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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A Darker Shade of Magic | GIVEAWAY

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Image Source : Folded Pages Distillery

Hi friends!

Guess who’s doing another GIVEAWAY! 🙂 This girl. Anywho. You all know I love this series and all of you, so I am gifting a paperback copy of A Darker Shade of Magic to one lucky winner. This little giveaway box will include the book as well as a few other reading time goodies, which I will keep as a surprise for the winner!

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I’m running this giveaway through rafflecopter! So just enter here or click the big old “click here to enter” banner below. Make sure the email you enter with is a valid one so I can contact you if you win!

The giveaway ends on June 30th. I’ll declare a winner and ship out your box that weekend! Hopefully you’ll get it in a week or so depending where you are. International entries are totally A-OK! Aaaaaand….that’s it! Hope you guys enjoy! If this goes well, I’m open to doing a lot more giveaways in the future. Anything to help spread the book love!

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As always, Happy Reading!

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April Book Reviews

A wee bit late, but here’s my April wrap-up! Every month I say time has gone by too quickly, but April in particular just disappeared. Seriously, where’d it go? This has been an interesting month for me. Injuries and lots of life changes have kept me rather preoccupied so I haven’t been posting or reading very much lately. I only got through two books this month, but they’ve been waiting on the TBR shelf for a while. So feeling rather satisfied to check them off the list.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Dear Lord, yes.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic to pieces. Really, really loved it. I was worried AGOS would let me down. The plot pacing was much slower in this one. So much time was spent on the Essen Tasch and various romantic side stories in this one, while the real dangers brewed and festered slowly in the background. Not to say there weren’t some epic moments along the way, but we don’t get much real excitement related to the central plotline until right at the very end when we’re left with an excruciating cliff-hanger. Nonetheless, I was still drowning in feels and I very much enjoyed this sequel. Schwab has a way of writing such brilliant, real, lovable characters that it really makes up for any of the other issues for me. I’ve already started reading A Conjuring of Light and am already sad because this series is coming to an end all too quickly. Please stoooooop.

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Mergenstern

Read it? Sure, why not.

Whimsical, but unsubstantial. The Night Circus is full of vivid imagery, unique ideas and rather curious circumstances. But underneath all the flowery writing and mysterious characters, we just don’t get a lot. I expected a “duel” similar to the Prestige, if you’ve seen that movie. Intense, and obsessive, but it’s all very mild. There’s really hardly a sense of competition at all and the conflict seems kind of forced, the ultimatums full of loopholes.  That combined with all the time skips,  perspective shifts, and various sub-stories, The Night Circus can be difficult to follow and fully grasp sometimes. I’m somewhat tempted to re-read it and see if it changes anything. Overall, I thought it was an entertaining read. Discovering the world of the circus is definitely enchanting, but there’s nothing to invest in here really. You don’t get to intimately meet your protagonists or feel the tension of their struggle. Fun ideas, but it read one-dimensionally to me.

The Unique Blogger Award

 

Hey folks!

Look, more blogger awards! Whaaaaat. These have been so much fun to be a part of. Not just answering them, but in passing them along and reading all of your responses. All of the ones I tagged for the Liebster Award have been a blast to go through. It’s cool getting to know all of you.

 

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Anyways, I was nominated for the Unique Blogger Award by Evy @ Evy Reads Books Blog! She’s got great reviews happening over there and her gif responses always crack me up, so do visit her site and give her some love.

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

Questions:

Which book do have to keep close to you, or have to reread frequently as you love it so much?

I’m actually not a huge fan of re-reading lately. Even when I do re-read, it’s a book that I haven’t touched in years and want to revisit for nostalgia’s sake. So I rarely keep something on hand to re-read often. I do always have my Kindle on me though.

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Which author would you spend a day with, and what question would you definitely ask him/her?

