Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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[ Goodreads ] Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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[Goodreads]

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

 

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Review: Strange The Dreamer

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 

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 [ Goodreads The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep. 

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September Wrap Up

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This was a hectic first month of the semester for me and I’m not looking forward to continuing all that much, to be honest. I started uni classes and driving classes and I have so much homework, and barely any time to eat a proper lunch. I’m so glad September’s over, and I’m so glad I still managed to post so much. I hope I can keep that up. If only I could skip October and all the tests and assignments I have to do… Oh well, better get started with the wrap-up!

 

Books Read: 

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I was on a book ban but I ordered Tower of Dawn because I can’t stop thinking about Rowaelin, Elide and Lochan, Manon and Dorian, and Aedion and Lysandra! THEY’RE ALL SO PRECIOUS, ESPECIALLY ABRAXOS! I read these four TOG books on my first week of classes. I had sooo much time that week, every teacher canceled at least one class and there one or two days when I didn’t have classes at all!

The Midnight Sea wasn’t as good as I expected but it was definitely entertaining and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. 

  1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
  2. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars (2nd favorite)
  3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
  4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars (favorite)
  5. The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross – 3.5-4 stars

 

Reviews & Some Other Posts: 

 

Here’s a list of some of the movies I watched this month (for the first time) that I really enjoyed and strongly recommend: 

  • The Innocents – 4 stars
  • Kong: Skull Island – 3.5 stars
  • The Empire Strikes Back – 3.5 stars
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – 4.5 stars  (one of my favorites of all the movies I watched this month; I would just like to thank god for Charlie Hunnam)
  • IT – 4 stars

Unpopular opinion of the month: I really disliked Baby Driver and it was painful to finish, and I don’t see what all the hype is about.

 

Reading Ebooks: Pros, Cons & Personal Preferences

This month was off to a great start for me in terms of reading but as the semester progresses, the workload increases and it seems I underestimated how much work I would actually have to do this month…

It’s in these times that I turn to ebooks! Most of my classes require me to carry my tablet or computer around as it’s simply not practical to just carry a notebook or use my phone. To those who have light MAC computers, maybe you can carry a physical book with you everywhere but those of us who have a medium sized laptop (I’ve got a 13-15 inch one, I think? the measures may be different), it’s too much weight. Ebooks are practical as hell, though. 

Personally, I prefer physical books, but I love any type of book. (I love owning a physical copy of the book because of the feel and the reading experience, in general.) In the past, I’ve read ebook versions of some books that I ended up buying a physical copy of and rereading several times (like The Young Elites and The Song of Achilles). 

However, when I’m extremely busy with college, I read ebooks. Plural, yes, as in several a week/day, depending on the size and/or of my free time. I’ll admit one of the perks of reading ebooks is that you can read them in class and your teacher might not even notice anything unusual. Back in March, I read Hollow City, The Foxhole Court, Heartless and Boy Meets Boy (all ebooks), most of them in class and/or in the bus. Sadly, ebooks do take a lot of my tablet’s battery. 

Ideally, all ebooks would have a clean, simple format with good margins. Sadly, some are so badly-formatted, it’s actually painful to read. Of course, that is because of the origin of the ebook (which may or may not be an illegal pdf from the internet). I won’t comment any further than this but apparently, Guttenberg.org offers lots of free ebooks. Smashwords also has free ebooks (put there by their authors) and very cheap ebooks.  

At the moment, I’d like to read my physical copies of Traitor to the Throne, Spice &Wolf Light Novel Vol. 2 or The Raven Boys. Too much weight for my back and shoulders, though, so I’m currently considering to read one or more of the following books (that I have in ebook format): 

  • The Midnight Sea – Kat Ross (The Fourth Element book 1 of 3)
  • The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn book 1 of 7?)
  • Talon – Julie Kagawa (Talon book 1 of 5)
  • Three Dark Crowns -Kendare Blake
  • Siena – Zoe Blessing
  • The Near Witch – V.E. Schwab
  • Soundless – Richelle Mead
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking book 1 of 3)
  • Lover Reborn – J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood book 10 of ?)

 

What are some of your thoughts on ebooks? Do you prefer them over physical copies? Do you read on your phone or kindle or nook or…? Comment your thoughts!

Summer Book Haul!

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I was supposed to be on a book ban until September but as I always, I didn’t stick to it and gave into temptation…. and bought a few books. It wasn’t that many, thankfully and I’ve already read one of them that I loved. 

  1. On Writers And Writing by Margaret Atwood [Goodreads]
  2. The Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham [Goodreads]
  3. The Sellout by Paul Beatty [Goodreads]
  4. Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda [Goodreads]
  5. Quando Lisboa Tremeu – Domingos Amaral* [Goodreads

*The literal translation of this title would be ‘When Lisbon Shook’ and it’s a book set during the day of the 1755 earthquake (estimated 8.5-9.0 magnitude), fires and tsunami that followed it that occurred in Lisbon. It follows four main characters, a young nun sentenced to die, an English Captain, a young boy, a young scribe’s assistant and a pirate. It actually seems pretty fun and interesting and not all gloom and death (but there will be some of that too, I assume). To my knowledge (and according to Goodreads), there is no English translation yet. 

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The TBR Book Tag

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I don’t use the Goodreads tbr shelf much but I sometimes keep a list. I usually just look at my shelves and look for unread books.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Mostly print, though I have a few in ebook format on my current list. 

