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'.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu- 7.75/5 stars

This was, no shadow of doubt my favorite book in this epic trilogy! I am so very glad to have read it.

I love the world the author has created. I mean... I want a demon as a pet! Preferably Athena, she loves so fiercely...

For those who don't know this trilogy, it is a beautiful story of friendship! That is the main thing I got out of it. I cried with them and I laughed with them.
And it is the story of Fletcher, a young boy who finds out he can summon demons. By the third book he has made more enemies than friends, but the friends he has made are worth more than anything!

The World building in this trilogy is phenomenal. In Battlemage we finally get to see the ether (the place were the demons come from). It is exciting, thrilling and a tad scary.

The plot for the third book is not new, it carries on well from the last book. There aren't new characters introduced or new major plot twists. It focuses on the characters we know and even brings back one old friend (I loved that part, but I won't spoil it for you)! I was honestly thrilled that the author focused solely on the characters we already know. It was nice to get a more in depth look at some of them. Fletcher, obviously, being the main one. He grows and learns so much on all three books, but specially I believe in this one.

The ending was perfect! I really am not a fan of happy, everything explained and tied up book endings. I believe, that fantasy or not, a book should connect with the readers and with real life somehow, and in real life things don't just stop happening and suddenly become prefect. I like how the ending tied up many lose ends, but not all of them. Life goes on...

So, after so much praise why 4.75 and not 5? I am very very picky about books with a slower narrative, and at times this was a tad slow. That being said, this obviously didn't bother me much. The book was wonderful and I highly recommend it!

Go Read!!!!





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Novice by Taran Matharu- 4 stars

The book had a slow star, which is why I am giving it 4 stars rather than 5.

As most of you know I love a good fantasy book, so all the magic, elfs, orcs and summoners in this book got me very excited. Once the plot started moving it became impossible to put the book down.

The story is about Fletcher, an orphan boy who by reading an old scroll discovers he is a summoner by summoning a rare demon. The demon is not an evil creature but a part of the demon. After being accused of a crime he did not commit (he had just summoned the demon at the time), he fled and joined a school for summoners. It is there that the story finally evolves.
There are a few things that make his character rather interesting. The main characters in most books these days suddenly become all powerful. This does not happen to Fletcher. He is at no point the strongest character in the story. He is young and has a lot to learn. But he is also clever, and listens to people that try to help him.

His demon Ignatious is adorable. I can't wait to find out more about him. He is clever and sweet and I am sure we will see a lot more of him.

The secondary characters are all very interesting and fascinating too. They are all special in their own way. I particularly love the dwarves. The friendships formed in this book are beautiful!

This book is all you could hope for in a fantasy ya: captivating, exciting, interesting!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan- 4.75 stars


This is the second book I had to read this month for work (I am a librarian). I was VERY apprehensive about this as the first book I had to read turned out really bad. Luckily for me, this was a great read and I am very much looking forward to the second book in the series. 

Book Blurb: "Julia has the unusual ability to be unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it is a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned- crime pays. 
Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who keeps forbidden books and sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders and poison. An aristrocat houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman with an infant son who is clearly hiding- though from what or whom?"

The actual blurb in the book is a little longer, but I feel that it gives away too much of the story. 
The book is not perfect, it gets a little slow in parts. But not enough to not deserve a high score.

I reminds me in parts of Six of Crows. I however struggled to get interested in the Six of Crows characters until Crooked Kingdom, there was not enough background and in depth character building till much later. In Julia Vanishes, because there are less main characters I guess, that is done better. I truly loved Julia. The heist is also a lot more realistic. It takes place on what I would guess would be an early 20th century world very similar to ours (if you forget all the magical being that is). 

Julia is a relatable character. She is young but because of all she has been through in life she thinks she has it all figure it out. Weren't most of us like that once? She is brave, but never unafraid. I rather like that. Many of our YA heroins these days are fearless unless it involves a loved one. That is unrealistic. It often makes for a fun read, but it is very unrealistic. 

Having grown up the way she did (her mum was killed- drowned as a witch- when she was young and she was taken care of by thieves) Julia struggles with her sense of right and wrong often. Towards the end of the book she wonders if she is evil, the truth worth of money, love, family and friends. 

