Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lord of Shadows

Title: Lord of Shadows

Author: Cassandra Clare

First Published: May 23rd 2017

Series: The Dark Artifices #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 701

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul? 

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale

Title: The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

First Published: 1985

Series: Stand alone

Genre: Classic, Dystopia, Sci-Fi

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 311

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Caraval

Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

First Published: January 31st 2017

Series: Caraval #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 407

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval… beware of getting swept too far away.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Flame in the Mist

Title: Flame in the Mist

Author: Renée Ahdieh 

First Published: May 16th 2017

Series: Flame in the Mist #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 393

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Happy Pride Month Everyone! (And 10 LGBTQIA+ Book Recommendations)

Hi everyone! As you all know, June is Pride Month of 2017. In honour of this celebration, I am going to list 10 books that have LGBTQIA+ themes in them. Some I've read, others I've only heard of. Most of the books listed here are gay couples, but I hope to find more diversity in the future! Also, the couples mentioned here range from being the main characters to minor side characters. I hope you enjoy this post and will get round to reading them!

P.S. Carrie made a similar post on The Butterfly Reader which actually inspired me to make my own list of recommendations, which you can read here if you're interested as well!

1.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


This book is one of my favourite books of all time. The friendship (which develops into something further) between Aristotle and Dante is so sweet and fluffy! I want to squeal every time I reread the book. It's written beautifully so that it really keeps your attention on the book. 

2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


I quite enjoyed this book because I liked the slight mystery behind the true identity of who Simon was communicating with. It's an easy read which I quite liked, but for me, it just wasn't the type of book that really stuck in my memory. 

3. Half Bad by Sally Green

This was one of the first fantasy books I've read where the main character is gay. In most fantasy books, the LGBT+ character is often the side/supporting character. Nathan and Gabriel are so cute together but *major spoiler* I hate that Gabriel dies in the last book!! Why can't Nathan have something good? He deserves so much!! :( *spoiler over*

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


Malec is my favourite ships in this series! They definitely trump Clace for me ;P I like how Cassandra Clare has but some diversity in this series as well as in The Dark Artifices as well. We definitely need more!

5. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Carry On is like the canon version of Drarry, just with different names. I really liked the idea behind the book and it was kind of funny to read Drarry fan fiction, just with subbed names and in the form of a real live book!

6. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan


Yay! Rick Riordan is beginning to include more LGBT+ characters in his books! Nico finally gets a boyfriend YAAAS SOLANGELO is like my OTP! Also, we have Apollo as being openly bisexual, which is pretty cool. 

7. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan 


This one I haven't read, but it seems very interesting :) 

8. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo


This one I thought is worth the read since it educated me on the topic of transgender, something which is usually shied away from in YA novels. It is an easy read, one that you would devour in one sitting. 

9. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab


There is a gay couple in this book that I hope to see more of in the next book: A Conjuring of Light. They seem like they are suited for each other, despite the fact that one of them keeps breaking the other's heart. :(

10. Release by Patrick Ness


I adore all of Patrick Ness' books, so when I heard of this new one, I was ecstatic. I haven't actually gotten round to reading this book yet, but I think it's definitely worth the read. 

So, this is my list! If you have read any of them, or have more recommendations for me, just drop a comment down below! I'd really appreciate it :) Happy Pride Month everyone!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Milk and Honey

Title: Milk and Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

First Published: November 4th 2014

Series: Stand alone

Genre: Poetry

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 204

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts

Title: The Girl with All the Gifts

Author: M.R. Carey

First Published: June 19th 2014

Series: Stand alone

Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Horror

Available As: Hardcover, paperback

Pages: 460

My Copy: Physical copy

My Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Book Courtship Tag

I know I haven't been that active these past weeks, but Tasya @ The Literary Huntress nominated me to participate in this tag, so I decided to haul myself to my laptop and post! :) Thanks Tasya for nominating me! Also, you can count this as my super late Valentine's Day post :P

Phase 1 : Initial attraction | A book you bought because of the cover


Doesn't this say it all? I mean, look at the cover! It looks so amazing. I still haven't began to read it yet, but I can't wait to!

