Saturday 28 February 2015

February 2015 Wrap-Up


I don’t know about you, but I usually go through a bout of wanderlust a couple of times a year. I think it’s my Sagittarian side demanding some attention! Usually any change of scenery eases it, but not this time. My little arrows have been flung further afield… and, I’m craving a trip back to Walt Disney World, in Florida. And I’m not the only one! Once I casually threw those lovely words out there, EVERYONE thought it was a fabulous idea. The catch? I have to plan it on a very limited budget! It’s been SO LONG since I was in Disney. Thankfully, we have tickets that are still valid, so that’s one HUGE expense saved… Now, this is where YOU come in! If anyone has any hints/tips on saving a few $$, places to eat, new things to see etc, send them my way, I’m all ears!

I’m linking up to both Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post memes this weekend.

Books I Received This Week

Dreamfire by Kit Alloway – Thank you St. Martin’s Press!

City of Fae by Pippa DaCosta – Thank you Bloomsbury UK!

The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim – Thank you Text Publishing Company!

Books I Read in February

I read 6 books in February, and DNF’d 1. Not bad! I’m not reading as quickly this year, and I think this could be helping me enjoy the books I’m reading a lot more. I’m a little behind on my Goodreads challenge… but I hope I can catch up in March!

I don’t think it’ll come as much of a surprise, but my favourite book was A Court of Thrones and Roses. If you don’t have this book on your to-read list, add it right now, you won’t regret it!

Sadly, my good-book-streak came to an end on Thursday. I had to DNF a book, which completely SUCKS! I couldn’t continue on, and it’s the first time I’ve thrown in the towel this year. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel nearly as guilty as I thought I would! I know if I’d have continued I’d have ranted and raged for weeks after struggling through it, so avoiding all of that is kind of nice.

Gone by Michael Grant – 4 Stars
Melt by Selene Castrovilla – 4.5 Stars
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – 5.5 Stars
Say Her Name by James Dawson – 5 Stars
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers – 4.5 Stars
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh – 3.5 Stars
Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean – DNF

Challenge Updates:

Note: I’ve set all my counters to the minimum amount for each challenge level – I really would like to read more… but it’s best to have a little breathing room!

Re-Read Challenge

0/10 Rereads

I’d planned on rereading The Hunger Games in February… then I bought 13 books, and received a bazillion ARC’s. Maybe I’ll get some rereading done in March? Hopefully?!

Fairytale Retelling Challenge

2/10 Retellings

One more: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve read it, but I won’t be posting a review until April/May.

2015 New Release Challenge

3/16 books

One more, and it's the same as the retelling challenge: A Court of Thorns and Roses. Review to come in April/May.

As I DNF’d Where the Road Takes Me, I’m not including it in the challenge.

On the Blog in February

Bookish Quotes I Love

Romance in Books: My Likes and Dislikes

Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

TTT - Bookish Problems That Haunt Me

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My 10 Favourite Book Heroines

Have a fab weekend, and Happy Reading!

Wednesday 25 February 2015

WoW #42: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

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

This week, I'm waiting on...

Ash & Bramble

by Sarah Prineas

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas  book cover

Expected publication: September 15th 2015

Genres: Fantasy; Retelling; Young Adult

Add to Goodreads

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

I LOVE the sound of Ash & Bramble! Really, all I needed to know was the ‘Cinderella retelling’ part, and I’d want to read it. I don’t know if I’m reading too much into the synopsis, but it sounds like the Fairy Godmother is the evil one... I love it! I’m really intrigued by the ‘brave young Shoemaker’ part. As much as Prince Charming is, well, charming, it’s nice to see something a little different happening. Let the commoners have a chance!

But! Yeah, there had to be a ‘but.’ I don’t really like the cover. I don’t think it screams ‘Cinderella retelling.’ It looks a bit… meh. But I think I could get over a less than phenomenal cover, as long as the book lives up to the awesome synopsis! Hopefully this will turn out to be one of those times I’m glad I read the blurb, and didn’t judge the book by its cover.

