Sunday, 22 October 2017

Because You Love to Hate Me Review + Giveaway

Because You Love to Hate Me
By Ameriie and Various Authors

Synopsis:



Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel). 

My Thoughts:


Overall, the anthology got an average of 4 stars from me. I don’t read a lot of anthologies as they aren’t really my thing, but I had a blast reading this one. Some stories were better than others, but it was all pretty good.


The Blood of Imriv by Renee Ahdieh


I gave this story 3 stars. It felt almost incomplete, it’s like when an author releases the first two chapters of their upcoming book to get you pumped, but in this case, we don’t even get the rest of the novel. I liked where it was going, though, it had a lot of potential. (Also shout out to Christine for having a hilarious little essay, I absolutely adored it, 10/10 would read again)


Jack by Ameriie


I gave this story 4 stars. I was loving this story up until the end where it completely unnerved me, I feel like I should have expected the ending, but I didn’t and for that, I will applaud the author. Also a very great prompt.


Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani


I gave this story 3.5 stars. At first, I was expecting it to be a short story in relation to Soman’s Middle-Grade series as Gwen, Lance, and Arthur are a part of that series, but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t set in the same world. I surprised the crap out of me that it wasn’t suitable for children, because like I said before I’ve only ever read his middle-grade work. I can’t say it was bad though, I really enjoyed it.


Shirley & Jim by Susan Dennard. 


I gave this story 5 stars. I couldn’t stop reading and once I finally finished the story I wanted even more. I want a novel series on this. A gender-bent story of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and James Moriarty is all I need in my life.


The Blessing of Little Wants by Sarah Enni 


I gave this story 3 stars. I’m unimpressed by this one. Yeah, it had potential to be really cool and epic, but it just didn’t have any new ideas or twists on old classics. I could easily forget about this one.


The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer.


I gave this story 4 stars. Now, this is a story I’m going to remember! I don’t particularly like the sea witch herself, but the premise was cool and it was written really well. 


Beautiful Venom by Cindy Pon


I gave this story 4 Stars. I was definitely kept on the edge of my seat during this story. The underlying messages were so important and I applaud Cindy Son for writing such an amazing story. I still found it absolutely infuriating though. I know life isn’t fair a lot of the times, but I felt like the protagonist just kept getting knocked down and then someone came along and kept kicking her while she was down and then killed her puppy. She got no justice and that’s really the sad reality of our world also.


Death Knell by Victoria Schwab


I gave this story 5 Stars. I have fallen in love with this story. It was beautiful and clever and I could see an entire book being written about it, although, it does sit well as a short. Victoria Schwab is a master of her craft.


Marigold by Samantha Shannon 


I gave this story 4.5 Stars. How could I not love this one? Condescending misogynistic men from the Victorian era being owned by a badass “evil” queen. I’m here for this. 


You, You, It’s All About You by Adam Silvera


I gave this story 4 Stars. This one took a bit of getting used to as it was told in the second person and I’m really not used to that. I do, however, love what Adam Silvera did with this story. The protagonist wasn’t misunderstood or easily manipulated, she knew exactly what she was doing and just when you thought she had a little bit of humanity, it turns out she was tricking you. It was clever and I really enjoyed it.


Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith 


I gave this story 4.5 Stars. I feel like the point of this story was for us all to love and relate to Julian Powell despite him being evil as shit, and the author completely succeeded. I loved Julian Powers and I loved his origin story. I would love nothing more than to get an entire saga about his villainy. 


Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke 


I gave this story 5 Stars. I hate Gaston. Always have and probably always will, but the way the author changed him around in this book made me not hate him so much. I actually loved this story so much and I wish I could get more of it. Also, just a general observation about the author, she must really love the color purple. In this book the girl's name is Indigo, and in her book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, her protagonist is name is Violet. I just sorta hope she keeps up this trend in her other works.


Sera by Nicola Yoon


I gave this story 4.5 Stars. While the rest of the villains in this book were all pretty villainous, Sera was the only villain that I felt villainy was embedded in her soul. She felt like the one true villain of this book. Her very presence set people off and she seemed psychopathic. 


