Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 131

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

May 5, 2015 ● Goodreads

I was hoping that there would be another book set in this universe, and thank goodness prayers have been answered. I didn’t think they would be able to top Cruel Beauty’s cover, but they’re seriously done it again. GORGEOUS! I’m hoping this one pops up on Edelweiss soon because it won’t be long before I’ll do absolutely ANYTHING to get my hands on a copy.

What are you waiting on?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Lone City, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.


Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

I will say that the cover was the reason I wanted to read The Jewel SO badly. I mean, that dress? The sparkles? A cover that’s slightly reminiscent of The Selection with the mirrors? I was so in to read this one and absolutely desperate to get my hands on it. However, right before starting this book, I had a sudden suspicion that I might not like this book. It sounded like a mix of Megan McCafferty’s Bumped and Kiera Cass’s The Selection, along with an unsettling clichéd dystopian-feel to it. I also read some reviews and some of them... well. Let’s just say they didn’t paint the brightest picture of this book so my expectations sunk despite the gorgeous cover. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when it came to reading this book. The writing flowed so well, and the author really had built up this world beautifully. While there were some problems with the book, I found myself lapping it up huge chunks at a time and immersed myself into the world of The Jewel.

I think the problem with many dystopian novels today is originality. There are so many novels set in the future and sometimes it can be really hard to come up with ideas that standout. I’ve read a ton of dystopian novels that all sounded very similar, and while I overlooked it due to other factors, it can get annoying if it’s too repetitive. The Jewel seemed to be made up of some of these already existing books. For instance, the scene when Violet’s being prepped before she’s going to be presented in the auction, there’s her stylist, Lucien who really supports her and thinks she’s different from the other girls he has prepped in the past. Sound familiar? If you thought of The Hunger Games, you are correct! Round two: the idea of caste systems or rather ranking by the area you live in in the city. Girls competing in an auction (which doesn’t last too long but still). Any guesses? Yeah, I was right when I thought of The Selection. It’s not just the dresses people!

While I did root and empathise (slightly) with our protagonist, Violet sometimes annoyed me. She’s feisty, I’ll tell you that, but sometimes, she does the stupidest things that make you want to hit your head against the wall. The love interest Ash elicited a similar reaction. I don’t think it was something wrong with the characters but rather the idea of insta-love that kind of through me in a loop. Thankfully, it’s only the second half of the book that it starts, so there’s plenty of other things going on that distractedly me from the ridiculousness of how fast they both fall for each other. The Duchess, on the other hand, was an interesting character. I loved the two sides of her: some of the stuff she does in this book is really evil, but suddenly, she’ll reveal a much softer side to her – you never know what she’ll do next.

If you’ve read some of the other reviews of this book, you’ll notice how much everyone freaks out about the end. Um, THEY HAVE GOOD REASON TO. I was completely blown away by the end! Some characters are not who they seem (and I had a sneaking suspicion), and now I’m dying to get my hands on the next book. So much happens and I had to re-read the last lines over and over again because I couldn’t believe what was going on. Excited and a little bit freaked out to see where it picks up again in the sequel.

When I got to the end of Amy Ewing’s debut, I instantly wished I had more to read. The Jewel is a stunning start to the trilogy that had my eyes wide open, scouring the pages as I devoured more and more of this delicious book. Incredible world building and a plot that thickens with every word, I have no doubts that the next instalment will be as spectacular as this one. Can’t wait!

If you like this, try...


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sorry I’ve been AWOL!

Hey guys!

Sorry I’ve been so... not “here” for the past week. Midterms are coming round which means fewer posts unfortunately :( Will definitely try to have a post up on Thursday or Friday though!

Rabiah

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 130

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I can’t WAIT to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

When seventeen-year-old Minnow stumbles out of the woods one winter morning, she is haunted and handless and covered in someone else’s blood. She has just escaped the strict religious commune run by a cruel man named the Prophet. In exchange for freedom, she leaves behind her family, her home, and Jude--an outsider boy who changed everything. 