What do you think? And what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday 24 February 2015

My 10 Favourite Book Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books (Or you could pick movies/tv)

Ahh, favourites lists. I love ‘em, but I find it SO HARD to make up my mind! I’ve probably forgotten an extremely obvious choice… but these are my ten favourite book heroines.

This list is in no particular order.

Celaena Sardothien – I think it’s impossible not to love Celaena! She takes badass and makes it a zillion times better.

Penryn Young – I love how resourceful Penryn is, and FINALLY we get a YA main character with common sense in abundance! It’s a miracle!

Katniss Everdeen – How could I NOT adore Katniss?

Perry Palomino – If I had to choose one female character I could pluck out of the pages of a book and bring to life, it would be Perry. She’s one of the very few characters I feel I’ve 100% connected with, and I adore her so much.

Aria – She grew so much over the entire trilogy, and I loved seeing how she adapted to her new life. Love her!

Fayre – I LOVE Fayre! She is one of the most courageous and badass characters I’ve ever read about. I love her so, so much!

Ellie Watts – This girl is a wreck, and I LOVE her! She breaks every rule in the book, and I love her for it.

Clara Gardner – I connected with Clara right from the first book in the trilogy: her humour is absolutely fabulous!

Scarlet Benoit – I love her attitude! She stands up for her herself, and isn’t afraid to give her opinions. We need more people like her!

Elizabeth Bennett – What can I say?! It’s Lizzie Bennett! ❤

What do you think of my list, and who are your favourite heroines?

Monday 23 February 2015

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

book cover

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 454

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Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

I’ve seen all the love for The Raven Cycle, and it sounded like a series I would absolutely adore. I really enjoyed The Raven Boys, but I think my really high expectations took over a bit too much, and it didn’t quite live up to my hopes. I felt a little underwhelmed, and I think it’s because I didn’t fully connect with Blue and the other characters quick enough.

There is a lot going on throughout the story and I didn’t feel lost or uncertain at any stage. I think it was the lack of connection, particularly with the characters that really hindered me from loving what occurred. I really liked Maggie’s writing style, but I will admit that it took me a while to settle in. The beginning has a lot of POV switches, and I felt it kept me a bit too distant from each character, and I didn’t really get a grip on their personalities and what relationship they have with each other until much later on. Once all the characters were established and I became familiar with them, I began connecting with the story. I’m glad things turned around, though, as I really enjoyed the second half and the ending!

My biggest stumbling block was Blue, Adam and Gansey. I didn’t feel any connection between Blue and Gansey, and I’m a bit confused why Adam is involved at all! It’s hard to shake off my initial impressions, but I did grow to like them more as the story progressed. I’m not really invested in the Blue/Gansey will-they-won’t-they-kiss-and-as-a-result-kill-Gansey plot line. I ended up liking Blue by the end of the book, but Gansey never grew on me at all. Honestly, I thought he was a bit of a goody-two-shoes pain in the arse. (Please don’t kill me!!) He means well, but he insults and looks down on everyone else, and it grates on my nerves. And it’s not like the other characters haven’t called him out on this! He’s aware, yet still does it. Best intentions are admirable, but actions are what are remembered. Maybe I’m a bit cruel, vindictive and heartless, but I’d probably kiss him just to see if he really would die… but that’s just me! I’m MUCH more interested in Ronan. I love complex characters, and he fits the bill perfectly. Actually, I preferred both Ronan and Noah over the others. Their characters fascinated me, and I loved how distinct and unique they were.

The ending though, oooh I loved it! What a cruel yet awesome way to end a book! I need to know what happens next! I did take me a while to get into this story, but I’m really glad I stuck with it. I ended up really enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to reading the second book!

Saturday 21 February 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up (StS + SP) - Feb 8 - 21

I’m linking up to both Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post memes this weekend.


