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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Review | Wintersong

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publication: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Source: Received an E-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review -- Thank you!!
Series: No

Rating: 3.5-4 out 5 stars



Synopsis | Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family's inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go - for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister's freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her - musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl's life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King's bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

-From Goodreads


*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my feelings on the book. All opinions are my own.

Review: There's an atmosphere to this novel that completely took me in from the very beginning. There's something about the writing and the world that completely immersed me into the story. Jae-Jones did such an amazing job creating a world, with the rich descriptions and integration of the very culture that Liesl is a part of. Not only Liesl's world, but the Underground was also so rich in detail and livelihood that it felt real. This beautiful writing and elaborate descriptions were one of my favorite parts of Wintersong. 

Another aspect so well done was the characterization of each and every character in the book. Jae-Jones did such an incredible job with the characters. Every single character, even side characters were so well developed and alive in a way that I haven't encountered in a book for awhile. Even the side characters had their own arcs through the story as well done as the main characters. It gave an elevated realness to the story that made the characters feel real. This wonderful characterization was another element that made it easy to be transported into the story.

Speaking of the characters, I can't do this review without talking about the romance. The romance was so steamy and swoony. Which I wasn't really expecting, but was a part that I was definitely happy to see. I can't resist a good swoony romance. Just a note, that there are some details during some romance scenes that make this an older YA novel.

While the romance had some great aspects, there's also a part of it that felt a bit disjointed to me. It felt choppy at some parts. To explain, there would be some parts that felt like they were progressing in their relationship but then it would seem to jump back to square one with nothing in the plot implying that should have happened. I'm not sure if there were some parts I was missing or not connecting with but while I think the romance was swoony, I couldn't get completely past this disjointed feeling I had when reading it.

The story itself took me away every time I picked up the book. There were some slow parts, the middle of the book was a bit slow as it focused more on character development than plot. This slow feeling could have been me, since I'm a big mood reader. Although it felt a bit slow, it didn't keep me from reading or even thinking about putting the book down. The writing and richness and character development kept me going. And I loved the addition of music into the story. Music brings things alive, and this was yet another part of the book that really brought it to life for me.

Overall I highly recommend this if you like dark fantasy, swoony romance, wonderful world-building and writing full of richness.



Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What was a favorite aspect of the book for you? Did you enjoy the musical aspect of the story?




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recently Read. Currently Reading.

The past few books I've read have been outside of my normal reading genre. The past few months, I've been reading quite a few adult thrillers. I'm on a thriller kick. and surprisingly really enjoying it. Do you ever get on reading kicks were you only want to read one genre and devour all it has to offer? 


Recently Read



I plan to make a post about the thrillers that I read during my kick, so I'll just mention the last one I read here, and look out for that post to see the others. One of the latest books read is this thriller:



The Girl on the Train


This book has been hyped up so much, so I admit that I had some higher expectations going into it. It follows an unreliable narrator, which I kind of like in a thriller as it brings a bigger mystery to the story. The story took awhile to get going but it did deliver some interesting twists as it's been praised to do. 
I ended up giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. 
Also, I can't wait to see the movie! Have you seen it?



This next book I started back in October and had set aside for my thriller kick. But I picked it back up after I finished The Girl on the Train and finished it. 

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)


I have found a new favorite here. This book is just SO much more than a book. The writing is beautiful, it's so atmospheric. It seems that everything comes alive when you're reading it. I loved the characters, especially Sorcha. I'm hoping to do a full review of this one to talk about all my feelings because there's so much I loved. Such a beautiful, beautiful book. 
No surprise that I gave this one a 5 out of 5 stars!


Currently Reading

I've technically started two other books that I haven't finished yet. One is Empire of Storms and I thought I was ready to read it, but I think I'm still a bit mad about the last book. I'll finish this one sometime, I'm in no rush. 
And the other is The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno. I got distracted while reading this one and then I had to return it back to the library so I never got to finish it. But! I recently got it back out of the library so I hope to finish it soon! (The never-ending tale of the books we don't finish but have to return back to the library only to check out again later on, haha!) 

Since I had just finished Daughter of the Forest, I was looking for something lighter. Something that would be a fast read. I had seen this one recommended all over the place and wanted to give it a shot. I don't usually read NA but I'm willing to give it a shot and decided to try this book out: 


Paper Princess (The Royals, #1)


I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying it okay. I haven't quite connected into the story yet but there's enough going on that I haven't dnf'd it. It's a fast read which is nice change of pace as I've felt like a slow reader lately. If you've read this one, did you like it? I'm hoping that I'll like it more as it continues on. 



What have you recently read or are currently reading? 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Book Info

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Pub Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: ARC from the publisher -- Thank you!!
Series: Yes, this is the 1st book.



What it's about

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvette is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father's former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic - The Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and subtle arts, she'll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church's halls, the bloody secrets of Mia's past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? 

