Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Favorite books of 2017

Hey guys! In this post, I’ll be sharing my favorite books that I’ve read in 2017 (not all are 2017 published) and since I’ve summarized my feelings about them in words too many times already, I’ve decided to use gifs this time instead. Nothing else could express my emotions better. Let’s go!!!

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1) Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers:

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2) The Raven Boys (The Raven Boys #1) by Maggie Stiefvater:

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3) Heartless by Marissa Meyer:

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4) A Gathering Of Shadows (A Darker Shade Of Magic #1) by V.E Schwab:

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5) The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2) by Maggie Stiefvater:

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6) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

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7) Radio Silence by Alice Oseman:

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8) Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers:

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9) Crooked Kingdom (Six Of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo:

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10) Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett:

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11) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera:

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12) Crown Of Midnight (Throne Of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas:

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Thanks for viewing, guys! What were your favorite books this year? Let me know in the comments? 🙂

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Books, YA Fiction

December 2017 wrap-up

Hey guys! It’s still hard to process that 2018 is so near, this past year has gone by so quickly, but at least I’m going out with a bang reading-wise. I’ve read 10 books this month, and while most of it can be amounted to winter break, I’m still pretty proud of myself.

Books I’ve read:

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead – 4 stars

City Of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars

City Of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare – 3.75 stars

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead – 4 stars

Seven Days Of You by Cecelia Vinesse – 2.25 stars

The Careful Undressing Of Love by Corey Ann Haydu – 4 stars

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge – 2 stars

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger – 3 stars

Black Chuck by Regan McDonell – 3.25 stars

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead – 3.5 stars

December posts:

November 2017 wrap-up

Black Bird Of The Gallows by Meg Kassel (review)

Seven Days Of You by Cecilia Vinesse (review)

The Careful Undressing Of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (review)

WWW Wednesday #1

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (review)

WWW Wednesday #2

Burn, Rewrite, Reread tag

Thanks for viewing, guys! How did your December go, reading-wise? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Books, Tag, YA Fiction

Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

Hey guys! I know, it’s been like 80 years since nivs @ ilvermoreads tagged me for this post, but I’ve only finished it now and I definitely want to share it with you. The goal is to randomize your Goodreads “read” shelf, choose the first three books, and state whether you would Burn, Rewrite, or Reread them. Let’s get to it!

Round 1

BurnCrimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge – The concept behind this book was super interesting but the world building and plotting was much too directionless and complex. Nope!

Rewrite: Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Ah, the bane of my existence. There are a shitload of things I’d love to change about this book, starting from that whiny ass main character who calls herself an assassin. I do think it could have been a better book if some aspects were written better.

Reread: Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – This book was so cute and a perfect quick contemporary read. Would love to visit it soon!

Round 2

Burn: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I read this book a long time ago and I did like it, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much if I read it now.

Rewrite: Gardenia by Kelsey Sutton – Really liked the contemporary aspect of this novel, but would totally rewrite the lackluster thriller/mystery plotline.

Reread: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Um, do I really need to explain myself on this one? I think I’ve raved about this book enough 😀

Round 3

Burn: The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay – I must have gave into the hype during my time reading this book, because I rated it 3.5 stars, a completely inaccurate rating. I remember strongly disliking it after (not much) contemplation.

Rewrite: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – There’s actually not much I would change about this one because I liked it well enough, but I could have used more dialogue and less commentary. Great book though.

Reread: Champion by Marie Lu – Man, it’s been ages since I’ve visited the Legend series! I remember loving this book though and I’m definitely planning on rereading the trilogy soon. Hopefully before I get my hands on Warcross.

Round 4

Burn: Luxe by Anna Godberson – This isn’t a bad book necessarily, but when compared to the other two listed, I kind of have to put it in this section.

Rewrite: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – I actually dislike this book so much more than Luxe, but it really could have been so much better with better character writing and world-building.

Reread: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry – Excluding the cringey instalove romance, I actually quite enjoyed this book and would like to read it again soon.

Round 5

Burn: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza – My god, I read this book years ago! I honestly don’t remember much about it, and I guess that would be a sign that I didn’t have that much love for it.

Rewrite: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – My own expectations deceived me in the case of this one, but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it so much more if certain plot points were written differently.

