had lobsters in my notes so I made one of those too!

I'm dying to get my hands on the book so I can see the relevance of all the little details I picked from my notes! Btw, in case you are wondering, what's on the cupcake with the lobsters is a bad attempt at a red bat! ;)

If you haven't read the first books in the series, do it now! so you can be ready to read Ensnared when it releases!

What do you guys think? Happy to have Ink & Batter back? I know I am!

Stay tuned for more book inspired cupcakes in the next edition of Ink & Batter coming soon! (next week, hopefully!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #70!!

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!

So what book am I absolutely dying and oh my goodness it-doesn't-matter-when-it-will-arrive-it-won't-be-soon-enough this week? This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner!!!

Goodreads Summary:

"The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war."

Why am I eagerly awaiting This Shattered World? Well, last year I absolutely ADOREEED These Broken Stars, the first book in the Starbound trilogy of companion novels, and after reading a small sample, I'm so excited about this book!!

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tell Me Tuesdays #19!!

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

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

The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

A Kingdom at War . . .

Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”

A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .

To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

I am almost done with this one but I've had so little time to read as of late! Be it cause I've been busy doing other things, including sleeping and a lot of work, I am at 82% on my Kindle copy and at the most tense and interesting part of the book! I got an ARC from NetGalley for this one too, but since I'm already late with it I'm reading my finished copy of it and loving it to bits! Highly recommended for those who love Fae books! (I'm looking at you Britt!!) ;)

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

2015 Mythology Reading Challenge hosted by Lili Lost in a Book!

It's only November and even if I told myself I shouldn't be trying to juggle too many challenges next year, since I end up failing them if I try, but here I am already signing up for my first 2015 challenge!

It is hosted by one of my bloggy friends and fellow nurse Liliana from Lili Lost in a Book and it's the 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge!

You can click on the that button ^ to go to the sign up post, but I'm gonna be posting the rules here too!

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015. You can sign up at any time.
  • The book does not need to be released in 2015, but it does need to be read in 2015. Any books read before or after 2015 will not count toward this challenge. ARCs are okay.
  • Crossovers from other Reading Challenges are also okay!
  • You don't need to pick your books ahead of time, but you can if you want to!
  • You do, however, need to pick a level (see below). Keep in mind that you can move UP in the levels, but not DOWN, 'kay? ;)
  • The books read must have a prominent mythology theme. They can be Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse... you get the idea.
  • The books can be YA, MG, adult... pretty much anything!
  • Books can be any format (e-book, audio, print).
  • You do not need to have a blog to participate. You can link up using your Goodreads account, Library Thing or any other platform.
  • And the most important rule of all, HAVE FUN! :D

And there are levels in this challenge, you can move up but you cannot move down from your selected challenge level.

Demigod Level: 1-5
God Level: 6-10
Titan Level: 11-20
Monster Level: 21+
I'm gonna be aiming for God Level because I think I'll manage to read at least 6 mythology related books next year easily! I am 3 book behind on the Percy Jackson series, so that's half my minimum requirement level right there! Hopefully I'll reach Titan Level, BUT since I'm not completely sure, I'm going for a more realistic goal, so God Level it is!
What do you think guys, do you want to join me reading more mythology books in 2015?? Any recommendations for books I must add to my challenge list for sure? Let me know!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: Jackaby by William Ritter!!

Still playing catch up with all my pending reviews, today I have for the final Mark This Book Monday entry of this week one of those books that I was very excited for, given their premise and description, and that even if it wasn't mind blowing, it was still quite a lot of fun and a good read.

JackabyJackaby by William   Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of both BBC Sherlock and the original Arthur Conan Doyle books, and I'm also a huge fan of Doctor Who (even if my love has been waned a lil bit as of late) so when a book was pitched as a mix of Doctor Who & Sherlock, I was quite excited to read it!

We meet Mr Jackaby through the eyes of our POV character Abigail Rook, a girl of a respectable family that decides she doesn't want to be all nice and proper and boring and goes away to take up on adventure and ends up on the other side of the Atlantic with a few coins in her pocket and her suitcase, and she finds herself with a job as assistant to Mr Jackaby.

The mix of Sherlock and Doctor Who is quite apparent in Jackaby's personality and job, being an extremely observant and logical deducting detective (very Sherlock-like) with his laboratory and books and the like but also being able to see the paranormal and believing in things that others don't see (which was much more Doctor-like). I'd say Jackaby's character reminded me a bit of the 11th Doctor quirkiness and silly aspect more than any other Doctor.