This week hasn’t been one of my best weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling ill since Wednesday, and I haven’t had the energy to read or blog. Actually, everything blog related has been let slide, and I feel terrible about it. I tried for a half hour here and there, but I had to admit defeat and walk away. I’m still not feeling like my normal self, and I hope it’s not the beginnings of flu or something equally nasty.

I really, really hope next week will be MUCH better - both blog and health wise!

I did notice this little snippet of news on Twitter yesterday:

There is a New Splintered Novella on the way!

Seriously, this is the best news EVER! There are a few things I’d LOVE to happen in this novella… but I’m not going to say anything specific. But... they just might revolve around Morpheus. Because, let’s be honest here, my obsession with Morpheus shall never end!

Books I Bought

The books I ordered from The Book Depository finally showed up! Three Amazon’s showed up last week, and I’m including them here. It’s a total of 10 books, and I might be completely blissed out about this! My bank balance on the other hand is ready to strangle me…

Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up
Hold Me Close, Necromancer by Lish McBride Cress by Marissa Meyer Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up
Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen Journey Through Fiction weekly wrap up

How in the world do I decide what to read next?! My eARC/review request list is still haunting me, though. Now that I have these shiny new books right within my line of sight – and my eARC’s hidden away on my iPad – it’ll be very hard to convince myself that I should stick to the ARC’s!

Books I Read

I’ve only read two books in two weeks - I feel like such a slacker!

I’m around three-quarters through Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and I hope to have it completed over the weekend.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Simply PERFECTION! I have a feeling it’ll be my best book of 2015. I know it’s a bit early to think about that, but YES, it’s that awesome! I’m debating pre-ordering a hardback or a paperback. (Hardback is winning right now.) But, I NEED TO REREAD IT!

Say Her Name by James Dawson – I loved it! I’ve been looking for a nice and scary read for a LONG time, and I finally found one! :D

On the Blog

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Romance in Books: My Likes and Dislikes

WoW #41: End of Days by Susan Ee

Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Bookish Quotes I Love

Bookish Problems That Haunt Me

Have a great week, and Happy Reading!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Review: Lucky Number Four by Amanda Jason

Lucky Number Four by Amanda Jason book cover

Title: Lucky Number Four
Author: Amanda Jason
Series: Standalone
Format: Kindle
My rating: 1 / 5

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Pandora Ann Phillips' life is just normal-crazy

Her mom's a psychic, her dad's mom is a snob, her mom's parental units are "too down to earth" and her best friends are newlyweds. Okay, so her best friends being newlyweds isn't really abnormal, but living with them in a cramped two-bedroom apartment definitely is. Sex, sex, sex is totally on their minds. Actually it's not only on their minds, but it's on the kitchen table, couch, on top of the washer...well, you get the picture.

Being a celibate (not by choice, mind you) full-time college student, and an almost full-time barista, Pandora can't afford to lose anymore sleep. So, she seeks out a new place to lay her head. Enter three "drool worthy" male models that are looking for a fourth roommate and they want her...and won't take no for an answer.

Hilarity ensues as Pandora's life turns completely upside down, and she begins to wonder if it will ever be the same again!

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Sometimes, things just start off on the wrong foot and they don’t get back on track. Unfortunately, I can’t sugar coat this: for me, Lucky Number Four was a complete disaster. On the surface, it could have been a really funny, fluffy contemporary read, but the execution left everything to be desired. Seriously, it reads like an unnecessarily drama-filled urban-fantasy novel - without the supernatural creatures - not a contemporary. I didn’t like the writing style, everything felt jumbled together; the characters felt undeveloped and the plot was just too improbable for my tastes.

The first of the red flags should have been the name of the main female character: Dora. Yes, the synopsis says Pandora, but she actually goes by the name Dora. I may have pictured Dora the Explorer all grown up. It became very awkward, VERY quickly. The second warning was the forced humour. I LOVE books that can make me laugh, but sadly, this wasn’t one of them. This could just be me, but everything in the book was the exact opposite of everything I find funny.