Leigh Bardugo, possibly? Or Maggie Stiefvater or V.E. Schwab. I love the worlds and adventures and character they’ve built and I would interrogate the shit out of them as to what influenced them and what they’ve got up their sleeve next. I would also totally ask them to fancast their own characters. It’s always interesting to find out who they imagine playing the part.

Do you like book to movie adaptations? Which one is your favourite?

While I always feel like I’m disappointed with movie adaptations, I do love them. The actual writing and plot pacing never lives up to my expectations, but I love seeing how well the cast embodies the characters I’ve envisioned in my mind. I also love seeing the sets and worlds come to life especially with dystopian, fantasy or sci-fi novels. I think the Harry Potter ones were spot-on. The Mortal Instruments movie and series were stylistically cool to see, but the acting is just too cringe-y sometimes. The Maze runner was another one that I feel fell short, but loved the casting.

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New questions:

  1. If you could have any animal or mythical creature from a book as a pet, which would you pick?
  2. Who is one of your least favorite characters of all time?
  3. Name a supporting character that you love more than the main protagonist.

Nominations

I am nominating some of my most recent follows and followers. Can’t wait to read all your responses! 🙂 8 to 13 is a lot of people. Forgive me blog world, but I’m gonna stick to six for now!

Tinka @ The Crazy Reader

Brookie @ Brookie Cowles

Kevin @ Bookevin

Kiersten @ Once Upon A Spine

Masa and Nusa @ Whispers of Thoughts

Maxine @ The Rogue Storyteller

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More Covers I Love

I was out exploring downtown this past weekend, when a sudden shower of rain appeared out of nowhere. Luckily, there was a Barnes & Noble right on the corner, so I popped in to browse and sip my coffee. I’ve already got more than I need on my TBR so I was just window shopping. Nonetheless, there were a few really cool covers that caught my eye.

Spindle by E.K. Johnston

The world is made safe by a woman…but it is a very big world.
It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered beyond the borders of their village, and two new kingdoms have sprouted on either side of the mountains where the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron…

Gorgeous whimsical typography plus that beautiful color palette. Me gusta, me gusta.

The Education of Margo Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

I love that pop of yellow on a super cool illustration.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

I’ve seen this book around, but the cover really is crisp and clean in person. SHINY.

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I’m such a sucker for a good cover art.

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February Book Reviews

Hi folks!

Happy March! This past month has been a great one for book blogging. While I didn’t get to finish nearly as many books as I would have liked, I’ve followed tons more blogs and have had a lot of fun doing book tags and making book friends.

But without further ado, here are my quick reviews for what I read in February!

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Read it? Do it now. 

In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.
In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his over…

I have no idea why I put this book off for so damn long. Despite the rave reviews, I think some part of me always felt like it would let me down. It did not. This cast of characters is believable and lovable in a way that makes everything that happens so heart-wrenchingly tragic. I managed to stay spoiler-free until now and found myself genuinely intrigued by every twist and turn. Reading this book is like watching a runaway train. You know it’s going to end in disaster, but you can’t look away and every bit of you is reaching out to try and save it. Easily one of my favorite reads in a long time.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Read it? Give it a try.

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

There was so much hype around this book and its release. While I wasn’t mind-blown, I also wasn’t disappointed. The mysterious world of Caraval was full of whimsy and kept me captivated the whole time. Garber’s flowery prose was decorative and colorful. Not always in a sensical, useful way, but beautiful words nonetheless. The downside however was that Scarlett was unfortunately dull as a protagonist. While her development from a cautious, pragmatic girl into someone more bold and confident was relatable, it was underwhelming. There are a handful of other interesting characters, but we aren’t given enough depth on them to really fall in love. I’m hoping we get to see more of Julian, Dante and Donnatella in the sequel. Overall, a refreshing read that felt different enough in the world of YA to warrant giving it a try despite its flaws.

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Prodigy by Marie Lu

Read it? Thumbs up. 