We have a murder mystery to solve that starts as one murder commited by a supernatural entity, that quickly escalate and then we discover it's more than we thought. I must say the mystery was quite interesting at first and even though I guessed who the killer was (due to my love for Agatha Christie books I think) what I didn't guess was WHAT the killer was.

It was quite a fast read, quirky and fun and interesting, and I hope that they will continue to make this a series so I can look forward to more Jackaby, Abigail, Douglas the Duck and the rest of the gang adventures! Well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Foresworn by Rinda Elliott!!

Hello there guys!

I'm starting this week on style by having my Monday off and going to watch Mockinjay for the second time in the evening!

We're starting this Mark This Book Monday with a review for an ARC of the final book in a trilogy, and one that I was extremely happy to discover earlier this year! As an ARC provided by the author it counts for my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge too!

ForeswornForesworn by Rinda Elliott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I discovered this trilogy through the wonderful Jenny from Supernatural Snark and connected with the author via Twitter and she was kind enough to send me an advance copy of this one so I could read it before my preorder arrives next month! Thank you so much, Rinda!

That said, getting this book for review has not influenced my review or my enjoyment of the book in any way, except for being able to enjoy it earlier!

Foresworn is Kat's book, and she's the younger and toughest of the triplets. We already know a lot of information that she doesn't when she starts her journey, since we've already read Coral's and Raven's stories. But Rinda does quite a great job at both helping us keep our interest in Kat's story and keep up with the timeline with the phone calls with her sisters, so we know how it is progressing.

Kat soon finds the guy she chose to protect from her mother, and she finds herself drawn into a group of people that not only they know what she is, but that have been preparing for Ragnarok for quite a long time! Arun knows whose soul he carries and knows how to work his gift for the most part. Other young people with gods souls inside them have been coming to his farm, drawn there by the music that comes from the lake in Yellowstone, so when Kat arrives she finds herself surrounded by more people like herself and not only feels an attraction to Arun, but also a kinship that was unknown to her before.

The action moves along quite fast, because while Kat is trying to figure out how to help Arun and return to protect her sisters, fires and accidents keep on happening around the farm, and soon the bigger picture starts becoming a lil clearer. Kat gets more information on her mother's side of the family, which happens to be quite surprising. And we also find out a bit more about the triplet's father.

The final confrontation happens when the three sisters get together and it was quite a show down, with fighting both physical and magical and that would have been a fantastic conclusion. Then we got an epilogue that started very satifying and fuzzy feels but then left us with a direct hook! Amazing but very evil!!

Very well deserved 4 stars for this final book in a fantastic trilogy that mixes contemporary, paranormal and Norse mythology flawlessly!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Pages: SAMPLER review of A Darker Shade of Magic!!!

As my second and final Saturday Pages entry I have a sampler review. I was lucky enough to be approved by Tor Books (THANK YOU!) via Netgalley and got to read the first 150 pages. I hadn't read any Victoria Schwab books before and although I've heard amazing things from some of my canaries about them, I felt like a sampler would show me if I wanted to get this book or not and boy it did!

Even if it's only a sampler and not a full size book it still counts towards my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge and I'm hoping it'll help a bit with my NG ratio! ;)

SNEAK PEEK: A Darker Shade of Magic SAMPLESNEAK PEEK: A Darker Shade of Magic SAMPLE by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samplers can be both great and awful, and this one was a bit of both! Great because I fell in love with the world, the writing and the main character(s) and awful because it finished in a rather awful and cliffhanger-y way, so now I'm gonna go nuts waiting for the full book!

This is my first contact with Victoria Schwab's writing, and I think I might fill the wait for this one reading some of her previous books, because wow, the writing was fantastic!

In only 150 pages it managed to give broad strokes of the world building that was enough to make us get an idea of what's going on without info dumping, and leaving us wondering and wanting more! The different Londons were amazing and I cannot wait to find out more about what "really" happened with Black London!

We also get to know quite a few of the main players in the book and somehow I was rooting for Kell from very early on! I also came to like Lila a lot, even if she's a bit less easy to like sometimes. The Dane twin were damned creepy and scary and I get the feeling they're only gonna get worse!

I'm impressed and really looking forward to the book, the biggest downside of this... it doesn't come out till Feb 25th!!

