Sunday, 9 March 2014

All Was Well

Hi friends,

This will likely come as a surprise to few of you but I've decided to say goodbye to book blogging. While I have loved this journey so so so much, I just don't have the same time or passion to dedicate to it anymore and I thought it was finally time to make things official.

Thank you SO much for your love and support over the years. Every comment, tweet and email has meant the world to me -- you guys are the greatest.

While I'm sad to leave this part of my life behind, I'm equal parts excited! I'm looking forward to reading books just for the sake of reading them again. I want to savour every word; to reach the last page of a new favourite book and just start again at the beginning right away. I want to start regularly using my library again once I pay off that scary fine.

I'm going to try and start using Twitter again (I know, I'm terrible at it!) so I hope you'll come find me there :) YA has taken a backseat the past few months but I'd really like to get back into it again, even if it's not in a blogging capacity, so I'm hoping Twitter will continue to supply me with endless bookish news and love.

Once again, thank you for giving a 15 year old girl (!!!) a platform to rave about books. I appreciate your enthusiasm more than you can know <3

Much love,

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait to Get My Hands On

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Sequels You Can't Wait to Get Your Hands On. I am unbelievably excited for all of these books! Gorgeous sequels, COME TO ME <3

(in order of release date)

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Aug 27/13
Okay, okay, I know I'm way late on this one... but I'm still stoked to read it and continue the series! Talking briefly to Michelle from Lipstick and Literature about it at the Ontario Blogger Meet-up this weekend just rekindled my excitement for it!

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater Sept 17/13
Another late entry but I can't help myself for this, I need it yesterday! The Raven Boys was such an amazing book, and, more than that, the kind of book that leaves me in desperate need of more. So more of Blue and the boys? Yes, please.

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead Nov 19/13
Richelle Mead knows how to write a story, that's all I'll say. Sydrian Sydrian Sydrian!

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton Jan 21/14
Ahhh, how could Everbound end off like it did?! I'm so excited to see how Brodi Ashton will handle the last book of the series. I'm not sure that I have a way I'd like this one to end myself so I'm fairly open to whatever she has planned!

Cress by Marissa Meyer Feb 4/14
This series is one of my favourites! I'm crossing my fingers for some good interaction between Cinder and Kai and preparing myself for some crazy schemes. Also, I think my mom (who is so not a reader) is more excited for this than I am? She's already planning to snatch up my review copy before I can get to it.

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi Feb 4/14
Warner, Adam... who cares? It's all about Juliette! (Okay, and Kenji....) I'm expecting big things from the final installment of the Shatter Me series.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins May 13/14
Finally a break from the supernatural! ;) I can't wait for the warm fuzzies from reading this book. Stephanie Perkins' books are the perfect bad day cure.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare May 2014
It's... over? It feels like I've been reading this series my entire life (probably because it's been like 5 years now...) to the point where I just want to see how some characters make it out and escape with my sanity! I'm way too invested in some of these characters (like Magnus... and Alec... and Magnus... and Alec...).

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo June 3/14
My brain turns to mush when I even think about this series. Just... what?? Leigh Bardugo has woven one heck of a tale and I am dying to see how she'll end it. These books take so much out of me emotionally and I'm looking forward to/dreading (I'll let you know when I decide) the explosion that this book is sure to be. But like, the way Siege and Storm ended... wow.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman Mar 24/15
I'm really relieved to see that Rachel Hartman is taking her time with the sequel to Seraphina because it seems to me the kind of book that requires plenty of planning and tweaking to turn into the intricate, detailed, gorgeous finished product that the first book was. Still though, I would love to have it in my hands!


Lesson learned from today's post: I use way too many brackets (5) and ellipses (9). I assure you though, this is really what it sounds like in my head! Just keeping it real, folks.

So these are my top picks! Which sequels are you dying to get your hands on?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

VesselVessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Add to: Goodreads
Source: Library
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardcover, 424 pages
Release Date: September 11, 2012

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.
Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.
The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice--she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate--or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

It's no secret that fantasy is my favourite genre. The premise of Vessel had me wide-eyed and eager with anticipation as soon as I heard of it with promises of a trickster god, desert tribes and sand-wolves. However while I liked it well enough, I found myself a little disappointed with Vessel.

