Disney Read-a-thon 2018 TBR!

Hello friends!

I’ve been absent again because my computer isn’t working (again)…

I miss consistently blogging so much so this Sunday I’m hoping to finally just get a new computer!

For the time being, I’ve decided to share my TBR for an Instagram Readathon called the Disney Readathon since it’s easy enough to type out on my phone (and I’m desperate to post aha).

Anyways, this Readathon runs from July 18-25th and I don’t know if I’ll get to all of these books, but here’s to hoping I can! I’m going to be doubling up on some books/challenges too since realistically I won’t be able to read enough for one book per challenge.

I just can’t wait to be a king (book with a royal theme) – I’m going to cheat and use my current read, Heart of Thorns, for this one since I’m not even halfway through it and it fits the challenge.

A whole new world (book in a genre you don’t usually read) – Second Chance Summer since I never read contemporary!

Days in the sun (a book that takes place in summer time) – Second Chance Summer

Colours of the wind (book with a colourful cover) – These Rebel Waves. The cover is mainly black but there’s a gorgeous coloured anchor and stuff in the middle (plus I need to keep up with my ARCs, I’m trying here, okay?ūüėā)

You’re welcome (a book everyone loves) – Since You’ve Been Gone. I think this is the Morgan Matson book I’ve heard the most about and it’s the one of hers I am most excited to read!

Kiss the girl (a romance book) – Since You’ve Been Gone. Uhhh, when I read the synopsis it sounded like some of the “bucket list” things involved romance, so uh, it counts (cut me some slack, I’m a slow reader doing a Readathon)

So that’s my TBR for the Disney Readathon! I haven’t done a Readathon since last summer so it’ll be fun and motivating to do one again!

Have you participated in any readathons? Are you planning on participating in any soon? Let me know in a comment!

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A long, but well worth it, wait… (spoiler-free review)

Hello friends! It’s been a while, I know, let me explain before I bring you this review of another amazing new release. If you are just interested in the review I encourage you to skip over this life update. I really regret not doing an update post but to be honest I have been the most mentally drained that I have ever been these past few months. Work and school picked up at the very same time and the very little free time I had I chose to spend with family and friends. I was forced to neglect my blog and bookstagram which was really hard for me. Then my computer wouldn’t work and my pre-taken bookstagram photos disappeared and i hit a low point in terms of motivation. It was really tough but my family and sparse bookstagram time kept me going and here I am. I have a temporary fix for my compute and I am in the process of purchasing a new laptop so this will be the first of many blog posts for this summer (since I am finally done exams and have two months for myself)! Anyways, I’ve missed you all and I cannot wait to be back in this book blogging community because I truly do love it.

Title – Onyx and Ivory

Author – Mindee Arnett

Rating – 4/5

Release Date – May 15th, 2018

Publisher – Balzer + Bray

Format – ARC from publisher (thank you so much to Harper Collins; all opinions are my own)

Kate Brighton is known as a traitor. Her father’s attempt at assassinating the King of Rime cost him his life and cost Kate her reputation. Kate now lives on the outs, clinging to her job as a member of the relay, and being forced to do her best to escape the night or else face the nightdrakes. Kate has a secret…one that can easily get her captured and killed. Kate’s a Wilder, someone who’s magic allows her to influence animal minds. Wilder magic comes in all forms, uncontrollable by the mages in charge, so Wilders are punished by death if caught. When her magic carries her to a caravan that was attacked by a horde of nightdrakes in the daylight she runs into the King’s son Corwin, an old family friend and lover. The drakes attacking in the day is a new threat and is indicative of an underlying darker force that may lead to a civil war. Danger, love, and mystery await.

Wow, that sounds like an amazing book, right? The premise of this book gave me such high expectations and, considering those expectations, I was not let down by much by this read. The only thing I really had a problem with was the beginning. I found it really hard to get into, especially the first 200 pages. I feel like some stuff could have been cut out, but I do see the reason they left it in. The part that dragged on was the extensive plot development, but after the first 200 pages I really appreciated it. If you’re struggling to get into this one, keep reading, I promise that it’s worth it.

I really loved the two types of magic involved in this book. There was the “official” Mage magic and then the outlawed Wilder magic. The differences in the two and the rivalry (mostly from the Mages towards the Wilders) was a really interesting side plot. The magic in general and how it works with the wardstones and the League is really fascinating and was well-developed.

