January Wrap-Up

I’ve read three out of my target of four books this month. If you would like to read the review please click on the book cover!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's daughter

Five-Seven-Five by C.E. Wilson

Five Seven Five

REVIEW: Five-Seven-Five by C.E. Wilson

Five Seven FiveFive-Seven-Five by C.E. Wilson
ASIN: BO186TBUWI
Published: 16th November 2015
E-book, 206 pages
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Adventure
Rating: 9/10
Buy on Amazon

I received a free e-book copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

White Frost lives in a world of darkness, made and watched over by the Creators. Where the Chosen Ones take only what can be used and what won’t be missed. White’s cousin brings her strange collections of words from the Unknown. However, when tragedy strikes White must find out what lies behind Zone Eleven.

This was a nice, quick read from C.E. Wilson about a girl who wants to have more knowledge about what lies in the Unknown. I liked how the plot unfolded and how the relationship between White and Kes unfolded.

“This is a bed” he said, kicking the wooden surface with the heel of his boot, “but what if someone told you all your life that this was actually a basket? Wouldn’t you think it was a basket?”

I though that White was a pretty good character, she questioned everything and went on a great journey. I also liked how some of the other characters were portrayed especially Kes and Salt.

I loved that no matter how many questions I came across they were all answered slowly and gradually adding to the suspense and building up the uniqueness of the plot well. However, I felt that President Copper should have been more prominent in the book but I do have a feeling that she may be in book two.

And the Costa Book Award goes to…..

If you haven’t heard already, the Costa Book of the Year has The lie treebeen announced as The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge!

The Lie Tree was my number one book of last year and I am so happy that it has won this award. No YA books have won this award since 2001 and Frances Hardinge is only the second YA author to win!

You can read my review of The Lie Tree here. You can also buy this book on Amazon (which I highly recommend!)

I have also written a review of one of Frances Hardinge’s other novels Cuckoo Song.

Tips for Buying Books

Now that the January blues are almost over you might feel like it’s time to go and buy some books to keep your literary needs satisfied. So here’s a few tips to make the best of your visit.

1) Don’t buy them all!
Yes, going into a bookshop for all of us book-worms is like going to Disneyland or Narnia (although I’m guessing you’d like to go there to) but unless you’re a millionaire there is no way you can o this without going bankrupt. So yes, they may look really pretty and be calling to you from the shelves but please don’t buy them all, not in one visit anyway 🙂

2) Stick to a limit.
Set aside a reasonable amount of money and stick to it. This way you’re not spending more than you can afford and you also have to narrow down the books to the ones that you will actually get around to reading!

3) We all love hardcopys, but have a look online too.
Paperbacks are my favourite type of format but I am beginning to warm to e-books. For a start it can be much cheaper, you can find new and undiscovered authors and you can save a ton of space on your shelves. However, nothing  bets turning the pages of a book with your hand and not with a click on the screen.

4) Don’t forget charity shops!
You never know what little gem you will find in a charity shop  for next to nothing. Have a wander around and remember that it’s for a good cause!

5) Read Reviews.
Reviews are very important pieces of information when thinking about buying a new book. make sure you read the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to reviews to be able to make an unbiased decision on what you want to buy.

Hopefully these tips will help you when you’re next in the labyrinth of a bookshop.

Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments.

REVIEW: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's daughterThe Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
ISBN: 9781407147635
Published: 5th February 2015
Paperback, 333 pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Rating: 6/10
Buy on Amazon

Twylla is blessed. She has the favour of the Gods and is going to marry the Prince. But this favour has a price, she must drink a deadly poison which infuses her skin so that she can never be touched. Those who anger the Queen must die under her fatal touch. Only Lief, her new guard can see past the Daunen Embodied gift from the God’s to the girl who Twylla really is. Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen’s, some truths should not be told…

I not really sure about my feelings towards this story. There were some good ideas and were executed well in some places however I just feel that there was something missing that would have made it so much better.

