Book Haul! (5)

Book Haul

I feel like I had a pretty decent haul this month and I even won an e-book (!!) in a Twitter giveaway. I also received quite a few e-ARCs and ended up borrowing some library books.

Won…

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I only recently started following the author on twitter/wordpress but ever since, I’ve been really psyched to read her books because she just seems really awesome. Under The Lights also appears to be an original book in one of my favorite genres (YA CONTEMPORARY!).

ARCs…

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Thank you to Full Fathom Five, Peachtree Publishers, Alloy Entertainment, and Amulet Books for the review copies of Dead Ringer, Believarexic, The Space Between Heartbeats, and Worlds of Ink and Shadow. I am most excited to read Dead Ringer because it’s a thriller and I haven’t read a book in that genre in a while. (There are also no negative ratings/reviews on Goodreads right now.. but hopefully I won’t be the first!).

Borrowed…

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It’s been a while since I borrowed books (and had to endure the added weight to my heavy backpack) but I really wanted to read these books so I decided it was worth it! Both of these books are incredible. SO INCREDIBLE. (And Through the Woods is especially beautiful) The only reason I didn’t write a review is because I don’t have time to.

The Liebster Award

the liebster award

Thank-you to Skylee @ The Night Girl and Prima @ Panda Hearts Books for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

the rules…

  • Each nominee must have under 200 followers
  • Thank and link to the nominated blog
  • Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
  • Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they have been nominated
  • Write a post containing the questions
  • Include these rules in the post

Questions from Skylee & Answers from Me:

1. Tell me about your favourite book genre? or sub genres? Why is it your favourite?

My favorite book genre is Young Adult fiction because (..this might sound cliche but) it’s relatable. I’m a teenager and being able to connect to fictional teens who are experiencing the same things, makes me feel like I’m not alone. Many of the YA books I’ve read have also taught me a lot about things like mental illness and other “taboo” topics. My favorite subgenres are contemporary and fantasy. Depending on my mood, I will reading book from either of these genres. These days, I often avoid dystopia or paranormal books (unless there is tons of hype surrounding it or the book was recommended to me) because a lot of those books are becoming kind-of cliche.

2. Do you have any other passions? if so, what are they?

Not really… If I’m not studying or doing homework, I’m reading, writing or blogging (or watching tv). I write novels (or try to anyway), short-stories and poetry. Some of my poetry and prose can be found on my tumblr blog.

3. Favourite summer activity that isn’t reading?

I’m not sure if traveling counts but I am starting to enjoy it even more (although the jet lag is a pain in the ass).

How do you feel about gardening?

I’d rather not do it…My grand parents have a garden where they grow flowers, vegetables and even a (mango) tree..but I don’t think those gardening genes got passed on to me. I’m just not someone who really enjoys getting her hands dirty. I’ve gardened a couple of times during service projects at school trips but I didn’t enjoy it that much.

Do you believe in mermaids?

Maybe. I’m skeptical but I try to be open-minded.

What historical period of time do you think you would have liked to live in?

The Renaissance period because a bunch of amazing things were created.

Do you prefer stand alone books or trilogies or even series?

If I really like a book, I’ll wish there was an entire series or trilogy for me to read because I can fangirl even longer. But if I didn’t like the book, I want it to be a standalone so I don’t have to read the entire series to get all the answers. I guess I just can’t pick. These days I read more stand alones than series (or just read one or two books from a series) because it gives me more time to try books by other authors.

If you could choose a best friend from a book (e.g. what main characters best friend would you want to be your best friend) who would it be and from what book?

Simon from Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda. He’s really sweet and cute and I just couldn’t get enough of him! The entire time I read this book, I kept on wishing it was part of a series.

If you could acquire any type of skill in the world, what would it be?

By skill..do you mean like super powers? Okay I would probably want the power to read superfast (that sounds nerdy doesn’t it?). But I honestly can’t think of anything else.. I don’t want to read minds because I mean invading privacy. And I’m scared of heights so forget flying! (Comment down below and let me know what kind of skill or super power you want!)

Do you judge books by their covers?