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Saturday Pages: Talon by Julie Kagawa!!

Hello guys!!

Today is Saturday and after the super busy shift I had yesterday and the fact that I'm working night shift tonight, I'm taking the day easy and thinking of baking some to help me relax a bit more!

As I've already mentioned my backlog of reviews, I'm having two reviews for Saturday Pages today, and I'm starting with one very awaited book of this year because DRAGONS! and because it's Julie Kagawa and she's in my auto buy list!

Talon (Talon, #1)Talon by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been extremely excited about this book because DRAGONS! + Julie Kagawa had to be awesome, and although it was quite awesome, it was a lil different from what I expected.

What was most different from what I expected was that somehow I was expecting it to be more fantasy contemporary, and it was more like paranormal contemporary, I'm not sure if that difference will make a lot of sense to you guys, but it threw me off a bit at first.

The book is done in alternating POVs between Garrett and Ember and since we started with an epic chapter of Garrett taking down a dragon with St George's army and then we move to chapters with Ember and Dante trying to assimilate and behave like normal teenagers... it was a bit jarring!

There's so much we don't know about the past of Talon or St George's, only that dragons were nearly wiped out, that St George are trying to defend humanity and that dragons can take human shape, and that's something rather unique about this book and series, they feel more like were-dragons (paranormal) that the usual non-shifting dragons of fantasy.

The relationship between Garret and Ember was very sweet and although both of them kept lying to themselves because they kept on noticing things that pointed out to their real identities, I loved their time together surfing or at the fair, pretending that they could be normal without all the extra baggage!

The one thing that caused me to make a face was the love triangle... when it appeared at first I was all "grumble grumble why love triangle grumble grumble" but then it was clear that Ember was attracted to Garret and Ember's dragon was attracted to the rogue dragon, and that quite makes sense that "beast" and human part could have different opinions. I cannot help but ship Garret and Ember more than Riley and Ember but we'll see if I'm sailing the sinking ship!

The second half of the book is what made it worth of the 4 stars for me, because stakes keep getting higher, more things start happening with Talon, with the mission to discover the sleeper and we learn a lot more about the rogue dragons, the actions starts taking off and the final third of the book is non-stop and makes you want to flip the pages even faster!

By the end of the book there are quite a few questions unanswered about Ember and Dante being twins, about what Talon really is and what really happened between St George and the dragons originally! I cannot wait for book two, Rogue! Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Reads: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater!!!

As my second Friday Reads entry I have a book that I was dying to get my hands on but that arrived home while I was on vacation, and that I started as soon as I could but that didn't devour as quickly as I might have other books because I just didn't want it to end!

Maggie Stiefvater is simply a genius and I very much need to catch up with the rest of her books while I wait for the final book in this series releasing next year!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A review for Blue Lily Lily Blue is going to be very difficult to write, even more trying to keep it as spoiler free as possible!

Maggie Stiefvater's writing is flawless and I kept being surprised and scared and sometimes I needed to take a break from the book and read something else because I was genuinely scared of what might come in the next pages. Because if you want twists and new info and new worries at almost every turn of the page, this is your book!

Amazing writing, intricate plot, answers and even more questions, unexpected new characters coming up and turning into new villains, new unexpected grey maybe allies, existing relationships getting deeper, ships getting even more shipable... ah, the pain! I continue to love the ladies at 500 Fox street, the Raven Boys & Blue, and the Gray Man!

The more I read, the more complicated everything kept on getting and more scared you get because you know there's no way things can be resolved by the end of the book in a good way, or in any way. And once the book ends you are scared for what's to come on the next book, because you're sure that all the shit will hit the fan in the final book, and it is STILL ONE YEAR AWAY!!

Blue continues to be probably my favourite character in the book, she's so brave and she continues to reflect and grow and accept herself, no matter what new surprises she keeps on getting thrown at her face and dealing with her mother being missing. And of course with her non-existing-but-sort-of-meant-to-be relationship with Gansey... those two make my heart hurt and I love love love reading their sweet scenes, their unsaid conversations, the ones they actually have, and what they know that can't be but cannot help to wish for.

I would talk forever about this book but I don't think I can manage without some spoiler popping here or there, and I have to say that the book is much better enjoyed with as little previous information as possible. This is a 5 stars and some more kind of a book and I cannot recommend the whole series enough! If you haven't started reading this series yet, GO NOW AND START READING!

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Friday Reads: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

Hello guys!

