Memes, Tags & Lists

Waiting On Wednesday : Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

For this week, my “can’t-wait-to-read” choice is:

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

iron cast

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Author: Destiny Soria

Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Release Date: October 11th 2016

Pre-order at: Barnes & Noble Amazon logo bookdepository logo

Blurb

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It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

 

 

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  1.  The Alternate Boston 1919 Setting :  There are many people who’ve already read this book that compare the setting to The Great Gatsby. I don’t know about you guys but I love that book (and movie). Even if you didn’t like both the book and the movie, you gotta admit that the setting was pretty freaking amazing.

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2. Magic :  This is a fantasy novel with Hemopaths – people with magic blood basically. Our main characters are able to create illusions through art, music and the likes.

3. Strong Females and Female Friendship: Our main characters are both females and they are bad-ass ones at that. They are con-artists, they have magic and they have a very strong, believable friendship. SIGN ME UP!

4. Diversity: From the reviews I’ve read so far, it looks like this book has a diverse set of characters. Which I enjoy very much (understatement). 

 

Tell me, is this book already in your TBR? (Have I convinced you to add it? 😉 ) What books are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!!

Catch-up · Reviews

The Child Thief by Brom – Review

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Blurb

 

the child thiefTHE CHILD THIEF

Author: Brom

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Format: Hardcover, 476 pages

Published Date: August 25th 2009

Buy at: Barnes & Noble Amazon logo bookdepository logo

 

(Click cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

 

Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.

Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?

There is always more to lose.

Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children.

There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

 

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adri's review

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As the sun slid slowly behind the cityscape, the shadows crept in -and so did the thief, biding his time, waiting for the falling darkness to sort the children out.

I cried when I finished this book and I’m not even the crying type. I might tear up but that’s as far as I usually go. Until this book… It’s not just out of sadness but also every other type of emotion possible. Reading this book was completely overwhelming- an emotional roller coaster. Honestly, there were quite a few times I’d considered stopping because this book is the darkest book I’ve ever read and will read, but I literally COULDN’T. I read all 476 pages in just two days (which is a lot for me).

I doubt that there could be a better Peter Pan retelling out there, I’d be surprised if there is. The Peter in this book is much darker and deeper than we originally know him to be so if you’re looking for anything close to Disney’s version, look elsewhere. If you’re not comfortable with a very, very, very dark and graphic  read, this is definitely not for you.

But the beautiful writing and the incredibly creepy and breathtaking illustrations by the author himself more than make up for all of it. The author also manages to create the perfect picture of Avalon through his words. It has a feel of darkness and cruelty but also beauty. The world-building draws you in from the start. Not only is he a great author, but look as these illustrations! I’ve literally never heard of such a talented author. I am incredibly blown away.

Lady web1Brom_Captain

Meet Peter, the child thief. He seeks out the abused, the forgotten, the unloved children, he lures them with his irresistible charm and free spirit to Avalon where he promises happiness. Only after it’s too late do these children realize what kind of world they’ve been pulled into- a world full of faeries, witches, flesh- eaters and gods; a world where full of monsters that they are meant to fight to survive.

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We get so much insight into Peter’s character and we delve in his past enough that you get attached to him. He is very complex and very well developed.Through time, you begin to understand his actions, his motives and you will be torn over what to feel about him. And I have to admit that there was just something very alluring about this character. You can’t help but like him and it’s a scary thing if you ask me.

One moment a cold-hearted killer, the next a sentimental boy, always the eternal optimist despite a lifetime of tragedy. Of course, that’s his glamour. The very thing that draws the children to him, makes them love him despite so many contradictions.

It’s not just about Peter though. We get to meet so many amazing characters and creatures. In fact, half of the story is told through Nick’s point of view (one of the children). His perspective offers a fresh take on the turmoil and fear and camaraderie that these children experience in this drab, scary place.

The Child Thief is very lengthy and the plot line goes a bit haywire at some point because there are so many things happening that leave your head reeling. There is blood and gore and action; there is friendship and trust and betrayal but weaving through all of it is this inexplicable sadness and heartache. Because it’s as much a story about the abused, the forgotten, the lonely; it’s about childhood and freedom as much as it is about faeries and  monsters.

