Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring TBR

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This week, the topic of Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Books on My Spring (more like dry season) TBR. So that’s what I’m going to do. Well, technically I could’ve put 10 Brandon Sanderson books in this list and be done with it, but that’ll be too easy so I’ll do it the harder way and actually dig into my TBR pile.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Everything I heard about this book has been great (well, except that one hilarious 2-star review) and I’m quite intrigued on how 1001 nights retelling will turn out.

Front Lines by Michael Grant

I have an on-and-off relationship with Michael Grant. I was completely obsessed with his Gone series. BZRK was just okay. Then there was Messenger of Fear which was just passable, but still brought me bad memories. Front Lines, though, sounds like a solid World War II novel. Please be good, book.

Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

I said I wasn’t going to put 10 Sanderson books in this list, not that I wasn’t going to put any of his books. Two should be enough for now. I plan to read Alloy of Law this month and these two are the sequels. New Mistborn stories, should be interesting.

UnDivided (Neal Shusterman)

I promised myself to read this book last November, and the last five times before that, but I really don’t want to say goodbye to those kids.

Calamity (Brandon Sanderson)

Okay, maybe three

The Winner’s Curse (Marie Rutkoski)

I already owned the book and the review of the series has been largely positive so I’m looking forward to reading it.

Cress (Marissa Meyer)

I have read Cinder and Scarlet and I enjoyed them although the long interval between the books made me somehow felt slightly detached to the characters. Nevertheless, I’ve heard Cress is even better so I’m really excited!

Golden Son (Pierce Brown)

Giving this series another chance. It’s not like I hate Red Rising anyway.

The Likeness (Tana French)

I have just finished reading In The Woods, the first book in the Dublin Murder Squad series and boy wasn’t it great?! So I’m going to continue with the second one, which also seem to be the highest rated one. It’s about a detective that working on a case where the victim looks exactly like her (hence, the title).


There you have it, ten books in my spring TBR. Let me know if any of these books is also in yours or if you’ve read them.


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Top Ten Tueday: Characters that need a hug

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Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week Top Ten Tuesday is all about unpopular opinion, you can choose to list characters you like that everyone hates or vice versa. I chose to do a lighter version of the former and made a list of ten characters that need a hug. These are the characters that I think not getting enough love and/or had a really tough life.

Agatha Wellbelove (Carry On)

I know it’s hard to love Agatha, but she’s about as real as it can be. Girl got her priorities straight.

 

Nico DiAngelo (Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus)

He was left alone to fend for himself in hell when he was 11, and no one likes to sit with Nico because he’s gloomy and make everyone uncomfortable. Seriously, I wanted to adopt him as my stepbrother.

 

Sansa Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire)

For goodness sake, GRRM, leave Sansa alone.
“There are no heroes … In life, the monsters win.”

 

Renarin Kholin (The Stormlight Archive)

He just wanted to help and be useful, it’s not his fault his older brother is so perfect. Despite everything, Renarin still find it within himself to be optimistic.

 

Dorian Havilliard (Throne of Glass)

Post-the-first-book, he just can’t catch a break.

 

Wylan Van Eck (Six of Crows)

I don’t think anybody hates Wylan, but then again he’s like the kid in class who was always forgotten. Perhaps because he didn’t get a POV in SOC?

 

Holland (A Darker Shade of Magic)

Kell didn’t know how lucky he was to be the Red London antari.

 

Raphael Santiago (The Mortal Instruments, The Bane Chronicles)

After reading his origin story in The Bane Chronicles, I want to send dozens of virtual hugs to Raphael. Not sure if he’d appreciate it though.

 

Jessamine Lovelace (The Infernal Devices)

She was selfish, she was arrogant, and she made everyone hates her. But then again, if you were forced to live a life you didn’t want to, would you not grown to despise everything?

 

Remus Lupin (Harry Potter)

When most pick Sirius or James as their favorite Marauder, I go with Remus.

 


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Fantasy books exploring siblings/friends relationship

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Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is all about books recommendation. It’s called Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For X. If you want to join in, just go to their blog and find out how to participate.

For this week’s topic, I’m going with my favorite genre, fantasy. Romantic relationship seems to be an important part of the formula to write a successful fantasy series/standalones. I actually enjoy well-written romance in fantasy and has been shipping for (usually) doomed couple since forever. However, there are other relationships that are no less important but not usually been the main focus of the books, namely family and friends. Here, I like to mention ten books I especially love for giving strong focus in relationship between siblings or friends, but it doesn’t mean that these books do not have any romantic relationship at all. 
I am very aware that these books are only a small portion on what’s available out there so I’d really appreciate if you have any recommendation for this kind of book.

