GIVEAWAY WINNER !

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Image Source : The Bandar Blog

As you all know, I started a giveaway for a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic along with a few other goodies a couple of weeks ago. Well, the giveaway has finally ended and the winner is… (drumroll please)

 

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Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books! 

 

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I actually featured her in my last featured follows post, but I swear this wasn’t rigged. I just pressed the little Rafflecopter button and it randomly selected a winner. Anyways, congrats Kristin! Please check your email and I’ll send you your package as soon as possible!

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Thank you so much to everyone who participated! I’m hoping to have more of these in the future so stay tuned.

 

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In other news, it’s been a crazy weekend for me, but I’ve got plenty of posts coming up in the next week. For those of you in the states, Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Reading!

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Daughter of Smoke and Bones | Review

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ARGH. Such mixed feelings about this book. I finally picked it up and finished it in a week, hopping between the audiobook and the ebook. First off, it was probably the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. Christine Hvam’s narration brought the story to life in a way for me that was more intriguing than when I first attempted to read the book a few weeks ago.

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What I liked : 

The world is gorgeous. The chimaera and angels, their worlds, the whole idea behind Brimstone and the teeth…it was all vivid and surreal. From Zusana’s quirky charm to the pitiful, yet grotesque Razgut, Laini Taylor’s characters were equally captivating.  So imaginative, I felt like there was an immense amount of potential to the story.

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What I disliked :

Things started to fall apart for me when Akiva came into the story. I was hoping he would be our story’s villain, to be honest. But then our epic fantasy action mystery adventure slowly devolved into a romantic tale of star-crossed lovers. The world around it was still incredible, but I was disappointed at the romance being the central and driving factor for the story.

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Plus, I wish their backstory was revealed slowly throughout their journey through Elsewhere. Instead, we have this epic story set-up that kind of just grinds to a halt as the backstory becomes the whole second half of the book. It doesn’t feel like a climax, it feels like two separate stories, instead of that mysterious history unfolding along with the rest of the plot. Harry Potter, Shades of Magic and even The Mortal Instruments series does this pretty well – giving you nuggets of answers across a series of subplots. Also even the original romance felt kind of…rushed? All of sudden? Kind of beastiality-ish?

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TLDR :

Daughter of Smoke and Bones is chock full of gorgeous, inventive dark characters and worlds, but is ultimately let-down in the latter half of the book with an overdose of romance and cheese.

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By no means is it a bad book though, there’s definitely enough here for me to pick up the second book. I just wish there was more action and less heart fluttering. I’m impressed with Laini Taylor’s creativity though. It may have bumped Strange the Dreamer much higher on my TBR list than it used to be.

Happy Reading!

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Featured Follows | Peep these Blogs!

Half of the fun in blogging is in the community. Surrounding yourself with great blogs with related content motivates you to keep reading, keep blogging and keep having fun. That’s a hard rule for me – that blogging should be fun. I have enough stress in my life. So I’m never too hard on myself for taking those one or two months off when I need it or pressure myself to create content that I feel will be popular or really rake in the stats. For me, this blog is about raking more rays of sunshine into my life.

That being said, here are some of the rays of sunshine that I follow or follow me. Interacting with these lovelies is a definite perk to my day. Maybe they’ll be a good add to your follow list, too.

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Kristin | Kristin Kraves Books

Full of quick, concise but helpful reviews and thoughtful discussion topics, Kristin’s writing is animated and enthusiastic about all things bookish.  She’s also just a sweet person who’s super active in commenting and replying to other posts.

 

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Holly | Nut Free Nerd

Some bloggers are very serious about their content and they are strictly hyper book review focused. What I love about Nut Free Nerd is that her blog is also infused her life and personality. I love getting to know bloggers as people and seeing bits of their lives outside of the pages. She also has a consistent high volume of quality posts, so there’s always more to read.

 

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Breanna | Paws and Paperbacks

P&P is a recent follow for me, but she’s easily becoming one of those book bloggers whose opinion you trust. She’s fair, but super honest in her reviews. There’s no sugar-coating or hype-training for her. She tells it like it is, which I find super helpful when I’m looking for that next book to pick up.