“Children like yourselves are full of magic, but the men have turned, they’ve lost their magic to the fear and hatred they harbor for all that they can’t explain, control, or understand.”

I don’t know how many times this book broke my heart, I lost count. What these characters have gone through and what they are currently going through. I teared up through most of it, but the ending is what left me absolutely hollow. I was a sulking, sobbing mess by the end. The last few moments are so unfair and yet so perfect. Every thing about the last few pages just…I have no words. Except:

 READ THIS BOOK!

“It’s your time, Nick. Your one chance to have fun before it’s stolen by them, the adults, with their have-tos, and better-dos, their little boxes and cages all designed to break your spirit, kill your magic.”

 


about author

bromGerald Brom is an American gothic fantasy artist and illustrator. Brought up as a military dependent he was known by his last name only, and now signs his name as simply Brom.

An Army brat, Brom spent his entire youth on the move and unabashedly blames living in such places as Japan, Hawaii, Germany, and Alabama for all his afflictions. From his earliest memories he has been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous, and the beautiful.

At the age of twenty, Brom started working full-time as a commercial illustrator. Since that time he has been working feverishly for every facet of the genre, from novels (Michael Moorcock, Terry Brooks, R.A.Salvatore, E.R. Burroughs), Role-playing (TSR, White Wolf, WOTC), comics (DC, Chaos, Dark Horse), Games (Doom2, Heretic, Diablo2, World of Warcraft), and film (Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Ghosts of Mars, Scooby Doo, Van Helsing). Brom’s powerful and haunting visions can be found in his two art books “Darkwerks” and “Offerings” and also his illustrated novel “the Plucker”.

Most recently, Brom has turned his hand to writing a series of illustrated novels. His first novel “The Plucker” (a twisted children’s book for adults) has over 100 paintings and received numerous nominations and was awarded a Chesley. His latest edition “The Devil’s Rose” (a western set in Hell) is due out summer of 2007.

Follow Author:Twitter logo goodreads logo 2

Find Author: http://www.bromart.com/

Memes, Tags & Lists

Stacking the Shelves #1

Copy of French Country

 

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Hosted By: Tyngas Reviews

Check out more posts at: This week’s List

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Here are the books I’ve acquired these past few weeks:

 

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Books I won:

  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Classics | Philosophy | Literature | 11120118

I won this book through an essay competition held by Ayn Rand Foundation during the last few months of High school. I was a semi-finalist and I won $50 and this book. The book only arrived this week and the $50 hasn’t arrived yet. I’m not sure I’m gonna read it though. I usually only read YA and this is more a philosophical fiction.

 

Books I bought:

1.The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Magical Realism | Romance | Fantasy | 11120118

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

 

2. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Science Fiction | Time Travel | Dystopia | 11120118

What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

3. The Child Thief by Brom

Retelling | Horror | Dark | 11120118

Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.

Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?

There is always more to lose.

Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children.

There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

 

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Books I got from the library:

  1. Railhead by Philip Reeve

Science Fiction | Adventure | Fantasy | 11120118

Come with me, Zen Starling, she had said. The girl in the red coat. But how did she know his name?
The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat.
Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City.
So when mysterious stranger Raven sends Zen and his new friend Nova on a mission to infiltrate the Emperor’s train, he jumps at the chance to traverse the Great Network, to cross the galaxy in a heartbeat, to meet interesting people – and to steal their stuff.
But the Great Network is a dangerous place, and Zen has no idea where his journey will take him.

 

2. We Are The Ants by Shaun David Huchinson

Contemporary | GLBT | Science Fiction | 11120118

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

 

Did you read any of these books? Find anything that sounds interesting? Let me know down below 🙂

 

Current Books · Reviews

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson – Review

Beryl(1)

Blurb

 

we are the antsWE ARE THE ANTS

Author: Shaun David Hutchinson

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Hardcover, 455 pages

Published Date: January 19th 2016

Buy At:  Barnes & Noble  Amazon logo  bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

 

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adri's review

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We are the ants is one really well-written book that deserves all the hype. I’m so glad I picked it up! This book is about Henry Denton, our hilarious, authentically-written protagonist. He’s probably the most real boy character I’ve ever read. Everything was just so realistically put. He is smart and so so caring…but he’s also constantly abducted by aliens. During these abductions, the aliens mostly just experiment on him and then drop him off back to earth ( usually buck-naked) but then one day they leave him with an ultimate decision-  to press a certain button and stop the world from ending or not press it and let it cease to exist.

