Monthly Recap. June 2016

Thursday, 30 June 2016

June was a dreadful month. Life is unexpected and without warning I had to say goodbye to my 15 years-old cat, Mufasa. It has been a really difficult time. Everything reminds me of my little king - worse, I catch glimpses of him, I can hear him... After fifteen years it's hard not to have him around. But I was glad to find people that understand the pain of losing a pet; of losing a best friend (because truth be told, Mufasa was more than a pet; he was my best friend). Thanks to their words and understanding, I didn't feel so lost or alone. However, I'm still mourning and now all I've are memories that make me smile and cry.

This month picking up a book was really difficult. Usually reading brings me console, but not this time. I could not concentrate, I could not find the energy to fall for the characters, for the story... But I did read something.
  • Their Fractured Light, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner [ebook]
  • Seven Black Diamonds, Melissa Marr
I've also started reading Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, which so far so good. Do you plan reading it? Or have you already read it? What did you think of it? 

This month I only got one book, My Lady Jane, and it was from a subscription box. But I confess that I ordered a few books with a discount coupon and they will arrive in July.

Random & Randomness, as the name indicates, is about random bookish stuff. Inspired by a few blogs (such as The Daily Prophecy), I decided to create this little space where I share some book love.
How was your bookish month?

Waiting on Wednesday. The Flame Never Dies

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

"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 Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent. I read The Stars Never Rise last year and I enjoyed the story very much. There were tons of twists and jaw-dropping moments that I couldn't put the book down. Nina is such an amazing protagonist that I can't wait to know what happens next to her, her sister and to the all demon-hunter team. Also, isn't that cover gorgeous? *.* The book will be released on August 16th.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
From Goodreads

Cover Reveal. A Crown of Wishes

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I love beautiful covers. And, the cover of A Crown of Wishes is beautiful! *.* So, of course, I love it. The Star-Touched Queen was one of a my favourite readings of this year. The world created by Roshani Chokshi was mythical and enchanting and I can't wait to reconnect with it. You can read the first chapter here.     

A Crown of Wishes is expected to be released on March 28th 2017.
"When Gauri, the princess of Bharata, is captured by her kingdom’s rivals, she can only find help in Vikram, the cunning prince of an enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with royal life, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. They set aside their differences and team up to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, wherein the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire."
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

TTT. Can't Wait to Put My Hands On

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish
This week on Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year. It's a list difficult to write down as there are so many great books coming out in the next months - have you seen how many great books are being released in September?

A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir. Can this book just be released?! The anticipation is killing me! I've been waiting for this sequel since I read An Ember in the Ashes more than a year ago. An Ember in the Ashes was my favourite reading of  2015 and I just can't wait to know what happens to Laia and Elias next. 

Kingdom of Ash and Briars, Hannah West. How beautiful is this cover? *.* This novel seems perfect for a fairytale retelling lover as me. It includes Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan... Simply can't wait to read it.  

A Shadow Bright & Burning, Jessica Cluess. Victorian London, magic, bloodthirsty demons... It just seem such an enticing book. And, it has all the right ingredients to be a five stars novel. 

Vassa in the Night, Sarah Porter. Such a cute cover [I'm already planning a few photos to share on Instagram]. This is another retelling and is inspired by Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful (which I've never read, but I'll have to) with the (in)famous Babs Yagg.

Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo. Can it just be September? I already pre-ordered my copy of Crooked Kingdom (I ordered the Six of Crows duology) and can't wait to put my hands on the red stained pages. In Six of Crows, the characters were amazing, specially Kaz and Inej (which if you read my review for Six of Crows you know that I ship them with all my heart), the world was fascinating... Need. Sequel. NOW!

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, Rosamund Hodge. I'm hoping Rosamund Hodge can redeem herself after the tragedy that was Crimson Bound. The story is inspired by Romeo and Juliet but with necromancers, so I think it already is a step in the right direction.

Fear the Drowning Deep, Sarah Gleen Marsh. I first added this book to my wishlist because of its cover (I know it is nothing special, but I loved the colours). Then, I fell for the summary - a mysterious sea, a witch, etc. - and now I can't wait to read this stand-alone.  