ALL THE TIME! Sexy, gorgeous, amazing, eye-catching, fab-(okay you get the idea) covers are all it takes to get me to read the blurb…and honestly, when I’m scrolling through Top 10/20 lists and I don’t have time to read all those blurbs, I just click on the books that have great covers and add them on goodreads (I’m lazy like that). I know that isn’t totally fair but I’m a firm believer that if a book is good, it will find it’s way to me eventually.

Questions from Prima & Answers from Me:

How do you juggle your reading time with life?

So far it hasn’t been much of a struggle. I like to read in the “in-between” moments – when I’m waiting for the bus, right before/after class..you name it (you could find me reading in a grocery store). Sometimes I sacrifice reading time to get work done so that I’ll have time to read the next day or week.

Sell me your favourite book in a sentence. (Does this even count as a question?)

Angels, demons, and the people who hunt them..? (I know this is pretty bad but I honestly can’t think of something decent right now.. oh well)  (I’m describing the Shadowhunter Chronicles.)

Who is your all time book OTP?

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments.

Do you have any bookish merchandise? If not, what would you like to have?

Nope. I really wish I did – I’d love to get some bookish jewellery (maybe some charms). I love those really pretty bookmarks as well even though I usually read on my Kindle.

Do you write reviews all in one go or bits over a few days?

I take a couple of days to edit and polish the review but I like to get all my thoughts out at once so that I don’t forget anything I’d want to include. Sometimes I can’t get my thoughts together and end up writing half a review one day and finishing it the next day.  

Which character would be your best friend and why?

Katy from the Lux series because she’s also a book blogger and I would have so much fangirling over books with her.

What book would you love to see as a movie/tv show?

I would say City of Bones…but we crossed that bridge a while ago and oh gosh, the movie was pretty awful. So instead I’m going to say the Lux series.

Why did you decide to start a book blog?

I’d made a few blogs before but I would just post these random things like my top 10 favorite nail polish colors (even though I’m not that interested in nail polish).. I would get bored after a week or two of trying to brainstorm content and give up (but those blogs were actually really bad so whew!). Anyway, a year ago my best friend, Jessica, “introduced” me to the concept of book blogging when she started a book blog. I did some “research” and decided to make a blog (I never dreamed it would go on for this long.)

Which book do you wish you have right now?

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. I’ve heard so many good things about it.

Who is your least favourite character of all time and why?

I don’t really have one..I even admire the villains (extra points if they’re smart and hot).

Besides reading, what is your other obsession?

Writing. I’ve always had a passion for writing but sometimes I can’t find time to do both.

10 Questions for Nominees:

1. What is your favorite part of being a (book) blogger?

2. What are some book tropes that you hate and/or love?

3. Do you guys have any blogging or writing rituals?

4. What are some bookish turn-ons?

5. Of the top of your head, what are your top ten favorite (main or minor) characters?

6. What is your dream job (or if you already have it, what else do you think you would enjoy doing or what is your job and why do you love it so much)?

7. What are your hobbies – apart from reading?

8. Do you back up (all) your blog posts and images?…Do you back up anything?

9. How do you stay organized and/or do you have a blogging schedule?

10. Who are your book boyfriends?

My Nominations:

  1. Writing on a Vintage Typewriter
  2. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader
  3. Rebecca @ RebeccaBookReview
  4. Eviline Lunette @ Adventuring Through Pages
  5. Michelle @ The Unfinished Bookshelf
  6. Kimberly @ Over The Bookshelf
  7. Poulami @ Daydreaming Books
I know that’s less than 10 but I wasn’t sure who else to nominate (I’m so bad at this!) And I apologize in advance if you guys have already been nominated for this award. (Also I’m not 100% sure if you guys have less than 200 followers..) Feel free to comment with a link to your post or say hi on twitter! I look forward to reading your posts! 

The Monthly Recap #4

Monthly Recap

Hey guys!

I feel like August just flew by and I almost forgot to do a recap…But luckily today was a school holiday and I decided to make use of my free time. School started halfway through last month so I apologize for the fact that I published fewer posts toward the second half of the month. I don’t think I’ll be able to blog every other day anymore (especially now that I’m taking AP World History!) but I’m still going to try to blog once or twice every week. I was also nominated for a couple of awards and if you nominated me, I assure you I haven’t forgotten. I just haven’t found the time to put together the blog post.

