September 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #8 / Super Six Sunday #6

Because I missed yesterday's post, I'm going to combine these two. :) So the only book I got this week was Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - I borrowed it from the library and am currently halfway through. It's so good, and I've been wanting to read it for a while.

Next is Super Six Sunday! This week's topic is books that made me cry. Gosh, there are way too many of these to count, which isn't exactly a good thing... Anyway, let's get started with the list.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I've never cried more over a book than I did over this novel. 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent was definitely a tearjerker for me, much more so than Divergent.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
I cried so hard while reading this book, especially in the beginning. (Those of you who have read it will know what I'm talking about.)

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
I'm not sure why, out of all the Dessen books, this one made me cry the most. But it did.

Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson
I think it's pretty difficult to not cry while reading this book. Or any of Anderson's books, to be honest.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Again, I think it's pretty hard to not cry while reading this. I believe I was crying within the first twenty pages. 

So that's all for today! What books made you cry (or, in my case, sob)?

September 27, 2013

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Title: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: September 10, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up. 
Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal. 
Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.
I bought this book despite my mixed feelings about it. I had heard extremely good things from readers, but the only other book I’d read by Kiersten White was Mind Games, and needless to say, I didn’t enjoy it. To be honest, I didn’t know what to think.

I’m glad I gave this book a chance.

This is the first novel I’ve read where the character’s personality is so definite and unique I was upset when it ended– I wouldn’t get to read from her point of view anymore. Isadora is sassy, brave, and honest. She grows noticeably – even within such a short period of time – but not so much so that it would have been unrealistic.

Another aspect of this book I enjoyed was the lack of insta-love. Isadora and Ry’s relationship develops over the entire novel, and they’ve finally put their struggles behind them by the time the book ends. Their love was strong, built of off interaction and mixed feelings. In other words, it had a base, whereas in other novels a couple is in love the moment they meet – in real life, this isn’t accurate or even plausible. 

Let’s talk about the mythological piece of The Chaos of Stars. I’ve never loved Egyptian mythology (compared to Greek mythology – and, I’m just going to come out and say it, the Percy Jackson books – I have always found it drab and boring), but Kiersten White gets us excited to learn more about it. The mythology itself adds so much to the novel, and I love the fact that she tied in Greek mythology towards the end. This way we really are getting all sides of the story the author is trying tell to us.

The only problem I had with this book was the lack of…a little extra something. Maybe the effort was the problem. The book seemed to be written in a rush, as it was very short and wasn’t completely in-depth. I feel we could have gotten much more of the story if the author had dug a little deeper.

Overall, I loved The Chaos of Stars and am glad I gave White’s books another chance.

September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 9.25.13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
October 8, 2013
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.  
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want? 
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

I read Time Between Us a few months ago (and also met the author, who was really friendly!). While the logistics of the time travel itself were slightly messed up and it wasn't my favorite book in the world, I still really enjoyed reading it. I am planning on picking up the sequel, so I can't wait for it to come out.

September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 9.24.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

So this week the topic is top ten best sequels ever! Gosh, there are so many good ones (and, unfortunately, bad ones).

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. I just recently finished reading this, and I need to point out that I was if blown away by the first book, the sequel was ten times as good. I'm still astounded by Laini's writing.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
I have nothing to say about these books. They're just so...gorgeous. I'm extremely upset that the release date of the final book in the trilogy was pushed to next summer.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I cried so much while reading this it's ridiculous. In a good way. I mean, not really in a good way, but in the way that shows just how good of a writer Roth really is.

The Scorpio Trials by James Dashner. The Maze Runner was a little slow for me, so The Scorpio Trials was a much-needed relief. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. I adore this series (I've also met the author, and she's so sweet). Pandemonium was just as good as, if not better, than Delirium, and I loved the final book too.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. To tell you the truth, I really disliked City of Bones when I read it, but this picked up where the first book left off and completely shifted my entire view of the series.

Prodigy by Marie Lu. Legend was such a good book, and refreshing after having read so many books with the same boring plot line. I was skeptical when I picked up Prodigy, just because I wasn't sure where the story was going, and much to my surprise had so much fun reading it!

It looks like I only have seven today. What about you? Any sequels you love?

September 23, 2013

Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson

Title: Ultraviolet
Author: R. J. Anderson
Publisher: Orchard
Publish Date: June 2, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. 
This is not her story. 
Unless you count the part where I killed her. 
Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

I started this book with high expectations. For the first hundred pages, it met those expectations. I loved the writing style, the premise of the story, the characters...everything. And then it all went downhill.