Giveaway:





If you follow me on social media you may or may not be aware that I have in my possession two copies of BYLTHM. Purely by accident, but either way, I have two and I don't need two copies so I figured I'd have a giveaway for the second book. 


Rules:

  • Only for U.S. and Canada
  • Must be following my blog.
  • Must be over 18 or have parental permission
  • The Giveaway is from October 22nd, 2017 to November 22nd, 2017

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 19 October 2017

I Hate Everyone But You Spoiler Free Review

I Hate Everyone But You
by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin



Synopsis:



Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G


So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

My Thoughts:


I gave this book 4 stars. If you’ve ever had a really close best friend that you shared everything with and had an incredibly strong bond with then this book will resonate with you. The entire novel is witty and clever, you'll never be bored.

Most of the time I hate books written in this format, where you only get the story through two characters texting or emailing each other because I usually feel like I’m missing a lot of the story. That problem wasn’t present here as I felt because these two characters were so close they would tell each other a lot so I could get a feel for them as characters and the people around them.

It was well written and something I couldn’t seem to put down. It was also super realistic, there wasn’t really a moment in this book where I thought to myself “yeah right, like that could actually happen”.

While the story is about the lives of these characters and how they are trying to get through their early adulthood okay, it’s first and foremost about the friendship between these two characters and it’s beautiful.

What I found most relatable was that these people who went in and out of the protagonists’ lives were all people I know. We’ve probably all met the people that are being written in this book. 


Overall, amazing contemporary about friendship and life. Would highly recommend this to those who love a good YA contemporary.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Top 5 Books Featuring Vampires (Adult Romance Version)

This weeks topic for Top 5 Wednesday was Books Featuring the Paranormal creature of your choice so I decided to choose vampires, but since I have another list planned out for a Top 10 Tuesday, I decided to make this one an adult romance edition because it's a little different, to say the least. 


5. Chicagoland Vampires



I started reading this series years ago and I just haven't finished it. I'm maybe halfway through the series, I just got distracted and never continued. One day I will, but until then, I will enjoy the good memories.

4. Black Dagger Brotherhood



I still have not finished this series, but I'm loving it so much. Each story is so different and has tons of different layer, although at times I could say it may have a bit too many layers, it is very good nonetheless.

3. Night Prince Series



This series is so good! I haven't read the fourth book yet, but I will get to it soon enough, I just haven't been in the mood for paranormal lately and have been hooked on Penelope Douglas books, but once I get over that I am going to read the shit out of the fourth book. If you like Jericho Barrons I would highly suggest reading this series.

2. Lothaire



Currently re-reading this one because I was hit with a craving to read it late last night. It is the one that made me decide to choose vampires for this list, in fact. This book is an A+ and I would highly recommend reading it.


1. A Hunger Like No Other



This is by far my favorite book when it comes to mixing adult romances with vampires. As I am a huge fan of both I found this to be a perfect mixture of action and sexiness.

What are some of your favorite books containing paranormal creatures?


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Monday, 16 October 2017

The Halloween Book Tag

It's October! it's finally time for some spooky stuff! I'm gonna start off with a fun little tag. Once again, I most definitely was not tagged for this. I'm not sure if the original tag is still up, but it was here is a link to the creator!

1.) Favorite Scary (Must Read) For Halloween?




The Shining by Stephen King. You have to read it in a dark room at midnight using a flashlight. That’s the only way to get the true creepiness.

2.) Scariest Book Cover, Like Ever?




I don’t think most book covers are particularly scary, but one that really creeps me out if Lord of the Flies. Pig heads just aren’t my thing.

3.) If You Could Go Trick-or-Treating With Any Author, Who Would You Pick?




Sarah J. Maas, I just feel like she would tell you really good spooky stories the whole time. It would be a blast.

4.) If You Could Dress Up As Any Bookish Character For Halloween, Who Would You Be?




Hermione Granger. Basic, but something I’ve always wanted to do but still haven’t. I have the brown hair and brown eyes and her wand, I just have to get some robes and I’ll be set.

5.) If You Could Find Anything (From Any Book) In Your Trick-or-Treat Stash, What Would You Hope To Find?

That drink that Jace had in City of Bones that made him strip down naked and run down the street wearing nothing but antlers. Sounds like a good time if you ask me.