Having read it, I honestly don't know why the book is not better known. 
Go Read.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Month of March

I decided I will give you guys a little walk through everything I read every month. No full on reviews, just a line or two that says if I recommend you read it or not. The YA books will have full reviews up on my blog already.
SO... last month I read:

1- Heartless By Marisa Meyer

5 Stars! Definitely recommend. If you enjoy Marissa Meyer's writing already you are bound to love this. And if you have never read anything of hers before, this is a great start! It was an amazing telling of how the Queen of Hearts in the classic Alice in Wonderland became the evil queen we know. (Full review available a few posts back)

2- By Your Side By Kasie West

Not my favorite contemporary read. I gave 3.5 stars. The synopsis says the book is about a boy and girl that get locked up in a library. The idea is great, but it is not executed to its best. Do I recommend? yah...sure....but only if you don't have something better on your tbr though. (Full review available a few posts down)

3- Gilded Cage by Vic James

I work in a library, this was an arc we got and I reviewed. I didn't know anything about the book when I picked it up and I was pleasantly surprise. There is a lot going on in that one book! Fantasy, suspense, deceit... I gave it 4.75 stars and I highly recommend you give it a go. (Full review available a few posts down)

4- A beast's Belle by J. Gambardella 

I got this book through NetGalley. Aside from YA, I also enjoy reading adult paranormal romance. This was meant to be that. An adult retell of Beauty and the Beast. Sounds good right? IT WAS NOT! DO NOT READ THIS. --that's all I have to say--

5- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

This and Heartless were my favorite reads this month! I gave this a 5 out of 5 and I cannot recommend it enough. There is great world building and character building. Do not dismiss it as yet another witch book, it isn't... The story is rather original! Go Read! (Full review a few posts down)

6- Possess by Kaye Blue

I don't remember how exactly I got this. It was a free arc from somewhere. Anyway... Its a new adult book. I don't read it often, but when I do I rather enjoy it. IF you enjoy new adult (and please make sure you know what that entails!) you will like this. Hot stuff! I gave 5 stars within its own category- new adult. I could not and did not compare it to YA, contemporary or anything else...

7- Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I expected more from this. I love the idea- an YA retell of Beauty and the Beast. But in my personal opinion it was to close to the original. It needed a little extra to keep me interested through out. I got bored. It got 3.75 out of 5 stars from me. Go down a few posts for a full review. 

8- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


I was rather impressed with this book. I knew nothing about it until I got it with my OwlCrate box. You don't usually read pirates and thing this will be an exciting book, but it was! It had adventure, mystery, sass, romance... I highly recommend. It got 5 stars from me and the previous post is the full review on it.

Hope you guys like this quick March run down! 😃





Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King- Tricia Levenseller: 4.8 stars


Daughter of the Pirate King was a surprise read for me, I knew nothing about the book until it arrived
in my house in the Owl Crate box for the month of march. And what a surprise it was! I am really excited to be sharing this review with you all. The book was fast paced (something I always like), full of adventure, suspense, a tad of romance, bravery, scheming, deceit... all you would expect from a book about pirates!

Book blurb by Amazon:
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map―the key to a legendary treasure trove―seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King

Alosa, the main character is a pirate. She is clever, very strong and very determined to accomplish her mission on board of the enemy ship. She is also, as the title of the book gives away: the daughter of the pirate king.
As the book progresses we find out more about Alosa and learn therefore to see things the way she does. There is a lot in her past, specially between her and her father that is not pretty, yet she remains loyal to him. He is her father and she clearly loves him, for better or for worse...
Her character is also rather funny. She is very sure of herself. Or full of herself.... depending on ones point of view I suppose! But she is also a serious character and at times grave and sad. I saw a few people comparing her to Jack Sparrow, I don't think I can easily make the same comparison. Yes, Jack is full of himself, but he does not have the same seriousness, devotion to a person and sense of duty that Alosa does.

There is some romance, but it is not prominent. The romance is also why although I am close to giving it a 5 stars rating I can't bring myself to do it. I loved all about it... until the ending. It was so vague. Yah, I get that there will be another book, but it is so obvious how they feel about each other that not just 'making it happen' made the ending rather boring. One kiss, one line, one tiny little anything between the two at the end would have turned a boring ending into something a little more exciting. Now I have this fear that the author did not do that in order to keep them apart in the next book, which will really anger me...