There were a lot of little side plots that were so well woven in to the story and added so much to keep the reader interested. These side plots increased after the first 200 pages (which we already know how I feel about) which accounted for how much more engaging the story became. Most of the side plots involved plot twists which were absolutely insane and I don’t see any way that I could have picked up on them before they were revealed.

There were a lot of characters that all played a very unique and specific part to the story and they fit their role well (ex: the villains were very easy to hate). I have a new book boyfriend (because yes, I need more) in Corwin because he is the sweetest and most caring person ever and will literally do anything for those he loves. He’s also very sassy which I love. Kate is a really likable and realistic main character and was basically the only thing (along with Corwin) in the story that got me through the first 200 pages. I saw a lot of myself in Signe (because she is so sassy) and¬†Bonner is just the kind of person that you would go to for a hug when you’re down. I really love how all of these character developed in their own personal ways; they were so strong-willed and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.

I can’t say much without spoiling it but after this book picked up it was so action-packed,, mysterious, and the high stakes kept you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book to any fantasy lover because I believe that it brings something fresh to the YA fantasy table and you will not be let down. Good news is, this book was released a month ago so you can go pick it up this instant! Woohoo!

Have you read Onyx and Ivory yet? Are you planning to? Let me know in a comment!

The creatures may be beautiful, but this book isn’t… (spoiler-free review)

Title – Beautiful Creatures

Author – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Rating – 2/5

Release Date – November 10th, 2009

Publisher – Little Brown

Format – Paperback

Beautiful Creatures¬†is a paranormal YA novel following 16 year old Ethan Wate. Ethan has always wanted to escape his little hometown of Gatlin where nothing happens…until something does. Ethan has been having strange dreams where he is trying to save a girl but always wakes up before he can see how it ends. Then Lena Duchannes shows up and shakes up Ethan’s life, taking him by surprise. Nothing was special in Gatlin until everything changed.

That sounds interesting, right? Yeah, I thought so too. The whole concept had a lot of potential but was plagued by a cheesy excuse for romance and too many unnecessary scenes that made this monstrous book drag on.

A cheesy romance works for some people and usually I can tolerate it, but this book took it wayyyyyy too far. I don’t even know if it can be called a romance because it felt really haphazard and pointless. What would have added to the plot is some sort of supernatural twin thing rather than random strangers that are thrown together and are immediately obsessed with one another. Ethan and Lena met in a really absurd situation and they were way too comfortable with one another right away which was a plot hole because there was no previous connection between them other than the dream. It just felt really unrealistic that they were not weary of one another at all. Ethan also abandoned so much for this girl he just met; his common sense, best friend, etc. He was obsessed with Lena and only thought of her in everything which was not good because it was so extreme. Overall the relationship felt kind of forced and unnecessary.

So this book didn’t have much of a plot because it was only focused around Lena and Ethan’s obsession with each other. This was super unfortunate since, if you couldn’t tell from the previous paragraph, I really disliked their relationship.

My favourite thing about this book was the relationship between Link and Ethan. Link was such a loyal and caring friend which made it even worse and face-palm worthy when Ethan basically abandoned him to be with Lena.

This book was disappointing this and I think I would have enjoyed it if I read it way earlier on in my critical reading life when I didn’t have so many well-crafted books to compare it to. I’m going to be DNFing this series because I don’t care enough to continue it and I’ll be donating the boxed set to my local non-profit.

Have you read this series? Are you planning to read this series? Can you try to convince me to continue the series (it’s worth a shot to try)?¬†Let me know in a comment!

This book stole my heart… (spoiler-free review)

Title – The Smoke Thieves

Author – Sally Green

Rating – 5/5

Release Date – May 1st, 2018

Publisher – Viking

Format – ARC from publisher

A princess. A traitorous soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. These five lives are changed by a single bottle of demon smoke, an illegal but sought-after substance. The world is on the brink of war and everyone thinks they can avoid it but with that comes a complicated tangle of politics, alliances, and love. The truth will come out. The truth will cause chaos.

The book’s plot is so difficult to describe because it’s 500 pages of pure and exciting goodness. There is always something going on and even when the pace slows it is crucial to pay attention because of the little details. The novel is so action-packed and battle scenes hit you out of nowhere and are over just as fast. The whole book was exhilarating as you read through the perfectly crafted five different perspectives and try to piece together everything as they do.

This book makes me fell how only Sarah J. Maas’ books make me feel, and that is saying A LOT. I completely fell head over heels for the characters, the world, and the story. This book is way up there on my favourites list with Sarah J. Maas’ books.

