Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

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Series: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Page Count: 452
Published: October 19th, 2010
Publisher: Speak
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Calla is a shape-shifter who can turn into a wolf. She is the alpha of her pack, and she is expected to marry Ren, another wolf shape-shifter and another alpha, and to join their packs together. She lives in a world where the Keeper's rule over her, and she is expected to obey their every command. Everything changes when she saves Shay, a human boy, and he sees her shift from wolf to human. 

To her dismay, he begins to attend her school, and to seek answers about what happened on that day. What started as a kind act becomes a problem for Calla, especially because she and Shay become closer, and Calla starts to question everything that she has known about her life and her future. 

As a big fan of werewolf stories, I couldn't pass on reading this book, and I'm certainly glad that I didn't! While this was a different take on werewolves and witches, it worked well, and the world that the author created was one that stole my attention from the first chapter onward. 

The action starts right away, with the first scene being the one where Calla saves Shay, and he sees her shift from wolf to human. This caught my attention as it spurred on the first conflict, the issue of dealing with Shay, which brought on many of the conflicts that occur later in the book. Characterization occurs immediately afterward in the chapters following, where the reader meets the rest of Calla's pack and Ren's pack as well. 

The author did a great job of explaining the rules of the world she created to the reader. She also did a great job of making me angry, and therefore, making me interested! Calla is basically forced to marry Ren, and she is subjected to a double standard that is often found in the real world, the human world outside of books, of the "player" guy getting away with everything, and the "virgin" girl expected to stay "pure". This was an important aspect of the book as it provided extra tension considering Ren's advances and Calla's complicated relationship with Shay, and it helped make the world seem all the more real to me. 

The take on werewolves in this book was different to that of other books because in Nightshade, they don't seem to have much power. They are under the rule of the Keepers, expected to obey their commands and do as they say, even taking abuse and mistreatment quietly. This is in contrast to other interpretations of books that I've read, where werewolves are powerful creatures, feared by humans and other creatures within the supernatural or paranormal communities alike. Needless to say, it was an interesting and unique interpretation, and I thought the use of a paranormal hierarchy was done well with adequate back story and explanations. 

As Calla starts to question what she's expected to do in her life, she begins to rebel. Rebellion is a theme that I truly enjoy reading about, and the author used it to its full advantage. Tensions rose as Calla took more and more drastic measures to uncover the truth and try to lead her own life, from spending time with Shay, to questioning her engagement to Ren, to sneaking into libraries and reading forbidden books. 

The ending is definitely a cliff hanger, in my opinion. As I loved the book and I want to know what happens next, I will certainly be looking for a copy of the second novel! 

I recommend this book to those who like stories about werewolves. If you're interested in YA books about romance and rebellion, this is a great pick. 


Friday, 21 July 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Character Name + Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2017



This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books


This week's topic is favorite / least favorite character name! 



Favorite


 Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)


I have several favorites. Skulduggery Pleasant, for one. I also love the name Chaol Westfall
 

Least Favorite


 Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)


I'm not a huge fan of the name Grace. I also don't really care for the name Isobel. I don't hate these names at all, I just don't think they're the most interesting names ever. 
What do you think of these names?


~ ~ ~


Now it's time for the mid-year book freak out tag! I found it on The Butterfly Reader


1) Best book you've read so far in 2017


 A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)


I've read lots of awesome books, but those that stick out include Mask of Shadows, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Demon Road.



2)  Best sequel you've read so far in 2017


 Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)



3)  New release you haven't read yet but want to


 The Beast Is an Animal


Ohhhh there are tons of new releases I want to read but haven't yet! The Beast is an Animal is only one of them.


4) Most anticipated release for second half of 2017


 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)


So I already read an ARC of Mask of Shadows (thank you NetGalley!) however I am definitely anticipating the release date for this book so I can get a physical copy. 



5) Biggest disappointment


 Keeping You a Secret


Keeping You A Secret was quite a disappointment for me. 



6) Biggest surprise


 Proxy (Proxy, #1)


 I wasn't expecting to like Proxy so much!



7) Favorite new authors


 Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)


Sarah J Maas! 


8) Newest fictional crushes


Chaol!!!!! Celaena too. 



9) Newest favorite character


Yeah I don't have just one favourite character, but many. Chaol, Celaena, Feyre, Tamlin (Sarah J Maas is essentially providing me with a good portion of my favourites nowadays, as you can see). I also really liked Amber from Demon Road and Syd from Proxy. 



