Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *93*

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where book bloggers spotlight an upcoming release we're especially looking forward to!

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Titan #1
Expected Publication: February 17th 2015 by Spencer Hill

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody – which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to “puree”. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of an ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series.
Seth's Story.
After a few weeks of featuring cute middle-grade books for my WoW picks, I decided to mix things up this week with an NA paranormal from the ever-talented Jennifer L. Armentrout. Even though I still haven't finished up with The Covenant books, (no spoilers please!) I'm super excited for this more adult spin-off series filled with action and mythology.  With The Return coming out early next year, it should be more than enough time to finish off books 3-5 of the original series and be ready when this one hits the shelves!

Have you read The Covenant Series? Are you excited for the spin-off books?
Let me know when you link me up to your post!

Monday, September 29, 2014

20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I was tagged by the lovely Alise over at Readers in Wonderland to do the 20 things you might not know about me tag.  Thanks girl! xx  Here we go:

Question 1: How tall are you?

I'm actually quite short at 5'4'' - my mom is the only person in the world who thinks I'm tall (she's 5'0'' lol)

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

Hmmm, not really.  I do kind of have a crazy good memory though - I wouldn't quite call it eidetic like Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) but I just remember lots of details about a lot of stuff, even from my early childhood My family and friends are always blown away by how easily I remember song lyrics, not to mention lines from my favorite television shows and movies.

...not quite but hey, who am I to pass up using this gif?! ^^

Question 3: What's your biggest blog related pet-peeve?

Overloaded blogs that take forever to load and make my browser crash. Gah!

Question 4: What's your biggest non-blog related pet-peeve?

Bad drivers. Man they can get me going like not much else.  That and small talk. I'm not a huge fan of inane chit-chat and of course, working with the public, you tend to get that a lot o.O

Question 5: What's your favorite song?

Starlight by Muse ♥

Question 6: What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours?

As much as I wish I could buy ALL THE THINGS on Etsy, I usually avoid it because I'm poor. Any one that sells HP, DW or any other fandom things could easily ruin me.

Question 7: What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone?

Reading, of course, blogging, wasting my life away on Pinterest, catching up on my shows or just chilling outside.

Question 8: What's your favorite junk food?

Cake. Specifically Cheesecake. That and butterscotch/caramel anything. *drools*

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

I have 2 cats, a black one called Nox (get it?) and a tabby one called Jazz.

Question 10: What are your favorite fiction and nonfiction books?

Non-fiction? What is non-fiction? Just kidding, uhm I guess The Second Sex and Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination (Uni textbooks that really stayed with me)

Fiction: Harry Potter, Throne of Glass and ALL the Sanderson books! (especially Mistborn and Way of Kings)

Question 11: What's your favorite beauty product?

Bronzer. This pale girl needs all the help she can get! That and concealer.

Question 12:  When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

Oh wow, I can't think of anything recent, which is weird cause I tend to embarrass easily. Uhm...

...sorry, I've got nothing. >.<

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tea. Hands down. I regularly drink breakfast (a.k.a. black) tea and peppermint tea but I enjoy almost any kind.

Question 14: What's your favorite movie?

Gladiator, The Prestige, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Dark Knight Trilogy, A Good name a few ;-)

Question 15: What were you in highschool: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

High school was a weird time for me, as wasn't as comfortable with my inner-nerdiness as I am now and was before that...but out of all the choices here, it's still the one that best describes me...


Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Provence France, London or Scotland. Just thinking about those places makes me swoon.

Question 17: PC or Mac?

I've only ever had PCs but I've always dreamed of having a Mac. And I will. One day...

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

Well recently, I got home from work late one day and the bf had cooked a wonderful feast of seafood, veggies and home-made cheesecake ♥  That and he buys me books, so I guess I'll keep him :D

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

David Tennant. Hands down.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly wish you were best friends with?
If we chat regularily online, and have gushed over some same books (or fandoms), chances are, I wish we were bff's in real life! xD
Now is the time where I would tag other bloggers to do the tag, and as much as I wish you all would participate, I know some of you don't especially like the 'forced' tag so I'll just say anyone who would like to participate is more than welcome to! I'd love to read your answers :)
And if you've already done this one - link me up!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles # 3
Published February 4 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Cress is the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles and to me, it took this series to a whole other level. The introduction of Cress as a character was pretty brilliant itself but the way Marissa Meyer flawlessly weaved  together every separate storyline and point of view completely blew me away.

