Sunday, May 20, 2018

Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Wishing so badly that I could say that this second and final book was amazing. But it was not. And after having finished it, I'm left feeling pretty disappointed. I just read the first book, which was a four star, and which I found to be exciting and good. It was sadly nothing like that. I'm going with two stars for this. So sad about it.

I have a lot of thoughts about this book. And sadly most of them are not very positive. But I did enjoy parts of this book too. Which is why I had planned on giving this three stars, but after thinking about it some more, most of this story just disappointed me. And so I cannot give it three stars just because. It was not worth that.

There is so much I wish to talk about when it comes to Smoke in the Sun. I will try not to share too many spoilers, but yeah, there are things that must be written down. And I very much need to share my honest feelings about this book. First, I liked Flame in the Mist so much. And I had hoped this sequel would be even better. Instead it ended up being so incredibly boring and full of open endings. Just about nothing happened in this one. Nothing of import. And I feel so disappointed about it all. I liked the writing in book one, but it felt different in this one. And so I had issues connecting to the story. There are a lot of new stories to learn about, and they all had such open endings, and they all felt so rushed, and I failed to connect to any of it. Disappointed.

This book tells the rest of the story about Mariko. She is now at the royal castle and about to marry the brother of the emperor. While her love, Okami, is trapped in the prison. Where he is tortured all the time. It was not written very well. Should have been sad and such, but it was not, because there was not any comfort to be had after it. I'm so disappointed. This story is about Mariko and her choices. Sadly she does not do very much. I wish I could say more about the plot, but there really isn't much to say about this one.

After the Yumi short story, I expected her to be in this book a lot. She was not. She is barely there. She does not really do anything at all. I'm hugely disappointed. There are a lot of point of views in this book. Including Mariko's brother, again. And gosh, how I disliked this man. He kept getting worse and worse. Not once did he see this. We did not get to see an ending for him either. He was simply there to be awful. And honestly not make much sense either. His point of view bored me so. And it was awful to read it too.

Most of this book is from Mariko. Probably. I'm unsure, because there were a lot of views from so many different people. And it grew to be pretty boring, because they were there for just a moment, then nothing more. I so wish that I could say that I loved Okami once again. But I did not. He was just in this book to be tortured. And not on page either. He changed a little in the book, realizing that he needed to be more of a leader. Yet we do not get to see this leader thing at all. It could have been so great. But it was not there.

The romance. Gosh, the romance. Haha. This beautiful cover features a stunning heart. Which kind of screams romance. But the romance in this second book was incredibly bad. There was so little of it. I think they touch only a couple of times, at the end of the book. Sure, there are thoughts of love all the time, but they are not together for just about the whole book. It only takes place in less than two weeks, but even so. I'm so very disappointed. The romance was amazing in book one. It was not so in this one.

There is so much that could have been in this book. I was expecting it to be full of romance and fighting and more adventure. And more of the amazing Black Clan. But it had neither of these things. Instead it was all about court. And not written in a good way either. It was mostly about the two brothers. How the emperor is cruel and tortures and kills people all the time, even very much described torture of a twelve year old boy. That did not need to be there. Just saying. And the other brother was not that much better.

Just, yeah. I'm disappointed in this book. A lot of it was about Mariko wanting to get Okami out of prison, sure. They talked a little. But their romance was not epic like I expected it to be. And The Black Clan? Hahaha. They were barely there. For very very small moments. And there were a few deaths too, and it just meant nothing. This whole book meant just about nothing. Because barely anything happened. The first two hundred pages were so slow and boring and ahh. Still cannot believe how little this book was.

And now I have already shared way more than I had planned to. And yet not nearly all of my feelings about it. Mostly I just wish this book had been epic. And fantasy. And exciting. And romantic. Like it was supposed to be. Instead it was boring and just not good. I'm so sad about it, because I really wanted and thought that I would love it. Still, I am glad I read this series. Huge thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me the free ARC copy of this book to read and review. Love my copy so much.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

In My Mailbox #341

This week have been filled with sunny days and I have loved it. But gosh, how I am beyond exhausted. Have been sitting outside for hours each day in the sun, me and my cat. So good with the sun heat. And I have gotten so so so tan. But have had so little time to read. Ahh. I'm working on Smoke in the Sun, but so slow. Shall read a lot today, I hope. Also still behind on everything else. As this week I have been out in the sun most of the day, then taken my two hour long spa bath every evening. But now it shall be a few days with no sun, so I'm hoping to be able to read a lot and catch up too. Fingers crossed. My health also still sucks the most, though. Sigh. But must continue with this medicine at least until June 7th. Hopefully then they will realize that they must give me something else. So anyway. A bit of blogging. I shared about the cover reveal for Courting Darkness :D I shared my review for Flame in the Mist. <3 Then shared my reviews for Okami & Yumi :D This week I'm waiting on Muse of Nightmares :) I did not get a lot of mail this week, but got a little bit, and it is all so so awesome :D Eee! And waiting on much more, ack. Love.

