Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Are you sure it was just a month and not two? | May Wrap-Up & June TBR


Wow, I feel like May started forever and a day ago. I remember that I watched Captain America: Civil War on the first day of the month but it feels so far away. It's a good thing I have my bullet journal to remember what I actually did!

Delicious food because why not?
I finally tried out colouring!

From May 3rd to May 12th, I was on finals and I still don't have my results (ugh). I know that I killed it in my English presentation, I'm so happy about it. On May 8th, I went to an archeological site with my family, I loved the reconstitutions that they made, it was quite interesting and more lively for my little brothers.



After those two crazy weeks, I had a long week-end to rest, I just read and watched TV shows with my boyfriend. When I came back home the Tuesday after that, I got a letter for a job at a library for August and an email for an intership's interview (in a span of two hours, like what?), I was over the moon. Two days later, I went to my interview, it was great and I got the internship. *victory dance* Since then I've been trying to gather all the papers that I need, it's exhausting. I'm starting the internship on June 13th, wish me luck guys!

I also went on an adventure with my family in a 17th century castle and even though it rained all day, it was so beautiful, I'm still thinking about it. For the last week of May or so, I didn't do anything except stuffs for the internship, taking care of my little brothers... Anyway, I felt like May started such a long time ago and I didn't really have time to rest, even though I'm supposed to be on holidays. But at least, I'm occupied. I wanted to start doing my research for my Camp NaNoWriMo's project but I was only able to do this for an hour. Life is so crazy, guys!




My physical haul for this month.

REREAD: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater 5 stars

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 stars
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord 4 stars
A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood (anthology) 4 stars
Dreamology by Lucy Keating 3 stars
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 5 stars 
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin 4.5 stars
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig 3.5 stars
Ruined by Amy Tintera 4 stars
Warrior Witch by Danielle L. Jensen 3 stars
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman 3 stars
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan 3 stars
Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley 3.5 stars
Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider 4 stars
Soldier by Julie Kagawa 4 stars




Goodreads challenge: 67/120. I'm more than halfway through, which is a good thing since I have no idea how much I'll be able to read this summer!

Flights of Fantasy : 40/50. I read eight books in this genre this month, but well, I'm killing this challenge so no one is surprised, really. 

Retelling challenge : 11/20. I read three books that can be considered retelling this month. A Court of Mist and Fury was a retelling of Hades and Persephone (and maybe other stories like it was the case in ACOTAR? I don't know) and my favourite book of the month (year?). I'm also including retelling of famous figures, since Worlds of Ink and Shadow was a retelling of the Brontë's childhood and Blackhearts of Blackbeard's beginning, but it still works!

'16 Debut Author challenge : 11/15. Wow, I read four debut novels this month, I'm quite proud of myself. Moreover, it included two contemporaries and one historical novel, so look, I'm not only reading fantasy!


When We Collided by Emery Lord
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
Riders by Veronica Rossi
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (reread)

What did you do this month? Are you done with finals? School? What did you read? Any new favourites?

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Would you give love a chance? | Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Published: September 1st 2015 by Poppy
Genre: young adult, contemporary

Goodreads summary: On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions. 




REVIEW


Jennifer E. Smith is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors, Hello, Goodbye and Everything, being the fourth book I read by her. She truly excels at writing cute and fluffy romance, but also incorporating more serious topics. Except for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which I was disappointed in, she always hit close to home and I ended up sobbing.


In each of her contemporary novels, Smith tries to make the narrative more original, for example with postcards in The Geography of You and Me, here it was about places that had marked the characters’ relationship. While I liked this concept in the end, because it allowed me to know about their love story without actually reading about that time, it took me a while to wrap my head around it. Reading about characters in a relationship, wondering if they should break up or not, was quite interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel like that, but also heart-wrenching, because I was scared of the outcome.

