Friday, 31 January 2014

January Book Haul + Unboxing

So I did my first unboxing, and it was so exciting! I think I have at least 15+ books this month.

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WATCH HERE!

Buy any book mentioned through the Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=0861

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

[Series Review] The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare


Plot:

Tessa Gray arrives in London expecting to reunite with her brother, Nate. Upon arrival Tessa is swept away and housed with the Dark Sisters who seem human enough yet, gives Tessa the chills. There, Tessa begins to learn of the Downworlders and that she somehow fits in amongst them. Her abilities are revealed when the Sisters train her and Tessa is left both mortified and confused.

Then Shadowhunters, Will and James, barge into the Sisters house and manage to rescue Tessa. Soon, she is consumed by a world that she never knew even existed and her existence is slowly unravelled as their adventures continue.

Review:

I feel like I can never write a plot that gives the book justice. It's even worse for a series review cause I have to pick and choose what to write so I don't reveal much. Moving on.

The Infernal Devices is a trilogy set in Victorian England, a long time and place away from The Mortal Instruments series. Clockwork Angel, the first book serves as an introduction to the world and the characters and sets the complication in which all three books revolves around. Clockwork Prince is a lot more focused on the relationships of the characters, and a little more lacking in the action field. Finally Clockwork Princess revisits the trouble that must be resolved and actually ties all loose ends very well.

I probably shouldn't, but it's hard to not compare this series to Clare's previous series. It's like the world of Shadowhunters belong to Clare and anything that comes from that world is instantly compared with The Mortal Instruments. I am going to admit that I enjoyed this series a lot more than TMI. Maybe it's because it's a shorter series but I'm just not interested in TMI anymore. It became irrelevant after Clare kept releasing new novels. It's not that The Infernal Devices series was extremely better, there were still bits I didn't like but if I look at it overall TID was a lot more enjoyable.

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making(Fairyland #1) - Catherynne M. Valente

Plot: 

September is an ordinary girl, full of hopes and dreams until she is swept away by the Green Wind and delivered to Fairyland. There,  September finds it hard to understand to her purpose and settles on accepting any quest given. Except she doesn't realise that the quest is leading her to something bigger, something Fairyland is desperate for her to do.

Accompanied by a book loving creature and a special little boy, Saturday, September embarks on a journey that is bound to test her strengths and courage.

Review:

These days I find that modern day fairytales make for a great read. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is no exception. There are few bumps along the way but majority of the time I was enjoying it.

Full review here.

Rating: 4/5

Interested in buying the book? Do so through here!

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

[Series Review] Hush Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick


Plot:

The quartet Hush Hush is a supernatural series following high schooler Nora Grey and the fallen angel Patch Cipriano.

Nora isn't much of a rule breaker, in fact she's miss goody two shoes to the core. Yet, when Patch tries to befriend her Nora finds herself being drawn into all sorts of troubles. As her life is entangled with the existence of the supernatural beings, Nora is faced with the danger of saving her life or choosing the love of her life.

Review:

My plot sounds so wishy washy but really, that's the essence of this series. My cousin kept egging me on to read it because she said it was absolutely amazing, and so I decided that it was time. I actually marathoned all four novels - Hush Hush, Crescendo, Silence and Finale - in almost four days.

I'm not going to deny that I was hooked, surprisingly, but I think what allowed me to read the entire series in such a short time was probably how fast paced the plot was. It's not very lengthy, probably 350 pages - ish for each book, but the plot is quick to build towards climaxes and levels out with the resolutions without cooling down the heat. There was no drawing out unnecessary things and for that, I think Fitzpatrick has succeeded in her writing. You basically meet Nora and then Patch, and everything else follows suit. It's not clunky, which is also another positive. Fitzpatrick builds her world whilst creating an intensity in the plot seamlessly.

Other than that, I think I also hung around because of Patch. He's a very typical male hero, written for readers to fall in love with. Handsome, rugged, mysterious and that bit arrogant, making him so much more attractive. I'm not even going to lie, I fell for his charms and I kept reading just to "see" him. It's weird but it's like when you're watching something and you constantly want to see more of the character. That's me with Patch. If you want a hero to fall in love with then I guess Patch is your man (or half a man, however you take it).

