Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#52]

Title: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult // Science Fiction // Fairy Tales
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now (goodreads)

This series just gets better and better! And how often do you get to hear the villain's side of things? I'm curious as to how Levana came to be. You know someone had to have broken her heart, I just wonder who!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[Meme]Teaser Tuesday [#47]

"If you hadn't started any trouble-"
"You kidnapped me, Dane. Kidnapped me and stole two of my drones" 
Page 75

Stitching Snow by R.C Lewis

Monday, November 24, 2014

Discussion: When Do you NOT Write a Review?

When you're a bright eyed and brushy-tailed reviewer, you walk into the game thinking "I'M GOING TO WRITE ALL OF THE REVIEWS!" and then you don't. Maybe it's a review copy and you don't have anything to say, or maybe it's the third in a series and you can't review it without spoiling the entire series; either way you find yourself with this:

I usually try to review all the books I read: ARCs, borrowed or bought copies. But I suddenly had a realization. I don't have to review everything that I read. 

I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes we, as bloggers, get so caught up in having our voices heard, that we forget that this is a hobby and that we don't owe anything to anyone. Nope, nada. 

This year, I have three books that I don't think I will review for separate reasons. First there is Wallbanger, which I thought was an enjoyable book, but I couldn't find the words to review it. It suffered from 3-star syndrome, in which I really  had nothing to say, terrible or great. It was just good. I wrestled with this one for a while, but after about three days of staring at a formatted but blank post, I decided "naww." 
Another book that I decided not to review this year was Blood of My Blood. For those who don't know, this is the final installment of the Jasper Dent series. The final book was good, but it wasn't anything that took my breath away. I had a half formed review in my head while I was reading, but once I finished the book, I forgot all the points that I wanted to make.  In the end, I decided not to review this one, because I hadn't formally reviewed books 1 and 2 and didn't know how to randomly review the final installment of this trilogy. 

I read this one about three weeks ago and didn't quite want to review it because I was tired of being negative. I have written a record number of 2-star or 1-star reviews in the month of November, and I just got tired talking about things I didn't like. It would be fine if I had read a phenomenal book after reading The Girl from the Well, but I've just been reading duds. 

Lastly, I've decided not to review novellas.  I love these side stories because 1) they're inexpensive 2) they provide more insight to either the characters or world 3) they're great at keeping you distracted until the next book comes out. Only downside is that they are very short, and I don't know how to even approach a review for a book that's less than 120 pages. So I just read them for fun and give my rating on goodreads. 

It was hard at first, walking away from a book without writing a review, but now I just feel liberated. 

And you? Do you review all the books that you read (or DNF)? Do you feel guilty if you don't review a book? Comment below and continue the conversation! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: November 17-November 22, 2014

(Don't You) Forget About Me  by Kate Quinn [GoodReads]

Stitching Snow by RC Lewis [GoodReads]
Gilt by Katherine Longshore [GoodReads]
Walled City by Ryan Graudin [GoodReads]




I had a damn productive week. I FINALLY finished the audiobook to The Young Elites (I'm pretty sure I started it like last month) and I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I. It reminded me a lot of Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part I in the fact that this is basically a set up movie for when shit hits the fan (and I don't know about most of you, but the book Mockingjay ruined my life for like two weeks). I really enjoyed it but hubs did not. Even though I told him (a million times for the past three years...) that the Hunger Games are actually in the first two books, he was still looking forward to seeing Katniss and co in the arena. Whatever. 

I liked this one a lot because it focused a lot on political strategies and how a rebellion is born (and I couldn't help but make parallels to Ferguson). The hubs and I agree that our FAVORITE part was when this song came on: 

JLaw did a really good job! :) Did you guys see Mockingjay? What did you think about it?

Oh and I am forever Annie/Finnick. Katniss and her boy drama is as irritating on screen as it is in the book. :/ 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

[Read-a-thon]Black Friday 2014

Hi all! I'm excited to say that I am participating in the first ever Black Friday Read-a-thon. This read-a-thon is hosted by Anna @ Don't Blame the Butler. It's a pretty chill read-a-thon for those of us who will either A) be in the long lines from hell or B) don't want to leave the comfort of their home on this business-driven holiday. I fall in the latter category and I don't think I will leave my house at all that day (true story: I went to Jo-Anns Fabric Store about 10 years ago on Black Friday around 9AM...the line was out the door. No thank you).

