Monday, May 15, 2017

Fever Series by Karen M Moning- 4.5 stars

Shadowfever- bookish letter can be found at GlimpsesOfMe on Etsy
This series was completely new to me. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of it before (or of the author). I found out about it through a customer on my etsy shop. For those who don't know, I paint book covers on wooden book letters. She wanted book 5 - Shadowfever (see pic) on one of her letters. 
I did not have high expectations, which sometimes is a good thing I suppose. It turns out, this is a very good series. I was highly immersed in its story and curious about how it would evolve from the gecko. 

The first book, Darkfever, was contagious. The series has crime, fantasy, passion, folklore, mystery.... it is fast paced and never predictable. 
The world building is great too. I don't recall any other book with a world quite like it. 
I dare you not to be intrigued with this story from the very first few lines: "My philosophy is pretty simple- any day nobody is trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven't had many good days lately." The main character goes through hell and -not back- through the first book. Her sister dies, she finds out things about herself, her sister and her family that throw her reality out of the window. Through it all she perseveres. With the help of the ever so rude Jericho Barons. He is very self-contained. Everything he says has meaning and purpose. Perhaps rude is not the right word... he is hard, tough, but not (with her anyway) with the intention to hurt, the intention is to teach Mac that her pink pretty life is not real. 

In the second book we get a look a new characters, new players... Mac and Barons are very much still the 'main event' but it is nice to get to know more about the world around them. In some ways, the second book is better than the first because of that. Our world grows! Giving the story room to grow with it. I am certain there was a great amount of planing in this series.
My only issue with the second book is the unresolved tension between Mac and Barrons. It started to get on my nerves half way through. The exact same is true on the third book. But the ending... oh my gosh the ending!!! Make sure you have the 4th book at hand when you get close to the end of the 3rd. It has an epic cliffhanger! And than, also make sure you have the 5th book, because the cliffhanger on the 4th is even worse! I went online and found a free preview of the first chapter because I HAD to know who...... (ahhh... you thought I was gonna tell yah hey?! LOL)
So, Dreamfever- the 4th book... After the 3rd book I was little discouraged. Even though the ending was great I was worried the story would not be as good as the others again. I was wrong! Mac grows a LOT in this book. By this point you will think Mac has gone through hell and back, wrong. There is still a lot more that can go wrong for her. 
V'lane (you will have met him a few books back) will have grown on you by this point. And there will be one scene that will break your heart. 
All other books in this series are great, but book 4 is by far the best. The ending is going to crush your soul (if you can see ahead and know exactly who the beast is).
Seriously... I was going to get the 5th book at the library and decided to buy on kindle instead because I just HAD to know what would happen next. Book 4 was intoxicating.
Shadowfever, the 5th book (and what was once upon the time supposed to be the last book in the series) was EPIC! What an amazing ending!
The author has written other books that follow up on loose ends, but the ending is perfect as it is. Only last week I finished reading acowar by Sarah J Maas and complained that the ending was unfulfilling. That she left it too open in order to write new books....well, although I love Sarah she needs a lesson on endings from KMM! There were many unanswered questions, but not enough to leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled by the series. It was absolutely perfect. I will eventually read the other books, but I loved it as it is as well. Perfection!  


All in all, my only complaint is that KMM repeats herself in every book in order to offer the reader a catch up. I'm sure that was nice for those who were reading the books as they came out, but for me, reading it one after the other, it was very very annoying. Luckily it was easy to just skip those parts. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E.Schwab














I finished reading this series less than 30 minutes ago. I am still buzzing with the excitement and sadness that is to finish a beloved series. I've became a fan of  VE Schwab after reading This Savage Song and the more I read her books the more in love with her style of writing and her imagination I am. I did not love all books equally though: 

A Darker Shade of magic: 4.8/5 
A Gathering of Shadows: 3/5 
A Conjuring of light: 5/5