Riden and Draxen are both very good characters. They are brothers and they run the ship. Draxen is greedy and ruthless. Riden is a little more merciful, but his loyalty to his brother doesn't always allow for that side of him to show. Riden is by far the cleverest character in the book. He learns a lot about Alosa simply by watching the way she carries herself.

Some of the other pirates in the enemy ship are also really fun to read. I have a suspicion that at least one of them  will have some very entertaining series in the next book.

All in all I highly recommend you go and read this book, I don't think it will became one of your all time favorites, but I am pretty sure you will all enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner- 3.75 stars

Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. My overall opinion is that if you are someone who loves Beauty and Beast you are very likely to love this too.


All the traditional elements of the original fairy-tale are there. It is nothing like Marissa Meyer's retellings though. If you are expecting a completely new story that surprises you at times this is not it. I personally much prefer Marissa Meyer's style of fairy-tale retelling (or in this particular case even ACOTAR- a court of thorns and roses- also a Beauty and the Beast adaptation). I like the surprise element those authors added to their story, it helps (me at least) to engage and immerse myself in the book. In Hunted everything is predictable, and I greatly struggle with fantasy books that are too predictable. That is not a bad thing necessarily, jut not my favorite type of fairy-tale retelling I suppose... 

The story is about Beauty (or Yeva), her two sisters and their father. When Beauty's father looses his fortune, they are forced to move back to their lodge in the outskirts of town. Beauty is secretively pleased with that change. She misses being in the forest hunting with her father, something they used to do a lot when she was still a child. 
Being back however is not easy. Their father starts to act strange and one day disappears. Beauty goes after him, tracking his steps, she finds the Beast instead!

So, as you can see, very close to the original. Her siblings are kind and selfless here, and they play a special role both in the beginning and in the end of the book, but for the most part it is very much like the classic: Beauty goes after her father, Beauty is kept in the Beast's castle, there is a curse, he eventually lets her go, she returns...

It is a tad darker than the original story. The author hints quite strongly that there is a case of Stockholm syndrome going on towards the end too. And ... well ... why did you do that?! Fairy-tales are not meant to make sense all the time, they are not meant to be real. All the talk of Stockholm syndrome made it real, which in turn makes their relationship creepy. Who wants to read about the girl that goes back to her abuser? it just made the whole ending feel wrong rather than magical. 

Anyway... look guys, it was beautiful in many ways! I loved Beauty's bravery; I loved that Solmir (aka Gaston) was a pleasant and loving character, I loved her relationship with her sisters... It was just not enough for me to love the book as a whole too. 
It was good, but it is not going on favorites list! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco- 4.75 stars

This was such a wonderful read!
I was very much looking forward to it ever since I read its book blurb and saw its amazing cover art. Isn't it the most impressive book cover? The book blurb sounded very interesting and very promising. There was no way a YA fantasy lover would not be curious about it!
Blurb by GoodReads:
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.



Had the book kept its fast pace through out I would certainly have given it a 5 star. But at some point half way through the book I had to stop for a little while as I found it dragging. That did not last long though, and only a few pages further it was 'all happening' again, which is why it still deserving a high mark.

One of the most interesting features in The Bone Witch is that the story is told from Tea's perspective, but from the future. She has been banished from her home and is somewhere remote with a very different heart from the heart she once had. In between chapters the reader get glances of a much older Tea, with secrets and a heavy heart. Those chapters are rather dark and heavy. And of a younger Tea, who is still learning to master her skills. Brave and with an almost happy-go-lucky attitude.

The main character in this well written story is as you probably guessed Tea. Very early into the story she finds out she is a bone witch, or an asha when she 'accidentally' brings her brother back from the dead. Luckily for Tea (since bone witches are not loved in her home town) another bone witch is nearby when Tea resurrects her brother and comes to the 'rescue'. She takes Tea and her brother away so that Tea can be properly trained in her craft. Her relationship with her brother blossoms through out the book and it is one of the main things I looked forward to while reading it. His deadpan not-funny-at-all jokes are oddly and strangely enough: heartwarming!

