Friday, February 27, 2015

How I Feel About ARCs: Discussion

I have quite a long history with ARCs. That's understandable, since I became aware of them only a few months after I started blogging-which reminds me: People who start blogging because of ARCs are ridiculous. No, you are not supposed to blog purely to receive free books. You're supposed to blog for the love of it. "rant over" Back on topic. So, I know ARCs seem to be an extremely popular topic for bloggers. Many older(by old, I mean their blog) bloggers I know struggle with them. They question whether ARCs are worth their time. But I also know plenty of relatively new bloggers love and adore them. As with most situations, there are both pros and cons that come with ARCs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Daughter of the Forest: Review

13928Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever. 

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all.

Daughter of the Forest has been known as a classic fantasy novel, and it was to my delight that Daughter of the Forest deserved its high praise and attention. I discovered while reading it that my older sister had even read it and loved it back in high school. I really-I can't even how awesome this book was. There were many squeals involved(am I the only one who screams into their blankets during an awesome part of their book, because I did that quite often).

It is with some sadness that I say I didn't love Daughter of the Forest in its entirety. The beginning was definitely hard to get into. Don't let that scare you away! Let me explain. I started Daughter of the Forest about two weeks ago. I then proceeded for another five days to read ten pages every day, because it was, like I said, difficult to get into. It's not as if the beginning was so boring it didn't intrigue me a little, but the pacing was incredibly slow. When you're reading a book that is short and sweet, then move to a book that is, umm, really descriptive, it's hard to get into that book. About the first half of the book spends a better part of its time setting up the world and characters. While I appreciate world building, I felt the pacing could have perhaps moved a bit faster. Even so, the beginning was good. I was excited to see what would happen by the first twenty pages. But knowing that anything exciting wouldn't be happening until another hundred pages put me off, which explains why I had difficulty reading more than ten pages for a couple days. After two hundred pages, though, it was a totally different story. Basically, the real journey starts, and everything became interesting. Maybe the introduction of the hot romantic interest had something to do with it. The plot surely picks up pace in the middle, and the climax was perfectly executed. The ending, as well, left just the right amount of satisfaction and curiosity for the next book.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Heroines

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.

Alright, I know already how hard this will be. There are too many bad-ass heroines out there in books. I'll see how many I come up with, and if there are a few over ten, so be it!

1. Celeana Sardothien from the Throne of Glass Series

2. Vin from the Mistborn trilogy

3. Quintana from the Lumatere Chronicles trilogy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Blog Design?!

Hello all! You might have clicked on my website today and seen an entirely And you were probably were like what happened? What did I miss?? Well, since I'm not always an organized person, I scheduled this post after my design was to go up. I will ignore the huge fail. Let's focus on the bright side: I GOT A FREAKIN' NEW DESIGN.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn: Review

18798983Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I had some extreme expectations for this book. If you follow me on twitter or have seen some of my past posts, you know this was my most anticipated debut novel of the year-maybe even my most anticipated novel of 2015. So when I say I was excited for this book, it is a huge understatement. Probably a more accurate description was that I was salivating to read it.

But the real question of the day: Did it meet my high, high expectations? I can gladly did! Other than a slight problem(I'll get to that later), this book was as awesome as I imagined it to be.

I first want to address my feelings about my favorite part of this book. The romance. If I learned one thing about the author from reading this book, it's that she can write a swoony romance. Though this book does feature a love triangle-"gasp"-it didn't disappoint me. Plus, you can clearly see who she is going to end up with. I just really wish Tariq wasn't so annoying. Khalid and Shahrzad had such great chemistry throughout the book, and not only that, the romance was based off mutual feelings for each other and nobody was trying to force the other to do something they didn't want to do. Ahdieh was so good at excellently building up the romance and the tension, and that is why I enjoyed it so much. In the beginning, the two start off hating each other; it makes perfect sense, since Khalid killed Shahrzad's best friend, and Khalid is frigid towards all of his brides. At one point in the middle, I was growing hesitant about the romance, because it seemed they both were falling in love a bit too soon. However, I needn't have worried! That thankfully did not happen.

The one thing I found leaving something to be desired was the plot. Do not get me wrong. I expect alot of people will not have any problems with the plot. I feel like this was mostly a personal struggle I had with the book. This may be because the book focused on the romance during long lengths of the book, when I was wishing it might be building in plots and action. Sometimes I found it hard to pick it up again, because the plot was not as engaging as I hoped. Actually, I'm particularly excited about the second book because of this fact. This book felt kind of like an introduction to the world and characters, and I have high hopes the second book will explore the world further and more action will start to appear. Still, at the end of it, the plot was overall good; because of my high expectations, though, again, it left something to be desired.

Once I look back on reading The Wrath and the Dawn, I realize there was quite a small cast of characters. This, I felt, was to Ahdieh's advantage. This made the characters grow on me and understand their faults and dreams and hopes and feelings. This was another reason why I enjoyed the romance. I felt like I knew Khalid and Shrazad so well by the end of the book. The side characters rounded out the cast members really well, though I won't be addressing my feelings about them each. I'll just mention that reading about them was highly entertaining.

Overall, Renee Ahdieh writes a beautiful and vivid debut book. The romance was as swoonworthy as it gets. The cast of characters grew on me and drew me to love them with their faults. Though the plot felt dragging at some points of the book, I still immensely enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

It's My Birthday! + Giveaway

So, today is my birthday.