But the real world isn't the sanctuary Minnow imagined. Soon, she gets arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Now, Minnow is being questioned by an FBI psychiatrist about the night she escaped, the same night the Prophet was burned to death in his own home—a murder Minnow may be responsible for.


A modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden," in which the Devil orders a girl's hands cut off, Minnow is the story of a girl growing out of the wreckage of corrupted faith.

June 9, 2015 ● Goodreads

I’ve read most of Grimm’s fairy tales, but I can’t really remember “The Handless Maiden.” Nonetheless, I definitely can’t wait to read this one! The eerie cover and title, a dark retelling– all signs point to that this book will be awesome.

What are you waiting on?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Elusion, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website (Gabel) Website (Klam)

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.


Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.


Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.


Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

I’d often wondered how cool it would be to have a device that conjures up a simulation and would place you in it... well there goes that dream! I’m too freaked out now by what could possibly happen if such a thing is invented. Elusion was a unique concept, and I really enjoyed reading about this new world. I must admit that I haven’t read any books by Gabel or Klam before, but their collaboration is amazing.

However, what I didn’t enjoy about the book was it’s love triangle. I felt it was too messy, I didn’t take a particular liking to either Patrick or Josh, so basically I didn’t really care too much about who she ends up with. Hopefully it becomes a lot tighter in the second book, Etherworld, and I’m looking forward to the romantic development in particular. While I did like Regan’s character, I felt like she was kind of... two-dimensional. Don’t get me wrong: her character’s emotions are spot-on, especially concerning her father, but she doesn’t stick out in any particular way.

I also thought that the world-building could have been a little better. There are barely any explanations or background information about how the world came to be like this, and why Elusion was created and how far into the future this was set in. Hopefully (as the main plot has been established) the sequel will provide more information because sometimes I was left a little clueless about what’s going on, or had to skim over bits trying to grasp what’s going on.

Elusion, despite my few issues with it, had an original concept and fantastic ending that left me hungry for more. A fast-paced and entrancing read, I’m eagerly anticipating more from Gabel and Klam.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

  • Matched by Ally Condie Goodreads
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis Goodreads

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 129

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on.

This week’s WoW is:
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

**WARNING: contains spoilers from book 1, Dorothy Must Die**
In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

March 30, 2015 ● Goodreads

I'd only recently read and reviewed Dorothy Must Die (review HERE), and I’m absolutely desperate to get my hands on this one. I mean, Paige has created such a dark and twisted Oz... I LOVE IT. Need to also get my hands on the prequels and novellas... I also heard that this was optioned for TV. Can’t wait to see what they do with it :D

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall TV Lineup

It’s that time of year again: 

FALL TV IS BACK!!

There are SO many shows that are returning that I’ll be watching for sure, so I can’t wait to get started. Sure, it’ll be kinda difficult with, y’know, university and everything, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to get through this.


Dramas


Not too many dramas... which in some ways is a good thing because 40 minutes sometimes can be too long :P I can’t wait to find out what’s gonna happen in Revenge since everything’s flipped around now, and Once Upon a Time with the new Frozen story arc (which I’m not too happy about but I can kinda deal with it). Reign looks really interesting, especially the whole Mary and Francis story line. Should be good!  Downton Abbey Season 5 premieres in the UK in September but it won’t be available in the US until January. ARGH. Hopefully there’ll be some way of watching it...

UPDATE: Watched Downton Abbey already and it’s brilliant. Loving this season to the MAX. Even more exciting news– George Clooney will be on the show :D

Comedies


A LOT more comedies for sure.

The Mindy Project: Probably THE funniest show on TV that I watch. Amazing humour, and hopefully it pulls through because 13 EPISODES IN THIS UPCOMING SEASON IS NOT ENOUGH. UPDATE: Season 3 has already started and wowieee what a first episode. A lot revealed, and a whole lot more laughs.

