Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday [34]: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming books we are looking forward to being released.
My pick for this week is:

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Expected pub. date: April 5th, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.
The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

Why am I waiting for this book? I've never read a book by Sarah Rees Brennan and I only know of her through Cassandra Clare and the Magnus Bane short stories. But it's kind of hard to gauge a writing style when it's intermixed with someone else's, so I've been wanting to give her own books a chance. This one sounds pretty amazing and I've read very little on doppelgangers but the topic appeals to me. Besides... New York is kind of my soft spot regarding settings. Overall, it should be a perfect recipe for awesomeness, I have great hopes for this one! 

What do you think of my pick for this week WOW? 
Leave me a comment and link me to your WOW. I love reading about upcoming releases and it's just a great way to find new books :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday [33]: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming books we are looking forward to being released.
My pick for this week is:

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Expected pub. date: February 23rd, 2016
Genre: Fantasy - Retelling

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...
When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

Why am I waiting for this book? The premise sounds fantastic! Aladdin used to be one of my favorite movies when I was little and I've never read a retelling of Arabian Nights. Also there aren't many jinni-related books in YA, at least to my knowledge. I've only read As You Wish by Jackson Pearce and it was a long time ago but I remember thinking that there should be more books on that subject because I really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping this one will turn out amazing too. 

What do you think of my pick for this week WOW? 
Leave me a comment and link me to your WOW. I love reading about upcoming releases and it's just a great way to find new books :)

Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday [32]: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming books we are looking forward to being released.
My pick for this week is:

Title: Reign of Shadows
Author: Sophie Jordan
Expected pub. date: February 9th, 2016
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.
With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

Why am I waiting for this book? I've only read one book by Sophie Jordan before, even though I've added most of her work to my TBR pile and bought many of her books. For some reason I keep putting them off. However, this one in particular sounds like it could be the one book that makes me want to read everything she's ever written. I have really high hopes for this one, the premise sounds amazing, the cover is gorgeous and rumor has it that it's her best work yet. So I'm crossing my fingers and wishing it into awesomeness! 

What do you think of my pick for this week WOW? 
Leave me a comment and link me to your WOW. I love reading about upcoming releases and it's just a great way to find new books :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday [27]: Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming books we are looking forward to being released.
My pick for this week is:

Title: Arrows
Author: Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Expected pub. date: January 26th, 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV's Teen Mom.
People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.
Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.
A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?
This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn't reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny--perfect for fans of Katie McGarry's novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

Why am I waiting for this book? I saw this one while browsing on Goodreads and I immediately thought that it would be something I would enjoy. I don't know about the Teen Mom part, but at least the part that has to do with Greek mythology is totally my thing. It kind of reminds of My Ex from Hell by Telulah Darling, but I'm really interested in seeing a take on Cupid. Besides, this is the author's debut novel and I'm always excited to find new authors :D

What do you think of my pick for this week WOW? 
Leave me a comment and link me to your WOW. I love reading about upcoming releases and it's just a great way to find new books :)

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday [24]: Ten Fictional Families I'd Like to Spend Thanksgiving With.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

This week is Thanksgiving freebie, so I'm listing the fictional families that I would like to have over for  a Thanksgiving dinner. I'm taking "family" in its most broad sense, so I'm including not only biological families but also some of my favorite casts of character that are not necessarily related, but are close friends or that you'd see them spending the holidays together in their fictional universe. Here we go!

1) The Weasleys from Harry Potter: Come on! Who wouldn't? They're like the most amazing family that YA literature has ever seen. Maybe even literature, period. I know they are British and, therefore they wouldn't actually celebrate Thanksgiving but whatever, I'm having them over so they'll have to oblige. I imagine the twins would pull some crazy prank and set something on fire and Mrs. Weasley would go crazy trying to get them to behave while Mr. Weasley would be trying to get me or Harry (because, obviously he's there too) to explain how does the Internet work.

2) The Garrets from My Life Next Door: This is also one of my favorite fictional families. I could picture them so clearly while reading the book that I can totally imagine a really loud and crowded Thanksgiving dinner with them which of course would inevitably spiral into complete chaos. So much fun!

