Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#16)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

Heir of Fire
(Throne of Glass, #3)
by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance, Magic,

Pages: 530

Expected Publication: September 11, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's

Spoilers ahead!

Description from Goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I don't think I even need to comment on Heir of Fire - it's going to be so freaking epic!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Description from Goodreads:

A seventeen-year-old girl wakes from a year-long coma and is told her name is Jenna Fox. She doesn't remember the accident; she doesn't remember her life; she doesn't remember herself. Her parents show her home movies of her past, but is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

I've had the copy of this book on my shelf for ages, but I never got around to it until now. I remember that the description was really interesting when I was thinking about buying the book and at that time I was just hoarding different types of science fiction novels. But then I  most likely got interested in other books, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was a bit forgotten. Just few days ago, I was going through the paperbacks that I owned but which I hadn't managed to read yet, and my interest in it sparked again when I saw the book.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox turned out to be so different from what I expected it to be. I was   anticipating some what action-fillen novel, but to my surprise there was very little action compared to the most science fiction novels. And in a weird way, I quite of enjoyed that there weren't that many adrenalin filled events. Most of the time the book was focused on Jenna discovering her identity once again, an aspect that I found really interesting. She hold no memories what had happened before her accident - and how can you have an identity if you can't remember anything that you have done in the past? No experiences? No attitudes? The author brilliantly depicts how Jenna has to start from a clean slate - every emotion is a struggle without even mentioning how she cannot remember the meaning of simple words such as 'hate'. 

One of the things I really loved in The Adoration of Jenna Fox was the familial relationships.  The conversations and actions between Jenna and her grandmother, Lily, suggest that they used to be really close before Jenna's accident, but now Lily seems to resent her for some unknown reason. It was really interesting to witness how they had to build their relationship again from a scratch, and how both of them had to work for it. On the other hand, Jenna didn't seem to have the greatest relationship between her parents. I don't want to elaborate this any further if you decide to read the book at some point, but I liked the depiction of how demanding some parents can be, and how the person under the magnifying glass might react to constant pressure of being perfect. 

I simply loved the typography of the novel. There weren't any traditional 'chapter 1' chapters, but there were just simple headings (words, sentences) before the chapters of varying lengths. There also were poem-ish short chapters that conveyed some of the emotions Jenna experienced. Some might argue that this decision makes the natural flow of the story choppy, but I quite liked it as that was exactly what Jenna was going through - her life, identity, memories were all choppy and disorganised. 

The novel is difficult to review because I liked it on so many levels and I can see why the author wrote the novel as she did, but I'm not sure exactly why I didn't like it more. The ending was rather abrupt and I didn't feel like there was any closure to the story. I'm aware that this is the first book of the trilogy, and it most likely was supposed to be a bit open-ended, but I just didn't find it to my liking. Also, I know that the lack of eventful scenes isn't  for everyone as well as the emotionless narration (especially in the beginning). The back of the paperback describes The Adoration of Jenna Fox as "a gripping psychologic thriller", and even though it was really interesting to find out the mystery behind Jenna's accident, but I can't exactly call the novel a thriller. 

Sunday Post (#5)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead." 

 What I read this week 

❄ The Adoreation of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson
❄ The Bad Beginning (A series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket
❄ Looking for Alaska by John Green
❄ The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson 

✿ Reviews ✿

❄ Wait for You (Wait for You, #1) by J. Lynn 
❄ Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer 
❄ Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer 

✿ Memes ✿

 Top Ten Tuesday 
 Waiting on Wednesday 
 Stacking the Shelves

✿ Around the blogosphere and elsewhere ✿

 The cover reveal for Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
❄ About loving a genre you thought you never would love
❄ Elizabeth Banks has wrapped up with The Hunger Games films

✿ What else I've been up to this week ✿

1. Readathon. It was so much fun (even though I didn't read 24h, but more like 9h). Those things are always so great to participate in because you get a sense of community - to meet new blogger as well as discover new blogs. 

2. Lazy lazy lazy week. Besides readathon, I haven't really done anything productive. I've just mostly watched TV with my free time and went to the city centre a couple of times. I don't mind these slow weeks at all though - I hate those hectic days and I always appreciate the peaceful moments.

Sorry that I post this on Monday - it's really not a Sunday Post, is it.. I totally forgot to do it yesterday as the whole day went in a haze because I was trying to recover from the readathon. I'm going to post an actual review later this evening, but I'm still not sure which one. Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Readthon End of the Event Meme

What is is the last hour already! WHAT! Where has the time gone? I'm pretty proud of myself for achieving my goals for this readathon, but I think I could have managed to read one more book if I hadn't had that small reading slump almost right in the beginning. But I'm pretty happy nevertheless! The only regret I have is that I would have wanted to participate in the challenges, but I totally forgot (I'm so lame, I know).