Don't get me wrong, the world-building was great. I loved the fantasy elements and adored the stories that were shared. From the world set-up perspective, I was perfectly content and had no trouble at all tearing through this novel. It's easy to read and entertaining as an added bonus.

Where Vessel didn't fare as well for me was mostly in character development and plot progression. Vessel is well-positioned to examine a number of complex moral issues. However while these issues are addressed and pondered, I feel like the author could have done so much more with them by bringing in the characters more. Liyana and the other vessels all appeared fairly one-dimensional. I can categorize them easily by certain distinctive personality traits but these general overviews didn't allow me to connect with them on a more personal level. I wanted to be swept up in feeling for these teens but I struggled to empathize with their situations. The only character that really held my attention was Korbyn, the trickster god, who seemed the most complexly-developed to me.

Sarah Beth Durst is a talented writer and as I said before, the novel reads easily enough with the support of fascinating little stories, but I have to say that the plot dragged at times. The book is written to be slow-going but my dissatisfaction with some of the moral dilemmas coupled with some repetition made it feel overly so at parts.

I'm aware that this review may sound more negative than positive but I'd just like to stress that this novel is really one that I enjoyed reading. The expectations that I had for this book going into it were likely unfairly high and I think my disappointment reflects that. If it sounds remotely interesting to you though, I, as always, really encourage you to give it a try!

3 Golden Crowns

Cover Comments: *swoon* This cover is so dreamy, I adore it.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Top 7 Scariest Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Scariest-Looking Book Covers. 

I'm the first to admit I'm easily creeped out but I still couldn't make it to ten this time. I tried to stick to books that I would actually consider reading because, let's be real, plenty of horror covers scare me but I'm not quite prepared to actually venture into the genre. (This is what happens when you read It at like age ten, you are SCARRED FOR LIFE).

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)

I've mentioned Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children before as one that freaks the hell out of me and it definitely tops the list! That little girl... just so scary. This is the stuff of nightmares.

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)

Speaking of creepy little girls... I debated briefly between From Bad to Cursed and its predecessor, Bad Girls Don't Die, but this one won pretty quickly. That's just the creepiest expression, ugh!!

The Replacement

Sharp weaponry + baby carriage? Yikes. The smoky fog and creepy tree branch in The Replacement's aren't really helping matters either!

A Certain Slant of Light (Light, #1)

I checked A Certain Slant of Light out from the library way back when I first started blogging but had to return it before even cracking open the cover because it just scared me too much! Part of the scariness of this one comes (for me) from how unclean everything seems.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) 

This book cover is definitely more gorgeous-creepy for me than straight-up scary but scary it remains! The creepy house in the back, the blowing hair, the BLOODY LEGS... Anna Dressed in Blood seems so perfect for Halloween time reading!

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

Tell me Unwind doesn't have the creepiest cover! This is such a typical horror movie image, it brings up a lot of feels!

The Unquiet

I actually think this is a gorgeous shot, but nevertheless, also pretty spooky. The Unquiet definitely gives off the creepy, psychologically-intense vibe. 

That's all for me! Do any of these creep you out too? Share your TTT links! :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Crown of Embers/The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Add to: Goodreads
Source: Library and purchased
Publisher: Greenwillow Books


The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.
The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny. Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

I've decided to do a joint review for these books because, 1) I don't want to bore you all with 2 reviews of the same series in a row and 2) my thoughts for both are very similar anyway.

Okay folks, here's the deal: if you haven't started this series yet, go away and order them from your library/bookstore and GET IT DONE. I don't know what the heck I was thinking waiting so long to pick the first book off my shelf but this series made it to my ultimate favourite shelf SO fast.

Elisa. This girl, guys. Elisa is such a force to be reckoned with. She's determined, strategic and smart and her development is breathtaking. I love that Rae Carson strips her of her crutches (friends, family, etc.) in these two books until only she's left and that while she stumbles along the way, she makes it to the end. Elisa discovers who SHE is and learns to love that person and I could not be more proud of her as a reader.

The supporting cast in this series (Hector) is amazing. I'm so invested in these characters (Hector) and I would just like to inquire as to where I may find my own (Hector)? These characters are there to support Elisa, as a friend and queen, but also exist independently of her. Certain characters in particular aren't afraid to call Elisa out on her bad choices and it makes me love them even more.

