Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everland, by Wendy Spinale

Hey all! 
I just finished reading Everland, by Wendy Spinale! 

"London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a daredevil boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

I got this book in May’s Owlcrate! Isn’t the cover just beautiful! Points to the one who designed it! :D 

Everland is a re-telling of a childhood classic - Peter Pan... 
But its with steampunk, in a plague-and-war-ridden apocalyptic London, known as Everland, with a virus killing thousands, children living underground and the Mauraders kidnapping them to look for the cure to the virus. 

Yeah, not your typical bedtime story. 

The way Wendy took the story of Peter Pan that we all know and love and laced it with dark steampunk was so cool! I loved the idea behind the story, where there were actually real consequences of every action around every corner. 

What I had a harder time with was the characters - they all felt a little flat to me. However, I really, really liked Hook’s character! I mean sure, he’s not as awesome as he is in the show Once Upon a Time (Captain Guyliner, haha), but I really liked his point of view on things - he maybe had a bad way of taking on things, but in the end he just wanted to find the cure to the disease being spread. I never thought him as an awful antagonist. I also really liked how he was actually the half-brother of one of the lost boys, so was probably quite young, younger than we imagine him. He was quite angsty yet strong-minded, which I enjoyed.

My favorite thing about the book was really the world it was set in - the whole idea of a post-apocalyptic England with hidden cities, chases, steampunk and mauraders was just such a good idea! 

Sorry for the short post, by the way! 
Overall, I’m giving this a 3.5/5 stars. A great debut! I just really wish the characters were elaborated a bit more! 

Have you read Everland? What did you think of it? Let me know! :D 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorites Read in 2016

Hey all! 
I haven’t done one of these in forever, but welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday! 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the group over at The Broke and the Bookish that consists of a theme we have to follow for the week. Today’s theme is ‘Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far”. I’m going to change that just a bit because I’m not even sure I have read 10 2016 releases yet! So I’m just going to make this a ‘Favorite read in 2016’ post! Only a few really stood out for me, so let me take a few minutes to honor them! If you haven’t read them yet, stop what you’re doing and find them somewhere, they’re really worth it! 

Later today I’ll make a picture with these books on my instagram (@justanotherbookishblog), make sure to follow! All of my reviews are somewhere on my blog, you can explore on the right side of the screen. These books are the ones that really impressed me above the others I have read this year. I’m not regarding the hype, or ARCs. Although these are included, they are not included because everyone talks about them or I received them from the publisher/author, but because I genuinely enjoyed them. 

 A Court of Thorns and Roses, and A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

These two books, 2/3rds of an amazing series are just mind-blowing! The second one ended with 50 pages of incredible surprises, and the 3rd book is sure to bring more! 

 Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare

One word - feels. The emotions that were in that book that I didn’t even notice bottling up in the first two books of the series just left me emotionally messed up for a few days. Jem...

The Darkest Lie, by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie (Comes out in July, by the way!) was my very first physical ARC, and my first mystery in a while! I enjoyed it so much! It was such a surprising read! 

 The Rest of us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness

Such an awesome blend of contemporary and fantasy, where the characters lightly make fun of the typical YA tropes. One of my favorites of the year! 

Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

This book is in my top 3 for 2016. It was fantastic in every way! I cannot wait until book two, it’s crazy! The cover is beautiful, the story is magical and the characters are fantastic! Just everything about this book is so worth it! 

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon 
This book was so sweet! The characters were absolutely fantastic, and the situation was so unique! Such a great read!! 

What was one of your favorite books of this year so far? Let me know! :D

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Hey all! 
I just finished reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell! This is my first book by her, and it was so, so sweet! 

Goodreads Blurb
"Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

This book was so sweet, adorable... and relatable! It’s about Cath in her first year of university. Cath is a seriously dedicated fangirl. In her world, Simon Snow is one of the most popular characters ever (Basically our Harry Potter), and everyone knows at least something about Simon Snow. Cath, under the alias of Magicath, writes the world’s most popular Simon Snow fanfiction, called Carry On, Simon. She is very introverted, keeps to herself most of the time, and can be quite hesitant about things like going out to parties, or the idea that someone more extroverted could be interested in her. She does have a certain temper that stands out when something goes wrong, though. Her mom disappeared when she was 8, her dad has slight mental problems, and she stopped talking to her twin sister, Wren. 

