What control? (Shelf Control Wednesday)

Hello friends! I’m back with another Wednesday meme post (that is what you call these types of posts, right?) Anyways, this week I am trying out the Shelf Control Wednesday meme where I’m going to be talking about a book that I want to read AND already own.

Today I’m going to be talking about Dracula! I bought this book a while ago when I saw a gorgeous edition of it on sale in my local bookstore. That was over a year and a half ago and I still haven’t picked it up…oops. I wanted to read it last Halloween along with reading Frankenstein (which I did read and enjoy) but then I got my job and with school I just didn’t have time to read it.

My goal for this Halloween is to finally read Dracula because I have such a gorgeous edition to read (which will be really nice to keep on my side table and be able to look at everyday haha) and also so I can finally read the classic that I feel everyone talks about!

I can’t wait to read Dracula since I have so many classics that I want to read and I feel like it would be a good start to reading more classics (since up until now, other than school reading, I only read around one classic a year and I want to change that).

What’s a book that you own and really want to read? Let me know in a comment!

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It’s spreading… (spoiler-free review)

TitleContagion

Author – Erin Bowman

Rating – 3/5 stars

Release Date – July 24th, 2018

Publisher – Harper Teen

Format – ARC from Publisher

The contagion. It’s spreading…quickly. An SOS from the distant planet Achlys leads a small crew to perform a rescue mission, but they find the site abandoned; littered with rotten food, scattered tools, and…dead bodies. As the crew works to discover what caused this mass destruction they realize that the threat is awakening.

This book was creepy, really creepy. I would recommend reading this book when it’s daylight outside because the writing is very vivid and if you’re a chicken with a wild imagination like me you might be better off doing so.

My favourite thing about this book was the characters. I didn’t like that the POVs switched with virtually no warning, but the characters are easily recognizable by their tone so it made the sudden POV switches easier to adapt to. My favourite character was probably Coen because he was the most intriguing since his POV (which was indicated by separate chapters and italicized font) was so mysterious. I really loved how the characters weren’t prodigies and there was no “chosen one” tropes which was different. Each character is intelligent and capable (hence why they were chosen to be part of the rescue crew) but there was nothing that set them apart from the other. It was nice to see the characters all on a relatively similar playing field since that’s a different dynamic than many YA books.

There was a family connection aspect in this book with Nova and Sullivan’s families which was nice for a change because I feel like many YA characters don’t have any family at all. I always enjoy family dynamics but I also do enjoy friendships which I feel were not present in this novel. I do believe having no true friendships in this book was a good choice because it shows how cold the world in this novel is as well as the horror of what happened to the Achlys crew. I don’t mind this really because I find it refreshing, but there was no romance in this book. I mean there was a minor mention of some romantic feelings of one crew member to another but that was brushed over and it wasn’t really made a big deal.

I don’t ususally read thrillers (and I’ve never read a sci-fi thriller) so maybe this is how they’re supposed to be, but I feel like this book didn’t really gove too much information. I feel like I was really lost most of the time and I was really only taken off guard a few times (since in order for me personally to be taken off guard I need to know some little bit of information so I can make a vague prediction). I can see how this vague provision of information is beneficial to the whole thrill factor of this book, but I guess since I’m not used to that I didn’t enjoy it.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the ending, talk about a cliffhanger! The way it ended off made the whole book so worth it and made me so excited for the sequel (even though I’ll be waiting for it for a long time)

I feel like this book would be good for people who want to get into the thriller genre since I don’t think it was too hard of a read and it is thrilling enough. My rating on this book was moreso a personal thing since I never luck out with the thriller genre and there were just a few very minor personal problems I had with it. I think anyone who is intrigues by this book’s synopsis or who have had their eyes on it for a little while should definitely give it a chance!

Have you read this book? Are you planning to read this book? Do you have any YA thriller recommendations? Let me know in a comment!

I need to read more! (WWW Wednesday)

Hello friends! Good news, I finally have a new laptop which means more blogging, yay! In an attempt to blog more (because I really do miss posting regularly), I am going to be trying out a new blogging schedule! I’ll be posting reviews on Saturdays and anything else (wrap up, tag, meme, etc.) on Wednesdays! I am so excited and I hope you all are too!

This week I will be trying out a WWW Wednesday post which is where there are three questions that you answer! I encourage you all to try this post out one day (preferably on a Wednesday because that’s when it’s meant to be posted aha) because it is a really interesting reading update post!

What are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m making my way through These Rebel Waves by Sarah Raasch! It is really interesting so far but I haven’t read much of it since I have been busy with driving school and work. I need to read more of it this week though!

What did you recently finish reading?

I most recently finished Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson which I really loved! Keep an eye out here on my blog for my review!

What do you think you’ll end up reading next?

I’ll be reading Mirage by Somaiya Daud because it’s up next in my ARC review list! It has such a beautiful cover and sounds so good; I can’t wait to read it!

So there’s a little reading update for you! I hope you all have a great reading month!

What have you been reading lately? Let me know in a comment!