I found the characters to be realistic, they were quite flawed but it made it even easier to relate to their story. For example, Clare, the female protagonist, was blaming her best friend for not telling her what she had been up to during the summer, when Clare herself had been self-centred during the whole summer, wondering if she should break up with Aidan or not. While at first, I blamed her, I realized that I, myself, acted this way and even if it was hard to be put in front of my flaws, it made me love the book even more, in the end. Aidan was loving and adorable, but he was also short-tempered. I really liked him as a love interest and I think any girl would be happy to have such a boyfriend.


I loved the topic the author chose to cover, which is saying goodbye to your friends, when a new life awaits. I’ve been in this situation and I know from experience that I don’t have many contacts with my high school friends – but well, I’m not very social either, haha – and I could easily relate to Clare’s sadness. It made me remember when I left and was happy about it, but cried for so many hours. I totally understood her need for a new life, without leaving anything behind. I mainly sobbed because of the theme and even now, as I’m typing my reviews five days later, I’m still crying. I loved the epilogue, because it gave so much hope, that when you want something, you just have to work hard to get it.


Overall, contemporary isn’t my favourite genre, but this type of books makes me want to read more of them. Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between was a cute coming-of-age story, set in a short time span, but I cared so much for the characters, since I related to them so much. I liked that the romance was already there before I opened the book, because most of the time, it’s about finding love. Here, it was about choosing to keep it. I cannot wait to see what this author has in store next!


Other:






Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any of Jennifer E. Smith's other books? Who is your favourite contemporary writer?

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The idea behind this book is all I've ever wanted | Witch Hunter

Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker

Published:  September 1st 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published June 2nd by Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Genre: young adult, fantasy, alternate history

Goodreads summary: The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.


REVIEW

To sum it up, I loved it. I read it in two days when I was in a reading slump and then I got a book hangover. I remember reading mixed reviews about this one, so I was hesitant to pick this up but it was SO. GOOD.

WHY I LOVED THIS BOOK TO THE MOON AND BACK AND WANT THE WORLD TO READ IT

* It's alternate history set in a 16th England. Witches are supposed to be bad and everything and are burnt. Because of that, the world is a dark place and no one is safe. There was a plague started by wizards that killed half the country. Because there are wizards, there is an Inquisition (I've always wanted to write that kind of book so I'm happy)! So of course, there is an underground organization of wizards to fight against all the system (and they're called the Reformists so it's a TRUE alternate history).


* The main character, Elizabeth Grey, is a witch hunter (hence the title). As soon as the first chapter, we got to see her fight the wizards. She's strong and has a hard time trusting people. Because of the time period, even if she lived in the palace, she got through big issues and I liked that (well not really) because it was realistic. We didn't actually see what happened but it was there.

* The plot involves a curse that needs to be broken. It is a fast-paced plot, set in the dark for the most part, it was an enjoyable story to read about. The characters go to parties with supernatural beings.



* I was scared there would be a love triangle, because in the beginning of the novel, there was an overprotective best friend. But because of the choices Elizabeth made, the love triangle didn't exist.

* There is an untrustworthy ghost character! He was so funny and had a relationship with a living character. There are also characters like a seer-child. There are also pirates and the characters travel by ship!



* I didn't see the plot twist coming. It's true that some things were weird but… I hadn't realised. That ending was kick-ass, selfless and a little creepy. Can I have the next book, please?

BUT IT STILL HAD SOME ISSUES

* I wanted a little more world-building. Like more on: why witches, more witch hunter-y scenes, etc.


* When I realized what the romance would be, I was a little disappointed because I didn't buy it? She just fell in love with the guy who saved her life, of course… Still, the author wrote swoony-worthy scenes with these two characters so it was okay.

Overall, I love that kind of books, with witches and alternate history and everything. It's been a while since I read one like that so my heart was pleased. I really enjoyed the main character who was tough and had hard choices to make. I didn't really like the romance, but I'm sure it will be better in the next book. Basically you need to read it and love it! 



Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read books like this one (I'd love some recommendations)?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Grabby Hands #6 | June 2016

Grabby Hands is a monthly feature where I talk about all the new releases I'm excited about for the upcoming month. After all the books being released May 3rd, there are less books I'm excited for in June. Nevertheless, I'm crazily excited for all of them. They're all part of my most anticipated books of the year, because I loved the authors' previous works, or I'm intrigued. I want to get my hands on all of them and do nothing but read.