10) Book that made you cry


 When Everything Feels Like the Movies


When Everything Feels like the Movies. To be fair, I can't remember if I actually cried or if I only shed a few tiny tears, but either way this book was very emotional for me. 



11) Book that made you happy


Mask of Shadows! Genderfluid represent!




12) Favourite book to movie adaptation you've seen so far in 2017


I don't think I've seen any! :(




13) Favourite review you've written so far in 2017


 Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)


Oblivion. It's not some epic review, but its a review for the last book in one of my most favorite trilogies ever. 




14) Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year. 


 Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)


I have bought lots of lovely books, but Zodiac stands out for sure!




15) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?



So many. I'm not even gonna bother to list them. Just... so many.



If you've completed this tag on your blog, please leave the link below! Anyways, how has your reading year been so far?

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain




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Series: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Page Count: 372
Published: December 22nd, 2009
Publisher: EgmontUSA
  Did Not Finish


Grace lives a fairly simple and and uneventful life, until Daniel shows up at her school one day. Daniel, the boy who befriended her as a child, moved into her home and who later vanished, and who her family never ever talks about.

Daniel is different, but he doesn't hesitate to befriend Grace once again. Grace soon resolves to fix the tense relationship between her brother, Jude, and Daniel, but soon strange things start happening, things that leave people fearing that the "Markham Monster" might be back. Does Daniel have anything to do with it?

There will be minor spoilers in this review.

I decided to stop reading this at 56% of the way through. I was very disappointed in it, mostly for personal reasons.

The writing itself was actually pretty good, I liked the way that the author phrased things and I was able to picture everything very well. My favourite setting was the area that Daniel ended up living in, because she made it sound so sketchy and suspicious. I also really liked the descriptions of the angel statutes and the atmosphere in the Garden of Angels. 

I also liked Daniel. Actually, he was the only character that I really liked. I liked him because he seemed kind of rebellious, he seemed like he was still dealing with his past and as such he had depth. This is, unfortunately, in contrast to Grace. I found Grace and her family to be rather superficial. 

Grace was too much of a "follower" for me. I feel like she didn't question anything and that got on my nerves. She was kind of a "sheep". I felt no connection to her. Then there was her father, who seemed really awesome at first. He seemed kind and caring and I really liked him! Then, he showed a bit of a petty, somewhat intolerant side at the Thanksgiving dinner and I instantly disliked him. 

Usually I don't mind when some characters are like this, but because of the context it brought up some rather unpleasant memories, so when I say that most of my issues with this book was personal, I mean it.

Here's where the spoilers come in. The author's interpretation of werewolves or shapeshifters, which I'm guessing, due to other reviews and other readers' discussions of this book, is what Daniel is, was approached in a rather unique way. However, as unique as it was, it really didn't work for me.

Basically, Daniel's situation as a werewolf, shapeshifter or "urbat" was explained through people being super religious and devoted to "God", who then rewarded them with these powers. He is a descendant of these people, so he has these abilities. I didn't like this version of the shapeshifter or werewolf myth, and as with the characters, it kind of brought up unpleasant memories. 

I wanted to keep reading to give this book a chance. However, I had to put it down because I feel it had too much religion in it for myself, personally. I think it's kind of funny, actually, that a werewolf or shapeshifter book has more religion in it than most angel and demon books I've read! Of course, I was expecting some religion, but not this much. 

So while I liked the writing style and settings, the characters and religious interpretation of werewolves and shapeshifters turned me off this book. I tried and read more than half, but I just had to give up.

If you're interested in paranormal books with religious themes, this may be a good pick for you.


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Recent Book Hauls

So I wanted to talk about some of my recent book hauls! There's been sales and trips to thrift stores and I budgeted super well during the year so I was able to treat myself this summer!


From BookOutlet's recent sale, I bought:


Held Against You by Season Vining
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Guardian by Alex London
Zodiac by Romina Russell
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Iluminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
The Body in the Woods by April Henry


From thrift stores I recently got:


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Reached by Ally Condie
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Something Strange and Deadly (ARC edition) by Susan Dennard
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice (writing as A.N Roquelaure



I know you're all like, Wren, you already have about a million books on your bookshelves that are unread. And yes, that is quite true. I open up about my book buying addiction in this post.