Levi is one of those guys who just hands out smiles, can talk to anyone, goes to parties, and is a general extrovert - practically Cath’s opposite. He can’t read (I’m guessing he’s dyslexic) and has a heart the size of a mountain. 

Wren is also quite different from Cath - she loves partying and going out, but is still quite a fangirl in all respects. 

This is such a great contemporary! It includes so many little things that are tied nicely in the end, re-occuring ideas, and fun little happenings that anyone could relate to. It was light and happy (most of the time), and was the perfect book to get me out of my post-ACOMAF reading slump. Many parts in this hits right in the feels, but something good usually comes from these parts. 

This book was written with a beautiful rhythm, making it easy to pick up the book for several hours in a row and keep turning pages over and over again. (I basically read the whole thing in two days. Yep.) The characters are relatable in such a way that I was actually able to point to each of them individually and link them to someone I know personally. 

It was filled with such adorable moments I wished they were real! I loved it when Cath had her emergency dance party and Levi walked in all confused, but joined in anyway. I liked it when he was panicking for his YA-lit exam (that sounds like such a cool class! o.o) and she read the whole book to him. I liked it when Cath and her roommate, Reagan, started getting along. Just the way Rainbow writes happy/cute scenes is so nice! 

Throught the book we get snippets of Cath’s fanfiction, Carry On Simon, that usually link in with what is happening in the book (although subtly). Those were not my favorite parts to read, because of cliffhangers. Oh well, guess that just means I’ll have to read Carry On now! 

I’m giving this a nice 4/5 feathers! 

Have you read Fangirl? What did you think about it? Let me know! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Graceling Read-Along! Character Profile - Bitterblue

Hey all! 
Yes the Graceling read-along is still happening! Apologies for the absolutely massive delay, we’ve kinda had a busy few days. 

Remember when we talked about the graceling read-along contest? Well, results are in! Thanks so much to everyone who participated! We got all of our entries through instagram. The prize? A massive shoutout on every platform we can think of! :D 
To vote, it’s easy. Click HERE to see the entries, and click HERE (Erika’s Blog) to vote! 

Today, for our last character profile, I’m looking at Bitterblue, the queen herself! Make sure to check out Erika’s profile on Teddy! 

Name: Bitterblue
Age: 18
Kingdom: Monsea
Relation to the throne: She is the throne >.> 
Background: Princess Bitterblue grew up for 10 years under the rule of Leck, her father. After Katsa killed him, she had to work hard to fix both the state of Monsea, as well as the reputation of the castle. 
Personality: Bitterblue has a hint of rebellion in her, and a love for exploration. She’s surprisingly good at math, and sneaks out often to meet her friends and to help them however she can. 
Close friends: Saf, who has the grace of giving dreams, Teddy, Katsa, Po, Skye, and several members of her court 

Remember to vote! 

We Own the Night, by Ashely Poston

Hey all! 
I just finished We Own the Night, by Ashely Poston! 

Note: Thank you NetGalley, Ashely and Bloomsbury Spark for sending me a review copy! This does not alter my impressions of the book. 

You can get a copy of this on June 28th, 2016. 

"Happy midnight, my fellow Niteowls..."

As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay "Niteowl" by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock 'n roll and a hard place. She can't wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can't abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer's, or her best friend Micah--who she may or may not be in love with.

But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn't timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She's the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy's manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular-- Dark and Brooding--whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she's in love with Micah or anything. Cause she's not.

As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.

And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.

If I had to choose one word to describe We Own the Night, it’s cute. This was such a cute, relatable story, from A to Z and back. More than the story, which was sweet, what stood out to me was the characters. 

The story is simple enough - Ingrid and her friends, Micah, Billie and LD graduate from highschool and try to figure out themselves over the summer. Ingrid keeps a secret, one she’s not willing to tell anyone. The book is about trust, friendship and family. 