Reread: A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: Another book that I haven’t touched for years, but I do remember it being one of the most interesting and diverse novels I’ve ever read. Mixed with the fantasy element, it turned out to be a pretty fascinating read and I would love to reread it again. I’ll have to if I want to continue the series.

Let me know your thoughts below and I tag … anyone and everyone! Go! 🙂

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

Hey everyone, I’m back today with another WWW Wednesday, which is originally hosted by Taking On A World Of Words.

What are you currently reading?

30025336Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

I started a little bit of this book yesterday but MY GOD am I excited to dive into it more. The atmosphere is already amazing and I totally dig this aesthetic, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint from here on out!

What have you recently finished reading?

5996153Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters … Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

While this is probably my least favorite of the series so far, I still quite liked it. It’s not as action-oriented as the previous books, but the character development and overall tension throughout was so, so good. Rose Hathaway is wifey material.

What will you be reading next?

22328546This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

Wow, I am late to the party! I couldn’t seem to muster the motivation to pick this one up thus so far, but I’m willing to give it a try because I have it with me currently. Maybe. I don’t know. I miiight chicken out again.

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

 

 

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (review) | Romeo and Juliet meets necromancy

28448239When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

Like Rosamund Hodge’s previous fantasy novels, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire contains a hodgepodge (ha, get it? hodgepodge? God, I hate myself) of elements, such as a Romeo And Juliet retelling mixed in with necromancy, zombies, and various forms of blood magic. It sounds AMAZING but in actuality it was one of the most flattest, dense, convoluted books I had ever read. I keep holding out for this author because of my liking for Cruel Beauty, but let’s face it. Her style just ain’t for me.

I have to say the world-building of this book is extremely intricate and thought-out, but the way it’s presented to us just sucks the joy out of everything. All this mythology, terminology, and culture is just thrown at us with no warning and the thick, heavy writing makes it difficult to understand what the fresh hell is going on. I could tell the atmosphere was supposed to be very dark, but the vibe was muddled under the denseness of the prose and convoluted plot. I really appreciate Hodge’s inclination to actually develop a layered plot and story, but their intricacy was their downfall. So much is happening with the necromancy, mystery, zombie awakenings, and blood magic rituals (I swear, every one of the characters is bleeding half the time), but trying to understand this story was like struggling to swim through mud. This was me most of the time through reading this book:

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The characters, unfortunately, were not much better. Slightly better? Maybe. But not good enough to save this book. So we have Romeo, Paris, Juliet, and Runajo, who are all entangled in one great mystery together while dealing with their own issues. In the beginning, Juliet’s Guardian Tybalt, is said to have died by Romeo’s hand, and Juliet is supposed to kill him. Juliet lets him live and actually elopes with him to conduct a ritual that will make Romeo her Guardian, binding him to her permanently. Unfortunately, the ritual goes wrong, binding Romeo to Paris (Juliet’s new Guardian after Tybalt’s death) and Juliet to Runajo. There are some details in between that I left out, mostly because I don’t have the energy to inform you guys of things that confuse me myself. *shrugs*

Each character actually has a very thought-out backstory that is referenced multiple times through the book, however, they aren’t well-written enough to actually make me interested in what happens to them. Paris and Runajo’s stories are sad and intriguing, but their motivations to do what they do are simply too vague and unclear. Why is Runajo so determined to save the world? What’s in it for her? What is behind Paris’ drive to save the Juliet? Yes, I felt for them at moments and found them to be likable, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make me care for their eventual fate.

There is hardly any romance in the story besides the few flashbacks scattered throughout of Romeo and Juliet’s love affair, which comes as a blessing and a curse. Their love story is just as sappy and one-dimensional as the original, but I really think another romance between the side characters, perhaps a LGBTQ romance would have spiced this book up.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire has a brilliant concept but a mind-numbing execution. I’d suggest passing on this one, and looking for your Shakespeare retelling + necromancy fix elsewhere.

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Rating: 2 stars

 

Thanks for reading, guys! If you’ve read this, what did you think of it? Do you have any experience with Rosamund Hodge’s other novels? Let me know below 🙂

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesdays #1

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

Hey guys! I’m back with a Wednesday blog meme, WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Taking On A World Of Words.

What are you currently reading?

