Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read during Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks topic is:

Top Ten Halloween/Creepy Reads!

Well I'm a complete wuss. And I can scare myself easily enough. So why get someone else to help me out?  Which means I don't read a lot of creepy books. But here's what I could come up with.


I Hunt Killers- Who doesn't like a good thriller this time of year? Especially one told from a serial killers son.
Anna Dressed in Blood- I LOVE this book. A ghost hunter who falls in love with one of the nastiest ghosts. Plus it takes place in Ontario.
Unwind- Totally surprised by how much I liked this one. Parents can choose to have their teenage kids Unwound. Pretty much abortion. Creepy...
The Forest of Hands and Teeth- Zombies in a dystopian society.

172 Hours on the Moon- Kids get the chance to go to the moon. But something is waiting up there for them. And it's not a nice something.
Splintered- A kind of re-telling of Alice in Wonderland. The original is creepy, but this one steps it up. A lot.
Graveminder- A paranormal ghost type mystery. It creeped me out.
Dracula- The original vampire story. How couldn't it make this list?

A Monster Calls- A very dark story about a monster showing up every night in a boys dreams. Of course there's deeper meaning in the end.
Goosebumps- C'mon. Obviously. It's my childhood.

How about you guys? Favourite reads this time of year?

Happy reading!


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #7

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme held by Books, Biscuits and Tea. It allows fellow bloggers to show off any books or bookish things they've compiled over the week.

This week there was only one thing on my mind. Allegiant. And since it left me emotionally crippled I wasn't really thinking about any other books. Or anything else for that matter. Until I decided I should arise from my bed into the world. And lo' and behold my local bookstore had one my most anticipated books of the year out 4 days early! I am three quarters of the way through and loving it. It's also a welcome distraction from all my brooding over Allegiant. Will I ever get over it? At this point it doesn't seem likely. :/


Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa

How about you guys? I'm guessing there was a lot of Allegiant purchases this week? I think we should start a support group. I feel like it's much needed.

Be brave.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Publication Date:
January 17th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 305
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
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Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends, Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home-and his own art-through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

I was hesitant to start another book so soon after Allegiant. It has left me with a huge hangover where my head is still stuck constantly thinking (and possibly crying) about it. So needless to say it wouldn't be fair of me to start another book, my heart wouldn't be in. I wouldn't be absorbing the story. I'd probably not have any idea what's actually going on. But I didn't want to get into a reading slump, so I decided on a middle-grade book. And picking up The One and Only Ivan turned out to be a good thing. It's a quick read that doesn't require so much attention. The story and message this book contains speaks for itself and with the way I'm feeling right now it took even deeper meaning with me than if I wasn't so mopey.

This book is told from Ivan's POV. He's a gorilla. Yup, that's what I thought too, this could get interesting. And it is. Applegate based her book on a news story from a few years ago about a gorilla starting out as someone’s "pet". Having the book from Ivan's POV was the only way this story could have been told with meaning. His views of what's happening to him and going on around him hit harder this way than if it was a bystander to Ivan's situation.
Ivan is 27 and only spent a very tiny portion of his life out of captivity. He started out living in Macks (his owner) house and when he got too big for there was moved to a cage at a mall circus. Ivan views his cage as his domain because he doesn't know any better. That is until Ruby, a baby elephant, comes into his life. And then he starts to realize this is not where he belongs or any animal belongs. They belong to their own kind.

All the other animals present in this book have not had a good life. From Bob the stray dog. To Stella another elephant who has spent her entire life in a circus and now suffers from a very infected foot. And then Ruby who was taken from her family in Africa and shipped to America to be another circus animal. It's one very sad story.
But it's the way the animals talk to each other and voice their opinions on their world that keeps it from getting unbearably sad. I got caught up in the story and how right they all were about humanity that it distracted me from any major feels.

I've seen people say that this is too sad to be a middle-grade book. But I disagree. It only works as a middle-grade book. For one you've got Ivan, his voice is very straight and to the point. He's a gorilla. He makes it easy to understand what's happening. Also, kids are very perceptive. They know the difference between right and wrong. We have to give them more credit to know that how these animals are being treated is not in fact right. Animals are living creatures too. What gives someone the right to keep them locked up for 30 years? There are very good lessons and meanings a child can take from this book. And that's why reading this together with them and then discussing the issues is important. You're increasing their awareness on an important subject matter.