“Even when there are no prisoners, I can still hear the screams. They live in the walls like ghosts and echo in between footsteps.”

I liked the start, it built up suspense and added to the mystery of who and what Twylla was. However as the story progressed it started to go downhill with a love triangle forming almost forcefully.

I really enjoyed the action and violent scenes and thought they were really well thought out and added a darker undertone to the story that was most definitely needed. I didn’t connect to any of the characters as it felt as if they had no backbone and I couldn’t feel anything behind what they were saying as I can with other characters.

FREE EXTRACT: The Automation by B.L.A and G.B. Gabbler

Courtesy of B.L.A and G.B. Gabbler I can offer you the first The Automationtwo chapters of The Automaton free. For more information please visit the following sites; Author website, Goodreads and Twitter. You can also Buy The Automation from Amazon.

Synopsis
The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function Hephaestus put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Click the link to read the first two chapters of The Automation FREE

Chapter 1 and 2 The Automation SOB publishing

 

[Cover Reveal] A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

So the cover of A Court of Mist and Fury had been released and I’m gonna need a moment to get my emotions in check….

B O O K W O R M A N I A C

a court of mist and furyTitle: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.


Shelf this on Goodreads!

My thoughts:

IT FINALLY HAS A COVER! I’ve been waiting for this to come…

View original post 200 more words

FREE EXTRACT: Beyond the Gardens by Sandra Lopez

I’m delighted to be able to offer you all the first chapter of beyond the gardenBeyond the Gardens free, courtesy of the author Sandra Lopez. Sandra was voted as one of the Top Ten Latino Authors to watch in 2011 and since then has gone from strength to strength. To find out more about Sandra and her books you can visit her website www.sandra-lopez.com you can also buy Beyond The Gardens from Amazon.

Amazon Description
At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceañera.

Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do?

As the evening sun was settling over the small hills, I steadily hiked along the concrete path that led into the center of the campus quad. I hung to the strap of my book bag with a light wind sweeping through the air, then walked past the student store and the food court. The garlic aroma of chicken chimichangas was overwhelming and floated around seamlessly. My god, did it smell good. I almost wished I had five bucks to waste.

Instead, I ignored the aching grumble in my stomach and moved on.

The dorms were located on the outskirts of the school next to a highway that was often busy at this time of day. When I reached Da Vinci Hall, I passed along a few students bundled in a corner with large pads sketching the scattered trees on the forefront of the breaking dawn. I had missed the elevator going up just as the doors were closing. Damn. Exasperated, I punched in the button for the next one. But the wait was so long I decided to just forget it and took the stairs instead.

Crossing down the hallway, I fumbled inside the withered pocket of my jacket for the keys. I unlocked the door and then stepped into a tiny cubicle, where I hit my knee passing by the end table. At that point, I couldn’t decide whether the furniture was moving closer or the room was just shrinking. I limped across the room and dropped my bag on a nearby chair. Then I took off my cap and tossed it aside. Oh, what a day, I thought while my fingers stroked through the thick strands of my dark hair. I couldn’t believe I stayed up half the night to study for a quiz the teacher decided not to have after all. What a shame. I was really looking forward to it, too.

After spotting my bed just a few feet away, I fell on top of it landing on a soft pillow that cradled my head. Humble sighs trickled through as the evening sun cast a mild afterglow through the shiny window, shadowing the room with a tinted orange. I yawned while the soothing warmth poured across my tanned face. Then I closed my eyes as a tranquil slumber soon began to take its course. Suddenly, the door quickly slammed open, and I instantly bolted upright.

“Hey, good news you lucky people, I’m here!”
“Jesus Christ!” I yelled, responding to the triumphant arrival of my roommate, Anna.
She looked at me with cavalier naïveté. “Oh, were you sleeping?”
“No, I wasn’t,” I answered. “I was just trying to, that’s all.”
“Well, as long as you weren’t sleeping.” Casually humming, she sauntered back into the hall and returned with everal large shopping bags. Most of them looked like they weighed more than she did.
“Been to the mall, lately?” I asked.
“Just for the last half hour.”
“And that’s all you got?”
“Well, I couldn’t really get much because I had to come back for a class.”
“Oh, of course.”