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I think Hour 12 was a bit daunting because I had woken up pretty early that morning so my eyes were hurting a bit and I started feeling quite sleepy. 

How many books did you read?
I managed to read three just like I planned - yay me!

What were the names of the books you read?
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket
Looking For Alaska by John Green
The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson 

Which book did you enjoy most?
The Moment Collector by JLA probably because it wasn't what I expected it to be and it still keeps haunting me. I really need to read it again, because I feel like I have so many questions which need to be answered.

Which did you enjoy least?
I really can't say, to be honest. 

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will most definitely participate again, and I'll probably settle for being just a reader once again. 

Currently Reading:
Nothing any more - my eyes hurt a bit from all the reading if I'm completely honest!

Thoughts about the book I'm currently reading: 
Well, the last book I finished was The Moment Collector and I really liked it even thought it was really sad. It probably won't be everyone's piece of cake, though.

Quote from the book I'm currently reading: 
"Their beauty makes me want to cry, but then I realise, it's my beauty, I'm them and they're me --"

Mood: Tired, I think I slept only 5h last night.

Books finished: 3

Pages read: 651

Snacks: I still haven't eaten breakfast so I think I'm going to go and make soon.

Readathon Hour 21

Oh no, readathon is over soon! I made a really bad choice between hours 3 and 8 because I decided to take a "short" break which eventually became several hours. And I was so excited about this whole event! Luckily I got pretty motivated after that so I started reading Looking for Alasky by John Green and finished it before going to bed. I just woke up 40 minutes ago and no I'm going to read for the rest of the 4 hours and maybe (if I'm really quick and take no breaks) I might be able to finish my third book! 

Currently Reading:
The Moment Collector by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Thoughts about the book I'm currently reading: 
Well, I just started so no thoughts about it at the moment. No preconceptions either.

Quote from the book I'm currently reading: 
"It seems that this town has an appetite for the young; it swallows them whole, right into its very dirt."

Mood: A bit tired, but very determined as well.

Books finished: 2

Pages read: 395

Snacks: Just tea for now (we are out of coffee!!)

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Readathon Hour 2

Hour 2 has started! I started reading right away when the clock struck 1pm (the official starting time in the UK). I wanted star reading with something that I could finish rather quickly - to get a taste for the reading. I'm planning to read a bit longer books as well, but we'll see how much I'll end up reading in the end (I'm hoping a lot). Some updates from the first hour:

Currently reading: 
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket

Thoughts about the book I'm currently reading:

I knew that the book wasn't going to be all about rainbows and unicorns, but oh man this Count Olaf is horrible! I didn't quite expect him to that bad. I'm really eager to see how this ends, and I will most definitely read more books from this series. 

Quote of what I'm currently reading: 

""If we had any kerosene," Violet said around noon, "I could make Molotov cocktails with these bottles.""

Mood: Very  content.

Books finished: 0

Pages read: 140

Challenges participated in: Intro Meme

Snacks: Coffee & After Eight thins 

Dewey's Readathon Kick Off!

Dewey's Readthon is here! Yes finally! I've been squirming the whole morning, eager to start reading. And now there's not that long time to wait anymore. Here's the first Kick Off Meme:


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Scotland, UK - whoop whoop!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Looking for Alaska by John Green. I'm not sure if it's a tad bit too long, but I tried to choose books that weren't more than 300 pages long. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Well, I think I need to say that in participating in the challenges and reading of course (and eating all my delicious snacks!).

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm 21 years old psychology student living in the UK. When I'm not reading, I'll be most likely watching either really visually striking or violent movies and TV series like Hannibal, the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or just wandering around in the city and drinking coffee. I'm pretty optimistic in general, but there's a hint of sarcastic quality to my personality. People often think that I'm either really shy or arrogant (because I'm quiet around strangers), but usually I just don't know how to contribute to the conversation or I'm too busy thinking about the next book I'm going to read. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have picked up shorter books and I think I will rely more on the power of caffeine this time! Last time everything went pretty smoothly, so I'll just try to things similarly.

