Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

For this year's Reading Goals I set it at 150 books and comics over at Goodreads. Then I found cool categories and challenges so thought I'd add them as well! 
I had to re-evaluate the list and cut it down a bit because well I couldn't find books that fit into those categories and/or it was repetitive, OR it was something that wouldn't count in the challenge like "A Book from your Childhood" these are the ones I've read already so it wouldn't count for this year's challenge.
Final category count is at: 50
Also adding links to reviews.

151/150 Books [Goodreads Reading Challenge]
  1. A Book With More Than 500 Pages - Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. 529 Pages.
  2. A Classic Romance - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Because fairy tales are classic romance! ;) :P
  3. A Book That Became a Movie - Paper Towns by John Green. The movie released this year!
  4. A Book Published This Year - Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Published on 6th October 2015
  5. A Book With a Number in the Title - November 9 by Colleen Hoover.  "9" :P
  6. A Book With Non-Human Characters - Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. It was full of magic, vampires (the non-sparkly kind), and some other fantasy creatures! ;) 
  7. A Funny Book - You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. It was quirky, hilarious and inspiring... ♥
  8. A Book by a Female Author - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Chose this book because Maggie Stiefvater is probably one of my favorite authors. I'd read anything she writes.
  9. A Mystery or a Thriller - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.
  10. A Book With a One Word Title - Inked by Eric Smith.
  11. A Book of Short Stories - Tell Me a Story by Ravinder Singh. Collection of short stories by different authors.
  12. A Book Set in a Different Country - Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Chose this because the book spans across Manhattan, Spain and Paris!
  13. A Popular Author's First Book - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.
  14. A Book From An Author You Love, That You Haven’t Read Yet - The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I will read everything Uncle Rick writes. I do not care what age the books are "meant" for.
  15. A Book a Friend Recommended - Loosing Me Finding You by Natalie Ward. Recommended to me by my book reading partner in crime Athy! Buddy-read this book with her too! :)
  16. Book Your Mom Loves - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  17. A Book that Scares You - The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. Not as scary as the first book though :/
  18. A Book Based Entirely on its Cover - Cinder by Marissa Meyer and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
  19. A Book You Were Supposed to Read in School But Didn't - In my school we didn't have "Reading Lists" or any specific books that we were supposed to read, so..... :|
  20. A Memoir - You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. ♥
  21. A Book You Can Finish in a Day - The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram. Finished it in one day! :D
  22. A Book with Antonyms in the Title - Loosing Me Finding You by Natalie Ward. Loosing x Finding
  23. A Book Set Somewhere You've Always Wanted to Visit - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Always wanted to visit Paris and this book just reinforced that!
  24. A Book that Came Out The Year You Were Born - The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman
  25. A Trilogy - Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee. The series was supposed to have five books but it ended up being a trilogy.
  26. A Book with a Love Triangle - P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.
  27. A Book Set in the Future - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. It has a long long history and is set after a fictional WW IV
  28. A Book Set in High School - P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.
  29. A Book with a Color in the Title - Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  30. A Book that Made You Cry - November 9 by Colleen Hoover. This year I've read a lot of books that made me tear up. But books by CoHo almost always make me cry. Some times in a good way, sometimes I ugly cry too.. :P
  31. A Book with Magic - Inked by Eric Smith. "Be Fearless. Be Bold. Be Magic."
  32. A Book by an Author You've Never Read Before - Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  33. A Book You Own But Have Never Read - Tell Me a Story by Ravinder Singh. I kept putting off reading this one.
  34. A Book written by an Author With Your Same Initials - I couldn't find any interesting books by authors with the initials TR. X_X
  35. A Book Based on or Turned into a TV Show - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  36. An Anthology - Tell Me a Story by Ravinder Singh. 
  37. A Book Published by an Indie Press - Diamond Sky by Diana Nixon. All of the Love Lines series are published by an Indie Press.
  38. A Microhistory - I've been looking all year for a microhistory book that would interest me, but I couldn't find anything, and now I finally find one and I don't have time to read it. :/ Migrating this to next year.
  39. A Book by A Person Whose Gender Is Different From Your Own - Red Rising by Peirce Brown.
  40. A YA novel - 17 Marigold Lane by RM Gilmore
  41. A Sci-Fi Novel - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  42. A Genre You Would Not Normally Read -  Sloth by Ella James. I've been debating if I should put this up here, and I've decided not to. Review link will open up to Goodreads where I have put up my review.
  43. A Book That Is A Retelling Of A Classic Story  - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  
  44. An Audiobook - I miserably failed to finish this one. I fell asleep every time. Will read the book for The Illustrated Man (the audiobook I failed to finish) next year!
  45. A Collection of Poetry - Pieces of Mel by Melina Turner. Collection of poetry of varying genres.
  46. A Graphic Novel or a Collection of Comics of any kind - The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman
  47. A Book That You Would Consider A Guilty Pleasure - Scooby Doo Comics! I've been enjoying reading these. Childhood memories!! ♥
  48. A Self-Improvement Book or Self-Help Book - How To Remember Things by Arthur Richards.
  49. A Steampunk Book -  The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. And/Or For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Petrefund.
  50. A Dystopian Book - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Review for Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.""I live for you," I say sadly.Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so. 

