Saturday, January 31, 2015

What January Brought

So January was a pretty good month. It also seemed to have gone by way too fast!

Here's what I read:
Gilt by Katherine Longshore(I also reviewed it here if you're curious to know my thoughts!)
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta(My first book by Marchetta and I was not disappointed!)
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley(This was my first graphic novel and I really enjoyed it. If all graphic novels will be this good, I have a feeling this will be just the first in a long line.)

Total pages read: 2,161

Brazen by Katherine Longshore(This was actually looking to be the best out of the trilogy, but I set it down because I was growing bored. I definitely plan on picking it up again, though.)
I'm not even going to list the rest, because I think I started up to ten books in the last few weeks of the month and nothing seemed to interest me. Just know there were alot.

Here's what I received:
Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley(Bought via Amazon with a gift card)
The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas(Won from Ticket to Anywhere. Thank you, Gail!)
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh(There was much squealing involved! I won this from Sarah Nicole Lemon. Thanks again!)
Dark Star by Bethany Frenette(Bought via Amazon)
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell(Bought via Amazon. I've been wanting to read this for some time, and I finally bought it!)

Here's what I watched:
I actually didn't watch any movies this month, but I have been watching a few TV shows.
The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2(This is proving to be an interesting season. I am eternally sad for CT. There's a few specific people I really hate, like always, but the good news is that I actually liked Jessica and Dustin alot more than last season.)
Heart to Heart(This kdrama has been bringing all the feels. It's a lot more sexier than most kdramas, so that may be part of it. But I also like that the main OTP have great chemistry together.)

Here's what I listened to:
Into the Woods(The whole soundtrack from the older play. I loved and obsessed over it the whole month. I, for one, am excited to see the movie.)
Lana Del Rey(I discovered her a few years back, and she remains one of my favorite artists. However, I hadn't been really listening to her, but I started listening to her new album this month. I am especially loving Brooklyn Baby and West Coast, but I do love her whole new album!)
Yelle(If you don't recognize her, I can believe why. She's a French artist I discovered last year, but this month I've been listening the heck out of her songs! I'm addicted!)


Friday, January 30, 2015

Finnikin of the Rock: Review

6719736At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere. 

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

I can't express my love for this book in enough words. I've been trying to form the right words over the past couple weeks, but I'm still having difficulty. It's just such a...beautiful book. I think beautiful describes the book justly. After I finished it, I wanted to hug it to my chest for a couple more hours, savoring the ending.

Finnikin of the Rock is one of the most creative fantasy books I've read. It avoids all the tropes and cliches most fantasy books have and goes straight onto my list of most favorite worlds(if I had a list). Not only does it have an original world, but it also has the best world-building. The build is steady and increases gently through the book, easing us into the book wonderfully. Some people might not like the sound of "steady" and "gently" as I know certain people want a roller coaster start. Let me soothe your worries. Finnikin is never boring. If you read the prologue, I hope you see what I mean. If you don't like the prologue, it's a sign that this book isn't for you. It's definitely a darker book; there's talk of rape and murder often. But that's honestly why I loved it. It didn't shy away from topics that authors might feel uncomfortable talking about. It not only does this, but it portrays the emotions of families affected by these treacherous offenses realistically. They feel grief, rage, and so many other feelings. They don't forgive or forget easily. The whole book actually depends on these emotions and what these emotions lead to.

The characters were all affected by the deaths of loved ones or rape. The reason why the characters appealed to me so much is that they all went through tragedy. And their tragedies all shaped and molded them into different characters. Most of the main characters, from the beginning to the end, go through some major character growth as they address their past, and I really enjoyed watching them grow. If I had to pinpoint my favorite part of the Finnikin, it would be the characters. It's impossible not to feel for the characters, because they've gone through so much. They were the reasons why I had gallons of feels throughout the book.

The reason why I think the word beautiful fits this book so well is the writing. Melina Marchetta weaves an enchanting, effortless tale. Like I mentioned, there's never a dull moment and Marchetta proves that an author can appropriately introduce a new world while also telling an interesting story.

Overall, Finnikin of the Rock is a must read for fans of fantasy. I highly, highly recommend this book. The story itself was fantastic and interesting, the world creative and original, and the characters were well-developed and engrossing to read about.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Want to Read if I had a Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by Jaime at the Broke and the Bookish where you create a list of your top ten favorites of a given category.

This will be a tricky post for me, especially considering I don't actually share my thoughts about books besides, well, the internet. But I'm going to take a stab at it!

Mostly when I think of book clubs, I imagine there will be lots of discussion. And when it comes to discussions, I feel like contemporaries would be the easiest to discuss; everyone should be able to relate to it more or less. Please Ignore Vera Dietz deals with issues everyone would be able to relate to-betrayal, death, etc. Also, this would give the perfect opportunity to finally read this!

