Saturday, June 15, 2013

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege And Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Colt
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 435
Release Date: June 4,  2013

"Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought 
would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm."- Goodreads Summary

Guys... I honestly can't even begin to describe how I felt after I closed this book for the last time. I have three other books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read but I keep wondering "How am I going to enjoy these books after Siege And Storm?" Because Siege And Storm was that good. I have no idea how the books I'm going to read next will be able to live up to the standards Siege & Storm set. 

If you guys read Shadow And Bone and loved it, then you are in for a treat because Siege tops Shadow by a mile. Not only does it retain the best characters from Shadow, but it also introduces a couple new characters that are just as amazing. However, one in particular is a new favorite of mine.

Sturmhond. Snarky but kind and just as ambitious as the Darkling, 
Sturmhond is one heck of a character. He is very mysterious yet I still felt like I got to know him. He's the Darkling minus the whole evil factor. I need to see more of him in the next book.

We get to know Mal a lot better in this book and I have to say, I am not at all disappointed. Despite the other potential romances, he and Alina are perfect together. Their history with each other is so cute and I know that, whatever's happens, they will always be on the same team. 

The book starts out with a major plot twist and the twists just keep on coming. Everything was non-stop and I never got bored. Once. This book was read within a day. I even read it on my walking home, to 
the disapproval of my neighbor.

Leigh Bardugo holds my heart in her hands. I read on her biography that she went to Yale, and it is evident to me that she is extremely gifted and talented throughout the story. The book was just so creative and unlike any fantasy I've ever read before. The world-building was unique- it was as if Leigh thought of everything! She deserves a standing ovation for sure!

Everything was done perfectly; I don't have one complaint. The characters were appealing, the writing was beautiful, the plot was entertaining times 10... I have only one thing to say- get this book or miss out!

“I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story.” 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted every Saturday at Tynga's Reviews. It's a blog post about the books you received the previous week. I will be doing my Stacking the Shelves Post every Saturday, too.

This week I got six more beloved books at the library. I am salivating and cannot wait to tear into all of them.

Books Attained Via My Library:

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick: I realize that the Hush, Hush saga is hit-or-miss with many people but that isn't the case fore me. They're simply OK and I don't have the heart to give up on them quite yet. Maybe Silence will step it up an be a truly enjoyable read for me.

The Archived (The Archived, #1)
The Archived by Victoria Schwab: I'm not entirely certain about the plot of The Archived but a trusted blogger fell in love with it and I can't wait to read it now.

Boundless (Unearthly, #3)Boundless by Cynthia Hand: This is another series that I thought was simply OK. However, I am eager to see what happens in Boundless because it's the finale and hyped as the best book of the trilogy.

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)
Article 5 by Kristen Simons:  This is a dystopia packed with action, rebellion, betrayal, and a kick-ass heroine. I have to admit this is probably the book I'm most eager to read, mainly because of the heroine.

VesselVessel by Sarah Durst: I'm definitely psyched to read Vessel because it's a fantasy and fantasies are probably my favorite genre in ya. Also it's by an author I've never read before so I'm curious to read her style of writing.

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)
Mind Games by Kiersten White: I fell in love with Kiersten White's writing with Paranormalacy. She creates characters that I can easily relate to which is why I'm starving for Fia and her adventures.

I also won this book in an arc trade at Cuddlebuggery. Thanks so much!

OriginOrigin by Jessica Khoury: It's a science fiction (which I don't read enough of) that takes place in the amazon (which I certainly don't read enough of). This book seems to be an excitingly unique read that I will be reviewing very soon.

So what did you get this week? Be sure to link up so I can check out your STS!

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 371
Release Date: January 1, 2013

"This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."- Goodreads     

 Have you ever experienced a heart-stopping moment where you just stopped and stared at the Goodreads description to a book; where you felt as if that book was your dream book; where you felt as if the author had written that book just for you? Because that's how I felt when I read the description to Splintered back in October. I marked January 1 on my calender and started counting down the days. However, January 1st came and went and I didn't read it- I was apprehensive. In all my eagerness to read Splintered I was worried it wouldn't live up to my fantasies. I needn't have worried.

Splintered is about Alyssa, a 16 year old who's mother is locked up in a mental institution after inheriting the family curse from her ancestor Alice Liddel. Alyssa doesn't doubt the credibility of the curse because once she hit puberty she began hearing bugs and flowers talk. She ends up facing an ultimatum that leads to her traveling to Wonderland.

The story started out on a creepy note and I was actually a bit weirded out. But the creepiness is explained and the story gets better from there. There's a lot of exposition going on at the beginning but, thankfully, not everything is given away. The plot then picks up the pace once Alyssa and her friend Jeb travel to Wonderland. Splintered held several shocking twists that I never could've seen coming.