In no particular order, here they are.

Truthwitch (Susan Dennard)

What are the odds of me recommending a book I haven’t finished? Apparently quite high, but I cannot help myself. Safi and Iseult are so close, they are practically sisters. From what I read, there is also an abundance of (sometimes tense) romance, but I hope it wouldn’t stop you-or me-from reading the book.

 

Uprooted (Naomi Novik)

I reviewed Uprooted back in January and gave it 4.5 stars. From the synopsis alone, you could see that there’s a strong focus on Agnieszka and Kasia relationship. What I really love about Uprooted is that it also shows the ugly side of being someone’s best friend. There are times when you’re angry or jealous with your bestie, and it’s totally okay to feel that way.

 

The Demon’s Lexicon (Sarah Rees Brennan)

I raved about this book many many times. Here’s a summary of The Demon’s Lexicon:

Alan: I  am a kind-hearted, parent-approved guy who loves books and children *whispers: but I will tear down the world for my brother Nick*
Mae: My brother, Jamie, is hurt. You’re going to save him or else… *brings out knife*
Nick: KILL everybody. SAVE Alan.
Jamie: Can everyone just chill?

 

The Infernal Devices series (Cassandra Clare)

This has to make the list for Jem and Will alone. However, theirs are not the only BFFs/sibling relationships explored in the book. There was also one between Tessa and her brother, Will and his sister, and many more. Not all of them explored the good side of said relationships though.

 

A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)

I’ve recently finished the book and after 5 minutes staring at the acknowledgements page (WHAT? GIVE ME MORE PAGES PLEASE), I’ve come to the conclusion that I enjoyed it even more than I liked A Darker Shade of Magic and part of it is the relationship between the characters, many of them are non-romantic relationships. Not going to mention anything because this is the second book in the Shade of Magic series. So, please read A Darker Shade of Magic so you could continue with this book.

 

Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)

The Dregs. That’s all.

 

The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)

This book is probably not for people who never read Brandon’s books before, even he said it himself. It took not a small amount of trust in his writing to get through the 1000+ page of TWoK. It is a multi-POV book, but mainly Kaladin’s story. The relationship I want to highlight is between Kaladin and his crew. It took a large portion of the book, but the dynamics between the characters was so great it never bored me.

 

Vicious (V.E. Schwab)

Two Schwab books made the list. What gives?
Simple. When Shade of Magic was all about friends and family relationship, Vicious takes on two ex-best friends turn arch-nemesis. The catch? Both of them are supervillains.

 

Bartimaeus trilogy (Jonathan Stroud)

I read this series a long long time so I’ve forgotten most of it. From what I still remember, it was told from the POV of Bartimaeus, a narcissistic, cynical, footnote-loving Djinni during his time serving his master, a boy named Nathaniel. Nathaniel is a horrible master, but I really liked reading the banters between the two. I don’t think there’s any major romantic relationship in this series, but I might be wrong because I haven’t read it in like seven years. Time to re-read maybe?

 

Harry Potter series (JK Rowling)

My list would not be complete without this amazing series. Harry Potter is all about friendships and family. There is of course the trio, Harry-Hermione-Ron, but also one of my favorite fictional family ever, the Weasleys.

And there you have it! Let me know if any of the books above is your particular favorite or if you plan to read them. Also, please leave me some recommendation. 🙂


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Ten books I recently enjoyed that weren’t my typical read

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. After taking a break last week (work was killing me), I’m back with this week’s topic: 10 books I recently read that weren’t my usual genre/type of books. If you’ve been reading my blogs for some time, you’d notice that I mostly read fantasy, usually YA but lately I read more and more adult fantasy. There were times though when I got swayed by recommendations and tried contemporary or classics. The results were varied, but I surprisingly enjoyed many of them.
So here they are in no particular order.

comfort

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton)

Only got to reading this because I joined the Blogger Bookclub in Goodreads. I haven’t posted a review, but gosh was it beautiful. I’m sure there are many people who love magical realism, but personally it’s not for me (my latest encounter led me to DNF’d Magonia about one-third through and haven’t tried any since), but this book! This book I could wholeheartedly recommend.