We are introduced to many  different characters through the story and it is hard to talk specifically about each one of them. The main focus was definitely Tea and no one else.

We have a prince, Kance, who is very kind and sweet but perhaps a tad clueless. Tea is infatuated with him from the very begging but not much happens between them. Romance really is not on the radar in this book. It is obviously with its ending that it will be on the next book, but it isn't here.

There is the ever overprotective Duke, Kalen. His job is to protect the prince and he takes that duty very seriously. He is worried about Tea and the potential relationship between her and the prince. Tea and Kalen are my favorite characters, I kept wanting to know more about him and considering the ending I am sure I will!

The King's brother is an apprentice to the forger of hearts. A sweet and very clever boy who I am hoping to see more in the next book too.

And than there are the ashas that Tea is both leaving with and learning from. They become her sisters and her family away from home. They protect her and she protects them. The relationship is certainly not always easy, but it is most definitely entertaining. All ashas surrounding Tea have very different personalities and are therefore unique in their own away. It is impressive to me that Rin Chupeco managed to give so much heart and soul to so many different characters in one book!

I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone that loves young adult fantasy. It delivered in every way.
I am anxiously waiting for the next book in this series!

Go Read!



















Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gilded Cage by Vic James- 4.75 stars or more!

Oh my goodness guys! This book was so so good!!!


I work in a library and this was an ARC we got not long ago and only now I had time to read.
I’ve heard since this was a debut novel. Say what?! That is some talent!
The book is a fantasy dystopia set in a totalitarian version of the United Kingdom. The population is divided between those who possess power, or Skill, and does who do not. Those who possess the magic of Skill rule the nation, they are the Equals. The others are obliged to give away ten years of their lives to the Equals working either in slave-towns or as servants at the Equals mansions. Ironic name right? Equals? They are only Equals among themselves, and even then there are exceptions. Those without power spend ten years working six days a week, morning to dawn, with no pay and very little health care. The conditions are oblique to say the least.
The story is told from the perspective of a few different individuals and it takes place mostly in two places: at the Home of an Equal family and at one of the slave-towns.
I absolutely loved ALL the characters. That does not happen often, usually you have one or two favourites, this was different. I cannot give you just one name! Impossible!
Abi is probably the main female character. She found a way to have all of her family –mum, dad, sister and brother- to spend their slave days together in one of the Equals mansions. She thought that would be safer and better for them. It didn’t quite work as planned, her brother ended being send to a slave-town. She promptly falls in love for one of the Equals, the middle son. He does not possess any powers but because he is the middle son and not the heir his family has not deserted him and he enjoys the same privileges as all the other Equals. He is not like them, but he has little choice. Nothing happens between them till the very end, this is not a romance book.
Luke, Abi’s brother, end up in a slave-town. You know as much by reading the book blurb, but I will not tell you how no to spoil it all for you. He grows a lot and becomes his own man while there. It is rather interesting and pleasurable reading it his progress. He is hard-working, honourable and brave young man.
The Jardine brothers, younger and older/heir at the Equal’s mansion Abi is at are perhaps the most interesting characters. They are surely not what they appear to be at the beginning. I loved all the layers and character development they had and I am very much looking forward to what happened next.
Silyan is the younger brother. Mysterious, secretive, ambitious and very very powerful. His motives are never clear and I am super curious about what happens to him next. Everything he does is a game changer in the book. He is connected and feared. But its hard to tell if he is a good or bad apple right now.
Gavar, the older brother and Heir is a brute, for the most part anyway. Whenever he is with his little daughter he is the exact opposite. His anger controls his power, making him rather dangerous. But also, for the most part, his father controls him. Again, if he is a bad apple or not, it is hard to tell. For his daughter, he could be both, he could be anything.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

UpperCase vs OwlCrate

I should start by making it clear I have been an UpperCase  subscriber for a while and that I love them! My love affair with UpperCase is not yet a year long, but it is close. In that time, I have only been disappointed with the box once. 
There have surely been books I did not give 5 stars, but I will not judge a book box subscription on that. The YA category encompasses a rather large variety of genres and it is impossible to please every subscriber every month. For example: one of the books I was not a fan of was Vassa in the Night. Almost all my bookstagrammer followers however loved that book...