Blog Posts

BOOK REVIEWS

The Corridor by A.N Willis

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Mini-Reviews: Finding Audrey Pointe

Mini-Reviews: Illusions of Fate & Seraphina

OTHER

Book Haul! (4)

Versatile Blogger Award

Infinity Dreams Award

WRITING STUFF

#AmWriting :: Publication News // A WIP // Short Stories

Also, all the comics I’ve been (binge) reading have helped me catch up on my Goodreads reading challenge goal..Now, goodreads tells me I am one book ahead of schedule!

Book Review: The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

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Publisher: Hyperion

Release Date: January 28th 2014

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

My Review

I really enjoyed The Archived so when I started reading The Unbound, I was disappointed. While The Archived was fresh and original, The Unbound seemed to drag and lacked the plot and action that made the first book an addictive enjoyable read. Mackenzie, in the first book, is obsessed with her dead brother and she makes some bad decisions because of this nostalgia. And I had hoped that Mackenzie’s character would finally become a force to be reckoned with in this second book. But she doesn’t, instead she’s obsessed with Owen – the history that she pushes into a void at the end of The Archived. She has nightmares about him, she hallucinates about him, and she keeps rehashing everything that happened with him in the first book.

Then there’s the fact that Mackenzie barely has any “real” relationships with anyone. She becomes even more closed-off because she doesn’t want to tell anyone about what she’s going through. I understood that she didn’t want to involve anyone – especially not Wesley, but this whole “lying to protect the ones I love” thing gets old pretty fast. To be honest, at some parts of this book, I was just skim-reading through all her monologues.

So I didn’t really like Mackenzie. But I did love Wesley. I loved getting to see “prep school Wesley” and I feel like I just fell in love with him even more as we learned more about him. It was frustrating because he and Mackenzie had so much potential for an amazing boyfriend-girlfriend relationship…but at the same time Mackenzie didn’t give him the attention he deserved. She’s pretty selfish and doesn’t often take time to learn more about him – which is disappointing because I just wanted to know everything. 

Overall, the book lacked action and sometimes there isn’t much of a plot. There are some action scenes dispersed throughout the book but 80% of it is rather dull – especially because the characters aren’t all that great (well except for Wesley). I’m afraid I won’t recommend this book but I loved The Archived and you might too!

Bookish Links I Love (1)

This post is basically a bunch of shout-outs to posts (and usually blogs) I love. Next post will probably be featuring my follower’s blogs (I’m excited!).

Book Reviews

  • Rashika discusses how Court of Fives disappointed her. I was kind of excited for this one but now I’ve taken my expectations down a notch (I can adapt!).
  • Aasma finds To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before to be a light and relatable read.
  • Cait gushes over The Wrath and the Dawn and I agree with everything she says as always.
  • Olivia reviews and recommends Heir of Fire to fans of high fantasy books.
  • Alise confesses that at first she didn’t “get” The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
  • Emily thought Never Alway Sometimes was super cliched even though it tried hard not to be cliche.

Book Hauls/Discussions/Interviews/Tags/Other Awesome Stuff

  • Aimee interviews Sarah Ockler and hosts a giveaway (which is still open!!). The interview itself is pretty awesome especially since I absolutely loved The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. 
  • McKenzie does the Reading Habits Tag (and I approve of her answers).
  • Jess participates in Stacking the Shelves and reminds her readers that she doesn’t read all the books she gets
  • Skylee does the Ultimate Book Tag and, in the process, introduces me to a new word: hiraeth.
  • Blaise participates in #TBRTakedown 2.0
  • Emily discusses reading slumps and blogging breaks

Comment below and share some posts or blogs you love!

Book Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

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Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 26th 2015

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, YA

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

My Review

Disclaimer: There will be some minor spoilers in this review. 

Tiny Pretty Things has chapters that alternate between the perspectives Gigi, Bette and June. Yes, there is a lot of drama and conflict centred around this three characters but at the same time there is also a lot of stuff involving the supporting characters. So my main issue with this book is that there is too much going on. It’s too confusing and less than a month after reading this book, I’m already having trouble remembering who did what to who. Things happen in quick succession and I had no time to process and absorb all this information being thrown at me. The Perfectionists also has a complicated plot like this but unlike Tiny Pretty Things, it rehashes important scenes multiple times so that it’s easier to keep track of what happened. But on the flip side, did enjoy the majority of the plot twists and drama..and I read the book in a single sitting (on the plane) because it’s that addictive.