Welcome to yet another edition of Friday Reads and in this one I will continue to attempt to catch up, so this is the first entry of two for today.

The first book I read while on vacation, yes last month, I am trying to get through the backlog of books I read but didn't review back then! It was one of those awaited sequels and features one of those rare love triangles that don't make me want to bang my head against a wall!

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stone Cold Touch is one of those middle books in a trilogy that doesn't suffer from the middle book syndrome!

I will try my best of avoiding adding spoilers, but just in case... be warned that there might be some here and there!

White Hot Kiss was a book of self discovery for Layla and it was also more about her relationship with Roth, the prince of Hell, and it ended in a rather heartbreaking & cliffhanger-y way!

Now in Stone Cold Touch we discover even more things about Layla, and she is still living among the Wardens, even if they are even more suspicious of her and treat her like the guilty party for anything and everything.

And in this book Zayne, or Stoney as Roth would call him, gets his chance to show Layla why he should be considered seriously as part of this love triangle. Friends to lovers is one of my favourite tropes and it is so well done here!

As far as the threat that we thought had been vanquished in WHK apparently wasn't really vanquished and we spend most of the book trying to figure out who is the bad guy and Layla spents the whole book thinking the worst of herself and torn between finally having a chance to something with Zayne, and her feelings for Roth!

I should have suspected who the real bad guy was because once it is revealed I sort of did a bit of a facepalm, but JLA did a great job at distracting us with Layla's guilt and self-deprecation to really focus on the crumbs she has been placing here and there.

The ending of this one is ONCE AGAIN another cruel and evil cliffhanger and dammit I cannot wait for the final book next year! I was clearly Team Roth in the first book and now I'm not suuuure!! Team Zayne? Team Roth?? Aaaahhhhh!

Well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!!

I don't usually take part of tags or awards, but this one felt quite special and I really felt like taking part of it, so THANK YOU to Ri from Hiver et Café and Britt from Please Feed The Bookworm for nominating/tagging me!!

So, here are the guidelines for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (basically to get us all talking!):
  •  Thank the blogger that nominated you, and link back to their site.
  •  Post the award’s logo onto your blog.
  •  Answer the 10 questions you’ve been asked.
  •  Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 questions.
First I'm gonna be answering Britt's questions since she nominated me first!

1. If you could alter one storyline or ending what would if be? It can be anything you want! 
Hmmm... That's gonna be a hard one to answer without spoiling anything, but the first one that comes to mind is the ending to Dreams of Gods and Monsters... I would want an epilogue with more info and more HEA maybe??

2.- How many books have you read? 
Over a thousand, but I cannot be more accurate than that!

3.- If you could only read on book/series for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Awfully horrible and unfair to ask me that, but I guess I'd got with the Discworld novels from Terry Pratchett, they're around 33 to 34 and they're hilarious and quite varied!

4.- Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? 
Not very probable no, I do think I can surprise myself under pressure and all that, but I'm in a rather horrible shape so they would catch me running for sure!
5.- How do you tell people your a blogger? 
It doesn't come too often about in conversation but it happens when I discuss my hobbies and my love of books. After that I just tell them I have a blog where I talk about books and my reviews for them.

6.- What’s you latest and greatest ship? 
Latest and greatest? Hmmm, latest have to be Annith and Balthazaar from Mortal Heart! I finished it last night and I looooved those two!

7.- Name the book you would give your left arm for? 
Right now, so very many but the first two that pop to mind are the 4th Raven Boys book and 4th Throne of Glass!!

8.- Who is your favorite author? 
From all time I'd have to go with Jules Verne, I have been in love with his books since I was 12 or so! From more recent times? I cannot pick one, I love so many!! And after meeting a few of them, even less!

9.- Why did you start book blogging? 
I've always loved books and reading and commenting books with my friends, but since I am the more avid reader (translation = obsessed) and read more in English that the people around me, I felt I could share my love for books with the rest of the world that way!

10.- Show me how GIFted you are – One gif to that best describes you!
Hardest thing everrrrr! I wanted to find something that combined everything together but I ended up settling on something only book related...

And now for Ri's questions!!

1.- Who is your favourite book boyfriend?
Well, I don't usually have book boyfrineds, BUT I made an exception for James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser! From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, in case you didn't know who he is. Also 

2.- What is a book that you absolutely NEED right now??
Right now? Too many!! But since I requested The Winner's Crime last night on NG, I'm gonna go with that one! I'm doing the pretzel to be approved like there's no tomorrow!!