However, while I keep buying books, I don't think it's too much to worry about as long as I have enough room in my home and I regulate my spending. Essentially, most of my personal or non-essential spending is on books.... so what others would spend on makeup or video games or going to the movie theater, I spend on books. Considering it like that, I've come to realize that so long as I budget efficiently, I have nothing to worry about. And yeah I budgeted super well, as I mentioned. Plus all of these books were on sale in one way or another. So.....yeah.


Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)


Lots of these books have awesome covers. But I really like the cover of Zodiac! I can't stop looking at it.


I got lots of sequels that I've been wanting to read, so that's great too. And lots of books I've had on my to-read list for years have shown up in thrift stores, so that's awesome as well.



My question to all of you: what did you get in your latest books haul?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Blood Sinister by Celia Rees


Blood Sinister

Series: Point Horror Unleashed
Author: Celia Rees
Page Count: 224
Published: September 20th, 2002
Publisher: Scholastic Point
  3.5 Stars ★★★


Ellen is a teenage girl with a mysterious illness. A strange disease or ailment of the blood plagues her, and has her returning to hospitals time and time again. She fears that she may not have much time left.

She moves in with her grandmother, and comes across a series of diaries written by one of her ancestors, a female doctor also named Ellen. As she reads entry after entry, it becomes obvious that the older Ellen had come across a real-life vampire.

With the reappearance of a childhood friend, and the creepy sight of an old cemetery across the road from her grandmother's house, Ellen wishes that she could unravel the mysteries that plague both herself and her ancestor. But will she survive to uncover the truth?

This was a fairly quick read. I read it in one night, I found myself unable to put it down. However, this wasn't because the book was amazing.

It was definitely enjoyable, no mistake there. But there was something missing.

First off, the things I liked. I liked the way that vampires were creepy and not sexy. I love myself some sexy vampires, but a good old-fashioned monster is definitely also appreciated. I liked the way that the author told two stories at once, the story of the past and present Ellens. The diary entries were thorough and painted a clear picture of the past, while the modern Ellen's experiences were also well described and explained.

The mystery of Ellen's illness kept me reading. I really wanted to know what was wrong with her, and if she would survive. There was definitely some empathy from me concerning this situation, and Andy cared for Ellen in a way that made him immediately likeable.

There really should have been more in this book, though. More scenes, more action. A long book, with more character development and emphasis on creepy happenings would have bumped this book up to a four, maybe even a five star read. The base story was there, and certainly enjoyable, but with a little more time, this book could have been fantastic.



Find Blood Sinister on Goodreads

Friday, 7 July 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Supernatural Being




This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favourite / least favourite supernatural being


Favourite


 Image found here

 
 

 Image found here

Alright so technically I have two favourites: vampires and the fey. So I guess I am cheating and choosing both of them!


Least Favourite



Image found here

I still like mythology and the gods / goddesses / deities / demi-gods, etc, often featured in books (i.e Percy Jackson, though I haven't actually read it...just an example) but they aren't anywhere close to my favourite supernatural beings. I prefer fairy-tale retellings to greek mythology retellings, and I will usually pick a vampire romance over a book about whatever mythological pantheon.


What are your favourite and least favourite supernatural beings?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)


Series: Nevermore
Author: Kelly Creagh
Page Count: 448
Published: July 28th, 2015
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  5 Stars ★★★★★

In this conclusion to the Nevermore trilogy, Isobel fears that reality may merge with the dreamworld. Varen is still lost to the dreamworld and Lilith hasn't loosened her hold on him, which leaves Isobel unsure if she will ever be able to save him. Having to venture into the dreamworld once again, she confronts Varen only to find that he may not believe that she is even truly alive or real. 

Convincing Varen that she still cares for him and that she is, in fact, real, proves to be no easy task. But if she fails, she might put the whole world in danger. Unsure of who she can trust, only one thing is for certain: nothing will be the same ever again when this is all over. 

I've expressed how much I loved the first two books of this trilogy multiple times in my blog posts, and as with all my favourite books and series, I was dreading the ending. I put off reading this for a long time because I just didn't want Isobel and Varen's story to end! Finally, I forced myself to pick this up.

While I'm sad that the trilogy is over, I am very satisfied with the ending. I won't give anything away, but I will say that the author added a few twists at the very ending that made my emotions go crazy! One minute I was in despair and the next I was relieved. If you're a fan of the first two books, prepare yourself for the last few chapters.

