Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #4

Stacking the Shelves is a book-haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first ever author book sign event for Laurie Halse Anderson's 2014 new release - The Impossible Knife of Memory. It was super cool and super exciting! Since I already have that book on kindle, I bought some of her older books instead (really though, I should have just gotten a hardcover of that same book again!) Both SPEAK and WINTERGIRLS are quite influential in the realistic fiction domain. In fact, Laurie Halse Anderson has always been known for tackling hard topics in her books. I'm really curious to see how she depicts her characters' struggles and how deep she can connect with me along the way!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)

Author: Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games, #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: Feb 18th 2014
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 230 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

The first thing you should know is that I absolutely loved MIND GAMES. And then here comes the second thing, I hated PERFECT LIES. Ha.

Never has a sequel disappointed me as much as PERFECT LIES did. When I read MIND GAMES, I was thoroughly intrigued by White's slightly peculiar writing style and the premise of evil organizations controlling teenage girls who have psychic abilities. Most of all, I adored the dual sister protagonists - Fia and Annie. The only issue I had then was that the worldbuilding was rather weak. But hey, that's what a sequel is for right? More in-depth plot/character developments, more dramatic confrontations, and more mind-boggling conspiracies. The answer is NO

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)

Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #1
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release: June 7th 2010
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 324 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Fairy tale retellings are without any doubt my number one soft spot when it comes to reading. Regardless of how well I know about the original fairy tale, I'm always easily entranced by the creativity and imagination that shined through each and every one of the newly-reinvented/reimagined stories. Except, perhaps, when such things do not exist at all in a book. I really wish I can leave some better parting words to SISTERS RED, but in the end, this is a fairy tale retelling that lacks everything.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (15): Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1) by Livia Blackburne

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief, #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release: July 8th 2014
Pages: 368 (hardcover)
Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

It was almost four month ago when I read the novella Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne for her upcoming Midnight Thief series. And since then, I have only wished for time to pass faster. Despite the short length, Poison Dance is a story all high fantasy fans will appreciate (you can find my review here). I was completely mesmerized by the world Blackburne created and her characters were nothing short of impressive. It lures you in and before you know it you are already determined to follow this story to the end.

(The kindle version of the novella is currently free on Amazon, be sure to check it out!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

Author: Leila Sales
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release: Sep 17th 2013
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 279 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

This Song Will Save Your Life is an incredibly personal read in the sense that no other books or characters have ever reflected so much of myself in them like this one. It is a book about being an outcast who desperately tries to belong and the inexplicable process of finding one's true self. If you have ever struggled with these hurdles growing up, you will for sure see a hint of yourself in Leila Sales' breathtakingly realistic and relatable protagonist - Elise Dembowski.