Sunday, 31 August 2014

Showcase Sunday #50

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.

Hey guys. Can you believe this is the last weekend of August? Where does the time go? Actually my one year blogaversary is coming up in like two weeks. That just flabbergasts me. I've been doing this book blogging for a whole year. Wow.  
Books, books, books. There's always books here. I got my pre-orders from Chapters in(yes Silver Shadows has been out since July but because I ordered it with Revenge of Seven it only just came). Plus I may have accidentally ordered from Book Outlet. Again... To be fair, these are some really good finds. They were cheap. I already own/read City of Bones but my copy is a paperback, and I've wanted to pick up the first three in hardback to match the rest of my series. So when I found it on there for so cheap I couldn't pass it up(spoiler, I'll have another Book Outlet order next week that might have another MI book). Obviously.
Netgalley was also good to me this week. I'm excited for all three of those books. As Long As You Love Me is actually for the blog tour. And you're welcome for getting BSB stuck in your head. :)

Purchased
The Revenge of Seven(Lorien Legacies #5) by Pittacus Lore
Silver Shadows(Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead
Glass(Crank #2) by Ellen Hopkins
The Vincent Boys(The Vincent Boys #1) by Abbi Glines
The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert
The Thinking Women's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
The City of Bones(The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

Netgalley

Gifted
Because Samantha is an awesome person and likes to spoil me, she sent me these lovely presents. She went to a Sarah J Maas signing and was beyond nice enough to get the three books that are currently out in the Throne of Glass series signed for me(yes, they had Heir of Fire out early for the event). She also stuck in some other little gifts. The Scottish teddy is adorable and now sits on one of my book shelves. She was also recently in London, so she sent me a key chain and a time turner necklace. Which I display with my Harry Potter collection. Thanks again, Samantha! You are the bestest! <3 <3

What did you guys get this week?

Happy reading!

Brittany


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Pages: 565
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Source: Gifted
Rating: 5/5
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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

What is life? What kind of pleasure does Maas get from the torture she brings her readers? Heir Of Fire packs a bunch of gut punches. It's a massive book. And I'd even call it a little dense. But for good reason. There is a lot to take in. My usual reading in a week is five to six books. Heir of Fire took me four solid days. I'd have to put it down quite a bit to absorb what I'd just read. There is history and story lines I needed to keep straight. In fact I'd say Heir of Fire is a transition book. I don't mean that in a bad way. I effing love this book. But Throne of Glass introduced us to Celaena and Rifthold. Crown of Midnight is an epic sequel that lays down a bunch of massive twists and character development. Where Heir of Fire sees the story split into three different and equally as important story lines. We're introduced to new characters that start to have a role in the story but you get a feeling that there's even bigger things to come from them. Also Celaena, Chaol and Dorian have a lot of individual and internal soul searching and problems to work out that eventually lead to same massive epiphanies. And you're just waiting for their worlds to collide again.

The epicness of Heir of Fire is a true mark of how strong and brilliant a writer Maas is. There has yet to be a stale moment in any of the books. I'm honestly surprised and awed at every turn of the page. And of course shattered. My heart gets ejected from my chest way too many times to count. Plus the character development in Heir of Fire. Holy crap. I mean Celaena alone goes through some major developments and changes. When you first meet her again she's this broken and sad girl. It's hard to imagine her as the snarky kick-ass assassin from before. But she brings it. Man, does she bring it. I can't forget to shout out Chaol(my love) and Dorian, too. They were not just sitting in the castle looking pretty. They got their own shit going on. Every one is dealing with magic in some way. Whether it's Celaena learning to control her's and come to terms with her past. Or Dorian learning to keep his under control. Or Chaol learning to come to terms with what he thought was right. What his king has installed in him. Clearly Celaena and Dorian are changing his mind there. 
And the new characters. Perfection. I obviously don't want to spoil anything, but two of my new favourite totally platonic relationships are formed in Heir of Fire. They are just amazing. (C&R and M&A. Yea? YEA!) 

Because Maas is clearly a master destroyer of feelings. She so nicely throws a whole bunch of swords into your heart and ends the book. She's probably laughing at her computer right now. "Suckers gotta wait at least another year. Enjoy your life." I can guarantee that the next year of waiting is going to be torture on my life. I am probably going to need counseling in hopes I make it through. That ending! Seriously? 

