Month: March 2016

Strange the Dreamer~ Cover Reveal

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

Summary:Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep. 

I seriously can’t wait for this book to come out! The premise sounds so intriguing and exciting as well as a little… well… strange. strangethedreamer-fb-reveal-uk-us

These are both the U.K  and U.S cover editions respectively. I love the bold colours and intricate designs, especially the moth on the U.K edition.

This novel will be out on September but until then we have a little preview to help us get along until the release of Strange the Dreamer:

Prologue
On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.
Her skin was blue, her blood was red.
She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.
Later, they would say these had been hummingbird hearts and not blossoms at all.
They would say she hadn’t shed blood but wept it. That she was lewd, tonguing her teeth at them, upside down and dying, that she vomited a serpent that turned to smoke when it hit the ground. They would say a flock of moths had come, frantic, and tried to lift her away.
That was true. Only that.
They hadn’t a prayer, though. The moths were no bigger than the startled mouths of children, and even dozens together could only pluck at the strands of her darkening hair until their wings sagged, sodden with her blood. They were purled away with the blossoms as a grit-choked gust came blasting down the street. The earth heaved underfoot. The sky spun on its axis. A queer brilliance lanced through billowing smoke, and the people of Weep had to squint against it. Blowing grit and hot light and the stink of saltpeter. There had been an explosion. They might have died, all and easily, but only this girl had, shaken from some pocket of the sky.
Her feet were bare, her mouth stained damson. Her pockets were all full of plums. She was young and lovely and surprised and dead.
She was also blue.
Blue as opals, pale blue. Blue as cornflowers, or dragonfly wings, or a spring—not summer—sky.
Someone screamed. The scream drew others. The others screamed, too, not because a girl was dead, but because the girl was blue, and this meant something in the city of Weep. Even after the sky stopped reeling, and the earth settled, and the last fume spluttered from the blast site and dispersed, the screams went on, feeding themselves from voice to voice, a virus of the air.
The blue girl’s ghost gathered itself and perched, bereft, upon the spearpoint-tip of the projecting finial, just an inch above her own still chest. Gasping in shock, she tilted back her invisible head and gazed, mournfully, up.
The screams went on and on.
And across the city, atop a monolithic wedge of seamless, mirror-smooth metal, a statue stirred, as though awakened by the tumult, and slowly lifted its great horned head.

Are you excited for the release of Strange the Dreamer? Have you read any other of Laini’s books?

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Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Where did I get it? The Local Library

six-of-crows-coverSummary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

My Thoughts:

This is the first of Leigh’s book that I have read but I feel safe to say that I am in love with her work already.

The world of Ketterdam was an intricate place with bustling streets and original and imaginative sights, smell and sounds. I could not have been more immersed and overwhelmed (in a good way) if I tried.

The plot follows six characters who have been given the job of breaking into the ice-court, a prison that has never been breached before. Kaz and his crew of criminals have to work together in order to survive and win their reward.

Along the way we are treated to a whirlwind of suspense and surprises and I thought the use of third person – though not my favourite- was extremely effective in this case. You don’t have to read any of the Shadow and Bone series before Six of Crows but this is a complicated book and the Grisha world was at times a little confusing though not enough to put me off this book in the slightest.

There was a small element of romance (amid all the action , scheming and fighting) but it did not become the main focus of this masterpiece and for that I’m glad. That said, I could not help but fall in love with both Kaz and Inej and I am most definitely be rooting for them.

All of the characters in this book, with the exception of one, were criminals and they would go to any length to stay alive and on top without losing a second of sleep over it. However, despite all of this I loved each and every character and surprisingly their ruthlessness did not worry or bother me at all.

Six of Crows ended on cliff-hangar and I have VERY high expectations for the next book, Crooked Kingdom.

Rating: 5/5

 

Goodbye Stranger ~ Mini Review

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Where did I get it? The local library

23615709Summary: Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

 

 

My  Thoughts:

This is one of the first middle-grade books I’ve read in a while but I found myself thoroughly enjoying it.

This book has fast become one of my favourites of all time and I even went around wearing cat ears for a few days to commemorate my new found love. (Read the book to see what I’m referring to.)

Tabitha and her friends were so engaging and their moments were filled with laughter and fun as well as the occasional tears and misunderstandings that made the book all the more realistic.

Goodbye Stranger was just perfect for a mostly light read with a serious and thought provoking messages laced throughout.