Before you ask; no, the slugger have never probed my anus. I’m fairly certain they reserve that special treat for people who talk on their phones during moves, or text while driving.

oh my

I’m lucky I’m not one of those people then…lol

There are so many things touched upon in this book. It didn’t feel like Henry’s narrative alone because we get to see and learn so much about other people in his life; his lazy brute of a brother and his brother’s girlfriend, his absent alcoholic mother, his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, his best friend, his boyfriend who committed suicide and Diego- who befriends him and shows him there is more to life. You could feel just how much Henry cared about this people despite their shortcomings and despite their mistakes. In a short while, you as a reader will start caring about them too. And that’s a sign of a great author.

Sometimes I think gravity may be death in disguise. Other times, I think gravity is love, which is why love’s only demand is that we fall.

We are the ants deals with suicide, mental health issues, abuse, bullying and even the struggle of living with Alzheimer’s, but the protagonist’s narrative keeps things light and it becomes impossible not to like Henry. My favorite part of the book is the way Henry takes all things happening in his life and to the people he loves into consideration while making his decision whether to save the world or not. I loved how one minute his resolve is strengthened on one decision and in the next, that resolve is crumbled (because life is all about ups and downs). I loved how he asks a bunch of people about their opinion and I loved hearing all their answers.

Overall, this book is packed with heavy meaning. It provides such relate-able insight into life, family and happiness.

A hundred billion years from now, no one will exist who remembers space boys or chronic-masturbating alcoholics or science teachers or ex-cons or valedictorians. When we’re gone, time will forget…

 

 


about author

Shaun davud

Shaun David Hutchinson

Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and the forthcoming The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He can be reached at shaun@shaundavidhutchinson.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.

Follow Author:Twitter logo goodreads logo 2

Find Author: http://www.shaundavidhutchinson.com

 

Catch-up · Reviews

All Of Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill – Review

Beryl(1)

Blurb

 

AllOurYesterdaysALL OUR YESTERDAYS

Author: Cristin Terrill

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Hardcover, 360 pages

Published Date: September 3rd 2013

Buy At:  Barnes & Noble  Amazon logo  bookdepository logo

(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

 

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adri's review

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“…the world doesn’t get changed without people getting hurt.”

This book…wow… I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. It is so thought-provoking and deep and meaningful. I feel like it carries such an important lesson of self-respect. It oscillates between past (Marina) and present (Em) point of views of the same person. It’s a first-person narrative, but it’s not annoying in the least. Usually I tend to avoid first-person point of views but it works so well here.

I loved Marina. She’s a normal teenage girl with an enormous crush on her neighbor, James. She is self-conscious and uncertain and tries her best to fit in. Marina can be mean and snarky- but in the best way. There was just so much to her and we get to see such a great character development. Some novels emphasize too much on a character’s “strength” in an attempt to make them come out fierce, but it all comes naturally for this main character. The author didn’t have to mention several times how she kicks butts or gives a snide remark; Marina simply comes out strong in all ways possible. In fact, she might be the strongest character I’ve ever read about.

The romance – I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t say much, but it was very complicated and real and so heart-breaking. I felt each character’s pain. It was an intense ride and I loved each snippet of it.

There is time-travel, action and suspense. Especially towards the end you’ll be at the edge of your seat, brain scrambling to predict how this complex mess would be resolved- all for vain since you’d probably never see it coming (to be honest). At the root of it all, though, is the pain of unrequited love, loyalty, family, unfairness of prejudice, friendship, sacrifice and grief. All these things are what make up this one unforgettable book.

 


about author

cristinCristin Terrill has a bachelor of the arts degree from Vassar College and a master of the arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches creative writing workshop for kids and teens. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is her first novel.