That's actually all I think I liked about this series. The heroine, Nora, really frustrated me with her thought process and decisions. Her relationship with Patch also became a little iffy with me. They were passionate and intimate, but kept very G/PG rated. Only one minor character really stayed with me in a positive way, Scott, whilst others who could've made an impact really just melted into the background. I found that whilst I liked all the action part of it, the intensity and mystery, there were a lot of questions left unanswered. Questions that I didn't realise I had until I had finish that book and moved onto the next. It's things like those that reduced my enjoyment by a little.

Also, don't be surprised if you see similarities between this series and the Twilight saga by Stephanie Myer. It's minor things and Fitzpatrick does a good job in distancing herself with the Myer but there's no denying she has been influenced in parts. Still, it's not majorly distracting so I'll let it slide.

I don't think the ending was all that worth it. Of course it was still very action packed but to be honest I don't remember much about it. There were some moments where I was like "really, you're really going to do that". Still, it did tie all loose ends quite well so that's a plus.

For a series that I was skeptical about, I think it made for a good read. It definitely beat the expectations I had for it, which was very low. As a fantasy novel, it hit the right notes and really did feel as real as it could be. The Hush Hush series wasn't perfect but it wasn't the worst either. Good writing from Fitzpatrick and a likeable hero really did boost the quality for me.

Check it out if you're a fan of Twilight or really love Angels. If you've read it tell me what you thought, if not tell me if you're interested or not!

Rating: 4/5 (as a series)

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Monday, 20 January 2014

BOUT OF BOOKS 9.0 | Book Reviews

During the week long readathon I managed to finish 3 books, and whilst that wasn't great I did bring it around 820 pages.

The books I finished were: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Wonder by R. J Palacio and 172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad. I would have to say I thoroughly enjoyed each book, which was good considering I really wanted to read at least some of my ever building TBR books.

Eleanor and Park is a love story set during the 90's (I'm pretty sure). It really produces great feels, especially whilst remembering what it is like to have a first love.

Wonder is a middle grade, coming of age novel. The protagonist, August, is a 6th grader with facial abnormalities. It really speaks great volumes of message, perfect for young and old.

172 Hours On The Moon was something I never thought I would read. A sci-fi fiction, it moves from adventurous to suspense and really gave me the chills at the very end.

For a more thorough review watch here. This video outlines the main plot and the bits I thought were really well done in each novel.

P.S To buy the novels I mentioned use my affiliate link here. (Help a sister out yeah?)

 

 

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

City of Heavenly Fire Cover Reveal

Ok, so the last instalment of The Mortal Instruments series is definitely taking it's time. I know a lot of readers/fans of the series are definitely excited for it, or there are others like me who are just finishing off the series in an obligatory manner. It's not that I couldn't care less about the ending, I do, it's more that I'm not buying into all the hype anymore.

Still, to subdue the impatience that is rising the cover for City of Heavenly Fire has been revealed! The cover was actually released last night or sometime early morning. I'm very hazy on the whole converting US time to AUS time.

Enough of me rambling though. The cover looks like this!

Source: Goodreads
Source: Goodreads

It's not very clear but it's definitely going to go viral on the internet very soon. I'm not sure if I'm in love with it but I do like the way Clary's hair looks. I'm guessing the guy behind her is Jace?

Tell me what you think about it below! And hopefully May 27th rolls around the corner very soon.

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Film vs. Novel: The Book Thief

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 11.30.02 am copy


Plot:

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

(Source: Goodreads)

Thoughts:

I think there can only be one word that describes this movie: beautiful. I was worried at how well the movie could portray the amazing novel but I think it was done very well.

Watch here for the rest of the review.

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Monday, 13 January 2014

Shadow On The Crown - Patricia Bracewell

Plot: 

The year is 1001. Emma of Normandy weds King Atherald of England, in a political bargain. She is made of Queen of England to realise that even though she wears a crown, she is only a foreign prisoner amongst the strangers. Her journey to gain respect and loyalty, is not made easier when the daughter of a high Lord, Elgiva, finds her way into King Atherald's bed.

Desperate for a son and a chance to live, Emma plots and plan her way to find success.

Review:

Shadow On The Crown draws on the real encounters recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, which is probably one factor as to why I was drawn to reading this novel.

I feel like I expected too much out of this novel, and at some point it was also my part. I wanted to be drawn away from the Tudors era for at least a moment to experience and learn a little more about a different period in time but this novel felt a little bland.

