November Wrap-up and December TBR

wrp

Hello! Today, I’m doing my first ever wrap-up post. I had 7 books in my November TBR, so let’s see how I did.

November Reading and Review Wrap-up

I read 10 books this month, which was more than my expectation so I’m quite happy with it. Just two more books until I reach my 2015 reading goals.

Here are the books I read throughout the month of November with link to its review if it’s been posted.

Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon)

A promising debut from Nicola Yoon. This contemporary novel about a girl with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency is filled with cute illustrations, swooning, and heart break. However, there are some parts of the story that doesn’t really do it for me. You can find my review here.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

Another contemporary debut! Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book that will make you feel warm and fuzzy. It’s definitely one I’m going to reread in the future. I reviewed it here.


Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)

I was still on the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. I still prefer the first book (Cinder) over Scarlet, but this one is still a solid blend of sci-fi, fantasy and fairytale.


Angelfall (Susan Ee) | World After (Susan Ee) | End of Days (Susan Ee)

Originally, I only planned to read Angelfall in the month of November. Alas, it set up a chain reaction that was catalysed by me purchasing all three as an e-book bundle. I ABSOLUTELY adore this trilogy. Granted, the first book was my favorite, but I think Susan wrapped it up rather nicely in End of Days after a (little) shaky middle book that is World After.


The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han)

I got my first taste of Jenny Han’s writing with her Summer trilogy. This month, I managed to read the first book, The Summer I Turned Pretty, which was the perfect reading for my lazy days. Belly could be obnoxious at times (which reminded me of myself?) but she grew on me and halfway through, I was totally rooting for her. Shoutout to Trisha @ The Bookgasm for the rec.


Angels Twice Descending (Cassandra Clare, Robin Wasserman)

This is the last e-book in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I am not going to review it here because it’s filled with SPOILER GALORE if you haven’t finished The Mortal Instruments AND The Infernal Devices. I am going to say, however, that it made me CRY.


Falling Kingdoms (Morgan Rhodes)

I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while and after seeing it featured regularly in posts made my Jesse @ Books at Dawn, I finally decided to move it up in my TBR. Falling Kingdoms is the first book in the Falling Kingdoms series. It was action-packed and full of twists. I have problems with some of the characters and plot, but I was able to roll with it because EXPLOSION! BETRAYAL! MAGIC! MURDER! I am not 100% on board with this series yet, but I think I need to give the second book, Rebel Spring, a try.


Elantris (Brandon Sanderson)

OH HEY, BRANDON SANDERSON’S DEBUT NOVEL. I am not going to say much about it because my review is coming soon!

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What’s left on my November TBR

Chasing Forgiveness (Neal Shusterman)

I AM DEFINITELY GOING TO READ THIS, JUST NOT YET. Chasing Forgiveness was actually a re-release of Neal Shusterman’s book, What Daddy Did. It was a story about a boy trying to make peace after his father killed his mom. Talking about heavy theme!

Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith)

It’s so EXPENSIVE you guys. Even the ebook is priced at $20 or something ridiculous like that. I am going to save my money and wait until it gets cheaper. And by “saving my money”, I mean I am going to use it to buy another two or three books.

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Currently Reading

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Because I’m in the mood for high fantasy (also I bought it as a bundle with Elantris)

Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I REFUSE to DNF this book. I might have to re-read it because between starting it and now, I have read approximately 10 books (mentioned above). I am quite sure I will actually enjoy it once I get into it, but I just cannot bring myself to read it. I shouldn’t have put it down on the first place. *le sigh*

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (re-read)

I’m still continuing my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic in anticipation of A Gathering of Shadows.

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Miscellaneous Posts

A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read Part I – IV – Index can be found here.

My Weekly News Round-up Post – #2 | #3 | #4

Book Tags and Awards:

10 Phases of My Reading Life – LINK

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DECEMBER TBR

Normally, I would do a next month new releases post at the end of the month, but this month I didn’t have time to check Fict Fact and search the internet because disorganized me forgot that it’s the end of November. So I’m just going to post my December TBR now and the most anticipated December new releases tomorrow.

Red Rising (Pierce Brown)

I saw this book in so many lists and I am intrigued with the comparison with Red Queen (I AM HOPING I WILL LIKE IT BETTER THAN I LIKE RED QUEEN, OKAY).

The Emperor’s Soul (Brandon Sanderson)
Part of the Brandon Sanderson bundle mentioned above. It’s only economical if I read all three before I buy more. Plus, I’m on a mission to read all Sanderson published works.