-From Goodreads

My Thoughts

Quick note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Nevernight has some fantastic things to offer to the mind of the reader. It's rich in a fantastical world, with characters filled with depth, and has an edge that you just can't stop looking over. I found myself, during the last half of the book especially, wanting to keep turning the page to see what happens next.

Starting out, I did have a bit of a rough time. The beginning of the book (about the first 100 pages or so) is filled with background of Mia, our main character, and the world that she has grown up in and currently resides in. It is necessary to the story and not just put in there to fill pages though. And part of me really enjoyed seeing this unique world. There are quite a few footnotes in the beginning of the book that dive deeper into the world. I often lose my place with footnotes, so I chose to forgo them and go back and read them later. Doing this I didn't feel like I missed any parts of the story. I feel like the footnotes are more of a bonus to the story and the world. A bonus I much appreciated.

Then we have Mia. The more I think about Mia, the more I like her. She develops so well throughout the story. She comes from being in this vengeful dark place to seeing more outside and around herself. There's a strong depth from Mia that suggests that there is so much more to see with her and I can't wait to find out in the next book.

Though there has been suggestion that there's some smutty bits in this book, I almost started to think that it was a main point of the book. It's not. BUT I wasn't disappointed. It was a part of the story, and it was swoony, but it wasn't a main point. It didn't consume the story, or Mia's life.

The world was so rich and unique, I loved it. I loved the magic. There was a unique language to this world, such as night being called nevernight that puts you right into the world. It feels like since you are speaking, or rather reading, the language that you're are a part of it. It was a cool experience, and one of my favorite parts.

If you're looking for a darker fantasy. One with some gore, but BA characters. One with rich detail. One with everything, a murder mystery, a romance, a school of assassins, I think this book has something for everyone.


My Rating

I don't think it will come as a surprise after this gushing review that I rated this one 
4 out of 5 stars

Have you read this one, if so what did you think of it? Do you think you could succeed in a school of assassins? 



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TTT | Books I Loved but Didn't Write a Review For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish

This week the topic is a rewind week! I love rewind weeks because there's so many topics to choose from (its hard to narrow it down). Also, because everyone's lists are usually so different with the range of topics to choose from.

The topic I chose is

Books I Loved but Didn't Write a Review For


One.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

This is one of my favorite series of all time. I LOVE this series. so. much. I wanted to review it and share it so you, my friends, would see it and decide to pick it up. However, I couldn't form coherent thoughts on it. I loved it too much that I couldn't even express how much I loved it. I also knew that even if I somehow got the words out it would just be gushing over and over again about how great this book and series is.

Two.

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is one that I thought I reviewed but turns out that I never did. I love this book and remember having a lot to say about it - mostly all the things I loved about it - but I never actually reviewed it on the blog. I found this out after I recently read The Rose & The Dagger and wanted to review it but couldn't find my TWATD review. lol 
So since I didn't review it, here's a quick rundown of all the things I loved about it. Shazi. Khalid. the two of them together. the world. the richness of descriptions. the writing. everything.

Three.

The Lumetere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
Books: 
Finnikin of the Rock
Froi of the Exiles
Quintana of Charyn

This is pretty much in the same boat as The Winner's Kiss. I just couldn't form coherent thoughts after I finished reading this series. This series is so full of feels that it really packs a punch and left me gutted in the best way ever. I want to recommend this series to anyone and everyone. It's an all time favorite.

Four.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Books:
The Raven Boys
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Raven King

I reviewed The Raven Boys years ago, when I first started blogging and I re-read it and loved it a lot more the second time. After re-reading I marathoned the rest of the series. And I loved it. I find these books so incredibly hard to review. It's hard to talk about anything without revealing any spoilers since I think this is one of those series to go into blindly. All you have to know is this: just give it a try and go for the ride it will take you on.

Five.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I meant to review this and then never got around to it and by that time it had been a few months since I read it. This was such a great second book. I'm such a sucker for Schwab's books. She writes so wonderfully and has a way of completely sucking me into her stories. I have a few ships in this series that I'm dying to see sail away in the final book.

Six.

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Books:
Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant

When I read this one late last year, I really wanted to review it. I wanted to talk about why I took so long to read it, how good it was and how much I loved it. But I felt that since it was an older series that everything that I had wanted to say would have been said in better ways by people that have already reviewed it. I can truly see why this series is a classic. It's so fantastic and I can't recommend it enough.

Seven.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Let's see if I can even get some thoughts together on how much I loved this book. Taylor Jenkins Reid has completely taken me by surprise. I have fallen in love with each of her books that I have read, this one the most. This (and all her other books as well) is such a brilliant read. They are realistic in a way and really make you think about your own life and with this books, your choices as well. 

Eight.