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Follow Author: http://cristinterrill.com/

Memes, Tags & Lists

Waiting on Wednesday: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

For this week, my “can’t-wait-to-read” choice is:

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

timekeeper

11120118

Author: Tara Sim

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

Release Date: November 1st 2016

Pre-order at: Barnes & Noble Amazon logo bookdepository logo

Blurb

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Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

 

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  1.  Steampunk, Clock-punk theme: Who doesn’t love steampunk? I mean seriously… (OK, some may not necessarily like steampunk). But imagine how awesome it would be with all the cool Victorian-style gadgets and intricate clockwork machines.

clockpunk2

2. Alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers Setting: This is a really cool concept and a very original one. There’s an organization that fixes the clock towers too and Danny is a part of it. If the towers stop working, time stops (I think).

tower

3. Time travel: I don’t know about you guys but I love books about time-traveling. And according to some reviews, the “time-messery” is very intriguing and well-done.

4. Clock Spirit: How freaking cute is the idea of a clock spirit? I imagine I’d want to cuddle that clock spirit when I get my hands on this book.

Cute!_♥

5. Forbidden Love: I love this trope. I don’t even have an excuse…Hopefully, I’m not all alone in this 😀

6. Glbt Romance: The fact that it includes a diverse set of characters is a double bonus for me.

7. Adorableness: There are a few reviews rolling in pre-release and a majority of those reviews claim that this book and its characters were adorable. I can’t wait!!

 

 

Tell me, is this book already in your TBR? (Have I convinced you to add it? 😉 ) What books are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

 

 

Memes, Tags & Lists

Top Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR Before I Started Blogging

Copy of French Country

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme that is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic is Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

So I haven’t been blogging for long. It hasn’t even been a month for me. I started on July 30th this year so I had plenty of time to accumulate books into my never-ending TBR list. Since there are so many, I’m going to narrow it down into Top Ten Standalones That Have Been on My TBR Before I Started Blogging.

(Click on covers or underlined titles to add on Goodreads)

#1. The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

the strange and beautiful

I have no idea why I still haven’t read this tbh. It looks like such a great book and almost everyone has already read it. Fortunately, I bought this book few days ago and I’m planning on reading it soon. I’ll post my review as soon as I can so look out for that.

#2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything everything

Every time I see or hear about this book, I feel so guilty. I started this book once and somehow, I ended up not finishing it. I don’t remember much about it and I don’t even have an excuse as to why it’s still on TBR list so bring out the pitchforks, I deserve it.

#3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

vicious

I want to read this book so much that I’m honestly surprised how I’ve fared till now without reading it. Schwab is one of my favorite authors. I’ll be picking up all her books.

#4. Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

willful machines

The premise of this book is so good. I will definitely be reading this book someday soon. It’s a Sci-fi YA novel with artificial humans and what looks like a very cute romance. It’s right up my alley.

#5. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

the weight of feathers

I remember waiting for months to get my hands on this book. The hype before it’s release was big, but after the release, the ratings weren’t as good as I’d expected and I didn’t feel like reading it anymore. But I’ve learned that if I’m interested, I should read it despite Goodreads ratings and reviews.

#6. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

my sister rosa

This book is a psychological thriller with a teenage boy and his scary little sister. It sounds very terrifying and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. I don’t know why i haven’t read it yet.

 

#7. Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

thanks for the trouble

This is a cute contemporary romance novel I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It seems fun and quirky.

 

#8. The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

the one thing

I haven’t heard people talk about this book much but it sounds so amazing. The protagonist is blind but everything changes when she starts seeing a little boy. Maggie, the main character, sounds like a badass. I know already that I’m gonna enjoy this book.

#9. The Hereafter by Jessica Bucher

the hereafter

Here is another amazing-sounding book I haven’t heard people talk about. This book sounds very original. It’s about two teenagers who meet in the afterlife and come to terms with their past lives as well as their current situation.

 

#10. The Child Thief by Brom

child thief

I’ve actually recently bought a copy of this book. It’s a peter pan retelling with a gruesome and scary twist. I have been looking for a decent peter pan retelling and this fits the criteria pretty well.