Cress properly introduces us to Crescent Moon - or Cress for short, a poor girl isolated on a Satellite orbiting Earth since her childhood.  With nothing to keep her company but netscreens, Cress has become a gifted hacker, and understandably, quite socially awkward.  When Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf figure out that Cress has helped them once before, they reach out to her and begin plotting to rescue her.  However, their rescue mission is sabotaged, so while Cress gains her freedom, the crew is separated.  Cast into smaller groups, they all have their own adventures, misadventures and complications as they race to reunite with one another and stop the evil Lunar Queen Levana from marrying Prince Kai and taking over the Earth.

I have to admit that I was equally taken by every single hero and heroine in Cress.  Told in alternating perspective, we got to know Cress, Throne, Wolf, Scarlet, Cinder and Kai separately and intimately as well as together as a group.  Marissa Meyer is definitely the queen of multiple POV's because she continues to add brilliant characters to the fray with unique voices, all while meshing their storylines together in a truly masterful way.  Cress, the newest addition was instantly likeable.  Her quirks and awkwardness were nothing but endearing and I loved the way she kept escaping into random fantasies whenever she was challenged or in a tight spot.  Her hacking skills certainly came in handy and gained her an equal position within this epic, ragtag crew. Cress' chemistry with Thorne (THORNE!!!) was easily a highlight of this entire adventure and it left me begging for more! *swoon*

Similarly, we got to know our returning favorite characters even better in Cress.  Scarlet continues to be bold and brave.  Wolf remains unpredictable, volatile but also alluring and vulnerable.  Kai is, as always, noble and he keeps on trying to do the right thing, amidst mounting pressure and decreasing hope.  And of course there's Cinder, our little cyborg that could.  Cinder is still struggling with herself and her destiny but she always comes through in the end.  I honestly love all of these characters and with the stakes getting progressively higher with every new book, my feelings for them have only deepened every step of the way.

I've already raved at Meyer's amazing skills with the alternating POV's she but I have to give her props for storytelling as well.  She has managed to take fairytale retellings to a whole other level by keeping them fresh, while being faithful to the essence of the source material.  The way these stories are plotted so tightly, with every single detail and twist accounted for amazed me at every turn.  I was riveted from start to finish and there's absolutely not one single detail I would change.   The writing was awesome.  The characters were awesome.  And the story just blew me away!  I know I'm late to the party finally reading this one but I think a part of me knew that when I finally did read Cress, it would be sheer torture waiting for the next installment, Winter to come out.  Luckily, Meyer must have sensed this, because now we have Fairest coming out early in 2015 to tide us over until November '15 *sobs*

There's really nothing more to say about Cress that hasn't already been said a million times over. Bottom line? It's amazing.  Read it. NOW.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #61

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  Most Cringe Inducing Scene

I guess the answers this week could depend on what exactly makes us cringe.  It could be something gross, like Dumbledore's blackened hand in HBP (yuck!) It could be something uncomfortable, like Snape being bullied by James and Sirius as seen in his memories in HBP.  Then  again, it could be something that makes you cringe because it's revolting and just too horrible to think about, like Voldemort getting his body back at the end of GoF *shudders*  For me, when I think of cringing in the Harry Potter series, two moments come to mind as being the most cringe-worthy moments:

Harry's arm getting 'healed' by Lockhart

Ron's 'slug' curse backfiring on him

There's just something about Lockhart that makes you cringe, am I right? The second dear old Gilderoy walked up to Harry and said he'd 'fix' his arm, I was already prepared for the worst.  We all knew it was going to be bad!  That scene always makes me cringe because it's a disaster waiting to happen.  You can't look away though but man when that arm turns to jello and starts flopping around? Bleh!  Terrible.


And then in the very same year, poor Ron gets the short end of the stick when his broken wand ends up backfiring and the curse that Malfoy really deserved rebounces on Ron and has him blowing chunks of slugs for the better part of a day.  Yuuuuck.  Every time he raises his wand, I'm already dreading what's coming. So gross >.<

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *92*

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where book bloggers spotlight an upcoming release we're especially looking forward to!

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Untitled Trilogy #1
Expected Publication: February 10th 2015 by Tor Teen

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
While I still haven't read this author's previous work, the Article 5 trilogy, it has been on my tbr shelf for some time now.  The Glass Arrow however, sounds even more like a story I could really get into!  I mean don't get me wrong, I love a good quality dystopian as much as the next person, but this one ^^ is a dystopian with sci-fi and fantasy elements.  Yeah!!  The fact that this dystopian world targets females already has me on the edge of my seat - and all I've got to go on is the synopsis.  If the actual book follows that same trend, I think we're in for one hell of a ride!

What do you think about The Glass Arrow?
Fill me in below and don't forget to link me up as well :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #2
Published September 17th 2013 by Scholastic Press

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
*An ARC was provided by Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.*

The Dream Thieves is the follow up to The Raven Boys, (which I adored) and believe me when I tell you that The Dream Thieves is a worthy sequel in every. single. way.  I thought I already loved Blue and the boys as much as was humanly possible, but nope - there is a whole other level to these feels; and they were all brought to the surface while the reading of this book.  This is a story that stays with you long after you've read the last pages and I know that once the details start to get vague, I will promptly return and experience the whole thing all over again! (and again and again.)