As mentioned before, it's the animals take on humanity that I found the most interesting. And as an older reader, I'm sure most would agree. Bob the dog sees humans as pretty bad people. He is not surprised when they do something mean. He always expects the worse from them. And at the end is genuinely surprised when they actually help Ivan and Ruby out. Ivan can see the both good and bad in people. He doesn't understand why they do some of the things they do. Stella has to constantly remind him that this isn't where he belongs. His cage is not his domain, it is a cage. He deserves better. And just like Ivan sees, there are both bad humans like Mack and good humans like George (the janitor) and Julia (his daughter) in the book. Ivan is an artist, he draws on paper what he sees and Julia helps him out. As she is an artist too. The relationship between them is endearing.

As it is a middle-grade book, there is, of course, a happy ending. Which is what I needed and another reason why I picked it up. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.
I love this book. The message it delivers. And the story itself. It will be one I read again.

Happy reading!


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Publication Date:
October 22nd, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 544
Series: Divergent
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
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One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation-like a single choice-changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered-fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's know, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature-and of herself-while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love. 

Allegiant Day has come and gone. Something that I've been waiting a year and half for. And now I'm an emotional wreck. A book has not done this to me since Deathly Hallows. I closed the book, curled into the fetal position and cried. Got a few hours of sleep, opened my eyes and cried some more. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a very emotional person. So the fact that V.Roth has this power over me is a little alarming. But also proves what an engaging writer she is. It is so easy to fly through this trilogy. She keeps you turning pages. I became very invested in the lives of these characters. I felt everything they felt. And as I'm sure any book nerd would agree with me on (whether with this series or another), they are my friends. I cared so much about them.

Allegiant is easily one of the strongest finishes to a series I've read. V.Roth was not afraid to take risks. Some of those risks may have shattered my heart into a million pieces, but in the end I agree that those moments were right for the story.
I've seen quite a few people say Allegiant was too preachy. I don't feel that way. Ultimately a lot of actions and decisions made came down to what is logical versus what is right. And for me the underlining themes are the same for both. Bravery. Love. Sacrifices. You don't have to be organizing a revolution for any of those themes to come into your day to day life. So I don't understand how an author reminding you to be brave, to love wholly or to know that everyone has to make sacrifices is a bad thing. Especially when you're getting such powerful words from such strong characters as Tris and Tobias.
Which brings me to the dual POV. I was so excited when I learned we would be getting Tobias's voice too. I knew going in that Tris and Tobias would have separate journeys they would need to be on. Both equally as important. Both needing to be explored. Or even when they are together Tobias would offer a different voice to that situation. Which lead true on all accounts.
Tris is very straight forward and to the point. Whereas Tobias is more poetic and descriptive. They both add very distinct voices to the story. And in Allegiant both are very much needed. Once you come to the end of the book, you'll understand why.
Tris did a lot of growing throughout Divergent and Insurgent. So when it came to Allegiant she is at her strongest. She knows what's most important to her. And she knew what it would take to get there. She's brave, wise and selfless. She also comes to an understanding with her past, her family, the world they're living in. Which made her a reliable person. She knew what was right and wrong. It stopped her from making such rash decisions that she had in the past books. Although I do feel it also made her a kind of patronizing when she was telling someone she is right and they should do what she says or should have done what she said. It made me mad in those conversations, but I also soon realized she's still 16. A teenager. They always think they're right. I know I did. And I definitely would point it out when I was. So I thought it was good to be reminded of her age once and awhile. She's still a kick ass heroine till the end!

Tobias surprised me a little. Being in his head you quickly come to realize some of his vulnerabilities that didn't stand out in Tris's mind. He's broken, damaged and obsessive (who else by Four would continually enter their dream landscapes?). And that all comes down to his childhood and the lack of parental love. He just wants to feel love and give his love in return. When Tris came into his life and helped shaped him into a more softer, emotional man. He needed that. He still fights against that darkness inside him. But he finally had love in his life. He's still strong and can show no mercy when needed. But he also found someone he wants to protect. Unfortunately some decisions he made whether because he thought they were right or out of protectiveness for Tris lead to difficult outcomes and broke my heart. But it also showed that he has flaws. No ones perfect and every choice has an outcome. Not all of them will be good. I just love Tobias so much. For me he is a complete character with strengths and flaws.