 

Charm & Strange (Stephanie Kuehn)

CW from Read, Think, Ponder recommended Stephanie Kuehn’s books when I asked her recommendations for good books about mental illness. I pick Charm & Strange because the title and the blurb intrigued me. I’ve recently posted a review of this book, but to sum it up Charm & Strange is compelling, heartbreaking, and yet it’s full of love and hope.

 

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

My first read of Jane Eyre was a complete failure that led me to DNF’d it at around 60% mark. It turned out all I need was the right circumstances and mood. I still had difficulty enjoying the prose, but I could appreciate the story and especially Jane herself.

 

Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)

I was skeptical about the format. After finding out that the story was told via illustrations and reports, I was scared that it’s going to be like encyclopedia. However, after reading so many positive reviews, my fellow book lovers enthusiasm finally got to me. I could now report that Illuminae deserves all the hype it gets.

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han)

I’ve seen and heard about this book for years, but not after I read Trisha @ The Bookgasm Blog gushed about Jenny Han in many of her posts, did I decide to read it. My verdict: it was the perfect book to be read whilst enjoying coffee on my days off.

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

One day I will have a new contemporary book to obsess about, but until that day I’ll push this book to everyone. I bought Simon vs. on a whim and finished it in two sittings. It was that good.

 

The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)

Yes, this one is an epic fantasy, but not the one I’m used to. Rothfuss wrote beautifully and beautiful is just not the style I usually enjoy. However, this book has proved me wrong. I do enjoy The Name of the Wind, albeit not as much as many people love it. Gave it 3.5 stars but mostly because I cannot quite connect with Kvothe.

 

Challenger Deep (Neal Shusterman)

I read this book only because Neal Shusterman is one of my must-read authors. Did I know what’s the book about? Very vaguely. I went into reading it blind. It came as a truly pleasant surprise how much I actually care about the characters.

 

American Gods (Neil Gaiman)

I’ve never read Neil Gaiman’s book before and I have to say that American Gods is a strange book… It also seemed to have lodge itself in my brain.

 

Landline (Rainbow Rowell)

Landline is another case of must-read because of the author. But the thing is I haven’t read adult romance books for years, and even then I mostly read Chic-Lit because they’re fun. I have to say that Landline is one of my favorite Rainbow Rowell’s books, second only to Carry on. Many times while reading this book, I found myself flipping back and re-read certain paragraph again and again. I also ugly cried while reading this, which was so weird. I might be the only person who cried while reading Landline but whatever. 🙂


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Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Ways to Make Someone Loves You

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Welcome to another episode of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is Valentine’s Day freebie which means you could pick any topic related to crush/love/Valentine’s Day.

Since most of the books I read are fantasy, I decided to make a list that incorporates magic. Hence, Eight Fictional Ways to Make Someone Fall in Love with You was born. There are only eight items in this list because I ran out of ideas. LOL. Please note that I’m using the term “fall in love” loosely, some of these methods will only make someone attracted to or infatuated with you and most of the time the effect is temporary. Precaution: side effects might happen and efficacy is not guaranteed!

 

  1. Amortentia (Harry Potter)
    As per the wiki:

    “Amortentia is the most powerful love potion in the world. It is distinctive for its mother-of-pearl sheen, and steam rises from the potion in spirals. Amortentia smells different to each person, according to what attracts them.”

    There are several other mentions of love potion throughout the series, and I only pick this one as an example.

  2. Rioting (Mistborn)
    Well, this only works if you’re an allomancer, specifically a rioter (or mistborn), and even then rioting only works by strengthening an emotion that’s already there. Therefore, this might not work on a complete stranger or a person who completely hates you.
  3. Glamour (Lunar Chronicles)
    If you’re Lunar, then you might have a secret weapon called glamour. Glamour works by manipulating bio-electricity and the effects depend on the person in contact with you. A strong glamour could evoke strong feeling in the eyes of the beholder. It wears off quickly though. User beware: get rid of all the mirrors before trying this one out!
  4. Use your EO mind control ability (Vicious)
    EO stands for ExtraOrdinary and if you, like Serena Clarke, got gifted the mind control ability, you could make people do whatever you want. It’s not the same as love, but hey they will jump off the cliff for you.
  5. Re-wire the brain (BZRK)
    Here’s one that requires tenacity and not a small amount of time. If you join BZRK, you’ll be able to control biots, microscopic creatures able to enter human body and rewire the brain. It’s a high risk procedure, but it might be a good option if you’re looking for something more permanent.
  6. Employ a siren (Caster Chronicles)
    Unlike rewiring, this one basically works immediately and the effect is short-term. If you’re looking to infatuate someone but only for a short period of time, you could contact dark caster in your vicinity.
  7. Hire an emotion worker (Curse workers series)
    An emotion worker could ‘plant’ feeling on other people. The downsides? It’ll have to be applied often and the person affected might realize they’re being manipulated.
  8. Make a deal with a crossroads demon (Supernatural)
    Okaay, this one is a bad idea because your soul is the price you have to pay once the deadline is due. Just ask Becky Rosen.