When we first begin reading, Alison is a strong character trying to get through her life – judging by the fact that she's been accused of murder, has synesthesia, and is currently locked up in a mental institute for teens, she handles this pretty well. Alison spends her time meeting friends (who aren't half bad) and actually grows to tolerate Pine Hills, despite the hatred she harbors for Dr. Minta, her therapist. Also, her descriptions of voices, sounds, and images are unique – and gorgeous – because of her synesthesia, so this was one aspect of the story I really enjoyed. The writing overall wasn't amazing, but it was definitely more than decent.

The plot was fairly steady up until halfway through the book, when I grew completely bored and seriously considered putting it down. Nothing was happening, and the entire middle chunk of the story consisted of Alison whining about how she couldn't get out of the mental institute, how trapped she was, how much her family despised her, etc.

This is when we reach the most skewed, confusing plot twist I've ever read. I felt like I had begun an entirely new novel. It was as if everything came together, but the puzzle pieces were so old and worn that they didn't fit correctly. I also thought Faraday’s character was strange and slightly creepy. On top of all this, Alison was imagining things, Tori turned friendly and not dead, and the whole concept of Mel not truly being Alison’s friend was just confusing and unnecessary.

I talk a lot about realistic reactions in my reviews, generally because it bothers me when characters react too dramatically or don’t react at all. The author actually did a pretty decent job on this part of the story up until the climax, when Faraday and Alison are thrown onto another planet and Alison’s reaction is “Eh, whatever.”

I wish I had enjoyed this book much more than I actually did, even though that doesn't seem possible from my standpoint. It’s unlikely that I’ll be picking up the sequel, but someday I may give it a try.

September 22, 2013

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Wrap-Up

I think it's safe to say I failed this. I read three books. Three. In two weeks. I didn't even finish updating the post with my progress for each day. *cringes* Gosh, I guess school has been taking even more of a toll on me than I thought. 

So...even though I didn't reach any of my goals at all - for example, reading the two books I had checked out by Libba Bray, or Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - here are the three books I read:

Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson (review to come)

This totals to about 1,125 pages. I guess this isn't quite as bad as I thought (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone books are long), but I wish I could have participated so much more than I did. Anyway, I'm glad I got at least these few books finished. 

Thanks to Tressa at Tressa's Wishful Endings for hosting this!

September 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #7

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tygna's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

This week, I got...


Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson - I'm reading it right now and really enjoying it, though I have heard that it slowly goes downhill starting in the middle of the book. We'll see what happens.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White - I've been anticipating this book for a while - it was even one of my WoWs - so I'm extremely excited to read it when I get the chance! I have to say, I did read Mind Games by the same author and didn't enjoy it (actually, I gave it two stars on Goodreads), but this book looks really intriguing so I've decided to give the author another chance. :)

Last week I bought Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, but for some reason I totally forgot to put it on my most recent STS! Oops. Anyway, you all know I've neglected to finish the Hunger Games Trilogy, but now that the movie's coming out I really don't have a choice. So I will be reading it soon.

 That's my book haul for the week! What about you? 

September 19, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

Marii at The Words Written nominated me for the Liebster Award. Lots of thanks to Marii - I'm so happy that she thought to nominate me!

The Liebster Award helps blogs you enjoy who have less than 200 followers gain more, and to attract more attention so they can become discovered.

Here are the rules:
  • Link back the blogger that tagged you
  • Nominate 10 other blogs
  • Answer the questions the blogger tagged you with 
  • Let your nominees know they've been tagged

Questions from Marii:

1. What are you currently reading?
I just finished The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe and I'm going to start either A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray or Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson soon.

2. What is/are your favorite book(s) of all time?
Gosh, it's so hard to narrow it down. But I'd have to say Harry Potter and Percy Jackson come first. After that, anything by John Green, Cassandra Clare, or Sarah Dessen is excellent.

3. How did you come up with your blog's name?
Hm. This shouldn't be a difficult question, but it is. I honestly don't quite remember. I'm pretty sure it just came to me - I was making a list of blog names, Spun With Words came to my head, and I suppose I liked it the most.

4. Who are your top three book boyfriends?
Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars, Percy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices.

5. Do you have a favorite book quote?
Many, actually. But I guess I'll go with "A Margo for each of us--and each more mirror than window," from Paper Towns by John Green.

6. Do you have any of your own personal memes on your blog? 
No, I don't. It's a good idea, though!

7. If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be?
John Green. Probably an overused answer, but it's overused for a good reason.