A Reaper at the Gates. Gosh. Thank you so so much PRH International :D EEE! I am SO happy to have this ARC. It's gorgeous. But gosh. Now I must read my hardcovers of book one and two. Ahh. And very soon. Next month. I'm nervous. Yet I really really wish to love this fantasy books. Crossing all my fingers.
Lord of Shadows. New UK paperback version :D I cannot help but own all versions of these books, eee.
Pop Figures. Fury Road :D Eee! And the rest of my Jurassic Park pops. Love. And Will and Gollum. Love.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #344

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

MUSE OF NIGHTMARES (Strange the Dreamer #2)

Goodreads Description:

The highly anticipated, thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer, from National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.
She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.
She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice--save the woman he loves, or everyone else?--while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

Hardcover, 528 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pre-Order here and here

I am so unsure about this book. Strange the Dreamer was only a three star for me, and not a book that I will read again. Aaack. But that ending killed me. And I so wish to know what happens next. I need this series to have a happy ending, but I have no idea how that will happen. Hmph. I do know that I will read this second book, though. And I am crossing all my fingers that I will end up liking it more than book one.
What are you waiting for on this destructive Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: Okami & Yumi by Renee Ahdieh

This was such a very short story. Less than ten pages. Yet it was also such a stunning one. I loved being inside the head of Okami again. He had a few small point of views in Flame in the Mist, and I adore this boy more than I can say. Fingers crossed he will have a point of view in Smoke in the Sun. Want that so.

In this short story, Okami is being taken as a prisoner back to the castle. Where he is sure he will end up dead. These pages are about him thinking a little about his life, and him coming to terms with his upcoming death. Which breaks my heart. This boy does not deserve death. He deserves the very longest life.

This story is not very long, so I'm not writing a lot about it. Also because there truly was not much happening, haha. But it was still such good pages. Great writing. And I just love Okami so so very much. I so cannot wait to read Smoke in the Sun next, to know what happens to this precious person. And so so excited for more of him and Mariko together. Eee. Well, I hope there will be a lot of romance happening. Crossing all my fingers for that, as they were the cutest together. Okami was a stunning short story. Not much happening, mostly just the thoughts of Okami. And I did not mind that one bit. Because he is amazing and I loved learning a bit more about him. If you have read Flame in the Mist, then you must read this short story. Four stars for this one.

Such a short story, but full of heart. It is less than ten pages long, and this story is from the point of view of Yumi. She is the sister of Okami, and we met her a little in Flame in the Mist. She is training to be a Geisha. And so she is living a pretty safe life right now. In this story we learn that she is tired of living it safe.

And gosh, I adored getting to know Yumi a little more. I hope there will be her point of view in Smoke in the Sun, as we did not get to read about her in the first book. Crossing my fingers. This was not a long story, so there was not that much to get to know about Yumi. But we get to see a little bit inside her head.

Yumi seems like such an incredible girl. She also knows a lot. And I think that she is going to end up being an important and awesome character in the second book. At least, I hope so. I would love to read more about her. She and her brother have mostly lived in hiding, after what happened to their father when they were young. And I am so curious to know what will happen next, if Yumi is going to leave her safe place. I do not want this girl hurt. But gosh, I want her to get to have some adventures too. And maybe a bit of romance. At least, with this short story, I'm assuming she will play a bit part in book two. Hope I am not wrong. If you have read Flame in the Mist, then you really need to read Yumi too. It is short, but it is so stunning. Four stars.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I have been wanting to read this book for so long now. Yet I could not decide if I would enjoy it. But I had hoped to. And when I got the chance to get an ARC of book two, I knew I could not resist reading this stunning thing any longer. And I'm thrilled that I read it now. Ended up being a very strong four star for me. So happy.

Shall begin by saying that I found the writing in this book to be so good. Had no problem at all connecting to the characters and the story. Which I loved so much. It was also a pretty fast and easy read, as I did not want to stop reading it even once. I loved that very much. And I cannot wait to start my copy of book two. Eee.

I do not think I will manage to write all that much about this book, to be honest. My mind feels pretty blank. At the moment I'm just so happy that I liked this book so much. Even with that very rude ending. Hmph. It was pretty evil, yet not truly that bad, and I was left feeling very happy about all of this book. The romance was completely beautiful. Sigh. And no triangle or weird drama. I am so happy. And I very much loved the characters in this book too. Especially the girl and the boy. But the side characters were done so well too. Everything about this book was pretty amazing. And the only reason for why I'm giving it four stars is because I did not fully love the book with all my heart. But I had no faults with it. At all. Yesss. And I liked all of it so very much. So good.

