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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review | The Burning Sky

Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publication: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars


Synopsis: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning...

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation - or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death. 

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family - even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal. 

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life. 


Review: This book has so many good elements I don't know where to start. Okay, let's start with what  first drew me to this book - fantasy, magic, love story. I'm a huge sucker for elemental magic. I find it fascinating that someone could control the elements and I guess, I might be a huge nerd for saying this (that's okay with me!) but, elemental magic seems most plausible to be real in this current world. So if a book has elemental magic, you can count me in! (By the way, do you have any elemental magic book recommendations?)

The characters in this book are wonderfully developed. I felt like I knew Titus and Iolanthe and I was constantly rooting for both of them. They were surprisingly mature and sensible most of the time. I was 150% rooting for this romance to happen. It took longer than I wanted for them to get together and romance was really only a tiny part of this book, but the slow burn made that okay with me. This romance develops in a more natural way, which is something that I appreciated. 

My only fault with this book was that it was a tab bit slow at times. However once I pushed through those few pages, the book picked right back up again. These slow parts were world-building, and while I enjoyed them, it seemed a bit out of place when there was so much action surrounding it. But don't let this stop you from reading the book - PLEASE READ THIS ONE :) This book is really under hyped and I hope you'll pick it up and enjoy it, because it's a book that needs to enjoyed by more people!

This book is a thick one, coming in at nearly 500 pages, but it's filled with something for everyone. There is a girl disguised as a boy story. There is magic. There's a slow-burning romance. There's a story of two people trying to find their way. If you like fantasy, or magic, or romance, or disguise stories, please pick this book up, it might surprise you with how good it is.


Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What was your favorite aspect of this book? Any good books that have elemental magic in them that you've read and enjoyed lately?




Monday, August 25, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 | Day 6. Day 7.

Bout of Books

So I really didn't do any reading for the last two days. The weekend was really busy for me. We're moving next weekend so I did a lot of packing and some family was visiting as well. 


SATURDAY - Day 6

# of books read: 0

Page count: 0

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
1 - Howl's Moving Castle (Finished)

My day in one word: LACKING.
My reading today was HORRIBLE. I didn't read a signal page :(


How did your Bout of Books Day 6 go?



SUNDAY - Day 7

# of books read: 0

Page count: 0

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
1 - Howl's Moving Castle (Finished)

My day in one word: EMPTY.
For the second day, I didn't get any reading in. I miss my books!

How did your Bout of Books Day 7 go?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 | Day 4. Day 5.

Bout of Books

THURSDAY - Day 4

# of books read: Finished 1

Page count: 136

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
1 - Howl's Moving Castle (Finished)

My day in one word: MEDIOCRE.
My reading today was okay, but I wish I could have done more!


How did your Bout of Books Day 4 go?



FRIDAY - Day 5

# of books read: 0.5

Page count: 258

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
1 - Howl's Moving Castle (Finished)

My day in one word: FANTASTICAL.
I started reading Seconds by Bryan O' Malley today and it's sooo good so far. I'm loving it and as it is a graphic novel, it helped me catch up on some pages and get some good reading in this week. 

How did your Bout of Books Day 5 go?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 | Day 3.

Bout of Books

WEDNESDAY - Day 3

# of books read: n/a



Page count: 10 :(

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 1.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain

My day in one word: UNFULFILLING.
As you can see by my page count, I barely read today :( It was a busy day, but today I'm already doing good, so I know I can make up for it the rest of the week. 



How did your Bout of Books Day 3 go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#TeaTime Rewind #72 | #ARCParty

I made it to #teatime this week for maybe the first (or second?) time this summer and I'm so glad I got to participate because there was an ARCParty! If you've never seen the +Epic Reads Tea Times then you're missing out, check them out on their YouTube Channel, Epic Reads and follow them on Twitter, @EpicReads to get reminders of when Tea Time is going to happen. 

On to what happened this week on #teatime...

**First off, Currently Reading. I am currently reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and I'm LOVING. IT. 

**What book(s) am I most looking forward to that were featured ARCs at the #ARCParty. This Question is super, SUPER hard. I think I might have to do my top 5, because there were a few ARCs shown that I'm dying to read. If you click on the titles, it'll take you to their goodreads page so you can add them to your shelves. Also I'm adding in the blurbs from goodreads so you can see what each one is about. 