The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews
(it's still going, the ninth book comes out next month)
I've currently read the first four: 
Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds

I've always been a little hesitant to pick up an urban fantasy. I didn't feel like I would like it. But this one came highly recommended by InkBonesBooks whose book taste I trust, so I checked it out. And I became completely addicted. I love this series. As far as why I didn't review...  this sounds so silly but I wasn't sure how to. I'm always hesitant to review series books because of spoilers so I usually do a mash up review. I thought about doing three at a time but now it's too late to do that. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I hope to talk about this series on the blog at some point! 


Nine.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I devoured and absolutely loved this book. The romance, the world, the story, all of it. Right after I finished it, I even got a friend to read it right away. I read this one at a busy time of year, right around Christmas. I fully intended to review it, but I never got around to it. BUT, I still really love this book and highly recommend it!


Ten.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

This book is different than the others on the list because I didn't completely love it. Though I didn't love it, I really appreciated it and the message it was delivering. I wanted to review it and talk about the themes and how everyone should read it but when it came down to it, but I never got around to it. So here I am telling you now that you should read this book. ;) 

Are there any books that you loved but never reviewed? Or any books you loved and wanted to talk about but never got to?





















Sunday, August 7, 2016

ARC August | First Week Update

I think I'm still in denial that it's August. but. I've been enjoying ARC August so far even if I'm behind where I think I should be. I like to think that there's always time to make up lost ground. 

Currently Reading


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Page Count
About 250

Finished
None yet 

Okay, okay. I know I haven't finished anything yet.. but I'm very close to finishing Furthermore. 

Up Next
I'm going to be finishing these two hopefully in the next two days. After that I will probably read Results May Vary by Bethany Chase.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Last Minute Joining with ARC August



ARC August is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat


There’s nothing like joining in at the last minute, right?! I’ve been debating on joining ARC August because lately when I set myself to read something, I haven’t been following through (seriously.. no idea what is wrong with me). But I do have quite a few ARCs that I need to read and it’s always fun to join in and read similar things with other people. Here is what I plan to read during ARC August. 

GOAL: I would like to read at least 8 ARCs. I hope to read more. I have quite a few from ALA that I haven't gotten to yet and would love to make a dent in that tbr pile. Here's a few that I would like to get to. I'm trying to keep my tbr laid-back to encourage me to read more.


I'll be starting with the book that I'm currently reading which is an ARC:

(Which I'm absolutely LOVING)

Have you joined ARC August? What are you planning to read? Any books you see on this post that you think I should read first?





Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review | The Summer of Sloane

Book Info

Title: Summer of Sloane
Author: Erin L. Schneider
Pub Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Checked out from the library
Series: No



What it's about

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy Beach Days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. 

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she'd be spending at her mom's home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there's no reason Sloane shouldn't enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn't always play by the rules, she knows he's the perfect distraction from everything that's so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn't nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from  her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane's carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she'd hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
-From Goodreads

My Thoughts

I picked up this one looking for a great summer read. I had heard some good reviews and was looking forward to seeing what these glowing reviews were talking about. Little did I know, I was about to be blown away. 

The story packs a punch right in the beginning. (For those that have read it...you see what I did there;)) Right away I was drawn into Sloane's life. And I felt for her. Erin L. Schneider wrote in such a way that you feel for Sloane. You aren't told what to feel for her, either. You just feel for everything she's going through and wondering where she's going to go next.

I loved that Sloane is a such as strong character. She's a strong female in a many ways. She stands up for herself throughout the whole book and I admired this the most about her. She doesn't take much crap from anyone, though she isn't abrasive about it. She's dedicated and willing to help others. She was a breath of fresh air, and a really great character to follow.

The romance was fantastic. I loved watching the relationship grow at a wonderful pace. I loved getting to know Finn through Sloane's eyes and seeing where they go. The perfect balance of swoons and other relationship aspects.

I thoroughly appreciated the different relationship threading through the novel as well. There are family relationships; the ones between Sloane and her mother, her dad and her, her twin brother and her. There were also friendship dynamics between Sloane and her friends in Hawaii as well as Mick. The variety of relationships and the variety of relationship status's among her friends and family were not only realistic but also varied. To see different relationships grow, falter or just be was something very relatable to read about.

And the setting. I've never been to Hawaii, but I dream of going someday. I absolutely loved reading about the setting and the Hawaiian bits of the novel. I definitely want to read more books set in Hawaii! The Hawaiian setting really gave a beautiful summery feel to the story. 

This is the kind of contemporary that I love. The kind that makes you feel for the characters and what they're going through. The kind that is realistic. The kind that sticks with you. The kind that not only has romance, but has friendship and family relationships as well.

I've been recommending this book all summer and will continue to. It's such a great read for anytime of year. But should you be looking for a great summer read, please pick this one up. I have a feeling you'll enjoy it :)

My Rating

I don't think it will come as a surprise after this gushing review that I rated this one 
5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this one, if so what did you think of it? Have you ever been to Hawaii before or want to go?