Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Want to Do After Reading About Them in Books

Hey guys,
I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday post, a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them.

As much as I love reading fantasy books, I never did wish to undertake a saving the world mission nor do I ever want to take part in a heist (sorry Kaz!) There are, however, books that make me want to do or be able to do something such as:

  • Learn ballet.
    This happened when I was 10 or 11 and all I read was Japanese manga. There’s a very popular manga series called Mari-chan (by Kimiko Uehara) at that time and I believe I was not the only one who dreamed to become a ballerina.
  • Learn more about computer and the interwebs.
    I actually did this. Ha! The book in question was a 2001’s Jeffrey Deaver book called The Blue Nowhere, and it’s about a former hacker who was freed by the authorities to aid their investigation to stop a hacker who’s been killing people. Again, I have no intention to lead such a dangerous life, but the whole thing sounds really fun.
  • Read about mythology.
    Thank you Rick Riordan.
  • Researching global warming.
    As strange as it was, my interest on global warming peaked after I read one book that was claimed as anti-global warming, State of Fear by Michael Crichton.
  • Travel and see the world.
    Just about every book ever made me want to go and see the world, including the fictional ones.
  • Learning about history and culture.
    Related to the point above, I want to learn more about history after reading historical fictions. One that I got quite into was learning 19th century New York culture after reading Libba Bray’s The Diviners series.
  • Play StarCraft (or just be a rithmatist in real life).
    Out of all Brandon Sanderson’s magic systems, the one I found most enjoyable is the chalk-based real-time strategy battle in The Rithmatist. It was so fun and I wish it was a real thing so I could play it in real life.

That’s all I got for now! Feel free to tell me how strange I am in the comment below. (-:


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Top Ten Tuesday: MG/YA Books Set Outside US

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, we get a topic to have fun with and this week’s topic is Ten Books Set Outside The US!

For my list, I include standalone as well as series. Here we go!

  1. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas | GOODREADS
    setting
    : Aruba
    Dangerous Girl is a rare YA psychological thriller that shows the dark side of being trapped outside your native country. Emphasis was made on the difference in legal system between the MC’s origin country and Aruba.
    My review here.

    “Any one of us could be made to look a monster, with selective readings of our history.”

  2. Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson | GOODREADS
    setting
    : England
    Shades of London, a paranormal urban fantasy from prolific author Maureen Johnson, follows an American teenager named Rory in her journey to London. She somehow became entangled in the murder cases mimicking Jack the Ripper.

    “Fear can’t hurt you,” she said. “When it washes over you, give it no power. It’s a snake with no venom. Remember that. That knowledge can save you.”

  3. The Demon’s Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan | GOODREADS
    setting
    : England
    I gushed and gushed about my love for this book and its characters, and I’m about to do it again. The Demon’s Lexicon series follow a group of teenagers in their quest against evil magicians led by Black Arthur. It has demons, diverse cast, and a very peculiar sense of humor which I LOVED.

    “He only shot one person,” Nick remarked. “But the night is young.”
    “Forgive him, he has no manners.”
    “I get by on good looks,” Nick said.

  4. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare | GOODREADS
    setting: England
    The Infernal Devices is a very popular series by Cassandra Clare. It’s about the Shadowhunters, people gifted the power by the angels to fight demons. While The Mortal Instruments – Clare’s other popular series – primarily set in modern New York, TID took place in 19th century London.

    “Must you go? I was rather hoping you’d stay and be a ministering angel, but if you must go, you must.”
    “I’ll stay,” Will said a bit crossly, and threw himself down in the armchair Tessa had just vacated. “I can minister angelically.”

  5. The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (prequel to Bartimaeus trilogy) | GOODREADS
    setting
    : alternate Jerusalem
    The Ring of Solomon was published after the trilogy, but it was set prior to the events in The Amulet of Samarkand. As a matter of fact, it was set way before The Amulet of Samarkand, in 950 BCE. It also has different location with the original trilogy, at alternate Jerusalem instead of England. Readers familiar with Bartimaeus will soon feel at home with the djinni’s copious amount of sarcastic footnotes and narcissistic remarks, otherwise it might feel overwhelming.