The rules are simple:

1) "Sign up" by commenting on this post.

2)  Start reading after all of the Thanksgiving festivities and it ends Friday at 23:59

3) Open internationally! Any excuse to read is a great excuse!

4) If you want to read, read. If you have to work, work. If you want to shop, then shop. NO PRESSURE. 

5) Bonus Points* for reading books with black covers or with the word “black” in the title. (*Note: Bonus Points are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may in fact be utterly worthless. Consult with your doctor if Bonus Points give you an ego boost lasting more than four hours.)

I'm not too sure what time I'll start seeing as the hubs and I will have three rounds to make on Thanksgiving (having a big family is great...but also not so great on the holidays). I don't know what my goals and what my reading pile is just yet, but I'll probably update Friday morning with all that jazz.

I hope you all can join!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: Siege and Storm

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult // High Fantasy // Romance (??)
Format:  Physical Copy
Source: Library
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm (goodreads).

You know, I wasn't even going to continue this series, (remember how I said I was picky about series I read?) Thank God I did, because 

Plot: Seige and Storm picks up in the aftermath of book one and there is not a lull one second of the book. One second we're  hanging out in hiding, then there are dragons, and then we were along side Alina as she prepared an army. I'm happy to say that there was action every step of the way and I was never bored. Be it actual combat or political strategies. Many bloggers will let you know that The Darkling was missing for a good chunk of this book, but my eyes were glued to the pages when he did make an appearance!

Characters: This was the first time we actually got to see Mal as an independent character, not the "ideal man" version that Alina made up in the first book and I must say, that kid leaves much to be desired. I didn't mind Mal much at the beginning as he seemed to support Alina and did everything he could to protect her, then the novel continued and he just got whiny. Alina, on the other hand, grew fabulously and I loved seeing her struggle between trying to be the girl pre-Darkling and the girl post-Darkling. It's kind of like they say, you can never go back home. We are also introduced to some new characters who found their way into my heart, as well as reintroduced to some old characters from Shadow and Bone. Oh, needs more Darkling. 

World Building: It's unbelievable to me when authors can create a world out of thin air. Not only is this world imaginative, but Leigh Bardugo's writing makes it seem as though these lands could be placed on a map. Everything is described so well and the cultures and well developed. I don't want to leave

Short N Sweet: Siege and Storm is pretty close to perfection. It focuses on character relationships and has a moving plot every step of the way. Needs more Darkling though. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: Masque of the Red Death

Title: Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult // Steampunk 

Format: eBook
Source: Purchased (
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her (goodreads).

Masque of the Red Death is an imaginative read about a political power struggle and a sickness that is spreading across the lower class families. Oh, and what's a plague story without a love triangle? 

Plot: Masque of the Red Death caught my attention immediately with it's glitzy lifestyle and obvious class division. Unfortunately, the charm wore off by the fourth chapter. I still enjoyed it, I just didn't love it. The ending was a total game changer that made me raise my eyebrow and I'm still not too sure if that is a good thing of bad thing. As I have not ventured more into the Edgar Allen Poe realm, I can say that Bethany Griffin really made this story her own and it takes a special skill to completely reimagine a work by one of history's most beloved novelists. 

Characters: As I was reading this story, I decided to do some research on the author (as The Fall had just come out as well). She described herself as a character driven writer but I didn't get that while reading Masque of the Red Death. Araby was an interesting character, with her obvious flaws and drug addiction, but I never felt as though she was fully fleshed out. She discussed her past with other characters and why she does the things that she does, but I hardly feel as though she grows without being told to. I was really interested in her relationship with her family but the dialogue always felt forced and incredibly awkward. Like I said before, there is a love triangle in this novel and it's pretty central to the whole story. The terrible part is that I have no idea who she will choose and hat annoys me, I'm a control freak like that. 

World Building: Bethany's world is beautiful and desolate. There are two parts of town and it's incredible to see the different descriptions and the different priorities of both "neighborhoods." I also loved the crazy fashion, it reminded me a lot of the Capital from The Hunger Games. Lots of color and pazazz! 

Short N Sweet: Masque of the Red Death is an interesting take on a classic story, but I felt as if the characters did more "telling" than they did "showing." 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#51]

 Title: Ensnared (Splintered #3)
Author: A.G Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 6, 2015

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after (goodeads)?

Jeb you cool and all but MORPHEUS!!!!