For those who don't know, A Darker Shade of Magic is a story of magic, family and friendship. And it is also the story of the lack of all those things ad how it affects people in different ways.
The main character, Kell, is a magician capable of travelling between parallel worlds (an Antari), These worlds are known as Grey London - dirty and without magic; Red London, that is Kell's London- full of life, color and magic; White London- where people kill for a shred of magic, magic is in turn killing the city; Black London- a place no one speaks off anymore, a place dead by too much magic.
Kell was raised alongside Prince Rhy Maresh in Red London, they are like brothers and their relationship is bound to make you both laugh and cry. 
Magicians like Kell are rare. So, although he is in a way part of the royal family, he is also 'theirs', 'belongs to them' and has little to no freedom. He has a good life, a happy life even. But he could not leave the crown if he wished.

The second main character is Lila! She has fast and easily become one of my favorite female characters, at the top of the list together with the likes of Aelin from Throne of Glass.
Lila is a thief from Grey London. She robs Kell while he is in Grey London and from that moment on their lives become entwined. She is one of the single bravest characters to be written in YA. 

The next characters worth mentioning are Rhy, Holland and Alucard. Alucard had me laughing from the moment I met him until the very last pages. Prince Rhy is the character that grew the most through out the trilogy. And Holland will have you on your toes, you will both hate him and feel for him as the trilogy progresses; he is, like Kell, an Antari.

A Darker Shade of magic: 4.8/5 
Not the fastest book to start with, but once things got moving it was hard to put it down.
The story was gripping and the characters were all well written. It is a darker ya fantasy than most, but that appears to me to be this particular author's style. Although there is a strong family/friendship theme running through the books, that does not mean things are black and white. 
The moral compasses here are rather 'interesting'. Perhaps 'twisted' is a better word. Just wait till you meet the loyal thief Lila Bard! 😉
The world building was complex and very intriguing. Nothing was left to chance, everything is well explained.

A Gathering of Shadows: 3/5 
Sadly I can't say I liked the second book in the series. There were some good moments, mostly involving Lila and Alucard. But the rest... meh... this did not became interesting until the end. The last third of the book saved it from getting a even lower score.
The story here -without giving anything away- is slow, painfully slow.... and it is like reading 3-4 different stories at once because the characters are separated for a major part of it. 

A Conjuring of light: 5/
You must read this trilogy for the sake of this book alone! It was fantastic and I am certain that when the end of the year approaches I will be claiming this as one of my favorite reads of the year.
It was fast paced, entertaining, nerve wracking, sad, happy, exciting, thrilling... Every page was worth reading and re-reading. every character grew and adapted to their situation. There were plot twists, there expected situations and unexpected ones. It was worth every single minute I spent on it and I cannot recommend enough.

As usual, I try to give you all a run through the book without spoilers. So if you have specific question just message me here or find me on my instagram- link address on profile!



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin- Sarah J Maas- 4.6/5 stars

The long anticipated Sarah Maas' book is here! I am pretty sure that 8 out of 10 posts on my Instagram lately have had something to with it!

I finished reading the book 4 days ago and I have been waiting for my mind to 'cool off' to write this review. 
I, for one, do not believe the book was as great as A Court of Mist and Fury. I know some of you (albeit few) will agree with me on that. 
I also believe A Court of Thorns and Roses was better... but do not fret! NONE of you will agree with me on that! LOL I just happen to have an undeniable and unbreakable love relationship with Tamlin... 

So... this book will be spoiler free until I start talking about my beloved -Tamlin- At that point, if you don't want to be spoiled, I recommend you stop reading. Don't worry, I will give you a warning.

Here is why the book was great: 
We learnt through out the book so much more about all the characters we have come to love! Every single member of the inner circle has their moment at the center of the story. Some of their secrets are revealed, more possibilities arise, friendships are both tested and strengthened. 
We also learn more about the other courts. One in particular with a little secret that has everyone hoping for a book on one very specific character! -not inner circle-
Old characters make an appearance, like the lovely Tarquim and the ever so obnoxious Autumn court boys.
Rhys and Feyre's dynamic is great, as it was expected by the entire Sarah Mass fandom! LOL
If they survive or not is another question entirely... I shall not reveal 😀
It is hard to say much more without revealing the plot.

