Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish! The week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016. At first I didn't think I would be able to come up with any but the month or so and list of most anticipated books of 2016 got me excited about quite a lot of books after all.

1. Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

I need that epilogue!!!
Expected publication: February 2nd 2016 (hardback only, I believe)
Paperback: 01 Mar 2016

2. Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard 

Expected publication: January 5th 
3. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Expected publication: January 5th

4. The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

Expected publication: January 26th 2016 

5. Riders by Veronica Rossi 

Expected publication: February 16th
6. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Expected publication: April 5th 2016
7. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

Love this cover!
Expected publication: June 7th 2016 

8. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge 

I don't actually know if this will come out in the first half of 2016 but let's go with it :) No cover reveal yet.

9. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This cover is stunning!
Expected publication: March 8th 2016

10. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Expected publication: May 3rd 2016


11. Eidolon (Wraith Kings #2) by Grace Draven 

I already wrote this blog post last week but yesterday I started reading Radiance and I'm really enjoying it! So I know I will need the second book soon!
Expected publication: January 31st 2016

Which are your most anticipated releases? Don't hesitate to let me know down below!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

-- Goodreads.com description --

Clean Sweep is the first book in The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews. After starting the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and loving it, I decided to check out some of the other books written by this husband and wife duo. I picked Clean Sweep, and I didn't regret it. Ilona Andrews publishes this series on their website chapter by chapter and ultimately they self publish it. I didn't think much about that before, but I did have some problems with Clean Sweep. I do believe they could have done a better job with an actual editor. The book was riddled with mistakes like for example "solider" instead of "soldier" and several mistakes in the structure of sentences, often missing a word or more. Since the book is relatively short and therefore quite expensive, I did not appreciate all those mistakes, in fact they really got on my nerves. I'm not exaggerating when I say that in almost every chapter a mistake is to be found. I could forgive the occasional oversight but this was more than that. 

Furthermore, I did feel like the structure of the entire book didn't really work. The characters could have been more developed and Clean Sweep did feel more like a collection of chapters rather than a book as a whole to me. 

However, I still liked the story and the characters, but I just expected more of Ilona Andrews. The world building is amazing, though, and the illustrations make for a wonderful reading experience. 

All things considered I still give Clean Sweep 4 out of 5 stars. I'm currently reading the second book in the series, Sweep in Peace and I'm liking it so much more! I've still come across a few mistakes but not as many as in the first book.

lluminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

-- Goodreads.com description --

I don't normally read a lot of science fiction but all the hype surrounding this book made me interested. I did hear some mixed reviews and the structure of Illuminae as a compilation of documents gave me lower expectations than I should of had because this book was great!

It did take me around 100 or 150 pages to get really into it, but that could have been caused by my mood. Even though, this book is structured as a collection of documents, I did feel emotionally attached to the characters. This is of course not the first book that is structured in that way but I have never read a young adult book which uses this format. Although, this made me hesitant to pick up the book, I really enjoyed the format and I think it works wonderfully with the story. Now, I couldn't imagine it being told in any other way!

There are so many unpredictable plot twists which is something I need in books. A plot twist I didn't see coming, automatically earns the book a star in my opinion. Not that Illuminae really needed this.

Before I bought this book, I heard that you'll be able to read this book very fast, that was one of the reason that eventually made me buy it. When I received I was almost shocked to find that it counted 599 pages. How are you able to read that in just a couple of sittings!
Let me enlighten you, in the beginning of the book, the information you receive through these documents is a little bit dense however, especially the last 150 pages or so, there isn't much on each page. There are pages with no words at all, or even just one word. These pages indeed make for a fast read. I didn't mind at all that the ending of the book just flew by, because I NEEDED to know what happened next and I needed some answers too! And just when you think, okay, now we've had all the plot twist, you are immediately hit over the head with a couple more of them.