My favourite part of this series (trumping even romance!) is without a doubt the political aspect (says the International Studies major...). Ruling a kingdom, especially during a time of such political turmoil, is by no means an easy job and I loved watching Elisa learn to navigate the waters. There's such an emphasis on her struggle between being a good ruler and sticking to her beliefs, of keeping distance from the situation but also being invested in her people. She's dealing with more experienced people, more powerful enemies and she still never backs down. These books get an A+ for not holding back with the harsher realities of ruling a kingdom.

And finally, the part you all care about: romance! I won't say much so as not to be overly spoilery, but <3. Let's just say I did a lot of squealing and swooning and grinning into my pillow at 3 AM with these. Rae Carson has written one of the strongest, sweetest couples I can remember reading about and I think re-reads are in order for that alone.

Cover Comments: Yeah, I don't really love the covers for these books... they're alright.

5 Golden Crowns
(hahaha crowns... get it?)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A Life Update...

Hi all! Sorry the blog (and my online self in general) have been a bit quiet this past little while. I started university on Monday and this entire week has been a jam-packed week of settling in. I don't know if it's called Frosh Week everywhere or just here but basically, I've been participating in a week of orientation activities/adventures. (To be honest, it's a week of cheers and partying and fun, it's been amazing!) I'll start classes tomorrow morning and I am really really STOKED!

So please forgive me if things are a bit hectic here as I try to get into a good routine :) Feel free to update me with any must-reads/bookish news/personal news! I'll talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Top Ten Favourite Secondary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Favourite Secondary Characters and such a hard one! I've tried to narrow it down and pick my actual favourites but the truth is, while I LOVE a lot of characters while reading the book, secondary characters don't always stick with me. I guess that's how you pick the favourites though, right? The ones that actually stick with you?
Neville Longbottom
Every book could use a Neville Longbottom! Neville is the BEST. The way that he turns from a clumsy, awkward boy to a confident and capable wizard is a beautiful transformation and even better because... it's Neville! He's sweet and dedicated and loyal and my heart twisted for him every time someone tried to mess with him.
Magnus Bane
I love Magnus! He's flamboyant, charming and sparkly -- a winning combination. I love how open and sincere Magnus is as a character. After living for who knows how long, he is understandably jaded and hardened by some of the things he's experienced, but he never lets that get in the way of his cheerful nature.
Finnick Odair
FINNICK <3 I love that Finnick is so much more than you initially see him as. Sidenote: I can't WAIT to see Finnick in Catching Fire. Every time I see a picture or part of the trailer with him in it, I get all excited and bouncy.
Nikolai from Siege and Storm is the best addition to the series ever! He has some hilarious, witty lines and a magnetic, winning personality. I loved that his words and actions were so well thought-out and that he genuinely cared about his work. Fingers crossed that there's more Nikolai to come in Ruin and Rising!
Asha from Speechless by Hannah Harrington is the best friend you could ask for. She's such a fun, friendly character and definitely one of the most genuinely kind, accepting people I've read about. Just remember: the square root of awesome is Asha! <3
Lola's dads
Lola's dads are so real! They're the perfect blend of protective and caring. They were really invested in Lola's well-being but also in her happiness. Also, they have a pie business and make fun of Lola almost as much as my parents make fun of me. I am in full support of this family!
Adrian Ivashkov
I don't know if Adrian counts as a secondary character, even in the Vampire Academy series but I figured that if I had an excuse to gush over Mr. Ivashkov, I should take it! Adrian, Adrian, Adrian. Adrian is hilarious and charming but more than that, he's kind and considerate and loving. Also, gorgeous. It's hard to forget how amazing of a character Adrian is. He was a favourite of mine from when we were first introduced to him in Frostbite and he's been on that list ever since!
Sir Nealan of Queenscove
If Adrian doesn't count as a secondary character, I'm pretty sure Neal from the Protector of the Small quartet doesn't either but... oh well. Neal is such a great character and friend to Kel! He's there for her when she needs him, he always has his head stuck in a book and he has the most dry sense of humour. I miss reading about him!
Grim! I love this cat, he is the greatest. I love that he was actually REALLY NECESSARY as a secondary character for the main characters to achieve their goals. He's got so much sass but also so much wisdom. As he continually reminds us... he's a cat!
Luna Lovegood
I will defend Luna ANY DAY. She's such a strong, independent character and I adore the fact that she is never ever ever afraid to be herself or stand up for what she thinks is right.
Well, there's my top ten! What's yours?