Friday, November 28, 2014

[Read-a-thong]Black Friday - Start

Blah, I'm starting later than originally planned. My Thanksgiving was me basically running all over Chicago (we had three places to be) and we didn't get home to about 9:30 PM. And by then, the only appropriate thing to do was to fall asleep! BUT NOW I'M READY! I've got my leftovers, my books, and my cats! Let's do the damn thing!

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch [GoodReads]
Stitching Snow by R.C Lewis [GoodReads]
The Collector's Society by Heather Lyons [GoodReads]

  • Read 2 full-length books
  • Visit 3 blogs of bloggers who are also participating in the read-a-thon

Well, I guess I'll see you all at the finish line!

Book Review: Captive

Title: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2)
Author:  Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Dystopia // 
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 
But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 
As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price (goodreads)

If you thought Pawn was chock-full of political intrigue...then you haven't seen anything yet!

Plot: First off: WOW. Just WOW.  Pawn set up this story with a nice, pretty bow. We got background and we were introduced to the political struggle and were shocked by a volley of plot twists. Captive does not take it slow, instead we were assaulted with even more twists and turns and left guessing who truly had Kitty's best interest at heart. My heart stopped while reading some scene, then it raced after reading other scenes. I haven't felt this engaged in a story in a long time. The pacing was perfect, Aimee would give us a little line, then reel us in, give us a little more line, THEN LETS EVERYTHING HITS THE FAN, the she gives us a little more line. I finished Captive (at 2 in the morning) feeling a bit breathless and exhilarated. 

Characters: Kitty Doe is the same feisty Extra that we grew to love in Pawn. My one complaint is her determination to prove that she's not a pawn leads her to make stupid decisions. Then said stupid decisions get her in trouble, and she immediately looks for someone to bail her out. No Kitty, either stop doing stupid things, or learn how to get yourself out of trouble without implicating other people. 

Pawn had major hints of a love triangle between Benjy and Nox, Captive had even more hints of a love triangle but it was enjoyable . I liked this love triangle because it was in the background. Kitty would hear whispers of  returned emotions, but there was never more than a page dedicated to the romantic drama. For what it's worth, I'm all about Nox. 

In Captive we are introduced to a new cast of characters who were either allies of Kitty or using her. Each character was painted so perfectly that I couldn't distinguish friend from foe either. 

World Building: The slums of D.C and the Hart Estate were the main landscape of  Pawn, we were also introduced to the horrific dead lands known as Elsewhere. A majority of Captive, takes place in Elsewhere and boy let me tell you, Pawn only gave us a snippet of what really goes in there. 

Short N Sweet: Aimee Carter truly outdid herself when she penned Captive. Captive is even more exciting, has more twists, and a bigger of array of characters who will keep you guessing until the last page. I can't wait to see how Queen will wrap everything up!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review: Ruin and Rising

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Magic // High Fantasy // Romance
Format: Physical Copy
Source: Library
 The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for (goodreads).

Ruin and Rising is such a difficult book for me to review, because I had so many feelings, both good and bad!

Plot: Ruin and Rising picks up right after the cliffhanger in Siege and Storm. The Darkling has even more power now and Alina has finally come to terms with her attraction to her three gentlemen suitors (we can call them that, can't we?). Ruin and Rising was nonstop action that had me at the edge of my seat in hopes that everything ended well for these characters I have come to love. While Bardugo's writing was solid and kept me glued to the pages, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the ending for some of the characters (and out of fear of spoiling it, I'll leave it at that).

Characters: I have never been so torn about the love interest in a series as I have for The Grisha Trilogy. In Shadow and  Bone, The Darkling was such an attractive and seductive character and I couldn't help but fall in love with him. As the series progressed, he was portrayed more and more as our villain and it overwhelmed me. Did I still love the Darkling? Would he ever be redeemed? How am I supposed to feel?? Because I was so attached to him from Book 1 (hell, probably more attached than Alina), I didn't love the third book as much. The other characters were memorable and often brought a smile to my face or made me worry about their general safety. Alina's transformation is beautiful and it's what I want from all my female MCs from here on out. 

World Building: The world of the Grisha is one of my favorite worlds to be transported to and I felt that this world was even more enhanced with Bardugo's novellas that gave background to the culture and folktales. 

Short N Sweet: The Grisha Trilogy is one of my favorites stories of all time, while I wasn't completely sold on the ending, this is a world that I will never forget!

Thank God for Blogs II

Happy (US) Thanksgiving everyone! While quite a few of us are taking the day off for some turkey and quality time for family, I decided that today would be the the perfect day to give thanks to some fantastic blogs. I did this back in 2012 but I think I'm going to continue it for future Thanksgiving, just so you guys remember how awesome you really are!


Carmel @ Rabid Reads
I go to Rabid Reads whenever I need my urban fantasy fix! We can't read YA all the time, so it's always a nice change of pace to see what's on the market for adult paranormal. Plus Carmel is just badass! 

I'm a sucker for pink and Nereyda's blog design is so pink and nice, I could browse it for days! :) Also, Nereyda is my go-to girl for audio books! 

Jess and Co review great books and they also have awesome music recommendations! Plus, the bloggers are really friendly and it's easy to have a conversation with them! :)

Jessica @ A GREAT Read
I am convinced that Jessica is Wonder Woman, seriously. On average, there are two posts a day! Plus, when I'm lame and don't have a car, I can count on Jessica to go to bookish events for me and recap with all the deets. Oh and she is a commenting queen!!

As I don't usually ingest caffeine, I rely on Kim to give me to goods in book form! :) What I love about Kim's blog is that she is also a Comment Queen and that her blog is full of so many diverse books! You want high fantasy? Check! Historical Fiction? Check! Adult Romance? Check! Young Adult? Check! Is there anything you don't read????

I love Jess's blog, she's one of those "quality over quantity" bloggers which I completely appreciate (doesn't stop me from visiting her blog everyday though)! I love her writing style and how her personality shines through her writing. Keep being you Jess!

Have a great week to all of you! Thanks for being amazing! <3

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. :/