          Red Queen      A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)      Even in Paradise


Endgame: The CallingGeek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)

Releases: February/March 2015
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood - those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own - an ability she didn't know she had. Except... her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard - the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince - and Mare against her own heart. 

I can't resist fantasy, it's my favorite genre! This book sounds so dang good, the society, the world, the premise, everything about it - and look at that cover. I'M DYING TO READ THIS ONE. This book sounds phenomenal and I can't wait until next Feb/March...I might go crazy waiting for this book. 

Releases: November 4th, 2014
Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite's father is murdered, the killer - her parent's handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul - escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can't let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul's guilt - and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure. 

The premise of this book is what drew me in! And, of course, I can't forget about that stunning cover! Parallel universe settings always draw me in and this one has sort of a murder-mystery vibe to it as well. Definitely added this one to my MUST-READ list. 

Releases: October 14th, 2014
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne's at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator's daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she'll be Julia's friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl's world - a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for Julia's handsome older brother, Sebastian. 

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now. 

The Great Gatsby is my favorite classic of all time, so I can't resist a retelling, or a story that has anything to do with Gatsby or those that are part of Gatsby's story. That being said, Even in Paradise sounds AMAZING. I can't wait to read this one! 

Releases: October 7th, 2014
Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future. 
This is Endgame.
For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all. 
This is Endgame. 
When the game starts, the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google's Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you. 
Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.
Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun. 

After all that, you can't deny you're interested in this one, right?! I know I am! The premise sounds so unique and intriguing, and I love that the reader can play their own Endgame!

Releases: January 27, 2015
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. 

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realize that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

I've been waiting for this book to come to the US! It's been out in the UK for awhile now and all I've heard is raving reviews. This book sounds witty and hilarious and I can't wait to laugh out loud with it!

Which ARC from #teatime are you really excited for?

Bout of Books 11.0 | Day 2

Bout of Books

TUESDAY

# of books read: 1..


Page count: 272

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 1.5
0.5 of Heir of Fire
1 - I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain

My day in one word: CURIOUS.
So I picked up I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends from the library yesterday and read the first two pages and kinda got sucked in. I remember watching the season of the bachelor that Courtney and Ben were on. I distinctly remember Courtney (and her behavior) and was appalled at some of the way she acted so I was SO CURIOUS about what she could write a book about. Needless to say I started and finished this one yesterday and, well, it was entertaining. I'm debating on giving it a review --Please let me know if you're interested in seeing a review of this one.  

How did your Bout of Books Day 2 go?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 | Day 1.

Bout of Books

Monday

# of books read: 0.5 of

Page count: 170

Total book(s) read for the week so far: 0.5

My day in one word: HAPPENING.
Happening as in "everything was just getting good in my book". I didn't quite read as much as I wanted to, but I'm satisfied with how much I read. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 Goals & TBR.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books Goals & (Potential) TBR

I'm going pretty lax on my goals this time around. I want to see if I do better with setting smaller goals vs. when I try to push myself by aiming high. My main goal is to read at least 200 pages everyday. I'll fill in the following with daily updates on how my reading goes.

Monday
# of books read: 0.5
Page count: 170
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 0.5
My day in one word: HAPPENING.

Tuesday
# of books read: 1
Page count: 272
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 1.5
My day in one word: CURIOUS.

Wednesday
# of books read: n/a
Page count: 10 :(
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 1.5
My day in one word: UNFULFILLING.

Thursday
# of books read: Finished 1
Page count: 136
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
My day in one word: MEDIOCRE.

Friday
# of books read: 0.5
Page count: 258
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
My day in one word: FANTASTICAL.

Saturday
# of books read: 0 
Page count: 0 :(
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
My day in one word: LACKING.

Sunday
# of books read: 0
Page count: 0 :(
Total book(s) read for the week so far: 2.5
My day in one word: EMPTY.


So what will I be reading during the week...

As mentioned earlier, I want to stay pretty lax during this read-a-thon so I've only got 3 books picked out and one of them I'm currently reading (Only about 30 pages in so far)



TBR Pile

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 11.0.

Bout of Books

Better late than never to say I'M PARTICIPATING IN THE BOUT OF BOOKS 11.0 READATHON! :D Have no idea what I'm talking about? Well, Bout of Books 11.0 is:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Sooooo, you should go to the Bout of Books site, join up and get some reading in next week (if you're available, of course)! I will have a goals post coming soon as well as a TBR post to talk about what I'm thinking of reading this week. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review | Steelheart

Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publication: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars


Synopsis: Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge. 