3.- What is a book that you have been recommending?
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller, it's an stunning debut, historical fiction, with sweet romance, a lot of important issues discussed like feminism and suffrage and it is beautifully written, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ IT!!

4.- Which Hogwarts house are you? 
Well, I took an internet test and I was Ravenclaw, then took the Pottermore sorting and was sorted into Hufflepuff, so I call myself a Ravenpuff! ;)

5.- How did you get into book blogging?
I had been blogging about handmade for quite a while and decided to include other stuff I loved in my blog, like baking, cooking and my love for books and reading, and it very quickly too over the blog like there was no tomorrow!

6.- What is the first book you ever got signed? 
Hmmm, the first book I got signed was won by giveaway and it was an ARC of Deception by CJ Redwine! But the first book ever I got signed in person was last month and it was Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake!

7.- How do you balance book blogging in your daily life?
I juggle things as best as I can... it's hard to be able to do everything I want, read, update the blog, bake, photograph and edit, watch the shows I like and all in the time I have off from work, since I have a full time job as an Oncology nurse.

8.- What are you currently reading?
Jackaby by William Ritter

9.- Which OTP sails your ship?
My OTP is Celaena and Chaol!!!

10.- Where do you like to read?
My sofa and my bed! Though I also have some nice spots to read around the cottage!

And now my ten questions! 

1.- What is that you love most about reading and books?
2.- What is your favourite genre(s) to read?
3.-  Are you a scheduled or a mood reader?
4.- What's that something that usually makes you twitch when reading about?
5.- Who is the first author that you ever met? If you haven't met any, who would you want to meet most?
6.- Do you prefer hardbacks or paperbacks or eBooks? All of them?
7.- Who would you choose as your BBF "Book Best Friend", character you feel like you'd get along best with?
8.- Do you have a favourite place to shop books? Physical store or Online?
9.- What's one book you'd love to see turned into a movie?
10.- Do you write fanfic or do any fan art? If so, which book/series is the one that inspires you?

And now I am supposed to tag/nominate 10 bloggers but I think most of my bloggy friends have done this already or have been nominated, so if anyone wants to do this, feel free to do so!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #69!!

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!

Well, this week I'm totally biting my nails waiting for a final book in a trilogy I'm loving so far, and which book is that one, you say? Foresworn by Rinda Elliott!!

Goodreads Summary:

"It is written that three Sisters of Fate have the power to change the world’s destiny.

But only if they survive…

Kat Lockwood grew up listening to her unhinged mother’s stories about the Norse goddess souls she and her triplet sisters carry, about fiery deaths and a prophecy foretelling the world’s end. Now, to save that world, Kat must find a guy who hosts the soul of a Norse god–a warrior with the lightest blond hair and the darkest brown eyes.

But at a truck stop on her road trip, Kat freezes time while she writes out a cryptic message in runes. The only other person able to see this happen? A gorgeous guy with the lightest blond hair and the darkest brown eyes.

Kat’s not convinced peaceful Arun is the future warrior who will turn the tide in the final battle. Yet, Arun turns out to be a lot tougher than he seems. As soul-carrying teens and underworld creatures gather over the world’s deadliest volcano, Kat finds that no one, including her sisters and mother, is exactly who she thought they were….

Sisters of Fate

The prophecy doesn’t lie: one is doomed to die."

Why am I eagerly awaiting Foresworn? Well, it IS the final book in the trilogy and we're getting more action and a lot more twists and answers and I simply cannot wait!!

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tell Me Tuesdays #18!!

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

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

 Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...

 A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

(sneak peek)

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

 Continuing with my current trend, I'm really more than one book at a time, even if this time is a full size book and a sampler, but I'm simply loving both! Mortal Heart I've been dying for since I finished reading Dark Triumph, and I feel that I'll be able to say I adore the whole trilogy. And A Darker Shade of Magic is my first V.E. Schwab and I'm loving the pacing and the world building and I'm sorely tempted to preorder it already!

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas!!

Hey guys!

Since I do still have a bit of a backlog of books to be reviewed, I'm gonna be doing two reviews per day this week, and so for the second Mark This Book Monday of this week, I have an ARC review.

This was another of those approved ARC requests from Harper Teen on Edelweiss that do feel like a bit of a mirage, because I haven't been approved by them for any other of their books since. But, I got them and I'm very happy and thankful that I did! As an ARC it is also counted towards my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge!