God, how am I supposed to wait another year for book four? Guess I finally better get on building that time machine. 
I realize this review is pretty nonsensical and all over the place. But what did I just read? Seriously guys, Heir of Fire does not disappoint the reader. All the favourite characters are there plus some awesome new ones. There's magic, romance and twists at every turn. And I have a very strong feeling that book four is going to be the most epic one yet. A lot of shit was revealed and went down towards the end that is going to take a lot to fix. But I have total faith in Celaena(and Maas).

Happy reading!

Brittany

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Pages: 384
Series: The Dolls #1
Source: Publisher **I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review**
Rating: 3/5
Find here at HCC
Add to Goodreads

Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn't seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn't have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn't trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

The premise of The Dolls sounds like fans of The Caster Chronicles would find a new series to fill the hole that series left two years ago. And there's definitely some really promising aspects that would make those fans happy. The mysterious, walled in gothic southern town being one and the eventual reveal of the magic that keeps the town alive being the second. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery surrounding the town. So for the first half of the book I was quickly flipping pages. I needed to know what the hell was going on. Unfortunately the second half of the book really took a dive and didn't live up to how well The Dolls started out.

Eveny was born in Carrefour but at the age of three her aunt ups and moves her to NYC after the untimely death of her mother. But upon Eveny's seventeenth birthday her aunt decides it's time for the two of them to move back to Carrefour. Obviously Eveny is upset at first. She has friends, school and a life in NYC. But what can she do? Upon arrival in Carrefour Eveny quickly realizes that things are not what they seem. To start with her aunt needs a key to get through this wall that surrounds the town. What? And things just get weirder from there. Like straight up weird. She meets a girl snooping through her families herb garden and next thing you know that girl is dead. There's also a group of kids(think Mean Girls) headed by Chloe and Peregrine, who take an immediate interest in Eveny. So Eveny's trying to get her head around her new surroundings, figure out these disturbing yet foretelling dreams she's having, dealing with Chloe and Peregrine and the stories they bring her about her life, plus trying to have some semblance of a normal life with normal seeming friends. That's a lot for a girl to take in.

This was another book where the characters were not really what kept me reading. Like I seem to mention a lot, I am a character driven reader. That's usually my make or break on my enjoyment of the book. But the mystery surrounding Carrefour was super intriguing. Like Eveny, you're thrown into this town that you know things are quite not what they seem. There are secrets being kept from Eveny and dang if that doesn't make me want to turn the pages super quick to find out what they are. What is really the deal with Carrefour and its residents?
Eveny had her moments. She's not a stand out character. She'd use her voice and stand up to Chloe and Peregrine and defend her friends but she'd also do some really stupid things. I just wanted her to ask questions rather than just take everything she was told at face value. Girl, as soon as you arrived in Carrefour you should have realized that you would be lied to. Don't let that happen.
Chloe and Peregrine were really great "mean girls". They were the perfect mixture of controlling, deadly and beautiful. I really enjoy those kind of girls. The ones that you hate for messing around with the heroine but just know something else will come from them.
Unfortunately there is a really bad case of insta-love. It's pretty terrible. The usual, guy is mean and distant with girl and even though they don't have many interactions girl falls for guys hot looks and terrible attitude. Than they quickly realize they love each other but can't be together. *rolls eyes* It was totally unnecessary and really affected my opinion of the second half of the book.

Like mentioned above, the first half of The Dolls is totally a page turner for me, but as soon as Eveny had the twist and secrets revealed to her things quickly turned to uninteresting. Eveny took everything she was told without a second thought and that lead to some really predictable, cheesy and eye rolly bits.
In the end though, The Dolls shows a lot of promise. I enjoyed the magic and gothic southern setting. I do want to know where Eveny is going take her new found powers. And I really hope we get to see some epic show downs between worlds in the sequel.

Happy reading!

Brittany

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Spines

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme started by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey. Find the list of all the #T5WFamily here.

This weeks topic is:

Top 5 Book Spines!



The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

What are some of your favourite spines?

Happy reading!


Brittany

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I Really Want to Read But Don't Own Yet

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

This weeks topic is: 

Top Ten Books I Really Want to Read But Don't Own Yet!



What books are on top of your wishlist? Link up your TTT.

Happy reading!

Brittany

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 Wrap-Up

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team




Alright that's it. I actually did a lot better than predicted. Didn't totally stick to my TBR. But that doesn't really matter. I didn't really take part in any challenges. That really wasn't my intention. I just wanted to read more than I usually do in a week. In the end I read six books, got halfway through a seventh and finish off the last 100 pages or so of an audio book. In total that's 2150 pages. *pats self on back* Here's a break down of my days.