 

So these are Top Ten Standalones that have been on my TBR for a long while. Which books have you read? And which do you recommend I read first? Also let me know what books have been waiting forever on your TBR shelf 🙂

Current Books · Reviews

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – Review

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Blurb

 

ADSOMA GATHERING OF SHADOWS (Shades of Magic #2)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 512 pages

Published Date: February 23rd 2016

Buy at: Barnes & Noble  Amazon logo  bookdepository logo

 

(Click on Cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

 

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adri's review

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A Gathering of shadows was just as amazing as the first book in this series, if not even more amazing. Most people who’ve read it claim that it was so much better than the first book (which is not common for a sequel) and I agree!

The way this book starts off…I was like:

dass

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you about another addictive character Schwab kindly introduced. Here I was, thinking it would be enough once she got me hooked to Lila, Kell and Rhy. But Nope. Now we have Alucard too. From the first time he appeared, I knew I was done for and then came some scenes he was in where I think I died for a few minutes… rip

(If you’ve read it then you know what I’m talking about ;))

More on that here:  Spoilery Reviews (box)

A Gathering of Shadows starts off four months from where the first book stopped. The Danes have really messed things up in Red London and now all the blame is on poor Kell. The king and the queen are ever wary of him as are the people and things are a bit difficult for him, especially considering the bond that now ties his life to Rhy’s. The bond is also taking its toll on Rhy, despite his attempt at distraction with organizing the Elemental game that is to be hosted in Red London. The two come up with an idea to help solve their problem, and of course, get themselves in even more trouble.

Then we have Lila- still her conniving, badass self- actively pursuing her dream to be a pirate (as we’d all expect).

“I know where you sleep, Bard.”
She smirked. “Then you know I sleep with knives.”

I loved seeing her progress in this book. She learned a few things and came to be even more independent but she starts questioning somethings and starts to change for the better. Her character development was really done well. Her tough spirit really does get her somewhere (somewhere closer to being a pirate, that is).

“She used to think that if she stole enough, the want would fade, the hunger would go away, but maybe it wasn’t that simple. Maybe it wasn’t a matter of what she didn’t have, of what she wasn’t, but what she was.”

A major underlining throughout this book was the international game of magic- The Element Games. We get to see more of the world in the form of not only Arnesians, but Faroans and Veskans as well. It was one of my favorite parts of the story. The different features, the different cultures and the different takes on magic really add to the world-building. Not to mention that language that’s incorporated into this series (Holy s@#$! did Schwab create a whole other language?)

“I thought magic had nothing to do with physical size.”

“The body is a vessel,” explained Alucard. “The Veskans believe that the larger the vessel, the more power it can hold.”

The games start later on in the book and we get to see some damn awesome magic action. The matches were described so well that I found myself cheering inside like I was actually watching along with the crowd. The rules of the game and the different applications of magic were so creative!

What really surprised me though was that as I read on, I kept expecting Kell and Lila to meet again, but it doesn’t happen till very later on. What’s even more surprising is that I found myself liking that. I mean I do ship Kell and Lila, but it was as much fun getting to know them separately- something that is usually lost with couples in most books. So I really liked that we were able to get more on each character’s past and more on their separate journeys. Victoria Schwab herself had once said that Lila isn’t a side character or simply a love interest. In this book, that really becomes more apparent.

I have crossed worlds and taken ships.

Fought queens and saved cities.

I am one of a kind.

I have more thoughts about this book and some guesses on what’s to come on the next book. Check them out here:

Spoilery Reviews (box)

 


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Book 1 and Book 3

(Click on Cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

                                           a-darker-shade           conj

I have reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic. Click here to check it out:

Adri's review (box)

 


about author

ve-schwabV.E. Schwab also publishes under Goodreads Author, Victoria Schwab
Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.