Ingrid is the kind of person who isn’t popular at school, but has the best friends one could imagine. With them, she’s spunky and cool and open. She’s the type who wears ugly sweaters, has the heart the size of a mountain, and has a very direct sense of humor. Through their senior year, she fell in love with her best friend, Micah, who, right at the beginning of the book, starts going out with Heather - Ingrid’s total opposite. Heather is the daughter of the mayor, the most popular at school, and can get anyone to do anything she wants. Personally, I hated her just through the dialogue. 

Micah is a cool, laid-back, messy guy who likes mechanics and watching stars... I liked his character until he got with Heather. For me, the relationship didn’t feel genuine, and it felt like it was there just to make Ingrid upset. But maybe that was just me! I felt so bad for Ingrid when she saw them together... The feels were real. I do think that those feelings were stretched out quite a bit over the entire book, but it makes sense, as the book takes place in the space of one or two months. 

I liked Billie’s character right away - quirky and unique, kinda shy and happy. He was such a good friend to Ingrid, and his feelings for her were apparent right from the start. I thought he was just so cute in the story! 

Ingrid is down-to-the-bone good. Even though she hated seeing Micah get together with her enemy, she still helped him make it happen, just because she wanted his happiness (well, and because she thought it was a pity-date... whoops!) I loved her Niteowl podcast and her relation to Dark and Brooding! Those little sequences were so, so nice! 

The ending of this book - with Ingrid revealing who she really is, was refreshing and brought it all to a nice conclusion. 

One thing I didn’t appreciate was the attitude her friends took on sometimes - they seemed upset at Ingrid for not being as socially active as before because she has to take care of her grandmother with Alzheimers, but then don’t blink at Micah abandoning them for a girl they all hate. That left me bothered... 

I’m giving this book a 3/5 stars! Cute summer read! It’s only 250 pages, and it’s a super quick read that makes you smile! 

Have you read We Own the Night? What did you think about it? Let me know! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

Hey all! 
I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas! 

*And I’m still kinda drowning in woah-what-just-happened’s!*

"Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I don’t even know how to start with this!
A lot of people seem to be complaining about it being a bit slow at the beginning - that’s true- there’s a pattern of Tamlin-Rhys-Tamlin-Rhys that goes on for quite a while. 

Until Feyre becomes awesome-er. 

So basically ACOMAF starts off a while after ACOTAR left off - Feyre just defeated Amarantha and is back home with Tamlin at the Spring Court. Tamlin and Feyre are preparing their wedding. She’s suffering from a lot of PTSD - she can’t paint anymore, has constant nightmares that make her loose her lunch, and she’s weak and sick. Sticking to her promise, Rhysand takes her to his court once a month. One day, she refuses to go back to the Spring Court and to Tamlin, feeling like she was trapped with him. 

While this book was slow at times, there were other times where it was so fast that you didn’t even notice the pages turning, and the next thing you know you’re a hundred pages further into the book. 

I LOVE the world Sarah created! There’s several courts - Night, Day, Winter, Spring, Autumn, Summer, and they all fit together, weather at peace or at war. They each have their own particularities and set of powers. Rhysand is the High Fae of the Night Court, has dark wings, can ‘bend’ darkness, and seems violent, demanding and harsh. But let me say, he’s seriously, SERIOUSLY misunderstood. 

Rhysand’s group - Cassian, Mor, Amren and Azriel were also amazing! They were such a sweet little family of friends to read about, and they just worked so well together! They all care so much about each other, and they all really brought something to the book - weather it be a brother/sisterly figure to Feyre, a leverage point, moral support, the brains, the magic... so great! 

NOTE: I’m sorry but from now on there will be spoilers. I’m just having a really hard time writing without spoiling from now on!

The ending of this book has left me like what wait no I can’t wait a year! Aw man there’s so much I want to talk about I’m just gonna bullet-point it all or it won’t make any sense. 

Rhys’s backstory, about how he knew about Feyre before they met cause he saw her paint in a dream, and the dream made him smile, and how he held on to that when he was being abused and tortured, and how he just wanted to meet her and just... That whole story brought out all of the feels like a hurricane. I read that backstory like 4 times over and over! His story is both horrible and incredibly sweet and amazing. 