Kelly Creagh's writing style was amazing, as usual. Her wording comes across as elegant quite often, with detailed descriptions of the setting and creatures that Isobel encounters. However, her descriptions never overwhelmed me, they were perfectly balanced and easy to follow. I put a lot of emphasis on the descriptions of the setting because the setting is vital to this book, with Isobel venturing in the dreamworld. The dreamworld, with its surreal imagery truly blew me away once again, and as I read about forests and Gothic mansions and everything in between, the writing immersed me entirely and I never wanted to leave. 

As for the characters, what can I say? The two lovers, Isobel and Varen, are perfect for each other, in my opinion. They juxtapose each other in all the right ways, and while at first they might seem to fit stereotypes as the cheerleader and the Goth, this is certainly not the case. Isobel is intelligent, loyal, and determined, and Varen is genuine, complex, and overall incredibly likeable. Gwen, one of Isobel's friends, also plays a role in supporting Isobel through hard times, and her happier demeanor brought a lighter perspective to some of the issues in the book at times, which was also appreciated. All of the other characters, from Isobel's parents, to Reynolds, to Pinfeathers, continued to blow me away because they seemed so real, just like in the other books, and they all contributed something to the story, whether that be something small or something incredibly important. Of course, I hated Lilith with a passion, because she had the most evil intentions towards the main characters. As a villain, she was despicable, and I always hoped that she would lose in the end. 

I honestly don't even know what else to say, I loved this trilogy so much. I'm speechless now, I don't know how to express how amazing these books are. Everything from Isobel and Varen's relationship to the dreamworld created a story that hooked me from the first chapter of the first book, and even though I've finished the conclusion to the trilogy, it hasn't let me go. I don't know if it ever will, I just enjoyed this so much, I'll probably re-read the trilogy many more times over the course of the coming years. My only complaint is that this trilogy is over! I don't want it to be over. 

Overall, this is a great conclusion to one of the best trilogies that I have ever read. 

I recommend this to people who like YA paranormal books with unique creatures and conflicts. If you are looking for a story with romance, thrills, and even a bit of mystery, this trilogy is definitely for you.


Monday, 26 June 2017

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

7747374 

 Series: Lorien Legacies
Author: Pittacus Lore
Page Count: 440
Published: August 3rd, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

When his planet is attacked by the Mogadorians, John escapes, with a few others, to Earth. However, the Mogadorians also made their way to Earth, and are planning on destroying it, just as they did his planet. Now John must wait for his legacies, or powers, to develop, so he and the remaining aliens from Lorien can defeat the enemy once and for all.

But first, he needs to remain safe and hidden, because while the charm put on those who escaped has them numbered by order of who can die next, the first three have been killed, and he is number four.

After having this book recommended to me by a few friends, I had to pick it up when I found it in the thrift shop (it seems I find all the best books there!). I didn't think I would like it very much, because I prefer the paranormal, with creatures such as vampires and werewolves, over aliens, but I was surprised to find myself hooked on this novel. 

There was a lot of tension, with John being on the run, having to move away and assume new identities very often with his guardian, Henri. I really liked this aspect of the book because it provided a dangerous atmosphere, which I always love. John's life was on the line, and his every move had to be careful and cautious, which, of course, he failed at doing. 

That brings me to the emotional aspect of the story. Whenever he made a mistake and almost exposed what he was, I was always worried that he'd have to leave and start all over again, which would have been a shame, because of course he meets a girl. While it seems a bit cliche, the romance in this book was actually well done and as a reader I found that it added to the emotional aspect and even the tension because John had even more reason to be careful, with more at stake.

There are sad parts in the book, and parts that are almost sad but not quite. I won't give away what happens, but near the end, I was really sad by what John had to face, and I almost cried! The ending itself is jam-packed with emotion and action, and it all leads up to a great ending. It makes me want to continue the series, to see what happens next. John is a likeable character, and his story isn't over yet. I want to know what challenges he faces in the future, and Pittacus Lore's writing style, the plot, and the great combination of emotion and tension has made me long for the sequel! I can't wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, I have a long line up on my to-read pile, but the sequel has definitely scored a spot on the list.