6.) In What Fictional World Would You Like To Go Trick-or-Treating?




The Wizarding World obviously, then I could get all kinds of cool wizard candies.

7.) What Book Villain Would You Not Like To Meet Alone In A Dark Alley On Halloween?




Pennywise the Clown. I’m a Gryffindor, so although I would consider myself pretty brave, that all goes out the window when it comes to clowns. Especially Pennywise. 

8.) Would You Rather Dress Up As A Vampire, Zombie, Werewolf, or Shadowhunter?




I always love dressing up as a vampire considering how pale I am in general. It also gives me an excuse to wear a cape. I love capes.

9.) Pick A Candy (Just One) From Harry Potter That You Would Love To Find In Your Stash?




Chocolate Frogs. I would definitely have the biggest card collection.

10.) What Is Your Favorite Halloween Candy?





Kit Kats or Coffee Crisps. Both are amazing and very commonplace. Plus I've already got a box ready to eat when no kids come to my house.

What do you plan to dress up as for Halloween? 


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Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts Spoiler Free Review

The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
by K. C. Tansley

Release Date: October 17th, 2017


Synopsis:



She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them. 

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead. 

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past. 


As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

My Thoughts:

***I received this ARC through Netgalley for an honest review***


I gave this book 4 stars. This sequel was way better than the first book to say the least. I was 100% invested by the end that I really just want to sit down and binge the rest of the series that has yet to be written. 

Kat is what I would call a perfect character. She is the perfect amount of flawed, relatable, and compassionate. She’s a character that maybe I don’t love with all my heart, but I can’t think of a single reason to dislike her. She’s a solid character that I don’t mind reading about at all.

Evan has done such a one eighty from when we first met him. He went from the man who was making Kat miserable for no apparent reason to making sure that everything was always going okay for her and that protecting her when she needed it the most.

What I find most grounding about this series in general is the fact that they don’t always win. In most YA novels the protagonist somehow manage to always come out on top, nothing bad ever really sticks to them. In this series, Kat can’t fix everything with the snap of her fingers. She wants so badly to help them and she does to a point, but she can’t fix things 100% and sometimes those small bits and pieces that remained broken are really heartbreaking.

If you’ve read the first book already you can probably sense the slow burning romance coming on. It hasn’t happened yet but the sense is getting a lot stronger, there are many hints and I’m curious to see how it’s going to happen.

I’m happy to report that we also finally get to know what their ages are! I was so confused about how old the characters were in the first book and I’ve finally figured it out. The group of friends are in this special boarding school, their seniors so 17 or 18 years old; Evan is in fact 20 years old doing that teacher assistant thing. I don’t know if it’s for school or if it’s an internship of some sort, it becomes more clear while still remaining pretty vague. 


Overall, read it. It’s got something new to add to the YA world. It’s more than just an action packed teen romance, it’s got a whole bunch of titillating subplots mixed in along with intriguing characters.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Top 10 Classic Paranormal Creatures

Well in most places it probably isn't even still Tuesday, but I live on the West Coast so for me it's still technically Tuesday so I'm going with it.

I'm keeping the creatures on this list simple. The classic monsters such as werewolves, vampires, witches, angels, demons, and fairies. The stuff that have all kinds of myths and legends around them. Nothing new or made up, no gods or demigods or other obscure creatures of the night. Just the classics.

Some of these also have spoilers being that some of the characters aren't open with who they are right off the bat. So if you keep reading there may be some spoilers ahead.


10. Derek



As a character Derek probably isn't my favorite, but whenever I think supernatural creature and werewolf, he is always the first one to pop into my mind. He is the quintessential werewolf.

9. Cole St. Claire





This werewolf just has the strangest personality and I'm completely drawn to it. Cole St. Claire is maybe not the best person in the world, but he is a really interesting werewolf with a purposeful backstory.


8. Ace



A fae who recently swooped in and stole my heart, pun intended. I didn't see it coming but it happened and I just want more of him.

7. Patch Cipriano




I don't know what to refer to him as. Angel? Fallen Angel? Could really be either, although I did prefer him while he was a fallen angel so I guess we'll stick with that. He's a bad boy with a soft heart. You kind of don't know how far he'll go at times, but it doesn't matter because he knows where the line is. 