Probably my favorite thing about this book was the characters. Not the characters themselves, although they were pretty awesome but the character interactions. Alyssa is smart and witty but she met her match with Morpheus, her guide in Wonderland, and it was hilarious reading about them. Morpheus acted tough as if nothing bothered him but once in a while his true self would leak through and those times touched me. Jeb was sweet and it was obvious he cared for Alyssa. Yet he had a girlfriend! That frustrated me to no end especially considering how protective he was of Alyssa. My favorite character (besides the scary yet sensitive Morpheus) was Alyssa's dad. He was such a good father and took extremely good care of Alyssa. I couldn't help but like him.

Overall, this book met my expectations. Unfortunately it's a stand alone novel which saddens me because I want to read more about Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus. However, I'm hoping A. G. Howard has a new novel in the works because I will definitely be reading it. If you like fairytale retellings or fantasies than this is the book for you.

4/5 Mugs of Hot Chocolate

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted on The Broke and Bookish about the top ten of almost anything book related. I thought it was a great idea and decided to join in on the fun!

This week's topic is a Top Ten Tuesday Rewind. I chose to do Top Ten Reasons Why I Read, which I'm not sure was ever a topic but if it wasn't it should be.  

Top 10 Reasons Why I Read

1) I'm a dreamer. I yearn for more adventure, more excitement, more connection in my life and books give that to me.

2) I love to imagine. Because of this I can easily relate to other characters and their problems and this is the reason why books are vortexes that suck me in.

3) Books are relaxing. After a hard, stressful day I need something to do that calms me down and I find that something in reading.

4) I need an escape. Somethimes real life gets to be too much and what better way to let go of it all than to read about the Quidditch World Cup?

5) Life can get boring. On long car rides or road trips or even when sick in bed with nothing to do, books are the perfet medicine.

6) Books teach me that I can survive. My domain genre is ya and the characters often  deal with issues such as abuse or bullying. When I read ya and see that they can deal with and escape this I realize that it is possible. That people aren't worthless because others say they are; that everyone is deserving of a good life and a good friend; that, in the end, anything is possible.

7) I want become a published author. Reading published books is the perfect way for me to become a better writer.

8) Part of why I love reading so much can't be described. It's because of something inside me,some innate need a have, some void that is filled when I read. Reading makes me content and I can't exactly explain why. Reading is something I'm passionate about and everyone needs a little passion in their lives.

9) Book characters are the best! The books I read often have loyal, trustworthy best friends or supporting boyfriends. I read about heroines who are tough physically and save the day or even mentally and survive heartbreaking issues. I read because, honestly, who doesn't love a kick-ass heroine.

10) I want to travel. I would love to visit Alaska, Lonon, Paris, Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, or Brazil. With books I can journey all over the world. In fact, by reading I can visit nonexistent places too such as Hogwarts or underground resorts or parrellel realities.

What do you guys think? Why do you read? Please feel free to leave the link to your TTT.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)
Title: Sever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Pages: 371
Genre: Dystopia

"Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered."- Goodreads
I almost didn't read this one. 2013 is, whether I like it or not, the end to many beloved series. That includes the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano. It is imperatve to me for a series conclusion to reach my standards, especially when I am so emotionally attached to a story and it's characters. Sever was a great book and just as good if not better than it's preceders but it just didn't do it for me.
In this book Rhine is attempting to forget about the cure and the disease and simply reunite with her brother. She does end up sidetracked by occurances that affect both her and her loved ones. But she has something to live for and build her life around now that she nows her brother is alive.
Secrets are revealed from almost everyone's pasts including Rhine, Linden, and Vaughn's. The stakes in this book are higher because time is running out and Vaughn will do almost anything to get what he wants.
We get to know Vaughn a lot better and I actually found myself... understanding him. It was a tough time for everyone and as they say when the going gets tough the tough get going. Vaughn did just that and disregarded all of the consequences. Even though Vaughn acted amoral to achieve his goal, his motives were pure. I might've done the same if my loved ones are at stake. That's just my take though and you may likely see it differently.
I liked Rhine because, despite everything, she was compassionate and never gave up on her brother. She grew so much from the first book where she was lonely and afraid. Cecily was another of my favorites. Tragedy and time has also changed her and she became so tough she was almost unrecognizeable.
The love story was pushed behind scenes. In all actuality, this didn't matter because the book didn't need it. Sever had enough going for it as it was as secret after secret was revealed. That isn't to say that I wouldn't have enjoyed reading more about Rhine's and Gabriel's relationship.
The ending was rushed. The plot of the entire series was basically solved in a cople of pages. If this isn't proof of that, I picked up Sever to finish it before realizing that I'd already finished it. Don't get me wrong it was a good book in a good trilogy but I was emotionally attached to it and I feel the conclusion let me down. In the end, however, the book kept me reading (which is more than I can say for a couple other conclusions that I put away when they got too disapointing). It was exciting and eventful and packed with twists. If you enjoyed the first two books then this book is for you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 404
Genre: Fantasy

"After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined."- Goodreads Summary
I'm so glad I finally got the chance to read Throne of Glass. When I held this book in my hands I was so happy that I squealed and carried it like a baby to my room. Throne of Glass was certainly a good book with many elements to it that helped it live up to it's hype.
Throne of Glass takes place in a world where a monarch controls his kingdom with an iron fist. His people and other people are suffering at his hands, so Caelena pauses before making a deal that puts herself into an alliance with him. But she knows that if she doesn't agree to serve the King as his Champion, she will likely die at the camp where she's imprisoned. So she agrees and that is the catalyst for a whirlwind of events that land her at the castle she despises, fighting for something that she doesn't believe in.