I recommend this book to YA readers who like books about aliens. If you want to read a book with action, emotion, and tension, this is a great pick for you.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

My Book Buying Addiction


I just want to warn everyone that I talk about some upsetting stuff like abuse in this post. If you'd find this triggering or unsettling, you might want to skip this post. For those who choose to leave now, I'll see you next week! Have a great reading weekend.

 ~~~

Hey everyone! So recently BookOutlet had a sale, and I got a $5 coupon, so I splurged on some books. However, I already own literally over a hundred unread books!

This is not unusual for me. I have a book buying addiction. There are so many books that I want to read, I can't keep up. And when I take a look at my finances and realize I have some extra cash to treat myself, the temptation is irresistible.

As far as I've seen, I'm not alone in this. Many other bookworms are addicted to buying books, even if they have tons of unread ones already on their virtual or physical bookshelves. However, I think that this addiction is a bit different for me than it is for other people.

Sorry if this gets a bit dark! Anyways, I lived with abusive guardians for ten years. When you're a young kid, just starting to understand who you are and who you'll become, the way that those taking care of you treat you is going to affect you profoundly. When you're being called un-repeatable names from the age of six to the age of sixteen, told that you're *insert negative quality here* on a constant basis, and have your opinions policed, this is absolutely going to result in some issues. Throw in some physical stuff as well and you've got a recipe for disaster.

What does this have to do with my book buying addiction? Well, some of my horrible deviant opinions must have come from the books that I read! Often, standing up for myself or breaking down was blamed on the books that I read. Somehow, there was a connection between me reading about vampires and me being depressed or thinking for myself. I don't see the connection, because there probably isn't one. After coming to this conclusion, my guardians decided to pack up all of my books, and hide them from me. I bought most of those myself. I was around fourteen when this happened.

This is where my book buying addiction, and my attachment to books, started.

I had to start my book collection all over again. I began hoarding books. I'm honestly surprised they didn't raid my room again. I bought books whenever I possible could, even if they didn't look particularly interesting. I became obsessed with taking care of my books. I was so careful not to bend the cover at all or bump the side of it against my bookshelf's corners.

When I finally moved out, I did get my other books back, thankfully. However, this resulted in me having double the amount of unread books!!

So now here I am, with some of those books still unread. Yet I keep buying books. And yes, when I put my books away, I am always careful that the covers don't bend and the screws holding the shelves together don't scrape against them.

Here are some of the books that I bought so long ago that I still haven't read!


Archon (The Books of Raziel, #1)     Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)     Everlasting (Kissed by an Angel, #5)    Tempest Rising (Tempest, #1)


There are more, of course. But if I listed all of them it would take waaayyyyy too long!

So there's also the issue of guilt. I feel really guilty whenever I buy a new book. It's not like I've done anything wrong, but these guardians liked to make me feel guilty for everything possible. So that's carried into my current life and habits. For example, after my latest BookOutlet order, I felt so horrible guilty that I got a stomach ache. Yeah, not fun.

I'm getting better with this. After all, its just books! It's not like I've bought anything wrong. It's harmless, and I can spend my money how I'd like.

So, that's the story behind my book buying obsession. Hopefully, the reasons behind other peoples' book buying addictions aren't as sad. I hope I haven't upset or annoyed anyone with my sharing.... I just think that after all this time blogging, I've kept so much to myself that it's not obvious who I am as a person, that I might seem like an empty individual just churning out reviews on the internet. I want people to see me as who I am, and I want to let people know that if you're dealing with anything and need an ear, I'm here!

Let's end on a positive note, shall we?

This summer has been nice so far for me! I've had lots of time to read. I've also been making lots of art.

What I want to know is, what are you doing with your summer so far? Any plans?

And of course, tell me all about your book buying addictions in the comments below!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hourglass by Claudia Gray


6421588


Series: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Page Count: 339
Published: March 9th, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
  5 Stars ★★★★★


Bianca has escaped from Evernight Academy after a fight between the vampires and Black Cross. Now, she and her boyfriend, Lucas, are living with Black Cross, which is made much more dangerous by the fact that Bianca is actually a vampire. If Black Cross finds out, she could be tortured or even killed. 

While keeping her secret is hard enough, things become even harder when Balthazar is taken prisoner. Pretending to hate him, she and Lucas must now consider not only how to escape themselves, but how to rescue Balthazar as well. 

Things don't exactly go as planned, and Bianca struggles with the possibility of becoming a full vampire. She knows what kind of existence she'll have to live with if she goes through with it, but what will happen to her if she doesn't?