This book tells the story of seventeen year old Mariko. She is the daughter of a samurai, and her purpose as a girl is to marry well. Which she is not pleased with. Mariko has always wanted to be more. But it is not possible for her as a girl in this world. I must admit to not knowing much about the culture this book is about. But I have seen Mulan, and read a few other books, and so understanding this book was no issue. And oh, how I loved the setting of this book. It was simply stunning. Written so well. Loved every part of it.

Anyway. Back to Mariko. The book begins with her traveling to meet her betrothed. On the way there, she is attacked. All her guards are killed, and she was supposed to die as well. But she did not. She survived. Barely. Those chapters were a bit scary to read through. I loved it. Mariko does not want to just go back home, she wants to find out who wanted her dead. As she knows it was the Black Clan that attacked her. This search of hers will not be easy. Or safe. But it is such an epic adventure. I loved every moment of it.

And so begins this story. With Mariko trying to figure out who hired the Black Clan to kill her. And for her to figure that out, she has to dress as a boy, and join them. It is not easy for her. And I loved that so very much. It was so awesome and fun to read about her dealing with pretending to be a boy. And her getting to know the Black Clan men. They were all amazing to read about. I loved the cook a whole bunch. He was so adorable. And the leader was pretty awesome too, I liked reading about him. About all of them.

Another character that I loved very much was Okami. He is the strongest fighter for the Black Clan. He is pretty brutal and ruthless and just all kinds of amazing. I loved every moment that he was in. Eee. And I loved how Mariko started out hating him. And then slowly started loving him too. All the while he thought she was a boy. But that secret comes out. And it was done in the best way. And I loved every moment of it. Gosh. Okami was truly incredible. Brave and strong and kind and just the very best. I loved this man.

There was a little romance in this book. Not that much, but also enough. It was gorgeous. And I loved every moment between these two characters. Sigh. This book was very much about revenge, though. And Mariko trying to find out what almost happened to her. Also about her starting to care for all of these men, even though she is trying not to. There is also a bit about her twin brother, whom is searching for her. At first I pretty much loved him. But now I am not so sure. Ack. He was written really well, though.

So much is going on in this book. And I am not going to say more about it. Just that I really loved all of these characters. And the story was pretty incredible too. That ending was so rude, and I cannot wait to know what happens next. I think will two is going to be so epic. Fingers crossed. Flame in the Fist ended up being everything I had hoped it would be. It was so so good. And I'm so thrilled that I finally read this book. So curious to know what all of you think of this book too. If you have not read it yet, then you must.

Cover Reveal: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Eee! I am SO excited about this book :D Gosh, Courting Darkness is going to be so amazing. I loved the Grave Mercy trilogy so so much and I cannot wait for more in this amazing world. Eee. I simply cannot wait to finally re-read Grave Mercy as well. Soon. It's going to be so awesome. I loved Sybella so much and I cannot wait to read about her again. And Genevieve sounds amazing too. Gosh. This book will be so good. And oh my gosh! THIS COVER! I cannot :D It is STUNNING. I love it so. So so much. And eee, there is a new Grave Mercy cover too :D And it is so so lovely. Is it February 5th 2019 yet? I simply can't wait to read this gorgeous thing. And own all the copies of it. Eee. What do you think of this cover? <3

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

In My Mailbox #340

How is it already Saturday again? Ahh. Time is moving so fast. Probably because of my two hour long spa bath pretty much every day, eee :D It is the best thing. <3 Though it does make me exhausted. And health is not better at all. But shrugs. I am dealing with it. Probably. Yesterday we also had such a hot summer day, which usually does not happen until July. I sat out in the sun for hours. It was so awesome. And did the same today. Eee. So anyway. I have only read one book this week, ack, and it wasn't good. Aw. But I'm starting Flame in the Mist today, and I'm hoping to love it so much. Fingers crossed. Since I have the ARC of book two as well, ack. I blogged a little this week. <3 I shared the cover reveal for King of Scars :D This week I'm waiting on Shadow of the Fox. <3 And I shared my review of Angel and Bavar :) This week I also got a little bit of stunning mail, eee. I love it all so so much :D Trying to deal with my health, but besides that I'm doing okay. Still spending tons of time with my baby niece too :D I love her.

Runaways. Ack. I have never read the Runaways. But I adore Rainbow. I had to get it. Reading one day.
5 Worlds. I liked the first graphic novel last year, so I wanted to know what happens next :D Gorgeous.
Sky in the Deep. AHH! Thank you so much Andye :D My collection is complete. Oh gosh. My precious.
The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. Thank you PRH Global :D Cannot wait for the blog tour. <3
The Burning Maze. Ahh. I'm so behind on reading books by Rick. But I will read all of them, very soon :D
A Conjuring of Light. The third one is out, finally :D Could not resist these covers, eee. Just so stunning.
Pop Figures. Eee! Special Maui :D He is awesome. Expensive. But worth it. Love love my kitty too. Eee.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Angel and Bavar by Amy Wilson

I wanted so badly to love this. Because that cover is completely stunning. And the summary was so good too. And so I could not resist getting this via Edelweiss. It is coming out this November, though it is already out in the UK, I found out. I could not resist reading this book so early. And it did not take me long to read it.