    “The Evasive Cartwheel ™ © etc., Bartimaeus of Uruk, circa. 2800 B.C.E. Often imitated, never surpassed. As famously memorialized in the New Kingdom tomb paintings of Ramses III— you can just see me in the background of The Dedication of the Royal Family before Ra, wheeling out of sight behind the pharaoh.”

  6. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey | GOODREADS
    setting
    : New Zealand
    I’ve talked about this book in some of my recommendation posts, particularly my Diverse Books Recommendation as part of FBCYA. Guardian of the Dead is a particular favorite of mine because the setting plays a big role in the book. Healey took her time researching Māori culture and mythology and the story itself was heavily influenced by the local culture.

    “There wasn’t any food or heat, but we had light, and places to sit, and a complete lack of frightening murderers, and that turned out to be enough for now.”

  7. Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld (alternate World War I) | GOODREADS
    setting
    : alternate Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman Empire, England, Switzerland, and some others
    Leviathan is a YA steampunk series written by Scott Westerfeld and it was set in many places in the world since it was basically an alternate World War I story. It has two great protagonists, Deryn – a British girl disguise as a boy so she could become an airman – and Alek, the heir of Austro-Hungarian throne, and a great setting. I believe it was the first YA I read that was partially set in Ottoman Empire.

    “Barking hard work, being a boy.”

  8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | GOODREADS
    setting
    : Paris
    This very popular book would probably end up in many Top Ten Tuesday list, and for a good reason too. Say what you want about the romance, but the setting will totally pull you in. I mean, a boarding school in Paris?! Who wouldn’t?

    “Soap?”
    “School of America in Paris” he explains. “SOAP”.
    Nice. My father sent me here to be cleansed.”

  9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | GOODREADS
    setting
    : Prague and Morocco
    I never did finish this series, but I really liked the first book. Karou is an art student in Prague, at least that’s what her friends think, but she hides a big secret that end up making her caught up in the middle of a war that was out of this world.

    “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

    It did not end well.”

  10. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong | GOODREADS
    setting: Canada
    Another series I didn’t get to finish. To be honest, I feel rather conflicted about this one. I liked the setting and the premise, but the execution left something to be desired.

    “Rafe didn’t just flirt-he charmed girls right up to the point where they fell for him, then he changed his mind. I called him a player with attention deficit disorder.”

That’s all for now. Have you read any of these books? What do you think about them?


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Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Book Review: The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner)
book cover Book title The Serpent King
Series/standalone stand-alone
Author Jeff Zentner
Pages 384
Year published 2016
Category | Genre Young Adult | Contemporary
Rating 4 star

Official Summary

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

I read this book in May. MAY! That is how long it take for me to write this review. In retrospect, I’m glad I took my time off from the book before writing this review because when I finished it I was quite taken emotionally and cannot see some things I’ve now noticed.

Characters

Zentner has a knack of writing characters. We have three narrators in The Serpent King, Dillard (Dill), Lydia, and Travis. Out of the three, I especially connected with Travis, who loved fantasy books and liked to spend his time talking about fictional characters in online forum. However, I also saw myself in Lydia, she’s confident, selfish at times, but she’s also a dreamer. She believes one can do anything if they would just put an effort to it. Dill is arguably the main character of the three, and I couldn’t quite figure him out. I appreciate his voice and I think he added many values to the story, I just didn’t quite connect with him. Having said that, these three together formed a formidable friendship a person would envy to have during their high school days, and to some readers it might bring the nostalgic feeling of “us against the world.” They each told their story albeit in different portions, Dillard got the biggest, Lydia second, and Travis was the smallest, but each rang true and never once you’ll become confused which one was narrating the story. The secondary characters are also as strong as the primary ones. The parents especially play crucial role in the book, which was refreshing because in many YA books they seemed to be in the background or nonexistent.