“I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.” (veschwab.wordpress.com)

Follow Author:Twitter logo goodreads logo 2

Find Author: https://veschwab.wordpress.com

Current Books · Reviews

And I Darken by Kiersten White – Review

Beryl(1)

Blurb

and I darken AND I DARKEN (The Conquerors Saga #1)

Author: Kiersten White

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Hardcover, 475 pages

Published Date: June 28th 2016

Buy at: Barnes & Noble Amazon logo bookdepository logo

(Click picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

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adri's review

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This is by far the hardest book to rate. I’ll be honest; for the first half of the book, I was keen on giving it 3 hearts. At some point, I was even comtemplating DNFing it. By gods did I take a complete other direction the second half of the book. If you pick up this book, I definitely recommend that you go through the whole thing. You will not regret it. You might hesitate at first but you should push through because it gets so much better.

So this books starts off in Wallachia where Lada is born to Vlad Dracul and his weak young wife, Vailissa. He is immediately dismayed that his wife bore him a girl and hatefully names her Ladislav.

“Ladislav,” he declared. It was a feminine form of Vlad. Diminutive. Diminished. If Vasilissa wanted a strong name, she would have to bear him a son.

This, I believe, is the root of Lada’s fierce, wild behavior. She is truly manic and scary. She doesn’t just make threats and trot about declaring she’s some badass. She actually is a badass. As a reader, you just know that whenever she makes threat, she would most likely get through with it. It’s horrifying. I love it.

“On our wedding night,” She said, “I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”

She grew up thinking her mother weak and trying to impress her father, trying to get him to see beyond her gender. She knows that in this world she’s in, females are deemed useless except to be bound with marriage and so she despises her younger brother, Radu, who, by being born male, is automatically entitled to many things a woman is not. Radu is beautiful and kind. In contrast to his sister, he is weak. People mistreat him for that- including Lada- but no matter how much Lada despises him, she is also very protective towards him and manages to get him out of trouble a lot of times. Just like how Lada wants to impress her father, Radu wants to impress her. Their relationship is this complicated thing that just breaks my heart. Sometimes I hate her for causing Radu such pain and then I hate him because he doesn’t understand the way his sister takes care of him. It’s just so…

this is too much

Lada grew up thinking her father a hero and doing anything to impress him, but then their father’s true colors are revealed when he gives both his children to the ottoman courts as a pawn in a treaty. Here is where they meet Mehmed. It is where most of the story takes place.

The book is mostly focused on politics and history. There’s also quite a bit on religion (which I never could’ve expected). At first I was bored, but as I kept on reading, I started to realize that it wasn’t boring but masterful. Because unknowingly, I got so immersed in Lada and Radu’s life that, even though I kept threatening to stop reading, I simply COULDN’T. This book pulls you in unlike anything I’ve ever read. You might not necessarily like the protagonists but you grow attached them. You’ll want to know what happens to them, you just care.

The character development in this book is so subtle yet very profound. By the second half of the book, I knew both Radu and Lada in and out and this made me almost addicted to them. I fell in love with both sharp-teethed, feral Lada and sweet but deceiving Radu. The way they grew into themselves and the people they came to be just makes so much sense according to their traits and that just made them come out as real people.

I personally didn’t like Mehmed. I don’t trust him much, but that didn’t take away from the story. In fact, it added to the complex entanglement that is their love triangle. You don’t have to worry about the love triangle either though. Because it’s not like other stories- the way it works. It’s done quite well. But it was sooo painful. I don’t want to spoil it but let’s just say it’s a source of such heartbreak for one of the characters and whenever their heartbreaks, yours will break right alongside them. It was weirdly one of my favorite parts of the book. Although, I wish we could see their friendship with Mehmed develop a bit more because it was fast and the author kinda glossed over the start of their friendship.

Another favorite part of the book was how the attainment of power and the difficulties of being a woman were incorporated into the story. There are many characters that Lada will meet- characters who are women. And they kinda have their own little stories that are subtly but effectively incorporated. Each has their own ways of wielding power as a woman that Lada either agreed on or disagreed with. But I feel like they taught her a lot along the way and helped reinforce her fierce spirit and resulted in even more character growth.

“You see this”-Huma gestured to the room, the building, and finally to herself- “as a prison. But you are wrong. This is my court. This is my throne. This is my kingdom. The cost was my freedom and my body.” Her fine eyebrows raised, mouth playful, eyes hard. “So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken so that you, too, can have power?”