So Feyre and Rhysand are mates for real! I thought people were overreacting in ACOTAR when they said that’s what they thought, but I was so wrong! And they’re so perfect together!! He actually cares about her so, so much and so truly - he lets her be who she is, and doesn’t restrict or trap her. He’s so different from both his dad and Tamlin. He lets her make her own decisions, and Feyre doesn’t really take advantage of that. She wants to help when she can, no matter the conditions or the costs. 

Feyre’s the High Lady of the Night Court now!? She and Rhys snuck out to have their mating bond official, as well as her title of High Lady, which really surprised me! 
The fact that Feyre sacrificed herself for the good of her kingdom was so amazing! 

I can’t believe Tamlin!!! He was working with the king of Hybern the entire time, and when the mortal Queens came out to be working with him too, I was so surprised! But what shocked me most was when they took Feyre’s sisters and turned them into fae! o.o I didn’t expect it at all and it kinda crushed me to be honest... 

Elaine + Lucien = ...? Okie well this should be interesting! I was hoping it would be Cassian and Nesta! For me that seemed a little out of the blue, but it’s ok, I just want to see how that develops. 

Feyre’s now the enemy of the spring court, pretending to be a part of the spring court, spying for the night court, pretending to hate the night court. For her own people and kingdom. I want to read book 3 just for that, to see how our lovely set of characters will deal with that! But there’s a war coming up... I hope they can deal with it in some way or another... 

I used to ship Feyre and Tamlin so much, but right from the beginning of the book, I felt like something was... off. He was so dominant all of the time, which didn’t seem to fit well with Feyre’s character. He was always gone, and he always seemed quite distant yet possessive. Anyone’s who’s read ACOTAR knows that Feyre can’t deal with that. He literally trapped her in his castle for her to ‘stay safe’. Actually, one of the lines that stood out to me in the book was when Feyre said something along the lines of “He (Rhysand) thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.” one line just made me smile, it was so sweet! <3 I’m now a full, no exceptions Feyre and Rhys shipper. How he cares, combined with his backstory and just everything they went through in two months converted me super quickly!

One of my favorite scenes was the night of Starfall - where ‘stars’ (really spirits) fly across the sky on a yearly migration. FEYSAND IS SO CUTE in this scene! <3 I just love how much fun they had after they loosened up a bit, when they both got splashed in the face by glitter-star-paint and went dancing with all of their friends and they all had this cute moment of fun eternity that I just loved! 

Feyre had AWESOME character development - actually, all of the characters did. Maas made them all bloom and flow in different directions that are both logical and a perfect progression. The characters feel realistic, and actually have humane emotions! You feel the feels they feel. 

What I wrote here just scratches the surface of the tornado of thoughts I have about this book. It’s all good, all amazing, all intense and awesome and shocking and... 

freaking cliffhangers! 

I CAN ABSOLUTELY NOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR FOR BOOK 3!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that there’s a war, and I’ll probably be crushed by emotions that I don’t see coming, both sad and happy and fangirl-y, I might want to throw the book on the ground yet put it on its little shelf on its own in its amazingness, but that just means it’ll be just that amazing! Top ACOMAF, Sarah, I dare you. (Although you probably will!) 

Do I really have to announce my 5 feathers? 

Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? What did you think? let me know!! 
Have a great day! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

15 things people don’t tell you about book lovers

Hey all! 

We’ve all seen listicles on Buzzfeed and other platforms that list book-lover/blogger attributes. Some of them are on point, while others... well... 

So I came up with the idea to make my own list of book-lover truths. Now some of these may just be me, but who knows, maybe you’ll recognize yourself in some of these. 

1. Book lover’s aren’t necessarily antisocial or scared of things like talking or doing stuff on Saturday night. But when we’re in the middle of a really good book, or an awesome action sequence, we will most likely not go out of our way to do so. 

2. Choosing a favorite book (ever) is impossible. Same goes for favorite ship, favorite character, favorite story, etc.. just nah. 

3. It’s actually not that easy to recommend books to others without mentally visualizing our shelf, scanning every book title and picking one out. This is also the case for completing tags - its so much harder to do when you’re away from home! 

