Wrap-Ups

December Wrap-Up

Helloooo!

2017 is over already. Can you believe it? I’m still recovering from the shock, slowly but surely. There were so many things I wanted to read this year, and I remember freaking out around mid-September over all of the mounds of books that I had yet to devour.

See my December TBR. This month has been a glorious reading month! Definitely some all-time favourites here!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See my review for it here

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See my review for it here

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See my review for it here

A Voice by Umm Zakiyyah

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the second book in the If I Should Speak series. Reviews for the first book and this one coming soon.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

See review for it here

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review coming soon!


I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and taking your time to scroll through my post(s)! I’m new to the blogging world, I just started in October, and so far it’s been really great 🙂

It’s December 31st today, and tomorrow will be the start of a fresh year, a new slate, lovely new months stretching out ahead of us. It’s exciting, scary… exciting!

What are your bookish new resolutions?

Speak to you all very soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet_(Official_Book_Cover)_by_Marissa_Meyer.pngTitle: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fun fact: Scarlet is based on little Red-Riding Hood

Summary: Our beloved cyborg, Cinder, is back with a new full-of-himself accomplice on a break-neck mission. Half way around the world, stunning Scarlet is on her own mission to find her Grandmother, who’s been missing for two weeks. Accompanied by this stranger (…Wolf!) that she decides to trust, she sets off to do so. These two kick-ass heroines will find that their two missions are surprisingly intertwined.


This book is goals. #bookgoals

I finished this in… 2 days? 3 days? Which think is a pretty impressive feat considering it is a whopping 454 pages long while juggling extra studies simultaneously.

~ the plot ~

“Besides, if you are who you claim to be, that makes you my true queen. Therefore, you have my loyalty.”

Wow. This really was not what I was expecting. If you read my review for Cinder, you would know I wasn’t too keen on it, having to force my way through half of the book and getting very bored in the process.

But I still intended to read the second book, Scarlet, and I’m so glad I did because it is such an immersing and intriguing read. It is jam-packed with plot twists round every page and it’s a proper rollercoaster of a ride with precious characters that enhance every step of the journey.

I had so many doubts and second doubts throughout this read. I tried to guess what would happen next, but I found myself wrong and then wrong again. It’s very surprising. I can’t wait to find out what happens next in Cress – because I feel like now we have a proper crew and a mission with a clear purpose (because I feel like before it was a bit hotchpotch and they were like yeah we gotta do something but they hadn’t completed figured it out until the end of Scarlet)  and I love it all!

~ the characters ~

“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”

“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”

I couldn’t help sneaking a bit about the characters in the plot section above… and I’m sure its already obvious I love them all to pieces!

Cinder, I found is much more likeable in this book than in the first one, probably because she’s less thought and more action, which I prefer. Her beauty, I found, is emphasised a lot more here too.

“I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant.”

Scarlet is by far my favourite. She’s tough and has an undying love for her Grandmother which lead her to risking her life again and again. She is bold and brave. She’s also rash and impulsive, and can be somewhat stupid at times, and I kinda like that. It makes her more of a real character, though there were times were I was just face-palming. But I did relate to her, in a way.

“She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?”
“A cat? Don’t insult me.”
She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?”
“Why, do you see one out there?”
“Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.”
The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.”

Wolf, was the one I was having doubts about again and again. His presence really did bring about an array of questions, suspicion, but a tinge of hope. I try to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible (and if spoilers, I put them in white), so for those of you who have read this book, you know what I’m talking about, those of you who haven’t, well, you gotta read it to find out.

“I lied to you about a lot of things….but I meant every apology.”

Thorne, I found hilarious. I have to admit, a bit annoying at first, but once he proves his worthiness a couple more times you can’t really hate him. I definitely prefer him to Kai. I’m not sure about Wolf.

“He gaped at the controls. “Why is my ship talking back to me?”

Kai… I am annoyed. spoilers> why marry Queen Levana when that is obviously just officially dooming your country? Yeah, I get you feel helpless, but then at least try and work on some kind of… something… instead of officially making it impossible. Hadn’t Cinder warned him? He should’ve taken it more seriously since she risked her life and got thrown into prison and officially made herself Levana’s ultimate enemy?< Why? Why? Why?!

~ the writing ~

The writing isn’t anything too amazing, I think this book is more about the action and the plot than the descriptions and all. But it did a good job of portraying the story in a way that it flowed and all fit together.

I didn’t really have any problems at all 🙂


So that is my review for Scarlet! I hope you guys all enjoyed it!