Ugh, I am SUCH a sucker for royalty and politics in books and this book gave me huge doses of both of those things. I am actually obsessed with this book, help. The politics part of the story was enhanced further by the snippets of royal documents at the beginning of Catherine’s perspective; I adored that bit!

Okay, so now on to all of the amazing characters. There are so many though, so I will keep this brief. Tash and Gravell weren’t characters we got much of but they’re pretty cool (especially Tash) and I loved how they care so much about one another. Edyon and March are hilarious and their relationship, emotions, and thoughts, are so unexpected which makes their perspectives so much fun to read from. Catherine is so amazing because her intelligence is her strength which I really respect. Her maids were fun to read about as well because they seem so kind!

Here’s my paragraph dedicated to my new book boyfriends (because yes, I need more). These are the first fictional boys since Azriel that I absolutely adore. Tarquin didn’t show up much in the story but his love for his brother Ambrose (who I’ll talk about later) made my heart so happy and made me love his character so much more. He is so kind and caring from what I could tell; I wish we got more from him and that I could hug him forever. I feel the exact same about Ambrose and Prince Tzsayn; they’re all angels and I want to give them all a hug that lasts forever aha. Also, just saying, Prince Tzsayn if you need a princess…I’ll be here. Guys help. I already have gone through enough pain and feels with Sarah J. Maas’ books, I don’t need this book to deal with too ahhh.

The plot twists in this book really tore at my heart because they were so unexpected. As if the characters didn’t cause enough feels, the plot came in and broke my heart. Thank you so very much for all this bookish pain Sally Green, much appreciated haha.

I am seriously obsessed with this book and I need more. It literally cured me of all the slumps I’ve been experiencing in my life for the longest time (reading slump, Bookstagram slump, general life slump, etc.). AHHHHH I CAN”T EVEN DESCRIBE MY LOVE FOR THIS BOOK. Sorry not sorry for the caps, I’m just so excited that I’ve found another book that makes me feel the way Sarah J. Maas’ books do because I thought I’d never find a book that did that! You guys seriously all have to pick this book up and let me know what you think! Also, is it too far of a stretch to hope that this book turns into a series close to or even the same length of the Throne of Glass series? That would be amazing, TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

Is The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green on your TBR? Let me know in a comment!

Impossible not to cry… (spoiler-free review)

Title – The Impossible Knife of Memory

Author – Laurie Halse Anderson

Rating – 5/5

Publication Date – January 7th, 2014

Publisher – Viking

Format – Hardcover

The Impossible Knife of Memory follows Hayley Kincan who has been on the road with her father who is trying to escape the horrors he experienced in the war. They moved back to his hometown to give Hayley an attempt at a normal life, but drugs and alcohol become a coping method for his past. As her only parent drifts away, Hayley is left alone to fend for herself.

Hayley was a pretty relatable character in my opinion. She enjoys reading and characters like that are my favourite. She was usually paranoid because she is an over thinker which I relate to. She is also sarcastic and uses this humour to deal with difficult situations. Hayley’s character really resonated with me since I saw so much of myself in her.

This is a very emotionally powerful novel which is attributed to the tragic past of both her and her father. There were flashbacks throughout the book that highlight some of her past troubles as well as her father’s traumatic war experiences. This made the book hard to read because the emotional writing along with the flashbacks puts you right into the shoes of the characters.

Everything in the book felt real and personal. The relationships between each character with one another felt especially genuine. Nothing was perfect, there were flaws, and things didn’t go as planned sometimes. This book honestly could be a memoir in my opinion; it feels that real.

Finn was the love interest in this book, but he was more than that. He was more so Hayley’s best friend and was there for her when she needed someone but also realized when she needed space. He made the effort to understand what she was going through and was so supportive and caring. Finn was also dorky and awkward and so adorable; everyone needs a Finn in their life.

Before this I hadn’t read a contemporary in over a year. I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy it simply because of its genre but I was proven wrong. I really love this book and the ending gave me chills. It is such a beautiful and important read that everyone should pick up.

What are your favourite contemporary reads? Let me know in a comment!

The happiest book ever! (spoiler-free review)

Title – The Fever Code

Author – James Dashner

Rating – 5/5

Publication Date – September 27th, 2016

Publisher – Chicken House

Format – Paperback

The Fever Code is a prequel following Thomas, Teresa, and the other Gladers after the evens of The Kill Order but before the events of The Maze Runner and the rest of the main trilogy. The Fever Code gives the reader a closer look at how WICKED really is.

The Fever Code made me hate WICKED a lot more than any of the other books did. The mass scale of their corruption and evil ways were vividly displayed throughout this book. I really despise the people who are part of WICKED (that choose to be).