Monday
Books read: Beautiful Player and Beautiful Beginning
Pages read: 591
Total pages: 591

Tuesday
Books read: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer(I know this wasn't on my TBR. But I got approved on Netgalley and there was no way I wasn't reading it right away)
Pages read: 432
Total: 1023

Wednesday
Books read: All Lined Up and finished The Madman's Daughter
Pages read: 405
Total: 1428

Thursday
Books read: Started The Summer I Turned Pretty
Pages read: 53
Total: 1481
It was a pretty busy day at work. So I watched a few shows when I got home and crashed. I was way to tired to read.

Friday
Books read: Finished The Summer I Turned Pretty
Pages read: 223
Total: 1704

Saturday
Books read: Sweet Filthy Boy
Pages read: 352
Total: 2056

Sunday
Books read: Started The Probability of Violet and Luke
Pages read: 94
Total: 2150

I look forward to the next Bout of Books. How did you guys do?

Happy reading!

Brittany

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Showcase Sunday #49

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.

Hey guys. How goes it? Anyone doing Bout of Books? Hows that going? Last day today? I actually did pretty well. I'll post my wrap tomorrow. Work had a few busy days this week. Plus I had a good friends Buck and Doe on Friday. And last night I went down to the TFC game(soccer) and walked around the CNE(kind of like a carnival that is the last few weeks of August every year).
Some exciting books this week. Especially from Netgalley. Sacrifice is one of my most coveted books of the year. I can't say much because of spoilers and my review will be up closer to release date, but Good God my heart. I also just devoured Sweet Filthy Boy. And am really excited to check out JLA's first novel(I think) and The Iron Trial.

Purchased

E-Books Purchased

Netgalley

What did you guys get this week?

Happy reading!

Brittany

Friday, 22 August 2014

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Pages: 420
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Source: Purchased/Borrowed on audio
Rating: 5/5
Add to Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Great success! I've finally read The Madman's Daughter. I've kept meaning to, but you know how it is, books you desperately want to read never get read. Until I was browsing my libraries audio downloads and saw that this was available, so perfect, onto my phone you go. And let me tell you guys, this is the best audio I've ever listened to. The narrator was bloody fantastic. Her emotions were perfect through Juliet's voice. And she easily conveyed the creepiness of the island. If you haven't read The Madman's Daughter(hell, even if you have) I highly, highly suggest getting it on audio. Megan Shepherd's story telling is amazing but I really think the audio book made it that much more better for me.

I've constantly stated that I'm a character driven reader, but The Madman's Daughter is one of those books where the characters kind of took a back seat for me. And that really surprised me. I've heard nothing but fantastic praise for this book, but in theory this book really isn't a Brittany book. I'm a massive pansy. Honestly, I scare so easily. I don't watch or read anything thats got that hint of a scare factor to it. The Madman's Daughter is a very dark and gothic novel. Shepherd doesn't hold back on the graphic descriptions. If even the word blood makes you queasy than I give you fair warning that there is more than blood and gore. Anyhow, why The Madman's Daughter surprised me and took me out of my normal comfort zone is because I was fully sucked into this gothic and gruesome horror story with strong characters but an even stronger story. You go on this journey with Juliet to a very mysterious and disturbing island where her supposed dead father resides. The island and its creatures are where I was riveted to the edge of my seat. There's something unknown and pretty much disgusting at every turn. What the hell is Juliet's father creating? Guys, this book is just brilliant.

Juliet is a sixteen year old orphan. Her family used to be apart of London's high society, until her brilliant surgeon father was shamed and cast out of London for practicing unspeakable surgeries. Thinking her father dead, her mother struggles to keep herself and Juliet feed. After her mother passes away Juliet starts to work at the local hospital as a maid. But Juliet has always been fascinated with the human body and medicine. She used to watch her father in his study and lab. She knows more about muscles, bones and organs than any of the university students studying to become doctors. One night Juliet's life really takes a different turn when she becomes witness to some university students doing some unnatural surgeries on a rabbit. Of course that distresses her, but even more so is the notes and diagram she finds them using; it's her fathers. How did they get it? She quickly steps in and stops the boys and that just turns her life upside down. She now has to run and run she does. Right into her families old house servants son, Montgomery. She hasn't seen him in years. She's in total shock but that shock just intensifies after he eventually divulges that her father is still alive and living on a private island. Juliet demands that Montgomery takes her with him. Montgomery is very hesitant but eventually agrees. After weeks at sea the ship comes across a boy, Edward, hanging by a thread of life in the water. After rescuing him and Juliet not being able to get much of a story from him, she decides she's become to fond of him to not bring him to the island with her. So this is where Juliet, Edward and Montgomery arrive at the Island of Doctor Moreau and Juliet starts to realize just how mad her father has become.