These Shallow Graves (Jennifer Donnelly)
I read a sample of this book some times ago and it seems interesting. I haven’t read a historical novel since The Lair of Dreams (Libba Bray) so it’s time to change that.

UnDivided (Neal Shusterman)
Me: It’s about time, Windie, you need to get over your FEELS and just finish this dystology already.
Me: But I don’t want it to end… That’s why I waited for 2 years before deciding to read it.

Cress (Marissa Meyer)
So far, I really enjoy The Lunar Chronicles, so I have nothing but high expectation on Cress. Don’t let me down, Cress and Cinder and Scarlet.


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The Autumn Book Tag

I was tagged by Trisha @ The Bookgasm to do the Autumn Book Tag. I have some sort of disorganized book-tags queue lining up in front of this tag, but desperate times call for desperate measure. Since it’s nearly the end of autumn and in some parts of the world, fall’s already over (not that I have fall where I live), I’m giving this one a VIP pass and let it cut the queue.

Here we go!

1.What is your favorite thing about autumn?

I live in tropical country so I never actually experience autumn in real life. I do, however, really like seeing the colors of autumn (you know, from PICTURES).

2. What book reminds you of your school days?

Doctors by Erich Segal
I graduated from med school so… (sorry for not being creative. Hahaha.)

 

 

 

3. What cover reminds you of autumn?

harperGo Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Confession time: I haven’t read this book, neither have I read To Kill A Mockingbird (blasphemy, I know)

 

 

4. What is your favourite horror or halloween story?

halHallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
This is the only one I could think about. I always enjoy a good mystery book, but this one actually creeps me out so bad.
 

5. What is your favorite horror or halloween film?

ikwydI Know What You Did Last Summer
I’ll go with the classic.
Wait, what? It’s not a classic? I’m sorry, but I was a teenager when Freddie Prinze Jr was in every teen movie. This is the one that started it all. I still watch it when it’s on TV.

6. What fall book release are you looking forward to?

winterI am going to say Winter by Marissa Meyer even though it has been released.
I mean, I haven’t bought the book so technically I’m still looking forward to it, right? :p

7. What autumn movie release are you anticipating?

Mockingjay Part 2 and The Peanuts Movie.
Again, I haven’t watched both so I am still in anticipation mode. It still counts, yes?

8. What are the three books you plan to read this autumn?

warbrcressswrd

 

 

 

 

 

I have two books left in my November TBR. *shifty eyes* I do think I will read something else first, probably Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. I am also planning to read Cress by Marissa Meyer and finish Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. *cough I’d probably end up reading something else cough*

Spread The Love

I tag:
Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd
Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger
Mel @ Wine Stained ApronIt’s okay if you don’t want to do this tag. It’s no big deal. 🙂 Also, I’m sorry if you have done this before, I’ve done a quick scan on your blogs but I might miss it. :p

Until next tag!


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part IV

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 4th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part IV White Throne, which consists of five sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – III

Summary

Part IV began with laughs and jests as Kell trying to coax Rhy to learn magic. The crown prince, knowing that he nearly has no affinity to magic at all, was training half-heartedly to satisfy his brother’s demand. Rhy was too busy planning his birthday party and how to get people into his bed. When Kell asked him what was Holland doing the other day (AHA, so Rhy didn’t tell him), Rhy lied to him and said that Holland was delivering mail. When Rhy was fed up with studying, he asked Kell to accompany him to go out. Kell agreed after Rhy accidentally letting a magical fire out of the protective circle and he had to dispel it with his blood. However, the pair was interrupted when the King came with a letter for Kell to deliver. Kell, feeling grumpy that he’s going to miss a night out with his bro, took the letter anyway and off he went to the intended recipient, the ruler of White London, but not before Rhy asked him to promise that he’ll come back empty-handed.

In Chapter II, we finally got our first glimpse of White London. It was described as cold, pale, and covered with ash, a city tore down by violence and power. Athos and Astrid Dane, the Dane twins, were the current rulers of White London. The twins lived in a fortress surrounded by stone courtyard that was made up by statues, these statues rumored to be people that crossed the twins. Their guards were mindless human puppets, controlled by Athos through a mark scorched in their body. Holland greeted Kell (well, greet is too strong or a word, actually) and ask him to choose between the twins. Kell picked Astrid and Holland brought him to the throne room to meet the Queen.