                                                                            June 7th                                                                         


My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows - Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows are some of my favourite authors, so it comes as no surprise that I'm excited about this one. So far, I've seen one negative reviews, the rest were raving about this one. As a history nerd, this book calls to me and I don't know anything about Jane Grey, so it could be really interesting. Also, it also has a lot of humor, so bring it on!

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by V.E. Schwab - Well, I'm talking about the UK release of the book, because it only release in the US in July I think? What I good idea I had to get Schwab's book in their UK version! #genius. In fact, even if I didn't know what it was about, I would be crazily excited, because Victoria Schwab is an amazing writer and I adore her. This one is about monsters and explores, once again, what makes villains or heroes, like in Vicious.

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1) by Julie Eshbaugh - This is the first debut of the list, I'm showing restraint here. Anyway, I don't much about it, except that it's a prehistoric novel. Have you ever read anything like it? I haven't, which makes me so ridiculously excited about it. Can we have mammoths, please, please? No but seriously, the setting is so unique, I'm curious.

                                                                         June 14th                                                                          


The King Slayer (The Witch Hunter #2) by Virginia Boecker - The Witch Hunter was one of my favourite books of last year, but I still haven't posted my review, haha. That's the problem, when you read like a maniac, but anyway, I'll do it. This series is an alternate history with witches and the Inquisition hunting them down. It's something I L.O.V.E. (even if it's pretty awful) and it calls to my soul. Moreover, the main character was at first a witch hunter, which was pretty cool, until she was showed who the actual villain was. Also, she's blonde and called Elizabeth, which is my second name. We're meant to beeee.

                                                                          June 28th                                                                         


And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White - This is a fantasy about Vlad the Impaler as a girl, what even? It's one of my most anticipated books of the year I think, because come oooooon. Also, I read Illusions of Fate back in December by this author, and it was so amazing! I can't wait to read more of her books, and this one is getting so many amazing reviews!

The Darkest Magic (Spirits and Thieves #2) by Morgan Rhodes - Morgan Rhodes is an amazing fantasy author and she totally broke my heart with the ending of Falling Kingdoms, so obviously I want more from her, even if it's not Crystal Storm yet. I like that this prequel series is set in Ancient Mytica but also Toronto, the mix is perfect. But I don't remember much about what happened in the last one, so I'll need to refresh my memory soonish. Also, I think that A Books of Spirits and Thieves was part of the first books I reviewed here, a year ago, how time flies.

Did you get an ARC of any of these books? Are you excited for them? What are you excited for in June?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Was it about Romeo or the future Blackbeard? | Blackhearts

Blackhearts (Blackhearts #1) by Nicole Castroman

Published: February 9th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult, historical, retelling

Goodreads summary: Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.



Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England? 

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.


REVIEW

I was intrigued by Blackhearts because it is a historical fiction novel, but also because it was an origin story for the pirate Blackbeard. I shared my favourite things in books list last week and I was talking about ships. Be warned: all the excitement on ships will take place during the second book (at least I hope), so this one IS NOT a pirate story, it focused on the romance between the main characters.


I really enjoyed the two main characters. Even if their social backgrounds should have kept them apart, they wanted the same thing: to be free. If Teach was bound by an engagement, Anne was trapped because she was a maid and didn’t have money to leave. Anne was sharp-tongued and strong; it was a delight to have her as a lead. She had to face so much racism, but also sexual assault in the beginning, and still she was moved by her desire to get away, for her better life. Teach came from a favoured background, but because he was just coming back from a year at sea, he had already been through his character development, which was interesting, because we had parallels between who he used to be and who he now was.