But oh, how I wish I could say that I loved this book. I wanted to, so badly. But I did not love it. Not even one bit. I'm even giving it two stars. Which is a bit heartbreaking for me. Was thinking three stars, but I did not like it that much, if I am going to be completely honest. This one was disappointing to me. For so many reasons.

I shall begin with the writing. It bothered me at all times. It simply was not very good. And I could not connect with the story or the characters at all. Everything just felt silly. It did not feel real, not one bit. I have a weird relationship with writing in books. And if I do not like a writing, it makes it pretty much impossible to like the rest of the book. Which was the case with this one. The writing was not good. But it wasn't completely terrible either. Sadly the rest of the book was not better. I did not really care for Angel and Bavar at all. I didn't love their new and growing friendship at all. It even annoyed me. Which I do not approve of it at all. Hmph. My review is not going to be very long, because this book was pretty short, and I do not have that much to say about it all.

This book tells the story of Angel and Bavar. She is twelve years old, and he is thirteen. She just moved to his town, as her parents were killed about a year back, in a pretty bad way. She now lives with foster parents. And reading about that was pretty interesting. I did like Angel. But was just a bit upset with her sometimes too. But learning about her past was interesting too. And I liked the foster parents that she was living with. They seemed pretty nice. My heart broke for her at times too, because of her parents.

Then there was Bavar. I somewhat loved this boy. He was pretty broken and sad. But also not enough broken. Ack. If only it had been written better. Sigh. But yeah. This boy had his parents leave him a year ago, and so now he lives with his aunt and uncle. In a big magical house. Where he must fight monsters. It's a little complicated. Yet not nearly enough so. Aw. But anyway. I liked reading about Bavar. He was interesting. But, uhm, he is described as being really, really tall, and that was a bit confusing, honestly.

This book is about Angel and Bavar meeting, and learning each others secrets. Her figuring out about his magic, and how she can learn the truth about how her parents died. And then it is about them trying to figure out how to get rid of all of the monsters. I wish I could say that it was exciting to read about. But it was not, sadly. I just wanted this book to end. Ack. I didn't love the characters. I did not care much for the story, because not that much happened. Honestly, I wanted this book to be so much bigger than it was.

I cannot help but share that I was completely disappointed by the friendship in this book. I was hoping it would be huge and sweet and just the very best. It was not. I never felt like Angel was spending time with Bavar because she liked him. It was more that she liked his magic, and wanted to learn more about how her parents had died. And she was even mean towards him at times, for nothing that he had done. I was not pleased. This friendship was not epic, like I wanted it to be. It was mostly good, but nothing special.

Which just disappointed me so much. Aw. Then there was the magic in this book. There was not a lot of it at all. There are some mentions of monsters, but only one kind, something with wings. And there are a few scenes with Bavar fighting them. And it just felt a bit weird, to be honest. And the ending felt pretty rushed, I think. This whole book could have been so much more. And I just feel sad because it was not. Maybe it is just me. Shrugs. I do not know. But I do know that I did not love this book. It was not for me.

Angel and Bavar was not the book I wanted it to be. I was expecting a much more stunning friendship. More magic. More story. More broken characters. I feel pretty let down about it, to be honest. But I will also say that the book was not all bad. I did like Bavar a bunch. I just did not love him. And I liked reading about Bavar and Angel spending time together, sometimes. I liked their small families. I enjoyed reading about this magic house and the talking portraits and all that. Just wish that there had been more of it all.

Huge thank you to the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, for the auto approval on Edelweiss that made me able to read and review this book early. Despite my disappointed feelings for this book, I am glad that I gave it a try. Because otherwise I would have been curious about it all the time. I wish it had been better, though, so I'm a bit sad about that. Aw. I think there are people that will love Angel and Bavar. I was sadly just not one of those people. Still, though. This is one of the most gorgeous covers I have seen. I love it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #343

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

Once Every Thousand Years...

Every millennium, one age ends and another age dawns...and whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers holds the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish. The time is near...and the missing pieces of the scroll will be sought throughout the land of Iwagoto. The holder of the first piece is a humble, unknown peasant girl with a dangerous secret.

Demons have burned the temple Yumeko was raised in to the ground, killing everyone within, including the master who trained her to both use and hide her kitsune shapeshifting powers. Yumeko escapes with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll. Fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Yumeko knows he seeks what she has...and is under orders to kill anything and anyone who stands between him and the scroll.