Juliet is a fantastic heroine. She's strong but also so unsure. She wants the love of her father after being so long without a parental figure. But the father she thought she remembers from her childhood is not what she gets. He is a horrible man. He has created unspeakable human like creatures and believes there is nothing wrong with the work he's doing. He is mad. Juliet is disgusted with his work but also a little bit fascinated and that makes her wonder just how mad she is. Juliet intrigued me. Her life is literally turned upside down. She arrives in this new world to find her father alive and has to navigate through her all over the place feelings and this island. Everything is anew and beyond reality that her unsure actions felt really on par with the story. These unnatural creatures are a phenomenon and on one hand they shouldn't be alive but on another they have a beating heart how can she think to destroy them? As a reader I was just as confused as Juliet is. I was discovering a new mystery with every turn of the page just like Juliet.
Juliet also has a heavy love triangle going on with Montgomery and Edward. Like Juliet, there wasn't a ship I was going down with over the other. Both guys very much interested me but I also knew they both had major secrets and that left me a little weary. Particularly Edward. His story just didn't make sense. Like I mentioned recently, love triangles are either a love a hate for me. There is no in between for me. And although I won't be adding Edward or Montgomery to my fictional boyfriend list(long list) I was fully invested in this triangle. It could have gone either way for Juliet and I really found the "outcome" a little jaw dropping.

The island is a character all of its own. Its mysteries is what kept me turning pages. What are these monsters? As maddening and hateful as Dr. Moreau is what he has created is brilliant and as a reader I needed to know more. The Madman's Daughter is a truly dark and gothic thriller. It takes you through late 19th century medical experiments that leave you feeling disturbed. I feel weird saying it but I thoroughly loved this book and may have found a new love for the horror genre. I need to get my hands on the rest of the series now. Even though The Madman's Daughter is technically a stand alone and gives you a complete story arc. The ending leaves you satisfied but needing more. And needing it right away.    

Happy reading!

Brittany

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Worlds

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme started by Lainey at Ginger Reads Lainey. Find the list of all the #T5WFamily here.

This weeks topic is:

Top 5 Worlds!

5. Theatre Illuminata

It's just so whimsical and quirky. I immediately needed to visit the theatre.

4. Kingdom of Goredd

Dragons! Dragons that can turn into humans! And Dragons!

3. Le Cirque des RĂªves

This circus is beyond magical. It's also mysterious and fascinating. Just awe inspiring. 

2. Narnia

Do I really need to say why? Meeting up with Prince Caspian wouldn't hurt either. Especially if he is actually Ben Barnes.

1. The Wizarding World

Obviously.

What are some of your favourite worlds?

Happy reading!

Brittany


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: People Having Been Telling Me That I Must Read

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

This weeks topic is: 

Top Ten Books People Having Been Telling Me That I Must Read!

10. Moon Called

Urban Fantasy Romance that quite a few people have been pushing on me forever. I own it. I'll get to it eventually.

9. Halfway to the Grave

Paranormal Romance that apparently I will devour. Says Kori, anyhow. But what does she know. ;)

8. The Mistborn Trilogy

I know I'll love it, people. Stop telling me to read it. I own the pretty box set and I will get to it as soon as I can. God...

7. Cruel Beauty

You know what? I pre-ordered this beauty. But as per every other book I own, I haven't gotten to it. Yet. In the past month a few close book friends have read it and now tell me daily to read it.

6. Gone

Yes, I own the whole series. Yes, I will get to it at some point, Bradley.

5. Rebel Belle

Okay world I get it this book is awesome. I knew it would be. I read Hawkins Hex Hall series a few years ago and loved them. But I just want to wait until the second book is out before I jump into this one.

4. Black City

Because I'm an awful person this has been sitting on my shelf unread for to long now. Samantha sent it to me earlier this year because she loved it. I didn't forget about it, Sam. I promise!

3. Nightshade

A well loved werewolf trilogy that I am told I will love as well. But I'm scared because I've heard that the last book is a terrible ending. :/

2. The Dark Hunterverse

I'm pretty much told weekly to get on this series. But it's soooo long. It's like 50 books. So far. What is this?

1. Bloodlines

I've always had every intention of reading this series. I'm just waiting to binge it like I did with Vampire Academy. Okay, Samantha? Okay? :)

Any books you'd suggest I get right onto? Link up your TTT below.

Happy reading!

Brittany