Now for this month's subscription comparisons
UpperCase  vs OwlCrate:



UpperCase contents ($23.00box+$6.50delivery=$29.50) :
Jane Austen socks by SockSmith;
Gold Foil Book Stack Art Print by Belle Adele Co;
Book Hoarder Sticker by Alexis Lampley;
Hunted Bookmark;
Hunted by Meagan Spooner, Signed!



OwlCrate contents ($29.99box+$6.99 delivery=$36.98):
Pendant Necklace by The Geeky Cauldron;
Mermaid Washi tape by Simply Gilded;
Notepad Octopus print by Boygirlparty;
Hand printed tea towel from Kitch Studios
The Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller with letter, temp. tattoo and signed bookplate.

Rating for UpperCase March: 5 out of 5
Rating for OwlCrate March: 3.5 out of 5

UpperCase Overview: Uppercase has done it again! Gosh, I am so happy! Specially after last month's box... Remember how I said just a few lines earlier that there has been only one time I was disappointed with UpperCase? That was last month. But let's not talk about that. Every month prior was absolutely amazing and March is no different. 
I was planing on buying the book. What an amazing surprise!!!! I am very much looking forward to it. Oh, and as always with Uppercase, the book is signed. BONUS!!!! The page inside is shinny, and beautiful, and signed ... Did I say beautiful and signed? 
And the little extras did not disappoint! Did you see those cute socks? LOVED it!
The art print is gorgeous. This picture does not give it justice. 
Also love the book hoarder sticker. It is going to sit right next to my book addict sticker- also from UpperCase :) 
Uppercase may not have as many things as OwlCrate, but usually that is not something to be sad about because the few things they send, as you can see, are gorgeous!

OwlCrate Overview: Considering the price difference one would expect OwlCrate to always have the most amazing boxes in comparison to UpperCase. Although they at times have a thing or two that reflects the price (funkos being one of them), that is not always the case. And sadly, definitely not the case this month! Don't get me wrong, it is a good box, but it does not reflect its price tag. I am very good and very careful with my money, so that is a big negative to me and it is rather hard to  get past it whenever it happens. It is also the main reason why I do not subscribe to OwlCrate. If I get their box, it is a one off box here and there. 
I have never heard of the book, but I am looking forward to reading it. It sounds interesting. Rather disappointed that the book is not signed. That is definitely something that UpperCase has going for them. I do not care for a signed little piece of paper (bottom left corner of the picture). Sorry OwlCrate, but signed books are just way better. Every time I move my books either to rearrange shelves or for photo-shoots I will worry I will lose that paper.
The little extras were nice, but not amazing. I loved the necklace, adorable!!! As for everything else... meh... nice, but not fabulous. Would swap all those small things for one nice thing. Or even just for a better quality towel. The towel is pretty, but its cheap. Not cool. 

All in all, both boxes are good. But the fact the book is signed alone makes UpperCase Superior. Even if this OwlCrate box had its usual amazing contents (because lets be honest, OwlCrate is usually epic), I still would prefer UpperCase so I could get the signed book. Sadly that is not the only issue. The box this month does not reflect its price. A little notebook, a washi tape and a cheap towel do not top the cutest socks ever and the beautiful art print! 

I'm an UpperCase girl! All the Way!



By Your Side by Kasie West- 3.5 stars

This book came with my February's subscription to UpperCase (the picture above is of all the february's box contents).
I LOVE uppercase, cannot say that enough. But I was a little hesitant when I saw the book. Sounded rather generic and average. I was both proven right and wrong while reading By Your Side.
Right, because yes, it was just another silly underdeveloped romance. But wrong because it was rather sweet and I did very much like the male character.