My feelings on the romance are quite mixed. When Anne and Teach were introduced to each other, I was so disgusted by his comportment and wasn’t happy it would end in a romance. Of course, I totally understand that in the 17th century, maids were pursued, but still. After that, I still found that the author made some progress and I liked the slow-burn between our two characters. My other problem with this romance was that: ‘they were made for each other, would always find each other’ and it had been weeks. I was like: “wow, slow down guys” and also, I don’t like this “made for each other” trope anymore, so there’s that. It's too cheesy for me, sorry.


The plot wasn’t the main focus on the novel at all, it was mostly the romance. This first book was about the characters trying to get away so it was a little slow in my opinion, even if the beginning gripped me and I didn’t want to let go of the book. The author still managed to keep me interested during the novel, which I applaud. Moreover, at some point, there was a twist I wasn’t expecting at all, which always makes me happy. To be honest, I think that all the fun will be in the second book and it will focus more on the plot. Blackhearts was more of an introduction to this world and I think it would have been a shame if there had never been a second book.

I liked the world-building, even if there wasn’t tons of it. I don’t really remember reading which year it was set in, and at some point they were talking about the end of the Nine War so I figured it out, because I’m a history student. But it’s also very possible I skim read. *hides* I liked the parallels the author made with Blackbeard, for example his ship is “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and his love interest was Anne, so I loved that! Moreover, the last sentence of the book made me have feels, because it’s happening, you guys. The fact that the author explained how she came up with her ideas was also very interesting, because it made sense… But less romance would have been great, thanks!


Overall, this book is more of an historical romance than anything and even if I had been warned of that, I don’t think the romance was enough to carry the whole book, especially when I had issues about it. Nevertheless, I loved Anne and Teach’s characters and I can’t wait to see where their journey will take them. I will definitely read the second book, but I think this one was more of an introduction.



Have you read Blackhearts? What did you think of it? Do you love pirate books (yaaaas!)?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A solid start to a new series | Ruined

Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Published: May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
Genre: young adult, fantasy, high fantasy

Goodreads summary: A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

REVIEW


I was quite excited for this one, since high fantasy is my favourite genre, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was hooked into the story from the very first pages and read it quickly. I think it was a strong instalment in a new trilogy.

This book focused a lot on revenge and that’s an aspect I really liked, especially when Em questioned her motives at some point, because she didn’t want to kill Cas anymore. This book explored the character’s boundaries, questioning justice and how far you should go to get revenge, which was pretty interesting. I found the story to be gripping and fast-paced, the first scene being a murder, and then a character being stabbed during a wedding. I was literally glued to the pages, because I needed to know what happened next. In Ruined, I also found the court politics I loved, since the first half of the book takes place in the palace. This first book ended in a tough place for our characters and I’m excited to see where their journey will take them.


Em was such an interesting main character, driven by revenge, which I could totally understand, considering what had happened to her family. I liked the idea that she was the princess of a kingdom were magic prevailed above the rest, and yet she had no magical powers. It actually changed from the special snowflake main character, because here, Em’s people didn’t even want her to rule, for her lack of magical powers. Nevertheless, she clearly showed that her powers lied elsewhere, since she was pretty strong and badass. I loved her fighting scenes and how she was presented as one of the best warriors, because she trained so much.

Cas was Em’s perfect match, he was such a kind boy that was trying to understand others, like the Ruined, when they had been hunted down in his kingdom for years. While I really liked him, I found him to be pretty typical, he wasn’t really different from the other hundred princes I read about before.

The world was interesting, with its four kingdoms reduced to two since Lera conquered two of them. I especially enjoyed the idea of a kingdom made of warriors and I’m excited to visit this one in the sequels. There were so many scenes involving fighting -even training- which I loved so much. However, I found that the world-building lacked concerning the Ruined, which was a bit strange considering it’s the title of the book. The author never explained them, we just knew they had powers and were above humans, which I found to be pretty shallow for a fantasy book.


I really enjoyed the romance, which wasn’t instalove at all, since the characters didn’t want to marry each other. Because they were forced into that situation, they came to know each other, then rely on each other, and fell in love in the process. It was a slow-burn romance, which I always enjoy. Moreover, their love is quite challenged because they’re supposed to be enemies but I’m a sucker for that! It was a good romance and I sure hope we won’t have a love triangle.