 

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That’s it for this week, folks! But writing this post was surprisingly super fun. It may be sticking around as a weekly thing. We’ll see! Which blogs do you love and recommend? I’d love to check them out.

As always, Happy Reading!

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Laguna Tattoo & A Day Out with the Sister

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When I was younger, I always loved the idea of having a tattoo, but in some ways I never thought I’d get one. I eventually did – pretty much the second I finished college and could afford one. That was around two years ago (yes, I’m an old geezer compared to many of you ha!). I just recently got my second one a couple of months ago. The commitment seemed intimidating, but honestly, once you’ve got one, it doesn’t really matter anymore. You get addicted to the process and end up wanting more and more.

My sister went with me to get my first one two years ago, so it only seemed fitting we go together for her first. So a couple of weeks ago, that’s what we did. She visited my new apartment on a Friday and stayed the night so we could load up on brunch the next morning. Nothing like pancakes to hold you through the pain. Then, we made the trip south to Laguna Tattoo.

I’d never been to Laguna. It’s an interesting city, not too different from Venice or Long Beach or any other beach city really. We spent most of the time in the shop, so we didn’t get to spend too much time exploring.

It was a good day though. It was exciting to be a part of the process with her. I would show you the finished ink, but it was a floral piece that curved along her hip. In other words, none of the pictures I took were really safe for work.

Now I’m itching to get my second one finished. Hopefully soon.

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WWW Wednesday #7

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Still working my way through these two. Though it’s slow going because I find Maas’ writing style to be kind of slow and repetitive sometimes. You don’t have to tell me every time his purple eyes change direction, thank you very much. The Bear and the Nightingale just hasn’t fully drawn me in yet. It’s still too early on and I keep getting distracted by novels that are somewhat easier to read mindlessly.

 

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What did you recently finish reading?

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I was thinking about skipping this week’s WWW, but I actually managed to finish a book just in the nick of time! I have mixed feelings about this. It’s Schwab. AKA the writing was superb. It was a unique idea and written well, but somehow I just wasn’t….feeling it? I think objectively, it was a good book. Something was just not clicking for me, maybe I’ll have figured that out by the time I write a full review on it.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Actually kind of stumped right now. I keep rifling through my TBR list and nothing is screaming READ ME NOW. Anyone have any suggestions for must-reads? I’m all ears!

Happy Reading!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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Happy Middle of June! Except not quite because I missed it by a few days. Meh, when am I ever on time with blog posts though? Anyways, I first peeped this tag over at Steff @ Little Booky Nook ! I love a blogger with a sense of humor and good taste in books. Don’t you? Check out all her reviews, collection of tags and – my personal favorite – all her book rants.

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Best book you have read so far in 2017

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Shades of Magic Series. This is tough ’cause I’ve read some good ones this year, but nothing stole my heart quite like V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Series. So much so that I’m giving away a copy of the first book in the series. 

Best Sequel of 2017 so far

A Gathering of Shadows. I’ve actually read more sequels than usual this year. Namely Prodigy, The Rose Society and now working through A Court of Mist and Fury. A Gathering of Shadows still tops the list for me though.

New release you haven’t read yet, but you want to

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Want by Cindy Pon

If a gorgeous cover and a diverse character/setting isn’t enough to intrigue you, perhaps this review by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks will convince you. It sure as heck convinced me.

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

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Not sure if there’s anything I’m absolutely dying to get my hands on right away. Maybe it’s because my TBR list is far too long already, but I haven’t kept an eye on what’s coming up lately.

Biggest disappointment

Paper Princess by Erin Watt

So much hype. So little plot.

This is our story by Ashley Elston

Actually came onto my radar as an under-hyped book. Turns out I agreed with the lack of hype. Wasn’t much here for me.

Biggest surprise

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Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. 

This did not go the way I thought it was going to go. Why did it go that way. *cries quietly*

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

Obvi V.E. Schwab. Even when I don’t love the plot or pacing of her novels, I really do enjoy her style and characterization. Also Laura Ruby though! Bone Gap was one of my favorites last year and I haven’t gotten too far with York yet, but I’m definitely already a fan of her writing.