That’s it for today. Leave me a comment if you know of other methods, evil or not. 🙂 Until next time!


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Top Ten Tuesday: The Past and The Future

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Hello everyone,
I’ve been abandoning my book tags and TTT throughout January because life decided to catch up with my procrastinating way. But now I’m back and ready to join the fun.

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic is about the past and the future. It could be favorite historical fictions, futuristic settings, etc. I decided to do both and split the list into two top-five (in no particular order).

pastry4

Top 5 Historical Fictions

Honestly, most of historical books I read are fantasy so I’m including them here.

1. The Diviners (Libba Bray) | GOODREADS

The Diviners series were set during 1920’s New York City. The atmosphere is arguably the strongest point about these books. The flappers, jazz music, the dances, and the dreamers made me feel as if I was there. But it’s not just sparks and dances, The Diviners and The Lair of Dreams are also very spooky, again owing to the atmosphere Bray managed to bring to life.

2. The Infernal Devices (Cassandra Clare) | GOODREADS

When I talked about TID, I usually talked about Jem/Will/Tessa. However, the trio are not the only memorable thing about the series. Set in Victorian London, near the end of 19th century, The Infernal Devices offer us more than a glimpse into the culture, but also a lot of fun steampunk technology.

3. The Great Train Robbery (Michael Crichton) | GOODREADS

Crichton was known as a sci-fi writer, so it’s quite odd that my favorite book of his is this take on the 1855 great gold robbery. It is a fun heist set in Victorian England and although some of the things are quite unrealistic, its portrayal of 1855 England culture was surprisingly captivating.

4. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) | GOODREADS

Kane and Abel followed the story of two men since they were born in 1906, growing up, until their death (near the end of 20th century). It switched back and forth from Europe to US, and the setting spanned half a century to include various historic events like World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic (V.E. Schwab) | GOODREADS

Mostly because I’m a little obsessed with 19th century England. Not gonna lie though, the way Schwab effortlessly blended fantasy and historical fiction, our London with its parallel Red, White, and Black London made this book one of my favorite read of 2015. Also I wrote a mini-rambling here on my first ADSOM re-read post.

pastry3

Top 5 Futuristic Fictions

Disclaimer: these are five books which I think implement futuristic setting in clever or interesting way, and their inclusion in this list definitely doesn’t mean I want to live there. :p

1. Stupid Perfect World (Scott Westerfeld) | GOODREADS

This one is a very short read from Westerfeld. As in Uglies, Westerfeld plays with the utopia concept. In Stupid Perfect World, disease and starvation have been eradicated, and you can insta-travel to the Antarctic. Sounded cool, right? Oh wait, your body, including your hormone levels, is regulated by machine and you don’t even need to sleep. Hmm, I love my sleep so probably would skip this kind of future. However, it’s sort of a cool concept.

2. Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) | GOODREADS

Growing up, I spent my free time playing The Sims, rosebud-ing my way into money instead of getting my sim a real job, and trying to kill them when I got bored. Ready Player One took place in the near future (2044) where the world is all but destroyed, and most of the world population prefer to live in simulated world instead of facing reality. Kids go to simulated school, teens partied and danced in simulated world, and you could even get married in this virtual world without meeting each other. Freaky? Well, 2044 is getting closer so …

3. Sphere (Michael Crichton) | GOODREADS

Sphere told a story of human encountered with a spaceship, that might or might not be alien. But it wasn’t about human vs ET, it’s essentially a thriller on how dangerous a human mind is. What if we stumbled upon technology that brought whatever currently on your mind to life, including your biggest nightmare?

4. The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer) | GOODREADS

Because I want my own Iko.

5. Unwind (Neal Shusterman) | GOODREADS

Filing this one under “cool concept, do not want to live there.” In Unwind, Shusterman explored the idea of organ grafting and humanity. It took place sometime in a near future after the Heartland War (The Second Civil War) when technology called unwinding was found. After the war, there are a lot of needs for organs and parts, but very few organ donors so they decided to “unwind” delinquent teenagers for supply. The amazing thing about unwind is that the technology (to be able to graft any kind of organs and the promise to use 100% of the unwound body parts) is actually awesome. Imagine how many disease could be cured! However, the consequence turned out to be really scary.