The characters are intense, flawed and diverse. Gigi is basically the “new girl” – she’s naive, loyal, likeable and really has no clue just how mean girls can be at her new ballet school. Unfortunately, Gigi is also in the minority as the only black ballet dancer and she gets the lead role. So naturally, everyone hates her. In some ways Gigi was disappointing.. I felt like her getting hurt so much was partly her fault because she kept trying so hard to see the good in everyone. It’s like she just can’t process the fact that someone can lie to her face and try to hurt her because they want the lead.

The other main characters, Bette and June kind-of scared me (and I won’t really get into why because those will be major spoilers). Bette is this perfect girl who seems to have everything…until it starts being taken from her. First, her lead role then her boyfriend. June, on the other hand, is still trying to prove herself to the ballet instructors. She’s half-Asian and (for the most part) the understudy which means that she has to face the brunt of her mom’s anger. When June’s mom starts threatening to stop paying for her ballet practice, she has to take “drastic measures” so to speak.

Some of the character’s struggles (especially with their parents) were kind of relatable. I could understand June’s obsession with perfection because I’ve been there in terms of my grades in HS. Her mom is also really intense, and as an Asian girl with parents who remind me often enough to do better than my best, I could totally sympathize with her. But I couldn’t sympathize with her and Bette’s need to eliminate their “competition.” I’ve been bullied before (though not as extremely as Gigi) and it was not a pleasant experience. So if you are going to read this book, you should know that this book tackles bullying and harassment, food disorders, body image, etc. If you’re not comfortable reading about these things, then this book isn’t for you.

In the end, I lowered my rating by 0.5 because of the ending. I didn’t like it. I was all…

tumblr_n3q8sekbO61rn2pfqo1_r1_1280I mean, that ending was sort of a cliffhanger and apparently this book is supposed to be a standalone? The ending didn’t seem to tie up anything, I felt like there was still so much left to resolve (I need to know things okay?) and the author just randomly decided to stop writing the book. (Once again, it might just be me because most reviewers don’t seem to have had a problem with ending.)

So while I loved how dark, original, intense and diverse this book is, I also had some issues with it. BUT I RECOMMEND IT! Go read it, and then tell me what you think!

Book Haul! (3)

Book Haul

Hello!

I’ve been trying to limit my book-buying lately so my haul actually only consists of four books. 

ARCs

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I’m really excited to read both of these books so thank-you to Random House Children’s for sending me review copies. I’ve heard or read great things about all these books so I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them. But of-course I will wait because the ARCs aren’t publishing for a month or two (whew!) and I have other books I really want to read.

Books I Bought

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Ink and Ashes doesn’t have a lot of reviews or ratings on Goodreads but the avg rating isn’t that bad so I decided to give it a chance. I just started it a few days ago and it hasn’t done a great job of holding my attention. However, the premise did seem interesting to me so I’m going to keep reading and hopefully it’ll get better. Every Last Word seems pretty popular and since I love contemporary, I ended up buying it too.

What books have you bought/received recently? Which are you most excited to read?

777 Challenge

I was tagged by Brett Michael Orr, a month ago, and I truly intended to do this challenge sooner but I forgot. I know that’s not much of an excuse but I was traveling too! Anyway, I’m going to share 7 lines from the 7th page of my current (unfortunately unfinished) WIP (The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween) and then tag 7 other bloggers. The snippet below is taken from the first chapter which can be found here.

7 Lines from TGTBTI

This might sound sappy…and kind-of stupid but when Shawn died I felt like a part of myself died. He was my best friend but of-course (I’m a total cliche, I know), I was in love with him. Normally I’d recoil at the thought of hitting on a guy who thinks of you as his sister..but everything just seemed to click when I hung out with him. Of-course I knew it was going to be unrequited love. If he would hook up with anyone, it would have to be Sindhu – the shy pretty perfect Indian girl. Anyway, I think unrequited love is sort of my “thing” if you know what I mean. But even after finding out Shawn was gay, I kept hoping that he was actually bisexual and didn’t know it. Maybe he just hadn’t met a girl he liked yet. I mean people find out things they didn’t know about themself all the time. Right?