Favourite new character

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Is it terrible to admit that I’m just too lazy to pick?

Book that made you cry

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. 

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I mean really, need I say more?

Book that made you happy

All the books I’ve read this year have broken my heart, which has made me happy in the sense that they’re great books. …But not too many happy ending reads so far. It’s all dark, stormy clouds over here.

Favourite book to movie adaption you’ve seen this year

Haven’t seen too many adaptations this year to be honest. I did really love Logan though, which was very loosely inspired by Old Man Logan, a comic arc which I also loved.

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Favourite review you’ve written this year

My reviews are more a collection of rapid-fire thoughts than actual reviews…so to be honest, I don’t think much of them ha! Here are two of my more popular sets of reviews this year though : March Book Reviews | April Book Reviews

Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

Now this isn’t beautiful in the traditional sense, but I just started listening to the Daughter of Smoke and Bones audiobook. Oh my goooooooosh. 

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Christine Hvam does the most incredible voices. Her narration enriches the story so much for me that despite wanting to whip open the actual book to see what happens, I find myself just waiting for long car rides so I can listen to her read it instead. One of the rare instances in which I think I prefer the audiobook. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to her version of it (which is available on Overdrive), check. it. out.

I recently got my older sister back into reading (score!) by getting her a kindle and introducing her to audiobooks on apps like Overdrive. We both just happened to start this audiobook at the same time and it’s a glowing endorsement from her as well.

Books you need to read by the end of the year

I really want to get through ACOMAF and ACOWAR just to catch up with the rest of the book world, but they seem to take me forever to get through so we’ll see how that goes. There are also a bunch of new contemporary releases that have been pretty well received (i.e. When Dimple Met Rishi, The Hate U Give, etc.) but I have been on a pretty long fantasy binge lately. I’m not quite seeing a light at the end of that tunnel yet, so who knows if I’ll squeeze in any of those this year.

 

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Anywho. Like I said, I’m pretty late with this tag and don’t want to go about tagging folks that have already done this one, so if you haven’t…I tag you! Feel free to link your posts below if you have done this tag! I’d love to check them out.

Happy Reading!

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Apartment Inspo

HI FRIENDS.

So this is entirely un-bookish, but this blog hasn’t always been a purely book blog and it’ll probably continue on that way. I hope you don’t mind the occasional life and other things post. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of book posts in the pipeline. Anyways, I’ve always wanted my own place to have a clear sense of style and design. That’s really hard to do when you’re always sharing your space with other people, whether that’s family or roommates or whoever.

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So now that I’ve officially got a place just for me and the bae (and soon, a kitty or two), I’ve been slowly accumulating furniture and decorations for our little home. I think my original ideas were slightly different, but taking all of my boyfriend’s tastes and things into account, I ended up deciding on more of an industrial style with lots of blues, oranges, and metal tones laid over a white, black and grey foundation. Everything is still very much so in progress, so no pics of the space yet! But here are some of my picks from my Pinterest board, so you can get a sense of what I have in mind for my new place. I’ll be posting updates of my various rooms as we furnish them!

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I loved the idea of black mismatched chairs and a wooden table, but ultimately, getting a complete dining set was a lot more budget friendly for us. So we picked one that fit as closely as possible, but it was definitely a compromise on something that I had previously been pretty decided on.

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This is a pretty wide range of colors, but I think it’s a strong guide for what we’re aiming for throughout the whole apartment. The kitchen is a little bit more ash-wood heavy with golds and greens. The living room is a lot of black, deep blues with more orange and gold highlights. The bedroom as it stands is very white and gray with hints of a deep brown and some rich blues.

We’ve made a lot of slow progress so far! Our main furniture pieces came in recently and I finally got around to assembling them while I was home sick over the weekend. Can’t wait to share more pics in a few weeks!

Also, there’s just a couple more weeks left for my A Darker Shade of Magic Giveaway! Don’t forget to sign up! 🙂

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