"This is your heart. Then guard it with metal."

"I am the spark that will set the worlds afire. I am the hammer that cracks the chains"

With a unique theme and an almost fantasy like feel to the book, Red Rising has clawed its way to my favorites list. It was a bloodydamn fantastic read. Set in the futuristic colony of Mars, Red Rising is a dystopian novel like no other that I've read before.

It is a little hard to get into at first, the language and the way the book world functions is a bit much to absorb in the first go. But be patient lovelies, and I promise you this is a read you won't forget.

There are different colors in the society. The different colors are assigned to different jobs, different responsibilities. Red Rising is quite similar, yet quite different from The Hunger Games.

This book was a roller coaster from the get go, fast paced and full of twists. By the time this book ended I was at the edge of my seat. I just HAD to talk to someone about it. 

But no one had read the book. So I sat my mom down and told her the whole story, generally complained about the stupid decisions of the characters (*cough* Darrow *cough*), the amazing plot, and pretty much fangirled.

I'd recommend that all fans of dystopian novels, and anyone that loves reading about good strategies in a game read this one! Its an amazing one. Can't wait to read the next book!!

Review for The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles was the book that started it all. It was Agatha Christie's first book and the debut of the eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. My mom always has loved Poirot and would, on countless occasions that I have asked her about her favorite books, include the adventures of the detective in her list.

So I thought for the 2015 Reading Challenge it was only appropriate if I read this. (Also it ticks off lots of categories in one go.. ;) :P )

Anyway, back to the review. I really quite enjoyed this book. At some points, I'll admit I was a bit frustrated having no clue about what was going on and what was the big "clue" that Mr. Poirot had gleaned from the seemingly normal evidence. But I understood his eccentricities.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is what I would describe as a classic murder mystery. With lots of drama, scandals, clues and mystery; this was a fun read. I'm looking forward to reading more of Agatha Christie's books!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review for All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

"The world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places."

"You are all the colors in one at full brightness"

Review might have spoilers!

Okay this isn't going to be like my usual reviews. All the Bright Places was such a moving read. The blurb will pretty much tell you what you need to know about the book. But after I read the book I just couldn't stop thinking. Those are the best kind of books, the ones that make you think and stay on your mind. When I first saw the cover for the book, way before it was released, I knew I wanted to read it. I had it marked on my TBR just as fast, and soon as it released I grabbed a copy for myself.

I like to think that there is a time for things. That sometimes everything aligns just so that the universe hands you exactly what you need, exactly something that will push you forward, something that just makes you understand this messy messy world we live in. I couldn't have read All The Bright Places at a better time. Let me warn you this isn't spoiler free again and I just need to get it out there.

So back on track.... this book somehow just made sense and just clicked. Maybe because I've been in a dark place and relating with a character makes it seem not so lonely. It just makes everything a little less morbid and maybe a little bit brighter.

