The Book Courtship Tag


One of my resolutions for this year was posting frequently, but I guess I failed at that 😉 It’s been almost two weeks since I posted?! Reading hasn’t been too great either; I finished The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima and I am currently reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas and loving it.

Initial Attraction

A book that you bought because of the cover

I’ve added this book recently on my TBR. I admit it was mostly because of the cover, but I do plan on reading it because the premise of the book sounds so intriguing. Time travel books always confuse me but I’ll give this one a try.

First Impressions

A  book that you got because of the summary

An alien apocalypse. Doesn’t that sound like the most interesting book ever? The movie came out yesterday, January 15, so that is even more motivation to read it! The second book, The Infinite Sea, is even better.

Sweet Talk

A book with great writing?

All the Bright Places

Not necessarily great writing, but I like the writing style and it fit in well with the book. There are so many beautiful phrases:

“I know life well enough to know you can’t count on things staying around or standing still, no matter how much you want them to. You can’t stop people from dying. You can’t stop them from going away. You can’t stop yourself from going away either. I know myself well enough to know that no one else can keep you awake or keep you from sleeping.”

First Date

A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

“It totally lived up to the hype. It was so unpredictable and I kept catching my breath, not wanting to know what horrors awaited, but I couldn’t not turn the pages. I flew through the book—it was captivating.” My feels have been laid out in this review.

Late Night Phone Calls

A book that kept you up all night?

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

It might be because I read this during a readathon and I wanted to read it fast, but this book is really amazing. The characters are the best part and even though the story is a retelling of the Arabian Nights, it has a nice plot twist and a strong story line that I enjoyed. Plus, Shazi is unbelievably clever and snarky.

 

Always on my mind

A book you could not stop thinking about?

If you’ve read my review of this book, you know that I went totally crazy about it. I loved every single part of this book and I might even start learning programming just because this book is so freaking COOL!

Getting Physical

A book which you love the way it feels?

  

I don’t own many books, but the hardcover of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella feels really smooth and nice. The letters are beautifully embossed and it is such a vibrant colour! And the two coffee cups on the back are so cute 🙂

Meeting the parents

A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

I would recommend all the books on this page, but mostly Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. It is a brilliantly written book that covers many themes like politics and manipulation that I think everyone should be aware of.

Thinking about the future

A book or series you know you will re read many times in the future?

  

I would have liked to say Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for this one too. I love the Throne of Glass books so far too and people have so many great things to say about them. Also, The Infernal Devices.

Share the love

I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this but I’d love to tag some people. If you have already done this tag, you can ignore this but go ahead if you’d like to 🙂

Giovanna @Book Coma

Brittany @The Grisha Lieutenant

Beth @Reading Every Night

Prima @Panda Hearts Books

Okay, okay, I agree. This was a lousy post and most of my answers feel like I wrote them in my sleep. Is this a blogging slump? I hope not. But anyways, I promise I’m not abandoning you guys 🙂

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8 Reasons to Read Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


8 Reasons to Read Illuminae

1. The book is written in a file/dossier format using IMs, emails, reports and surveillance footage—the story is laid out in such a cool and fun way that it is hard not to love it. There are even actual coffee and blood stains on the reports!

2. It’s set in space, in the year 2575, in the middle of an interstellar war between two big companies

3. There are zombies, and psychotic little girls that drag around people’s hearts

4. There’s a mad Artificial Intelligence computer, AIDAN, that believes it is doing the right thing

5. Kady and Ezra: they are funny and brave and have the sweetest moments

6. There were no boring moments and every page was packed with action and funny parts and feels. Lots of feels!

7. Kady is a hacker with an IQ of 147! She is a freaking genius. When do you ever see that in books? This book, along with the characters, kicks ass.

8. I will be re-reading this a lot. This is the best book I have read this year (sorry Throne of Glass!) and also one of the best science fiction (second only to The 5th Wave)

Just read it. I promise YOU WILL LOVE IT.

REVIEW

Fucking brilliant. BRILLIANT. (Brilliant is synonymous to illumine 🙂 ) Like I don’t even know how to explain the feels, but if I sum it up in a sentence: shit goes down. This might be my most favorite book of the year.

