Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #10

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. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

Hey guys! It’s the end of February, and my reading schedule is finally (somewhat) back on track. Let’s get to it!

What are you currently reading?

35271523The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Yes, I’m still reading this. Yes, I’m highly disappointed in myself. Yes, I WILL most definitely finish it in a few days. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe.

And …

248704Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

I’ve heard a lot about this book over the years, but have never managed to check it out until now. It’s a pretty good time to pick it up, especially with the number of books tackling mental illness coming out recently.

What have you recently finished reading?

6479259After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

This Vampire Academy was not nearly as entertaining as its predecessors, but still fairly easy to read. Not much happens in this book, but it does raise some interesting plot points and no matter how many bad decisions Rose makes, I still can’t help but love her the same. Next one is the grand finale! HYPEEEE

What will you be reading next?

18006496The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read Heir Of Fire but there’s no way I’m re-reading that thick-ass book. And about Queen Of Shadows, this shit better not disappoint. It’s not everyday I willingly read fantasies this large. Sheesh.

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

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Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

February 2018 wrap-up

Well, well, there goes February. Was it just me, or did February seem super long to you guys? January went by quickly, but February just draaaggged. Anyway, this month I read 6 books, which isn’t … bad. I’m hoping I can fit a few more in for March though!

Books I’ve read:

The Smell Of Other’s People Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – 3.5 stars

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows –  4.25 stars

Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers – 4.25 stars

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare – 4.5 stars

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead – 3.25 stars

February posts

Anticipated releases: February 2018 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (review, Aliza)

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lisa McBride (review)

WWW Wednesday #7 

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe (review)

The Smell Of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (review)

WWW Wednesday #8 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (review)

WWW Wednesday #9 

The Infernal Devices trilogy review (re-read)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (review, Aliza)

Aside from reading, how many of you guys went and saw that Black Panther movie?! I saw it last week, and I don’t mean to add to the hype, but goddamn. The music, the cinematography, the action sequences, and the characters were so, so well done. I’m still listening to that Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack, by the way.

Thanks for viewing, guys! How did your February go? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Books

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini | Review

4.5 Stars

At once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history, and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love—or even the memory of love—that is often the key to survival.

So this is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and when I found out my high school English class was going to read it soon, I said, “Absolutely not,” and read the book super quickly on my own before high school could neuter what I knew was supposed to be a good book. Well, I am glad I did, because A Thousand Splendid Suns was fantastic and heartbreaking, without the high school over-analysis that I know will ruin this for me eventually.

Let me start by saying that this book is well outside my typical genre pool. I’m a sci-fi, fantasy, and realistic fiction reader, and this book mostly belongs to that scary genre hiding in a dark corner, historical. This might have been a reason why I didn’t read this relatively popular book until now, but my arbitrary prejudices were in no way a deterrent whilst actually reading this book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the story of Afghanistan, from the Soviet occupation in the 60s through 9/11 and ends in 2003. This region of the world is foreign in many ways to me, much to my chagrin. Living in the US clearly put me in a bubble where I can name the exact battle where George Washington crossed the Delaware, but not even know that Afghanistan was Soviet controlled for such a huge chunk of time. It’s eye-opening, truly, and the stories of Mariam and Laila thus Continue reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini | Review”

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

The Infernal Devices trilogy review (re-read) // THE NOSTALGIA

Image result for i need a moment gif

^THIS GIF. DESCRIBES ME PERFECTLY.

Have y’all ever re-read a series that was really special to you when you were younger and expected to hate it right off the bat? And then you start to not hate it and you’re strangely confused but also really happy because the NOSTALGIA? And even while you’re tastes and interests have changed over the years you still happen to really love it because you’re discovering things you didn’t notice the first time?! All while mentally dying of heartbreak?!

Yeah, it’s been a few days since I finished Clockwork Princess. I’m still recovering, so don’t blame me for rambling like a weirdo.

If you guys didn’t know already, I’ve been re-reading all of Cassie Clare’s books to be prepared for her Dark Artifices trilogy which I am yet to read. So far, I’ve gotten through The Mortal Instruments series up to City Of Fallen Angels and have just finished the prequel trilogy, including Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. I don’t know what possessed me to do a series review, but considering the brief heartbreak I suffered through after reading the epilogue of Clockwork Princess (again) and the fact that I’ve never expressed my thoughts on this trilogy in the first place, I cannot just say nothing has changed since the first time I read it. Which was 4 years ago. Whew.

Taking all of this into account, I have to say I’ve become a stickler in some places and not one in others. The Infernal Devices’ world building is still incredible, I adored the little easter eggs placed here and there, and the interconnection between the Shadow World, Down World, The Clave, and the setting of England was written so effortlessly. The plot involving Tessa’s identity, Mortmain, and his clockwork creatures was so thick and layered, the way the mystery was revealed little by little throughout the trilogy was something of genius, in my opinion. Perhaps, if I wasn’t so attached to this world and its characters I wouldn’t find it so fascinating, but it’s true.