A wish will be granted and a new age will dawn.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Pre-Order here and here

Eee, I am SO excited about this new book by Julie :D She is so awesome and I have been a fan of her for so many years. <3 My favorite of her books are The Immortal Rules trilogy. Which was so perfect. Sigh. And oh gosh, Shadow of the Fox looks so awesome :D Love that cover a bunch. And it sounds great too. Wishing I could read this one right away, as I think I'm going to end up loving it so so much.
What are you waiting for on this legendary Wednesday?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Cover Reveal: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Gosh, I cannot wait to read another Grisha book by Leigh :D Eee! King of Scars is going to be all kinds of amazing. And oh my gosh this cover is killing me with beauty. GOLD! GORGEOUS! Full of details! Ahh. I love it so :D I'm just the most excited to be back in the Grisha world. <3 Cannot wait to read about these characters again, eee. I simply adore Leigh. She is so so sweet and amazing and her books are the best. And so rude. Hmph. Crossing my fingers that Mal and Alina will be in these books a little bit too :D I want that very much. <3 But ah. Nikolai. I had such complicated feels about this boy. I did not like that he was a romance drama figure. Hmph. But I also found him to be so so interesting to read about, and I think I'm going to be able to love him very much in his books :D Crossing my fingers. Either way, I am so so very excited. King of Scars is going to be so good. Sigh. I'm also a little bit nervous. Because it has also been revealed that Nina will be one of three point of views in this book :D And oh, my poor girl. I love her so. But I do not want her with anyone else. Ahh. My most precious boy needs to be brought back from the dead. Hmph. Yes? Yes. This series will be a duology, which I think is so so awesome. <3 And King of Scars will be out on January 29th 2019. Hoping the wait will go fast :D What do you think of this cover?

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

In My Mailbox #339

Eee, I turned 25 years old this week, on May 3rd :D Had a small birthday with my family, which is small, but it was awesome. <3 I love my birthdays, haha. This week has also gone by so fast. I'm a bit behind on reading, as I'm so exhausted, but managed to read all of Spinning Silver this week, so yay for that. Also had a hospital visit, where we agreed on testing something new with the medicine I'm taking. So far to effect. Please let it work. Sigh. Tired of being sick and in pain every hour of every day. Did also not get a lot of mail this week, but I love what I got even so :D But gosh, I really do need to think about my shelf space; which is gone. Ahh. More books needs to be sold.. sigh. I do not approve. Anyway. A couple blog posts this week. This week I'm waiting on A Room Away From the Wolves. <3 And shared my review of Spinning Silver :D I'm trying my best to stay positive with all my health issues. But it is hard sometimes.

Heartless. Eee, the US paperback edition is finally out :D I had to have two of it, hih. <3 So so gorgeous.
Kane. I still haven't read this trilogy by Rick, ack, but I own all these small books of his, had to have this.
Pop Figures. Finally have the Night King pop :D It is so awesome. And also Lucas from Stranger Things.
Lego. Eee, new Jurassic World Lego :D Birthday present. <3 I love it so. And a small Mulan lego too :D
Plush. Had to share about this gorgeous chicken plush I got from my sister, haha :D I love plushes. Cute.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

This book was difficult and slow to read. Yet it was worth it too. I loved this story a whole lot. The characters were interesting and I loved this world so so very much. Some parts were not perfect, though, and I had a few small issues. Even so, Spinning Silver is a four star for me. It was a book I liked a lot. Happy that I read it.

I shall try my best not to share spoilers in this review. But there are some things I need to talk about, with the characters and the romance and such. Nothing big, though, only a few small details. This book took me days to finish, because it was so slow to read and with tons of words, but was worth the time it took to finish it.

Though I must also say that I did not love the writing in this one. I felt connected to the world and the characters, and I loved that. But this writing was so messy. And it bothered me a whole lot of times. Many mistakes included, and just not written all that very good either. Hurt my head a little to read it all. Yet this book was pretty much magic, with the plot and the characters. And so it is still a four star for me. I'm not sure, though, that I would ever be able to re-read it. But it was good. And I am glad that I have read it. It's also all kinds of gorgeous looking. This is a story about three young women. Miryem and Wanda and Irina. The book is told from all of their point of views. A bit messy, and without knowing who's mind I'm in when their parts starts. A bit annoying.

We get to know these three girls a lot, though. Shall try my best to share a little bit about each of them. Though this book is long, and we get to know all of them pretty well, and there is so much to know about each of them. I shall not share even most of it. Though I will admit that I wanted to know even more about all of them, haha. And I wish that the ending had been longer. Felt like I deserved a longer ending, after having spent so long having read all of the book, lol. But it was good too. Just, could have been perfect.