Dora lives with her two best friends, who just happen to be newlyweds. She feels like she’s encroaching on their newly wedded bliss, so she decides to move out of their shared apartment. She finds an advertisement in the local supermarket looking for a roommate, and she decides to take a chance on it. She arrives at the apartment, knocks on the door, and a half-naked male supermodel answers the door. Oh, let me clarify, a famous male supermodel. Turns out that there are three of them living there, and they need a new roommate. A couple of minutes later, Dora sits down and they demand she move in. Now, she did exactly what I would do. She ran. But, naturally, they don’t take no for an answer. While Dora is in college, they move all her stuff out of her apartment, and into their own. They also convince her best-friend and her husband to move in, too!


I judge contemporary books in a completely different way to every other book I read. I have just one hope: what happens in the book needs to be within the realms of everyday possibility. Like, if I looked up and saw a stranger walking down the street, I hope that what I read could potentially be happening in that person’s life right now. While I suppose someone technically could be moving into an apartment with three drop dead gorgeous male supermodels, I found the way it was handled completely ridiculous. When you add in the same old predictable drama and twists that keeps cropping up in New Adult… it becomes so tedious to read. I wasn’t surprised at any stage, and I had a pretty good idea what would happen next. Turns out, I was spot on.

I wish I had something positive to say, but I honestly didn’t find anything that appealed to me. The premise had SO MUCH potential, and I’m really disappointed that it didn’t turn out like I hoped. Please, if you’re curious about reading the book, don’t let my opinions put you off. It didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Try it for yourself and make up your own mind :)

Tuesday 17 February 2015

TTT - Bookish Problems That Haunt Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is: Ten Book Related Problems I Have (could be serious or fun!) Since there is always an option 'C', I've gone with both!

Problem 1:

Potential bankruptcy if my addiction to book buying gets any worse.

Things are getting bad, folks!

Problem 2:

Mismatched Covers

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

* Sobs uncontrollably *

Problem 3:

Different HEIGHTS!

It's even worse if the books are all within the same series! Just look at my Unearthly trilogy books... it's creating a LADDER!!

* Feels my perfectionist blood beginning to boil again *

Problem 4:

The lack of an eighth day of the week, exclusively for reading.

Problem 5:

Dog ears, stains from food or drink, and HIGHLIGHTING or WRITING in a book! Blurgh!

This is partly why I avoid library books like the plague. There is nothing worse than finding unidentifiable 'stuff' sticking the pages together. *Vomits*

With the highlighting and writing on books... I was forced to do this in school, and it crushed my soul every time I had to write on a book in English class. *Shudders*

Problem 6:

People that refuse to leave me alone when I’m reading!

I have a book in my hands, how hard is it to...

Problem 7:

Borrowing Books

So… you want to borrow one of my books.

*Eye twitch*

No, you will not TOUCH my books, and you will CERTAINLY NOT borrow one.

They. Are. MINE!

This is clearly the only time over-protectiveness is acceptable...

Problem 8:

Obsessively reorganizing my books…

... so the order only makes sense to me! What’s the fun in organization if you can’t confuse people?! Plus, if nobody can FIND a book, they won’t want to borrow it from me! Win / Win.

Problem 9:

Getting extremely anxious when the books you ordered weeks ago haven’t shown up in the post.

I’m currently suffering from this one. The Books Depository better not fail me now! It’s over two weeks since I’ve ordered and seven books haven’t shown up… I’m beginning to panic!!

Problem 10:

Lack of sleep

I’m slowly turning into a zombie. I can’t function before noon ‘cause I’ve been up reading until 4 am the night before… And I don’t regret it for a minute!

Tell me your bookish problems! Leave a link to your TTT post, if you like!


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