Aaand I challenge:
Áine | Michelle || Cassie || Emily || Christina || Cait || Bree

Beautiful Blogger Award

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Thank-you to Tiffani @ The Book Venom for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger Award!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the blogger who nominated you.
2. List seven random facts about you.
3. Nominate seven creative, beautiful bloggers, and notify them.

7 Random Facts:

  1. Sometimes I randomly start humming songs that are inside of my head. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this so if you do, TELL ME so we can be weird together 😀 *hugs myself*
  2. Seems like I have music on the mind, so fact #2 is that I can be very fickle when it comes to what music I like listening to. Even though I like a lot of mainstream pop music, I still gravitate toward the slower “deeper” songs that have more meaning and more lyrics..I guess my music choices just depend on my mood. (Right now I’m listening to Breathe In Breathe Out by Hilary Duff – it is one amazing album!)
  3. (Last music fact I promise!) I used to play the piano and I played for 6-7 years before I quit. I quickly lost interest in playing the instrument when I started High School and began blogging. Maybe I’ll take lessons again in the future but for now, I just want to focus on my studies, my writing and blogging.
  4. I currently have really long hair…as in my curly hair reaches my waist. I still can’t make up my mind whether to cut it short or not but it’s starting to become a nuisance!
  5.  I am always thinking about something which is why I find it incredibly hard to meditate. Usually, I’m wondering about what my favorite book characters are up to (I didn’t say my thoughts are logical!). Sometimes I compose fanfiction with happy endings and imagine them acting out fictional arguments. Other times I’m thinking about some aspect of blogging – usually something I want to try or forgot/need to do ASAP.
  6. I never know who to nominate for awards and tags because I feel like by the time I get around to doing them, everyone else has already done them!..or at-least everyone I can think of. Hopefully everyone I nominate won’t have done this tag!
  7. I am currently obsessing over chocolate I bought in Germany. My mom bought a couple of boxes at the airport and we ended up eating two each on the spot. They are simply delicious and I totally recommend buying some if you ever visit Germany!

Aaaand my 7 Amazing Nominees are:

  1. Kayla @ Kayla’s Books
  2. Maria @ The Paisley Reader
  3. Brett @ Brett Michael Orr
  4. Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff
  5. Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Book Reviews
  6. Áine @ Writing on a Vintage Typewriter
  7. The Time Traveling Writer @ The Time Traveling Writer’s Blog

Have fun and don’t forget to link me so I can come see your post 🙂 

The Monthly Recap #2

The Monthly Recap

Hi everyone,

I’m sorry for posting this recap so late but I forgot to schedule it before I went to India. Anyway, last month was pretty eventful! School ended, report cards came out, and I traveled around Europe for two weeks with my parents. (Oh yea and my grades were pretty good so I was more-or-less pleased with my report card.) Europe was amazing (even though I experienced heavy jet-lag once I got home). I got to travel to Rome, Venice, and Florence in Italy. I also stayed a couple of days in Austria and Germany. I don’t think you guys noticed the difference though because most of the posts, I scheduled, published on time.

Blog Posts:

Book Reviews

A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Inherit The Stars by Tessa Elwood

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski 

The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan

Out of all these books, I enjoyed The Winner’s Crime and The Girl at Midnight the most. I read both of these books a few months ago but they were so good, I just had to write up reviews for them. If you haven’t read them yet, I’d say you’re missing out.

Book Tags

#WritersLife Tag

The Courtship Book Tag

‘Would You Rather’ Book Tag

The Bookish Love Tag

Blog Awards

Creative Blogger Award

Book Hauls

Book Haul! (1)

Book Haul! (2)

I had some great hauls and I’m excited to read and review all the ARCs I received. Also, thanks to bloggers who tagged or nominated me for awards/tags.

I guess I had a relatively busy month on the blog and in real life (but thank god for scheduling posts!). So do you schedule posts? Have you been traveling too? How has your month been?