Anyway. The first girl we get to know if Miryem. She lives with her mom and dad in a very small town. Her father is a moneylender. He has given money to everyone in town, and he has been letting them all get away with not paying him back. And so this small family is starving and freezing. Until Miryem decides she has had enough. So she starts going door to door, slowly getting their money back. The town may hate her for it, but she is doing what is fair, what they deserved. Oh, how I liked Miryem. She was great.

There is so much more to her story, though. Her story also involves fairies. The Staryk. They are a people living in their winter kingdom, and they are often in towns to steal gold. Their king ends up hearing about Miryem, how she can turn silver into gold. How she has been making her town pay her family back. And now he is at her door, demanding that she turn his silver into gold. And so she does. And her reward for doing so is pretty great. And awful. And all kinds of interesting and awesome. Loved it a lot, to be honest.

And yet there is more to her story. I'm not going to share much more of it. Her family is Jews, and that plays a bit part in this book too, and I liked that a lot. Her story features a lot of magic. And I loved that too. But mostly I loved the Staryk king who came to her. I loved reading about him. And I wish she had treated him a bit better at times. I mean, yeah, he was pretty cold and kind of awful at times. But I loved him, haha. And he was protecting his people. I wish there had been more romance. Sigh. I needed that.

Then there was Wanda. She was a girl who ended up working for Miryem in their small town. She helped her collect the money from those who had borrowed from her father. And oh, the story of Wanda ruined my heart a lot. She was such an amazing girl. But she had had such an awful life. Her mother died some years ago, and she has two brothers, Sergey and Stepon. Their father was a drunk and he beat them and abused them and oh, it was hard to read about. They were also poor. And my heart just ached for them.

There is not all that much to say about Wanda. She was so great to get to know. But she doesn't really have a big journey in this book. She is always there, but more as a background person. I loved her so, though. And I loved how she changed a little in this book. How she grew more confident. We see some point of view of her younger brother Stepon too. And that had a bunch of messy writing that bothered me. Sigh. But I did adore that boy. But I will admit that reading his chapters were simply painful to get through.

And then there was Irina. She is the daughter of a Duke in a town a little bit away from the other girls. She is not beautiful. And she does not think she will end up with a good life. But then Miryem is coming to this town with faerie silver that is getting melted down to jewellery for the duke. And this is a bit thing for Irina. Her future is changed; she is now to marry the Tsar. A boy only a little bit older than her. A boy that she believes is a sorcerer. So much happens with this. Both good and bad. And so exciting too. Loved all of it.

But gosh, I'm conflicted about how I felt about Irina. At times I loved her so much. But at other times she was a bit too cruel and treated the world a bit too harshly. I did not really approve of most of her choices. Ack. And getting to know the tsar she married, Mirnatius, was all kinds of awesome. I grew to love him so much. Yet she treats him badly, and never makes up for it, and ugh. Could have been such an amazing romance. But it was not, not on page. And I am very disappointed. He was such a complicated character.

This book a little bit dark. A little bit hopeful. And full of magic. I loved this world that was created a whole lot. And I loved reading about it. The story was interesting and exciting. I liked most of the characters a whole bunch. I loved how all of the characters were connected. Connected by magic too. There is so so much about this book that I have not shared. And I am not going to. Already written way more than I was going to, haha. I simply could not stop writing about all of these characters and my feelings for all of them.

But I did not like how the romance was. I was expecting there to be romance and love in this story. There was not. Not even kisses. I mean, there are two marriages early on. Yet no kissing. No sleeping together. Seriously? I am so tired of reading books where characters get married, historical time periods, yet they always cheat out of them sleeping together. So tired of that. And then there was just about zero romance as well. I did not approve. Sigh. I shipped them. Small hints. But nothing big. Nothing of what I wanted.

But even so. Spinning Silver was a stunning read. Exciting and beautiful, and filled with characters that I adored. But it also had some issues. And I did not love all of it. But I am glad that I read this book. Huge thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me the free ARC copy of this book to read and review. I am so curious to know what the rest of you think of this book. You must let me know. This is also my second book by Naomi, I sadly did not like Uprooted all that much, years ago. Though many did.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #342

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave...

Hardcover, 315 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers
Pre-Order here and here

Gosh, this book is going to be soso good, I think :D I adore Nova, and have loved some of her books a whole lot. This book looks gorgeous and sounds heartbreaking too. I cannot wait to read this, and I am hoping that I will love it so, so much. It sounds like it will be pretty sad, though. Hopefully a bit happy too :)
What are you waiting for on this tragic Wednesday?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

In My Mailbox #338

Gosh, time is moving fast these days. I barely have time to do anything, haha. My health is the very very worst, and nothing helps. Hospital on Monday, though, so fingers crossed. But despite my bad health, I'm doing good. Read such a good book this week. Eee. AND! My spa bath is up! AHHH! I am SO happy :D Have taken a two hour + bath every day, and it is so good. <3 The heat is perfect. So happy that I could take it out so early this week. Sigh. Also got some gorgeous mail this week, and so happy about that too. <3 Just wishing my health would get better. I'm doing better at catching up, but still behind. But I'm getting there. Slowly. Also blogged some this week. I took part in the blog tour for Ash Princess :) This week I'm waiting on Vengeful. <3 Posted my review of Sawkill Girls :D Then I took part in the blog tour for Sky in the Deep. <3 Week was good. Bath is good. Health sucks. But I'm dealing with it. How are you all doing?