In Chapter III, Athos was torturing a boy that refused to bow. Ugh. Holland informed him that Kell has arrived and together they went to meet Kell and Athos’ twin.

In Chapter IV, Athos invited Kell to stay for a drink. He then ask Holland to cut himself and pour his blood into a goblet. Ugh. Kell refused to drink Holland’s blood, so Athos poured him a gold liquid while he and Astrid drank the antari’s blood.

Kell, drunkenly stumbled away from the fortress, decided to wander the city for a while in Chapter V. He walked to the entrance of Scorched Bone, the tavern in White London, before deciding to go home instead and kept his promise to Rhy. It was, however, a little too late, as a woman begged him to deliver a letter to Olivar in Red London and gave him a small parcel for payment. When Kell looked up, the woman was gone, so he made his way back to home. Uh oh.

My Rambling

Phew, that was a long part. There are a couple of interesting things (mostly about characters) I’d like to talk about. First was Holland. He remains very mysterious to me, but in this part, we learned a thing or two about him from Kell. Apparently, Holland—as the only antari in the White London—used to be ally of the former ruler, but when the Dane twins took control, Athos bound him and took control of his body, but not his mind, which is even crueler than using him as a mindless puppet. Holland was bound by Athos using the silver clasp he always wear on his shoulder. I was starting to dislike Holland, but now I can no longer dislike him knowing that he’s a victim of the Danes. No wonder Kell is wary of the twins. If they could bind the older, more experienced antari, what’s stopping them from taking the flower boy? Well, for now at least, it seems that they don’t want to insult their neighboring crown by taking Kell, but who knows?

That led us to my rambling about Astrid and Athos. I absolutely despise Athos. I don’t like Astrid, but it’s more about how she seems to be dangerous and she wants Kell for herself (as a pet obviously), while Athos is simply disgusting. He enslaved people to become his guards, bound and tortured Holland, and enjoyed causing people pain. Of course, Astrid shouldn’t be that different. I mean, after all, she drank Holland’s blood and walk on marble made of her enemies to tea. If anything, I am more scared of Astrid than Athos.

And last, to go on a higher note, let’s talk about Prince Rhy. Rhy seems to be all charmed and nice exterior, but I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t have any hidden depth. I think that he’s been keeping a secret, and it’s not just as simple as telling or not telling Kell about the gift Holland delivered. Everything about Rhy screams adorable and charming, but sorry I do not believe that he is that shallow. You want me to believe that all Rhy care about is getting people into his bed and/or finding a suitable mate? Nope. Just because he played it nice, doesn’t mean he was all that nice. Just you wait. Just you wait. *oh wait sorry this is not Hamilton sing-along*

Favorite Quote

“I do not like things that don’t belong to me. I do not trust them.” – Astrid Dane

(I don’t necessarily agree with this quote, but there’s something perverse about her that makes this quote perfect)

Favorite Scene

You know I’m going to pick Kell and Rhy from Chapter I, don’t you. How could I not? #bromance


That’s it for Part IV. Next week, I’ll come back with Part V Black Stone. Should be an interesting one.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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10 Phases of My Reading Life

phase

I was planning to post this at the beginning of the month, but I … didn’t. At least it’s still November, which is my birthmonth. As I’m getting older, I reflect back on my reading habits growing up.


As soon as I stop holding a book upside down, my mom has been supplying me with books, starting from those picture books, Disney stories, kids magazine, and all the stuff I could no longer recall. My earliest memory of being obsessed with books was of a series called:

The Famous Five
Phase One

It was of course the translated edition of The Famous Five (I didn’t understand English back then, and even now…). I remember wanting to go on adventure with them, eating sandwich, and drink lemonade. I still have The Famous Five books in my shelf (the English version) and I still like to look at them for no reasons.

As I get older, I became interested in other things besides adventure. That is when I started reading:


The Baby-Sitters Club
Phase Two

I used to WORSHIP Claudia Kishi. She was like the coolest person ever and I wanted to be Claudia when I grow up. I reread each book in The Baby-Sitters Club multiple times, although I never own the complete series. I memorized the name of all the Pikes and the name of each kid they babysat.

Alas, nothing last forever. So did my obsession with The Baby-Sitters Club. Before I knew it, I moved on to:


Malory Towers
Phase Three

*shrug* I was raised by Enid Blyton, okay. Anyway, there was a time in my life when I dreamed of going to girls-only boarding school and doing all the pranks and become best friend with Alicia.