Thomas’ character intrigued me from the moment I started The Maze Runner. Seeing his life before the Maze was so interesting for me.¬†Throughout the series Thomas had been described as special and in this book that stayed consistent because he definitely acted and spoke as if he was much older than he really is.

The main characters from the trilogy appeared in this book too and I had so much fun seeing everyone interact without the effects of the Maze. My heart still hurts so much though because of course characters who died in the main trilogy showed up in this book. It was so great seeing them again but it broke my heart so bad.

The Fever Code is definitely my favourite out of all the books. I just loved seeing all of my favourite characters again. The mystery surrounding the original trilogy were also revealed in this which was awesome for me because I always enjoy learning more.

While I recommend reading The Kill Order before the main trilogy, I highly recommend readng The Fever Code after the main trilogy. Reading it after will just make your experience with the main trilogy a lot better and you will appreciate The Fever Code more.

Are you planning on reading The Maze Runner books? If you have, did you enjoy them? If you haven’t are you planning to pick them up?¬†Let me know in a comment!

This is the order to read them in… (spoiler-free review)

Title – The Kill Order

Author – James Dashner

Rating – 4/5

Publication Date – January 7th, 2014

Publisher – Delacorte Press

Format – Paperback

The Kill Order by James Dashner is a prequel to The Maze Runner trilogy that follows of a different set of characters in the years after the sun flares but before the Maze.

Like all of James Dashner’s books, this was pretty good but nothing amazing for me. I do feel that I didn’t like this one as much as the main series but that is probably because I was so attached to the main series’ characters that this book was a jump.

I’m not sure if it was meant to be like this, but this was such a predictable book. I predicted character details, plot twists, and predicted the ending about halfway through the book. I think this is a little bit because I read this after reading the main trilogy, so I would recommend that if you are going to pick up books from¬†The Maze Runner¬†trilogy, start with this one.

I enjoyed our main cast of characters almost as much as the characters from the main trilogy. Their relationships were so nice and they were all such realistic individuals. Right off the bat we’re introduced to Trina who is busy reading and this instantly made me like her character the most. As a book lover I love reading books that have characters in them that like books too!

This book went really in-depth about what happened in the world before the creation of the Maze. The trilogy is really vague about life before the Maze (which is understandable because of their circumstances) and The Kill Order provided a lot of insight.

I really like how this book is put together. There was a sort of dual timeline going on that told more about the immediate effects of the sun flares while also following the main plot of the book that involved our main characters. The two were seamlessly blended and it was so well-done.

At some points I felt like the book was super slow-paced because there were some really unnecessary parts thrown in. Other than that though, the book was generally fast-paced and engaging.

If you’re a fan of, are curious to learn more about, or even want to enter¬†The Maze Runner¬†world, I encourage you to give¬†The Kill Order¬†by James Dashner a read.

If you’ve read The Maze Runner books, what one’s your favourite? If you haven’t read any of The Maze Runner books, are you planning to?¬†Let me know in a comment!

Here not so far away… (spoiler-free review)

TitleHere So Far Away

Author – Hadley Dyer

Rating – 3/5

Release Date – March 20th, 2018

Publisher – Harper Teen

Format – ARC from publisher

Here So Far Away¬†follows Frances Warren, daughter of an RCMP officer and a high school senior looking forward to living it up and eventually leaving her small town for college. Then she gets in a fight with her best friend, her friend group as a whole is drifting apart, and her family situation just keeps getting worse. then Frances meets Francis, a guy she knows is way older than her…and the story begins.

My problem with this book was that I wanted more. It’s set in a small Canadian town in the ’90s which I loved, but there needed to be more description of the setting. There was a lot of wasted potential in terms of the setting. Frances’ friends were a little underdeveloped for my character-driven reading taste too.

Our main character Frances (real name: George) was very enjoyable and I love how witty she is! She is very realistic and never shied away from things that I think the average teenager experiences.

I really liked all of the characters, but Rupert and Bill were my favourites. I also really loved how big of a part that Frances’ family played in the novel. My absolute favourite thing in YA is when family is very present in the novel because it makes it so realistic. I feel like having a character’s family in the novel is becoming more common too which makes my heart so happy.

Even though I enjoyed Frances and her friends, I could not relate to them or what they did. This is a me problem though because I am just personally the furthest thing from your typical “partying high school student” and I don’t have any interest in the whole party thing. It was interesting reading about people who are so different from me though, so if you’re like me then this book would be really interesting for you! Even if you aren’t like me and you’re someone who enjoys parties, you would love this even more because you would see a lot of yourself in the characters of the novel.

