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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Yearly Recap. 2015 Favorites

January is ending and I'm only writing this now. Yeah, I'm kinda of lazy... But 20015 was a year of great readings even though I dealt with a huge reading slump. Here are some of my favorite books read in 2015.


An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir. I can't believe how much I loved this book. I loved the plot, the characters (yes, even Laia, who was stronger than everyone thought she could be), the world-built...Everything was just perfect! PERFECT! I was so excited when I found out there was going to be a sequel (and probably a film)

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Mass. Beauty and the Beast retellings are my favourite and this one lived to its hype. A Court of Thorns and Roses was my first book from Sarah J. Maas and I was impressed by her (it's probably time to read Throne of Glass). I feel in love with this novel (hoping the sequel doesn't ruin it a beautiful story). From Tamlin's curse to Feyre's strong determination, everything was perfectly written.

Tower of Thorns, Juliet Marillier. Why everything Juliet Marillier writes is so amazingly perfect? All the feelings...If you haven't read any of her novels, I recommend you to do it because Juliet Marillier knows how to create a perfect world full of secrets and twists and romance. Tower of Thorns reveals more of Blackthorn and Grim's past, answering many questions from Dreamer's Pool. Currently waiting for Den of Wolfes, which may or not may be the last novel of Blackthorn & Grim (let's hope not)

Gilded Ashes, Rosamund Hodge. This is such a sweet yet dark retelling of Cinderella.  I wished it was not a novella but a novel. The plot had so much potential to be a long-story. And Maia was such a likable character.


To All the Boys I've Loved Before & P.S. I Still Love, Jenny Han. This sweet story made my heart melt and put a smile on my face. Sometimes all a reader needs is a light story with characters unbelievable-believable. Lara Jean and Peter won a place in my heart. 

The Burning Sky & The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas. I confess that it took me sometime to get into these series, but when I did, I just couldn't put it down. The plot is different from all the others fantasy stories I read before, so thumbs up! Hopefully, I'll be reading The Immortal Heights soon.

The Book of Ivy, Amy Engel. This novel reminded me of what a good dystopia story looks like. Can you remember when was the last time a good dystopia was published? (After The Hunger Games, of course) I enjoyed the world-built and the characters. Ivy grew so much one me because she goes from a silly little girl to a strong woman.


Percy Jackson & The Olympians. I love Greek mythology. I remember trying to find every Greek myth when I was younger. Percy Jackson is perfect for someone who loves/is addicted to Greek mythology as I am. I regret not having read it sooner, because the moment I started reading Percy's adventures I couldn't stop.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Assassin's Heart

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is The Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers. I feel in love instantly with the summary. Families of assassins, Romeo and Juliet vibes (I can read it for the Retelling Challenge 2016)... This seems an awesome novel! And it is the debut of Sarah Ahiers, so it's always great to read new authors. The book will be released on February 2nd.


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
"
From Goodreads
Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - The Siren

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is The Siren by Kiera Cass. I read the first three novels of The Selection and I did enjoy it. So, I'm giving this book a chance. Also, because I haven't read a good mermaid story yet. And now I'm wondering if I can consider it a retelling... The book will be released on January 26th.


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"From Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series, comes a sweeping stand-alone fantasy romance.

A girl with a secret.
The boy of her dreams.
An Ocean between them.


Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude...until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of.

Falling in love with a human breaks the Ocean’s rules. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
"
From Goodreads
Sunday, 17 January 2016

Review 8. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Title: This Shattered World
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 23rd 2014
Pages:
390 pages

"Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met. Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents. Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion. Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war."

In This Shattered World the main characters are Jubilee "Lee" Chase and Flynn Cormac. While Jubilee is part of the military force sent to the planet Avon to fight the rebels, Flynn is no other than the leader of the rebels who fight for a better life for all the colonists. When these two meet fireworks explode - and not in a good way. Flynn kidnaps Jubilee, hoping she has answers for a mysterious base hide in Avon. After meeting each other, nothings is ever the same again. The world they thought they knew is shattered and they have to fight to stop a senseless war between their people.

Writing: This Shattered World is beautifully written. I fell in love instantly. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's writing is compelling. Every word is hypnotizing. And the twists... my heart broke a few times. Once again, they created a cohesive and complex plot that links with the events of the prior story [Spoiler alert! Small cameo from Tarver and Lilac]. What I loved the most is that This Shattered World doesn't have a dull moment. It's a fast-paced narrative - there is always something happening with the characters in this harsh and cruel world called Avon.
“You're the most important thing in this universe. You; this vessel; the people of this planet; lovers, warriors, artists, leaders, dreams more numerous than stars. Each mind unique, each thought created for an instant and then broken apart to form new ones. You don't understand the unbearable beauty of being you.”
Characters: I love Jubilee. She is no lady in distress; she can kick-butt. And she goes through so much... I don't know how she kept going. There were moments I simply wanted to hug her. Flynn is the leader of the Fianna (legacy left by his sister) and he prefers using words instead of violence. He did kidnapped Jubilee, but no matter how bad things turned out, Flynn always used his words to keep at distance a violent outcome. Jubilee and Flynn form an unlike partnership (must love the way they work together). And, even though, the odds were against them, they always stood at each other side.
  • Relationship: Kaufman and Meagan know how to write romance. No insta-love. No love-triangle. Just two star-crossed lovers (just like Romeo and Juliet) who would never imagine that their soulmate was on the other side of the swamp. 
World Building: While These Broken Stars lacked world-building, This Shattered World offers many details about Jubilee and Flynn's society. On one side, there is the military force and on other side the are the Fianna (I found very interesting how the authors brought the Irish culture, history and language to another planet) and the relationship between the groups is very hostile. The rebels want what was promised to them, as it has been years since the terraforming process started in Avon and yet the planet is a swamp where there is no sun or stars. The military is on Avon to control the situation, but due to the disease Fury that only affects those who aren't born in Avon, they are forced to commit unspeakable acts that are far from calming the Fianna. I simply loved the world of Avon, its people and mysteries.