This phase lasted only briefly because I discovered:


Fear Street and Detective Stories
Phase Four

Soon after, I entered a prolonged phase when all I read was either Fear Street or detective novels, from “Three Investigators” to STOP (the original title is TKKG). I would beg my parents for new Fear Street books everytime we went to bookstore, some times buying two or three books at once.

As I grew up, I stopped reading these books altogether and started reading:


Sweet Valley High
Phase Five

Ah that blissful feeling that you are now old enough to buy and read Sweet Valley HIGH, and not SV Kids or Twins. This was a hormonal phase I think.. because looking back, I didn’t really like the drama in this series that much. :p

I got over it when at one point I was fed up with some of the characters. So I journeyed to the library and that was where I found:


Harry Potter
Phase Six

That’s right, I actually discover Harry Potter in my school library. (Thank you librarians, I forgot your names but you’re awesome!) Theoretically, I AM still in Phase Six. I never got over my HP phase. 😀 If anything, Harry Potter is the one that starts it all, my journey through the middle grade and then young adults shelves. Back then, there was nothing that could beat the excitement of queueing to get the new Harry Potter books. I still would.


Legal Thriller, Crime, and Mystery
Phase Seven

Near the time when Harry Potter ended, I stumbled upon John Grisham’s The Firm in the bookstore (I totally didn’t buy it because Tom Cruise was on the cover). I plowed through it and soon I’ve read most of his books although I stay away from the contemporary ones. I also read other thriller books, although my favorites are the ones with a lot of courtroom drama. Oh, and during this phase, I also became slightly obsessed with Agatha Christie’s books. I particularly like the last chapter during which Hercule Poirot would boast his otherworldly observation skill. But I also enjoy her Miss Marple books.


Michael Crichton and An Introduction to Sci-Fi
Phase Eight

During my college years, I started reading Michael Crichton. I started like almost everybody else, with Jurassic Park, but in my opinion his best book was either Sphere or The Great Train Robbery. I love how Crichton took his time to do a thorough research before writing his book. I know that his writing style is not for everyone, but I enjoy his books very much.
This phase didn’t last long, mostly because Crichton didn’t have that many books. I do, however, still like to read good sci-fi books if anyone would point it out to me.


Young Adults Fantasy
Phase Nine

I AM NOT SURE HOW I GET HERE!? Maybe it started with Harry Potter, with a boost from Percy Jackson, but I’m pretty sure it was Cassandra Clare’s fault. Yup, I became an avid YA Fantasy novels since I read The Mortal Instruments. Since then, I read her friends’ books (namely, Holly Black’s and Sarah Rees Brennan’s) and one of my tumblr friends made me a list of all young-adults fantasy novels I should read before I die (she didn’t call it that, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she meant). For years, I read almost nothing else.

But then I realized that hey, maybe I want to read something else too… And that led me to:


NOW
Phase Ten

I am still very much a fan of fantasy books, but I try to balance it by reading at least one contemporary novel each month, and I also try my hand at reading classics. Surprisingly, I found myself loving Pride and Prejudice. I am currently trying to get through Jane Eyre, but I got distracted a lot so yeah… I like to think that my reading habit has become more diverse, but let’s be real, I’m still far away from becoming a diverse reader.


How about you? Did you go through any of these phases yourself? Or did you grow up reading something totally different than me? Let me know below and let’s go back down the memory laaane (I totally sing that in Tom Fletcher’s voice).


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Review: Angelfall

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee
Book title Angelfall
Series Penryn & The End of Days #1
Author Susan Ee
Pages 288
Year published 2011
Rating

A fast-paced, exciting introduction to the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

Official Summary

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I have no idea what took me so long to read this book. I’ve been meaning to read Angelfall for years now, but only recently acquired the book after learning that the trilogy is now complete. I had high expectations because this book received so many great reviews on Goodreads and it was also my sister’s rec. I am glad to report to you that my expectation is more than met.
Let’s dive in!

Review

Angelfall is the first book in Penryn & The End of Days trilogy. No price for guessing the name of the protagonist.