It makes me think, think, think. I finished this in a day because I absolutely couldn't put it down. Couldn't shush the voices of Theo and Violet screaming at me - read, read, read.

Maybe all this doesn't make sense, maybe it does. But I just needed it to be out there. I just needed to let you know, whoever you may be. I especially loved the authors note (make sure you read it, for me please).
In the light of recent events I find it necessary to voice my support, to show my solidarity, to let all those that need it know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I love how she put it in her note -
"If you think something is wrong, speak up." We all need to speak up, stand up to the bullies and to take a stand for ourselves and for those that cannot do it for themselves.

Love always
TJ ♥

Pieces of Mel: Poetry Collection by Melina Turner

Pieces of Mel: Poetry Collection by Melina Turner

The darkness...The light...The happiness and sadness...Where would we be without such raw emotional being?

Open the pages of international award-winning poets "Pieces Of Mel" and step into many of the portrayals, opinions, hopes, and beliefs the author expresses so deeply. From raw emotion to the miniature poetic stories you will find the proof of the authors passion and soul.

If life was so perfect
Would we be us?
Would we be the same?
Or would we just adjust?
- If (Part 2) by Melina Turner

I am eager,
To know.
Of what,
I am not.
Should be.
- Destiny by Melina Turner

Pieces of Mel is a collection of poems spanning various themes. I admire anyone that can put up their poems for the world to see. Unlike most novels, poems tend to be far more personal and show the writer's vulnerable side.

Through this collection of poems you can see the writer's journey through different phases of her life. It allows you a look at snippets of her life as she sees it - The questions burning in her mind, the moments that have shaped who she is, the things she has seen, the person she has become.

Its quite wonderful really to see her transformation through these poems as they progress throughout the book. I loved the paranormal undertones in some of the poems. Some of the poems were like a complete story in poem form. I just wish the book was a bit more fine-tuned and edited a bit better, it would have made the book a stellar read.

Some of my favorite poems were A Hero in Blue, A Villan in Red, Loving One in Vengeance, and Deathly-Roses Poetry Part 1.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Review for How to Remember Things by Arthur Richards

How to Remember Things by Arthur Richards


As we become more and more reliant on electronics, we’re losing the arts of absorption and recall. Why should we need them when we can just enter our shopping list into a handy app or Google pertinent information?
~But what happens when our handy electronic friends decide to check out for a while?
~Have you ever been caught with no batteries on your phone and a list full of shopping you can’t remember?
~There are other times when you just can’t use your phone or tablet to retrieve information like when you are sitting for exams, or when you are invited to make a speech.
Inside, we will explore the 10 MEMORY TRICKS, take the time to absorb and explore each technique and experiment with each of them to see if they suit your needs.
Would you like to remember everything?

Let’s get started by clicking the buy button.
How to Remember Things, as the title suggests is a short self-help book on how to boost your recall power. I thought it would be a great read before the exams. I've been using some of the tips mentioned for years, and they are effective.
Some of the tips mentioned are more complicated than the others. But the author himself suggests that we pick, choose and mix up the methods that work best for us.
To summarize its a short, quick guide.

Review for Tell Me a Story by Ravinder Singh

Tell Me a Story by Ravinder Singh
There is always a story that changed your life ...
And that is the time when life happened for you!
Tell Me a Story is a collection of heart-warming stories about events and incidents that have affected or changed the lives of the writers in ways that they cannot forget. Happy or sad, inspiring or shocking, these are stories of moments that have left an indelible mark on their lives. Stories that they would love to share.
Edited by Ravinder Singh, Tell Me a Story is about the moments that make life worth living. This is the second such anthology, after the highly successful Love Stories That Touched My Heart.


I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.

Tell Me a Story is a collection of stories edited by the Indian Author Ravinder Singh. In this anthology each chapter is written by a different author. We are introduced to that chapter of the author's life where a particular incident made an impact on them, or changed the way they see the world. It was like reading snippets out of memoirs or a person's diary.

I hate writing harsh reviews but, I just have to get this out.