This Shattered World is an enticing story. Jubilee and Flynn are unforgettable.
Thursday, 14 January 2016

Cover Reveal. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


The cover of A Court of Mist and Fury has finally been released! =D I was dying for it to be revealed. Feyre is looking bad-ass as always. And, the details... I love those little details- from Feyre's armor to the wind and the city in the background. However, I love the cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses more. Perhaps it's because I find the color red more appealing... But never judge a books for its cover.

A Court of Mist and Fury is expected to be released on May 3rd 2016.
"Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights."

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

(Fairytale) Retelling Challenge 2016 - Sign Up

http://thedailyprophecy.blogspot.nl/2015/12/retelling-challenge-2016-sign-up-post.html

Sadly, when I found out about this challenge last year, it already was too late to sign up. However, here I'm now! I'm really excited to participate as I love reading retellings. This challenge is hosted by Mel @The Daily Prophecy.

These are the different levels that the participants can aim for: 
  • Enchanted Moura: 1 – 4 books.
  • Goose Girl: 5 - 9 books.
  • Evil Queen: 10 – 15 books.
  • Wise princess: 16 – 20 books.
  • Kuma Lisa: 21 – 25 books.
  • Cheshire cat: 26+ books
I know I won't be able to do it, but I'm aiming for the Cheshire Cat level. It would be a great excuse to buy the Funko Pop! figure. Good luck to every who is participating in this challenge. Hope you have a happy ending. ;)
Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Night Study

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is Night Study by Maria V. Snyder. I haven't read Shadow Study yet (shame on me), but I did loved the Poison series. Yelena is one of my favorite heroines and her adventures always catch up my attention. The book will be released on January 26th


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined."

From Goodreads
Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Review 7. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 10th 2013
Pages:
378 pages

"Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth."

These Broken Stars begins in the spaceship Icarus where Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen first meet. Tarver is a decorated war hero who is at Icarus to be paraded around - which he extremely dislikes. Lilac is the daughter of the galaxy's wealthiest man and due to his over-protective behavior towards her, Lilac knows she can't allow any man to get closer - she has to keep Traver away. Humiliated in front of Lilac's friends, Tarver doesn't want nothing more to do with her. However, Icarus crashes and Tarver and Lilac find themselves stranded in a strange and mysterious planet with only the company of each other.

Writing: If I didn't know, I would have never guessed that These Broken Stars was co-written. Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner's writing creates a brilliant cohesive and complex world. The strange planet where the main characters crash is described to the smallest detail. And there are so many poetic moments throughout the narrative.
“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it's gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away. Until all that's left is us”
However, I must confess, I found the writing a bit repetitive. The plot was dragged on - how many more days will the characters spend traveling until they reach Icarus' cemetery? It is the only reason why I didn't give to These Broken Stars five stars.

Characters: As I wrote previously, the main characters are Lila LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen. While Tarver is instantly likable, Lilac made me want to slap her for one third of the story. Her bitchy and futile attitude plus the way she treated Tarver angered me. But after the crash, day-by-day, Lilac started changing and showed there is more inside her than a girl who only cares about dresses, balls and gossip. This is how character growth is done.
  • Relationship: I loved how Lila and Tarver's relationship was built. There was always an attraction between them, but Tarver being who he was and Lilac being who she was in a prejudiced society, for a moment, it didn't seem they could/would ever be together. I really enjoyed how they went from "enemies" to friends and then lovers. How many love stories are so well-written? It's a lovely slow-burn romance. 
World Building: There isn't much world building. I mean, it's a survival story (Lilac and Tarver fighting against harsh weather conditions and trying to survive with little to none suplies) and there's a new planet to explore. But apart from the first chapters where the society Tarver and Lilac are part of is represented, we don't know much more about it. Nevertheless, I didn't find it a downside - even though  I wanted to know more about the society! - because I wanted to know more about the mysteries from the strange planet where they had crashed.

These Broken Stars is the stunning beginning of The Starbound Trilogy.
Monday, 11 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - Wrap Up

Another Bout of Books is over - congratulations survivors - and it's time to look back and see if I have met all of my goals.