One of the things I love most about this trilogy is Tris's and Tobias's relationship. It's very dynamic with ups and downs. Which made it very real. A relationship is never going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Especially not in the situation they are in. There was trust issues, lies, disagreements. But they also fought for each other. Made each other better people. And just loved fully. Allegiant had a lot of cute moments between them. But also a lot of heart wrenching moments. This quote about sums it up for me.

"I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.”

I will mention to also be prepared for a lot of info dumping at the beginning. It's a lot to take in. A little confusing. But necessary. And it will all make sense in no time.

The Divergent trilogy and especially Allegiant is heroic, complex and heart breaking. As well as touching on so many important topics about humanity, individuality and choices. It is a trilogy I will come back to again and again. Somewhere where I will find comfort and old friends. And many, many feels.

"Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can't escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other."

Thank you Veronica Roth. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next.

And now back to the safety of my bed where I hopefully won't eat my feelings.

Be Brave.


**I realize this review might not be fully coherent. I wanted to keep any spoilers out and just stick with the facts. But my emotions are seriously all over the place. I might write up a discussion post when I've had more time to process everything.**

Monday, 21 October 2013

Guest Post: Author Jamie Baywood

Jamie did what a lot of us want to do; pack up and move to another country. And she choose New Zealand.
Super jealous! New Zealand has been a dream trip of mine for many a years. I'll admit that's because of the Lord of the Rings movies. They showed me how beautiful New Zealand is. And since than I've wanted to visit each filming location. Also working in the travel industry has made me even more excited to get there one day.   
Here's a few words from Jamie on her time in New Zealand:

"It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand.

 I consider myself an accidental author. I didn't go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.

One of the first people I meet was Colin Mathura-Jeffree from New Zealand's Next Top Model. I had no idea who he was or that he was on TV when I meet him. He is friends with my former flatmate. We had a steep staircase that I kept falling down. Colin taught me to walk like a model so I wouldn't fall down the stairs.

In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning New Zealand than it does in the States.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland. The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand. All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren't their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn't acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.”

I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor. I plan to divide my books by the countries I've lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland."

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her 
experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.
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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #6

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme held by Books, Biscuits and Tea. It allows fellow bloggers to show off any books or bookish things they've compiled over the week.

It has been a decent book week. I mean Never Fade did come out! I may not have read it yet, but I will by the end of the month. The Darkest Minds was another book with a !!!! ending.


On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Losing It by Cora Carmack
Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken

Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan
Endless by Amanda Gray
Crashing Into You by B.D Rowe
The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer #1) by J.E Alexander

I'm really excited to read all the books I purchased this week. Heard great things about them all. But Never Fade will definitely be read as soon as I've finished Allegiant (Ahh it's almost here!).

What about you guys? Get anything good this week?

Happy reading!


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

Publication Date:
September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Putnam
Pages: 336
Series: Heart of Dread
Source: Library
Rating: 2.5/5
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Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature- freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called "the Blue." They say it's a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it's a place where Nat won't be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light. 

But the passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible and her only shot is to be on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all. 

This review is going to be pretty short. Besides not having much to say, I can't seem to find the energy to write a more thorough review. This may be because I felt that this was just a lazily written book. This being my first de la Cruz book I don't have anything to compare it to. But reading Frozen doesn't make me want to pick up her Blue Blood series.

The most disappointing bit is this book had so much potential. It was just, obviously, not utilized. Frozen is a mix of post-apocalyptic, dystopian and fantasy. Three genres I love. And what made me interested in reading this.
The world is covered in ice and snow. The oceans are toxic. And new governments have sprouted up. But there's also rumors of this "Blue." A place where it's lush and warm. Pretty much a paradise.
Also, overtime, kids have started to develop powers. Like telekinesis, healing, etc... And like with anything new and different they've been prosecuted and shoved into working hospitals.
Nat, our heroine, is in search of the "Blue." And thus hires Wes and his crew/

Nat has some kind of hidden power. She doesn't know the extent of what she can do. But after learning more about this new world it becomes pretty obvious how powerful she will be by the end of the book.
I'm pretty indifferent on her as a character. She didn't really annoy me. But there was never a time when I was really putting a face to her in my head. I didn't really care what she could look like.