The weird formatting and the way this book is written is what caught my eye first, but this book is better than that. The plot is fresh and original and it is nothing like I have ever read. I like how so much effort was put in to make this book as realistic as possible.

Ezra and Kady are such great characters. He is a quirky and bright character while she is smart and sassy. And sarcastic. Their romance is enveloping; I had not planned on connecting with these characters on a personal level but their story is beautiful. Kady is all “I will go down with this ship”, while Ezra is just fighting to keep himself alive for Kady.

I loved all the characters so, so much. I’d love to be best friends with Kady and Ezra, but my most favourite character in the book is AIDAN. Why? You need to read the book to find out why I say a mad computer is the best. He (she/it?) just is.

I am all around her, silent in my vigil. Rows of servers and cables and flickering lights.
This is my center. The heart of me. And in it now she resides, filling the air with her grief.
Before this moment, I have never wished to be something other than what I am. Never felt so keenly the lack of hands with which to touch, the lack of arms with which to hold.
Why did they give me this sense of self? Why allow me the intellect by which to measure this complete inadequacy? I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.

It was so hard to put this book down, soon I gave up even trying and put all my time into reading this, because damn, Illuminae is out of this world. Literally. I just can’t say enough about this book except that it is worth reading. Each page was like a shock to me and before I had even absorbed that, a new shock wave rolled on. There is a lot going on!

I definitely, definitely recommend this book. Ezra and Kady were an amazing couple, but I enjoyed the story as a whole more than the romance. And it’s part of a trilogy? Bring it on.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


The plot is so captivating and  engaging. The hype surrounding this series is so intense that I had to give into the pressure and read it. I definitely don’t regret, in fact I loved every moment of this book, but I wish that I had read Throne of Glass before it became this popular, because sometimes the hype spoils the mood, you know?

In the first few pages, Celaena comes off as an over-confident and arrogant brat, and I almost wanted to abandon the book right there. (We will ignore the part that I am just as arrogant as her, if not more.) But then I thought of all the stellar reviews that this book has gotten, and I continued. And what a great decision that was.

Celaena is a very different girl. She has suffered a lot in her life and keeps many secrets bundled up inside her, but she can still rip you to shreds before you can say hello. I love how she is an assassin and stereotypically, that would mean she wouldn’t like balls and dresses, but she does! Her character isn’t limited to social and ethical boundaries and she is a much more complex character than I thought.

I especially loved the banter between Chaol and Celaena and the way they talked like old friends. Celaena’s relationship with Chaol is so much different from her relationship with Dorian, but somehow I liked them both.

I simply cannot decide who is better, Dorian or Chaol. I originally was in favor of Dorian, and then leaned a bit towards the captain, Chaol, and now heart is torn between the two. The romance between Celaena and Chaol is slow and sweet, but sparks fly between Dorian and Celaena! I love how the romance doesn’t overtake the story, but it is there and it is steady. It is more than just romance, and that’s what makes it beautiful.

“Celaena,” Chaol said gently. And then she heard the scraping noise as his hand came into view, sliding across the flagstones. His fingertips stopped just at the edge of the white line. “Celaena,” he breathed, his voice laced with pain—and hope. This was all she had left—his outstretched hand, and the promise of hope, of something better waiting on the other side of the line.”

This book seems a little to me like Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. In a good way, and I feel like I enjoyed this book even more because I had already read something a little similar. I had expected Throne of Glass to be a little more though. Maybe more complicated and more high fantasy—there were some fantasy elements, but I hope they increase in the next book. Other than these small details, I have no complaints from this book. Almost perfect!

What I Liked:

The kickass heroine who is an assassin
The competition aspect and the tests
The magic aspect and the history
Dorian
Chaol
Nehemia’s character
The sarcasm, wits and all the humour

Technically, this book has a couple flaws, but I tend to ignore them if the book is overall enjoyable and interesting. So yes, it does deserve 5 stars in my opinion.