The story seems to be getting darker with The Dream Thieves and I found that the scope of the plot has also broadened considerably.  Our Raven Boys aren't the only ones noticing the weird energy lines all over Henrietta; nor are they the only ones keen on finding the elusive Glendower.  I can foresee things getting quite intense in the next installments in any event.  As it stands, the way everything hit the fan at the end of book one with Adam's sacrifice and Ronan's big surprise reveal, well, things were bound to get interesting.  And they did!  Hell, they were more than interesting.  Try addictive, all-consuming and oh-so wonderful!  I happened to read this during an especially busy time in my life and it was sheer torture to have to put it down and walk away from the story - I kept wishing I could just forget the world and read the entire thing straight through.  Every single chapter promised more than the last and damned if it didn't deliver right till the very end!  Just when you thought Cabeswater couldn't get more enigmatic, you're floored with a big twist.  Just when Ronan seemed as mysterious and magnetic as humanly possible, NOPE.  He goes and reveals his dream powers and then we get to explore all of that with him.  Hello jackpot!

The Dream Thieves focuses most of it's attention on the boys this time around. We are treated to some bits from Blue's perspective, but mostly the focus lays on Gansey, Adam, and especially Ronan's perspective.  After Ronan's big dream reveal at the end of Raven Boys, it made sense for him to get more attention this time around.  Not to mention that I already had all kinds of love for his character and was desperate for more!  I have to say that Ronan's part of the story did not disappoint in the least.  I was swept away by his tale, his thoughts and the mischief he got up to ;-D  As for Gansey, I found myself falling even more hopelessly in love with him than I was at the end of The Raven Boys. The more you learn about the guy, the more there is to love I guess!  And then there's Adam, who underwent a huge change right at the end of book 1, so The Dream Thieves was all about how he's changing and why.  I probably don't even have to tell you that I was riveted by all of it. Adam continues to be something of a wild-card but he's a riddle wrapped in an enigma and I love all of it! Even Noah managed to surprise me yet again - and I thought nothing could top his big reveal the last time around. O.O Honestly, all of these boys own their own special piece of my heart! (PS- that ending tease has me shipping a ship that might never sail, but I'll be damned if I won't go down with THAT ship until the very end!! Sooo many feeeeels ♥♥♥)

The characters and their development is just as layered and rich here as it was in the first book.  We learn just as much new information about the boys and Blue as we did the first time around, which kind of blows my mind. The entire story line for The Dream Thieves was incredibly well-plotted and flowed like only Maggie Stiefvater can seem to manage.  I don't know how she does it, but with minimal drama she manages to make even the simplest of details utterly fascinating.  New characters and new monsters are introduced and they all seem like such a natural progression to the story that while they are surprising, at the same time you just know it could never have gone down any other way.  The whole thing was perfection to me, I just can not get over it.

The Dream Thieves is a story that grabs you right from the start and never lets go, not for a second.  It will invade your thoughts and, most likely, your dreams until you are consumed with longing for the next installment in an already stellar series.  I.NEED. Blue Lily, Lily Blue. In my life.  And quickly!  I simply don't think I can survive much longer without it.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #60

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  Favorite Dumbledore Moment

Oh man, how do you even narrow something like this down?  Dumbledore is a bloody genius and to me every word that comes out of his mouth and every thought that crosses his mind is of value.  He's such an inspirational character and despite his past and his flaws, he's one of the wisest characters I've ever come across. I just love him to bits! So many of his moments stand out in my mind as defining to the series but I think one moment might just surpass the others for me:

Taking up a bigger role in Harry's magical education 

From the very beginning of the series, I'd been hoping Dumbledore would step up and teach Harry on his own.  So imagine my delight right at the start of Half-Blood Prince when Dumbledore personally picks up Harry at the Dursley's.  After giving them a good old talking to, Dumbledore whisks Harry away on a mysterious stopover at Slughorn's before dropping the boy off at The Burrow.  One of my favorite moments is the little talk Dumbledore and Harry have in the Weasley's shed where the old wizard offers up praise for the boy who lived - before promising that Harry will be taking special classes with him during the coming year!  From the moment those one on one classes started, I was set.  The interactions, conversations and planning that goes down between the two of them are some of my absolute favorite moments in the series.  Their journey to the dreaded cave ^^ was terrifying, exciting and epic all at once.  Even though it ends in heartbreak, it needed to happen that way and I wouldn't change a thing. 
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