Who is your favourite… Scarlet or Cinder? Do you prefer how the books begin with the main characters names or not? Kai or Thorne or Wolf?

Speak soon!

Tags

Book Lovers’ Tag

Hey guys!

Today I’m back with another tag! I found this tag at amreade. It was originally made by Diana Peach here.

Do you have a specific place for reading?

Not necessarily. I like to read somewhere comfortably though, like either on a sofa or my bed. But I have read in all sorts of places, like on the bus, plane, train, airport, dentist’s… IKEA!

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Probably a random piece of paper. I never seem to find my bookmarks when I need them. But I never fold the corner of the page I’m reading on. Ever. It’s this unwritten law of mine.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I drink and eat usually only while I’m reading on an ebook, so I can prop my device up and things don’t get (too) messy. And if they do, you can always wipe it off from the screen. No sweat.

Music or tv while reading?

None. It’s impossible for me to read like that, I just get distracted and stay on the same page on the same paragraph again and again wondering what on earth it is talking about.

One book at a time or several?

If I am reading one book at a time, that book will definitely get finished fast. But if I am reading a couple of books simultaneously, then all of the books are going to lag a bit and take longer to finish than if I had just been reading that one thing.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Home. Easier to concentrate and usually more comfortable.

Read out loud or silently?

Silently! I only read out loud when I’m reading to someone or for a class or something. For some reason my mouth always tends to go dry almost immediately after I start reading out loud. I have no idea why.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I try not to, but in a really gripping moment I may accidentally skip lines to see what happens next, and sometimes when I’m casually flipping through a book I read a spoiler and I’m just like, ugh, why did I do that?!

Break the spine or keep it like new?

I try to keep it like new, but I can’t say it always works like that.

Do you write in books?

No, unless it’s for my studies like with Animal Farm (ergh, who agrees with me this book is so unbelievably boring, despite having a good political thingy to it?).

What books are you reading now?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

What is your childhood favorite book?

From when I was 3-6 years old I loved the book We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen.

What is your all-time favorite book?

When I was a tween that was Anne of Green Gables, but now I don’t really have one, but I do have a selection of all-time favourites that is constantly growing!


And that is the tag! I hope you guys all enjoyed it! I tag… anyone who would like to do this 🙂 Please leave the link to your post of this tag (if you do it) in the comments so I can check it out!

Speak to you soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for the raven boysTitle: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

three close boys attending Aglionby school (referred to as the Raven boys) accompanied by a psychic’s daughter follow the search of Glendower, a deceased Welsh King… you can’t get anymore awesome than that?

It’ll make more sense when you read it, I’ll tell you that. Plus, we wouldn’t want me accidentally spoiling anything. Those are the main points, and it is really interesting, so if you haven’t already look into it!


“Is this thing safe?”
“Safe as life,” Gansey replied.

This book is very unique, to say the least. 

I finished the whole 400 pages in two days! Yay for winter break!

The whole concept about Glendower and the ley lines is fascinating. The characters are PRECIOUS. Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan. It’s intensely intriguing reading about each of their particular worries – their struggles, ambitions, worries, and how that all spirals together.

~ the plot ~

“Fate,” Blue replied, glowering at her mother, “is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast.”

I don’t know about anyone else but I found it slightly confusing. Ok, slightly is an understatement. I was rather confused at times while reading the book about the whole Ley lines and Glendower thing. Trust me though, it makes sense in the end. Eventually.

“Have you heard of the legends of sleeping kings? The legends that heroes like Llewellyn and Glendower and Arthur aren’t really dead, but are instead sleeping in tombs, waiting to be woken?”

I just loved all of the humour. This book was ridiculously funny at times and it had me laughing and laughing and all of my family members were staring at me, positive I had finally gone insane.

“”Nothing. I always wanted an eccentric daughter. I just never realised how well my evil plans were working.”

~ characters ~

Man, they… are… PRECIOUS (like I said before, but no, I’m not trying to imitate Gollum or anything here, I wish they were mine but… they’re not – Maggie Stiefvater is one lucky woman).

To start with, Blue.

“At one store, Gansey had started to pay for Blue’s potato chips and she’d snatched them away.

“I don’t want you to buy me food!” Blue said. “If you pay for it, then it’s like I’m… be—be—”

“Beholden to me?” Gansey suggested pleasantly.

“Don’t put words into my mouth.”

“It was your word.”

“You assumed it was my word. You can’t just go around assuming.”

“But that is what you meant, isn’t it?”

She scowled. “I’m done with this conversation.”