Overall, Ruined was a solid start to a new trilogy and I’m really excited for the sequel. I’m not saying I was blown away by the content though, but I quite liked that the book focused on revenge and had a gripping plot and interesting characters. If you’re a fan of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms and the likes, you should check it out! I think I might check out Amy Tintera’s other works, because she proved me she was a good writer.



Have you read Ruined yet? What did you think of it? Did you read the Reboot duology?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Books I read without knowing anything about | Top Ten Tuesday


I was just thinking the other day that no matter the book I picked, I would have expectations, because I would have seen at least a review before getting into it. So you remember, the days when you picked any book from the library, just to read? Ah, it seems like forever ago. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, because thanks to blogging, I always have a book I want to read, which means an endless TBR pile, but who even cares? I don’t need to be scared of running out of books, which is amazing!

When I was younger/Before I read in English, I was just going to the library or the bookstore and looked at the books, because I had no idea which one to choose and I did it quite randomly. However, I almost never do that anymore, I just read what I see on other blogs, because it seems great! There is nothing wrong with that though, because I have more chances to read a book I’ll actually like!

I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt for today being “Ten Books I Picked Up on A Whim”. I tried to come up my most recent ‘on a whim’ reads, but it was so hard, because I carefully pick up the books I read now. But still, I manage to do that, sometimes!


The Declaration by Gemma Malley – I think it’s the first dystopian novel I’ve ever read, before The Hunger Games, Divergent and the rest of them. I think my mom basically went to the bookstore, saying: “My daughter reads a lot I’m running out of ideas???”, and they throw this book (nicely) at her. I loved it and my love for dystopia began (now I’ve changed but still). Sometimes, I’m still teary-eyed thinking about this one.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Back in the day, in the months before I had an e-reader, I was reading on the Kindle app on my computer, and I had the habit of buying cheap e-books (that’s how I discovered the Lux series) and I got this one. I didn’t like it though, because it was such a typical urban fantasy romance it was ridiculous, but at least I tried!

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – One day, I was at the library for returning history books and I took a trip in the French YA section and the whole trilogy was there! I was like: “wait, isn’t Rachel Hawkins the author of this Rebel Belle I’m hearing so much about it???” so I took the trilogy and read it in two days. It was okay, but so much fun!

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake – Ever since I finished the Anna dressed in blood duology, this book was appearing here and there on Goodreads, but I never read the synopsis or anything. And then, Three Dark Crowns by this author was announced and I got the urge to read this whole trilogy first, even though I didn’t know what it was about (Spoiler: Greek gods dying, it’s so cool!).

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout – It was just the same thing than for Hex Hall, really, except that I was in the bookstore, and for once, they had a YA book by an author I had heard about! I didn’t know anything about this one, I just knew everyone was raving about the Lux series, so I bought it! It was such a bad decision, because it was just copying Vampire Academy, except it wasn’t about vampires, but demigods. I don’t know if it got anywhere past that, but it wasn’t for me… Vampire Academy was so much better.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen – I won’t lie, I first heard about this book when there was a Goodreads giveaway to get early copies. I didn’t win (because I never do) but I was still interested because I loved the cover and the way the title sounded. The titles of this series are made of alliterations and it pleases my ear. I read it when I was in a reading slump last summer and loved it! I actually only saw a couple reviews of this series so far, so I’m not sure it’s super popular. I’m reading the last book in the trilogy right now!

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking – I think I saw one picture of it on Bookstagram last summer, and I wanted it, even if I had no idea what it was about, but the girl on the cover looked like a badass Red Riding Hood, it’s enough, right? RIGHT? Alas, it was a spin-off series and I found that a) I didn’t have enough details to totally understand the world and b) it was so cliché it was hurting my soul.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White Ooooh, a beautiful and shiny cover! What is this? I need it! ß Me when I got the e-book of this book and read it during Christmas break. Of course, I had heard about Kiersten White before, but not this book, so I didn’t even know it existed! But with And I Darken coming out in June, I was curious about this author and I was so right. It was definitely my kind of books, asgezjkf.