The third novel of the Evernight series really blew me away. It dealt with so much at once, including Bianca's relationship with Lucas, her love for her family and her struggle with her vampire nature. Everything seemed explored very deeply, and whenever I picked this up, I was totally captivated. 

Claudia Gray made this book especially emotional, particularly during the events near the end of the book. I will admit, I did cry a little (it seems I've been reading many tear-inducing books lately!) and I really, really need the next book. As soon as humanly possible. 

The level of emotion near the end shows how immersed in Bianca's world I found myself. I think the best part about this series is the relationships between the characters, not only Bianca's romantic relationship with Lucas but her friendships with Vic, Raquel, and especially Balthazar. After reading the first three books, which are written in Bianca's perspective, I honestly feel like I'm friends with these three too! Everyone feels so real, and the way that they care about each other is often touching. 

Bianca is one of my favourite characters in YA fiction because she is so strong. She is able to adapt to change quickly, she's passionate, and she's determined. She never truly gives up. I'm sad to know that there are only a few more books left in the series for me to read, because I just love everything about this series!

Aside from stirring up emotions, I found the ending of this book to be quite the cliffhanger. I can't wait to find a copy of Afterlife, though I'll probably wait a while to read it because I don't want to get closer to finishing the series!

Readers who like YA novels with vampires will appreciate the Evernight series. If you want a main character who is very likeable, and if you like reading about strong friendships and bonds through tough times, this series is for you!

Friday, 16 June 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read this Year so Far...



This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favourite / least favourite book read so far in 2017


Least Favourite

 Neuromancer

Oh this was so easy.... Neuromancer for sure. I had to read this for school. It was soooo painful. I wrote a mini review on Goodreads, I'll post it for you guys:
" 1.5 stars

Where to begin?

Well I guess first I'll say that I read this because it was required reading for English class. If my grades did not depend on me finishing this book, I would not have continued reading it after chapter two.

Every time I picked this up, it was only a matter of time until I felt like my brain was bleeding.

I have no idea what the point of this book was. The writing style was hard to follow and it was just...confusing.

So why did I add that .5 stars? Well, the author was pretty good at writing descriptions. Some of the aspects of the society in this book were interesting.

But overall I really wish we could've read another book for class."



Favourite

 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

So I decided to ignore sequels read this year because there are quite a few great sequels I read that could claim this spot. There are many awesome books that I've read so far, but I have to choose Mask of Shadows for this one.  While it wasn't five stars, it was four which is still really awesome. Plus, I was really emotionally invested in this book because I am so excited to read about fellow genderfluid people! 




Are either of these books on your to-read list?

Monday, 12 June 2017

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James


11603886


 Series: N/A
Author: Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Page Count: 410
Published: January 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
  4 Stars ★★★★


Claire goes to school at Emerson Academy, and she's hoping that she gets to stay there to graduate high school. She and her mother move around a lot, and Claire wants to stay for a while near her friends and crush for once. Things are changing for Claire, though. She's been having visions and she knows things that she shouldn't ... The idea of possibly being psychic scares yet excites her at the same time.

Alec is new at Emerson Academy, but friends and grades are the least of his worries. He's run away from his duties watching out for the spawn of angels, and making sure that those who have turned dark stay in line. He doesn't plan to meet Claire, or to fall for her. But with the possibility of imprisonment if he's found, and his sudden new mission to track down a Nephilim, meeting Claire, and discovering what she is, complicates everything.

It had been a while since I'd read a book about angels, so I figured I'd give this one a try because I'd picked it up so long ago. I was very impressed with the story and the characters, and I thought the romance was really sweet.

I enjoyed the author's use of angel myths, including the Nephilim. While forbidden romances can be cliche at times, I thought that this angel romance was forbidden in the best way possible. It wasn't too far fetched of a conflict, but I thought the problems that the characters faced were sufficient enough that their worries and fears truly made sense. This book had the perfect balance between conflict, romance, and everything else. 

Alec's rebellion against what he'd spent his life doing was one of the best parts of this story. I love when characters rebel or go against what they've been taught to believe, and Alec really fit this criteria. His courage to take a stand for himself and try living a new life at Emerson Academy was admirable, and his feelings for Claire were sincere. Alec was my favourite character because he was just so interesting, he had such a complex past with so many hopes for the future. 