8. Have any bookish pet peeves?
Just as Marii said, I can't stand it when people dog-ear the pages. It drives me crazy. And I can't seem to bring myself to write in books, either. Treat your books like you would treat your pets. Or siblings.

9. What are your favorite genres?
I'll read anything YA, though I sometimes struggle with fantasy.

10. If you could be a character from any book, travel to any world, who would you be? Where would you go? And (again from any book) who would you bring with you?
I would be Hermione Granger, because who wouldn't want to be Hermione Granger? (Actually, that's probably a terrible question. Plenty of people would not want to be Hermione Granger.) But I do, because I adore her! I would go to Hogwarts, London, or anywhere in the wizarding world. And this is sort of off-topic, but I would bring Link from the Beautiful Creatures series because I just love him. And his character.

My questions are the same as the ones I answered!

Leah @ Yummy Reads
Gabrielle @ IAmFandom
Katy @ a blighted one
Remy @ Books In Her Head
Crystal @ Crystal in Bookland
Jasmine @ Flip That Page
Darian @ Into the Worm's Hole
Audrey @ The Book Analyst

Giveaway: The Pentrals by Crystal Mack

Hey everyone! This is a pretty cool announcement for the day...*drum roll please* Spun With Words is hosting its FIRST giveaway! (If you couldn't tell by the title of the post. Oops.)

About two weeks ago I read an eARC of The Pentrals, and reviewed it here on Spun With Words. The author, Crystal Mack (check out her website here), shot me an email thanking me for the review and wondered if I wanted to host a giveaway. Obviously that wasn't even a question - this is such a cool book, and I'm so happy to have the chance to share it with everyone.

So let's get started! The prize will be one signed ARC of The Pentrals by Crystal Mack, and a couple oculoy tattoos (I just realized this probably makes no sense to you - you'll understand what the tattoos mean when you read the book).

This giveaway is going to end on the last day of September, at which point I will email the winner and send them their goodies! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Even if you don't win, I'd suggest reading The Pentrals when it releases on November 12, 2013. I really loved it, and I can't wait for it to come out so I can share my thoughts with everyone after they've read it!

September 18, 2013

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Title: The Way We Fall
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publish Date: January 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Survival, Romance
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.  
And then you're dead. 
When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back. 
Those still healthy must fight for the island’s dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't? 
Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl's bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.
The Way We Fall was, in short, not what I expected.

I'll admit the gorgeous cover was what first drew me in. How could you look at this book and not want to read it? So I picked it up. And read it.

About fifty pages in, I knew I was going to struggle to get through the book at all. And that’s what I did. Struggle.

The characters were dry and boring, and if they weren’t dry and boring they were just plain annoying. I didn’t like the main character or the supporting characters - they were all flat and meaningless. Nothing about any of them made me enjoy the book even a bit more. Kaelyn was a weak, helpless girl who didn’t show any bravery over the course of the novel.

The plot was ridiculously fast-paced. The big events rushed past in a split second, not even giving you enough time to process what had happened. An example of this is when Kaelyn contracted the virus – which was completely predictable – and got sick, went crazy, and was cured all in about thirty pages (not including the after-effects). I was confused and frustrated with this and the other elements of the book that happened this way too.

Kaelyn and Gav’s relationship seemed to be thrown in randomly towards the end of the book, even though we could see it coming about one hundred pages in. Similar to the main plot points, it went too fast and they were a couple out of the blue in the middle of an epidemic while all of their family and friends were dying. I felt that it didn’t add anything to the plot or characterization. Actually, it made them both seem extremely selfish.

The writing was far from quality. The phrases and words that were used were childish, and there were way too many exclamation points – this may just be a pet peeve of mine, but I can imagine it bothering others, too.

The characters didn’t react correctly to trauma. When Kaelyn’s mother dies, she is upset for a few hours, and then proceeds on with her life, only thinking of her fleetingly in times of distress. When her dad dies, she doesn’t think too much of it. Even when she doesn't know if Drew is alive, she doesn't think about him.

The one thing I did like about this book was the potential it had. Despite the fact that there are many books centered on viruses and epidemics, the idea was original. If the writing had been better and the characters had been developed more, I would have enjoyed it much more.

Overall, I tried so hard to love this book, but I just couldn’t. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the sequel any time soon.