At sixteen, Wes has been through the military and had a bright future as a higher ranking official. But decided he didn't want any part in that. So he took to doing more "shady" activities.
I like Wes. He's pretty smart and loyal towards his crew.
The unfortunate part is the romance. It's pretty much forced upon the reader. Even the dialogue between Nat and Wes seems forced. Nothing about it happens naturally.

The story is pretty predictable and slow. There was not one page where I couldn't have guessed what was going to happen. And what does predictability lead to? Boredom. Which leads to skim reading, just so I wouldn't DNF. I hate DNF'ing...

We'll see if I end up continuing with this series. There's every hope the second book will be better. But I won't be in any rush to see.

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Publication Date:
July 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
Pages: 250
Series: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 2/5
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Infinite possibilities...
Infinite passion...
Infinite danger...

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn't trust him. I shouldn't tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee as she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she's finally dared to believe she is forgotten-even is she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a place, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take "no" as an answer, her sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more the she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

The thing about this review is, I don't want to write it. It's not like it gives me pleasure to write a negative review. And I know I'm not going to love every book I read. But I did request this book to review, so it makes me feel sad knowing I have to send this into the publisher. Alas, how was I to know this book just wouldn't be for me?

Let's start off with the positive. This book was a lot more of a thriller than I was expecting. Amy is basically on the run. Her family was murdered a few years ago, but she got away. So now this unknown person(s) is after her. The weird thing about her situation is that she's not the one orchestrating her new identity. She has this sort of handler (whom she's never met or has any idea who they are) who contacted her right after her family was killed and told her to run. They set up a new life for her and has been doing so every time this unknown killer is on to her new location. Weird and interesting? Totally. Of course that means Amy is lonely, kind of a recluse and suspicious of everyone. And that's what I think Jones did the best in this book; the suspicion. It was really the only thing that kept me reading. I was definitely right there with Amy, feeling distrustful of everyone she met.

Now the hard stuff. Firstly, I didn't really enjoy the writing. It was super cheesy and simple. I found myself rolling my eyes a little to often.
Amy is another Bella Swan character. Nothing distinguishable about her. I have no idea what she looks like. She was faceless in my imagination. Her personality, what little there was of one, was blah. She's pretty much an idiot. She's suspicious of everyone yet so trusting of people she shouldn't be at the same time. That obviously doesn't make sense. And I'm as confused as you are...
And than there's the romance. Girl shares look with boy at airport. Girl sits next to boy on airplane. Girl pretends she doesn't want boy following her up to her apartment. Girl has best night of her life. And BAM it's love! *rolls eyes*
Liam Stone is your typical dark and handsome, overbearing jackass. And of course he's a young billionaire prodigy. He keeps to himself. Doesn't do relationships. Only one nighters. And shocker, he goes all dom on Amy (which of course isn't limited to the bedroom). He's throwing money at her left, right and center. Even though she continually tells hims she doesn't want it. But he just wants to take care of her, so obviously she should suck it up and just let him take care of her.
There was a part towards the end where Amy was in a bar having a drink waiting on a girlfriend when her male neighbour notices her and comes over. Douchebag eventually texts her to see where she is, she tells him. And lo' and behold guess who walks in exactly when she is having a sip from her neighbours beer. He uses his deep angry voice telling her it's time to go. Amy does at least have the common sense to be embarrassed, but she still follows him out of the bar. And eventually forgives him because he was having a bad day. Are you effing joking me?! There is no way in hell someone would be allowed to talk to me like that and get away with it! I won't even get into the pregnancy scare or that within a day or two of knowing each other he tells her that he's going to set up a doctors appointment so she can go on the pill ASAP. She's a moron and he's an asshole. Perfect relationship ensues...

Surprisingly after all that I actually want to read the sequel. This one leaves off on a cliff-hanger. Nothing is sorted out. You actually have more questions at the end. So I need to have closure there. I'll have to use my trusty skim reading skills to get me by.

Happy reading!


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #5

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme held by Books, Biscuits and Tea. It allows fellow bloggers to show off any books or bookish things they've compiled over the week.


Happy Thanksgiving weekend from Canada! If you're celebrating this weekend hope you are enjoying time with friends and family and eating lots of turkey.
One of my most anticipated books of 2013 came out this week. So of course that was in my hands as soon as possible. And found some good Amazon bargain books.
Also, as you might notice, I got to meet the lovely Rainbow Rowell this week! She is hilarious, bubbly and just a nice person.