Plot and narrative

There are many things happened in the 384 pages I read, but they all focused on one thing, finding yourself. There are a lot of talk about religion in this book, but I never felt it was stiring the focus away from the main story. The themes of abuse and bullying also got major focus in the book and I applaud Zentner’s effort. He didn’t sugarcoat it to make it seems better than it was.

The writing was excellent to the point that makes you reading it even when you know you shouldn’t (heads up: do not read The Serpent King in public places or at work). I sympathized with their stories and felt all those feels, anger, sadness, happiness, but there was this one little thing that nagged at me. The eureka moments – for lack of better words. In the book, we encounter many of these things. The character sat down to think when he/she was facing some huge problem then they suddenly have this solution that will make everything okayPerhaps, I’m too jaded or whatever, but these moments of sudden bliss and “everything is alright in the world” made the book felt a bit like fairy tale. I’m not saying that dreams don’t come true, but there were times when I think this cannot be real, this is too easy. I don’t know about this, but when was the last time you’re able to fix a 5-years worth of mess just by having an idea. I am not saying they’re living the dreams either. I know these kids, especially Dill and Travis, were having so much trouble back home. You felt for them, but you don’t make it all go away by having one idea.

Verdict

The Serpent King is a worthy coming-of-age story interwoven with many stuff that teenagers are facing, dealing with child abuse and living with people who have different perspective with you. The bond of friendship between the three main characters is also a major selling point of The Serpent King as does the genuine voice of teenager that emerged from each of the MC.

Final Score

4 star

4 stars (out of 5 stars)


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Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault

Book Review: GAMBIT (C.L. Denault)
book cover Book title Gambit
Series/standalone The Prodigy Chronicles #1
Author C.L. Denault
Pages 556
Year published 2015
Category | Genre Young Adult | Fantasy, Dystopian
Rating 4 star

Official Summary

In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.

Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

Disclaimer: I received an e-galley from the publisher.

Review

From the premise, Gambit, the debut novel from C.L. Denault, seems to be simple enough. A girl discovered her secret identity and was forced to leave her family and live another life in a place alien for her. That sounds like… every dystopian-light novel out there.

However, judging Gambit from that simple premise will most likely mislead you. It’s a complicated book, exploring things that made me feel conflicted. Let’s get to it.

Characters

At the front and center, we have Willow Kent, a sixteen year old girl who’s hiding a big secret. It was not long before her secret was discovered and she was forced to leave her hometown and everyone she’s familiar with. Willow is a strong character, flawed and stubborn, and there’ll be times you might want to strangle her, but she’s too sympathetic and brave to dislike. Despite her flaws and asides from how you feel about her, one simply cannot deny that she has very strong personality and growth. She started out at a tavern girl who thinks she has it all under control, then she found out that her life was not her own. The entire arc of Gambit focused on it.

There are other characters: the best friend who got left behind, the little sister and two little brothers, the alpha love interest, the parents, etc, but they all don’t seem matter much because this is Willow’s story. I do, however, have to say something about the love interest. I do not approve of him and his actions, but I do understand why Willow fell for him despite everything. He is more complex that he seemed to be when we first met him, but in this matter, my opinion still stands, an apology and a gift don’t make it all go away. I hope Denault did something drastic with him on the second book because the romance might become disturbing otherwise.

Plot and world-building

Did I say this was a debut? Yes, I did. Gambit was surprisingly well-written for a debut. Usually, you can spot a debut author by their willingness to use certain tropes and stay in safe zone by following the check-list. Not Denault. What she did with the plot was beyond the simple “girl with superpower left her hometown and save the world” because she is a special snowflake. Okay, she is kind of a special snowflake :P, but there were many people far more experienced than her to match her strength. Everyone also has their agenda, and the way Denault told her story kept you guessing everybody’s motives and secrets. Because of this, at the end of the book, I’m still not sure where everyone stands. The book used the chess analogy to explain Willow’s position and I think it’s a fitting one.