This is one I read before, but I would love to reread this with a book club. Another Little Piece is gripping and very edgy, and I have no doubt people would feel wildly different things about it after reading it. I would love to hear other's thoughts on it!

This book sounds so interesting and different! A town where lost things and people go? Umm, yes please! Again, I would be interested to know other's thoughts just based on reading the synopsis.

Another dark book by the sound of it, but I think it would be easy to bring up topics to talk about.

There's something about this book that just speaks book club to me(that's weird I know). Intriguing premise: check. Beautiful writing: check.

I'm just saying...I would be totally okay rereading this for a book club. The discussions would probably only consist of squealing, but that's fine.

I actually love talking about historical fiction books, because...I don't know...they're fun to talk about! I would more than likely join a book club if they were planning on reading this.

Again, dark tones. Dark things are interesting to talk about! Or is that only me...

I would be up to it.

Yes, yes, and yes!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gilt: Review

GiltWhen Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

I admit, I'm mostly a newbie when it comes to historical books. I've read a few where it's intermixed with fantasy, but it's definitely not heavy on the historical part of it. Gilt appears to be the first-I will dub it-heavy historical book. And no, I don't mean by page amount. When I say heavy, I mean, well, it sticks mostly to history, also weaving some of Longshore's own imagination into the mix.

I felt the need to point the fact that I'm a newbie to historical books, because I struggled, especially, with the beginning of the book. The author was throwing a whole bunch of historical clothing terms my way-gable hood, strood, stomacher-and if you're a reader like me, it disturbs me alot when I can't get a good visual in my head of a character. I was left sort of floundering with images until I finally gave in a looked up a ton of definitions. Because of this struggle, I had a hard time of getting into the book in the first place. If you're a history buff or you've read your fair share of historical "court" books, I don't think you will have any trouble with this book. The good thing for me is that the book could only get better.

"Kitty" or Katherine is best friends with "Cat" or Catherine. You know these types of best friends; one is controlling and always wants to get her way and the other is more quiet and goes along for the ride. This is true with Kitty and Cat. Together they form a formidable bond. In most all relationships however, there are most definitely problems. I will be frank-Cat makes a lot of mistakes, which gave her alot of room to grow. I don't feel that the author let Cat grow enough in this book, restricted by the historical accuracy. I felt that Cat should have known better, honestly. Though because this is a historical book, based on facts, I can't exactly blame the author for making Cat appear so...unaware of the consequences of her actions. I felt the opposite was true of Kitty-by the end of the book, she had changed for the better, her experiences making her wiser. She became her own person who made her own decisions. I'm glad the author didn't immediately change Kitty. It was a slow and tedious journey, but it showed how realistic the dilemma is between making your own decisions or letting some one else decide them for you. I for one, could relate to Kitty for that.

Court life is intriguing, there's no doubt about that. It lends you insight of what people do for power or money and how far people go for either of them. What I appreciate is that no one person is colored good or evil-white or black. Like any good character, they make mistakes. Court life shows this the best. There are take backs of this book, unfortunately. It felt gruesomely slow during the first half of the book, picking up pace sometimes, falling again at another. The ending, of course, became more interesting. The ending was bitter, but the author ended on a hopeful note.

This book seems to have been unfairly categorized as a historical "romance" book. This book delves so much further than that. It shows the consequences of a person's actions, picking between your best friend or yourself. Very realistic loss is portrayed beautifully in this book. It also teaches you to move on, even when you desperately want to cling to the past. This book teaches important morals in your life, and if only because of that, I think it's a well-worth read.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by Jaime at The Broke and the Bookish where you create a list of your top ten favorites of any given category.

This post is perfect for me, seeing as there are more than a ton of books I wanted to read in 2014 that I didn't. Fail of epic proportions. Obviously, I'm hoping to amend this problem this year!

First up is the last book in a trilogy. I fell in love with The Darkest Minds two years ago(or is it three now?). I even own this book, but somehow I never found time to read it.

Mortal Heart is yet another last book in a trilogy. I meant to binge read this trilogy, but it didn't exactly go as planned.

Yes I am holding my head in shame at the moment. I was extremely hyped for this book after reading the first two books; I had it pre-ordered around 6 months early and I was ecstatic to read it. I receive it in the mail...and I never read it. I don't know why, exactly. Anyways, I will most definitely read this book in the fall, if not this winter or summer because the fourth book will be coming out!

Have you noticed a trend yet? I think I am allergic to third books. Again, another book I was super duper excited to read, and I never read it. Though I didn't pre-order this book; I finally did get it when amazon was having a sale for the entire series.