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris – I think I saw this one when I was rating another book on Goodreads, in the “other readers also enjoyed” section and I was like, why not? I read it buuuut… Right now, I don’t remember much about it, I think there were parallel universes? So it might be the first book I read in that subgenre? But apparently, it was pretty unmemorable, because I didn’t continue with the second book and don’t remember anything.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – This book is a highlight of last year, I loved it so much when I didn’t have expectations at all! It was pretty and the series was called the Great Library, I didn’t need any other reasons to get it! I think I totally devoured it, the premise was so interesting (because books!) and Gutenberg was a heretic because he wanted to improve the way we printed books? Oh gosh, it was so good, I can’t wait for the sequel to come out!




Do you still pick up books on a while? What was the last one? Did you discover any of your favourite books like that?

Sunday, 15 May 2016

A time travel book with a vivid setting but at times confusing | The Girl from Everywhere

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig

Published: February 16th 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: young adult, historical, time travel

Goodreads summary: Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.


As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.


REVIEW

I was anticipating so many debuts this year, and of course, The Girl from Everywhere was one of them, because it included so many elements I usually love in books, such as ships, maps and exotic places.

I think that in the time travel subgenre, this book was quite unique (at least compared to the others I read), because the characters were relying on maps to time travel, and not their unique abilities, which is the case most of the time. Also, they were time traveling on a ship, so it gets bonus points for that reason. However, I would have liked to see more of the time travel? In the beginning we saw it a little and then they stayed at the same place for a <b>looooong</b> time (like, the whole book). But, I liked how everything was intertwined, how everyone's actions had consequences on everyone else's lives. For example, Nix practically helped her mother to exist, like wuuuut?


The plot was interesting, but I think it dragged a little in the middle and that's why it took me three days to read it, when I'm on summer break. I don’t think I was completely immerged into it. I liked the story, but the pacing felt a bit off at times... And I would have liked more action scenes here and then. Furthermore, sometimes it got a little too confusing for my tastes, I had <b>no idea</b> what was going on. I still liked the plot though, because it was about a heist so it was quite fun, and there was a party at some point! The ending was totally open, I don't really know what will happen next, but I'll definitely be reading it.

I loved the setting of this book, I had never read a book set in Hawaii before and I was so excited about it. I feel like the author totally grasped the atmosphere of this place, the descriptions were pretty vivid and I could feel like I was there. Moreover, this book was full of myths, some of them being about Hawaii, some others about other places, and I really liked learning about them.

This book had a cast of diverse characters, Nix being half-Chinese and Kashmir being Persian. By the way, I'm just going to scream for one second: when Kashmir spoke French, it was accurate! I could have said these sentences myself! It's like... The third time it happened in a book written by an American author, so <b>I am pleased</b>. The author totally did her job when using foreign languages. While I liked the characters, especially the main ones, I found that some members of the crew were pretty unmemorable, as I wasn't able to distinguish them for one another for the whole book.


I wasn't entirely sold on the romance in this one, I didn't have <b>the feels</b> and there's a possible love triangle coming? Um, I don't want that... Nevertheless, this book explored relationships, which I really liked, especially Nix and her father's. In the beginning, I hadn't actually understood she was Slate's daughter, because she didn't call him her father, so I was a little confused, but it was because their relationship was so complicated. He basically kind of wanted to erase her entire life, just to be with her mother again. I could understand his motives, but it was still selfish and he took such a long time to understand it. Still, in the end, this book was more about their relationship, which I really liked.


Overall, it was a good debut, but I never completely emerged myself into the story, because I expected more from it. The setting and some elements of the plot definitely made up for it though. I liked the main characters, forgot about the secondary ones every two pages and wasn’t sold out on the romance, but I really enjoyed this book anyway. I’m excited for the next one, especially because we’ll have more time traveling, but I have no idea what will be the plot, this one could definitely be a standalone.


Have you read The Girl from Everywhere yet? What did you think of it? Do you love time travel books?