Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stacking The Shelves: October 31, 2015

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews.




Bought:
Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green, introduced by Michael Rosen
I finished this book yesterday and it was really good. I loved the stories in it! ♥

Bought: 
Jamie Fraser (from Outlander) Bookmark 
Bought from HelloPapers. Miriam's store has the cutest things!


Bought:
King of Hearts by L.H. Cosway
Bought for .99

Bought:
Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
Also bought for .99 but not sure if I can handle this book because it sounds so freaking scary!


Bought:
The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery
Another .99 one

For Review:
Once Upon a [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan
I love fairy tale-ish stories so I hope to love this one!




Leave me links to your hauls so I can stop by! :)



Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco



Title: The Girl from the Well
Author: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Girl from the Well #1
Publication: May 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult ~ Horror
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Rating: 4/5

 
 

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.


Starting The Girl from the Well  I was a little on the fence about it because when it comes to Japanese horror stories I'm a total wuss. Really. The movie The Ring scared the crap out of me. And there were some seriously creepy parts in the book but I ended up really liking the story, especially the author's writing style.

This was really a unique story, in my opinion, because it was told from the point of view of Okiku, a centuries' old spirit that hunts down child murderers and unleashes her wrath on them. One day she comes across Tarquin a.k.a. Tark, a fifteen-year-old boy who's covered in strange tattoos. The more she follows—and ultimately communicates with—him, the more she learns about the dark side within him. 

The story eventually takes us to Japan, which I had been waiting for. This probably was my favorite part of the book because we finally started getting more answers. I loved that Okiku was the narrator because you got to see all the characters through her eyes. She was terrifying but I couldn't help but care about her.

I really liked all the side characters too. Tark was kind of a smartass but in a cute way. I was pretty horrified what his mother had done to him, even if it was to contain this menacing spirit but he still managed to be a pretty great person in spite of that. 

Then there was his cousin Callie who kind of got sucked into it all unwillingly. I may not have always liked her completely but I did admire how she didn't run away from it all. Tark's father was a bit clueless but all in all that wasn't a major point for me. 

Overall, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco was great. Usually I'm not a fan of horror stories but this one really captivated me. It was a little bit scary at times, of course, and I wouldn't recommend reading this at night, but it was the best kind of creepy I could've asked for. 




       About the Author:

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband.

She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag


Thanks to Bieke and Rachel from Istyria Book Blog for tagging me! ♥




1. How long have you been a blogger?

In December it will be four years already. Kind of weird to think it's been that long already. 
Below are my old first and second blog designs I had. The pink/purpe one with the book on I made myself all those years ago and the second one I bought from Parajunkee.






2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?


I guess when it's stops being fun, but I still love it after four years so I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. 


3. What is the best thing about blogging?

Everything? :D But seriously, the book blog community is probably the best part because where or with who else could I talk to about books. I literally know one person in real life who enjoys reading and she doesn't even read in English so it's still different. Also love expressing my feelings through book reviews and other posts and finding out about new books through fellow bloggers.


4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

The worst thing for me probably is when authors, other bloggers or readers in general start attacking reviews/bloggers. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 


5. How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

A gif is easily to find, of course. If it's a picture I make myself it depends on what it is. The picture above in this post took about five minutes, I think.


6. Who is your book crush?


Such an easy question for me. ADRIAN IVASHKOV, of course! He was one of my very first book crushes when I read Vampire Academy and my crush for him has only grown with Bloodlines. I adore him, my dreamwalker. ♥



7. What author would you like to have on your blog?

Eoin Colfer. Don't even have to think about that. But of course, he's the most unlikely author I'd ever have on my little blog. I love him and his books, though, I always will.


8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

Usually just whatever I'm wearing that day or if it's in the evening my Minions pyjama pants and Hogwarts shirt. ♥


9. How long does it take you to prepare?

If it's a post or review for a blog tour I like to be prepared and schedule them at least a week beforehand. Other posts I just usually prepare the day before.


10. How do you feel about the book blogger community?

MUCH LOVE! 



11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

This is gonna sound corny but just be yourself and have fun with it!