Top Ten Clues You're CluelessTop Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read and loved Ask Again Later, the first book by Liz Czukas, and even these are not my usual kind of books, I've found myself quite loving and enjoying both AAL and this one!

Chloe is the main character in this one, and she seems to be your rather nerdy and adorable but rather clueless and apparently friendless girl. She works part time at a grocery store and has a crush on a co-worker. She's diabetic (which was a nice inclusion, presented as normal but also shown as something to take seriously) and she has to work on Xmas Eve.

This is contemporary, and contemporary fluff at it, but I cannot help it, the way Liz writes her characters, I simply fly through the book, chuckling here and there and having a lovely break from whatever else is going on around. Even if this wasn't as full of banter and the relationships between the characters weren't as fantastic as they were in AAL, they were still very well done.

There's a lil bit of a mystery to solve, but the main focus is on Chloe and the relationship between her and her co-workers, before and after being accused of theft.

I think the setting and the time frame, just a few hours in a day, that made for a different enough read, it might have also made it a bit more on the light side of character development and that might have made it harder to connect and care for all the "younglings".

Still it was fun, adorable and heartwarming, and with the setting being Christmas Eve, it can also be considered a cute holiday read! Well deserved 3.5 stars for this one!

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Mark This Book Monday: Blood Games by Chloe Neill!!

Hello there guys!

Monday is back here to start another week, but this one I'm starting it with a day off, or mostly off since I've been working all night!

I'm starting this week's Mark This Book Monday with a review for yet another book in one of my favourite Urban Fantasy series, Chicagoland Vampires! I actually started reading this one on my flight from NYC to Chicago, to feel myself immersed into the Chicago vibe and finished it the next day before my first proper exploring around!

Blood Games(Chicagoland Vampires #10)Blood Games by Chloe Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We're on book number ten right now in this beloved series of mine, and I'm more than happy to say that despite a small hiccup on the series a while back, it's been back on the right track and I'm still loving the books!

Ethan and Merit have this fantastic relationship, full of banter and chemistry and I just don't get tired of reading about them, even in between the crazy vampires politics, the murders around the city and Ethan the master vampire being even more stubborn than usual!

Not only we have Ethan and Merit and the rest of the Cadogan vampires, and of course Jonah, Red Guard extraordinaire, but Mallory and Catcher are also back into the spotlight a bit more, with Mallory and Merit working on getting back on their bff friendship status.

I have fallen in love with these cast of characters and simply love spending time with them, with their snark, their humour, their chemistry and the complex tapestry of their relationships.

There were two main separated plot points, one a serial killer that is murdering humans but seem to be leaving evidence that could be incriminating to supernaturals, and two the GP vampire politics. I found the serial killer quite entertaining and even more when the clues involved tarot cards.

I'm usually not a big fan of vampire politics because they tend to get too comvulated and I grow bored... but in this case, things were quite unexpected time and again, and despite Ethan acting like an idiot for most of the book, it was for once my favourite part of the plot.

I think I might have mentioned more than once that Ethan was being particularly difficult and being even more stubborn than usual, and it was a behaviour that annoyed me to no end, BUT my girl Merit was simply awesome and mature and kept the relationship going strong and showing herself as the rock that Ethan can lean on, even when he doesn't know how to.

We are left with a rather intriguing cliffhanger, if not a maddening one. I very much cannot wait for the next book to come out! Very much deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Showcase Sunday #49!!

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 is a two weeks SS because since I am on a self impossed book buying ban because getting my new camera right after my trip to the US requires a decrease on expenses and that means not going crazy on buying books! Except for my 2015 preorders but I'm using an Amazon GC for that!

In these two weeks I've got a few physical books, one free eBook (Little Women) on my Kindle app and got approved for two ARCs via NetGalley!


I preordered Mortal Heart quite a while ago from The Book Depository and I got Jackaby after cancelling a few orders that were "pending release" since August/September and hadn't been shipped by them.

I preordered Lailah and Compulsion with because I had a GC so it was a given! This is my second copy of Lailah and I'm giving it away along with some swag HERE and yes it's open INTERNATIONAL!

And with a shipping refund from an Etsy order, I got myself this copy of Maplecroft from Book Depository, because after reading Maja's review on The Nocturnal Library, I needed it!