Stacking the Shelves (#13)

It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here is my haul from this week:

❄ Paperbacks 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

❄ NetGalley 

Hexed (Hexed, #1) by Michelle Krys
The Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, #1) by Chelsea M. Cameron

I love The Handmaid's Tale so much, so you can imagine how happy I was when I found a brand new and inexpensive copy of it this week! I'm also really excited about Hexed. Witches aren't my no. 1 favourite supernatural beings, but recently I have started to like them better and better. Maybe I can finally get out of the reading-about-witch slump Harry Potter series have driven me into?

Friday, 25 April 2014

Dewey's 24h Readathon Warm Up Post

Yay!! It's finally here tomorrow (April 26, 2014) - Dewey's 24h readathon! I wasn't sure until now if I was really going to participate, but now that the event is here, I really can't pass it after all. I live in the UK, so I think the readathon officially begins 1pm for me, so I can do things that I need to do tomorrow before fully indulging myself in reading. Last time I started reading way too long books, and I think I managed to finish one I had started before, finish one completely, and start a third book. Tomorrow I'm going to start on a clean slate with a bit shorter books, so maybe I end up being more productive! 

I'll try to post multiple times during the 24 hours, but I'm sure I need to sleep as well at some point, so there will be quieter periods as well (and sorry about the spamming with these posts). I'm sure sugar & caffeine combination will help me through the rough patches, though. ;) 

Currently reading:

Quote of what I'm currently reading: 

Books finished:
Pages read:
Amount of time spent reading:
Challenges participated in:


Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Description from Goodreads:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Another amazing book from Meyer! I loved the first book of the series, Cinder, so much and I started reading Scarlet right away I had finished the first book - and wasn't disappointed. Scarlet just like Cinder is an incredible retelling, but now the focus is on Riding Red Hood. Even though there are the same elements as in the original story (the grandmother, the red cloak, the wolf) the author is able make the story her own with a futuristic twist and with some of her own additions to this page-turner story. 

Oh boy, wasn't the book an exciting one! I think the events might have been even more thrilling than in Cinder. There just right amount of action and then some slower paced sequence of events - the pacing was perfect. While Scarlet was trying to find her grandmother, Cinder and Thorne were trying to escape from the prison, and Kai was struggling with the peace keeping with Queen Selena. I just adored the fact that even though all these people were having their own struggles in different locations, there was this thread of knowledge that interconnected them all, without them even fully knowing. It was so much fun to see this 'mystery' to unravel and I'm hoping that Meyer will include more of these surprises in the future instalments.

I first thought that the book would mostly include Scarlet and the story would focus on her, but there were almost as much Cinder included as well as few chapters from Kai's perspective. First I was just absolutely enthralled by the fact that Cinder or Kai weren't forgotten as those two are very well established characters. However, as much as I enjoyed their plot line, I couldn't help feel that something was taken away from Scarlet. I really liked her as a character - she is independent, not afraid to speak her mind, and headstrong, but I wasn't able to relate to her as much as I have with Cinder. Of course this might be just because I'm more like Cinder than Scarlet, but I think the situation would be different if the story would have solely focused on Scarlet. But then I wouldn't have met Thorne! See my dilemma?

Yes, Captain Thorne. He is absolutely fantastic! I think he is one of my favourite minor fictional characters at the moment. He is funny, charming, witty, resourceful, a bit of  daredevil, handsome, but not judgemental and is able to see through the surface to the more in-depth things. I loved the fact that he is paired with Cinder - they make one funny, but great team. While Cinder is the sensible and rational one, Captain has a bit more daydreamer quality to his personality. They balance each other very well, and I'm so just eager to read more of their adventures! Even though I'm head over heels in love with Thorne, I was rather pleased that it wasn't revealed just yet if there's going to be romance between Cinder and Thorne. They definitely have chemistry between them and I think they would be great together, but I assure you, I haven't forgotten Kai either. It's nice for a change that a girl and a boy can be just friends as well. 

Kai and Cinder's relationship was rather innocent in the first book, even though there was some electricity between their interactions. That's why I liked that Scarlet and Wolf's relationship was a bit more heated (but I still like Cinder and Kai more in general). Scarlet and Wolf are so different from each other yet they share the same feeling of abandonment and isolation which most likely contributes the most to their bond. Their relationship wasn't predictable and I really liked that there were things happening to them that I didn't see coming. I'm not sure if Little Red Riding Hood Story theme is going to continue in the next books, or if it is done for now, meaning that the author will write them their own story. I think it would be interesting if Meyer decided to continue the original Little Red Riding Hood story further as it would make pretty dramatic twists. 