I also find Claire a likeable character, and I enjoyed reading about her powers and visions and how they developed. Claire's friends played an important role supporting Claire in this tough time of her life, and I appreciated that they didn't abandon her when things got really crazy. The characters in this novel were very enjoyable to read about, and that's what made this book so special and interesting. 

However, I truly wish that this book had been longer. It doesn't seem that there's going to be a sequel, and with the ending that Forbidden had, I've found myself rather disappointed. That's the thing that took off a star for me. 

Overall, a great read. Fans of angel stories will like this book, especially if you're looking for a book that doesn't revolve solely around fallen angels. Those who like forbidden romances, especially those in YA, should give this book a try.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Pride Month Books

June is LGBTQ Pride Month! In honor of pride month, I have decided to talk about LGBTQ books that I have read, want to read, and are currently reading.




LGBTQ Books That I Have Read


Switch   Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1) 


Symptoms of Being Human

 If You Could Be Mine   Pink

Captive Prince is a gay romance that I won off of Goodreads! I really enjoyed it. Switch features a bisexual boy dealing with biphobia in his community. If You Could Be Mine is a bittersweet story of two girls in love in Iran, and Pink features a bisexual girl in an Australian setting. Symptoms of Being Human is my favourite out of all of these because it's about a genderfluid person, and there are so few books about us genderfluid folks! 

LGBTQ Books That I Want to Read

 Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out  Seven Ways We Lie

 Brooklyn, Burning   Carry On

 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  Two Boys Kissing

There are lots of LGBTQ books that I want to read as well! A few of them include Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Seven Ways We Lie, Brooklyn Burning, Carry On, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Two Boys Kissing. There are sooooo many more that I want to read, but this post would never end if I listed them all! 


LGBTQ Books That I Am Currently Reading

 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)   Unnatural (Archangel Academy, #1)

I'm reading two LGBTQ books at the moment, Mask of Shadows and Unnatural. Mask of Shadows is from Netgalley while Unnatural is from the thrift store! I am so excited to be reading Mask of Shadows because there are so few books with genderfluid people in them, and to read a fantasy book with a genderfluid protagonist is super awesome! 
Thoughts

I guess I just have some general thoughts to share on LGBTQ books! I'm really glad to see more and more books featuring LGBTQ characters being released every year. Whether they are main characters or side characters, I always get excited! 

I also like that there seem to be books that don't focus on coming out. While books about this are still awesome, I love to read about LGBTQ people just existing in daily life, whether that be in a contemporary setting or in a magical fantasy world. On that note, I've seen some comments and reviews about Mask of Shadows, my current read, concerning the fact that the focus of the book isn't the character's gender identity. They just happen to exist as a genderfluid person. Some readers have said that they don't see a point to having a genderfluid character if this isn't essential to the plot, and that they think the genderfluid part is kind of ridiculous (um, ouch?). People seem to lack the understanding that genderfluid people....casually exist.....like everyone else.....and every second of every day isn't focused on our genders! Gasp! And so our genders don't have to "add" to the plot. Does every book with a female protagonist have to be about 'girl power'? No? Then why should all representation of nonbinary people have to be all about that one aspect of the character? Just some food for thought. 

On the other hand, that's not to say that books that don't feature LGBTQ people are bad! I love many books that star cisgender, heterosexual people. However, as an LGBTQ person, I like to see characters like myself in novels and stories. 

So, that's it for this post! Tell me about your favourite LGBTQ books, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. Are you currently reading any LGBTQ books? Have you read or want to read any of the books that I've mentioned today? 

Happy Pride Month!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice

Series: N/A
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Page Count: 400
Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Britt is going on a trip with her friend, planning to backpack in the surrounding nature, and maybe even impress her ex-boyfriend, who dumped her unexpectedly months before. When she and her friend drive into a blizzard, she has to seek shelter in a nearby cabin inhabited by two men, Shaun and Mason. At first they seem friendly, but it soon becomes clear that something just isn't right. 

These men are on the run from the law, and they demand that Britt lead them off the mountain, taking her hostage. Britt soon finds that she is not the only girl who has run into trouble on this mountain, and as tensions rise, she doesn't know who she can trust. Will she survive? Or will she die at the hands of her kidnappers, or the blizzard?

I'm a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series, so when I saw that she had written a contemporary, young adult thriller, I was super excited. The idea of being trapped in a blizzard on a mountain, uncovering gruesome mysteries and fighting for survival, simultaneously terrifies and intrigues me, so naturally, I had to get this book. 