I did not enjoy this read. Maybe because the stories were so short I could not connect with any of the stories or the "characters". I kept putting off reading this book for so long. For me the writing style did not fit in with the premise of the book. For a book that has "Inspiring, Touching, Funny and Heartfelt Stories from Life", the writing style felt forced when it should have just flowed like a conversation between the author and the reader. These are supposed to be personal stories, real life stories, but some of them felt made up. Some of them were like dressed-up confessionals.

When I was reading some of the chapters, I remembered this episode from FRIENDS where Joey writes a letter of recommendation for Monica and Chandler and he uses the "thesaurus" feature to make his letter seem better.

The stories weren't all bad. There were some stories with merit. But the writing style missed the mark for me. Kind of disappointing.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Bound by RM Gilmore

Bound December 28th

WARNING: This ride includes sudden, jarring movements. 
After Lupe drops her into the abyss of the otherworld, better known to Dylan as Hell, she wakes in a strange place. Terrified, Dylan attempts to regain control of her life for good.
Struggling to cope, she searches resolutely for the cause of her plight, while Mike, ever vigilant, remains skeptical and leaves her no choice but to lie to him.
Having survived a world beyond our own, Dylan comes face-to-face with a familiar foe, a fierce adversary she never thought she would have to encounter. Herself.
Bound Cover
Fifth in the Dylan Hart series, Bound drags us further into the occult than we've ever traveled before.
Join the odyssey and discover how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Amazon Nook Kobo

Want me? Win me!
Signed paperbacks + Kindle + More!!
Giveaway  Giveaway

Dylan Hart series
Dylan Hart series
Start the journey from the begining. 
Amazon Nook Kobo

RM Gilmore
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And now for the GIVEAWAY! Enter in the rafflecopter here -  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Audiobook Woes

So, if you guys read my previous post, you know that I got my first ever audiobook for the 2015 Reading Challenge - The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.

It did not go well you guys.

Here's the thing, I'm more of an auditory learner. I learn better when I'm listening to someone explain something. So naturally, audiobooks MUST bring me joy. It should have been my thing.

But no... This is what happened -
 I totally dozed off. Then I thought maybe it would be better if I heard the audiobook while I was travelling. I usually listen to music while travelling, so this should be the solution. I'll surely finish at least half the book.

I totally fell asleep again.

Maybe it was the narrator. I think because his voice was so calm, it started to feel like a lullaby and I just dozed off. Lovelies, I don't think audiobooks are for me. Am I alone in this?

Maybe I should try another audiobook next year? With a different narrator? Any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

I finally saw Star Wars!

I have to admit that I am one of those people who had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. Yes, I know. Boo. But I fixed that! I finally have caught up with all the Star Wars movies.

And I have mixed feelings about it...... On one hand I loved the movie and the story line. But I guess I had some high expectations because of the huge fan following and all the, buzz? I guess, around the movies.

But there is no denying how the movie franchise has shaped and affected our fandom brain. I just watched these movies and already I was making references to the movies, and confusing people who didn't watch the movies.

The other day while my friend was leaving I was about to tell her "May the Force be with you", then I had to remind myself that she would not get it.

My favorite characters were R2D2 and Yoda. I loved the style in which Master Yoda speaks. I found this cool infographic by Grammarly -

A Grammar and Style Guide to #Yodify Your Language

Yodify your Grammar Infographic
(Infographic by Grammarly)

So my current favorite quote - 
"You'll never be able to find yourself, if you're lost in someone else."
- Colleen Hoover, November 9
Becomes - 
"Never be able to find yourself, if lost in someone else, you are. "


What are your favorite literary quotes, #Yodified? Share in the comments!

Review for You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely home schooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world... or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was "home-schooled for hippie reasons", Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

So here's the thing Memoirs and Non-Fiction books are really not my thing. For the reading challenge this year I was dreading picking up a memoir and it dragging all the way through and suffering while reading it. But then I saw that Felicia Day had written a memoir. 
I've adored Felicia Day since I saw her on Supernatural, so I thought it was only appropriate I read this one. I started this book during my semester finals because I thought I won't be tempted as much by it. Boy was I wrong. 