I watched as Anna closed the door behind her so she could peek at the mirror nailed in the back. She twirled around a few times, checking out all the angles of herself. Then she fluffed her short, reddish-brown hair, which was decorated with bright, silver streaks. Under closer inspection, she turned from side to side and caressed the light, delicate skin on her face. She checked out everything from the straight arches in her eye brows to the rich, glossy color of her lips. Oh, brother, I thought as I reclined back into position.

There was just no doubt about it. Anna Zapata was the “Chicana from Beverly Hills.” She, technically, came from Orange County, but she was possessed by someone in Beverly Hills. Note: Anytime you see the word “hills” in a city name, you just know it’s a fancy, ritzy area packed with people, who just have too much money. For example, Anaheim Hills, Woodland Hills, Chino Hills, Beverly Hills. Need I say more?

“Do you think I need to add another streak?” Anna asked suddenly.
“Another streak?”
“Yeah, right here near my bangs.”
“Well, I don’t know,” I answered. “I think you wouldn’t look any different.”
“Would you get up and look,” she insisted.
“Why, I can remember what you look like.”
“Will you just look.”
“Okay, fine,” I said with a roll of my eyes. With a discouraging grunt, I hoisted myself up and

leaned on the tips of my elbows. I cocked my head in her direction, straining to give her a glance. My face crinkled in confusion as I attempted to drum up an opinion.

“Well?” she persisted.
“Well, uh—”
“Be honest.”
“Honestly……you’d look the same.”
“Oh, no I wouldn’t.”
“Yes, you would.”
“No, I wouldn’t.”
“Yes, you would.”
“Oh, what do you know?”
I collapsed back on the bed with a loud murmur under my breath.
“Can’t you see that one streak will add balance to my bone structure?”
“No, I clearly don’t see that,” I said.
“Obviously.” She looked back at the mirror. “Maybe I should just start all over with a brand new color. What do you think about that?”
“Why don’t you just go back with the color God gave you?” I asked.
“Well, that kinda presents a problem,” she said. “See, I sorta forgot my original hair color.”
“Are you serious?”
“Nope, I’ve been dyeing my hair for years, and it just sorta slipped my mind.”
“Well, why don’t you ask your mom then?”
“Are you kidding?” she responded. “Who do you think taught me how to dye my hair? My mother couldn’t find her own roots if she was digging for gold.”
“Okay, point well taken,” I mentioned. At least now I knew where her obsession with hair started from.
“Ya know, I think I will add that extra streak,” she said.
“Whatever you say.”
“And while I’m at the salon, I’ll get a manicure, pedicure, and a facial,” she added. “I’ll just beautify all this even more.”
“Are you sure you’re Mexican?” I asked once again.
“For the last time, I am Mexican,” she replied in defiance.
Yo sé hablar español y todo. I just don’t listen to Spanish music or eat spicy foods. Why, don’t I sound Mexican?”
“Nope.”
“I resent that,” she said. “I would stay and fight you on that, but I gotta go get my facial, manicure, and pedicure.”
“So, back to the mall you go?”
“That’s right,” she said. “Oh, and while I’m there, I might as well get that cashmere blouse I was thinking about buying but didn’t. See ya.”

With giddy excitement, Anna glided out of the room. Finally! Now where was I? Oh, yeah, I was trying to relax.