3) The Lightwoods from The Mortal Instruments: This one is kind of especial. I'm assuming that the Lightwoods include at least Alec, Isabelle and Jace and where Jace goes, Clary goes, and where Clary goes Simon goes. On the other hand, if Alec is going to be there, Magnus is too, so I'm expecting every single one of them at my dinner table for a pretty unconventional Thanksgiving. 

4) The Delos from Starcrossed: This family is not particularly one of my favorites because I don't really understand them to be honest. But they're a huge family and most of them have some especial ability that I'm sure would make for a fun evening. 

5) The Bishops from Heist Society: By this I mean not only Kat, his father and Uncle Eddie but also all the guys in the crew, meaning Gabrielle, the Bagshaws, Simon and of course, Hale. This is more like a family by choice than an actual biological family, but I love them nonetheless. For some reason, even though it probably makes no sense at all, I imagine them plotting their next heist while eating turkey and goofing off. They are such a fun bunch that I would love the opportunity to spend some time with them, especially W. W. Hale the Third.

6) The Cullens from Twilight: I know there are as much haters as there are fans of this one. I'm somewhere in the middle, I guess. I have a soft spot for this saga and its characters because they were the ones who practically got me started on my reading YA fiction. I know they could be better written and for some people the Cullens are just creepy, but for me they represent a certain kind of comfort because I've "known" them for so long and I can picture perfectly the whole scene. Emmett would be challenging anyone to an arm wrestling match and Jasper going on and on about the Civil War, while Alice tries to make sure everyone looks their best. Oh... such fun!

7) The Marchs from Little Women: I absolutely love this family, these ladies are adorable and I'm hoping they would bring Laurie too. I wish I could have them act out one of Jo's plays for me, it would be so much fun!

8) The Raven Cycle Cast: Here I mean freaking everyone. Blue's entire crazy family and Gansey's whole gang. For some reason, I've been feeling very nostalgic about this series and I can't wait for the next book, so I guess having them over for Thanksgiving would be a great way to satisfy my need for more of them, for a while, at least. They're such an eclectic mix that I bet it would be freaking hilarious to have them all together.

9) The Vampire Academy Cast: From our current teenage vampire Queen, to her guardians, Rose and Dimitri, and Adrian and Sydney and Eddie and Jill, I want them all on my table for Thanksgiving. This one has to be one of my most loved fictional casts of all time. I think it would be a blast having them all over for the Holidays, even if they drag out a few strigoi on their way to my place, I bet between all of us, we can take them (?) 

10) The Charley Davidson Cast: And last, but not least, I would love to spend Thanksgiving with the hilarious Charley, and her unbelievably sexy husband, with Cookie and Amber, Ubie, Garrett, even the ghosts! What the hell! Everyone's invited! I bet it would be the funniest dinner ever and Charley would manage to get herself into trouble, no doubt, but it would be awesome! Don't you think?

What's on your Top Ten this week? Which fictional family would you like to spend thanksgiving with? Let me know in the comment section below!


Monday, November 23, 2015

[Review] The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 388 pages
One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Get your copy!


My thoughts:

This book was a hype-monster! Everyone and their mother had read it and loved it by the time I picked it up, so my expectations going into it were pretty high. 

Perhaps it was precisely for that reason that I felt a little disappointed going into it. I found the beginning to be quite slow and I had a hard time trying to connect with the characters. To be completely honest I think I didn't get the world at first... the cultural ambience was new for me and I felt overwhelmed by it at the start; the names drove me insane because I couldn't remember them and then there were too many names and roles starting with K and J for me to actually keep track of who was who or what. 

So I actually had to stop and go read something else before I started hating on the book just because I wasn't getting it. Thankfully, when I came back to it, things started to pick up and after two or three chapters I went from not caring to being unable to put the book down. 

The story is about a girl named Shahrzad whose best friend, Shiva, had to marry and then was killed by the king of Khorasan. But Shiva is only one of many brides that the king has taken and killed merely a night after the wedding, so Shahrzad takes it upon herself to end this cycle of death and find out why the king is killing his wives and hopefully, find a way to make him pay for all the pained he's caused. But in order to do that, she has to volunteer as the next bride and do whatever it takes to stay alive every dawn. 

I loved Shahrzad strategy for staying alive: telling the king a never ending story so he would let her live each night in order to finish it. I've never read the original A Thousand and One Nights, but I more or less know what it's about and I really enjoyed Ahdieh's take on it. At first I thought it was going to be like the center of the story as if it were a retelling, but it wasn't the case. The plot had a mind of its own and it moved forward without the help of the stories after a while. 

Once I got past the initial confusion, it was quite clear for me that the characters were complex, especially Khalid and Shazi. Both of them were multidimensional and had light and shadow within them, which made it hard for me to make up my mind about them. Mot of the time I was reading, I didn't know if I actually liked them or not,  or if I wanted them to fall in love and be together or if I would rather for Shazi to stick to her original plan, but in the end I was rooting for them.

The secondary characters were interesting too. I loved Jalal, with his lightheartedness and ready sarcasm at every occasion, no matter if he was talking to an inferior or to the Caliph himself. I didn't care for Tariq all that much, but I liked his friend, Rahim. 

The one thing I never quite got in the story was the way magic worked. Who had the magic? Was it something you inherited? Was it something you could learn? Was its existence common knowledge or only people from certain circles knew about it? I would've liked to learn more about it since it seemed to matter a great deal to the story.

Overall, I liked it and I would like to read the next one, but it was a tough one to get into. I wish the amazingness that went down near the end could've lasted more. I felt like when I was finally coming to terms with the way of things and I thought that everything was right with the world, the whole thing just exploded on my face, and truly, the ending kind of broke my heart. I'm really hoping that in the next book we'll get back somehow, to that perfect place where we  were before everything went to hell. Fingers crossed!



About the author

Renee Ahdieh lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, is available wherever books are sold. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.
She's also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

[Review] The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt
Format: Hardcover, 470 pages
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.
Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

 Get your copy!


My thoughts:

This is the sequel to The Kiss of Deception and I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed it more than the first book. This book picks up right where the previous one left off and it's set entirely on Venda, the enemy territory.

Lia has been taken captive and now she's being held prisoner by the Komizar. Rafe, in an attempt to save her, makes up a story about being an emissary for the prince of Dalbrech looking for an alliance with Venda and gets himself taken into Venda too. Kaden is falling for Lia and having trouble deciding where his loyalties lie, with the girl of his dreams or with the man who saved his life. Essentially and put simply: everything is a big fat mess for our characters.

Venda is such a captivating place and here the writing was excellent at painting a picture for me. I could see it so clearly with all its colors and different kinds of people. It was really well done in my opinion. The funny thing is that I went into it expecting to hate it as much as Lia, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be such a mesmerizing location.

Against all odds, Lia starts making a few friends and allies in Venda and with their help plus a whole lot of determination on her part, she's becoming a force to be reckoned with. She's starting to grasp the meaning of her gift, which just adds to her resourcefulness. In this book, we see her make use of all her talents, especially the ones that help her make others believe she's playing by the rules, when in reality, she's making up a completely different game as she goes along.

The problem with Venda is that you have the good kind of people and the awful kind of people like in any place, but here, the bad are the ones that provide for all the rest, so that makes the good people do terrible things in order to survive. Enter here the whole political drama! There's a shit-ton of political intrigue in this book and I finally got to understand what the hell was going on with the war between Venda and Morrighan, and Dalbrech by extension.  Thankfully, in this book, we get a lot of backstories for the Komizar, Kaden, and Venda as a country of sorts, which helps round up the whole story as a whole a lot better. 

The so-called love triangle is more like a love square (?) now that the Komizar has taken a particular interest in Lia and wants her for himself, so he can add to his already considerable power. We knew from the first book that Lia's heart belongs to Rafe, but in this one, Lia's life depends on her being able to convince everyone that she loves Kaden and holds no interest for Rafe, because the assassin is the only one who can do anything big enough to help her situation. And in all that convincing she does, I actually started to doubt her, either she's very good at deceiving others or she's very good at deceiving herself. You'll have to judge for yourself!

Overall, I think this was a great second installment, it helped me to understand the complexity of the world and it gave me a lot more perspective on its characters while building up the action and letting every piece fall into place and setting up for the next book to be explosive. I'm really excited about this series' finale!



About the author
Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.