I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. I think reading about her journey and how she achieved each milestone has made me love her even more.It was quirky, hilarious, inspiring and witty. It reads exactly like I imagine she talks IRL, and the pictures that she's put in the book made the book even funnier.

Loved every minute of it. ♥

PS: I just found out that the audiobook version of this is narrated by Felicia Day herself. Now I wish I'd have bought the audiobook rather than the ebook. Oh well maybe next time... ;)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Review for November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Edited this now that I got back net access!
November 9 by Colleen  Hoover
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

"You'll never be able to find yourself if you're lost in someone else."

" She "loved me" in quotations
She kissed me in bold
I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps
She left with an ellipsis . . . "

It's been more than a month since I finished November 9, and I'm still not sure how to post a proper review (not that all my reviews make much sense to begin with :P )
The blurb will give you all that you need to know what the book is about. I don't want to repeat it. I'll go with this instead - Colleen Hoover always writes amazing characters and story lines that draw you in from the very beginning. Her stories are emotional, deep, butterflying beautiful, and just everything you'd want in a book.
November 9 is no different. With a strong story line that spans over a couple years we really get to see the two main characters - Fallon and Ben grow. They meet only once a year on the same day, you guessed it, on November 9. And you really get to see how these two have helped the other become better.
I knew there was an ultimate plot twist coming but I did NOT expect that! I had to put away the reader for a bit. Seriously.
I loved the characters. I adored the story. And as always I loved the writing style. Intense, Emotional, and Beautiful. Ms Hoover does it again.

PS: Do listen to the song released by Griffin Peterson - November 9. It just perfectly compliments the book!

Till later!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Review for The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

I read this pretty much soon as it released and forgot to add it to Goodreads and review it. I might have forgotten to add a couple more books as well... Oops. (I was busy fangirl-ing and begging my friends to read it okay? :P )

Also please do not tell me this book is not meant to be read by some one in their twenties, I  do not care. I will read everything Rick Riordan writes because it is just too good not to. Sorry not sorry? :P

Anyway.. I really enjoyed this book. Uncle Rick does it again. This time his take on Norse Mythology while still true to its mythological roots? is effortlessly integrated into the modern day. I loved learning more about the Norse Mythology through this wonderful book, oh maybe there would be a Magnus Chase's Norse Gods series? (hint-hint, wink-wink)

Part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much might be because of Magnus' sass and all the other fandom references. Oh gods! It was funny and sarcastic and just so good!

It is quite reminiscent of Percy Jackson in the style that it is written and hello amazing chapter titles! I swear this is one of my favorite parts of novels.


All in all, I'm a pretty happy fangirl over here!

PS: I so prefer this cover to the UK one... which is unfortunately the one I have... :|

Friday, 11 December 2015

Series Review for The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Hold on lovelies, this one is going to be a looonnnggg post!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is a retake on the classic fairy tales that we grew up with. Filled with all the whimsical elements of the fairy tales, The Lunar Chronicles takes the stories we love and gives it a futuristic, sci-fi, dystopian spin. I did enjoy the whole series and I was so glad that I read the whole series back to back, with the exception of one short story that releases in 2016. 

I adored the characters, Cinder and Thorne are #FriendshipGoals, yes I just used a hashtag there. Iko is just brilliant, and I adored Winter and Jacin! If you asked me to pick a favorite character from the series I'd probably pick Carswell Thorne just for his sense of humor and sass ;)

I liked the writing style as well. I just wish it would have been a little more, fine-tuned I guess, it would have made the story even more enjoyable. Full disclosure, it does drag in some places, but the story line is compelling and engaging enough to keep reading.

Lastly, the covers! They are so gorgeous and cleverly planned. Each cover showcases the focal element of each of the story tales it is based on.