Here is why i is not in my opinion worth 5 stars (close...but not quite):
This is meant to be a trilogy. Trilogies need an ending, a conclusion... Acowar does not have that. A LOT of questions are left unanswered. I understand that Saraj Maas has novels and novellas coming out for acotar, but this should not be called a trilogy if it was not going to have a fulfilling ending. I genuinely enjoy and prefer books that leave a somewhat open ending, its more realistic like that. And I often complain on my reviews of authors that tie everything up on a little bow at the end. But too much of the opposite is not good either. The novel coming up on acotar next is not a novel, is book 4. Either that, or my not 4.6 score is going to eventually go even lower. Answers are needed. 

That's my overall, spoiler free review. Now I need to chat a little about my beloved, so if you don't want spoilers go away. Stop reading. Right now! 
Last warning!
Spoilers ahead...

So... Tamlin! Although I have not yet found one person that loves him as much as I do, I have found many that hoped he would redeem himself in acowar. Many that thought he did. And many that thought he did but was also a childish idiot.
I, obviously, think he redeemed himself and some.
But that is not why I need to talk about him. Feyre is the reason.
Guys, I know you all love her and Rhys, but I was fuming at her! Feyre was so selfish and self centered when it came to Tamlin. 
Rhys has made many mistakes. Court of Nightmares still exist... do I really need to say more?
And yet, she always forgives. She hears him out, she gives him the credit of doubt. Always. 
When has she ever given Tamlin that? She simply assumed he was on Hybern's side and proceeded to try to destroy his home. Even Rhysand has given him a little more credit (when in the meeting he immediately believed Tamlin was on their side). 
What Feyre did was wrong. 
Tamlin maybe misguided, be he loves her just as much as Rhys ---> helping her fly and fighting for her after everything she did?! I mean... couldn't be more obvious.
He has anger issues. Sure. But so does almost every single High Lord! LOL
Also, Feyre is in part responsible for EVERY bad choice Tamlin has ever made.
They both changed under the mountain, they both needed healing. He needed her to be safe for that. Was it wrong of him to lock her up? of-course it was. She had every right to leave. But at the same time, the only time he ever let her go she ended up under the mountain and DIED. He need her safe to heal himself. So...this is what I think: she should have left. She should have joined the night court. But her message to him should not have been 2 lines long. She should have explained. 
While she was in the Night court healing, Tamlin was getting worse and worse every day. The woman he loves was with a monster. Because guys, Rhys was a monster to everyone outside his court. No one new his true self. In Tamlin's mind he was torturing her. In his mind he failed her again. Rhys would have gone to the exact same extremes to have her back and safe.

I sincerely hope one of the novellas is one him. He deserves a much better ending than what he got: alone and still broken.

Anyway... rant over. For now at least... LOL

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey - 4 stars

I finished reading this beautiful and infuriating book about 20 minutes ago. The book was amazing! I am not one for 'sci-fi space' books, and yet I fell in love with this fast and hard. So why 4 stars? because I am angry. It is taking every bit of strength in me not to give it a even lower score. I HATED the ending. I cannot stress that enough. I will explain... but first lets talk a little about all the awesome things about the book and the many reasons, even though I disliked the ending, you should still read it.

In this book, the people from earth are working its way into destroying its planet. Not hard to see how that could be true right?! Anyway, there are other planets that are inhabitable, Genesis being one of them. But Genesis has closed itself off from the rest of the world and has taken care of their planet. They do not want to share their healthy planet with those who would not take care of it. They sound like the good guys, and I am sure they are in many ways, but it is not without cost. Life on the other planets is not going well. And so, Earth and Genesis are at war. Earth wants to invade, Genesis wants to keep Earth away.