I tag:
Anyone who sees this post and wants to do it! ♥



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.
--




The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
The Glittering Court #1
April 12th 2016 by Razorbill

 
A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.
Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands...


New series by Richelle Mead = insta-buy ♥




What's your WOW pick of the week?
Leave me a link to your post so I can stop by!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1

Publication: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository| Kobo

Rating: 5/5

 

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.


Wow! This book was something else. It was unique, the Arabic setting was simply stunning, the characters were all pretty amazing and the writing took my breath away. I absolutely loved it.

This story takes place in the land of Khorasan, where eighteen-year-old Khalid is the Caliph. He takes a new bride every night only to execute her in the morning. Until sixteen-year-old Shahrzad (a.k.a. Shazi) volunteers to be the next bride. What Khalid doesn't know is that Shazi wants revenge for killing her best friend Shiva, so she's determinded to stay alive and get her revenge on Khalid. Shazi tells Khalid stories night after night, managing to stay alive. As they both get to know each other more and more each day, Shazi realizes there is much more to Khalid than being the monster she believes he is.

Shahrzad was pretty much everything I wanted in a heroine. She was tough, daring and never let anyone walk over her (least of all Khalid!). She also had a delicate side to her and I couldn't help but admire her willfulness. She really was a strong female character, which I think is something we need more in YA. 

Her relationship with Khalid was complicated to say the least. I absolutely loved the romance between them and how they both slowly fell for each other. Khalid was also a great character. He was mysterious and really intrigued me. I loved how he and Shazi kept challenging each other and how sometimes it was really a struggle to figure each other out. Shazi and Khalid's love for each other actually touched my heart so much. It was beautiful. 

And then there was Tariq who also loved Shazi and decides to go after her when he finds out she has volunteered to be the Caliphs wife. I wouldn't say there's a love triangle, per se, because in my opinion Tariq wasn't all that much in the book, although I think in the next one he'll be more in it. But anyway, the romance revolved more about Shazi and Khalid, so for those who are afraid of yet another triangle... don't be! And FYI, I didn't care much for Tariq anyway.

There are a lot of side characters that I adored and would love to get to know more. Despina being one of them. She was also a pretty strong female presence in the book and I was such a fan of her and Shazi's conversations. They were always entertaning to say the least. Jalal was another favorite character of mine. And the thing I was really missing was interacting between him and Despina, but hey, there's always the sequel for that!

The end of the book was pretty devastating, to be honest. Those last chapters were so intense and action-packed that I wanted to both read faster and slow down to make it last longer. That is what makes a damn good book!

Overall, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh was a passionate, exquisitely written and beautiful retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. In fact, it's one of my top favorite books I've read this year and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, coming out in May 2016. I need more of Shazi and Khalid, ASAP!




       About the Author:

Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: Fey by C.S. Feldman

Title: Fey
Author: C.S. Feldman
Publication: October 21st 2015

Genre: Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4/5

 
Nessa Donnelly never expected to see her estranged and eccentric father again, but a phone call summons her back to her hometown and to the hospital in which the elder Donnelly lies in a comatose state for which his doctors have no explanation. Bit by bit, long-buried family secrets emerge, and Nessa begins to realize that those secrets were kept hidden from her for a reason.

She also realizes that there is something in the woods behind her father’s house that he never told her about, something that can’t be explained.

And she is also not as alone in his house as she thought she was…


First of all I have to admit that when I started reading Fey I wasn't so sure if I was going to like the book but the more I read the more I got into story. I'm a big fan of stories involving fey/fae/faeries/fairies (however you want to spell it) and I gotta say that this one was really good. 

Like I said, I really had to get into the story and it took me a good three chapters before I was really enjoying it but once I did I was cheering Nessa on to find whatever made her father ill and get to the bottom of the whole fey thing that was going on in the woods. Nessa was a fantastic character to read about, by the way. I loved her!

The villain in the story was pretty scary, at least to me. I won't say who or what it is because I don't want to spoil the book to anyone but it freaked me out. Fey villains always scare me, to be honest. 

But anyway, the writing was excellent as I'm used to with this author and I thought she did a great job with her very first fantasy book so I can't wait to read more books by her in this genre! 