In case you wanted reviews for each book, I have short individual reviews for each book up in the reading order recommended by the author in her blog post, it did make most sense this way, also I found that there would be no spoilers this way!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is based on the classic story of Cinderella. But it wasn't as oh well, princess-ey? I suppose. I was pleasantly surprised by the story line, in the sense that how the author incorporated the fairy tale to the whole dystopian, sci-fi world that she created.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In Glitches, a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch…

Glitches is the prequel to Cinder. It explains how Cinder came to live with the Linh family and how she got her start with being a mechanic. Like all novellas, Glitches does fill in some gaps and adds more to the story.

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. 
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Scarlet is based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. I love how the author continues to build up the book world while integrating new fairy tales into the main plot. I adored the new characters and loved uncovering more of Cinder's story.

The Queen's Army
It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen's army. To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proves to the Queen—and to himself—that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.

This is the prequel to Scarlet. It is the back-story for Ze'ev "Wolf" Kesley and how he was genetically modified into the lunars' version of the Big Bad Wolf. There's quite a bit going on in this book, even though it is a novella.

The Little Android
When android Mech6.0 saves the life of a handsome hardware engineer, her body is destroyed and her mechanics discover a glitch in her programming. Androids aren’t meant to develop impractical reasoning or near-emotional responses…let alone fall in love.

The Little Android is a short story based on The Little Mermaid, set in the same world as The Lunar Chronicles. It is not really related to the main plot, but it does have a nice little story about androids, maybe an appearance by one of our characters. Overall, a short and sweet read.

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Cress is based on the story of Rapunzel. I am constantly surprised at how the author captured the essence of each fairy tale character and incorporated them into the characters in her book world. The book does pick up its pace in this installment in the series, with the plans and the rescues. With some unexpected twists, this was quite a good read.

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky
Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

This is a little back story to the would be Captain, Carswell Thorne. I adore him, I really do. This novella features the elusive Kate Fallow and we get to see that story play out from Thorne's POV.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

I actually read this book in the end, because well Levana. I honestly! Well this book started out making me feel a bit of sympathy towards Levana, but then no, nope. I can't even. No. Just no.
At one point it had the same feel as Gone Girl. So much manipulation and glamours here. 
This might not really feel like a review but please just understand my fangirl feels, and go with it.

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Winter is based on the tale of Snow White. In this finale to the series, we finally see the revolution we've been waiting for. We all know what will happen, I mean it is easy enough to predict, but it was still an enjoyable read. I especially loved Winter in this book. I did hate a few parts of this book, I might have been yelling - how could you do this?! Might have. I'm not admitting to anything :P 
I think Winter's cover is probably my favorite in the series. It is just really well made.
All in all quite a satisfying ending to the series.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

While I was reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Simon and Baz's story stood out for me. I was so anxious to read what would happen and how that story would end. It seemed like a pseudo cliffhanger, if you will. But then the author announced that Simon and Baz would be getting their own novel, and I was so excited!

When I started reading Carry On, naturally my Potterhead mind (is that even correct?) started drawing references to the magical world of Hogwarts. I feel anyone would draw comparisons to Harry Potter because of the similarity between them, it's only natural to do that for us fangirls (and boys). Its a magical school where gifted students are taught magic, with a chosen one. Of course my brain jumped to HP, like it would jump to Vampire Academy if it was a school for vampires instead.

That was a rather long justification. Oops... 

Anyway... Carry On is not all like Harry Potter, nor is it a fan-fiction. It is different in its own right and had it has its own voice. But it does fill, to some extent, the HP shaped hole left in my heart. 

In a story that we only saw the finale of, the author has created a rather endearing and magical world. It made me smile and cheer for the characters. The cliches made me giggle (only a little... Oh who am I kidding, I live for the cliches!)

Loved the characters, loved the writing style and loved the story. I wish I could read more of Simon and crew's adventures apart from the gripping finale that we were given, but I'll take what I can get. 

Enjoy this little nugget, may it temporarily satisfy/fill the HP shaped hole in your hearts as well!
Carry On....

(See what I did there? ;) )

PS: Exams start soon my lovelies! Wish me luck! I'll be back hopefully, next week for a bit!