So, clearly the world building is really well done! I was highly impressed.

The main characters are Abel and Noemi. I loved them both.
Noemi is by far one of the bravest characters written. She is a soldier for Genesis willing to die to save the people from her planet. 
Abel is a tech ( a human looking robot ). But, he is one of a kind, The man on Earth who created all the techs only created one like Abel, only one as strong and as close to being a human as possible.We figure out exactly why he created Abel towards the end of the book. 
Side note- technology is rather low in Genesis. No techs.

In a test run for a mission in which Noemi will have to give her life for her people, she brakes from her group and finds Abel. They naturally try to kill each other, being at opposite sides and all. But there are many things about Abel that makes this interesting, one of those things is that he is programmed to follow orders from the highest ranking human on ship, he soon realizes that is Noemi. His ship has been abandoned for 30 years with him locked in it. And against his best wishes (because ta-da: he hopes like a human) he has to obey her.
The story truly takes shape from this moment on and it is BEAUTIFUL!

I was teary so many times. This book was (until the ending) a MASTERPIECE! 
Had the ending been different, this would have been on of those few times where I say 5 is not enough of a score.

But...here we are... the ending.
I'm sure most you won't mind it. After all, if goodreads is not lying to me, there is another book coming,
But you see...that is one of the problems with that ending for me. There is no need for a second book, ONE page could have tied up enough endings to make this a brilliant stand alone. Not all endings need to be tied up in a book, one little meeting could have been enough to make this great.. This book had the potential to have been my favorite stand alone of the year. But 'alas'! It was not meant to be. A second book is coming. One I surely will not like as much as the first because the tension that made this book great is now resolved. There truly is no need for book two. Maybe I should write a two page ending, attach to my copy and ignore a second book is ever happening... 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Month of April!

Here is my quick run through the books I've read and reread in April!

1 and 2- ACOTAR and ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas (rereads)
Visit my etsy if you like those painted letters!

I reread this beauties in anticipation and preparation of the ACOWAR release! 10 out of 5 stars? And if you haven't read yet::::: WHY!?!?!?!?! Its is one of the best YA fantasies out there (adult YA). 

3 and 4- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (books 1 and 2)

I am in love with the world Karen Marie Moaning has built! It is a fantasy like no other. The first two books are fast reads and packed with mystery and adventure. I gave it 4.5 stars as a whole and definitely recommend you read. I can't wait to get my hands in the remainder of the series.

5- State of Grace by Hilary Badger 
I am not going to bother uploading a picture for this book. I had to read and review it for work (I am a librarian) and I absolutely hated it. The book makes no sense, the story is badly told. It is advertised as young ya or juvenille, and I guess that is what it is. But it is dumb. Kids deserve better reading material. And...in case you are a religious person, prepare to be offended. 

6- Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan 

This was such a good read! A complete surprise to me as I have never heard of it before. It was another book I had to read and review for work and after reading State of Grace I was petrified. I was pleasantly surprised! Julia is the main character and she has the ability to be unseen. Not invisible exactly, but unseen and not always there. She is part of a group of thieves, and so, in a way, reminded me of Six of Crows. Full review a few posts down!

7, 8 and 9- The Summoner series by Taran Matharu

I only picked up this series because I got the third book as an arc. The book comes out in the beginning of May and whenever I get an arc of  book yet to be published I make a point of reading it before it comes out. I was really surprised by how good it was since I don't see it around bookstagram often. It is an excellent YA. There is plenty of magical beings and wonderful creatures to learn about. Plenty of tension to keep you interest from beginning to end too. If you are a fan of fantasy I don't see why you wouldn't like this. I would compare this series to This Savage Song. But I would also add that this is better. It has a much stronger themes, friendship being the main one and that is quite lovely to read. I gave it a 4.5 stars and full reviews on all three books can be found on this blog! 

10- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schawb 

I finished reading this last night and I am glad to say it has lived up to its expectations. it was a great book. I am very much looking forward to the remainder of the series. The one and only reason I will not continue reading it now is that my copy of ACOWAR should be here sometime in the next few days. ADSOM was yet another fantastic work by the wonderful V.E. Schawb, the world building was phenomenal as were the main characters. I cannot recommend this amazing ya fantasy enough. 
I will have a review on the series as a whole once I'm done reading it. Give me a month or so.



Saturday, April 29, 2017

You're not good enough book tag!

I was challenged by the wonderful @pikamikareads on bookstagram to do this wonderful fun tag #yourenotgoodenough
Basically the tag has a set of 15 questions (or rather, situations) and you have to pick two random characters than choose the character who would best suit the situation/question.
You write down 30 names, put in a jar/mug/wtv and pick two names at random. I did this on my bookstagram story video. My answers are bellow!
Here we go!
[Note : The tag was created by ReadLikeWildFire]

1. You only have one more spot on your Spelling B team, who would you pick to complete your team?
Options : Gansey (The Raven Boys) and Aramantha (acotar)
Gansey. I would not trust Aramantha to spell her own name!
2. Both characters want to kill you, which one would you kill first so you have a better chance of surviving?
Options : Rowan (ToG) and Alosa (Daughter of the Pirate King)
Rowan, he is the most powerful. I would be far to drained to fight him after Alosa. That being said, I’m dead either way! LOL
3. You’re on the bachelor/bachelorette an you’re down to these two characters, which one are you going to give your rose too?
Options : Jem Carstairs (TID) and Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Jem! Obviously. If you know me you know he is my number one book boyfriend!
4. You’ve been chosen for the Hunger Games, who would most likely volunteer in your place?
Options : Karu (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and The Darkling (Grisha trilogy)
Karu!
One death for the Darkling was enough. I miss him! Besides, there is more chance of Karu volunteering anyway…
5. You’re stranded on an island. Which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?
Options : Will (TID) and Kaden (Remnant series)
Will, ‘cause I like Kaden more. But needless to say, I would rather both lived.
6. You’re the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own tv show of course), who is your sidekick?
Options : Tessa (TID) and King of Hybern (acomaf)
Tessa. This was hard though, I was trying to figure out who would be more powerful, that would be best sidekick right?
7. You’re a manager of an Avocado admiring company, who would you fire for lack of communication skills?
Options : Blue (Raven Boys) and Arcus (FrosBlood)
Arcus. He is terrible at communicating through out the book, so it makes sense.
8. You’ve just finished a book in which your favorite character dies, which character is most likely to comfort you?
Options : Kaz (SoC) and Rhysand (Acomaf)
Rhysand. It would be almost impossible for Kaz to comfort anyone since he can’t touch people. I would need a hug to cry on.
9. Ugh, it’s high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?
Options : Tamlin (acotar) and Mark Blackthorne (Lady Midnight
I don’t think either of them would be very popular, but I will go with Mark. I guess who could be popular for being different…
10. The day has arrived; you’re finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?
Options : Dorian (ToG) and Magnus Damora (Falling Kingdoms)
I am sad to say Magnus. If you know me you also know Magnus is my number 2 on book boyfriend list. But I cannot picture my cinnamon roll king forgetting anything that important. And well, that is important! hehe
11. You’ve just found an upcoming booktube star? Who would most likely be?
Options : Patch (Hush Hush saga) and Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)
Cinder. Patch is too secretive and mysterious to be online and Cinder is shy enough that I can see her comfortable behind a laptop camera.
12. Sleepover time! Unfortunately you can only invite one person, who would you invite?
Options : Aelin (ToG) and Cleiona Bellos (Faling Kingdoms)
Aelin, my hero
13. Bam, you’re pregnant. Who’s the father/mother?
Options : Matthias (SoC) and Ronan (Raven Boys)
Matthias! He is just so sweet and adorable. I cried my heart out in the book.
14. You’ve just written a super important text. Who would ‘see’ it, but not reply?
Options : Maven and Maere (Red Queen series)
Neither of them would be good with replying text. But I believe Maeven would purposely pic who to reply and to not reply, so I will go with him!
15. You’ve just woken up and it’s time for breakfast. Your mum’s been replaced by..who?!
Options : Feyre (acotar) Queen Maeve (ToG)
Feyre!!! Gosh… can you imagine waking up and finding Maeve in your house?!?!