I remember quite liking Tessa before, claiming she was miles better than Clary (in a way though, she is), but at this point, I find Tessa to be as dull as dishwater. Her inner conflict concerning her identity and background was somewhat expressed in Clockwork Angel, but later on, her character just became lazy. In Clockwork Prince, she only seemed to serve as something for Will and Jem to angst over and most of time. I truly do not see the hype in her personality besides those few moments of wit (which everyone seems to surprised to hear), and couldn’t even sense her presence most of the time. I will admit however, some of her moments in Clockwork Princess really got to me, and I only wish who she was as a character was more focused on instead of how much she meant to Jem and Will.

I loved Jem much more the second time around, he wasn’t particularly someone I was invested in initially even if I greatly liked him, but this time he did strike a cord with me. Just as much as Will. Oh, Will. Could you believe I actually thought I was going to despise this precious boy the second time around?! I tried for the whole ass first book and then decided this mindset was simply too much for me, because even if my boy was a little too dramatic, little too angsty, little too up his love interest’s ass sometimes (ha, these are all Herondale trademarks), I still really, really like him. I’m no longer in love with the guy, but I’ll always love him in some way. But seriously, Will’s got enough character development to fill out this whole book by himself.

Continue reading “The Infernal Devices trilogy review (re-read) // THE NOSTALGIA”

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #9

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. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

What’s up, guys? Remember how I said I was going to get my reading schedule back on track last Wednesday? Ha, ha, ha. Right now, it’s gone kinda, sorta off the rails but I’ll totally be fine by next week. Pray for me, readers.

What are you currently reading?

35271523The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Yes, I’m still reading this! It was put off for a while due to another book interrupting (which I will get to soon enough), but I’m determined to push through this one. I’ll admit that I’m having trouble focusing, the writing is quite dense and the plot seems to lose its way every now and then. Let’s hope I get more invested soon, because I would hate to hate this book.

What have you recently finished reading?

18335634Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

THIS BOOK. AHHHHH. This book was a whole mess in the best possible way, and I honestly didn’t expect to feel just as emotional as I did the first time reading this at that bittersweet-as-shit epilogue. I might, just might do a series review that could come later this week, but still debating it. TOO MANY EMOTIONS TO EXPRESS.

What will you be reading next?

6479259After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

I’ve been looking for this book EVERYWHERE, and I have finally found it hiding in my school library. Hyped as hell for this one.

 

 

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

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand + Brodi Ashton + Jodi Meadows (review) // 16th century ridiculousness with fantasy elements

22840421Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

On the back of My Lady Jane, an author (I wish I could remember which one) commented that this book was essentially ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’ meets ‘The Tudors’, and I don’t think there is a more accurate description of the crazy, comical, fun-filled fluff this book is filled with. After a series of three-star, average to somewhat good novels, My Lady Jane provided a much needed discretion, and it’s no surprise that I ended up devouring it.

This book was not meant to be taken seriously, and I absolutely loved that. I’ve never read a book that subtly poked fun at its source material while creating a bunch of drama that always managed to be serious but lighthearted. The humor and writing was right up my alley, I loved the shameless puns, the satire of the messiness of British history, and the straight-up hilarious but relatable antics of Edward, Jane, and everyone’s favorite horse, Gifford (call him G, though). I’m pretty sure people at school were looking at me weird, because most of the time, I was desperately trying (and failing) to keep from laughing my ass off.

Speaking of Edward, Jane, and G, can I just say how much I adore these characters? Not only are they all hilarious, but their backstories and personalities are also incredibly layered. Even side characters such as Gracie, Bess, Mary, and Dudley strike a perfect balance between seriousness and hilarity. And they are all so entertaining! Edward and Gracie were totally cute yet relatable together (let’s be real, we are ALL Edward in some way or another) and Jane and Gifford were one of the most organic, realistic, and adorable romances I had ever read.

For anyone who already is obsessed with (and is ready to be obsessed with) 16th century British royal messiness, animal puns, two hilarious yet swoon-worthy romances, and an overall laugh-out-loud story, My Lady Jane will do nothing less than impress you and probably make you giggle unceremoniously in public. I highly, highly recommend! As if that wasn’t clear already.

Rating: 4.25 stars

Thanks for viewing, guys! Leave me a comment with your thoughts below! 🙂

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #8

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. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

Hey guys! How’s your February going so far? So far, my reading plans are a little haphazard but hopefully I can get them back on track this week. Let’s get into it! 🙂

What are you currently reading?

10025305In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Yes, I have finally got to it! It’s going pretty well so far, but I’m finding the romantic angst a lot more annoying and draggy than I did originally. Opinions change, but I will admit that it’s still entertaining as hell.

And…

35271523The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

I’ve decided recently to venture into the adult genre, and while this book might be a bit of a random pick, it has glowing reviews and the premise sounds crazy amazing. So far, the writing is a tad bothersome because it’s so detailed and dense at times, but the vibe and atmosphere is conveyed really well. I’m interested to see where it goes.

What have you recently finished reading?

21793182

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

This book is still a FAVE. The plot, pacing, and writing are great, the Banshee crew has all my love, and Doran and Solara are #relationshipgoals. I cannot wait to read Starfall! Now if I can only find it …

What will you be reading next?

25026403When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

I have no idea whether I will find this one in my school library, so it’s not decided whether I will read it directly after Clockwork Prince and Senlin Ascends. However, I’m looking to get to it in the near future, it’s been too long! It doesn’t have the best ratings on Goodreads, but I’m hyped for it regardless.

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