Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tell Me Tuesdays #14!!

Tell Me Tuesdays is a meme/feature created by the awesome ladies of Please Feed The Bookworm and La La In The Library where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!

 Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner

Lark thought returning home to face her city was the hardest thing she'd ever do. She was wrong.

No longer the girl who ran for her life, Lark's ready for the Institute. She never dreamed she'd find a rebellion, a Renewable, and those she used to love embroiled in the fight of their lives. She's mastered her magic, but she still doesn't know if she can master the darkness stirring inside her.

Nothing is simple anymore, and finding her place in this war—and discovering the terrible secrets behind her ruined world—might cost her everything she has left.

I was extremely lucky to win a signed ARC of Lark Ascending from Meagan Spooner and I had been postponing reading it but now that release date approaches I've finally allowed myself to read it!!

 So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan!!

Hello guys!!

Sorry for the silence yesterday and the lack of Showcase Sunday post, but I decided to take a day off the blog for my birthday! So far I haven't got many presents, but I've been told to get myself something I want, so now I'm debating to get a regular Kindle or a Paperwhite, so I don't read all the books on the tablet to protect my eyes for the future... any recommendations??

Monday is here once again and with it a new week and a new Mark This Book Monday entry! Today I'm entering my second and last entry for the September is for Sequels challenge, and once again it was not one of the original pile that I challenged myself to read, so I must announce I've failed massively at it! Oh well... I still hope to read those in October before I leave for my vacation!

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy Book 3)Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If there is something you know before hand when reading a Sarah Rees Brennan book is that it's quite likely to make you cry and destroy your heart bit by bit, and in case you don't, you know now and forewarned is forearmed, even if it really won't help you one bit, trust me.

Just one word of warning before you continue reading this review, since I'm gonna be discussing my feelings about the book I cannot guarantee that it'll be completely spoiler free, so read at your own risk.

Every previous book in the trilogy ended with an awfull cliffhanger and so when I started this one I felt I could pass pages fast enough to see what would became of Jared and like Kami, help hope tight and hoped for the best.

Kami has to be one of my favourite YA heroines, she tries so hard, loves so much, won't take no for an answer and goes on for those she loves no matter what. She's also super witty and hilarious and I have been rooting for her since book one! I love how she's grown little by little through all three books and how she finds herself that being scared and being brave is not incompatible, not only when facing evil sorcerers but also when facing her own feelings.

Kami's family has gained relevance to the main plot exponentially and in this one both her dad, that has her same hilarious sense of humour, but her mum's choices and her brothers are put in the very eye of the storm. I loved how real the strain in her parents relationship felt and how real the patching up of said relationship went.

Then we have Angela and Rusty and Holly... those three were Kami's not related by blood family and helped her and supported her through and through, even if I completely disagree with some of their choices and heroics and it broke my heart and my poor Angela!!

And then there are Jared and Ash... the Lynburn boys, maybe brothers, and their rather complex relationship and even more complex relationship with Kami, as sorcerers and source and linked and not linked and goodness the about of grief these three caused me on this book! I'll only say my ship became canon, I'm very happy and I really cried with the epilogue!

Lillian was quite a surprise in this book, I always felt like she was the lesser of two evils but in this book we see her progressing from that to something and someone more akin to good, and not just the "anything is better than Rob" option. I loved her choosing her side, learning to show some love to both boys and her facing Rob was quite epic!

Rob is clearly a mad evil force in this one, but one that is even more evil and mad than I or the characters even expected. I really hate his declarations of supreme love to Lillian and dismissing her feelings as if they didn't count... but glad that his superiority and arrogance, and the sacrifices of many, were what led to his doom.

I enjoyed the book and felt the pacing was quite good, fighting for their lives, plotting to try to stay alive, protect each other and free the town from the evil sorcerers but since we could be dead tomorrow, there are also loads of very emotionally charged scenes. Chapter 19 and the Epilogue really made me sob for very different reasons and I'm quite in love with the way the series has finished, even if I'm not happy about the deaths. Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Pages: Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh!!

Hey there guys!

Today's Saturday Pages post is up considerably later than usual but not only I was massively tired and rather emotionally wrenched after a bit of tiring night shift at work, but also once I've been up and flaffing around the internet, I've been procastinating about a bit... but here it is!

After skipping last month's read cause I ended up being too busy, this month I've been back with the amazing ladies at The Midnight Garden and their fantastic Classic Young Adult & Middle Grade Challenge!