“Celaena," Chaol said gently. And then she [Chaelena] heard the scraping noise as his hand came into view, sliding across the flagstones. His fingertips stopped just at the edge of the white line. "Celaena," he breathed, his voice laced with pain--and hope. This was all she had left--his outstretched hand, and the promise of hope, of something better waiting on the other side of the line.”

I loved the descriptions of the castle and the dresses Chaelena wore. Sure it's a story about an assassin but the assassin is a teenage girl and, like many other teenagers she longs to feel pretty and above all loved. Which is why she ditches her trainig and begins to trust people. She makes a new best friend, Nehemia, quickly, which I had some issues with at first but it actually makes sense eventually. Furthermore, Chaelena slowly begins to trust the Prince, Dorian, and the Captian of the Royal Guard, Chaol. All three of the characters added dimensions to the story and they were all truly admirable characters that I could relate with. Chaol puts up a tough front but his actions show that he has a soft side. Dorian has his heart on his sleeve and he's very sweet but he's tough when need be. Nehemia is a strong princess who wants what's best for her people. The addition of these three characters were what made Throne of Glass so exceptional.

"Here's a lesson for you, Weapons Master," she [Chaelena] said, stalking past him. "Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I'll bother trying."

Chaelena herself was witty and it was always a pleasure listening to her comebacks. She had a smart-mouth and didn't think twice about using it. She was also fierce and smart. When the mystery began to wrap itself around the castle, she dove in and thoughtfully pondered over it. She, like Dorian, had a soft side and even though she was an assassin who could (and did) kick ass she respected the lives of innocents and loved puppies.
I had difficulty believing that the king would choose assassins and theives, people who had obvious problems with authority to become his champion. It seems to me that he logically would've chose loyal soldiers who would be faithful to him. Also, it bothered me that we were only given small chunks of Chaelena's past. I would really like to know more about her. She is the main character after all. Hopefully these issues are resolved inthe next book!

The writing was very good, better than many of the books I've been reading lately. Overall, the story was well put together. Characterstics such as the assassin heroine, witty banter, romantic entanglements, a deadly mystery, betrayal, and tragedy made up the story. This book would be perfect for fans of all those things and specifically fans of a fantasy with a stable foundation from world-building. It's no secret that I am counting the days until the next book.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme posted every Saturday on Tynga's Reviews. It's a blog post about the books you received the previous week. I will be doing my Stacking the Shelves Post every Saturday, too.

I can barely describe my excitement for this week's books. I got them all on hold at the library and have already finished several of them.  

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)Dark Triumph by RL LaFevers: This is the sequel to Grave Mercy. It is on the dark side and action-packed. It is also my new favorite book from 2013.


Splintered (Splintered, #1)Splintered by AG Howard: I have been waiting on Splintered for about 8 months now and am going to read it as soon as I can. It's about a descendent of Alice Liddel and her adventures in Wonderland. However, her adventures have a purpose to them- to fix Alice's mistakes, pass a series of tests, and hopefully bring an end to the madness wrapped around her mother.

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)  Sever by Lauren DeStefano:  Sever is the finale to a dystopia trilogy that I fell in love with a couple years ago. These books aren't perfect but I find them addicting and am eager to continue Rhine's adventure.

Pulse (Pulse, #1)Pulse by Patrick Carman: Pulse isn't a book I know too much about. It seems to have mixed reviews but maybe it'll be a hit with me. I basically know it's a dystopia about telekinesis although I don't know anything about the dystopian world. 


Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas: Throne of Glass is about an assassin who was imprisoned for a year before being offered a trade- her freedom for becoming the King's Champion for four years. It was an overall enjoyable read and captivated my attention, although it had some flaws. Look forward to reading my review in the near future.


Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Ettiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger: This book entails a troublesome girl's attendance at a boarding school that teaches both how-tos such as proper behavior and murder. The summary is humorous so I predict it'll be an amusing read, even if it doesn't sound too unique.

Hopefully you can see why I'm so satisfied with this week's collection of books. They all look amazing and I'm looking forward to getting sucked into each and every one of them.

So what did you add to your shelves this week? Have you read any of my books? Please feel free to comment/ link up.

ps: just adding this so that bloglovin can verify me Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a nice weekend!

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