September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 9.17.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

You may or may not have noticed, but I've been absent lately. Not commenting on or keeping up with the blogs I follow, only putting a bit of effort into my posts, etc. I probably already noted this and it may seem like a petty excuse, but school is stressful! It's crazy this year (even though I'm only an eighth grader - I can't imagine what next year will bring), and I haven't had that much free time for myself other than on the weekends. This is the reason for my slow reading, lazy blog posts, and refrain from commenting. I'm sorry, and I will be trying to get a little more into it when I can! But for now, we'll just have to hang on until everything slows down a bit. (This is also the reason that I'm not meeting any of my goals for the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon or really getting involved in it at all.)

On that note, I actually have some time tonight! So let's talk about something that's actually relevant to my blog.

This week's top ten is books on our fall TBR list. Here we go!

Recent Releases

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White - I just recently bought this (eek!), because it looked really interesting. I didn't exactly enjoy Mind Games (I'm sad to say that's putting it mildly), but I decided to give Kiersten White another shot. Who knows? Maybe this will be better.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I don't know much about this one and I've only heard of the author, but I've been seeing it around and it looks interesting!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - From what I've heard, Rainbow Rowell is an excellent author. This new release looks really good, but I want to get a chance to read Eleanor and Park, too.

Coming Soon

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia - As I've noted before in previous posts, I loved the Beautiful Creatures series, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan - Does this really need an explanation?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Again, do I have to explain myself? Because it should be clear, and if it's not, you better go look up Veronica Roth right this minute. :)

Champion by Marie Lu - While it's not my favorite series out there, I did enjoy Legend and Prodigy (though I had quite a few issues with Prodigy, much more so than with Legend).

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano - The Wither trilogy was excellent, and I loved the way everything turned out, so I can't wait for another novel by DeStefano!

Old Releases

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - I know, I know, I still haven't finished the Hunger Games trilogy. But I'm getting to it. If it helps any, I caved and bought Catching Fire about a week ago and plan to read it before the movie comes out.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I've heard so much about this book (or should I say books, since I believe it is a series), but still haven't gotten around to reading it.

So that's my TTT! Any books on this list you've read and enjoyed? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

September 15, 2013

Super Six Sunday #5

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

This week's topic is book to movie adaptations! Let's see if I have six for this or if I'll just have to cut it short today.

The first three have already come out and I have seen all of them:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Okay, so I didn't love this movie adaptation. But I couldn't flat out say it was bad. It just wasn't the adaptation I was looking for. Still, I'm glad I got the chance to see it. (On another note, one of the main reasons I didn't like it was because of the cast. Other than Simon and possibly Isabelle, it was terrible.

Beautiful Creatures
I'm just going to come out and say it. I hated this movie. I hated the cast, I hated the way they transformed the book, and I hated how there was literally no character development whatsoever. But I'm putting it on this list because...because, well, I was extremely excited about it. Before it came out, that is. (Sorry to be so harsh, but I really didn't want to sugarcoat this one.)

The Hunger Games
I still haven't read the rest of the series. Don't kill me. But I did buy the book, so it's sitting on my shelf right now - I will get to it before the Catching Fire movie comes out, I promise!

The second set of three are movies I'm really anticipating and have extremely high hopes for:

The Maze Runner
I didn't love love these books the way I normally would for something similar to, say, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I still really enjoyed them and I can't wait for the movie. Not to mention Dylan O'Brien! *faints*

Even though the cast isn't perfect, I think this movie is going to be much better than The Mortal Instruments or Beautiful Creatures, and I can't wait. That little trailer snippet (see below)  just made it that much more exciting.

The Fault in Our Stars
If they don't perfect this movie, I'm going to be really upset. Actually, thousands of sobbing fangirls will be upset. Get it right, Josh Boone! When we received the casting I was a little sceptical, especially about Augustus, but I'm slowly warming up to the idea of Shailene and Ansel as Hazel and Augustus.

So that's all for today! What were your choices?

September 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted by Tygna's Reviews. It's about sharing the books you got this week--virtual or physical--from the bookstore, the library, borrowed from friends, etc.

I picked up two books from the library this week. :)


Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

So we'll see if I get around to reading these - I hope I have the chance! I still have The Diviners by Libba Bray, too, and they both look really good. I've been hearing a lot about her in general, so I decided to pick up a few of her books.

Anyway, that's all for today! What books did you get this week?

September 12, 2013

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: November 6, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. 
This is not that world. 
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. 
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. 
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. 
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
I cannot stress enough how beautiful the writing is in these books. It's spun with gorgeous imagery and flawless phrases that make it look easy, as if I could write something that perfect without even lifting a finger (I wish).