I lied there and closed my eyes, gradually reacquainting myself with the peaceful and quiet sounds around me. At some point, I actually wondered whether or not I went deaf. But I didn’t. There was absolutely no noise. Wow, this was nothing like home back in the barrio, I thought. Back home I had the raucous sounds of police helicopters flying overhead to lull me to sleep. But not here. Sounds of the barrio didn’t exist. I haven’t heard screeching tires against the harsh gravel of the streets, or the sounds of drunken cholos clashing with shattered beer bottles. Up until now I figured I’d be stuck with those noises for the rest of my life. It was amazing. I mean, I’ve heard about lawns being greener on the other side of the fence; but it’s another thing to actually sink your feet into that beautiful grass and wiggle your toes in it. Could I really have done it? I wondered. Could I have gotten myself away from the other side and made it all the way here—at the Atkins Art Institute, the place I’ve been working so hard to get to ever since I saw Bugs Bunny as a kid? Could this be a dream? Yes, it was a dream—it was a dream come true! After conquering the world of high school as a kid and cherishing the last few moments of summer with the people who meant the most to me, I can now say that I had finally made it. I did it! I was here, standing in the middle of a whole new adventure, ready to begin the grand odyssey of college life, ready to discover the answer to the question that’s been nagging me for years: What’s beyond The Gardens?

Ever since I was born in the small town of Hawaiian Gardens—a California barrio that a lot of the locals referred to as The Gardens— my life always had barbed wire around it, and I just couldn’t get through. I was caged like a raggedy, flea-infested dog, always snuggled in a dirty corner while surrounded by the foul stench of that filthy pound. I would look at the world through steel bars, wondering what it would be like to be on the other side. Was there some other life beyond those gates? Was there something better over that fence? I never knew; I’ve always just wondered. And I kept on wondering even when we moved to East L.A., where I was only transferred from a smaller cage to a bigger one—my curiosities still the same though. I knew I was going to die if I stayed right where I was. I knew it was never going to get any better unless I got out. Well, now, I was a dog that had gone free. I finally escaped my cell. I have passed the gates of limitations, running every step of the way, ready to discover what I have been missing all my life. I was now going to see this new world through fascinated eyes and finally mark my territory wherever I go. What changes await me? What will I find? Who will I meet? How will the next chapters of my life going to end this time? Or were they going to end at all? Maybe my ending will turn out to be a brand new beginning. I couldn’t wait to find out!

In the Future. (3/3)

future

The future is full of mystery. All the desicions we make now will affect what happens in the future and right now I’m having to make some seriously important ones. In the future I am hoping to studying  some form of Business or Economic Law at University. This means some serious work over the next few years to get where I want to be. It also means some really tough decisions as the future depends on the present.

Through all of that work though I still want to be able to do what I love the most read, write and fangirl like its the end of the world.  They may move to the back of my mind for a while but hopefully they’ll wait for me and reappear when I need them the most.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

REVIEW: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and RosesA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
ISBN: 9781408857861
Published: 5th May 2015
Paperback, 416 pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Rating: 10/10
Buy on Amazon

I Just Read the Most Wonderful Story GIF
What was I thinking not reading this sooner? This was a absolutely amazing book!

Feyre hunts to keep her family fed and thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. However all humans are afraid of what lives beyond the wall. Fayre soon learns that killing a magical creature comes with a high price. Fayre is imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom where she is free to roam but forbidden to escape.

I honestly could not put this down, I finished it within three days! And when a book has a map you just know it’s gonna be great! The plot was so detailed and imaginative that I absolutely adored it, the world was beautifully created and the characters were well-rounded.

“The forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice.”

Feyre was a fantastic female heroine who stuck to her guns and didn’t give up. She also had a great progression through the book. I liked her relationships with her family and with characters like Lucien and Rhysand to see how they developed made this read even better. I loved Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship throughout the book, and when it got to chapter 27 I was just like…

oh-my-god-reaction-gifs

I liked the idea of the faerie’s against humans with both not really knowing much about the other, this made for some comical scenes but also some dramatic ones. I also loved how all the characters had good and bad sides.

This was a fantastic read and I recommend everyone to buy and read A Court of Thorns and Roses! I don’t know how I’m gonna cope without this series until May!