Monday, March 31, 2014

A Monthly Round Up (4) : March

A Monthly Round Up is a meme hosted at Feed Me Books Now!!!. The purpose of this meme is to sum up the month's blogging in one post.

Hey guys! How are you all doing? I just got back from my spring break, all rested and freshened up. Unfortunately, I did not stick to my plans of being academically productive at all during my 7-day vacation... So I will probably suffer this week. On that note, I recently finished the two seasons of House of Cards and I cannot think of a more legitimate way to spend my free time than watching Frank Underwood play dirty politics. It is a truly amazing drama series and you should all tap into this goldmine right now.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)

Author: Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: Dec 3rd 2013
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 237 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Before Mind Games, I have never read anything by Kiersten White, despite her reputation and success from the bestselling Paranormalcy series. You see my friends, paranormal fantasy and I have never set well with each other, so much so that I would go out of my way to avoid it sometimes. But now, Mind Games has really shaken me to the core. It's thrilling. It's gripping. And most of all, it's different. I may have thrown out the word "unique" way more often than its weight deems, but if I were to pick one book to recognize for such quality, Mind Games would be my choice.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (13) : Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1) by Danielle Paige

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

Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: April 1st 2014
Pages: 432 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

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

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

What happened?

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

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

A dark tale of Wizard of Oz? Sign me up! It's definitely an interesting idea to have Dorothy become a evil manipulative overlord who is taking Oz to disparity. I'm very curious to see how Danielle Paige will execute that, though based on the couple of reviews I have seen, she did a fantastic job at it, which just makes me crave for this book even more. Hopefully, Paige also has a great imagination as well as Oz is anything but a dull place.

What about you? Anything on your top shopping list? :P 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: The Wolf's Cry (The Semei Trilogy, #1)

Thanks for stopping by my tour stop for The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown. This is a YA Fantasy book that released in January 2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy.

This tour will run March 10th-21st and consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, top tens and a giveaway.  Stop by the tour page for the full list of tour stops.
About the Book
Title: The Wolf's Cry
Author: Natalie Crown
Series: The Semei Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Natalie Crown (self published work)
Release: Dec 15th 2013
Source: Blog Tour Copy
Pages: 359 (ebook)
She is his weakness.

And she will ruin everything.

Kammy Helseth's idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.

Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.

They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.
The Wolf's Cry is the debut novel by indie author Natalie Crown. It is a truly unique adventure that draws us all into the wonders of the underworld. To be honest, I was initially expecting a paranormal fantasy about the good ol' werewolves due to the title and cover, but in reality, The Wolf's Cry offers something much more exotic and compelling than the somewhat overused setup. Don't get me wrong, werewolves are great, but shapeshifters? Well, those are creatures of real fascinations. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (12) : Far From You by Tess Sharpe

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

Title: Far From You
Author: Tess Sharpe
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release: April 8th 2014
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick.

The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.

YES! Another murder mystery :D This makes a really happy Angel waiting for April (and the warmth too, oh god help me). BTW, is it just me or there are a lot of good books coming out in April? Like seriously, my wallet is so gonna take a hit for this......

What are you waiting on today?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review: The Lost Boys (The Lost Boys, #1)

Author: Lilian Carmine
Series: The Lost Boys, #1
Publisher: Ebury Press (Random House UK)
Release: Oct 24th 2013
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 512 (ebook)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
An intensely addictive romance novel about girls, ghosts, and forbidden love, ideal for fans of Stephenie Meyer

Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart? Having moved to a strange town, 17-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home. But there’s a very good reason why Tristan Halloway is always to be found roaming in the local graveyard. Perfect for fans of Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate, The Lost Boys is a magical, romantic tale of girl meets ghost.

I was never a fan of Stephenie Meyer despite her overwhelming fame brought on by the Twilight series. Thus, the tagline in the blurb did more damage than good when it comes to drawing my attention. But one can hardly ever walk away from a ghost story that easy, even though now I wish I had done just that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #2
Publisher: Skyscape (self published work)
Release: Nov 19th 2013
Source: Purchased
Pages: 320 (ebook)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

It wasn't too long ago when I was left completely awestruck by Susan Ee's stunning debut Angelfall - an apocalyptic fantasy so flawlessly mixed with paranormal elements. It is a work of utter excellence and superiority when compared with many others. Hence, as soon as I got my hands on its sequel World After, I devoured it as fast as I could with eager anticipations. And believe me when I say it, Susan Ee does not disappoint. World After is yet another YA masterpiece you all ought to appreciate.

Waiting on Wednesday (11) : Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

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

Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release: April 1st 2014
Pages: 436 (paperback)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Okay, I will admit that Stolen Songbird and I are not love at the first sight. It is only after I read this glowing review by the ladies @ Unladylike Reviews that I started to take an interest in this book. And once I did that, the only thing I wish for now is for April to come faster because this story sounds absolutely AWESOME (Plus, I really like the MCs names...)

Leave me a link of your WoW, I will make sure to check it out :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (2)

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!

Woohooooo!!! I have finally acquired Shadow and Bone, yay! This is one of those series which I constantly hear people raving about but never actually read. I guess here is my chance :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ARC Review: The Summer I Found You

Author: Jolene Perry 
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Release: Mar 1st 2014
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 256 (ebook)
All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed reading The Summer I Found You, even though my analytical left brain is yelling furiously at my silly emotional right brain the whole time. It is so contradictory that I find myself bewildered about how I can possibly like it when I see its problems as plain as day. Nevertheless, it is, without a doubt, one of the more delightful reading experiences I have undergone lately and I appreciate this lightening of mood if just for its entertainment value.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (10) : Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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

Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release: April 15th 2014
Pages: 384 (hardcover)
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

I have not read anything Jennifer L. Armentrout before, mostly because her books are almost always paranormal romance which I'm not a huge fan of. Her newest fiction Don't Look Back however is a YA contemporary romance mixed with hints of mystery thriller. That is something I'm very curious about. Since contemporary romance and mystery thriller are genres I would like to explore more in the future, Don't Look Back being a blend of both inevitably ended up on my radar and I certainly do not regret this discovery.

What's your most anticipating book right now?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe, #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Release: Jan 11th 2011
Source: Purchased
Pages: 416 (ebook)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder....

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end 50 years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Set against the backdrop of space with a tinge of mystery, Across the Universe is the first book in Beth Revis' bestselling sci-fi dystopian trilogy and undoubtedly has one of the most intriguing premises among YA novels. I mean, seriously, who wouldn't love a story using a spaceship as its center stage? Though despite the inspiring originality, Across the Universe failed miserably to capture my attention. Not impressed. That is all I have to say about this book.