It is a dystopian novel, set in the modern world that has been destroyed by the angels. Humanity still exist, but barely get by. Many people became part of gangs and they steal and raid to get food and shelter. The story kicked off with Penryn trying to get her mother and her disabled little sister out of their condo. They had to leave because it’s no longer safe in their neighborhood. Their journey was halted when they found themselves trapped in the middle of angels fight. Penryn’s little sister, Paige, was kidnapped by one of the angel, and all she left with was a broken angel named Raffe that has lost his wings and was bleeding to death. Penryn saved Raffe’s life and together they set on a journey to rescue Paige (Penryn’s goal) and to get Raffe’s wings sewn back on (Raffe’s goal).

I don’t know what it is that makes Angelfall so good. The premise is not entirely new. By now, I could mention a couple of dystopian books where the protagonist initial goal was not trying to save the world, just his/her sibling. I think everyone is familiar with Katniss’ ‘I volunteer as tribute’ action to protect her sister. The premise is even more similar with Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave, where Cassie embarks on a journey to get to her little brother.

Having said that, Angelfall seems to be able to put every piece of puzzle in their correct places. Penryn is one of the most likeable heroine because she is not just badass by default. She’s not cold-blooded, but she will do things when it’s necessary and will not flinch from her actions. She saved Raffe’s life more than once and put him in his place, but she’s also willing to trade place and trust Raffe when it was necessary.

Another thing that I really like about Angelfall is that Ee doesn’t force her protagonists to fall in insta-love where there are more important things to do. Sure, the attraction is obvious, but the progress between those two seems slow and natural.

This book is fast-paced and it was so addictive, I basically read it in two sittings (I am usually a slow reader). I just cannot put it down. Everything about it just scream “read one more chapter” then “one more page” and so on until I finish the book. I appreciate that Susan doesn’t make a cliffhanger type of ending for this book just to leave people hanging. Everything is more or less wrapped up (loosely) by the end of this book. Of course, there are still unfinished business and questions remained unanswered, which I cannot post here because… uh, spoilers. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying ending.

Verdict

It was damn good.

Final Score


5 stars (out of 5 stars)


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News Round-up #4

book news round-up

Hello, here goes another quick round-up. Today, I’d like to share an excerpt from Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight and a movie trailer adapted from a certain book.
Let’s get to it!

Lady Midnight Excerpt

If you’re like me and cannot wait for Lady Midnight, the first book in The Dark Artifices series, here’s something to whet your appetite. A wild excerpt has appeared! (that is not a pokemon reference) Yep, this is a different excerpt from the one added at the end of each ebook in Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy. You can read the excerpt here.

MILD SPOILER WARNING Lady Midnight told the story of Emma Carstairs and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. In this chapter, Emma and Jules and the other Blackthorn kids were studying with their mentor, Diana, when they were unexpectedly interrupted by some mysterious guests. END SPOILER

Please be aware that this excerpt is not a filler-ish one, but it contains spoiler to a key plot details in the book. If you have read the summary, you’d have known already and you’ll be safe to proceed. However, if you do not want to be spoiled at all, do avoid reading the summary AND the excerpt.

A Monster Calls teaser trailer

Here’s something for Patrick Ness’ fans. The teaser trailer for A Monster Calls has been put online and I think it looks gorgeous. I know, maybe gorgeous is not the right word, but that’s how I feel when I watched the short clip.
Watch it below and let me know what you think!

I am very excited for this one although, confession time, I haven’t read A Monster Calls. Before you guys calling for my head, let me explain that the only reason why I haven’t read it is because I cannot find a single copy of this book anywhere in my city. I do really want to read this, but after I watch the trailer I’m considering watching the movie first just to have a different perspective. The movie is directed by JA Bayona, who has great credential with The Impossible (that movie about tsunami starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Holland-yes, that spiderman Tom Holland) and the creepy-tically acclaimed The Orphanage. It also has great cast. I mean, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell! What more could you want? Lewis Macdougall gets the leading role as Connor and from what I see in the teaser, I’m hopeful that he’s going to do a good job. He also starred in Pan, but I didn’t watch that one so I cannot judge.

Goodreads Choice Awards – It’s the final round!

Last thing before I’m ending this post. Goodreads Choice Awards is on the final round and I never feel so conflicted! Are you asking me to choose between Rainbow Rowell, Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, and Sarah J Maas? Like, what even!?
However, if you brave people have made up your mind, head to the awards page and vote for your pick. Voting ends on November 23 so make sure to vote before then.

By the way, I am also using the goodreads choice awards to add books to my TBR. There are some books I’m not familiar with that got into the final round so of course I’m adding them to my TBR. Is anyone doing the same thing?