This was an awesome tag guys! Go do it!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Uppercase vs LitJoy crate book box subscriptions - April 2017

Hi guys! As some of you know I decided to try a different subscription box every month in addition to my Uppercase box. Last month was Owlcrate vs Uppercase. This month I tried LitJoy crate!

So, let's start with contents and price:



LitJoy ($29.99+$8.32 shipping/US)

- Dream-catcher crafted by LitJoy
- Weep Candle + Bookmark coupon by Wick and Fable
- Karu Painting in Light art print by @lesyablackbird
- Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Naomi Lewis
- The Book: Strange the Dreamer  by Laini Taylor (with a signed sticker, a main character sticker, and letter from the author)









UpperCase ($23.00+$6.50 shipping/US)

- Woodmark "Not all who wonder are lost" by Ink & Wonder desings
- Harry Potter Hogwarts Notebook, gold foiled and lined
- Challenge Resist Defy magnet
- Uppercase's reading experience bookmark
- The Book: Defy the Stars  by Claudia Gray (signed)



Overview of each box: 

Let's start with LitJoy crate! It arrived about a week later than my Uppercase subscription in a personalized LitJoy box. I loved everything about it! The dream catcher is absolutely stunning, it is already hanging on my bookshelf. I love the candle, it has a wonderful refreshing fruity scent and I can't wait to have my room smelling of it.
The Karou art print was a wonderful addition and a great surprise. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that although I loved The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series I had very contradictory feelings on the last book as I hated the new characters introduced. That being said, I love Karu and Akiva, that print is stunning and I am so very happy to have it.
The Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales was also a nice surprise. I did not have fairy tales read to me as a kid or had a tv to watch them, that means I don't actually know most of those fairy tales. I am looking forward to it.
The last thing is the book. I was considering buying it, so bonus points there! As some of you know, I love my signed books and I despise signed bookmarks, notes, etc. The book came with a signed sticker. Not impressed! LOL That being said, the first page of the book is blank, so I quickly put the signed sticker there. Problem solved. Together with the book and signed sticker was a little letter card from the author (cute note by the way) and a sticker of the book's main character.
The price is steep, but contrary to last's month book box review (when I said that the March owlcrate was too expensive for its box contents- Link here), LitJoy crate was worth every cent. And than some... 100% worth it!
All in all, this was an amazing box and I will definitely be ordering from LitJoy again.

Now we turn to my good old Uppercase. I really love this company, their boxes have less things than most (something reflected on the price) but everything you get is of the most outstanding quality. The Notebook that came with the box this month is stunning and it is of the best quality possible. Very shiny and pretty on the inside! I am not a Harry Potter girl, so I gave the notebook to a friend I love that I knew would enjoy it more than me.
Although I am not a Harry Potter person, I did keep the woodmark. It is very pretty and I do love that saying.
As per usual -and Uppercase biggest selling point to me- the book came signed. I have never heard of the book but I am very intrigued. I heard good things about the author from other book friends.
All in all, another great box from Uppercase.

Uppercase or LitJoy?!

This is rather an unfair question for this particular month as I am not a fan of Harry Potter. So although I am an UpperCase fan and will not stop my subscription with them anytime soon, this month I have to go with the competition.
LitJoy crate had an amazing box! Everything was of great quality and absolutely stunning! I might even subscribe with them after I give the two other companies on my list a try. That is not say Uppercase wasn't, it just wasn't my 'cup of tea'.