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’ve tried making goals list and that sometimes works and other times I just read whatever I’m feeling like reading.

4. A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

I’ve had these books on my shelves for the longest time! (and I’m finally reading one of them and making some progress though I’ve tried reading ACOK and LOTF before but didn’t get very far. 

 

6. A book you recently added to your TBR?

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Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

 

7. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

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I was just reading the synopsis and it honestly didn’t even look that interesting so maybe I did only put it in my TBR because of the cover….. but it is gorgeous, though. 

8. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

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I bought it on sale at my favorite bookstore for literally 1€ and I’m not even sure why anymore… I think I’m going to sell it. Also, I really hate this cover. 

9. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

Literally so many! 

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses Novella #1 – Sarah J. Maas
  • Godsgrave (Nevernight #2) Jay Kristoff
  • Obsidio (Illuminae #3) – Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
  • Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo 
  • Turtles All The Way Down – John Green
  • Warcross – Marie Lu

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

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Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

 

It sounds pretty interesting actually, but I’m not just that excited to read it and it’s not one of my priority buys, you know?

 

11. A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

  • The Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Secret History by Donna Tart
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Lunar Chronicles books by Marissa Meyer

12. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

THESE BOOKS THESE BEAUTIES I’M SO EXCITED AND AT THE SAME INTIMIDATED

13. How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

At the moment I have 330!! And it just keeps growing and I doubt I’ll ever read even half those books, though to be honest, I don’t mark many books on Goodreads. I have a wishlist on a notebook and a wishlist on book depository and that works as my tbr list half the time. 

 

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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[ Goodreads ] Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 

 

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Favorite Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom Quotes:

“It’s not natural for women to fight.”
“It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”  – SOC

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.” – SOC

“She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.” – SOC

“Stay,” she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. “Stay till the end.” 
“And after,” he said. “And always.” 
“I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.” 
“Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.” 
“Zealot,” she said weakly. 
“Witch.” 
“Barbarian.” 
“Nina,” he whispered, “little red bird. Don’t go.” – SOC

“I can hear the change in Kaz’s breathing when he looks at you.”
“You… you can?”
“It catches every time, like he’s never seen you before.” – SOC

“He needed to tell her…what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn’t pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near. He needed to thank her for his new hat.”  – SOC

“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.” – SOC


 

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”  – CK

“I am grateful you’re alive”, he said. “I am grateful that you’re beside me. I am grateful that you’re eating.” 
She rested her head on his shoulder. 
“You’re better than waffles, Matthias Helvar.” 
A small smile curled the Fjerdan’s lips. 
“Let’s not say things we don’t mean, my love.” – CK

“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”
“I,” she said, planting a hand on her hip, “am a delicate flower.”
“You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.” – CK

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”  – CK

“Jesper shrugged again. He adjusted the buttons on his shirt, touched his thumbs to his revolvers. When he felt like this, mad and scattered, it was as if his hands had a life of their own. His whole body itched. He needed to get out of this room. 
Wylan laid his hand on Jesper’s shoulder. “Stop.” 
Jesper didn’t know if he wanted to jerk away or pull him closer. 
“Just stop,” Wylan said. “Breathe.” Wylan’s gaze was steady. 
Jesper couldn’t look away from that clear-water blue. He forced himself to still, inhaled, exhaled. 
“Again,” Wylan said, and when Jesper opened his mouth to take another breath, Wylan leaned forward and kissed him. Jesper’s mind emptied. He wasn’t thinking of what had happened before or what might happen next. There was only the reality of Wylan’s mouth, the press of his lips, then the fine bones of his neck, the silky feel of his curls as Jesper cupped his nape and drew him nearer. 
This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh. 
Slowly, inevitably, they broke apart. “Wylan,” Jesper said, looking into the wide blue sky of his eyes, “I really hope we don’t die.” – CK


I finished this duology a couple of months ago and these are honestly such wonderful books that I just can’t help but share my love for them – in the form of favorite quotes, in this case.

 

Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads:

Truthfully, I haven’t read that many LGBTQ+ books but these are some of my top favorites, most of which I read this year. I’m really hoping to change that, though. I’m especially looking forward to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which I heard is LGBTQ but correct me if I’m wrong), I’ll Give You the Sun, Carry On, More Than This…

All For The Game Trilogy – Nora Sakavic

The All For the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic is just amazing and I give 5 stars to every book and character in it. Below there’s a list of themes that might be triggering for you but for those who aren’t, I strongly recommend this series. I have never recommended a series more in my life. 

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for. 

*Warning: These books get real, very quickly and aren’t for people easily triggered. There’s a lot of sensitive themes in these books, such as abuse, self-harm, rape, murder, torture, trauma and drug abuse (possibly more that I can’t recall at the moment). 

**The TFC ebook was published online for free by the author, and TRK and TKG are available for $0.99 each on Smashwords and Amazon. The physical copies are available on eBay and Amazon. 


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

13516154 [Goodreads] [ Review

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

What’s there more to say? Well, it’s beautifully-written, it’s got amazing characters with a ton of Greek mythology references and it’s just amazing and the main characters are wonderful and precious. 


More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

26236898I’ve just recently read and reviewed this book and it’s profound, moving and simply amazing and I loved it!

[Goodreads] [ Review

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely. 

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. 

Why does happiness have to be so hard?


 Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

19547856 I read this book in like four hours, two years ago and I just loved it. What an exciting, lovely and amazing read. So well-written and with such interesting characters! 5 stars

[ Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.