That’s it, my first ever TOP TEN TUESDAY in 2016. Let me know if any of these books are in your own list. Until next time!


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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Authors I Discovered This Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here The Broke and the Bookish. Go to their site and join in.

Hi guys. I’ve finally done it, my first ever Top Ten Tuesday! I didn’t even plan to, but I opened wordpress reader and found out that this week topic is top ten new-to-us authors in 2015. Guess what. I have a draft titled 10 Authors I Discovered This Year collecting dust in the bottom of my post stash I saved for rainy days. Well, better post it before it’s too late, right?

Let’s dive in.

10. Nicola Yoon

Last month, I rambled about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I mentioned, among others, how disappointed I was that I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. Gah. Nicola is a very creative author and I did enjoy her writing, so I will give her next book a chance.

9. Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of The Wind is one critically acclaimed book if I have ever seen one. I, sadly, couldn’t get into it. There was something about Kvothe that made him too far away for me to connect. I will admit, however, that Rothfuss is a BOSS when it comes to world-building and complicated magic system. I am still unsure whether I am going to read the rest of The Kingkiller Chronicle (too much time investment), but I will give his writing another chance one day.

8. Ernest Cline

I read Ready Player One out of curiosity and because it was supposed to be adapted to the big screen. Although I didn’t get many of the 80’s references, I still very much enjoy the book. The idea of living in virtual simulation to forget about real life hit close to home. Although I never plan to do that, I still remember my days playing The Sims all day and night.

7. Jenny Han

Always want to try a Jenny Han book, but never knew which one to start. I finally decided on The Summer I Turned Pretty and it was just the perfect reading for my lazy Sunday. I connected with Belly, albeit not immediately, but I could totally see glimpses of my 16 year old self in her.

6. Susan Ee

I’ve just recently dig my TBR and decided I should read Penryn & The End of Days. Upon starting Angelfall, I simply CANNOT STOP. It was a compulsive reading and very fast-paced. I have now finished all three books which I very much enjoy.

5. Gillian Flynn

I read Gone Girl because it was everywhere, and I read Dark Places and Sharp Objects because they were included in the bundle I bought (yes, I’m thrifty). And WOW, can this lady write. If you think Gone Girl is good, wait until you read Sharp Objects. All three of her books are being/have been adapted into film. Gone Girl received critics praises, but Dark Places unfortunately did not. Why do I say unfortunately? I never watched the movie so I cannot judge it, but I’m worried that the bad movie will keep people off her book. So, if you have seen the Dark Places movie and you think it was bad, don’t let it stop you from picking up the book, please. Sharp Objects is going to be made into TV series, which shall be interesting.

4. Becky Albertalli

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is my favorite contemporary published this year. It was sweet and beautiful and I thoroughly enjoy Albertalli’s writing. And it’s only her debut novel. Can you imagine how GOOD her next books will be?

3. Leigh Bardugo

I have seen her Grisha trilogy many times, but something always stop me from buying it. Mixed reviews, for one. However, upon conducting my research of new releases, I found out she’s releasing a new book titled Six of Crows, which has very exciting premise about six crew members trying to pull off a heist. I immediately bought it and OH MY WORDS, was it good. You can find my review here. I’m still in doubt whether I should go and read the Grisha trilogy, but I cannot wait for Crooked Kingdom, the second book in Six of Crows series (duology?)

2. V.E. Schwab

Haha, yes, I just stumbled upon Schwab this year. There’s nothing like reading first few pages of a book and feeling like you have just met your long-lost friend. That’s how I felt when I read A Darker Shade of Magic. If you read more than one of my blog posts, you will see how obvious I am in my love for Schwab and ADSOM (and how I couldn’t wait for A Gathering of Sha—OH MY GOD Windie, STOP!)

1. Brandon Sanderson

It’s crazy how I never read any Sanderson’s book until this year. I saw Steelheart and Firefight in my local bookstore so many times, but it was not until my sister shoved Mistborn in my hands that I found a new favorite author. Although it was Mistborn that started it, The Stormlight Archive series are the ones that cemented my faith in his writing. I have now read 7 of his books, and I am very happy to find that he has many published books that I can pore over read while waiting for Stormlight #3. Then, after I finish, I would reread them to try finding all the cosmere connections.