Harriet the SpyHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading Harriet was once again part of the Classics Middle Grade & YA realong that the awesome ladies of The Midnight Garden have going on this year. I arrived late but I've loved joining and reading all these books that I missed on my own childhood. With some it's easier to see them with my own childhood eyes, but others are a lil more difficult and I end up reading them as my adult self only, and Harriet the Spy was one of those.

Harriet was a breath of fresh air if we discuss more usual characters in classic YA, because many of the ones that come to mind are too perfect children with their prayers, their chores and their telling the kids that are reading them to behave like that or else. Harriet felt more like a real child, like someone kids that aren't perfect can relate to in one way or another.

Harriet is girl that is different from all the girls I read about on most of my MG reads, she wants to be a spy and works very hard at it, keeping her notebooks full of her writings and observations, that hit me as mean without meaning to, born in a rather privileged family and with a nurse, Ole Golly, to take care of her. She loves her routines and will only eat tomato sandwiches for lunch at school.

When her latest notebook ends up in the hands of her friends and classmates she has to face the aftermath of all the mean things she's written about them, and is confronted with quite a few lessons about growing up at the tender age of 11.

Maybe I was a nicer kid back in my own childhood or maybe I was more prone to instrospection and self analysis on my own journals, but except for some very poignant comments here and there about life, most of Harriet notes on her notebooks came across as just nasty, without malice but showing a certain lack of empathy that could be simply part of growing up, but it seems to me that she fails to see how what she gets from her classmates and friends after the notebook is found is no more and no less but what she was writing in private.

I found this book to be a very fascinating read about the time period and the world that Harriet lived in, one of material privilege but of a lack of emotional support. Her parents though loving simply had left everything in the hands of the nurse and once Ole Golly leaves, they realize they don't know their own child.

Harriet in some aspects made me think of kids that although not fully, are somewhat on the autism spectrum with her difficulties of grasping other people's emotional responses or responding with empathy, her attachment & compulsion to write on her notebooks, her inordinate love of routines only broken when she's terribly upset and her tomato sandwich obsession. After talking to the ladies at Midnight Garden I also realized that there seems to be a certain queer subtext on Harriet's preferring her more boy-ish spy clothes to her more normal girly clothes. But all simply boiled down to Harriet being a character with which people that aren't exactly "normal" or "perfect" could relate to.

Of the secondary characters some might have seemed more cookie cutter typical, like the main mean girls that seem to only want to emulate their mothers and have tea and play bridge, but there are also others that are great as contrast, such as Sport, a boy so young that still has to be the brains and common sense in his household with a rather made writer father. And Janie with her love for chemistry and experiments that also made her not exactly the kind of daughter her well-to-do parents would have expected.

This was one of those books that have left me with more food for thought that fuzzy feelings, but both are equally important for me and equally necessary. Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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It's My Birthday Week: Today I'm giving away A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller!!

Well, well, well! Today it's Saturday and it's the day before my birthday, so it's the last day of the giveaways!

And I've saved quite a special book for last. This has to be hands down my favourite debut of the year, I adore this book to bits and I continue to push it on every single one of my bookish friends that still hasn't read it! I feel that it's also one of those books that hasn't got as much hype as it deserves, so I'm doing my part, small as it may be to get it out there more!

As all the previous giveaways, this one is open INTERNATIONAL!

A Mad Wicked Folly is historical fiction, and what a wonderful book it is! I loved the period that the book is set on, and all the fight for getting the right to vote for women. Something that we take quite for granted nowadays, but it's been so for less than a century and in some places it isn't still recognized. Sharon Biggs Waller did an amazing job at making us feel the restrictions of society and at least for me, to get really angry to see how society in general, and not just men, treated the Suffragists.

I adored the book so much that not only I gave it 5 stars on my review HERE but I also made decorated cupcakes inspired by it in my Ink & Batter feature!

Now if you want to get a copy of this gorgeous (in & out) book and I do hope you do, just enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Reads: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon!!!

Soooo, how is your Friday going guys??

Are you joining my birthday week celebration and entering the giveaways? I hope you are!!

Today as my Friday Reads entry I have a book that had not expected to read, and even less expected to love as much as I did. I blame it all on the amazing Outlander show on Starz and the awesome Twitter ladies that with their love for the show and books made me want to watch and then read: Sharon, Sara, Kate... THANK YOU!

I'm obsessed with the show and the book and my latest obsession that I was playing on loop while writing the review was the title theme song for the show and I must share it with you guys now, watch it and then feel free to read or ignore my review! ;)

Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had seen the Outlander books many times out there but for some reason I was never drawn to them. But then time passed, the show was made and many of the awesome ladies I follow on Twitter started tweeting about the awesome show and even more awesome Jamie and I decided to give the show a try. So I started watching the show, loved it to bits and decided to read the first book in the series while waiting for the next episode!