To be perfectly honest, I found the beginning a bit hard to get into. This wasn't due to the pacing, I think the pacing was actually really well done, but rather the characters. It took me a while to actually like Britt, the main character, and as for her best friend and ex-boyfriend, I never really liked them at all. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't like Britt at first, I think it was a mix of her narration and her fixation on her ex-boyfriend, but thankfully as I got further into the book, she became much more likeable. 

Her kidnappers, Shaun and Mason, brought an interesting dynamic to the story. Shaun, once revealed as a criminal, is completely unlikable in every way, and it isn't necessarily because of his criminal actions. As a person, he was deceptive and impulsive, and as a villain, he truly unnerved me. The idea that there are people like Shaun, real people, actually out there in the world.... Then there's Mason, who isn't really like Shaun at all, though Britt remains suspicious of him throughout the novel. Mason was written as a mysterious character, somebody with secret intentions, and I appreciated the little mystery of who exactly Mason was that was weaved into this story. 

I did have a bit of a problem with Mason's character at times, and this ties into some of my issues with Britt, as well. There was a bit of romance, or infatuation, in this book, but it just seemed out of place. I've read lots of books with kidnapping, mystery, and romance all mixed together nicely, but the romance in this book made me roll my eyes. I won't explain too much, as I don't want to spoil this for anyone, but I really believe that the romantic aspect could have been handled in a much, much better way.

One thing that I really did enjoy about this book was these memories or flashbacks of Britt's life that the reader gets every now and then. It helped me to understand Britt a little bit better, and it helped me to change my mind about disliking her. I feel that without these memories or flashbacks, this book wouldn't have been as enjoyable. 

The thing that made me truly appreciate this book was the twist at the end. While Britt and the reader are playing a guessing game throughout the whole book, the ending made me believe that one theory was true, and then the next page, it was like all the evidence just shattered and pointed to a completely different conclusion. Those last few chapters were a serious roller-coaster, and I had to stop myself from speed-reading through them to find out how it was all going to end. As for the actual ending, I think that it was a nice way to end the book, and while it played with some of the things that I had issues with earlier on in the novel, it wrapped things up nicely. 

Altogether, this was an awesome read. Thrilling and filled with mystery, I was not disappointed. While there were a few issues throughout the book, the twist ending certainly made up for it.

I recommend this to fans of young adult thrillers. If you like books that make you keep reading late into the night, play a guessing game with your mind, and offer devastating twists and turns, this book is for you.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Thoughts About Book Blogging: Part 2

Hey everyone! I'm back with more thoughts about book blogging.

In my last post, I discussed social anxiety, self-esteem, and my ever-growing to-read list. Be sure to check it out if you haven't yet!

While there are many things that I love about book blogging, there are some things that I don't really like at all. Blogging actually gives me anxiety, beyond the previously mentioned social anxiety. I'm afraid to say something that people won't like, and then get bullied for it. For example, if I enjoy a book that others really hate, especially if they believe they hate it for "righteous" reasons. I fear being harassed! That's part of why I added a comment policy on my blog. I'm a bit reassured by the 'block' features on Twitter and other sites, that I could use if need be, though I'd rather not.


You could say this anxiety is tormenting me.... (Instagram)


I'm really tired of seeing such hatred in the book community. I wish people would just leave each other alone. It's such a simple solution.....enjoy the books that you enjoy, while others will love the books that they love! Sometimes, others will adore a book that you hate, and that's life. But hating on others based on their opinion of certain books, the reaches of fiction in the real world, and other ideas is absolutely unacceptable and I am so disappointed in the way that people have been targeting each other lately. 


We post blue against bullying! (Instagram)


There are some great Instagram tags for those of us against bullying to show our support for a kind and respectful book blogging environment, and those that I use include #booksnotbullies and #onwednesdayswepostblue . A safe, online environment is important, especially for those of us who love to express our thoughts on the awesome art that is writing! No matter what kinds of books you read, big or small, fiction or non-fiction, young adult or adult, fluffy contemporary or terrifying horror, you and I should be able to read whatever we want in peace! 



 When you're tired of the world, cuddle cats! (Instagram)


I've considered going on hiatus, or even giving up book blogging because I am so tired of what's been going on lately. But I love blogging. I love sharing my thoughts about books. All of the awesome things I discussed in my last 'thoughts about book blogging' post remain true despite all this drama, and if I give up, the bullies win! So it appears that for now, I am here to stay .