Furyborn. Oh. Arrived way too early. One of my pre-orders. <3 But gosh, how this hardcover is stunning.
Sky in the Deep. Eee, first hardcover has arrived :D It is SO gorgeous. Loved this book so so very much.
Flame in the Mist. Finally have this first book; so now I can read both of them :D Eee. Very very shortly.
Inferno. Ack, final book :D I must start the first one soon. I adore Julie. Cannot wait to read this series too.
Given to the Sea. Won this signed awesome book from Mindee :D Thank you lovely. <3 It looks so good.
Furyborn Swag. Thank you so much Page158Books for this most gorgeous pre-order swag :D Love it so.
Sky in the Deep Swag. EEE! Thank you Adrienne for this amazing pre-order swag :D I am so happy. <3

Sawkill Girls. Eee! Yesss! This precious thing finally showed up on Edelweiss, eee :D And I downloaded it right away, lol. <3 And have read it too. And loved it so much. Sigh. Most precious. Need the print ARC to complete my collection though. <3 Just, such a good book. You are all going to love it too. So much.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sky in the Deep Blog Tour: Q&A

I'm beyond thrilled to be able to take part in the official blog tour for Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young today :D I read this book a few months ago, and I loved it beyond words. <3 It was so incredible. And I cannot wait to read it again. Eee. And oh, how I want more books by Adrienne. She is so amazing. Huge thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for letting me take part in this blog tour. Today I'm sharing a Q&A with Adrienne :D One personal question for my blog, eee, and nine other questions that should be on other blogs as well :D Thank you so much Adrienne. <3 You are amazing. And I love these answers so much. See my five star review of the book here. If you have not read this book yet, you really must go buy it right away. It is so good. The book came out this week, so you should be able to find it all over :D

Q&A with Adrienne Young.

My question: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

There are tons of places I would love to live! But somewhere near a beautiful beach and warm ocean would be top of my list.

General Q&A.  

1. What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any favorite Viking stories? 

The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on this country road and that first scene just hit me - Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.

2. What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest thing you had to research for this book?

I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.

3. What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?

Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind of don’t have a social life until it’s done.

4. What was your hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it just clicked in so perfectly.

5. Which of your characters are you the most like? Who was your favorite to write?

Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to write. I really, really love him.

6. Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would Eelyn’s favorite song be?

Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up – Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!

7. What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm. 

8. Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?

Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent! 

9. Any details about the companion novel?

I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it soon because I am really excited about it!


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

Where to find Adrienne Young:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

This book was all kinds of amazing. Which I knew it would be, as I have yet to not love a book by Claire with all of my heart. I have read them all, and her books means the most to me. I am thrilled to say the same about Sawkill Girls. It was such a stunning read. Beautiful and fierce girls. The most horrible monster. And magic.

There was so much that I loved about this book. I do not know where to start. The writing was beautiful, of course. I love how Claire writes her books. She is the most awesome person and such an incredible author. I cannot wait to read more and more books by her. Eee. This newest one was so good. And so evil.

This book tells the story of Zoey and Marion and Val. It is set in the present time, and the world is a normal one. Or so they think. The island of Sawkill Rock is not like any other place. Girls have gone missing for so many years now, never to be found. And no one is doing anything about it. And oh, this story was all kinds of amazing. I'm not going to share all the details of it, but will share a little. It begins with Marion arriving on the island with her sister and mother, after their father just died. On her first day there, she manages to fall of a horse. Ever since that happens she starts having issues with her head. She does not know what is wrong, only that it hurts. And that is just the beginning of her story. So much happens to this poor girl. Ack. My heart hurts for her.

I pretty much adored getting to know Marion. She was such an amazing person. Not perfect, but so good. She has been taking care of her mother and sister for some time now, and she is pretty much exhausted. Her older sister, Charlotte, was pretty interesting to get to know. I loved their relationship. They were such awesome sisters. Well, most of the time. Some stuff happens with that, and it just broke my heart. I wish it had not happened. My poor heart. But gosh, how it was written well and how exciting it was to read it.