As for the pace, this one is a very well-paced book, making it an unputdownable read for me. Something is always happening even from the first chapter, so if you’re the type of person who got bored with lengthy description of the world, don’t worry, what world-building you get with Gambit was only the necessary one.

Speaking of world-building, I haven’t talked about one of the more interesting aspect of the book, the dystopian society. What you get with Gambit was a society divided by genetic code. The prodigies are people with mutations in their genetic code that cause them to have some skills. These prodigies live a wealthy life in the Core, with genetic engineering colored their entire life while the normals live in the villages barely scraped by. Gambit is not the first book I read that uses genetics as its core theme. However, it’s the one that felt truly dystopian in the sense that you could totally see the difference in societies. And the normals are not the only ones who got affected by the social politics. Here Denault presented hierarchy and a set of rules even in the prodigies society. Just because you’re a heir of a wealthy family, it doesn’t mean you get to do everything you wanted.

Verdict

Gambit is an exciting read from start to finish. There are things I don’t agree with, but at the end of the day, you might disagree with the protagonists, but you will understand her, what is her motive, and why she did what she did. And I think that’s a great thing to have.

Final Score

4 star

4 stars (out of 5 stars)


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed that Need to be Read by More People

Hey everyone, I’m back for another Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where they give you a topic each week and you make a list for said topic. This week topic is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads. 

I really haven’t read that many lesser known books so I won’t even make it to 10, but here they are.

  1. Gambit (C.L. Denault). This dystopian x-men-ish book is awesome. I’ve recently finished it and already written a review that’ll be up sometime this week. [GOODREADS]
  2. Front Lines (Michael Grant). This being Michael Grant, I was surprised to find it only has 1400+ ratings on goodreads. Front Lines is a World War 2 book led by 3 amazing narrators that asked the question “what if they let females to serve during WW2?” It’s an interesting, gory read supported by great character development. [GOODREADS]
  3. Fall from Grace (Richard North Patterson). A great thriller from an author famous for writing legal and political novels. [GOODREADS]
  4. A Conflict of Interest (Adam Mitzner). You could totally see I’m a fan of legal thriller… A Conflict of Interest is a lesser known legal thriller, but it’s definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of crime thrillers. [GOODREADS]
  5. Resurrection Bay (Neal Shusterman). Very short read, only about 30 pages on ebook. It gave me chills though. [GOODREADS]
  6. Stupid Perfect World (Scott Westerfeld). A sci-fi novella from Westerfeld sets in futuristic world free of disease and hunger. What happened when a group of teens taking a class in Scarcity were forced to experience ‘hardship’ (aka our life)? Probably not my favorite of his, but I really liked the concept. [GOODREADS]
  7. Blaze of Glory (Michael Pryor). Read this ages ago, didn’t quite remember what happened, but it was a fun adventure involving magic. I think. [GOODREADS]

Believe it or not, that’s all I got. I totally need to read more diverse books and indies. So please leave me your recommendation below.


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July Most Anticipated New Releases

New month = new books to be added to your TBR. That means it’s time for me to recap which books are going on the shelves this month.

Release Date: July 5 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab | GOODREADS PAGE

book cover

Stand-alone or series: the first book in Monsters of Verity series

Category | Genre: Young Adult | Urban Fantasy, Dystopian

This Savage Song had actually released in UK and some parts of the world, including where I live, in June. However, the US release will fall on July 5, 2016. I’ve already reviewed this book and pointed out things I liked and some things that didn’t work for me. Nevertheless, I think Schwab is once again off to a good start.