There was also a violent underlining throughout the story and it instills a sort of fear in you. Radu’s bullies, Lada herself and especially after both were given to the ottoman courts. Because of their position, you keep fearing for their lives, always on the edge because Lada’s insufferable behavior and Radu’s delicate nature could literally be the death of them. There were no battles in this book. Although there’s a lot of politics and talk of conquest, there’s no actual war. But there are some fight scenes and overall gruesomeness.

“The price of living seems to be always death.”

“And that is why you become a dealer of death. You feed death as many people as you can to keep it full and content so its eye stays off you.”

The way gender roles, politics, power, religion, and love were interwoven in his story is so impeccable, so immaculate. This is one of the books I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. So glad I gave it a chance although some aspects of it scared me off. Read it, guys. It’s worth it.

I was so happy when I saw that it was a trilogy. There’s not much info on the next book but atleast the story doesn’t end here.

I have many speculations about where this story is going and what’s in store for Lada and Radu so if you’ve read the book, head on over here:

Spoilery Reviews (box)

Check out some more quotes from this book here:

Copy of Copy of Copy of My Rating


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The Conquerors Saga #2

Expected Publication: 2017

The Conquerors Saga #3

Expected Publication: 2017


about author

 

Kiersten WhiteKiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times.

Follow Author: Twitter logo goodreads logo 2

Find Author: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/

 

Bookish Posts

Bookish Items You Didn’t Know You Needed

 

reading position

Do any of these reading positions look familiar?

Reading can be a real pain sometimes. Literally. Have you guys heard of the Book Pain Syndrome? Yep, I bet you have…and have you guys been able to find a solution for it? Because lord knows I haven’t. I have been recycling a bunch of reading positions forever, trying to find one that’s comfortable enough.

 

But what if there were easier ways?

 

There are so many ridiculous but effective solutions out there. Like this “Egg Cuber”

egg cuber

and even more absurd stuff you could never imagine. You can check out this video for a whole bunch of “Butter Gadgets” :

Don’t ask how I found this video (I was sucked into the You Tube vortex of no comeback). The main point is it piqued my interest, and of course it had me wondering were there such items for us bookish people as well? And the search began…(and resulted in mostly self-indulgent bookish items, but some that are actually useful too…)

 

Here are some Bookish Items You Didn’t Realize You Needed:

 

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prism glass

The Prism Glass is a glass that enables you to lie down on your back while watching TV or reading a book. Can you imagine? No more back pains and no more fumbling around for a comfortable reading position. You can get this item easily online. Here are the links:

Amazon logo     jet 1

 

 

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book restYou can easily place them on your lap so that you can read, or you can place it on any

other surface to read while doing something else. Wanna read while cooking? While brushing your teeth? (If people actually do that) Then these might be perfect for you.

 

Amazon logo   etsy-logo   jet 1

 

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tranparentDo you ever get tired of holding a book open? That’s one of the biggest nuisances of reading a book, and one of the reasons I had once switched to reading ebooks. But ebooks aren’t really fun for me. The reading experience is much better with the real thing in your hands; which is why this item is a savior.

Amazon logo

 

 

 

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bed rest

I don’t know about you guys, but when I read, I read on my bed. And this would make it a thousand times easier for me. You have a cup holder, an overhead light and a comfortable head rest. What more could you need?

Amazon logojet 1

 

 

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book safe

I don’t if people would actually need this, but frankly, how cool is this? You can pop this safe anywhere in-between your other books on your shelf and no one will even notice it. Best type of diversion safe if you ask me.

Amazon logo  jet 1

 

 

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book light

When I was a kid, my parents used to make me stop reading and go to bed. (Parents, why would you ever stop your kids from reading?) So I would comply only until they go to bed themselves and then I grab my tablet and read inside the covers, disappointed that I can’t read a real book in the dark. If I had known book lights existed, I would’ve bought one indeed.

Amazon logo  jet 1

 

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book skirt

Ok, this one is purely self-indulgent. But seriously,how cute is this? You can find a bunch of other skirts like this on Etsy.

etsy-logo

There are a lot more bookish stuff out there. Are there some that you’ve caved and bought? Any I should’ve included? Let me know down below.