The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan
Substitute Creature (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #4) by Charles Gilman
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Manga #1) by Cassandra Clare & HyeKyung Baek
Sweep: Volume 2 (Sweep books #4-6) by Cate Tiernan
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Tides by Betsy Cornwell


Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead


The Summer I found You by Jolene Perry


Of course I've already read House of Hades and it was fantastic, as expected. I'm interested to read Gameboard of the Gods because I thoroughly enjoyed the Vampire Academy series. But I've heard this book is quite slow. So that's why I took it out from the library.
How about you guys? What you get this week?

Happy reading!


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Review: The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom(Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

Publication Date:
August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Series: Fire and Thorns
Source: Library
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads

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.

Well that's it. After a extremely slow start with the first book, in the end I really did enjoy this trilogy. They weren't the high fantasy books I thought they would be but they were a good, different story.

Elisa did grew a lot throughout the books. She does face a lot of turmoil from every side; people she should trust, enemies, her destiny with the Godstone and even weather. She became the leader her kingdom needs. And more importantly she's a pretty strong heroine. Not one of my personal favourite fantasy heroines, but she could hold her own.

The romance was super cute. It was never pushed upon you. You definitely knew that Elisa's journey was the main focus. And part of that journey is Hector. They fought for each other. They fought enemies to get to each other. Everybody was rooting for them. I'd love me some Hector too.

The Bitter Kingdom brings everything to a neat conclusion. Elisa fights for her destiny. She learns how powerful she is. We discover more about the ancient magic that as God's chosen one she can wield.  This last book left me feeling satisfied. And I also felt it was the strongest of the three books.

I would recommend this trilogy for newbies to fantasy or someone who doesn't tend to read the genre, that might just want something different. The world building isn't as in depth. But the characters and interesting weaving of Spanish lore into the story offer an enjoyable read.
I'll be interested to see what Carson comes out with next. I enjoyed her writing, so I'll definitely look into any future books she releases.

Anyone else finished the Fire and Thorns trilogy? Thoughts?

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best and Worst Series Endings!

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme held by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks topic is:

Top Ten Best & Worst Series Endings!

 I could easily fill a top ten list for both best and worst endings but I'm going to split this in half and do five and five.


  I assume this will be on a lot of peoples list and obviously I think it deserves to be. Then ending was terrible, yes. But my problem was the whole book. It just didn't make sense character or plot wise. I did love Delirium, so that was sad for me.

I think this might be the theme for worst endings. Trilogy starters that I loved and endings that I hated. Loved Matched. Disliked Reached. It was so blah and predictable. 

Clearly Twilight was no work of art. But it was enjoyable if you took it for what it was. But Breaking Dawn was crap! All this work up for a big vampire battle and then Bella wins by being amazing. Awful...

Again, another book that I loved the first one, Firelight. Such a different book with dragons. But unfortunately the trilogy got worse not better. And truthfully I don't remember what even happened at the end. Because I couldn't have cared less.

Yes, I read the whole Halo trilogy. No, I'm not sure why. They were alright. Nothing special. And that's why it makes the list; no improvement throughout the the books the just stayed meh with an obvious all tied up in a bow ending.


 Now this is a fantastic fantasy trilogy. Go get Poison Study right now! I thought the ending was awesome. And left me wanting more of the characters in the future (which is apparently happening!!!).

Jessica Darling as a "grown up". Of course I wanted to know where her life went. And Marcus too... I thought it was a super cute ending.

Graceling is another fantastic fantasy novel. And I loved seeing how Bitterblue, this very, very young queen was handling her throne and new life.

Obviously The Infernal Devices makes this list. Best ending to a series EVER! Oh my God, the feels! Never have I been more satisfied.

 Across the Universe was great. But Shades of Earth blew my mind. My jaw was dropped for very large portions. And that is how you end a series people.

How about you guys? Favourites? Disappointments?

Happy reading!


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #4

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme held by Books, Biscuits and Tea. It allows fellow bloggers to show off any books or bookish things they've complied over the week. 

Bought a few shiny new releases this week. October just has soooo many of them. My pay cheque might as well be deposited right into Chapters and Amazon's tills. They'll be taking all my money anyways. :)



Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson
Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston


I'm pretty excited about all of these. Well besides Frozen. I'm more weary. I want it to be good but I don't know. As to why I got it from the library.
How about you guys? What you get this week?

Happy reading!