Watch the full review here.

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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Anticipated Novels '14

It's definitely hard to choose the books that I most want to read for this year, considering I want to read everything basically. I've somehow managed to condense the list down though. The list can be sectioned off into sequels of series I've started, series I want to start and stand alones - all of which will be released this year.

Clearly everyone is waiting for the 6th and final instalment of The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare - City of Heavenly Fire. Another series I am waiting to finish is The Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory. The last novel will be title The Last Rose


Series I want to start include Fate (Fate #1) by Laine Bross and The Winner's Curse (Winner #1) by Marie Rutkoski. Some stand alones are Tsarina by J Nelle Patrick and Jackson Pearce and Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell.

This is just a small glimpse at my list. Watch the video below for other novels I haven't mentioned in this list. You might find something you like as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqptO8j9z-g

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

BOUT OF BOOKS READATHON 9.0 - Book Buying Spree Challenge

Day One has ended (well for me anyways), but the challenge is still on!

PIC:Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 1.38.17 amScreen Shot 2014-01-07 at 1.41.37 am


My selected books include:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings #1) - J. R. R Tolkein

  • Suicide Notes - Michael Thomas Ford

  • Along For The Ride - Sarah Dessen

  • The Troupe - Robert Jackson Bennet

  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

  • More Than This - Patrick Ness

  • World After - Susan Ee


If you would like to enter then click here! But make sure you're entered into the readathon by clicking here first!

 

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Friday, 3 January 2014

Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1) - Susan Ee

 
Plot:

The arrival of the angels have left the world in an apocalyptic state. Gangs are now prowling around the streets and the public are hiding in fear. When Penryn's sister, Paige, gets taken by a group of angels she  must trek across the state to rescue her. Only she has to team up with the enemy, the angel Raffe. Together they make way to the heart of San Francisco only to discover more than what they wanted to.

Review:

I thought I had left the angel world behind but Angelfall gives a whole new meaning to Angels. It's set in a world that's a lot different and actually quite well built. Angels also take on a new role - the enemies. I also loved that Ee allowed the story to be tainted with gruesome details, stuff that actually make you freak a little.

Still, there were somethings I was still iffy about and others I give the thumbs up to. Watch here for my full review!

Rating: 4/5

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Reading challenge/New Years Resolution

So this post is going to get a little personal towards the end, but I guess it's just a little reminder for myself as well. However, before we get all chummy let me report on my reading challenge for 2013 and set this years goals!

It is sad for me to announce that I did not reach my goal of 50 books for 2013. It's not much but I was off by 13, reading 37 books in total. It seems like I was still trying to adapt to university and was working my first job so reading was last on my mind. Still, I'm glad I dove back into reading for the last two months of the year.

I think not being able to achieve that challenge has pushed me to finally succeed this year. I'm not going to be ambitious either because I know I'm still going to be busy throughout the year. It's all about pacing yourself, you know?

That's why for 2014 I am sticking with a goal of 50 books again, only because I really want to reach that point before moving on. Hopefully I'll be motivated to continue to read over the months.

Other than a general goal I've also got a few other things I want to tackle. I'm going to focus on four this year and try to cross them off my list.

1. Read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy by J. R. R Tolkein. (I know I should count them as two things but we'll overlook that)
2. Finish Percy Jackson and The Olympians series by Rick Riordan. (It's okay guys, I'm getting there)
3. Read at least 2 classics before the year ends.
4. Read at least 1: Sci-Fi, YA contemporary, Fantasy, Adult, Crime/Thriller novel.

I'm excited that I'm able to have this fresh start and get straight into working towards my goals.

Other than reading goals though, I also have some New Year's Resolutions I want to put down. It's not linked to reading, at least not all of them, but I do want to have some guidelines for this year.

1. Get my P's before November
2. Pass all my subjects (>H2A)
3. Keep up to date with blogging/YouTube
4. Save $6,000
5. Get fit and healthy! (so vague lol)
6. Volunteer for charity

A little more book related and I have:
7. Do Nanowrimo/Get back into writing
8. Participate in Booktubeathon
9. Buy up to 10 books per month only

That is all I think. Hopefully by the end of this year I can report back with a big success. I hope you guys had a great start to the new year! Share with me some of your goals for 2014.

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