For Review (via NetGalley)

Thank you so very much to Tor Books/Macmillan Forge and to Penguin Random House UK for the approvals of these two books, or to be more accurate, one book and one sampler!! Really need to work on my NetGalley ratio again, I'm falling behind once again!!

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

And that's all for now! With my book ban I won't be making weekly Showcase Sundays, probably every two weeks or so, or maybe even once a month, we'll see!

So what did all guys get this week(s)??

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Pages: Unremembered by Jessica Brody!!

Hello guys!

Saturday is here and I'm forfeiting sleep in the name of social life and spending time with my friends! But I also have an entry for Saturday Pages and this one is one that's been in my Kindle library for a while, so it counts for my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!

Unremembered (Jessica Brody Trilogy)Unremembered by Jessica Brody

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book events are not only a wonderful way of meeting authors you love but also a way to giving you a push to read books you've had a while but hadn't get to read yet. After attending the Fierce Reads event in NYC, I loved how Jessica Brody described her series so I started reading this one and bought the second book, the novella and preordered book 3!

Unremembered starts with a main character that doesn't know anything about her, doesn't remember anything except a year that is not the current one and she is found in the wreckage of a plane crash as the sole survivor.

It starts as a thriller with our girl unsure of everything and everyone, and the people around her aren't sure either. She ends up with a foster family while they try to find her own family, but as much as Violet as they call her try to find some comfort in normality, some weird things keep on happening and we keep on asking more and more questions about what's happening and why, and who is Violet really? And can we trust that guy who says he knows who she is and what's happening?

I am a big lover of science fiction and I loved how this one mixed the mystery and thriller bits with the science fiction that becomes more relevant the more you progress into the story! I loved that the romance was both absolutely central to the story but at the same time not what the book is about, if that makes sense. It's hard to explain without spoiling something!

The pacing seemed a bit slow at first cause we keep on getting more questions than answers but then it quickly picks up and once the book ends you are left wanting more!

Very well deserved 3.5 to 4 stars to this one. YAY for science fiction YA and book events!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Reads: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch!!!

Hi there everyone!!

Happy Friday! I'm on one of my looong weeks of work at work, one where I don't have any days off, but I'm finding that I'm doing a rather good job and juggling blogging and work and keeping up with watching my shows and even getting some sleep... what I'm not doing? Baking or anything photography... I'll have to work on that next week!

For this week's Friday Reads I have one of the first books that I read when I came back from my vacation cause my SIGNED copy had arrived while I was off! A phenomenal debut and one that I'd highly recommend to anyone that loves fantasy!

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Snow Like Ashes was one of those highly awaited debuts of the year for me and I had a few issues with my preorder for it, change of shipping dates for Amazon, etc... BUT then I saw that Books of Wonder would have signed copies, so I decided to spend a bit more on shipping and get myself a signed copy! Brilliant choice except cause it meant a longer wait to read it...

But once I got reading it, the wait didn't matter any more! It was one of those books that you can't really put down easily at all because you want to know more! We start the book right getting to know Meira and watching her struggles with what she want to be and what she wants to do and what is asked of her, so we don't know much of the world at first. But soon enough we get more information, and the world continues growing from the small and personal, to the big and world changing.

I felt like the mix between the character growth and making us care for their struggles and worries, the world building progression and the advancement of the plot was mixed and done very well. The world might not be as epic as in other fantasy worlds but it does give you enough to keep you looking forward to what might be there to come next.

On the romance front, it's there and there's even a dreaded love triangle, one where our girl Meira finds herself thrown head first and without consulting her. She has always felt something more than friendship from Mather, but since she's just a regular girl and he's the heir and king on exile, it's something impossible. And then comes Theron, and Meira finds herself in an unexpected situation with an unexpected ally. I was not annoyed by this triangle and even if I found myself siding with Theron, I still felt for Mather! Well played Sara Raasch, well played!

All this put together would sum up to a 4 star book for me, but I still haven't talked about out main character, our main girl, our Meira! Meira is what made me give this book 5 well deserved stars, because she is a flawed character, but she's also strong, sassy, sensible but stubborn and she won't let others make her choices for her without putting up a fight and making her own choices on how to react and how to shape her future. Simply put I.LOVE.MEIRA!!

And let's not forget to add a villanous villain, many political intrigues and ramifications, quite a few surprises and twists (even if I suspected some, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book) and an ending that without a horrible cliffhanger makes you want to get your hands on the next book NOW!!

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