6. Damon Salvatore




Damon is the OG book boyfriend. He was the one who ignited my love for vampire novels in the first place. I regret nothing, just like him.

5. Will Herondale




This half angel half human is the love of my life. He is such a perfect character. Sarcasm and jokes to hide his pain, his love of books, him loving the people around him so much that he is willing to give up everything he ever wanted to make sure that they were happy. Will is too good for this world which is why he is fictional.

4. Hermione Granger




Hermione Granger is the best role model for young girls. She's smart and brave and ruthless when she needs to be. She's the brightest witch of her age and we love her for it.

2. + 3. Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov



I couldn't decide which one had to be 2 and which one had to be 3. So they get to share the title of both because I love them both equally. As you probably know they are both Dhampires, half human half vampire hybrids. And they are both incredibly badass. These two were the only two characters from the same book series that I even considered putting both of on this list because I just couldn't choose between them.

1. Celaena Sardothian



This one is a huge spoiler as you don't know anything about her being magical throughout the first book and maybe half of the second book. So the fact that she is half fae comes as a bit of a surprise. What shouldn't surprise you is the she is number one of this list. I am pretty sure she was number one on my list of favorite characters in general. She's a badass with or without her magic.

Who are some of your favorite classic Paranormal Creatures?


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Monday, 9 October 2017

Black Snow Spoiler Free Review

Black Snow
by Lena North

Release Date: October 24th, 2017


Synopsis:



Snow’s best friend is a bird. An osprey, to be specific.

Everyone knows Snow’s parents died a long time ago, and she has perfected her happy smile and girly giggle so no one suspects that she hides a darker side of herself deep inside. No one, except her bird – and Nick, who always seems to know how she feels.

Then Hawker Johns blackmails her into joining his covert group of protectors. The imposing sheriff from Norton sends Snow to the Islands to investigate Jamie Jamieson, one of her friends and a man she dates casually, and once the first fury has passed, she’s eager to go. Mostly so that she can come back and shove Hawker’s suspicions down his throat. 

Things are not what they seem on the Islands, though, and when Snow has been shot at, almost drowned and fallen through the roof of a cave, she starts thinking about her life, and her past.

Then she suddenly finds herself in a situation where she has a tough choice to make. Will she follow her heart or the pull from her family and friends? And will she ever find peace with her past?


Black Snow is the fourth book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.

My Thoughts:

***I recieved an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***


I gave this book 3 stars. It was okay, a definite downgrade from the first three books in this series. I’m disappointed in this one.

I was so sad by this development, I loved the first three books, but I just felt like this  book didn’t have as much substance as the others. It was enjoyable, but that’s mostly because I was already accustomed to the characters and the world and the basic plot of the series. 

I can’t even really tell you what the climax of the story was. I can think of one part that may have been it, but at the time I didn’t know it and was actually surprised that I was done the book because I expected more. 


Not to say it isn’t still good, just not on the level as the other books. I am excited to read the final book in this series though. If you have read the other books in this series, then you should definitely still read this one. It’s still part of the story and I can’t wait for it to all be pulled together in the final book.

The romance in this book was cute, but a good romance isn't enough to make a book mind blowing and amazing, it can help it there, but it isn't the only factor. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Why I Dislike the Chosen One Trope

This is different from the rest because I don’t actually completely hate the trope itself, I just hate when the trop is written badly. When done well, this trope can be really amazing.



(Harry Potter Spoilers)



Case in point: Harry Potter. Harry Potter was the chosen one, but he wasn’t the only possibility. There was another choice for the chosen one It was the circumstances that led to him having to step up to it. It wasn’t just him being “awesome” and doing everything himself. He had outside support, there were people who loved him and cared for him that wanted to help him succeed. There was also his love for his friends and family that propelled him into this position where he wanted to protect them. Harry had no added bonuses to help him get through it, unless you count him being a horcrux, but I would say that that one is just as much a burden as it is helpful.

(End of Harry Potter spoilers)

A lot of books have the chosen one with all these added powers and they are just so awesome and can never be beaten because they are the chosen one. Who could possibly be better than the chosen one? The Chosen one trope is like sticking your character onto a pedestal. The thing about Harry Potter is we know he is incredibly flawed and we don’t always agree with what he is doing. He’s just trying to do his best to get through it all in one piece. 