I knowwww. Like I said I think I'm allergic to third books. Give me some credit; I didn't receive this book until last month, so that counts for something, right?

So I'm sort of breaking the trend by introducing the first second book in a series. It feels like forever ago when I read Scarlet that I honestly need to reread Scarlet before I read this book, but I thought it was gonna happen last didn't.

Ugh, you don't even know how longgg I've been waiting to read this book. When I first read the summary, I wanted it immediately. Except I never bought it until last year. You see my problem.

I am so ashamed of this. I can't even.

I still haven't bought this, but last year I promised I would, and I would read it. Well then the holidays happened...which resulted in scarce money and times were difficult ;)

Yep, I was incredibly happy to have heard of this book back in...I believe late 2013? Come on, killer fairies? That sounds too enticing to pass up. I finally bought it during the summer and spent $ find out that I bought an ARC when the seller listed it as a hardcover O.O I was mad to say the least. I was looking forward to a new shiny hardcover. And then the seller never responded to my email too "epic glare" Irrelevant I suppose, but that's my story how I acquired it, but again, I somehow never read it!

There you have it!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debuts of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by Jaime at The Broke and the Bookish where you create a list of your top ten favorites of any given category.

It has been forever since I did this meme, what with being sparse for a year, but I am so excited to pick it up again! I loved seeing other's posts and sharing my own lists. Plus, this week's topic has me excited as heck, seeing as there are a billion-and-one awesome debut novels coming out. So without further ado:

If you've been at all keeping up on my blog posts/tweets, you probably know that I am so epically excited for this book. It sounds awesome, what can I say? A retelling of A Thousand and One Nights? Gimme it right now.

Yes. I need it.

First and foremost, just look at the beautiful cover. "lusts for the hardcover"  Second: a person going undercover as a slave to save her brother sounds like a book I want to read.

Again, look at the cover. No further explanation needed, but I'll keep going anyways. Have you read the summary? Because if you haven't you really need to so you can also anguish over the wait until it releases. Misery is better when shared they say...

I adore contemporary books realistically portraying illnesses/diseases/etc. I've been aching to read another one, especially after reading Don't Touch(which I recommend tremendously) .

I surprisingly don't often read horror books. I say surprising because I love watching good horror movies. I'm hoping to amend this 2015, and this book is definitely on very-anticipated-shelf. I've also been hearing really good things!

Some of you may be unaware(or not because I do talk about it on twitter) of the fact that I'm a huge fan of kdramas. I seriously adore them. Especially the romantic comedy types. Come on guys. This is a kdrama addict's dream book.

8. Bookishly Ever After
This one doesn't have a cover yet, as it doesn't come out until the very end of the year, but it does sound very cute and adorable. Anybody who enjoys books and likes fun and sweet boys should be looking forward to this. Go add it to Goodread's!

Fantasy and magic and romance awesomeness. Need I say more?

Another gorgeous cover! Cover artists are outdoing themselves this year. I'm not complaining though. It makes me want know what lies within the pages, and I'm excited to find out!

There you have it! My severely diminished list of my most anticipated debut books of 2015. 

Link me to your Top Ten Tuesday post in the comments below!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

January TBR+Other Random Stuff

SO, I hope everyone's holiday break has been fun and filled with books and hot cocoa and all that goodness(mine sure has; unfortunately, all that food has to go somewhere and it's gone to my stomach ;p). Basically, this post is just an update on how my life is going and what's going on in my head. That's one of my goals of 2015: don't be afraid to spew words on the blog when you feel like it. Also, another goal of mine is to kind of do a "monthly" meme-type-of-thing. I might do this twice a month, possibly. Maybe tell you guys the books I'm planning on reading and at the end of the month, discuss what books I read and other things I posted on the blog. If you have ideas for me, I'm taking them!
Back onto the main purpose. The books I'm planning on reading in no particular order:

 Physical books:

18488433 18460392 18660756

You might notice that alot of the books on this month's TBR are physical books. This is entirely because I have too many books on my shelves that I haven't read yet. And alot of them I'm really excited to read! The end result: reading more for my pleasure than obligation to other books I know I probably wouldn't like. Also, some of these I might not read, simply because I didn't like the plot/writing/etc. This year I'm trying to be more flexible, while still sticking to a schedule. I've tried doing the whole-not-DNFing-thing before, and it just ended up worse for me. I'm hoping by doing this, I'll end of happier and with more books read and enjoyed!
Well, I hope everyone had a happy new year's! I will be returning back to school on Monday, so don't be surprised if you don't see me on twitter during the day as often. Tell me about yourselves! What books are you reading? Are you going back to school as well? Are any of these books on your TBR too? Reading goals and resolutions for 2015? Comment freely :)