I don't think the book was so middle of the road as to deserve a 3 star rating. But it wasn't as good as some other books I have given 4 stars. The story was predictable, but at the same time entertaining. Average, but also sweet. Generic with hints of greatness...
The female character was rather boring. I wrote my short review (I always write a very short one for GoodReads) the day after I finished the book, and at that point I had already forgotten the female character's name. So.... that should tell you something.
The main male character however, Dax, and also both 'minor' male characters were very well written and I rather liked them all. He had depth, a background story one could relate and/or feel for. His character together with the other boys saved the book from a low scoring.
Dax was sarcastic, a bit on the tortured side, a little rude at times... I was head over hills reading the first half of the book. Sadly the second half concentrated more on the very so boring female character. The author lost an amazing opportunity there.
The plot is a okay, the love story is sweet enough. But the first half of the book makes little sense at times. For example, how many libraries do you know without emergency exits? I work in a library guys!!! That doesn't exist. Safety and all.... Or without a phone? Its a public building and therefore rare.

But here is the book's biggest problem (for bookworms at least): Don't you book lover love the idea of a book based on two people locked in the library? what if someone granted you that wish and than proceeded to write a book where no one cares about books? grgrgrgr.... it was sad.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer- Above and Beyond 5 stars!

Marissa Meyer has done it again! Heartless was pure perfection. The writing was captivating,
enticing, mesmerizing...

The ever so clever, odd and poetic way in witch Marissa Meyer tells us the story of the famous Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland was impossible to put down, impossible not to love.

This author holds a great talent for fairytale retelling. Her imagination knows no bounds. And the best part? Even IF you are not a fan of the classic, you will still love this. I know because I am not the number one fan of the odd Alice in Wonderland. I like it, but I do not love it. This on the other hand? This I loved beyond explanation. Heartless may take inspiration in the classic, and bring to its lovers fond memories. But it is more than that. It is a story on its own right. One cleverly written and impossible not to love.

The story is about Catherine. A young girl who wants nothing more than to open her own bakery and bring smiles to all through her sweets. But she is the daughter of a Marquess. She is fancied by the King and is the chosen to be Queen.

The story is also about Jest. The court joker who is more than he appears to be. He is in hearts with a mission, but will he complete such mission after crossing paths with the future Queen of Hearts?

There is love, friendship, betrayal, anger and revenge in this epic story. And you, wonderful book lovers, are bound to fall in love it and be mesmerized by it in the same way I and many book lovers out there have done.

Go Read!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard- 4 Stars

Gosh it was slow.... Good, but also very very very slow.
Glass Sword and King's Cage could have been one book rather than two. A lot of repetition. It dragged on and on and on... 
Red Queen still my favorite book in the series. King's Cage comes close second.

And the ending... ?! soooooo angry!!!!!

Maven was an amazing character.  We learnt a lot more of him in King's Cage. Victoria Aveyard gave us a little pick into his mind. We get moments where we see his fragility, the explanation for his brokenness... He is such a wonderful beautiful character, my favorite for sure. Okay, he is evil and I will not deny that. He is not a good person. But there is a reason for it, and I can't help but love the boy and feel bad for him. Can you imagine someone stripping you of your essence? He is proof monsters are made, one is not born that way. He will never be good, he is darkness itself (not unless someone really powerful fixes years of damage done to his poor brain anyway... And as of now such person does not exist). In a way, I think he deserves more than Mare. And in turn, Mare deserves more than Cal. He is a clever King too.

So... Cal... He is extremely naive. 
I can't really tell exactly what I think of him without giving the ending away. Truly.... I wrote my opinion of him three times now and I always end up saying too much. He is Prince Tiberias the Seventh, an idiot, and I hate him! For a moment, a few chapters, I had hope for him. Obviously that did not last. Go read the book and you will know why.

Mare grows a lot on this book. Really a lot! I am rather impressed with her development. Mare goes through hell and does not let it define her or take her down. Its hard for her, she struggles, but she never gives up. The book spends a whole lot of time exploring her feelings and her development into a heroine worth our time (part of why it gets so boring and repetitive at times, worth it in the end? maybe a little). Mare fights, and she fights with all she is and all she has. She fights with her mind when she cannot fight with her body. She fights with her body when her mind cannot. She fights with her abilities when she finally gets it back. 

The secondary characters are wonderful, we just don't get enough of them. Farley is the strongest woman out there. Kilorn doesn't show up much, but when he does you can't help but feel at home. He gives us the readers the same feeling of unison that he gives the characters in the book. Evangeline is a surprise. A big surprise. Can you believe I am actually looking forward to reading more on her?