What's a weird thing about birthdays is that the actual day doesn't feel any different than the last or I've never been especially excited about them. Probably the most exciting thing about them is the build-up to them. Anyways, going past the nostalgic stuff, in celebration of my birthday, I will be telling you 8 interesting facts about myself that you might or might not have known about me. I'm choosing 8 because I am not coming up with 17-the age I'm turning this year- facts about myself(I'm not nearly interesting enough), so I'm choosing 8 since that's the day of the month I was born on. Don't mind that incredibly long run-on sentence...I'm allowed to do that on my birthday.

1. I am a fantasy nut. This is a very general statement about myself, but I find it fitting 'cause books.

But I want to extend this statement to movies as well-I love watching movies in fantasy lands too. Bookish fantasy lands will always be better though. Books are better than movies!

2. I used to have really, really long hair when I was younger. Yes, the weird facts will be appearing in...3...2...1. I had long hair( to my waist) until the summer before 7th grade when I cut it off pixie-short. Another quick fact: the day I cut it all off, I cried, because that is how much I loved my hair.

3. I have a life-long dream to travel around the world. This is such a common "bucket list" type of thing, but I honestly do want to see the whole world. The longest vacation I was ever on was a week-long trip to Texas in third grade; obviously, I hope my vacations in the future will be better. I just really, really want to see what the world has to offer.

4. I have a twin sister. I've talked about having a twin sister every now and then over the years, but this is the first time I've ever talked about it on the blog. Well now you know for sure! She's also my awesome best friend-I would actually pick the title of "best friend" before "sister." Is that weird?

5. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Winter is a really close second, but autumn beats it by a bit. It's such a gorgeous season, with all the brilliant-colored leaves on the ground. It's also my favorite season temperature-wise; perfect time to break out the boots and coats!

6. I'm a night owl. Enough said.

7. I also happen to love chocolate. I have a horrible sweet tooth in general...cakes, donuts, whatever. Candy is my next best friend in the planet though. I don't think I could live without chocolate.

8. I love Yorkshire terriers. I have grown up surrounded by Yorkshire terriers, and they have definitely made me love their adorable ways. I have my own dog named Dahlia, and she's a sweetie(but one of the shyest dogs I've encountered in my days).

(See, they are adorable.)

Whoo, that was more difficult than it looks! This is why I hate talking about myself.

Of course, what would be a celebration without a giveaway?

In honor of my birthday, I want to giveaway a highly-coveted ARC of this year: The Wrath and the Dawn. I read it and really, really enjoyed it, so I'm sharing my ARC! Please read my giveaway rules before entering this giveaway! Should I mention that my ARC is "signed" too?

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 2, 2015

Froi of the Exiles: Review

12154330Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home ... or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior's discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood ... and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Warning: This review may contain spoilers of Finnikin of the Rock. If you haven't read Finnikin yet, what are doing?? Go now. Right now. Buy it. Read it. Then come read this review because I'm awesome, and there really is no other reason besides that. That doesn't matter though.

My feelings for this book can be best described in this one gif:

However, there's no fun unless I talk about it and I have to somehow convince you guys to read it but that's impossible how can you expect me to do that.

Froi picks up from Finnikin three years later. This time, Froi is our main character. Except not, because Lunar-Chronicles-style, we are also able to see from the other characters' points-of-view from the previous book. We are still able to see from the wonderful view of Finnikin and bad-ass Isaboe, but we also get introduced to these other bad-ass characters, like, for example, Phaedra, who is my new favorite side character of all-time, and Lucian, who is part of my new favorite ship of all-time with my new favorite side character of all-time. Yeah, if you couldn't tell I loved Phaedra and Lucian. They just brought all. The feels. However, let me take a moment to discuss Froi since that is what I should have been doing but Lucian and Phaedra distracted me. Froi, I was worried about you from the previous book. I mean, how could I not be? You did almost rape Isaboe and you stole alot of things in the past. It was entirely natural to be cautious to what to expect from you in this book. But, Froi, you completely, utterly banished any bad thoughts about you, because you were a tremendously amazing character.

Marchetta did a superb job writing Froi's character. Froi's growth was huge in the three years we missed between the books, and I was worried it wouldn't entirely seem realistic, because all-of-a-sudden, Froi would be a nice, friendly character in this book. That was not the case. We are able to see all the scars Froi has from the past, but we can also glimpse the hope Froi has now in his new life. He has friends, family, and a home. Marchetta tells him to be satisfied with his new life in the beginning of the book-but fate has other ideas. I won't go further beyond that detail, because I want to remain mostly mysterious about the overall plot of the novel.
The plot of Froi was what I think I enjoyed most about this novel, which is saying alot because I really liked the characters in this book(even more so than in Finnikin). I felt the story interested me more, because I loved learning about a new kingdom from the same world. It was seamless and beautiful the way Marchetta told the story. Everything was perfect in my eyes.
As usual, Marchetta tells an excellent, engrossing, and morally-questioning story. Her writing style is gorgeous like Finnikin of the Rock. However, I have to point out that I'm partial to the plot of Froi. Finnikin of the Rock was amazing, I will give it that. But Froi seemed like so much to me. I loved the new characters, the politically-driven plot, the gorgeously-detailed setting of a new kingdom, and the romance between Froi and Quintana. I just-ugh.

If you couldn't tell already, anyone who has read Finnikin of the Rock should read this book A.S.A.P. because of its awesome gloriousness. So go off and buy it now if you haven't. If you own it already, what are you waiting for?