28448239When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

I started this about two days ago with a rocky start, but the pace is definitely picking up and I’m interested to see where it goes. I’ve previously enjoyed Hodge’s Cruel Beauty and am hoping I’ll like this one just as much.

What have you recently finished reading?

30201161Everyone who really knows Brooklyn knows Devonairre Street girls are different. They’re the ones you shouldn’t fall in love with. The ones with the curse. The ones who can get you killed.

Lorna Ryder is a Devonairre Street girl, and for years, paying lip service to the curse has been the small price of living in a neighborhood full of memories of her father, one of the thousands killed five years earlier in the 2001 Times Square Bombing. Then her best friend’s boyfriend is killed, and suddenly a city paralyzed by dread of another terrorist attack is obsessed with Devonairre Street and the price of falling in love.

Set in an America where recent history has followed a different path.

This was one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read — but I ended up liking it much more than I anticipated. A lush read filled with myths, curses, and an overall magical atmosphere.

What will you be reading next?

6931356Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I have a feeling I’m going to need something light and fluffy after finishing Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, and The DUFF is the only book that fits that description out my current library books. I’ve been eager to watch the movie (which I’ve heard is actually pretty entertaining), so reading this is the first step!

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (review)

30201161Everyone who really knows Brooklyn knows Devonairre Street girls are different. They’re the ones you shouldn’t fall in love with. The ones with the curse. The ones who can get you killed.

Lorna Ryder is a Devonairre Street girl, and for years, paying lip service to the curse has been the small price of living in a neighborhood full of memories of her father, one of the thousands killed five years earlier in the 2001 Times Square Bombing. Then her best friend’s boyfriend is killed, and suddenly a city paralyzed by dread of another terrorist attack is obsessed with Devonairre Street and the price of falling in love.

Set in an America where recent history has followed a different path.

The Careful Undressing Of Love is one strange, strange book. I’m actually not well acquainted with the magical realism genre, but my curiosity in it has definitely increased after finishing this bizarre yet beautiful story. Interestingly, the book is not plot-lead (some might even say there is no plot, ha) or character-lead, but the themes of first love, freedom, and finding one’s identity carry the book into something that leaves a strong impression.

To start off, I have to say that I adore this book’s aesthetic. I’m huge on stories that can convey an atmosphere simply through great writing, and the whimsical, magical, and strange vibe of Devonairre Street was nearly palpable. The writing was gorgeous without trying too hard, especially when describing Lorna’s grief, confusion, and anger. Trudging through the book may take some effort, because it is easy to notice that the plot is quite thin, and often, missing. I finished the book in one day, mainly because it was short and I didn’t have anything else to do (winter break whoop whoop! let the boredom fun begin!!), but also because the writing was so well-done.

As stated in summary, this story is set in an alternate version of our world, in which sadness and mourning and moments of silence are all part of the peoples’ daily thoughts and routines. A bombing in Times Square claims the lives of thousands, including Lorna’s father, and the stories and names of those affected are memorized so they are never forgotten. Haydu raises some interesting points while using the both the intricacies and chaos of this altered world marked by tragedy. Society’s tendency to unknowingly ostracize those who are different, as well as the way we all limit ourselves to perceiving others one-dimensionally are explored through how the Devonairre Street girls are treated because of the superstition surrounding them. I love how human nature is assessed in this book while incorporating the many themes encompassing love and growing up.

Like I said, the themes carry more importance than the characters in this book, but the characters are indeed written well enough to leave a solid impression. Lorna, Delilah, Charlotte, Cruz, and Isla are all fully developed personalities, and it’s intriguing, heartbreaking, and straight-up anxiety-inducing to see how they individually deal with all the tragedies happening around them, as well as being subject to the limitations and expectations set by the Curse. Lorna deals with the prospect of defining what love actually is, and struggles to find herself in the midst of the hysteria and superstition. I certainly enjoyed reading about her struggle, and I loved it for making me uncomfortable at times because it fully peeled back the layers of what makes us human in such a poignant manner. A literal undressing of love.

I would definitely recommend The Careful Undressing Of Love to those already a fan of the magical realism genre, and to those that are new to it, don’t be afraid to jump in and give it a try. It might weird you out a bit, but it’s definitely worth it.

Rating: 4 stars

 

What are your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it before? Thoughts on magical realism? Let me know in the comments 🙂