Rating: 5/5

 

A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

Where did I get it? I bought it

a-thousand-nights-e-k-johnstonSummary: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My Thoughts:

*This review contains a few spoilers*

This is one of the most disappointing books that I have read this year. I started A Thousand Nights with high expectations especially after reading The Wrath and The Dawn (another A Thousand and One Nights re-telling) which I adored, but I ended up putting this book down and then forcing myself to pick it back up again because I just couldn’t get into the story.

The characters. I found reading about them and their individual problems extremely boring. there was an original twist to this book concerning Lo-Melkhiin  ( Clue-it has something to do with aliens) that was different but still not enough to grab my attention and keep it.

The writing. There was just something about the style of the writing that did not appeal to me at all and the story just dragged on because of it, with me trying hard to keep wanting to reading on.

The romance.  I wasn’t really invested in Lo-Melkhiin and Schehrazade’s relationship and and for me it didn’t seem plausible especially since Lo-Melkhiin spent pretty much the book inhabited by and evil creature of sorts and it was only really the last two pages that he could fully be himself and yet he still wanted to re-marry Schehrazade.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book and probably wouldn’t recommend reading this novel. However…. all moaning aside, can we please take a minute to appreciate the beauty of this cover.

Rating: 1/5

Novels I’m Taking on Holiday

As everyone knows, the Easter Holidays are fast approaching and since I am going abroad, I had to limit the number of books I carried with me. So without further ado, the 5 novels I am travelling with are:

  • 26365537Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – This is a World Book Day novella all about Star Wars fans. Although I know little to nothing about Star Wars, I know that I am going to fall in love with Rowell’s newest characters.

 

  • 25437747Beautiful broken things by Sara Barnard- This is the first novel that Barnard has written and I can’t wait to follow Caddy’s story as she comes to terms with all that’s going on around her and as she finds out more about her new friend.

 

  • 514ue3imbtl-_sx310_bo1204203200_Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin- You should know that I really do not like to read book set in any war period, however after reading the blurb and hearing so many stellar reviews about this book I had to pick it up form the library. Fingers crossed that this will be an exception to my aversion for war books, for me.

 

  • 9781409591221-how-hard-can-love-be-newHow Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne- I really enjoyed reading the first book in the Normals series and I definitely need to read Amber’s story to see where she goes and sees and learns while spending her holidays in America.

 

  • 511f5sz9ydl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done by Sarah Mlynowski- I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and with the holidays here I don’t have excuses.

 

 

 

What books are you reading this holiday? Do you have any plans for Easter?

Changers

Changers (Drew) by T Cooper & Allison Glock Cooper

Where did I get it? The local library

28541528Summary: Drew opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.

Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever–and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.

Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner–a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name–and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called “Abiders” (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that shows you that your first impressions can sometimes be totally wrong. After reading the blurb I was skeptical about picking up this book as it didn’t really sound like a story I would normally enjoy. However this was not the case and I ended up finishing this novel in no time at all.

Drew is the main character and we only really meet Ethan for a few pages, though we learn a little of what he was like through Drew’s thoughts. The plot flowed along naturally and I laughed out loud at several moments.

One point that wasn’t really a problem, more like an observation, was that the whole changer race and organisation keeping everyone in check was not really explained in depth. Considering, though, that this is the first novel in a series there will be space to  delve into the history and aims of the ‘RaChas’ ‘Abiders’ and ‘Changers Council’.

All of the characters were well developed and Audrey has become one of my favourite book best friends. Chase, however I could not really bring myself to care about and with the decisions he made I don’t feel sad that he may not feature in future books in this series.

Rating:4/5

February Book Haul

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This month I was glad to say that I refrained from purchasing any novels for myself, but I did receive a few from friends and family for my birthday as well two that I won in a giveaway.

  1. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford-  This was my ‘classics’ read for the month and I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift from an aunt.
  2. Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne- I’ve already read Am       I Normal Yet? and I absolutely adored it, so I can’t wait to read Amber’s story and see how the series progresses.
  3. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton- When this stunning debut came out, I heard so many excellent reviews about it that I knew I had to pick it up. Those reviews held true and I really enjoyed reading this book.
  4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- I was given this book as a birthday gift from my friend over at The Little Book Wolf and although I haven’t read it yet, I’ve been meaning to start the Lunar Chronicles for a while and now I have no excuse.
  5. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman- Ever since I heard this book was coming out and read the blurb, I knew it was right up my alley. I can’t wait to start it and I am almost certain I will be hooked form the beginning to the end.

 

  *  I also received Vendetta and Inferno by Catherine Doyle in a giveaway.*

Which books have you got this month? Are they any good?