Let me know, are you excited about A Monster Calls movie and/or Lady Midnight? Do you think I should read A Monster Calls first before I watch the movie? (secretly hoping for a yes)What books are you voting for in GR Choice Awards?


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part III

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the third part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part III Grey Thief, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

Summary:

Meet Lila Bard, thief extraordinaire, pirate wannabe, and certified badass.

We first saw her in London, Grey London to be clear, fresh from pickpocketing a man for a silver pocket watch. Lila is a thrill-seeker, something that gets to Barron (the owner of The Stone’s Throne) everytime. We also learned that Lila is a wanted fugitive for stealing from rich people in London. Then, she made her way back to her ship—well, not a ship that she owned but a ship she renting in—The Sea King and was preparing to rest when the ship owner, Powell, stumbled into her room drunk and asked for his share. When refused, Powell tried to rape her and Lila stabbed him in the chest. She proceeded to burn the ship (and the corpse within) and escaped carrying her weapons and her favorite knife. Lila went to The Stone’s Throw despite having a heated argument with Barron, the owner, a year before after she stole from his customer. Barron gave her a room and welcomed her back.

My Rambling

Hello, I really don’t know what to say besides gushing on how amazing Lila Bard is. She is a 19-years old thief with an unknown past, but unlike Kell who doesn’t even know who he is, Lila seems to be the kind of person who knew herself VERY well (she’s just not telling us… yet). I like how Schwab make her protagonists the opposite of each other in this case. Kell is older but doesn’t know who he is or what he’s going to do (besides collecting trinket). Lila is younger, but she knew exactly what she wants and she’s not afraid to do everything to get it. The similarity between these two are they both felt that they didn’t belong and that they dream of freedom.

Right, enough about Kell. Back to Lila Bard.

She seeks danger or, in her words, danger seeks us so it’s better to find it first. This girl is very much alive. I don’t necessarily agree that thieving makes you feel alive (books and coffee make me appreciate life more I think), but Lila obviously feel alive the closer she is to danger. She also wanted to be a pirate, mostly because she wanted to be free and could travel wherever she wanted to go (EVERYWHERE). I like this girl because she doesn’t let the world shatter her dream. It’s not to say that she’s perfect because she clearly have issue with her methods of getting her dream, but she’s a stubborn enough to suffer and survive.

I also like her relationship with Barron. We were told that she and Barron had a huge argument that led her to tell him to shove his tavern and its rooms up his — yeah. But he clearly care for her that he let her just move back in. Lila herself, however, doesn’t need Barron’s approval to do what she wants. She is a free soul, but in a way she is not at all free because her circumstances barred her from what she really wants to do. It’ll be fun to see how Lila and Kell interacts when (if) they meet.

Favorite Quote

“Why do you want to die?”
“I don’t,” she’d say. “I just want to live.”

Favorite Scene

Got to be when Lila went back to The Stone’s Throw and asked Barron for a room. These two have great relationship.


That’s all for today. Part III is a short one, but next week I’ll be back with Part IV White Throne which is quite a long part. See ya.


INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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The TBR Book Tag

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I was tagged by Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction to do the TBR Book Tag. Thanks Ashleigh. 🙂

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I use my Google Play Wishlist to keep track of books I want. Other than that, mostly Goodreads. I also use Fict Fact to track the series or authors I love. It’s very useful although the date some times not too accurate.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or E-book?

E-book. I love prints, but I more often read on my phone because I could just read anywhere. It is also the faster way to get new releases.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

It usually depends on what genre I want to read at that time. Most of the times I enjoy fantasy, but there are times when all I want to read are legal thrillers.

4. A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

arcJeffrey Archer’s Only Time Will Tell.

I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out in 2011, but I just can’t get into it. I don’t know, man, I love Jeffrey Archer’s books. He is one of the few people I count as great storytellers and not just authors, and I still plan to read it (just not now :p).

5. A book you recently added to your TBR?

crkCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

The title for the second book in the Six of Crows series has just recently been announced.
Obviously, there’s no cover yet, but I am very excited about this book so I just have to put it here.

6. A book strictly on your TBR strictly for it’s cover?

I don’t have any, I think. Even if a book has a pretty cover, I will read the synopsis before deciding to read it.

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

I plan to read them all.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

srb
Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan.

I mean… look at that cover. LOOK AT IT. I will definitely get this one on print, preferably hardcover. Also, it’s Sarah Rees Brennan.
Tell The Wind and Fire is a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, it’s about a girl named Lucie who … (ramblings removed). I will talk about it for days if anyone would listen, but just check out the goodreads page I linked above and my old post for link to an excerpt.