I just finished a book where the chosen one trope just felt sort of tossed in to make the protagonists life a bit more interesting. It didn’t really fit into the story and felt more like the author was just trying to make her character more special. It really annoyed me when this happened.

The chosen one trope also ties in to the Mary Sue trope. Authors are trying to make their characters more likeable by using superficial things like special abilities and high levels of importance based on the characters usefulness.

(House of Night Spoilers)



A really bad case of chosen one/Mary Sue is Zoey Redbird from the House of Night Series. We start off the series thinking she’s pretty cool, relatable, but as the story progresses she just becomes this slut shaming holy than thou character who somehow gets all the cool powers. She is the only character to have control of all the elements therefore she is better than you. As I was maybe 12 or 13 when I started reading this series I didn’t realize how awful she was until I got older and realized she was honestly the worst main character ever because she couldn’t seem to see her own flaws and the author made it out to be like she was the saviour of the vampire world. Honestly, this series could have been so much better without her in it.

(End of House of Night Spoilers)


Just, if you plan to write a book using this trope, don’t just throw it in because it seems cool, use it if it really means something to the story

What are some of your thoughts on the trope?


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Thursday, 5 October 2017

September Wrap Up

I'm a few days late with this, but I guess better late than never. I had a pretty subpar reading month, I just kept starting books and never finishing them. Hopefully I will finish reading those books in October. I've also decided not to do a TBR this month because I most likely will not even follow it.  I'll see where the month takes me!



1. Tormentor Mine 



I gave this book 5 stars. I was bored and the premise sounded pretty good so I picked this book up and ended up loving it. For a more mature reader as it has some heated scenes, but it's overall a very good book.

2. Wicked Abyss 



I gave this book 5 stars. I've been obsessed with the Immortals After Dark series for a few years now and I can honestly say it's still as good as it was in the beginning. I have a lot of theories of the future.


3. She, Myself, and I 


I gave this book 3.5 stars. This book had a lot of plot issues, but it was still something I had a good time reading.


4. Her Book Boyfriends 



I gave this book 1 star. I have never actually read a book I just hated before. usually there is something that made me sick, turned my stomach even. This book didn't do that. It was just a mixture of misogyny, tropes, and an annoying main character that just destroyed a perfectly good premise. This book was honestly just offensive and I would highly suggest not reading it.


5. Approximately Yours 


I gave this book 3.5 stars. This was a cute read. I probably read it at the wrong time because it is a very festive book and it's very far away from December, but it was still enjoyable with lovable characters. 


6. Just One of the Boys 



I gave this book 4 stars. This was a twist on the classic, girl pretending to be a guy. Except this version had a lot less cringe worthy moments than She's the Man. I can appreciate that.

7. Taking Avery 



I gave this book 4 stars. There was a part that turned my stomach a bit, but I quickly got over it because the plot was so hectic and the characters had so much chemistry. It was well written and I would definitely recommend it.

8. Hearts Aflame 




I gave this book 4 stars. I read the first book in this series a couple years ago and loved it, so I decided to give the next book a go. I enjoyed this book enough, just not as much as I loved the first book. What I don't like when I'm reading a series where each book is about different characters, is when there are noticeable parallels. A couple would be fine, but sometimes it feels to close to the same story with different characters and slightly different circumstances. This book was guilty of a bit of that.

9. The Rules of Magic 




I gave this book 5 stars. I can't even express my feelings. This book brings you on such an emotional rollercoaster, it's about witches, but not always about their magic. It's intertwined beautifully with their lives and what they go through. Alice Hoffman has outdone herself with this one. It's a masterpiece. 

10. Anti-Step Brother 




I gave this book 3.5 stars. Not my favorite Tijan book, but it was a decent read. I liked the protagonist, she was chill and really grew throughout the book.  


11. Swords and Stilettos 


I gave this book 2.5 stars. I remember writing in my review of this book that I probably wouldn't remember the plot of this one after a day or two and I was 100% correct. If you want to read said review click here


What books did you read this month?


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