       About the Author:

       Website | Facebook | Goodreads
C. S. Feldman loves all things fantasy related and writes both novels and screenplays.
Stop by and say hi on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCSFeldman.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's

Genre: New Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 5/5


A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


As far as fairy tale retellings go, A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of the best ones I've read so far. The whole story sucked me right in and I just couldn't get enough of this world. The story continued to surprise me at almost every page and I loved the twist on faeries. 

The story is about Feyre, who's pretty much the sole provider for her family. One day while hunting she kills a wolf, who's actually a faerie in disguise. This starts a chain of events that Feyre never saw coming. When she's forced by a beast to choose between death or living her life out in Prythian, the land of the faeries that she hates so much, to pay for the life of his friend, she goes with him, having every intention of escaping and running which doesn't prove all that easy.

I thought Feyre was a really great character. She wasn't perfect by a long shot, which is good because perfect main characters are really boring. In fact, Feyre was illiterate so she certainly had some weaknesses. I also loved that she was totally human but she still took risks and was very brave. 

Tamlin (a.k.a the beast) was interesting for sure. At the start I wasn't actually sure if I liked him or not but somehow he snuck up on me and before I realized it, I started really loving him. Especially when it came to Feyre. They really had some hot chemistry going on. Lucien was also a character that was awesome. A friend and courtier to Tamlin + his tragic backstory made me love him fairly fast. 

But the guy I loved the most was Rhysand. At first I was not certain where he stood and it's more towards the end that I really got to read more about him, but oh once I did, there was no going back. I instantly adored him. And I hope the next book will let us get to know him better. 

The romance was amazing, I loved how Feyre and Tamlin slowly but surely fell in love. There was no insta-love or any of that crap so that was a breath of fresh air for me. There was also a lot of action and danger in the story, which kept me at the edge of my seat at all times.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was beautifully written, featured intriguing and complex characters, had heartstopping romance and action + the magical world of the fae took my breath away. In one word: Perfection!




       About the Author:

Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series–Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stacking The Shelves: October 24, 2015

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews.



Bought:
Elfin Blood by Gracen Miller

Bought:
The Piano Man Project by Kat French
Both books were bought for 99c. Still haven't found the will to resist those!


For Review:
Almost a Millennium by Jeanbill
Already read and DNF at 50%. I couldn't go on after a certain scene.

Freebie:
Voice of Gods by Eleanor Herman
Prequel to Legacy of Kings and freee!



For Review:
The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher
'Read Now' on NetGalley

Bought:
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Bought for .99 on Kindle!





Leave me links to your hauls so I can stop by! :)



Friday, October 23, 2015

ARC Review: The Torment Of Rachel Ames by Jeff Gunhus

Title: The Torment Of Rachel Ames
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Seven Guns Press

Genre: Adult ~ Thriller ~ Suspense
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4/5

   
Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen. Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems. As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.


My first thought after finishing The Torment Of Rachel Ames was: Chills. This book gave me chills. And although it wasn't my usual genre, I actually enjoyed it a lot. So if you're on the fence about it, I'd say give it a shot because it's a really good read.

This book is about author Rachel Ames who's struggling with writer's block and rents a lake cabin to work on her next book. Everything seems perfect at first—beautiful location, perfect for writing and a handsome and funny landlord. Then strange and horrible things start happening... 

This story was a bit of a mindfuck, to be honest. I kept guessing of what was actually going on, much like Rachel in the book. Along with her I really wanted to find out what exactly was going on with this cabin. There was even a bit of Stephen King thrown in there, which I really liked.

I really found myself liking the writing style of Jeff Gunhus. That's always a good thing. The book was on the shorter side with 112 pages so it was a really quick read for me but even so it doesn't mean that there isn't enough  of the storyline or character developement in it. 

I also gotta say I was pretty surprised by the turn the book took towards the end. I had a lot of theories, of course but I hadn't seen it coming at all. And that's what I want with books like this, be surprised and The Tormant of Rachel Ames definitely succeeded in that! 




About the Author:

Jeff Gunhus is the author thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.


♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!