9. A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

eodWorld After by Susan Ee.

I feel like I am the only person who never read the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. I just finished the first and second books, and they were soo good, especially the first one. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

illumThis got to be Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

This book received so much hype and nearly everyone who read it was obsessed with how good it was. I haven’t read sci-fi in a while so it’s going to be refreshing to go back to that genre.
It also has a unique format with maps, illustration, and reports, which is why I avoid buying the e-book version.

11. How many books are currently on your Goodreads TBR list?

Only 17. :p
I mainly use Goodreads to track my read list, and not my TBR so I rarely update it.

Spread The Love

I tag:
Grace @ Quirky and Peculiar
Trisha @ The Bookgasm
Emma @ Emma The Book Lover

P.S. It’s okay if you don’t want to do it. It’s no big deal. 😀
If you have done this tag before, send me the link so I can check it out.


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Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Book Title: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli
Pages: 303
Published: 2015

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is funny, enjoyable, and heart-warming.

Official Summary

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review

Every once in a while, there comes a book that will change the way you think, blow your mind, and make you see the world from different perspective. But some times, all you need is a book that makes you smile and believe that there’s hope in this world, and that love matters. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the latter. It was told from first person perpective of a junior named Simon Spier. Simon is smart, has a cool family and friends that love him. However, he’s been keeping a secret, he is gay and is tangled in online relationship with a guy he called Blue. One day, he forgot to log out from his email in school’s library and his private conversation with Blue was read and screencapped by his school friend (Pay attention kids! Always log out from public computer). Blackmail ensued, friendships were tested, love was found, and between it all, he still has to attend school, rehearse for school drama, Oliver!, and deal with his parents—who always make a big deal out of everything he does.

The parts that I love

Simon Spier. By now, I have accepted the fact that I prefer sarcastic nerdy guys to bad boys. There are times when I don’t agree with what Simon did, but overall he’s a very likable narrator. (Also, he loves Harry Potter and ships Harry/Draco!) I feel for him when things don’t turn out the way he expected, and I root for him throughout the book.

His friends. I really really like the girls, both Leah and Abby. I understand why there’s a rivalry between them, but just like Simon, I refuse to choose between them. My precious angels. *group hugs* I like pretty much all of his friends, even Taylor Metternich.

His sisters. Both of Simon’s sisters, Alice and Nora, are really cool. I would want them as my own sisters if only I don’t already have two (very cool, very nice sisters—just in case they read this blog). I like how close Simon is to his family, which is refreshing because it’s a kind of thing I rarely found in contemporary young-adults these days.

Ms. Albright. I would bring her a big bouquet of flowers.

The parts that I don’t like

Blue. I don’t hate Blue. He’s just… not interesting for me. Also, I found out who he is before Simon does, and I think you would to. The clues were just there.

However, I like the person who turned out to be Blue. I know, man, it’s weird. I just don’t like the version of him that wrote the emails, but I like the person described by Simon. I guess it’s because I like Simon, so once Blue was introduced throughout Simon’s eyes, I like him, but when it was just his emails, I do not really care about him.

Verdict

I binge-read this book in like 6 hours when I was supposed to be reading two other books in my TBR. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is addictive, funny, and sweet. We certainly need more diverse books, both character-wise and theme-wise. As it turned out, it’s refreshing to see a book about a gay teenager surrounded by friends and family and teacher who support him. Simon was still a victim of bullies, which shows you that even with strong support system, something could (and would) still go wrong. Overall, it IS a great book, the one you would want your children to read to let them know that it could be okay.

Final Score

4st
4 stars (out of 5 stars)

News Round-up #3

book news round-up

Hello everyone!
Welcome to yet another news round-up post. Today I’m bringing you some news from Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses and Goodreads Choice Awards

A Court of Thorns and Roses

It’s time for another big news for Sarah J Maas fans. After announcing that Throne of Glass has been optioned for TV back in September, Sarah broke the news that ACOTAR has been optioned for film!


You can read the news here.

How do you feel about A Court of Thorns and Roses being adapted to the big screen? Are you excited or worried or both?
I haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I will. Hopefully soon.

Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 has reached the semifinal round. I highly encourage you to go to the awards page and vote for your favorite(s). Voting for semifinal round will end on November 15.


That’s it for today. See you soon!