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy | GOODREADS PAGE

book cover

Stand-alone or series: stand-alone

Category | Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary, Science Fiction, Romance

A genius awkward teen trying to save the world from being destroyed by asteroid while still trying to figure out how to fit in. Sign me up!
I also want to give props to Reg @ She Latitude because I found out about this book from her. If it’s good, she’ll be the first one to know. If I don’t like it, well… 😛

Release Date: July 19 2016

A World Without You by Beth Revis | GOODREADS PAGE

book cover

Stand-alone or series: stand-alone

Category | Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary, Mental Health

This book offers an interesting premise of a 17-year old who claimed to have witness Titanic hitting the iceberg. When shipped to a new school, he connected with a girl with tragic past named Sofia.

Release Date: July 31 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany | GOODREADS PAGE

book cover

Stand-alone or series: stand-alone(-ish)

Category | Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy, Play

For those of us who cannot get enough of Harry Potter, here comes the script of the Cursed Child play. Some of us have been accidentally spoiled, while others have deliberately looked for spoilers from the Internet (I cannot help myself :P), but most of us also agree that we await this book with anxious excitement.


Not that many books in my list this month, but perhaps I’ve missed a couple of your most anticipated books. So let me know which books are your most anticipated July releases!


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Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases

Hello everyone, here comes another Top Ten Tuesday post from me. Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where they give you a topic each week and you make a list for said topic. This week’s topic is Top 10 Favorite 2016 Releases. However, I had to make slight modification to the original theme because I haven’t read that many 2016 releases. So, I decided to list 5 books that I have read and enjoyed plus 5 books that’s already out and I want to read soon. Only I exceeded my quota for 2016 releases I’ve read and listed six of them instead.

2016 releases that I have read and enjoyed

A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)
Love love LOVE A Gathering of Shadows. If you enjoy fantasy but haven’t read the Shades of Magic series, do yourself a favor and pick up A Darker Shade of Magic, then this book. THIS BOOK! Great bromance (and romance) + coats + parallel universes + magic competition. What else could you want?

Kindred Spirits (Rainbow Rowell)
A short and sweet read from Rainbow Rowell to celebrate World Book Day. It celebrates fandom, diversity, and Star Wars.

The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)
The book that proved that Rick Riordan still has it 10 Greek Mythology books later (not counting the companion books). Apollo is the bright spot of this book, and yes I know that’s a terrible pun seeing that he’s the sun god and all.

Front Lines (Michael Grant)
Sometimes when I mentioned a book in a TTT post, I realized that I haven’t reviewed said book properly. *shifty eyes*
What happened if they let females enlist during WW2? Front Lines went back in history to explore this question and didn’t flinch from the gore, discrimination, racism, and violence that happened throughout. It was told in multi-POV, yet each character has a very strong voice it’s impossible to mix them up.

The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner)
I cried and laughed during inappropriate times. And read while standing in the bus jostled by the evening crowd. To say I cannot put the book (aka my phone) down is an understatement.

This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab)
Sunai sunai, eyes like coal, sing you a song and steal your soul.

2016 releases that already came out and I plan to read soon

Outrun the Moon (Stacey Lee) – I’ve heard it’s good. I believe it’s good. Whether I will like it or not, now that’s a different thing.

The Rose & the Dagger (Renee Ahdieh) – I hope I love it more than I did The Wrath and the Dawn, which I liked but was not obsessed with.

Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare) – I kept picking up this book and putting it back on the shelf. It’s too big and heavy (literally) for bedtime read is the only reason I could give you. I will conquer you, book!

Calamity (Brandon Sanderson) – The 2 and 3 stars reviews are quite alarming. Add that to the fact that I didn’t even enjoy Steelheart that much = worried me. BUT, I will read it for the sake of my 2016 Read ALL Brandon Sanderson published works goal. Who knows, it might surprise me.

City of Mirrors (Justin Cronin) – following this series has been a long journey, and quite honestly I’ve forgotten 99% what happened in the first and second book. There’s Amy, there’s Peter, there’s Alicia, and … that’s all I remember. 😛


That’s all for today! Have you read any of the books I listed above? What’s your ultimate favorite out of all the 2016 releases?