Many were heartbroken with the ending. I was just pissed. Real angry. Victoria Aveyard did a great job with that ending. It made up for all the slow motion crap from the beginning of the book. 

I cannot give more than 4 stars for two reason: one, because it was slow. But two, and more important than one, was that Maven disappeared a third into the book. I can't tell you why without giving the story away... it annoyed me though. You can't just disappear with such an important character. She didn't do that to Cal and the others when the focus was on Maven, so why do that when it is the other way around? Frustrating.  

The best lines in the book are all Maven's. Obvs.!
"Love makes you weak. And she is right. I learned that before I even knew you."
"Those who know what is like in the dark will do anythings to stay in the light"
" 'Don't act like we are the same' 'The same? No.' He shakes his head. 'But perhaps...we are even'"?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven- 5 Stars are not enough!


Oh my poor battered soul... this book had me in tears. Real cry out loud tears. 
I was warned by many of my beloved friends on Bookstagram that this was going to happen, but I did not expect it to be that sad and touching. Going in, I had no idea what the book was going to be about. I knew there would be a rather depressed teenage girl, but that was it.  I was not prepared!
The book is often compared with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and I could not think of a better comparison myself. That was another book that made me cry... gosh, when did I became such a crier? I wasn't always like that... I am getting softer as I get older 😂
Here is the synopsis (wiki):

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are two teenagers that want to escape from their small Indiana town. Violet counts down the days until she can move away and escape the memories of her sister's death, while Theodore struggles with severe mental illness. The suffering pair find their quirky friendship transformed into a poetic and beautiful romance. The two meet by chance on their school's bell tower with suicidal intentions, and it is never clear who saves whom from falling to their death. If this isn't enough to tie the two together, Finch asks Violet to be his partner for a class project to wander Indiana and find tourist attractions throughout their state. The pair explore Indiana and beyond in the months that follow. However, as Violet's world grows, Finch's world begins to shrink.

This beautiful Young Adult Contemporary novel is about two teenagers that are somewhat damaged. They feel isolated and trapped within themselves. 
Violet lost her sister in a car accident and blames herself for it. She is depressed and refuses to deal with it. Classic PTSD.
Finch has serious mental issues and refuses to acknowledge it. The worse part however, is that so does his family. It angered me to no end that his family was not trying to figure out what was wrong with him. But, that is the reality of many teens and adults out there with his kind of illness. We all know someone that thinks bipolar disorder is not real. We all know someone who thinks depression is just an excuse. So although the way his parents/family is portrayed angers me, it does not anger me because Jenifer Niven's writing is not accurate, but because it is. And I, for one, wish people understood those illnesses better. Or at the very least, were more acceptable of it. 
I read a review (not gonna say where to avoid clashing with anyone) that criticized the book heavily on the premises that Finch's relationship with his parents was not realistic. That they would have known something was wrong with him. I thought that review to be ridiculous. They did know something was 'off'' with him. Towards the end they are flat out told something is wrong with him. They chose not to believe it. And liking it or not many do that exact same thing in real life.

So, now that I have ranted about that enough...
The book is about mental illnesses, sure. But it is also more.
It is about being alone, and it is about having a best friend. Or in Finch's case, wanting to have one. One of the most touching parts of the book for me was Finch saying he wished he had a best friend. Someone who knew his soul just as Violet sister's once knew hers. Gosh...I am a wimp... just by writing about it I am getting teary again....

The writing is pure perfection. It alternates between being narrated by Violet and being narrated by Finch. We get a full look into both their minds and are able to connect with both too. They are VERY different characters. Violet is quiet and wrapped up in her own mind. She is trying to discover herself without her sister and struggling to see a point in life without her. Finch has super high energy levels, his mind never stops. But he also has massive lows and finds himself completely crippled by depression.

The relationship between the two is beautiful. Finch saves Violet from herself, brings her back to life... But I am afraid that telling you all more than that would be telling you the whole book. So I will stop here...

If you did love The Fault in Our Stars, go read All The Bright Places
. It is a completely different story but it will touch you just as much. 

Go Read!