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.



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- 4.75/5 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.

Riden and Draxen are both very good characters. They are brothers and they run the enemy 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.

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... hehe

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 story in the next book.

Go Read



Guest Reviewer: Maria from @parisian_bookshelf with Our Dark Duet by V Schwab

Screenshot of one of our lovely guest's Instagram pics Hello Sunnies 😎 It is Sunday! So it is time to introduce you all to anot...