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Review: This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab)

Book Review: This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab)
book cover Book title This Savage Song
Series/standalone Monsters of Verity #1
Author Victoria Schwab
Pages 464
Year published 2016
Category | Genre Young Adult | Urban Fantasy, Dystopian
Rating 3.5 star

Official Summary

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Review

Hot on the heels of her adult fantasy book, A Gathering of Shadows, Victoria Schwab (V.E. Schwab) went back to YA with This Savage Song.

Schwab herself mentioned that this book is on the higher spectrum of YA (closer to adult than MG) and one could clearly see why from the summary.

Let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t work for me.

Things that worked for me:

  • The world-building. This Savage Song is technically an urban fantasy, although there was some changes to our modern world. It’s sort of dystopian in a sense that this book was set after terrible thing that caused real monsters to be born to this world. (ETA: I kept my original wording here, but Schwab mentioned on twitter that TSS is not a dystopia novel, it’s a book sets in an alternate world). Schwab painted you a picture of a city splits in two, the South is the part of the city led by Henry Flynn and the North is Callum Harker’s. Where in South, people are aware that they’re in danger from monsters, the North people live under the protection of Harker and they’re kept under the illusion that the city is safe. The three type of monsters, Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai are described as human-eating monster, but it was the song that creeps me the most.

    Malchai, Malchai
    sharp and sly
    smile and bite and drink you dry

    Corsai, Corsai
    tooth and claw
    shadow and bone will eat you raw.

    Sunai, Sunai
    eyes like coal
    sing a song and steal your soul.

     

  • The writing. This Savage Song opened with this sentence:

    “The Night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapter, she wasn’t angry or drunk. She was desperate.”

    This was how you begin a book, people!
    It gripped me immediately and didn’t let go until I finish. Although I feel the first half of the book is stronger than the second half, but the pace works well to keep me in the story. There was some sort of infodump that happened in the first one-third of the book, but Schwab flawlessly incorporated it into the story that I didn’t notice I was being infodumped until later.

Thing that didn’t work for me

  • The morally black and white characters. I’m not saying that the characters are not complex. Kate, for once, wanted so bad to please her father she lost herself trying to be worthy successor. Everyone else, however, felt either they’re good or bad, and it has nothing with what species (?) they are. August, for example, was a monster but you could totally say he’s the good guy (monster). I guess all I’m saying is that I came to this book expecting morally ambiguous characters and I just didn’t get that. But I suppose that was on me and my expectation.
  • Frankly speaking, it just didn’t elicit emotional response from me. Again, this probably showed that the problem was more on my expectation than the book itself. However, this is a book about human who wants to be monster and monster who wants to be human so I expected that it’ll break my heart in some way. And believe me, it’s totally possible to break my heart. Also, let’s talk about the inspiration behind the book. Schwab wrote this book to show that violence has consequences. In This Savage Song, that consequences come in the real form of monsters, but I think the whole thing was not given fair amount of time nor description.
    Another problem for me is that I don’t feel anything or anyone I care about is at real stake so I didn’t worry about them.

Verdict

This Savage Song has an interesting premise and is a good start to the Monsters of Verity duology. I expect that the second book will only get better, especially if we get more character development and the stakes are higher.

Final score

3.5 star
3.5 stars (out of 5 stars)


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Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

Hello everyone, here’s my contribution to this week Top 10 Tuesday topic, Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. So many great books came out in the first half of the year, but it’s finally June. JUNE! I honestly cannot believe it’s June, where has the time gone?! Either way, it’s time to do a preview of what comes next.

Three Dark Crowns (Kendare Blake)

book cover

Release date: September 20th 2016 | GOODREADS

Three queens competing for a crown, but it’s not a magic competition like one might imagine with throwing fireballs and exploding things. It’s a game of cunning and killing because the one who gets the crown is the one who stays alive when the other two died.