Who wouldn’t like a sixteen year old “very sensible” girl with spiky black hair, dresses the shades of every colour in the rainbow, and who is humorous without really trying. Like with the whole Butternut thing oh my goodness gracious me I was in hysterics… inside joke to all those who have read this book 😉 read it to be apart of it!

Ronan was quite a difficult character for me to understand at first. And as you read on, it gets more and more obvious and then… the last line of the book… you’re all confused again.

“Ronan kept staring at Whelk. He was good at staring. There was something about his stare that took something from the other person.”

Gansey definitely develops considerably throughout the book. I feel like we learn a lot more about his personal life more than the others because it is his quest that is binding the team together and so therefore he has a bit more significance in that respect.

As I plunged my way through the book I found myself skipping from liking to disliking him, again and again. It was only a matter of understanding him. Trust me guys, he isn’t all jerk. Maybe not at all.

Adam I found the most likeable of all the Raven boys. He wasn’t so obnoxious or rich so he valued things more, and naturally, I preferred that. He was quiet compared to Gansey’s loud, but did hold his own opinions as well, and held his ground firmly. Who wouldn’t like him?

Spoiler>I found myself disliking him by the end of the book. It was just so selfish how he took Gansey’s car and just went and practically ruined a lot of things, and how he was so heartless over Whelk’s death, even though it may be thought as justice<

Noah… out of all of the characters, you find the most out of Noah, and get the biggest surprise. If you’re going to start reading this book, I suggest keeping an eye out for him. Don’t go all Sherlock though or you might end up spoiling it for yourself.

~ the writing ~

Three words: I. Loved. It. The end 🙂

There wasn’t too much descriptions and I loved how, like Leigh Bardugo in Shadow and Bone, with just a few words she managed to set the scenes and cast the air. Really lovely.


Anyways… WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE ENDING?! The suspense…

Who is your favourite character of the gang? I think Blue… no, Gansey…no, Adam…no, Ronan…no, Noah…no…

…I’ll see you guys in my next post! Speak soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

The Grisha Verse series

Common Sense Media Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.


“And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.”

I finished this book within the first twenty-four hours I picked it up. It probably took me around five hours of reading in total to plough my way through it, and I’m so glad I decided to give it a go when I didn’t have so many deadlines plaguing me as usual.

~ the plot ~

The plot is awesome. It is so gripping, and whirled me a way into the fantastical world of Grisha, Darklings, and every other magical, mystical essence that Leigh Bardugo has dreamt up that I can’t remember, thrown into a heart-stopping plot.

I have to say, the majority of the book isn’t exactly heart-stopping, but the last fifty pages or so… although to be honest, spoiler>I did predict that the Darkling would find Alina again, and for one moment I did let myself believe that Mal might actually die< it is actually impossible to put the book down then.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of the book isn’t interesting either. But by the last fifty pages I literally meant heart-stopping, not some nonsensical metaphorical use that I’m sure I did not just use in this post (right? not sure…).

~ the writing ~

This book was superbly written. It is my second book I have read by Leigh Bardugo, the first being the Six of Crows, which you can read my review for here. Her writing is so lovely and I just loved how with a few careful words she set the scenes without going into any lengthy descriptions.

It flowed lovelily… and yeah, there wasn’t really anything I disliked about it. I loved it.

~ the characters ~

I found it easy to like Alina. I loved her sarcasm and witty remarks. I loved the friendship between her and Genya, and the jokes they shared

“People, particularly big men carrying big rifles, don’t expect lip from a scrawny thing like me. They always look a bit dazed when they get it.”

I also liked her friendship with Mal at the beginning, although it obviously had a strain. Though I didn’t really appreciate the romance between… wait, is there a love triangle in here? *despair*… although I genuinely am not certain.

I liked the Darkling, I really did, spoiler>until Alina didn’t like him, then I didn’t like him either<. Leigh Bardugo really controlled my emotions and feelings throughout the characters. Maybe because with such sweeping books like this I truly just can’t be bothered to rebel.

And of course, I loved Mal. He’s such a great character, and he really actually surprised me because, spoiler>at that night at the castle, I thought he had gone for good, but instead he came back… good for him!<  – never underestimate a character, especially in YA fantasy!

How can I write about characters and leave out the Darkling? He is such an intriguing character, and we really get to know him a lot more, and see through that stony mask (or is he just tricking us with his years of knowledge? we can never know for sure…).


I know I really put off reading this book. I’ve had it sitting on my dressing table for around 6 weeks before I finally had the time to open it, and I’m so excited to read the second book!

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this review, let me know what you all thinkHave you read this book? Do you intend to? Favourite character… Mal or the Darkling?!