I won’t talk more about the book because I don’t want to give any spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read this, but I will with a line: read this! I promise you won’t regret it— at the least, you will like the scenes in the book because they are funny and lively. The fighting scenes are great too.

Apparently, this book started off as a spin on the Cinderella tale. It’s not based off of it, but there are some parts in the story which can be related. The book was great from the start but it really picked up by the end and now I can’t wait to read Crown of Midnight! I just know I will love the rest of the series.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


The story captured me from the start, but the writing didn’t engulf me until a few pages in. It was amazing how Sara Raasch played with the words and created sentences that really meant something. I appreciated the background stories too and how they were revealed to the reader.

Both love interests, Mather and Prince Theron, were so likable and both had their own sweet qualities. I don’t even know who I’m cheering for because I can’t decide between them, but it’s looking like Prince Theron is the one. I personally think the love triangle was really unnecessary and it is stated from the start that Mather and Meira can’t be together, but even so the plot progresses with it.

The relationship between Meira and Mather and Theron was really good but the father-daughter bond between her and Sir, the general of the Winter army and the person who took little orphan Meira in, was much more beautiful. It was affectionate and understanding and shows that YA books don’t solely focus on romance alone, but also love—motherly, fatherly, sisterly love is just as important.

Meira herself was a very strong character and her personality suited really well with the girl who wanted to be a hero, someone who mattered and helped her people. Her willpower is so strong and she is so determined, I think she can shatter walls with her perseverance alone. If I had to pick a character that I aspire to be, it would be Meira.

Around a hundred pages in or so, I guessed the big secret that was being hidden from Meira and I was quite surprised. There was some foreshadowing, but overall it shouldn’t have been that easy. It was really interesting, though, and probably kicked the story up a few notches. I feel as if I enjoyed it even more after the secret was revealed.

This book makes me want to transfer myself to the world of Primoria. It sounds so beautiful, plains and kingdoms and all, and the setting seems interesting. I think I’d like to live in Winter. It also opened up the world of fantasy for me. I liked fantasy book before too, and I enjoyed The Hobbit and similar books, but this one gives me the fantasy feels. Like picking up a book about dragons and kingdoms and new worlds in general.

Would I recommend?— Definitely.

image [www.imagesplitter.net]-0-0

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


They came for her brother in the darkness of the night, sweeped him away and left her stumbling along the streets. Now, Laia has to seek help from rebels who promise to free her brother if she spies on the brutal and heartless headmaster of Blackcliff Academy, the training school for lethal soldiers called Masks. Elias wants to get out of the hell they call the Academy. Elias and Laia must work together to put an end to the injustice and brutality.

It totally lived up to the hype. It was so unpredictable and I kept catching my breath, not wanting to know what horrors awaited, but couldn’t not turn the pages. I flew through the book and it was captivating. The world-building was awesome and the writing was just as great. It really pulled me, from the very start. It was gripping and every bit as action-packed as I had hoped it to be. There was a sort of urgency to it, and I might be imagining it but it felt so frantic, in a good way, and I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen to the characters and hoping my favourite ones, Elias and Laia would be alright.

Elias is a great character and is very relatable. He is expected to be ruthless and brutal, but inside he is soft and can’t bear having to pretend to be someone he’s not. He was planning to escape from Blackcliff Academy, his things packed and ready in the city’s underground tunnels, but he is forced to stay when he is chosen to be an Aspirant, one of the four people who must compete in a lethal competition to become Emperor.

Laia isn’t one of those really brave girls who can kick ass or are trained in the use of deadly weapons. She had her shortcomings but overall, she has a strong will to do what she can and save her brother from execution and that keeps her going. Her determination to do anything, anything makes her just as lethal as a sword-yielding soldier.

The story itself was very unpredictable and I felt like I couldn’t stop reading it because I just had to know what happens to Laia and Elias. They were both very strong characters, in depth and development but also in their personalities. Of course, they did falter and there were times when they weren’t at their best, but I liked their spirit and the determination they had in them.

So many love triangles. Was it really necessary to have both Elias and Laia like two people? They like each other, but they also have feelings for their other friends. This was the only part of the story that ventured off topic, but otherwise I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to everyone.

“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you.”