Review: I have such mixed feelings on this book, but still 5 stars...why? I need to start by talking about my expectations going into this one. I thought I was in for a great fantasy book. This is NOT a fantasy book. It's a sci-fi sort of book that involves people with certain superhuman abilities. It's still an awesome story with an awesome concept and some great writing to tell the story. I think I let my expectations get the best of me in this one, which is why I still rated it 5 stars - had I not gone into this book with those high expectations, I would have loved it much more than I did already. I still loved this one, and here's why.

Characters - Each character in this book is a BAMF. seriously. They are all awesome and kick-butt people that are not only tough, but clever, smart and determined. 

The Abilities - This story is so unique in the way that Epics are anti-superheroes. Instead of using their superhuman abilities for good, most of them use it for bad. It was awesome to read about the range of abilities, how the Epics received their abilities and how they use them.

The Story - This story has been told before. A group of rebels trying to take the the raging tyrant that rules over them. But this story adds so much more to it, the abilities, the kick-ass action that surrounds every page and the depth of the characters that parallels the depth of the story overall.

The Action - This book is essentially non-stop action. There's barely any romance, but I hardly noticed with the amount of awesomeness rocking this book.

I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. I'm quickly becoming a fan of Sanderson's work. I am almost to the point that I will buy and read anything and everything by him. If you're a fan of superheroes, people with superhuman abilities, action-packed books, or rebel stories then check this one out. I'm glad I did.  



Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think about the Epics and their abilities - did you have a favorite Epic/ability? Any good superhero book(s) that you've read lately?




Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review | Furies of Calderon

Title: Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Publication: June 28th, 2005
Publisher: Ace
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars


Synopsis: In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal, fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos-when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.


QUICK QUESTION: Do you like/dislike seeing older books reviewed? 
Review: So I know this is an older book, but I know I like to see all types of books reviewed. I find there's still older books worth reading, and always love to find new books, especially those hidden gems, which often are in older books! Anyway, this is an older book, in a six book series. And I LOVED it. 

Let's start with the world of furies. This is one of my favorite worlds that I have ever read about. I'm partial to elemental magic and this takes it one step further by adding a spirit-like quality to the elementals. I was enthralled in this world. I loved it so much that it's nearly rendered me speechless. Just know the world in this series is unique, intriguing and fantastic.

The characters add to the wonderful aspects of this book. Tavi was constantly surprising me with his decisions, in a good way. I never knew what he was going to do - he was constantly impressing me with his maturity, intelligence and creative way that he dealt with problems, as well as the solutions he used to manage through some situations he found himself in. I would love for this boy to be my best friend, I can't wait to see how he develops throughout the series. I've heard that he grows up throughout the series, maybe I'll have a new book boy by the end of it ;)

In addition to Tavi, I loved all the other characters in this series as well. And the relationships that develop. Tavi and his uncle had one of the best relationships in a father/son aspect that I've ever read about. 

I will say that it took me a few pages to get into the book but then it shoots off and never looks back. This is one of the faster-paced fantasy books that I've ever read. The pages just start flying by once I got into the book. 

If you're a fan of fantasy, please, please, please read this one! If you're looking to get into fantasy, this is a good place to start. If you don't like fantasy, try this one out anyway :) I can't wait to see where this series goes from here. 



Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think about the furies? What's a great fantasy that  you've read lately?




Saturday, August 2, 2014

Three Books I MUST Read Before Summer Ends.

It's almost August! That means summer is soon coming to an end... (which I'm okay with because fall is my favorite season.) Summer ending soon means that reading time is dwindling down before college starts back up again :/
PS. The book covers are links to the goodreads page if you want to check any of these out more in depth :)


So here are three books that I really want to read before summer ends:


Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

You're surprised to see this, right? Maybe even a little bit? Uhh, no you probably aren't at all because WE'RE ALL DYING TO READ THIS ONE. So let's read it, right when it arrives!



What I Thought Was True

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This is one that I've been wanting to read alllllll summer. I just need to read it - I want to read it so bad. So it's getting read this month, it has to be read - LIKE NOW.


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This series has been calling my name - especially lately. I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it. So I'm ready for it. BRING IT.


What are your top three books to fit into the rest of your summer reading plans?