Speak soon!

Book Reviews

Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

You’re probably thinking, how had she not read this before?! Believe me, I’ve been wondering the same thing. It is so strange. But I will say my mother had expressed disapproval about reading it because she disliked the whole concept about kids killing each other.

Until now, where I realised I couldn’t miss out on such a fantastic trilogy any longer. And trust me, I’m glad I decided to take this book out from the library. If you haven’t read this yet, you really, really should.

However, I do know quite a few readers who haven’t worked their way through this trilogy yet, either, so at least I’m not too bad 😀

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Rating⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


Here I am, 11 years late to one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. *face palm* 

I read this book in three (or was it two?) days. See the reading update.

This book drew me in from page one and held me in an iron grip all the way to the end. At first all I did was admire the writing, as Katniss introduced the woods, but then I got so hooked into the plot it was all I could do not to skim read and find out what happens next.

You know how you’re reading a book and its the last page of the chapter and something great is about to be revealed and your eyes slide down to the last word, the ultimate plot twist? Yeah, I had to cover my hand over the page and move down line by line to avoid that 😂

If you do want to read this book for the first time, I suggest picking it up at a time where you’re not so pressed for time, because it will devour every free hour and every hour that isn’t. And if it doesn’t do that, it will occupy a good portion of your brain until then. Even after reading it, it leaves you thinking about it long after you put it down.

I fell in love with Katniss, I love love love her. Hurray for kick-ass female characters! You just gotta love them. She’s brave, strong, beautiful, and totally flawed. Also Peeta… I really liked the spelling of his name. For some reason I can’t imagine it being Peter. So weird. And the rest of the unforgettable characters…

It’s such an extraordinarily thrilling read. The plot keeps you guessing at the end of every page and chapter, and I wouldn’t call the ending a cliffhanger, but I would say that I jumped to get the second book the minute I had put the first one down.

The writing isn’t too advanced to be complicated where you’re stunned by unknown words every page or so, but it isn’t too basic that you’re beginning to bore of it. It’s easy to follow along, flows lovely, and there are some amazing words in there where, as a writer, I just read again and again 😀

I wouldn’t recommend anyone with heart problems reading this, cos mine was hammering and hammering. There are moments where I’m like, wait what?! And go back and re-read again and again.

The beginning is beautiful. The middle is beautiful. The end is beautiful. The book is beautiful.

Do yourself a favour and read this if you haven’t already.

Tags

End of Year Book Tag

Today I’m doing a tag! Fun!

Note: I have not been tagged for this, I was surfing the internet for bookish tags, and this one seemed to me like a nice one for this time of the year! I found this tag on the Bionic Book Worm.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I doubt finishing Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins will be a problem, but I really want to make sure that I finish The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.

I’ve definitely been neglecting reading it since at the point where I am in the book it is somewhat dull, though I do intend to force my way through since there are so many amazing reviews on it.

With The Thief, the first half of the book was completely eventless, but then the second half was just the best. So I’m guessing I just need to have a little more patience 🙂

Also, I really want to finish Wuthering Heights! I’m only on like the second page… so if I don’t, then, that’s okay 🙂

Do you have a wintery book to transition to?

(the original question was about an autumnal book, but since it’s almost December, I think wintery would be more appropriate now!)

Honestly? Not really. I know a lot of people base the books they want to read on the seasons and all, but I don’t do that, at least I have never purposely done it.

I tend to base when I read books more on how much time I’d have to give it attention and stuff? If that makes any sense? Like I wouldn’t read Wuthering Heights while school was going on because I guess I wouldn’t have enough brain power to give it the attention needed, as the writing is pretty advanced 🙂

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Nope 🙂

Is there a book you think can still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Image result for The Raven Boys

Yesssss! I’ve heard so many awesome things about this book, there is a good chance it might become my favourite book of the year. However, it will be matching with The Hunger Games, and other amazing reads I can’t remember right now, so we’ll see 😉

Have you already started making plans for 2018?

Kind of, yeah. More like the books I want to read in December but know I won’t have time for. Like The Road to Yesterday by L. M. Montgomery, Realities of Submission by Umm Zakiyyah and… I have a feeling Shadow and Bone is going to slip into 2018 unread too 😛


Who’s excited for 2018?! Man, this year has soared by way too fast!!

Sooo, if you haven’t done this tag yet — feel free to!! I tag anyone who would like to do it 🙂 I’d loove to hear all of your answers to these questions, so if you do, make sure to leave the link to it in the comments 🙂

Speak soon!