Then there was Zoey. I have to admit that this girl was my favorite of the three. Getting to know her was the very best thing. She was fierce and awesome and loving and I adored her tons. Her friendship with Grayson was my very favorite. Eee. Zoey is grieving the loss of her friend, a girl that went missing less than a year ago. She wants to know what happened to her. And I very much loved that about Zoey. She was a fierce friend. And just such an amazing girl. I could not help but love her point of views the most.

And then there was Val. I am still not sure what I feel about this girl. She did some completely awful and unforgivable things. Yet she was pretty much a victim for most of the book too. Hmm. Yet I am not sure I can forgive all the things that she did. But at the same time, I could not help but love her and feel sorry for her and want to know more about her. How rude. She was such a well written character, and I loved that. Getting to know her was pretty amazing, though. There is much to know. Some good, but most of it bad.

These three girls are not friends. Val and Zoey are pretty much enemies. And Marion just moved there, to clean for Val's family. But they end up spending more time together, all of them, because of the monster on this island. They must learn to become friends. And reading about these three girls together was pretty epic. They fight a bit. They care for each other a bit. And they were just the best to read about. And this story was so good and I shall not mention much of it, because it was surprising and awesome. I loved it.

Time to mention the romances a little. Zoey and Grayson were together for some time. Until they had sex and she broke up with him. Yet they are the best of friends, even so. And they love each other so fiercely. Their break up had a lot of reasons for happening, most of them silly, to be honest, haha. And I loved how Zoey still very much loved him. And how he adored her. It was so sweet to read about. I wanted them as more than friends so badly. They were the cutest couple. Ack. And I loved their friendship so very much.

Then there was Marion and Val. I shall not mention their romance that much, because it had so so many complications, but gosh, I very much liked them together. They just met, and it takes a little time, but they get closer and the romance happens so sudden. It was awesome. They were pretty cute together, and I did ship them. Despite my complicated feelings about Val. Ahh. So much happens with them in this book. Yet I think I still want them together. Probably. Maybe. The romance was sweet, though. Short, but good.

This book is filled with magic. Okay, maybe not that much magic, but a little bit. And it was all so lovely to read about. I'm not going to share what this magic is, or who has it, but it was so good to read about and pretty special too. And a bit dangerous. Then there was the monster. There is a creature in these woods that feeds on girls. And reading about it was all kinds of horrible. I loved every moment, haha. This book is about the girls learning about the monster, and trying their best to get rid of it, before they end up dead.

I am not going to say much more about this book. Just that I loved it beyond words. Adored the girls so much. And I loved reading about their life. The ending was good, yet so evil, and I wish there would be more books. More of Zoey and Grayson. As those two were so precious to me. Eee. But they all were. Reading about these girls and this island was pretty incredible. I'm so happy with how much I loved this story. I wish there had been a little bit more romance, haha, but there also did not need to be more of it.

This is a book that I think everyone is going to love. The girls are amazing and flawed and just completely perfect. There are two stunning romances. Boy and girl. Girl and girl. Both were written so well. There is a monster. And it was the most horrible one. There is some stunning magic, and I loved every moment of that. There is girl power. Girls slowly becoming friends. There are some arguments, though those were needed, and they were written so well. I just loved all of it so much. And these girls. They were the best.

Huge thank you to the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, for the auto-approval on Edelweiss, so that I could download and read this book right away. Eee. I'm so happy that I had the chance to read this most precious book so early. Now just looking for the print ARC to complete my very huge collection of books by Claire. Sawkill Girls was everything I wanted it to be and more. Full of amazing girls fighting for their right to live and love. Beautiful friendships. And just such an incredible story too. You are going to love it.

Waiting on Wednesday #341

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

VENGEFUL (The Villains #2) BY V. E. SCHWAB

Goodreads Description:

Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.

They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then---Eli killed Victor, once and for all.

Or so he thought---but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.

If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 25th 2018 by Tor Books
Pre-Order here and here

This book is going to be so awesome and I cannot wait to read it. I liked Vicious a lot, and I am so excited about this second book :D Eee. It takes place 5 years after, though, aaack. But I am SO excited for it :D Especially after having seen all the work that Victoria has put into writing this book. She is amazing. And I think Vengeful is going to end up being so good. Crossing my fingers that I will love it lots and lots. <3
What are you waiting for on this super Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ash Princess Blog Tour: Spotlight

Today I am taking part in the official blog tour for Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian :D Thank you to the publisher, Delacorte Books, for letting me take part in this tour. For my post, I will be sharing a spotlight about the book, and a few pictures that I have taken of my gorgeous ARC copy of it. See my review of the book here. This book has one of the most gorgeous covers. I'm so in love with how pretty it is. Eee. The book was not for me, but I am sure that so many of you are going to love it. Let me know your thoughts :D

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Her debut ASH PRINCESS, the start of a YA fantasy trilogy, will be out April  24th, 2018 from Delacorte (Random House).

Where to find Laura Sebastian: