Discussion: Read-a-thons


Discussion between Mari & P.E.

I'm a big fan of YouTube so naturally I went through the phase where all I watched was booktube vlogs. Lately, I've been noticing many book-a-thons. They're aren't just limited to YouTube, there are some around in the blogosphere as well. How do you feel about book-a-thons? Would you ever join one?

What in the world is a book-a-thon?

Did I call it the wrong thing? A book-a-thon or read-a-thon is when readers set a goal to read either a set number or as many books as they can in a given period. So its a race to read as many books as possible. What do you think?

Ohh, a read-a-thon. I've never heard of it being referred to as a book-a-thon but I guess you learn something new everyday! I've actually participated in one before in the very early days of blogging on Tantalizing Illusions. I even participated in the Twitter chat. I think in theory, they're great, but they're a pretty big commitment that I'm not sure I want to make. How about you?

I never knew you were into doing that, wow you learn something new everyday! I have a commitment issue to things like book clubs and read-a-thon/book-a-thons, so I like the idea but I can never join one. I agree that it's a huge commitment and I find that it takes away from the reading experience as I start trying to read as fast as possible when I should be taking my time and enjoying what I'm reading.

That never bugs me because it's not like I speed up for a read-a-thon. I'm naturally a fast reader anyway so I don't feel pressure to speed up in any way. Also, when I go to my dad's house I don't really have much to do besides read. You could actually say that I'm already doing a read-a-thon every week because I often stay up late to continue reading on Friday, then read another book by Saturday evening. So, I'm totally fine with allotted times to read. It's the blogging parts, like the book chats and buttons and scheduled posts that don't appeal to me.

I'm not as organized a reader as you. I tend to surf the web until the urge hits me to read. When it does, I read at a moderate pace, ingesting everything. I agree that the extra work that comes with read-a-thons can be a little too much too. However, I feel that challenges and book-a-thons are meant for people who enjoy challenging themselves and seeing results. It depends on the personality. I'm not one of those people. I got so annoyed by the Goodreads challenge last year that I changed it to 1 book.

I don't know. I love challenges, but I don't feel this is that challenging. I mean, all you need to do is read. Excuse me, but how hard is that? Usually if I have the time, I'll be doing it anyway. And I don't know, I never want to read for the sake of reading. I want to read because I enjoy the book, and I don't feel I can do that if I'm making a commitment to read five books in two days. The biggest reason though is that I usually write my reviews directly after reading and read-a-thons, if you do them properly, require constant reading. Also, sleep. I like to sleep a good eleven hours when I can. There's that cliche of staying up all night to read a book, and that doesn't apply to me because I know it will be there when I wake up, and I love sleep.

I agree for the most part, though I have to say there is another feeling when a book make you stay up late!

What do you think?

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Review: Hyperbole and a Half

Author: Allie Brosh
Date of Publication: October 29, 2013
Pages: 371
Source: P.E. Epic Recs

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!


Review:
I distantly remember P.E. shoving her phone in my face and telling me to read a blog post she read that really changed her outlook on things. I was curious but I was also lazy and in the end laziness won out. Who would have known that the same blog post that I had initially ignored would be published in a book and I would have another change to read it. And yes P.E., it was fantastic.

Hyperbole and a Half is quite different from my normal reads, not only is it non-fiction (gasp!) but it also has art; amazing art. I'm not a big non-fiction fan because I find that it's harder to connect with the characters, which I guess in non-fiction is usually the author. This outlook was quickly changed by Allie Brosh's witty stories and great writing style. I was quickly pulled into the colourful pages of Hyperbole and found myself laughing my guts out.

Hyperbole is quite different from other books, in that Allie has managed to weave in her own life along with comedy to keep the reader entertained. Reading about her reminded me of some of the crazy things I did as a kid and that made the experience even more special.

My favourite character award goes straight to Allie's dogs: the helper dog and the simple dog. They were hilarious and fantastic. I literally skipped pages to see how much further I had to read until it was another dog story.

While a lot of Hyperbole and Half was a compilation of hilarious moments in Allie's life there was also more connections to reality and I found that in the chapters about depression. It really brought me back to earth and taught me about something that I didn't know much about. Depression is quite horrifying especially if it can happen to such a seemingly happy person like Allie Brosh.

Hyperbole and a Half is not something I would've picked up on my own and so I'm very happy that P.E. introduced me to it. It's funny, witty, scary, realistic and yet unrealistic all at the same time. I read it more like an anthology and there were some stories that weren't as enjoyable so I can't give it the full 5 stars. But it was definitely a fun, quick read with great graphics!


-MARI

8 comments:

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WoW - Mortal Heart




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Mortal Heart

November 4, 2014

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has.


Oh my gosh! I can't believe the cover is finally here. The His Fair Assassins series is one of my absolute favourites. It's a conglomeration of history, fantasy, politics, suspense, mystery and assassins. Which is the making of a 5 star read for me. Too bad it's date of release is so far away, I don't think I can last that long!

What Are You Waiting On?

-MARI 

24 comments:

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Cover Wars: Everything Leads To You vs. Red Rising

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Red Rising won last week by the slimmest of margins: ONE vote. Voters enjoyed the drama of the cover. This week, it's against a very different type of cover. Can Red Rising win again now that it's up against Everything Leads To You?


The first thing to notice is that these covers are completely different from one another. One is light and very pretty, I think, with a cover that uses up all it's space while Red Rising focuses on making an impact with the empty space. I love the use of font on both covers. Everything Leads To You in particular has very thin, fun font with little lines pointing to the girl while Red Rising uses a red glow/shadow to make its font standout. Both covers are beautiful, but in completely different ways. 

Now, for the fun part. Both covers are worthy of Cover Wars, but only one will win this battle. It's up to you to vote for your favourite. Choose wisely, and let the Cover Wars begin!

Vote now!


Which cover should win Cover Wars?
 
 
  
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Review: Tarnish





Author: Katherine Longshore
Date of Publication: June 18 2013
Pages: 448
Source: Library

Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history.


Review:

Tarnish is really a fantastic historical read. I've always had an interest in Henry VIII's time period. It seemed like a dramatic time full of love and danger. I've read stories of Katherine of Aragon, Queen Elizabeth, Jane Grey and Queen Mary so I was excited to finally read a story about the infamous Anne Boleyn.

My knowledge of Anne Boleyn was that she was a witch with dark hair and great eyes. She wasn't traditionally beautiful yet bewitching. What was great about Tarnish was that it focused on Anne the girl, and I think it did a great job.

The biggest strength of Tarnish has to be the molding of Anne Boleyn. In historical fiction I've noticed that sometimes all the characters sound the same but Katherine Longshore made Anne different. Anne's character was developed thoroughly and I loved her despite her flaws. Anne is a combination of ambition and vulnerability. She doesn't believe in love and she wants so desperately to be somebody. There was a definite feminist vibe from Anne because she wasn't satisfied with being a tool for men. Anne wanted a lot from her life, and maybe this ambition would bring about her downfall, but it was a part of who she was. If she gave it up, she would be giving up herself.

The time period in Tarnish is Anne as a teenager after she returns from France to the English court. The story hints at the romance between Anne and Henry, but that's really not the focus of the novel. Tarnish focuses on what made Anne the women she was. Henry and Anne's relationship truly took off near the end of the book. It was interesting to see what Anne thought of Henry. Often, I've read about him being fat and childish, which may certainly be true, but in this story, Henry was a little more charming.

I don't know how historically accurate Tarnish was, but it was certainly a good novel. I never felt lost or confused. Often in historical novels there are so many characters that you forget some of them, but Katherine Longshore definitely differentiated her characters enough. The plot was engaging and I easily read Tarnish all in one sitting. I was never bored, and always curious to see what would happen to Anne.

The characters were surprisingly good and complex. I loved that about the story. Anne is rather self centered, but the narration still does a fantastic job portraying everyone. In particular, I enjoyed reading about Anne's sister Mary.

I would recommend Tarnish as one of the better historical novels. It was entertaining and helped me gain some insight into one of the most famous queens in history. 4 stars.


-P.E.


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The Weekly Progress: Goodbye Olympics

The Weekly Progress is a type of wrap up post that happens every Sunday on The Sirenic Codex looking on the week that was.

Books Read:

Nothing this week.

Currently Reading:


I'm still reading this one. I haven't been reading much so I'm still on the first few chapters. It looks really good though.

On The Blog:

We had a discussion filled week this time around. Sorry if we weren't as active on the blogosphere with comments, our lives basically consisted of school and olympics this week!

P.E. wrote about why don't teens read more YA


Cover Wars is featuring Red Rising vs. Pointe. Vote now!


My Waiting on Wednesday featured, Daughter of Chaos.


We also had a discussion up this week about guy in YA and why they are so HOT!


On friday, I reviewed Erased by Jennifer Rush, one of my favourites.


P.E. closed the week with her post, When I Need To Read. I can relate to many of her points.


What's Up:

P.E. and I are hardcore hockey / olympics fans so we both woke up extra early to watch the Canadian men hockey gold medal game. I have to say it was the highlight of my week though it happened around 30 minutes ago. It was a great olympics not just for Canada but worldwide. Can't wait until 2016 and 2018, mostly 2018 in Korea!

Also, you probably know that I'm a big fan of the Game of Thrones. Well, my favourite character has always been Jon Snow so imagine my excitement when I found out Kit Harington was in a movie about Rome!!! Pompeii was awesome, thumbs up if you want to watch it. Only problem is, I'm craving a good romantic gladiator book. I'm not too into the sexual material though so I'm cautious about the adult romance genre. Any recommendations?

I HOPE EVERYONE HAD A GREAT WEEK!

-MARI

2 comments:

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When I Need to Read




You've felt it: that itch, that burn, the realization that the real world doesn't matter, because the fictional world is calling you.

Sometimes, I really need to read. It's a bit of a desperate thing. I go a little crazy if I'm deprived from my book when I need it.

Obviously, it is essential to always keep a book handy. That being said, here are some warning signs for when I really need a book.




  • When I finish a book. You know those cliffhanger endings? I die a little at the thought of waiting a whole year for the next book.
  • When my thoughts are running wild. I'm an overly analytical person with a mind that won't shut up sometimes. I need the distraction to give myself a break.

  • When I feel too quiet. I'm as moody as anyone is, and when I'm in one of those awful moods where the world feels like a blur that's supposed to matter but doesn't, I need to retreat and read.
  • When I'm angry. Most people don't realize it (or maybe they do and I just don't know it) but I get very angry very fast. I can also let it go very quickly too, but when I'm in a foul mood, I need to read to let it go.
  • When I'm bored. Well, duh! There's never enough time to read all the books in the world and both for the blog and my mental well-being, I try to read as many as I can. This reason works very well during commutes. Being the 21st century kid that I am, I can not stand the thought of doing nothing with my previous time. That means that I'll fiddle with my phone and Twitter if I must, but mostly I'll want to read anything I can.
  • For review. Whoops. I can't believe I forgot about this until now. While most books are read on a "when I want to" basis, review books are given priority and read as soon as I can. There's a reason I don't accept too many of these; they can burn me out extremely quickly.


I've probably missed a few reasons. When do you really need to read?

-P.E.

4 comments:

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Review: Erased

Author: Jennifer Rush
Date of Publication: January 7, 2014
Pages: 288
Source: Bought
Series: Sequel to Altered

After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she's learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.
Then a figure from Anna's childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth -- before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?
Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned.


Review:
Erased was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2014, as I read Altered in 2013 and adored it. It was just what I expected, fast paced, action packed and easy to read. I picked up Erased right after exams ended and it helped sooth my nerves greatly. 

In Altered we met our cast of characters, Anna the daughter of a scientist who has four genetically manipulated boys living in her basement; Sam the leader, Cas the clown, Trev the genius and Nick the brooder. After a series of pretty dramatic event, they are pitched into the run for their lives as they seek cover from the Branch, the organization behind their alterations.

This book is set a few months after the events of Altered and the boys and Anna are at a safe house when they find out that someone they thought was dead might be alive and the Branch is after her. Dun Dun Dunn! 

I really enjoyed this book, it was a lot of fun and not too much to digest. But I have to admit that I had higher expectations than what I got. One of my problems with Altered was Anna. She was so clingy and childish but I saw some growth in her by the end. In Erased, she wasn’t clingy per say, instead she was just so naive. Constantly believing people she didn’t know over the boys and making decisions that blared the warning signals and while any sane person would’ve noticed the signals Anna didn’t, until it was to late.  

Anna aside, this is still one of my favourite action thrillers. I love the plot. The Branch is really an interesting organization and I enjoyed seeing the characters slowly remembering their past. Especially when their pasts didn’t turn out quite like they expected. 

We got to see more of Nick in this one and he is also on the cover. I really liked Nick, it might be partly because of his looks (dark hair and blue eyes!) and partly because he is just an asshole who wasn't afraid to tell the truth especially when Anna seemed to be incapable of seeing it herself. He was pretty interesting to read about and his and Anna’s relationship was fun to follow as well.

Sam was perfect as always, but my complaint stands in that we still don’t know much about him. His character is so closed off and it's hard to really build a well rounded character when not enough information is given. That’s especially problematic when the character is supposed to be the male lead. Same goes to Cas, he was funny but I wish he had more of a personality. Trev and Nick are definitely the most developed out of the bunch, so I like them the best.

Overall, Erased was really fun. It was so easy to read and become lost in the novel. Jennifer Rush has a clear and simple writing style that’s really hard not to get lost in. The plot was fast and interesting, this is defiantly a great book to read for pure enjoyment. 


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Discussion: This Is Why They're Hot



A discussion with P.E. and Mari.



Sorry for the song, but I feel like it's perfect for this post. Basically, I was rereading my review of Dare You To and fangirling on Ryan Stone all over again (*swoon*) and I remember that somehow you don't realize how brilliant a guy like Ryan is. So today, let's talk about the hot guys, AKA our favourite YA boyfriends. Any favourites?

Haha, lets clear this up. I don't dislike Ryan, he was probably the best part of the book but it is true that he didn't shine too brightly for me. As for YA boyfriends... there are way too many. First one to come to mind is always Alex Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry. I just love that brooding bad boy in the outside but actual gentleman in the inside. Also, his relationship with his brothers and his hilarious moments with his friends, especially Paco. Some others are, Will Herondale (Infernal Devices), Adrian Ivashkov and Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy), Four (Divergent), and Day (Legend), Chaol (Throne of Glass) etc. How about you? Do we have any in common?

Adrian Ivashkov, totally. Clockwork Princess kind of messed up Will and Jem for me. I like Four and Day, but not in a romantic way. Some of my favourite crushes are Damon from The Vampire Diaries, Keenan from Wicked Lovely, Todd from Soul Screamers, Gansey from Raven Boys, Adam from If I Stay... actually I think I'll stop now. I think what can be said about all those guys is that they are intense in some way. Adrian and Damon are your typical bad boys, Keenan is misunderstood and I admire him for making hard decisions, Todd and Ryan are guys that I would probably fall for in real life just because they're loyal and lovable, and Gansey and Adam are both very passionate about their own things, and passion is attractive to me. 

*Insert girly squeal* I love Adam! I think you put it very well, he is passionate, he is sweet and caring. While the other are out of this world Adam is more realistic, yet still very unreal in his epicness. Something I notice in all those guys is that they are all very manly. They embody a very strong and distinctly male presence....

I wouldn't exact say that. I mean, what is manly? They're all men. If you mean the testosterone, jockish type, I wouldn't agree. Gansey's intelligence is his defining feature to me. For me, I think the biggest factor is confidence. I actually like cockiness to the verge of arrogance just because it means they're more focused on themselves than their surroundings. That certain moral ambiguity is so gorgeous.

Definitely not the testosterone jockish type. Actually all of those guys are very different, I don't know much about Gansey, Keenan or Todd but the others, Adam and Four are protectors. I really like a man who is dedicated and always up to protect the ones they love. Historically, men are protectors and everyone loves to be loved and protected, and these guys fit the bill completely.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I want a protectors, but what I really look for is an absolute best friend. Someone I would trust with everything, and who I can enjoy the world with. 

I think that's a great way to put it. I've always said that the best relationships and ones that last longest are when the two people involved find that place where they are comfortable and honest with each other. I feel like this discussion is my proclamation of love to Adam from If I Stay but he is definitely someone I look for. He is honest, selfless, passionate and loving. I want to sit down and talk to him, I want to go on day trips all over New York with him. He is the best friend type for me.

I definitely agree.


What do you think? What characteristics do you need in YA love interests?

8 comments:

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WoW - Daughter of Chaos




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Daughter of Chaos

December 9, 2014

There comes a time in every witch's life when she must choose her path. Darlena's friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it's too late?











The synopsis really reminds me of Beautiful Creatures, the whole decision to become a certain type of witch though the characters in Beautiful Creatures had it a bit tougher as they didn't have a choice :) I really hope this one is good, it's been a while since I've read a book about witches and I love reading about them.


What Are You Waiting On?

-MARI 

2 comments:

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Cover Wars: Red Rising vs. Pointe


Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Pointe managed another win last week and as usual, it's back to face a new competitiro: Red Rising by Piece Brown. 


Red Rising is quite plain in comperison to Pointe but it still get the job done. The red of the cover corrisponds with the title nicely. It's simple but it stands out.

Let the Cover Wars begin!


Which cover should win Cover Wars?
  
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Why Don't More Teens Read YA?

I've recently read some pretty astonishing figures (to me at least) that half of YA books are bought by adults. It's crazy because YA seems to be blossoming, but not because teens are more into books than ever.

I grew up reading a lot of books, and I've always wondered why other people don't do the same. I know logically that some people feel the same way about reading as I do about movies- usually an awful experience, except for some special cases. I know it's an intense time commitment that most people my age aren't prepared to make often. 

Maybe most teens are too busy on social media or browsing YouTube videos endlessly to read a book. It could be that school is killing all free time (in some cases, it actually is) and teens need to relax with something that doesn't make them think. 

I've had a lot of people ask me how I read so fast. The truth is, I don't actually read that fast. If you were to time how long it takes me to read a page, it's honestly nothing impressive. The difference is that I started out reading in loud places, and learned how to focus single-mindedly on the task at hand. I don't often reread because I make sure to pay attention the first time, and I know that's something a lot of non-bookish people have trouble with. 


The other side of the coin is that teens read much more than you'd think. I read so much that sometimes I underestimate my peers that don't have a book with them at all times. People that read less are so much more picky with what they read, because it's more rare for them to have a book and they want it to be a great experience. 


It shouldn't be as shocking as it was to hear the other day that The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is circulating among classmates. I've been telling everyone to read this book for a long time now, but it's only now that the casual readers at my school are getting into it. It's actually a very strong domino effect. 

One person read it, gushed about it to another, maybe someone else then read it, and all of a sudden it becomes something everybody is doing. This reaffirms my belief that it's very rare for people to actually hate reading. Most people just haven't found the right book. 

As a book blogger and book lover, I try to push books at people who I think would like them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It does feel nice to discuss a book with a friend who read it just because you told them to, and they loved it. 

So what do you think? Are other people more bookish than we think? Why don't teens read more?

-P.E.


8 comments:

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The Weekly Progress: The Sea of Red

The Weekly Progress is a type of wrap up post that happens every Sunday on The Sirenic Codex looking on the week that was.


Read 


I've been waiting for this one to come out for quite a while as I really enjoyed the first book, Altered. Erased also proved to be entertaining. The review will be up this week.


Currently Reading


I started Fireblood, but it didn't really capture my attention so I'm putting it aside for the time being. I'm not sure if I'll be coming back to it.

I also picked up The Bone Season last night and so far I'm confused but it looks promising.


On The Blog

We started off the week with P.E.'s review of Taken By Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, sadly it didn't meet her expectations.

This week for Cover Wars, we have Under Nameless Stars vs. Pointe. Make sure to cast your vote!

On Waiting on Wednesday, I featured The Wicked We Have Done which looks awesome!

We started our valentines features a little early with P.E.'s review of Dare You To, which she adored.

On Friday, I wrote about my ultimate book boyfriend, the chivalrous William Herondale!

Finally, we ended off the week with P.E.'s review of Dreamless, another book she enjoyed.


The Week That Was


It was quite a boring week. We went to school, came home and did the minimal amount of homework. Last week was also, the continuation of the Winter Olympics in Sochi and P.E. and I are great fans (especially of hockey). I love the Olympic atmosphere. There are so many countries and cultures all competing and having fun. 



Also, don't hit me but I finally finished the third season of Game of Thrones and WOW! I'm not sure how it happened but I was the one to introduce P.E. to this show and somewhere along the way she got ahead of me :P Can't wait for the next season! 


Have A Nice Week Everyone!

-MARI

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Review: Dreamless

Author: Josephine Angelini
Date of Publication: May 29 2012
Pages: 487
Source: Library
Series: Starcrossed #2

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Review:

It started out at a crawl. There was minimal emotional connection and minimal discernible plot. That was just a setup. The ball finally got rolling, and Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is another riveting read.

I began the story completely lost. It's been a while since I read Starcrossed and I scoured the internet for some kind of summary of the first book in the series. Alas, I didn't get it, but some Wiki's and spoilers in reviews helped me catch up. At that point, I was not so seriously wondering how good Dreamless would be because so much of the beginning was focused on the repercussions of Starcrossed.

The beginning was extremely slow. It was basically Helen trapped in a million different nightmares and staying away from Lucas. Not much really happened beyond that, and I was too bored to be really into Helen. It wasn't until Orion entered the story that Dreamless sparkled.

Maybe I shouldn't fall for Orion, but I can't help it. He's sweet and loyal, and has had a miserable life. He's trustworthy and lighthearted too. He somehow always made Helen smile and brought some levity to the story. I could be sad that there is a love triangle in Dreamless, but it's extremely significant to the plot without actually being the plot. That's the type of love triangle I can excuse.

After Orion's entrance into the story, everything picked up. The plot becomes compelling and like Helen, I needed to figure out what is going on. The world building increased too, and learning about different powers and subplots was fun. This series was pitched as Percy Jackson for teenage girls, and while the world building isn't as good as Percy Jackson in my opinion, it's still pretty damn compelling. The idea of Scions and Helen of Troy is just genuinely cool.

By the end, I was hooked. I'm starting to recognize a pattern in Angelini's writing, and I think my point is don't be discouraged by the beginning because somehow, at some point everything clicks and the story becomes good. In fact, I want the sequel right now because I need to know what happens next.

The ending is pretty crazy. It's all over the place and it sets up the next book very nicely. Throughout Dreamless, I managed to like the characters. My complaint is that I don't know how much I actually care for them, versus the story.  I know I like most of the characters, but beyond Orion and maybe Helen, would I really mind if any one of them died?

You may notice that I've pretty much omitted Lucas from this review. I don't hate him in any way. This isn't me picking Team Orion and leaving Lucas alone, because frankly, there's only one fit for Helen. What I didn't like was that there was so little development of Lucas and Helen's relationship. They were already in love with one another and dealing with issues, which meant Lucas was very rarely around while Orion was. I got to know Orion better because (and this is awful but I have book amnesia okay!) I couldn't remember why I was supposed to like Lucas so much. It was like because he had already proven himself to Helen, there wasn't that much focus on why the two liked each other which is fine, because their relationship doesn't need to start over because it's a new book, but I personally found it hard to connect with.

I tried to remain balanced in this review, but clearly I enjoyed Dreamless. It was an extremely entertaining read.


-P.E.



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My Ideal Book Boyfriend: William Herondale

I confess, I've probably crushed on 90% of the male leads in the books I've read. I can't help it. They are perfect, yet not too perfect so they don't feel fake. There is just something about them that desensitizes you to guys that actually exist around you so that when you meet real people, you're always just a little disappointed that they're not the replica of your ideal book boyfriend. 

With the sheer number of perfect guys in YA, it's almost a crime to have a favourite. How can one manage that?! I ask myself the same question but somehow I think that I have found the perfect book boyfriend.

William Owen Herondale

Gwilym Owain Herondale
Half Mundane (Welsh) and Half Nephilim
Born: 1861
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

From the start, I was a fan of Will, though I admit it was a tough choice as Jem was an angel. However, there was something in Will that always caught my attention. Maybe it was his "bad boy" nature, or the fact that he seemed so helpless; what ever it was, he stuck.

There aren't many characters that I can describe after reading the book and that's simply because I ignore the book and form an ideal image in my own head. Imagine my surprise when they kept talking about having Danila Kozlovsky, the actor playing Dimitri Belikov in the Vampire Academy movie, grow his hair out. What? Dimitri has long hair?

This shock came because I'm not too into long hair on guys. Ideally, I imagine guys having some nice, short hairstyle. It's completely my preference and I throw it into my reads. Will was different in that, I didn't have to do this as he hit the nail on the head of my ideal picture each time.
  • Dark hair
  • Blue eyes
  • Chiseled chin (ok I'm making this one up; I just like how that sounds...)
  • Bilingual (Welsh is so cool!)

Imagine Nicholas Hoult in the Victorian Era!

Like he isn't perfect enough, Will reads books! He quotes books as well, something I can never accomplish. Some of my favourite scenes in Infernal Devices were when Will and Tessa would spend time reading together. This mundane, simple task was so fascinating to read. Maybe it's because I don't know many guys in real life who read but this filled that gap. Will also made me a Dickens fan though I've never read his books and don't even think they're my cup of tea. Either way, if I do pick up a Charles Dickens book, I'll end up stopping to go search out Will's favourite parts.

There are so many more lovable elements to William Herondale. He has universal appeal. We all love guys who are, honest, loyal, loving, and strong. Not to mention, funny; his jokes are the kind to send me keeling and who doesn't love a man who can make you smile?

Will Moments:


  • “My name is Herondale," the boy said cheerfully. "William Herondale, but everyone calls me Will. Is this really your room? Not very nice, is it?" He wandered toward the window, pausing to examine the stacks of books on her bedside table, and then the bed itself. He waved a hand at the ropes. "Do you often sleep tied to the bed?” -Clockwork Angel
  • “It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.” -Clockwork Prince
  • “Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you? 
    “It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.” -Clockwork Prince
  • “They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
    Will blinked at her. “What?”
    “Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
    “I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
    Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
    “Mauve,” said Will.”  - Clockwork Prince
  • “And to the devil with it if she is!" said the Consul. "One girl, who is not Nephilim, is not, cannot, be our priority."
    "She is my priority!" Will shouted.”  - Clockwork Princess
  • “I'm afraid to answer that. I've heard that when I speak, it makes American women wish to strike me with umbrellas.” -Clockwork Princess

Who, if anyone specific, is your ideal book boyfriend?

-MARI

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Review: Dare You To

Author: Katie McGarry
Date of Publication: May 28 2013
Pages: 456
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Source: Library ebook

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Review:

I enjoyed Dare You To even more than I enjoyed Pushing the Limits. It's a completely personal thing: I just felt like I could connect with Ryan and Beth better than with Noah and Echo.

Ryan is absolute perfection. No seriously. He is adorable in ever way. I love his desire to win. I love how he pushes himself to succeed. I love that he is also a decent guy. He respects women, he is big on communicating, and he's sexy as hell too. His character just came alive and I think without a doubt he is one of my favourite book boyfriends, if not the favourite. He's that incredible.

I also connected with Beth. She was so guilty and felt so trapped. She couldn't believe that she was getting something good. She was so guarded it was heartbreaking, but I loved watching her grow.

I love how all the characters had backgrounds and back stories. Their lives were difficult, especially when it came to family, but the story remained hopeful. The relationships were well fleshed out, and there were many of them. I loved when Ryan hung out with Chris and Logan. Lacy was a fantastic character. Isaiah was given the short end of the stick, but honestly I agreed with the author. In the end, Beth got exactly what she needed.

Dare You To is a romance, and it did its job extremely well. There was so much chemistry between Beth and Ryan, and their relationship developed very well. It took time, and I love how it started with interest, then grew to like and love. I'm not usually into romance, but this one stuck with me.

In conclusion, Dare You To is awesome and this review should be longer but I can't do it because I'm still swooning over Ryan Stone.


-P.E.


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WoW - The Wicked We Have Done




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

The Wicked We Have Done

December 9, 2014

Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.




I saw this over on Haley @ .Ya-Aholic's blog and had to add it to my tbr. There are so many reasons as to why I can't wait for this one to come out.
  1. Prison (I have an insane fascination with prison stories. I think it's a side effect of watching too much Prison Break!)
  2. Accused killer! That's all I need to hear to know that I'm up for some ass kicking.
  3. College student! It's not everyday we get a New Adult book that isn't strictly romance.
  4. Obstacles course and psychotic criminals = FUN!
I hope this one is as engaging and action packed as it seems. 


What Are You Waiting On?

-MARI 

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Cover Wars: Under Nameless Stars vs. Pointe


Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Pointe managed to prevail in last weeks Cover Wars. This week, it's back to face Under Nameless Stars by Zenn Scarelett.


Both cover are dark yet beautiful. Pointe is more focused on the bright title and the silhouette of the model, while Under Nameless Stars has a simple title but goes all out on the stars. 

Two stunning cover, which do you prefer?

Let the Cover Wars begin!


Which cover should win Cover Wars?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

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Review: Taken by Storm

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Date of Publication: May 22 2012
Pages: 314
Source: Library Ebook
Series: Raised by Wolves #3

Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

Review:

*insert very colourful collection of curse words*

Taken by storm was just cruel. It was brutal because it was the finale to one of my favourite series and I hate that I don't feel done with this series. There's more I need to read and know about Bryn's world because this book was way too short.

I just read two books that were too long and now this one, at a little over 300 pages, that just doesn't cut it. Did Jennifer Lynn Barnes just get bored with the series or something? Bryn and the premise remain as strong as ever. It was addicting to read about pack politics and Bryn's responsibilities and powers as alpha. It was a fascinating part of her and I enjoyed it.

I can't help thinking however that this was not a strong end to the series. There was one storyline that finished very fast, and another that while it did make sense, was barely explained. I blinked and the story was gone. It could have been drawn out. The plot could have been more ambitious so I could have time to say goodbye to these characters, but this just felt abrupt.

The more I think about it, the more disappointed I am with Taken by Storm. The specifics to the ending don't bother me too much (well, in terms of reviewing the story. Emotionally is different). It just again feels like the timeline just got cut and there's no more story. I can't even comment that much about plot and characters because Taken by Storm was so brief that it never really went too in depth with any of them except Bryn.

I adore Bryn. She's one of my favourite protagonists and I loved every second of her perspective. I could empathize with her completely, and the choices she made as alpha were tough but ultimately she did what she had to.

I'm still trying to grasp why the series ended like this. The first book was amazing. The second was good, but this one barely had enough of its own plot and felt like an addendum to the second. In fact, if this story had been added to Trial by Fire it wouldn't have been that out of place. Is a message being sent? Sometimes life is abrupt and painful? If so, lesson learned. Realistically, something like this ending could always happen. Maybe I've read too many books though and have certain expectations for endings that weren't met here.

I'm really sorry to have spent most of this review whining about how I wish this was longer. Everything to the story was good, especially for the length of the novel, but at the end of the day I can't get over how I don't feel like this was a good ending to the series. I actually thought there was a mistake when I flipped to the next page on my Kobo and the story was gone.


-P.E.


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