4. No, we don’t go to the book store just because we blog about books, make videos, take instagram pictures, or do it for the views though some other media. We genuinely like reading and would keep going to the bookstore just as often if we didn’t have our blogs/youtube accounts. 

5. There is a constant mental battle going on when you read a series. Let me explain: you have the first or second book of the series, the most recent release of the year, and want to read it more than any other book on your shelf right now. But, reading it now means you have to wait an entire year for the sequel. 

6. Just because we read a lot doesn’t mean we’ll read anything under the sun, or have read all of the big series out there, or all of the big-title classics. We don’t have superpowers (although we all agree that there’s so many books, not enough time!) 

7. Pretty books and pretty spines make the probability of buying that book 100 times more likely. So I guess we do judge books by their covers in a way! 

8. We know all the cheap book sites and have favorites, even though the rest of the world has no idea they exist (tee hee! ^^) 

9. There is a difference between the smell of a new, used, and old book. Each of them are different, there’s no ‘book’ smell! 

10. If our rooms are a mess, our bookshelves are absolutely perfect. It’s just a thing that happens, like magic. 

11. Feels. Feels. Feels. Whilst movies might not have much of an effect on us, a paragraph can crush us for a week, having us bookmark it, read it 50 times, feel more feels, and keep going back to it time and time again.  *Cough Cassandra Clare cough*

12. Leaving the house without a book is weird. It feels like you forgot something important, like keys. Or your phone.

13. Suggesting books to people who don’t like reading is really not all that easy... But we try anyway! 

14. No, we don’t all hate using kindles. Of course physical copies are preferred, but we won’t hiss at the sight of a kindle or another e-reader. 

15. Big books don’t scare us. But one thing that does scare us - when a book is 30 pages from the end and theres a whole bunch of unresolved questions and tension that can’t possibly be resolved in 30 pages. 

16. Bonus: One cool thing I noticed is that when we read, anything that’s not dialogue kind of blends together to form an image, while dialogue stands out exactly in the way its written. 

Anything else you want to say about the truth about book lovers? Let me know! 
Have a great day! 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi

Hey all! 
I just finished Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi! 

Goodreads Blurb: 
"Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

When I started this book, I honestly tried to have no expectation aside from the fact that this book (well, series) is quite hyped. I read most of it yesterday so was able to get the whole story in one go, which I appreciated! Haven’t done that in a while! ^^

So this book is about Juliette. We start off with her in a kind of detention center, alone and almost starting to go crazy. One day, the guards put someone she knows inside the cell with her - someone she’s known since third grade - Adam Kent. She doesn’t recognize him at first, but after a while, she does, and can’t believe that he would be there too. I don’t want to spoil too much, but as the story unfolds, they are able to leave the detention center to be under a different kind of supervision, then to being on the run. 

I actually really enjoyed the story! I thought it was an interesting dystopian setting, that I can’t wait to read more about! This did feel like an establishing novel, in the sense that there was a lot of explaining and pointing out things about the different characters, places, and Reestablishment properties. I can’t wait to see how this develops in the next books! 

Juliette was a cool character! I loved how even though she has this lethal touch, she always seems to try to do what is best for someone else - she would bend over backwards if she could help someone (with good intentions) feel better. She’s also surprisingly brave and impulsive. 

Adam sees Juliette unlike anyone else in the book - he sees that although her touch tortures most people, that’s not what defines her - instead, he sees that goodness. This is pointed out several times in the story. 

This book had a nice, quick pace that kept me going, and practically each chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I don’t know about you, but I actually like it when chapters are quite short, like they were in this book - not only does it make ‘one more chapter’ all the more possible, but it also creates a drive to keep going with a book. Sometimes I’ll read a book where chapters are 30+ pages long, and that takes me forever to finish it... This was a nice and quick read. 

I can’t wait to see more about the dystopia Tahereh has created for us! I’ve been on a HUGE dystopian slump, but this might just bring it back for me :) 

I’m giving this book a nice 4.5/5 feathers! 

Have you read Shatter Me? what did you think of it? How’s the rest of the series? Let me know! :)