The last quarter of this book was the most heart-wrenching for me. The writing packed a punch throughout the book but at this point I was getting really connected to the characters, especially Frances and Francis. The ending was heart-wrenching and the book left me so sad; I’m still thinking about what happened. This is a book that will stick with you for a long time.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think that it is so cool that it is written by a Canadian author and is set in Canada! It made me want to visit different parts of Canada so I can see more of my beautiful country.

What country are you from? Are you planning on picking up Here So Far Away? If you have picked it up, what did you like/not like about it? Let me know in a comment!

I don’t read anymore…

Hello book lovers! It’s been a while since I did a wrap up/haul post and that’s because I have hardly read anything this year! In 3 months I’ve only read four books and I blame that on school/work. This school year has been the most difficult thing I’ve faced and with work on top of that, I have had no spare time! I haven’t stopped buying books though which I’m kicking myself for because my TBR just keeps on growing! HeLp.

Anyways, here is what I read in the first three months of 2018:

  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – 3/5
  • Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre – 5/5
  • Hamilton and Peggy by L.M. Elliott – 4/5
  • The Final Six by Alexandra Monir – 4/5

This wrap up is so sad; it’s like I don’t have any time to read anymore! Reviews for all of these can be found here on my blog if you want to read about why I gave them the ratings that I did!

Okay, so here is the most shameful part of this post…all the books that I have bought in the first three months of 2018:

  • The Shack
  • Where There is Love, There is God
  • Come by My Light
  • Roar
  • The Valiant
  • All but My Life
  • Lilac Girls
  • Unbroken
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven
  • The Shadowhunter’s Codex
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Complete Little Women
  • The Complete Grimm’s Fairytales
  • The Giver Quartet
  • Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairytales
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Stuart Little
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • A Little Princess
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Animal Farm
  • Persuasion
  • The Bone Season
  • The Mime Order
  • The Song Rising
  • Inkspell
  • Astronomy Photographer of the Year
  • Wildwood
  • Under Wildwood
  • Wildwood Imperium
  • Here So Far Away (ARC)
  • The Smoke Thieves (ARC)
  • Dark of the West (ARC)
  • Onyx and Ivory (ARC)
  • Contagion (ARC)
  • Sea Witch (ARC)
  • These Rebel Waves (ARC)

Uhhhhhh, oops? I didn’t even realize how many books I got already this year. I’m still laughing at the comparison between how many books I’ve read and how many I’ve bought…

What has been your favourite read of the year so far? Let me know in a comment!

The final page is a cliffhanger (spoiler-free review)

Title –¬†The Final Six

Author –¬†Alexandra Monir

Rating –¬†4/5

Release Date –¬†March 6th, 2018

Publisher –¬†Harper Teen

Format –¬†ARC from publisher

Earth has been ravaged by freak natural disasters and has been left on the brink of uninhabitable. The Final Six are Earth’s beacon of hope. Twenty four are chosen, but only six will make the trip to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to colonize it. During her training, our main character Naomi discovers that there is more to Europa than she thinks and she enlists Leo to help her with exposing that.

The book starts off in Italy which was a great first impression because it isn’t a common setting in books (in my opinion). Right off the bat the reader gets a taste of what happened and is continuing to happen to Earth with Leo’s story. I really enjoy Leo’s character because he is so realistic and just a great person in general.

We’re introduced to Naomi as a science-nerd (#girlboss much?) which I totally clicked with. Naomi is so much more amazing than I am but she is such a great fictional character to look up to because she’s interested in STEM!

As you may know, family dynamic is lacking in YA, so Naomi’s connection with her family was something I really adored about this book. Most of the family scenes had me choked up since I was really able to empathize with her (since I also have a little brother).

One thins I didn’t quite enjoy was the romance. I have really mixed feelings on it: it was cute sometimes (super cheesy) but I felt like it was unnecessary and could have done more for the plot if it was written as a friendship.

The ending was such a cliffhanger and was definitely my favourite part of the book. I am eagerly anticipating the next book because I really love these characters and I cannot wait to see what happens to them next!

I highly recommend this book to sci-fi lovers, especially if you are trying to get into sci-fi. It’s a nice light read with enough substance to keep you flying through the pages so it would be good for sci-fi beginners as well as people who want to get out of a reading slump!

Have you picked this book up yet? Are you planning on picking it up? Let me know in a comment!