Replica, Lauren Oliver. I find this book very intriguing. I mean, the same story, but told twice by two different characters. And, you can read first a story and then the other one or you can merge them and read them together. Can I just have it? Please?

Den of Wolves, Juliet Marillier. I'm going to repeat myself for the hundredth time: I LOVE Juliet Marillier. Everything she writes goes straight to my can't-wait-to-put-my-hand-on list. So, of course, I can't wait to read the supposedly last Blackthorn & Grim novel. Just a few more months until November... PS. Look at that cover. *:* 

Spindle, E.K. Johnston. I adored A Thousand Nights because of E. K. Johnston's magical writing. Because of such, I can't wait to read Spindle and see if it's as beautifully written too. This companion novel is inspired by The Sleeping Beauty and that only makes me to want to read it more.   

Review 17. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: February 23rd 2016
352 pages

" She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

After committing the most heinous sin a jinni could ever commit, Zahra spent the last five hundred years imprisoned inside her lamp. She didn't expect to see the sun or touch the desert sand again, but, one day, a young man called Aladdin discovers her lamp and brings Zahra to a world where her existence is forbidden. Zahra must adapt to this new world and figure out what she is capable of to win her freedom -without losing her heart. 

Writing: The Forbidden Wish is inspired by the folk tale Aladdin from One Thousand Nights. It's told from Zahra's POV, who is a jinni (can I say that the idea of making the jinni a girl was genius?). Jessica Khoury's writing is captivating. The way she writes emotions is so vivid that I could feel them. And then, there are these funny moments that make impossible not to giggle or chuckle. All in all, the writing is vivid, compelling, magical.

Characters: She may be the most powerful jinni, but Zahra has a soft and vulnerable side that made me want to hug her (yes, I always want to hug fictional characters and tell them everything is going to be okay). For five hundred years Zahra lived in her prison alone, haunted by the memory of what happened to the Queen she loved with all her heart like a sister. Seeing Zahra struggling with her guilt and regret and being in so much pain was very heartbreaking. However, she is not a melancholic character. There were so many times that I laughed at her sly remarks. Zahra is a strong character, ready to fight for her freedom and for those she loves -and Aladdin became one of those.

“The things that were once sweet to me are now bitter. The sun is not half so bright. The stars seem dimmer. All this wealth and luxury feels meaningless. All the world is in your shadow, Zahra. I cannot help but see you when I close my eyes.” 

Aladdin is a street rat, a thief and drinks too much. His heart was embedded with revenge after witnessing  his parents' death at the hands of the Vizier. However, he had this caring soul -he cared about the others and doing the right thing. For him, Zahra wasn't just a jinni. He saw her as a friend and later she became something more... The slow-burn romance between Zahra and Aladdin is so well-written that I ended up shipping these two with all my heart.

Worldbuilding: As I wrote above, this novel is based on the folk tale Aladdin. It does shares a few resemblances with the original tale (the booby trapped cave, the magic ring, the lamp jinni, Aladdin...), but a new world is created -the jinnies ravage the desert, there are magic runes that stop these magical creatures and jinni charmers that enchant them with their music. The author took her time to wave a unique world that can seduce the reader and bring her/him to an otherworldly Arabia.

In The Forbidden Wish the tale of Aladdin comes to live once again. 

PS. There was a reference to Sinbad at the end of the story. Could it be a clue to a companion novel?

Waiting on Wednesday. United

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

"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 United by Melissa Landers. First and foremost, I still hate this cover [Cover Reveal]. But I'm excited to know what is in store for Cara and Aelyx in United. I confess the ending of Invaded left me some reservations - the story was interesting, I swear I liked it. However, Cara leaving everything and everyone behind just to be in the colony with Aelyx... A relationship is about give and take and Cara pretty much gave everything and took nothing. Hopefully, United will "restore" my faith in the series. The book will be released on August 2nd.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be―days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms.

But the vacation is short-lived.

The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever―not just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.
From Goodreads