New Girl: While I’ve had some meh moments with this show, especially during season 2, I’ve come to really enjoy it. Love that Coach is now COMPLETELY with the show and there’ll be more hilarity that follows up from where last season left off. UPDATE: Season 4 has started and WOW it’s already super funny. Loving what the gang is up to!

Awkward.: Technically, not another season starting up. Season 4 just took a ridiculously long break and now it’s back! So much drama, so much humour, and so much awkward.

Faking It: Season 2! Season 1 was pretty short and while it was kind of so-so, I’m looking forward to what this new season will reveal.

The Goldbergs: Season 2 pulled through! YAY! I’ve come to seriously love this show. It’s like Modern Family meets the 80’s. Amazing. And Beverly Goldberg is probably the funniest mom on TV. FO. SHO.

The Middle (Not Pictured): I practically binge-watched all five seasons this past year, and I’ve come to love the Heck family. So many funny moments and I’m glad that it got renewed because I can’t wait to see what happens.

Modern Family: Season 6! WOOHOOO. I’ve been watching this show since season 3 was out (so like, eons ago) and so glad that everyone’s back for another round. Heard some interesting plot lines and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Also another hilarious comedy that I absolutely ADORE. It’s got a great amount of physical humour as well, so that’s always good. Great that a cop show can actually be funny.

Mom (Not Pictured): While I was kinda feeling meh about the first season, because I mean, it was kinda like a show you would think would get cancelled, but I think I’m gonna keep watching this one.

About a Boy: Another ridiculously short first season and so I’m glad season 2 will bring about more laughs and more “awwww” moments.

The Millers: I kinda felt the same way about this one as I did with Mom, except this one actually got a whole lot funnier. Looking forward to seeing what Carol gets up to and how the rest of the family has to deal with her “motherly” actions.

New Shows


A lot more dramas than comedies, but these are the ones that really stood out for me– so hopefully, I’ll be giving these a chance.

Red Band Society: I’m seriously in love with this one. Thanks to iTunes, I got the pilot for free and already freaking out about it. New dramedy that I’m totally falling for!

Madam Secretary: A political drama and I like Téa Leoni so I’m interested to see what happens with this one. Again, another free pilot courtesy of iTunes.

Gotham: Um, the beginnings of Batman’s villains?! Too good to turn down.

Scorpion: I’m still not too sure what this one is about, but it’s got good reviews and I believe it’s about hacking and stuff, so it should be amazing.

How to Get Away with Murder: This one has TONS of hype already. I love Viola Davies, and the trailer looks AMAZE-BALLS.

Black-ish: I loved the main actor in the Scary Movie series and so this was too good to pass up. Again, courtesy of iTunes for the free episode.

A to Z: I only know the actress from How I Met Your Mother and the guy I believe was on some episodes of The Mindy Project. Sounds like a cute romantic TV show and heard some great things about it, so fingers crossed!

Cristela: I don’t think this one comes out for a while, but from watching the trailer, it sounds really funny! It’s a 50/50 chance that it might get cancelled or renewed, but let’s hope for the best.

Forever: Likewise with Scorpion, I really don’t know much about what this is about. Something about immortality I’m guessing and the guy’s a doctor. I think. Oh well, free ep from iTunes once more!

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So there you have it folks! I’m super excited to get into these 15 returning shows and 9 new ones :D I have no idea about new shows, because it seems like I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment, but who knows! We’ll see *wink wink*.

Let me know in the comments what shows you’re watching that are either new, returning, or old and you just wanted to watch it now!

**All images are from Ben Dodson’s iTunes Artwork Finder

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Remember Me Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Remember Me by Romily Bernard

Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Find Me, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: Amazon ● The Book Depository (Hardback / Paperback) ● B&NiTunesKobo
GoodreadsWebsite

Read my review of Find Me HERE.

In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

Wick had thought her troubles were over.


But she should’ve known better.


Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.


The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

I loved Find Me, so when I found out there was going to be a sequel (or two) I nearly screamed with joy. The first book in this series was fast-paced and super creepy, and I was totally looking forward to more with the second instalment. Remember Me was fantastic; it lived up to my expectations and soared even further. Never mind that I read the first book around a year ago– the details are still so clear in my head, and let me tell you: that never happens. I’m a sucker for shocks and twists in a story, and this series definitely has them.