The story of the centuries! (spoiler-free review)

Title – Furyborn

Author – Claire LeGrand

Rating – 5/5

Release Date – May 22nd, 2018

Publisher – Sourcebooks Fire

Format – ARC from publisher

Rielle risks it all to save her friend from assassins when she exposes that she can perform all seven kinds of elemental magic, something only the prophesied queens should have. One queen of light and one of darkness. Rielle must now prove she is the Sun Queen through seven trials to test her abilities. Will the trials kill her first, will she fail the trials and be executed? Only time will tell. Centuries later Eliana embraces violence in order to keep her family safe…or so she thought. When her mother and several other women  in their city vanish without a trace Eliana joins a rebel captain, consequently discovering how horrible the empire truly is. Rielle and Eliana fight for the same cause, the war spanning thousands of violent years and although they live milennia apart, their lived intertwine and connections between them are dramatically revealed in Furyborn, a unique 2018 fantasy from Claire LeGrand.

Wow, this book was a lot. It’s huge and jam packed with action, adventure, magic, politics, and royalty! This is definitely going to be one of my favourite 2018 reads!

Usually I have an issue with pacing in books, especially when it’s kind of slow. This book was slow, but not slow enough to lose my interest. It was slow when there was information to be told, but then the action picked up at the perfect time, making the book addicting and so hard to put down!

The way the story was written is amazing! Rielle and Eliana are the two perspectives that we read from and the author wrote the book so that as you read you discover these connections between the two girls that are kind of (okay, REALLY) mind blowing! The two stories were seamlessly intertwined and each chapter would switch POVs which added to how addicting the story was since the chapters usually ended on cliffhangers!

This fantasy world had its own type of religion which I thought was very cool because I feel like YA fantasy worlds only incorporate religion that is toxic and evil to the people. Furyborn’s religious system was very interesting with the saints and the prophesied queens.

Angels were not a huge part of this book, but when they were I really enjoyed it! I haven’t read many (if any…?) books with angels in it, and I am very excited for the next book in this series because I feel like this book set up the second one so that there would be more angel involvement (hopefully haha).

There was a lovely balance of romance and friendship, but I’m going to just talk about the friendship because they were my favourite. My favourite friendship was between Ludivine (if you’ve read this book let’s just take a moment to marvel at the twist in Ludivine’s story!!), Audric, and Rielle. Their connection is so unique and natural, it made me so happy the way they cared for one another. Eliana and Navi had more of an impromptu friendship, but it was a friendship nonetheless! The way they cared for one another was less loving, but considering the situation they were thrown into they made it work!

Some plot twists I didn’t catch on to until after I thought about it for a little bit because there is so much going on in this book and it’s all so intricately woven together. I feel like this book calls for a reread because I feel like it would be even better the second time because then I could pick up on all the little things and connections that I missed out on before!

I really loved how epic this book was and I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel!

Have you read Furyborn? What’d you think? (please keep your thoughts spoiler free so none of our blogger friends that want to read the book get spoiled!). Are you planning on reading Furyborn? Let me know in a comment!

A comeback or a fresh start? (Plentiful Discussions: tips for a bookish blogger from a bookish blogger)

Hello friends!

I still have not gotten a new laptop, but I am hoping to have one by mid-August! I believe by next week my brother’s computer will be fixed so I might be able to borrow that for the time being to get caught up on book reviews! I don’t like writing book reviews on my phone because it doesn’t feel right to me and I get too distracted by notifications, so here’s another chill post that I can do on my phone!

So today I was talking to one of my Bookstagram friends who is returning to book blogging and asked for some tips. I had quite a few and they said they were helpful, so here we are! I hope these tips can help you, whether you’re a new book blogger, or a returning one!

Just a little disclaimer: these are tips that I have learned through my years of blogging and they may or may not work for you. You can take them as a foundation and twist them into whatever works for you. These are just suggestions 🤗

1. Don’t get too ahead of yourself; post consistently but make sure it’s achievable for you. For example, I told myself I’m going to post twice a week and that worked for a little bit, but it wasn’t realistic. Once a week is realistic for me, just find what works for you!

2. Post book reviews! Personally they’re the posts that do the best on my blog (they may or may not be for you, but just give it a try). Even if you don’t solely post reviews, if you make yourself “known” for reviews then it’ll be easier to get ARCs when you approach publishers.

3. Be patient. It takes a long time to grow your blog (at least, that’s what I found). For example, it took me two years to have a following “large” enough to get ARCs.

4. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort, so be prepared. Don’t go into it just for the ARCs, go into it because you have fun with it (make sure it stays fun for you; this pairs with 1. because if you don’t get ahead of yourself then you won’t get overwhelmed.

5. This is kind of contradictory to 2. but post what you want! It’s just a suggestion to post book reviews, but if that’s not your thing then don’t post them! People can tell if you’re into your posts or not, so if you’re posting what you love then people will recognize and respect that!

6. INTERACT!! Follow other blogs, comment on and like their posts. It’s so important to create relationships in this community because it makes it so much more fun! Also, you can’t expect people to interact with your posts if you don’t interact with theirs!

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?😂)

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!

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!