There are many sequels I've read where, if there are lovers involved in the story, they have relationship issues over the course of the entire novel, issues that always seem to be solved by the end of the story. Needless to say, this is not that story--it's better.

Akiva and Karou aren't together anymore, but there still seems to be that hint of chemistry between the two of them. It is, in a way, the internal conflict while they both yearn for the past. They go their separate ways and do their separate things, and when they do meet, there are tears and unsaid words and a whole lot of regret pushed into the empty space between them. Still, we seem to get just the right about of interaction between them to keep us reaching for more. And towards the end of the book, when they have sort-of-maybe-I-hope made amends, we feel as if they are somewhat reunited, even though we know a lot more work has to be done on their relationship before they can ever truly get back together.

But their relationship isn't the center of the book--not by a long shot. Many of Karou's thoughts are floating around. They're confusing, conflicting, and all in all very heartbreaking. She's lost Brimstone, Issa, her entire family. Even Zuze and Mik aren't where she is. She has nothing and no one left but Thiago, and as the book progresses, he begins to lose Karou's trust too.

The plot is evenly paced with fast and exciting action scenes thrown in every hundred pages or so. The characters grow just as much as the plot, which extends the story itself. The ending leaves us hanging but also with a small sense of satisfaction.

Well done, Laini Taylor.

On a side note, the cover of the third and final book in the trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters (coming out April 2014), was just revealed a few days ago, and it's PERFECT. *squeals like a true fangirl* And there's a synopsis, too!

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. 
Common enemy, common cause. 
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. 
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. 
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. 
What power can bruise the sky? 
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.  
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Anyway, go read Daughter of Smoke and Bone so you can read Days of Blood and Starlight. And then this, when it comes out! Because it's definitely worth your time.

September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 9.11.12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming books that we're eagerly waiting for!

Unbreakable (Legion, Book #1) by Kami Garcia
October 1, 2013

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia.  
I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me. 
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. 
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way. 
Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.

I loved the Beautiful Creatures novels, and this book looks so promising! Plus, look at that cover. It's so gorgeous and...powerful.

September 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 9.10.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday the topic is books we'd love to see as a movie/TV show! Which is, to put it shortly, a lot.

First of all, I just have to say this: Anything by Sarah Dessen would be perfect. Contemporary is, I would think, so much easier to make into a movie (or TV show, though I think I would prefer a movie to TV show any day) and the Sarah Dessen books are all so amazing.

And I would say Divergent by Veronica Roth, but, you know, already happening! (Thank God. I adore these books.)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. So...I use this as an example constantly in my blog posts only because it is such a good series. I'm a little over halfway through the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, and loving it. Though unfortunately, school is currently really stressful--getting back into the swing of things and all that jazz--so I'm not having much time to read. (Of course, the week I'm doing a read-a-thon I suddenly get piles and piles of work to do, tests, papers, etc. I was never a particularly lucky person anyway.) On a side note, the one thing that cheers me up when I'm really upset or stressed is getting a comment or new follow. So PLEASE leave your thoughts, I love to hear them!

The Selection by Kiera Cass. This is one dystopian movie I would kill to see, even though I didn't enjoy the sequel quite as much as I did the original book. 

The Program by Suzanne Young. Because when dystopian meets mystery meets romance, everyone's happy.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver, because it WAS going to be a TV series but FOX turned it down! They had a cast and everything. *sighs*

Paper Towns by John Green for two reasons: a) No one is going to turn down John Green, and b) The road trip books are so great for movies and even TV shows. This was one of my favorite John Green books, second only to few books I've ever read, and I would love to see it turned into a movie--if it was done right, of course.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, because who wouldn't want a book-to-movie adaptation involving Shadowhunters?

Fallen by Lauren Kate. I've heard a lot of people who didn't enjoy this series, and while it's not on my favorites list or anything, I did have fun reading them. They would make great movies--the first book especially. Easy to picture and light on the fantasy.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Again, I've heard of many people who didn't enjoy this series, and I loved it when I read it a few years ago. The main impression I got of this book--trilogy, actually--was the fresh style and good quality of the writing. I think it was bashed mainly because it had that Twilight-esque feel, but having read them I can say for sure that they're worth picking up, and they'd make great movies.

So that's all for today! What about you? Any books you're itching to be turned into movies?

September 8, 2013

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon

From September 8th to the 21st, I'll be participating in the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon! It's being hosted by Tressa at Tressa's Wishful Endings and Laura at Colorimetry.