This novel introduces something that’s usually a turn-off when done wrong: a love triangle. Honestly, they don’t bother me if it’s excellently executed but sometimes it just works. Luckily, in this case, it was so good. Like honestly, I love Griff, but holy moly there’s something about a smokin’ hot bad boy. I was so torn between Griff and Milo, and I know there’s going to be a whole show-down in the final book, so I’m ecstatic to see who she’ll actually end up. I liked how the events of Find Me has changed the family dynamic. I won’t say too much because that would kinda give away what’s happened in the first book, but it’s really interesting to see how it’s changed Wicket and Lily.

Like with the first book, I did not see the ending coming. I had no idea it would be the person it turned out to be, but wowie. Definitely a huge-ass twist that will knock your socks off. A lot more spy-like action happens in this book which is also really cool, but generally the different events that occur all come together and creates one mind-blowing conclusion that had my mouth wide open in disbelief.

I found myself reading Remember Me non-stop– it’s a gripping sequel that lives up to it’s predecessor and I’m desperate to get my hands on the next in series. Romily Bernard weaves together a thrilling story that only gets better with every word. I can’t wait for Trust Me!

If you like this, try...


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ROMILY BERNARD

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep. 

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.


Website ● Goodreads ● Twitter ● Facebook ● Pinterest ● YouTube




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Giveaway time!

Enter to win...

Win (1) of (2) Signed paperbacks of Find Me + Remember Me by Romily Bernard

US Only
Enter via the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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To follow the rest of the tour click on the banner at the top of the post or on the button below!


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Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Dorothy Must Die, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?


Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.


What happened? Dorothy.


They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.


My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.


I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.


I've been trained to fight.


And I have a mission.

There was a ton of hype for this book around the time it came out, particularly because the Wicked Witch of the West appeared on the TV show, Once Upon a Time. I wanted to read this one anyway because I’m a HUGE fan of the movie with Judy Garland (“Over the Rainbow” is my jam), and I have read The Wizard of Oz, even though I didn’t continue on with the series and I read the book like a bajillion years ago. Dorothy Must Die did not disappoint– I was really taken by the dark retelling of the classic and found myself enjoying the changes made to familiar characters and the world of Oz.

Okay, so at first, I’ll admit, I hated Amy. She seemed spineless and constantly whined about her life. Yes– she doesn’t seem to have the best life. But seriously, does she need to complain about it all the time? Anyway, thankfully all the whining went down later on in the book and there was some major character change. I must also admit, while I do love the sweet and innocent version of the character, Dorothy was amazing. Horrifying, yes, but what a character. I seriously enjoyed her pigheadedness and general dictator-like stance, so you've got to hand it to her: she knows how to be evil.

I’m really considering reading the rest of the books in the series as well as a re-read of The Wizard of Oz because there are so many characters that apparently exist in the classic that I totally could not remember in this retelling. It would be cool to compare how they are in the original versus how they’re presented in this novel. I’m also looking forward to reading the prequel (or should I say prequels) to this series, No Place Like Oz and The Witch Must Burn. I’m definitely interested to see how Dorothy came back to Oz, as I’d mentioned she’s such an intriguing character in this novel, and how she becomes this tyrannical ruler.

Playfully imagined and wickedly enthralling, Dorothy Must Die was a spiced up return to the yellow brick road and the Emerald City, complete with the original cast like you’ve never – and I repeat, never – seen them before and new characters that must face this brave new Oz. Danielle Paige’s debut is addictive and I can’t wait for more!

If you like this, try...


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 128

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.


She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.


She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

October 7, 2014 ● Goodreads

I swear: I just do this meme so I can look at pretty covers. *ehem* Anyway, I loved Jessica Martinez’s Virtuosity (read my review here) and I seriously can’t wait to start this one. Sounds original and thrilling, no?

What are you waiting on?