This book is amazing! I didn't expect to like it so much! The concept is original, a science fiction young adult novel structured as a compilation of documents, that's not something I've heard about before, at least. I can't give this book anything but 5 out of five stars. 
If you are having doubts about being able to connect with or like the characters, I suggest you read the first twenty pages or so. This will also let know you if you like the format. Although it did take at least more than a hundred pages for me to really get into it.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told... 

-- Goodreads.com description --

This book was a loan from my friend and I'm definitely pleased to have read it. I think this was just the right book at the right time. I needed a quick read that didn't actually need my full attention. Lately, I had been hearing some bad reviews of this book which lowered my expectations. I feel that even when a book isn't that great, I enjoy it more than I should if I have low expectations, which is exactly what happened here.

Now, after reading the back of the book, you definitely draw parallels to the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. I actually enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter more than the Shatter Me trilogy mainly because I like Twylla and I hated Juliette. Plus I really disliked the writing style of the Shatter Me trilogy and while the writing style wasn't fantastic in this book either, I did like it more. Don't get me wrong, both books/series are not that good. There are so many more better young adult series out there. I do have to mention that the fact Twylla's touch is deadly, is the only comparison with Shatter Me. I was very pleased to find out, those two books don't resemble each other as much as I expected.

Back to The Sin Eater's Daugher, I did really like the characters. I didn't not expect the plot twist at the end, which was probably due to the fact that I didn't divide my full attention to reading this book, but still, it was a fun surprise. Well, the twist is not that much fun at all, however, the fact that there is a twist is fun.

After finishing the book, I immediately rated it 4 stars on Goodreads, although, now that I had some time to think about it, I actually would give it either 3 or 2,5 stars out of 5. If you are interested in reading the book, I'm not going to dissuade you, however, if you have strong doubts about I would recommend not to waste money on it.

I'm not sure if I will read the second book, we'll see, maybe my friend likes this book enough to buy the second one and I can read her book, we'll see.

What is your opinion on this book? Please, let me know down below!

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breath-taking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

-- Goodreads.com description --

Warning this review contains spoilers of the previous books in the series!

Winter by Marissa Meyer was my most anticipated book this year, if not of all time. I simply love this series! My favourite book in the series still remains Cress. I just LOVE Cress and Thorne. They're so cute. My least favourite characters are still Scarlet and Wolf, I don't know why, but I just find their story a little boring. But man, Winter was an amazing conclusion to the series but I still want MORE. I NEED MORE! So now Stars Above is my most anticipated book of 2016. I'm actually considering buying it in hardback because I would get it a month sooner!

I can see why some people thought it was too long, I didn't mind because I just didn't want it to be over, however, some parts did feel a little dragged out. I did think that Wolf and Scarlet got too much attention in the book while the others were not yet established as a couple that was a bit of a shame. I would have preferred to see a lot more of Thorne and Cress, Kai and Cinder and Winter and Jacin. 

We were briefly introduced to Winter in Cress and Fairest. I wasn't that impressed by her character then and I was afraid I wouldn't like her. However, Marissa Meyer is a pro at creating amazing characters that you can't help loving! Winter might actually one of the most interesting characters of the whole series. Not using her lunar gift makes her unpredictable, which I loved. Cress is quite unpredictable as well in some parts of the books at least. But like I said, Winter gives things a nice and unpredictable twist.

I can't get over the fact that this was the last actual book in the series. Thank God for the epilogue in Stars Above! I really hope I won't be disappointed with that one! I need more Cress and Thorne and more Cinder and Kai.

I'm secretly hoping that Marissa Meyer will write a spin-off series in which these characters return. I don't think it would be hard to write an adventure for Cress and Thorne or even Winter and Jacin involving some new characters!

Winter is definitely a satisfying ending to a beloved series. This series is definitely worth your time and if you read Cinder and are still not convinced, I would suggest continuing on with the series if you liked the characters, because the books definitely get better! It is not really necessary to read Fairest, however if you do plan on it, read it before Winter. It does give you a little bit more insight into Levana and Winter's father as well.

5 out of 5 stars! This is quite possibly one of my favourite young adult series of all time. I cannot recommend it enough!