I don't have any goals set-in-stone--really, I'd just like to read the books I've had on my shelf for a while. For example: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, and The Diviners also by Libba Bray. As long as I get a few of those read and reviewed, I'll  be happy! :)

This is going to be my progress post, and I'll be updating it each day (though I can't say that I'll be reading quite as much as I do during the summer, even though I would like to get a lot done).

Sept 8
Currently reading: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Books Finished: N/A
Pages Read: 113
Total Books Read: N/A

Sept 9
Currently reading: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Books Finished: N/A
Pages Read: 113 (Again! That's odd. :D)
Total Books Read: N/A

Sept 10
Currently reading: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Books Finished: N/A
Pages Read: 100
Total Books Read: N/A

Sept 11
Currently reading: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Books Finished: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Pages Read: 157
Total Books Read: 1

Super Six Sunday #4

Super Six Sunday is a book meme hosted at Bewitched Bookworms

The topic for this week is most original world building! This is an awesome topic--so many to choose from.

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - I'm reading this (well, Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel) right now, and I'm still awed by the creatures and world in the books. In all honesty, it's gorgeous.

2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - Sort of a given, this story world is beautifully developed. Shadowhunters, iratzes, Silent Brothers, Iron Sisters, etc. It's all so intriguing.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth - The idea of the factions, the revolution and trains and Choosing Ceremony...I wish I could come up with something that amazing. :)

4. Maximum Ride by James Patterson - I loved the idea of the half-human, half-bird kids, and everyone the flock was so fun and loveable. The books were fast-paced and I blazed right through them.

5. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - The world of the Casters, Light and Dark, had me in love with these books all the way through the series. 

6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Though I've only read the first book, I can't deny how developed this world is, and how much time Suzanne Collins must have spent working on it.

Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts!

September 7, 2013

Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda (eARC)

Title: Learning Not to Drown
Author: Anna Shinoda
Publisher: Antheneum Books for Young Readers
Expected Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

There is a pecking order to every family. Seventeen-year old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the oldest, the can't do-wrong favorite. To their mother, they are a normal, happy family. 
To Clare, they are a family on the verge of disaster. Clare: the ambitious striver; Peter: the angry ticking time bomb; and Luke: a drug-addicted convicted felon who has been in and out of jail for as long as Clare can remember—and who has always been bailed out by their parents. 
Clare loves Luke, but life as his sister hasn't been easy. And when he comes home (again), she wants to believe this time will be different (again). Yet when the truths behind his arrests begin to surface, everything Clare knows is shaken to its core. And then Luke is arrested. Again. 
Except this time is different, because Clare’s mom does the unthinkable on Luke’s behalf, and Clare has to decide whether turning her back on family is a selfish act…or the only way to keep from drowning along with them. 
Debut novelist Anna Shinoda's raw, gritty, powerful novel cuts right to the bone and brings to life the skeletons the lurk in the closet.

Learning Not to Drown is an excellent depiction of the struggle of dealing with family member and loved ones involved in in criminal activity, or with addiction issues. It's realistic but definitely mild enough to be considered young adult, and not too depressing either.

Let's get the bad stuff over with: I didn't exactly enjoy reading from Clare's perspective. She was extremely whiny, and spent half of her time complaining about how awful her life was instead of actually doing something about it. On the other hand, when she actually did step up and do something it did seem to go well. I do understand that dealing with what Clare did, especially in relation to Like as a character, would have resulted in a lot of internal struggle, but this just seemed like too much.

The book was a little slow in multiple points. I grew bored and tired of reading, and had to force myself to continue throughout the story. As far as the climax goes, it wasn't much of one. Still, the plot moved at an okay pace, with the exception of those few sections.

There was a lot of internal dialogue, but it actually worked well. We got to hear a lot of Clare's thoughts and feelings, and even though at times they could be slightly self-pitying, it helped us enter into her world more.

Many of the characters bothered me (though half of them were supposed to anyway), but I really enjoyed reading about Clare's friends. In fact, the entire book was centered around characters. It wasn't as much of a plot book, but the development--from first and secondary characters--was astounding. I found myself constantly worrying about them.

Let's talk about skeleton. From what I got, he was sort of imaginary, and Clare was the only one who could see him. He represented the family's "skeleton in the closet," the things they never talked about or revealed. I was confused by him, but ended up rather liking him in the end, even though I never fully understood his meaning.

Overall, this book had its ups and downs, but I would still recommend it.