I recently read an excerpt of this book, and it was soo good! I was already into it by the second page.

 

Empire of Storms (Sarah J Maas)

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Release date: September 6th 2016 | GOODREADS

The fifth Throne of Glass book comes out this September! And it’s 704 pages long if the info is true (I suspect it is).

Why does she talk about number of pages you said? Because anything else and I’ll be spoiling the people who haven’t read the series.

As for the fans of the series, nothing I say would stop you from devouring this book the day it comes out so… 😀

 

Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)

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Release date: September 27th 2016 | GOODREADS

Thankfully the cover has been revealed so I don’t have to use that placeholder image. Hahaha.

Anyway, look at that beauty! And think about how Leigh left us hanging at the end of Six of Crows. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hand on Crooked Kingdom. It’ll be the last book of the duology so I’m fully expecting an explosive (literally) finale.

 

Gemina (Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff)

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Release date: October 18th 2016 | GOODREADS

The second book of The Illuminae Files will center around two new characters, Nik and Hanna, although Kristoff promised there will be some familiar characters in this book too. The book will mainly set in jump station Heimdall instead of Hypatia and Alexander, but it’ll chronologically follow Illuminae.
I know that this new main characters for every book concept is not new. Kaufman herself did similar thing in her series with Spooner, Starbound. But how do you feel about getting two new leads for Gemina?

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany)

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Release date: July 31st 2016 | GOODREADS

I mean OF COURSE!

I am scared + worried + excited + anxious for this book. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing! And everything!

 

The Tresspasser (Tana French)

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Release date: August 11th 2016 | GOODREADS

I’m slowly plowing through the Dublin Murder Squad series and so far I’m really enjoying them. French’s books have more psychological elements than your average detective story. On top of that, her prose is just beautiful. I rarely care about beauty of the prose as long as they work, but her writing is so great I found myself re-reading some parts over and over again.

 

The Hawkweed Prophecy (Irena Brignull)

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Release date: September 6th 2016 | GOODREADS

The Hawkweed Prophecy is a debut novel from screenwriter Irena Brignull (The Little Prince) about two girls who were switched at birth. One is a witch and another a regular mortal. What happened when destiny brought them together? Stay tuned!

 

Arcanum Unbounded (Brandon Sanderson)

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Release date: November 8th 2016 | GOODREADS

I love bundles! They usually offer great value to your money. This upcoming short stories-novella collection is the reason why I’ve been holding back on buying every cosmere short stories available. Arcanum Unbounded supposedly contain 8 stories, 7 old ones (including the Emperor’s Soul which was my favorite novella ever) and 1 new story. The new story will center around Lift, one of the character who has interlude in Words of Radiance, and according to 17th Shard it’ll be around 40.000 words! It’s not quite the Stormlight 3 I wanted, but it’ll do… for now.

 

The Female of the Species (Mindy McGinnis)

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Release date: September 20th 2016 | GOODREADS

Alex Craft turned to violence and vengeance after her sister’s murderer walked free. Along the way, her path crossed with two other teens, Jack and Peekay, who all have troubled past.

This book seems to be at darker spectrum of YA and I am intrigued on how it’ll turn out.

 

The Thousandth Floor (Katharine McGee)

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Release date: August 30th 2016 | GOODREADS

 

This book has been compared to Gossip Girl. Although I never read the series, I used to binge-watch the tv show so yes please give me this book.

 

That’s all for today!
Let me know what are your most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love E-Books

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post, a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is 10 Reasons Why You Love X, be it a book, author, hobby, etc. My first instinct was to not be predictable and write something no one knows I love. I outlined that post, but then changed my mind. My second thought was to be totally predictable and… you know.. write a 10 reasons why I’m a Brandon Sanderson fan post. And I did try, only it turn out to be an essay and I need time to edit and proofread that post(s? plural??)