I really adored Scarlet, but I have to say that I might have enjoyed Cinder a tad bit more - but not a whole lot more anyway. They are so different from each other in terms of characters, settings, and events that it's hard to compare such books even though some of same elements are still there. Nevertheless, Scarlet was incredibly enjoyable book and I can't wait to see what happens in the third book, Cress! I think I need to go and buy it in the very, VERY near future! (Actual rating 4.5)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Description from Goodreads:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Do you ever get the feeling after finishing a book that why on Earth haven't you picked it up earlier even though people have constantly been praising it?? Well, that's me at the moment!  I was aware of the fact that Cinder was a retelling of Cinderella, but somehow I imagined the whole novel to be completely different. Most of us know the infamous story of the poor Cinderella under her stepmother's cruel regime, so at least I was expecting the story be rather predictable - but it wasn't! There were twists and turns that made me gape, and I absolutely loved some of the modifications Marissa Meyer had decided to make to make the story her own. 

I'm not even sure where to begin with this review! First of all, I loved Cinder. So much. In the future, some of the people who have been gravely injured are made into cyborgs - half-human, half-robot. These half-mechanical humans are looked down to as they aren't seen as fully humans; they are unnatural beings. Cinder happens to a cyborg which of course makes her life twice as hard, as if it wasn't difficult before. I love how Cinder nevertheless is never bitter, but wants to look the bright side of the things and even shows a little rebellion from time to time. She was such a sympathetic character and I can't imagine a person who doesn't feel for her. However, she isn't exactly damsel in distress as Cinder is also very resourceful and smart which made me like her even more. One another thing was highly appreciated as well. Even though characters like Kai see her as pretty, I liked that her appearance wasn't compared to an ultimate beauty - sometimes the author used phrases like "mousy hair".  I find authors too often to make the heroines look like beauty queens and it's a nice change that (at least for a while) the heroine might look like an average girl. 

I already mentioned the cyborg theme, but I just need to talk about the technology part even more! I loved how this retelling takes place in the future, and how well Meyer was able to depict the setting without tumbling or overdoing anything. The author makes the readers to be absolutely sure that the world in which Cinder lives is so very different from ours. There aren't cars anymore but they are replaced by hover cars, cyborgs and robots are part of everyday functioning, the world has faced World War IV, the good old plastic ID cards are forgotten and digital chips embedded under your skin have taken their place. The small details like these make the world building very believable and it absorbs you straight into it without you even noticing. However, even though there are lots of technology included, it was nice also to notice that this element wasn't overwhelming - there were enough to see the world in which Cinder lived in your mind, but it never took the spotlight away from the actual story. 

Kai. Kai. Kai. Kai. KAI. Yes, Kai. He and Cinder were so great together, and there were no insta-love (even though they obviously found each other attractive)! Kai was so wonderful as even though he was a prince he still got his feet on the ground without losing his oh-so-glorious charm and sass. I loved the fact that he had no preconceptions of Cinder even though she was a second-class citizen and a mechanic. Kai in fact was more of surprised and impressed by the fact that so young woman had a such reputation of being the city's best mechanic. He was also rather persistent with Cinder, at various levels, but I liked the fact that Cinder pushed as well. There were undeniable chemistry between them but they don't act on it - just like people in real life. Despite the fact that Kai is a prince and Cinder a mechanic living in the future, their relationship felt very real and realistic with a good-pacing which still makes me smile. I can't wait to see what will happen to them in the next instalments! 

I really loved the way Meyer had decided to write this retelling! There are lots of parallels to the original story but with interesting twist of the author (spoiler): the glass shoe for example being her prosthetic mechanic leg, and how from the two evil stepsisters only the first one was really mean and the other one actually really nice and caring. Like I already mentioned, I was rather sure that I could predict all the events that were about to come, but this wasn't really the case. Of course the novel being a retelling, some of the things you can see coming, but there were so much included which just made me gasp and read some of the chapters again just to make sure if that just really happened. I haven't read that many retellings, but I have to say that Meyer really has raised the bar high for the next authors who will decided to write the next big retelling stories. Cinder was just so amazing with the sci-fi twist and the addition of Lunar people - so interesting. 

There really isn't anything bad that I can come up with this novel - so many things were just so superb that even if there were some things that I didn't like I would just overrule them with all the amazing things. I think the hype around the book is well deserved, even though I can see why Cinder isn't everyone's piece of cake. But it definitely is mine - another favourite series acquired! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#15)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

Snow Like Ashes 
(Snow Like Ashes, #1)
by Sarah Raasch

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 432

Expected Publication: October 14, 2014

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Description from Goodreads:

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

I can't believe how many amazing books are coming out this year, and Snow Like Ashes definitely makes to my list of the most anticipated books of 2014!