My goals for Bout of Books 15 were:
  1. To read every day;
  2. To participate in two challenges;
  3. To write at least one blog post per day.
To read every day? Check. To participate in two challenges? Check. To write at least one blog per day? Check. I fulfilled all of my goals. =D

About my readings:
  • read four out of the five books I propose myself to read at the beginning of the Bout of Books 15. I also started reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardurgo
  • The day I read more was January 8th (Friday) and the day I read less was January 5th (Tuesday). On Friday I read 338 pages and on Tuesday I read 130 pages
  • From January 4th to January 10th I read 1404 pages from five different books (all of them ebooks).


About the challenges:
Sunday, 10 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 10th

 Pages read today: 110 pages of Court of Fives [ebook] + 38 pages of Six of Crows [ebook]
Total of pages read: 1404 pages
Books read today: Court of Fives & Six of Crows
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Court of Fives by Kate Elliot
Saturday, 9 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 9th

 Pages read today: 140 pages of Court of Fives [ebook]
Total of pages read: 1286 pages
Books read today: Court of Fives
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


I still don't have my comfy reading spot. Or I read on the very uncomfortable couch or on my bed. But one day I'll have my dream reading spot and it will be like this (already have the cat):


Friday, 8 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 8th

 Pages read today: 308 pages of Illuminae [ebook] + 30 pages of Court of Fives [ebook]
Total of pages read: 1146 pages
Books read today: Illuminae & Court of Fives
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Challenge: Scavenger Hunt hosted by The Book Monsters

1. Book Shelves

TBU

2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books

My current reading for Bout of Books
3. A Book and a Beverage

TBU

4. Blue Books


5. Cozy Reading Spot

Book, Tea & Rain, The Coziest Reading Spot
Thursday, 7 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 7th

 Pages read today: 37 pages of This Shattered World [ebook] + 300 pages of Illuminae [ebook]
Total of pages read: 808 pages
Books read today: This Shattered World & Illuminae
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Challenge: Villain Mash Up hosted by Bingeing on Books

"Here are the rules for the challenge:
  • Pick villains from two different books that you would love to see fight each other. It can be from any genre and it doesn't even have to be a physical fight. It could be a verbal one as well.
  • Give a short reason why you think these villains should fight each other"


The two villains I'd love to see fight each other are Amarantha from A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes. Why? Well, they are two psych b****es who love torturing everyone they find weaker than them. They have too much in common that I'd love to see a show-down between these two - who would take the crown?
Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 6th

 Pages read today: 135 pages of This Shattered World [ebook]
Total of pages read: 471 pages
Books read today: This Shattered World
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


"For the cover challenge, collect books from your bookshelf (physical or virtual) and make yourself a rainbow using the covers. A rainbow is ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet)."

Most books I own are ebooks, so I can't take a picture of a rainbow. But I tried to make one with some of my favorite covers. 



Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 5th

 Pages read today: 130 pages of This Shattered World [ebook]
Total of pages read: 336 pages
Books read today: This Shattered World
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Would you rather: Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?

Do I really have to choose? Because if I lend a book, I expect the person to give it back to me looking exactly the same. Okay... I'll go with dog-ears even if the perfectionist inside me is dying. Dog-ears are better than greasy fingers on every page.

Would you rather: Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?

Meet one author of my choice. In the end I would end up meeting not only the author but his characters as well. The characters are part of the author. Yeah, I know I'm cheating. =P

Would you rather: Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?

Library. I don't go to libraries as I have no good libraries where I live. And I don't really like to bring books from a library because I'm a bit germaphobe. 

Would you rather: Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?

Couple breaking up, maybe? They could always get together in the next book... I think I'd feel more heartbroken if one of my favorite characters died.

Would you rather: Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?

Never read any of those, but I'll go with The Scarlet Letter because I have read other works from Hawthorne and I could never convince myself to pick Twilight after all I've heard about it.
Monday, 4 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - January 4th

 Pages read today: 176 pages of These Broken Stars [ebook] + 30 pages of This Shattered World [ebook]
Total of pages read: 209 pages
Books read today: These Broken Stars & This Shattered World
Books read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords


Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon - My Goals

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"
It's difficult to believe that Bout of Books 15 is here already, right? If you haven't signed up yet, go to Bout of Books and do it. It's a great opportunity to meet new book bloggers and discuss books. 

My Goals (even though goals aren't an official part of the read-a-thon, I still publish them because they help me keep focus on my readings) 

My goals for Bout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon are:
  1. To read every day;
  2. To participate in two challenges;
  3. To write at least one blog post per day.
New year, new life and, hopefully, no more reading slumps. I'm hoping this year I can reach my reading goal and a good read-a-thon always helps me get closer of it. For Bout of Books 15, I'll be finishing These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and I'll try to read, at least, two more books from the list below.


These Broken Stars, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Illuminae, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Six of Crows, Leigh Bardurgo
Court of Five, Victoria Aveyard

Good luck to every bookwork participating in the read-a-thon. Good readings! :)  
Saturday, 2 January 2016

Bout of Books 15 - Sign Up

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"
New year, new life, new Bout of Books. How I have missed a week full of books, fun and bookworms. Good luck to everyone who will be part of the read-a-thon. ;)

Happy New Year!

Happy belated New Year!