So I decided to dig into my old drafts and found this post.

I love prints, and frankly there’s nothing in the world that smells better than new book (except maybe freshly brewed coffee). I also love the feeling of holding a physical copy of a book. Not to mention, they look much better on real shelves than on virtual shelves.
However, I do have reasons why I have been purchasing mostly e-books since google play store made them available in my country.
Here are 10 reasons why.

1. You can read it anywhere, everywhere.
Portability is the number one reason where e-book has benefit over print. Not only you can read it anywhere, you can usually also read it in multiple gadgets or computers depend on where you are without the need of carrying the actual book.

2. It took less storage space.
E-books are, of course, stored in your device, or if you buy it through online store, in the cloud, on your virtual account. “I need more bookshelves!” have been one of the biggest issues for any book lovers (the other would be: “I need more books!”), so it’s nice that e-books solve this storage problem.

3. Easier to find, harder to lose.
I have a problem remembering where I put my old books. I misplaced them all the time. Now, with e-books, I have all of them stored in my account and google/amazon/whatever is much better at keeping things organized than me.

4. Flood-resistant (your gadget, however, is not) and mites-resistant
As someone who live in tropical country, there are only two seasons in my country, dry season and rainy season (read: flood season). As such, my house, and in consequence, my books have been flood victims multiple times. It’s heartbreaking having to throw away your books because it’s been soaked through by flood (I tried to save them, trust me). Virtual books, of course, are flood-resistant because they reside in the cloud. There’s also this little problem of mites getting into your old books which e-books are resistant against.

5. It’s (usually) cheaper
I think this one depends on the relative price you’re willing to pay to get a physical copy vs digital copy. Some people, including my sister, feels that it’s worth getting a physical copy for a couple of dollars more than e-books because you could actually hold the thing. Many people still feel that something, anything—not just books, is worth more in its physical form. Digital form was still often seen as something less valuable.
But I digress. E-book is usually cheaper than the physical copy, and some times the difference is obscene. For people with limited budget, it is nice to have the option of getting to read the same book with less expense. I’ve compiled some money-saving tips for your ebooks shopping spree in another post so I’m not going into details here.

6. You can adjust the fonts, the contrast
The ability to adjust the display is highly underrated. As a person with astigmatism, my eyes often get strained from reading. Adjustment came in handy here. Most e-books programs give you the option to adjust the font face, size, and background color. Some even let you change the margin and the spacing.

7. Highlight and take notes (annotate)
If you like to annotate your book, most e-books program let you highlight your books and some even let you write notes in your books. I never marked my physical copy (except textbook) because of its irreversibility (obviously, there’s nothing wrong with it if you prefer to do so). Now though, I could highlight my favorite passages and quotes and the e-books program will compile them so I could get back to them easily.

8. Bookmarks! Multiple bookmarks! Bookmarks everywhere!
Now, this is my favorite feature about e-books program. Question: how many bookmarks can you put in your paperback before it dents?
With e-books, you could put bookmark as much as you want (I have no idea if there’s a limit, I never found one and I’m a crazy bookmarker). Very handy.

9. It’s searchable (find passage, character, etc)
Ever read a book halfway through and think, “wait, I’ve read about this character before,” and try to flip back to find it in earlier chapters without success? I did. So many times. Fortunately, most e-books program these days have a search feature that let you search anything and backtrack conspicuous character name or irrelevant fact just because it amuses you.

10. Quicker way to get new releases
Especially for people who don’t live in big city and those who live far from major bookstores, e-book is an efficient way to get new releases. Of course, there are amazon and bookdepository (which I LOVE for its free worldwide shipping) but it usually takes bookdepository over 3 weeks to deliver my books and some times I just don’t want to wait.

There you have it, the top 10 reasons why I mostly buy e-books these days.

Personally, I love prints too, but I think e-books have their benefits. What do you think?
Print lovers and e-books fans, take your stand and voice your opinion down below!


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