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring…

Legend left me rather underwhelmed, especially because I loved Lu’s other series, the Young Elites. Prodigy, however, was everything I wanted from the first installment. Complete with much more world-building, further exploration into the characters and powers outside of June and Day and a more action-packed plot, Legend kept you excited the whole way through. I don’t, however, find myself rooting for June and Day as a couple. The plot around their romance and love interests were dull to me – sometimes even annoying. Though to be fair, the voice actors from the audiobook may have exacerbated my annoyance with the characters. It’ll be interesting to see how Lu wraps it all up in Champion, especially with what we learn at the end. Looking forward to it!

I started so many other books, but won’t be sharing my thoughts on those until I’ve fully wrapped them up.

What did you read this month? Share your wrap-ups below and I’ll check them out!

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The Sick Book Tag

Hey folks! Time for another book tag, whoop whoop! Here is The Sick Book Tag, which was first created by Dark_Chickie on Wattpad. I stole this from Duckess @ Hook a Book. 

Diabetes- a book too sweet, like really sweet

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | My Review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | My Review

Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell are the queens of sweet, sugary fluff. Sometimes I’m a fan, sometimes I’m not. But you can’t deny the sweetness. These books are like literary sprinkles.

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Chicken Pox- a book you picked up once but will never pick up again

The Selection by Kiera Cass | My Review

Soundless by Richelle Mead

There was a lot of love for the Selection series, but I really couldn’t stand it. I was confounded by the world and setting, the characters were unlikeable and quite frankly, nothing happened. Soundless, however, was just a terrible book. Though an interesting concept, it was poorly written. The execution there was just flat. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy is pretty popular, but Soundless? Hard pass. Needless to say, I won’t be finishing or re-reading these anytime soon.

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Influenza- a contagious book that spreads like a virus

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments started off as a trilogy but grew into a series, which then got a movie and a TV show. Then, we have the Infernal Devices and multiple one-off stories plus compendiums. Cassandra Clare’s supernatural world blossomed into a huge franchise. I think I was thirteen when the series first started. Crazy to think of how much it has expanded.

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The Cycle- a book you read every month, year, or often

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It’s been a long, long time since I’ve re-read a book, especially since the TBR pile has grown so big lately. When I was a kid though, I had collected almost all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books and re-read those again and again. I also read through Eragon multiple times while waiting for the sequel to come out. Ironically, when it did, I didn’t have the time to read it anymore and actually never got around to it.

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Insomnia- a book that kept you up all night

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 

I mention this book in way too many of these tags, but I got sucked in and stayed up way too late reading this on my kindle under the covers. Another perk of having a kindle – getting to read in bed without having to keep the lights on.

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Amnesia- a book that’s forgotten and didn’t leave a powerful impression in your memory

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

This wasn’t a bad read by any means. I actually rated it rather highly, but it just wasn’t super memorable for me. Even now, I can’t quite remember my thoughts on it, especially since I never got around to writing my review for it.

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Asthma- A book that took your breath away

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater | My Review

For a young adult novel, it felt refreshingly different in tone and plot. The characters were whimsical and dark and the mythology of everything was superb. I still need to finish this series. I don’t know why I’ve been sitting on it for so long.

 

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Malnutrition- a book that lacked food for thought

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Paper Princess by Erin Watt | My Review

This was all hot guys and sex and scandal without a ton to think about or think through. It kind of read like smut or weird high-school erotica to me.

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Travel Sickness- a book that took you on a trip through time and space

 

The Firebird Series by Claudia Gray | My Review

I had my issues with this series, but there’s no denying it took you to incredible places. The characters literally travel through  different dimensions. And while technically, the time isn’t actually changing, the worlds’ different progression rates leave them feeling like parts of the past or future. End of the day, these were still entertaining reads. I just got so annoyed with the protagonist in the second novel that I’m not sure I can fight my way through the third.

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Tagging the following wonderful  book bloggers and anyone else who wants to this tag!

Swetlana and Sandra @ Reading Through the Nights

Kiersten @ Once Upon a Spine

Michelle @ Book Adventures

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