Song

Drag Me Down by One Direction

Elias and Helene have always had each other’s back, through good times and rough times. Darin and Laia are the closest siblings and he shelters her from the bad in the world. This song radiates their determination and shows their bond. Nobody can drag them down, not the Empire, and not their bloody rules.

Would I recommend?— Yes

A slightly different version of this can be found here.

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Mosquitoland by David Arnold


Mim Malone is not okay. Her father has a new wife and Mim has had to shift from her home in Ohio to a town in Mississippi. Then she learns that her mom is sick, and that is all it takes for her to pack all her things and catch the next Greyhound. And thus starts a journey that will change her, shape her and sculpt her into something different, as she confronts her fears and solves her problems.

The book starts with a letter from Mim to Isabel, and although at the time it is not told who this Isabel character actually is, it’s a very intriguing start to the book and we learn that Mim is planning on leaving and running away to Cleveland, where her mom presently lives.

Mim really is a collection of oddities and at first I didn’t really understand her—what she was doing, why she was doing it—but as the story progresses, the little details fall into place and although this is not a suspense novel and never was to begin with, it’s interesting. Mim is the heroine of her movie and the executor of her life.

Beck, one of the main characters, was not too well developed. I liked his personality and the conversations that he and Mim had together, but it didn’t feel like he was properly fleshed out, like I was only seeing a part of him, and Mim somehow saw the full 3-D version. It wasn’t really insta-love, but I think a few days is too less to decide if you really like someone.

This book is filled with diverse characters, from Walt, who is a very sweet kid with Down syndrome, to Mim’s aunt, who is mentally sick. It was fun and entertaining, and maybe even educating, but the diverse characters were just that—diverse. Maybe too diverse. I liked that the characters were different and this book created awareness about that but is it really necessary for all of the characters to be diverse for it to be considered a diverse book?

I really liked the note on which this book ended and the message I took from it: Home isn’t necessarily a place. Nor is it always a person. Sometimes, home is just where your heart is. I would recommend this because although it is a book about mental illness and a girl who suffers with it, it is pretty clear and the narrator has a fresh and interesting voice that just propels you to continue reading.

Would I recommend? — Yes.

Mosquitoland

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


I loved it. This book was just so…so.. I can’t even describe it. Please forgive me if I’m unable to put in words how I feel about it, but I’ll try my best to show you. Maybe I should stop judging books by their covers. It’s a habit, but it needs to be controlled. I thought that this book would be a sweet and cute contemporary read. It was not. And it blew me away.

It’s a bit weird that these adventures in books sometimes start as projects for school. They met at the ledge of the bell tower, but they went to the places because of the geography project. It was really lovely to see how Finch and Violet’s gradual friendship turned into something a little more.

I didn’t really get Theodore Finch. I read the whole book, slowly, word by word, especially paying attention to all the things he said, all the things that he did. But I don’t understand him. And maybe it’s better that way, because that’s what makes his character special. He was just the most interesting, most confusing, best character ever. He changed a lot through out the book, and so did Violet, along with him.

Violet was a badass girl. Before her sister’s accident, she was carefree and liked to have fun. Now, she wishes to go back in time to fix all of that and thinks it was all her fault. Finch did not really cure her, he just helped her realize that somethings are beyond our control and that there’s more to the world than guilt and hidden grief.

I don’t know what it is about this book but it makes me want to sing, run, write, travel, cry, swim and wander. It makes me want to reach for the stars and make wishes on falling ones. It makes me want to leave a mark in the world, everywhere I can. Maybe it’s just me, but this book made me feel more than I thought words on a page could.

I had read many reviews about this book saying that it made them cry and it was heartbreaking, but somehow, while reading this beautiful piece, I forgot all that and I couldn’t think properly. I didn’t cry while or after reading this book. I feel that my feelings for the book I sob for—and this happens only once or twice in a few years—are strong, but they usually diminish with time. The wound that this book left me with will probably not heal, and I don’t want it to. I want to remember this book, the absolute beauty of it, the brightness, the glow.

The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”

“What a terrible feeling to love someone and not be able to help them.”