Broke and Bookish Secret Santa

I participated in the Secret Santa program of the blog The Broke and the BookishI received my Secret Santa package a week ago, I believe and I loved it! I would like to thank my Secret Santa however I can't seem to find her username on Facebook. So I decided to write a blog post to thank Sanna. I don't know if she'll read this but if you do Sanna, please let me know!

I especially loved the Sherlock necklace and the book of course, which is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenI'm wearing the necklace on Christmas Eve to show it off to my family although I'd be surprised if they'd notice (spoiler: they didn't).

Where did you find the Sherlock necklace by the way? It's fantastic! The candy was so nicely wrapped, it was a shame to open it!

I don't have pictures of the package I sent, however I can definitely tell you guys what was in it! First of all, I picked two books from the list, which were The Young Elites by Marie Lu and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I didn't add any jewellery though now I wish I did because damn that Sherlock necklace is great! I did choose some candy from my region. I haven't heard from my person yet however, I would really like to know if she enjoyed my package!

Did you participate? Let me know what your Secret Santa gave you down below! I really enjoyed it and I'm definitely participating next year as well! Really pleased with the gifts I received and dying to thank my Secret Santa!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is top ten books you would like Santa to leave under the tree this year.

1. Any classics I don't already own in the Penguin Clothbound editions

2. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss 

3. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

I've never read these books and now I would really like to know what I've been missing out on!

4. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson 

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

6. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 

This one comes out on the fifth of January, so technically it's not possible to receive it for Christmas but I'm going to add it to the list any way! I'm a rebel!

7. Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

8. Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier 
Or even just any book by Juliet Marillier!

9. Passenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
This one also comes out on the fifth of January.

10. Sweet Tooth: Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire

11. The Secret History by Dona Tartt

Which books are on your Christmas wishlist? Let me know down below!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they suggest a topic and bloggers can pick their top ten. This week's topic is top ten best books I read in 2015. I actually would have liked it better if this was a topic in January because if I read a book at the end of the year I can't add that to my top ten anymore. These are in no particular order:

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

3. Chew by John Layman, Rob Guillory (Illustrator)

4. The Martian by Andy Weir

5. The Kate Daniels series and The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

6. Enchanted Inc. series by Shanna Swendson

7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

8. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

9. Fall on your knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

10. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Which books made into your top ten this year? Let me know down below!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is top ten favourite authors you read for the first time in 2015. 

Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead is my most read new-to-me favourite author! I actually read 10 of her books this year. 10! I'm really looking forward to read more of her books next year because I'm definitely not done with her yet!

Shanna Swendson
I've read 5 of her books this year, all part of The Enchanted Inc. series and I loved all of them. And Owen! Probably one of my favourite characters this year!

Margaret Atwood
I've only read The Blind Assassin but I was completely blown away with it! I've been wanting to read an Atwood book for a while now, and I'm glad this one was part of my Canadian Literature class! Looking forward to reading more of her books in the future!

Jeffrey Eugenides
The Virgen Suicides. Do I need to say more? Absolutely fantastic! I've purchased his two other books and I hope to read them soon!

Ilona Andrews
The Kate Daniels series was the perfect way to end my summer! Currently, I'm actually reading Clean Sweep and I'm really enjoying it as well! Review to come!

John Layman 
Chew is my favourite comic ever!

Rosamund Hodge
Impressed by Cruel Beauty, loved Gilded Ashes and looking forward to Crimson Bound!

Naomi Novik
Uprooted fit perfectly in my fairy tale retelling mood and was in my humble opinion one of the best books I read in the genre!

Laini Taylor
Really, really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It was so original and refreshing although I haven't really felt much desire to pick up the other books in the trilogy yet, it will happen soon! (Hopefully).

Anthony Doerr 
All the Light We Cannot See. Beautiful book. Kind of wanted a different ending but I can see why it ended the way it did. 

Andy Weir
After reading The Martian in September, I became unable to leave Andy Weir out of my top ten lists. Therefore, as an extra I'm adding him to this one too.

Which authors are on your list? Let me know down below!