Phase 2 : First impressions | A book you bought because of the summary


I was immediately intrigued by the summary of Made You Up, because it would be the first book I've read of that genre. I ended up enjoying it very much and I hope you read it if you haven't already! 

Phase 3 : Sweet talk | A book with great writing


I must say All The Light We Cannot See wins this spot. Actually, I think most historical fiction has great writing (and is usually quite deep) but I love this book the most. 

Phase 4 : First date | A first book in a series that made you want to pick up the rest


It has to be Shadow and Bone, right? Leigh Bardugo's world building of the Grisha 'verse is just great. I love all the concepts and I'm still waiting for time to free up to read Crooked Kingdom. Oops. I didn't mean to push it that far down my TBR... 

Phase 5 : Late night phone calls | A book that kept you up all night


A Darker Shade Of Magic is one of my favourite fantasy books of all time, and when I first picked up ADSOF, I could't help but question myself why I took so long before buying it. The world building was amazing and I adore the idea of many Londons. Can I live in Red London? I can't wait for the A Conjuring of Light!

Phase 6 : Always on my mind | A book you can't stop thinking about


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson should be here. I can't stop thinking about Melinda and how common her story actually is in our world now. It's a really good book and I devoured it in one sitting, even though the topic is a touchy and difficult one. 

Phase 7 : Getting physical | A book which feels nice


A book that feels nice? Then I guess I'd have to choose a book with a lot of fluff. Which is difficult to do since authors just like to play with our feelings with cliffhangers/plot twists and destroy our ships and OTPs :( but ok, I guess The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo #1) was good enough because it had Solangelo in it! That is all I need, so thanks Rick :) Everything else in the book was angsty.

Phase 8 : Meeting the parents | A book you would recommend to your family and friends


My family and friends (sadly) don't always read the same genre of books I do, so if I were to recommend something, it would be The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, because I do love his books. They are all so sad yet comforting to read. 

Phase 9 : Thinking about the future | A book you will re-read a lot


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of the few Contemporary books that I actually enjoy rereading over and over again.  I really like the developing relationship between Aristotle and Dante, and how they gain confidence, finally finding themselves and each other. Aww, so sweet :)

Phase 10 : Sharing the love | Whom do you tag?


I tag Caroline @ Just Another Bookish Blog and Laura @ Blue Eye Books but anyone can join in!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Enoch and the Stars Above

Title: Enoch and the Stars Above

Author: Rich Paz

First Published: July 1st 2016

Series: Stand alone

Genre: YA Fiction, Sci-Fi

Available As: ebook

Pages: 245

My Copy: ebook (PDF) 

My Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Goodreads Summary
How will it all end? It was a night that would change Enoch´s life forever. It was a night like many others, yet strange and unusual, a star-filled sky put together by uncertainty, yet in a breath of magic, Enoch Sotheby is reborn again as he is chosen for a mission to save humanity as an interstellar care-taker lands in his backyard. He is visited by a member of the Arcs, Uriel, who comes to warn of his evil android counterparts whose intent is to annihilate the Earth and its surrounding quadrant. Enoch is then thrust into a position of great power as he forges unlikely alliances to help save the world from its inevitable destruction. Universal reign shall never be the same again.
  Goodreads | Amazon

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Speak

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

First Published: October 22nd 1999

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 208

My Copy: Physical copy 

My Overall Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary
"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Asking For It

Title: Asking For It

Author: Louise O'Neill

First Published: September 3rd 2015

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 346

My Copy: Physical copy 

My Overall Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary
It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does. 

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If I Was Your Girl

Title: If I Was Your Girl

Author: Meredith Russo 

First Published: May 3rd 2016

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 288

My Copy: Physical copy 

My Overall Rating: 8/10

Goodreads Summary
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. 

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.