As contrary as you would expect I'm not kicking myself for not having read this book before because I think this book was exactly what I needed in this moment in my life and it's simply meant so much to me that it wouldn't have at a different time.

Outlander is a story of love, adventure, history, time travel and magic. I wasn't very sure about the time travel bit but I think the way it was done, with the magic element and the unknown instead of trying to give us some explanation simply works great for the story. The focus is not so much the time travel, but finding yourself in another time, getting to grips with it and trying to adapt and not stick out too much while you try to go back to your own time.

Claire Randall (or Beauchamp) is a World War II nurse that is returning to normal life once war is over and is trying to find her way back to her marriage after all the time apart. They go on a second honeymoon to Scotland together to rebuild their relationship and their intimacy and it's during that time that Claire finds herself traveling back in time to 1743 without meaning to.

And Claire is such a great character, she tries logic first, trying to rationalize what might be a sensible explanation and then she ends up accepting that something very strange has happened and focuses on survival. Finding herself in the middle of a struggle and in what can be enemy territory, she can't help but follow her instincts as a nurse and help and by doing so, she starts a new thread in her life that she never would have imagine or wanted.

Seeing her trying to make the best of an extremely confusing situation and still being true to her values and not giving up on her strenght, even when she makes some not so intelligent choices was fantastic. She's a strong character and even when she has very few options, she always try to make her own choice, not letting others decide for her. Given that the 18th century isn't exactly a feminist haven, this strikes me as the hardest balance to keep for her, if we don't count the quite massive emotional turmoil that she goes through leaving behind her rekindled relationship with her husband and finding herself progressively falling in love with another man.

And that brings us to Jamie, ah dear Jamie! He's a young Scot that Claire helps heal on her first few hours on the 18th century and he's the one that seems to distrust her less and seems to appreciate her being different the most. He was a wonder to read about and I loved that despite all the hardships in his life, he still remained such a nice guy all around. He is nice, caring, strong, terribly stubborn but also very loyal and ended up being the most interesting and enticing guy I had read about in a loooong time. If there is a character that I'd really claim as a book boyfriend, it'd be James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser. Even if at times he can also be infuriating and I felt like giving him a smack or a good talking to, something that Claire did for me every time! I just adored their relationship all over the book, how they get to know each other, find themselves as friends, allies, lovers and simply the best team ever.

The background for all this is a Scotland that is defying the British rule, even if not yet in open battle, so the political enviroment was perfect for a lot of action and plenty of drama. Though the book is a very long one I never once felt like I wanted to skip something or other, because in the end a lot of details here or there had relevance further on. The secondary characters were amazing in general, even if I fell in love with some more than with others.

All in all a fantastic book and one that has entered straight away into both my favourites and my therapy reads shelves! Very much deserved 5 stars!!

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It's My Birthday Week: Today I'm giving away The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes!!

Hi there and Happy Friday!

The weekend is almost here and to continue the celebrations for my birthday week I have a giveaway for another of my very favourite books of the year!

This giveaway as well as all the others run by me in the blog are all INTERNATIONAL!

The Art of Lainey was one of those amazing surprises of the year. I've never been a big fan of contemporary stories but decided to give Lainey a try and I just so happy that I did! Not only Lainey is a gem of a book but it also worked as therapy for me at a moment when my emotional state was at what has been the worst of my life so far. Lainey's path and mine are nothing alike and our situations differed a lot, but the general message was one that really resonated with me. And not only that, Paula Stokes is an awesome lady & author!

You can read my review of Lainey HERE. Also you can see the inspired decorated cupcakes I made for it in my Ink & Batter feature!

And if you want to get yourself a copy of the book, just enter the via the Rafflecopter below!

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cover Reveal for Rebellion by J.A. Sounders!!

Today J.A. Souders and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for REBELLION, book 3 in the Elysium Chronicles releasing in June 5, 2015! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win the books!

You guys will have to scroll down to see the cover, but trust me... it's beyond gorgeous!! I'm so gonna love getting an hardcover of it as soon as it releases!!

On to the reveal!


Author: J.A. Souders

Publisher: TOR Teen
Pub. Date: June 9, 2015

About J.A. Souders 

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the
Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her
husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters
under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing
miserably at playing video games.

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive physical copies of RENEGADE AND REVELATIONS plus the eNovellas. 
And ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas. 
If you have J.A.s books already, she will do an amazon or book depository gift card of the same value.

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It's My Birthday Week: Today I'm giving away Shadows by Paula Weston!!

Hello there! Happy Thursday!

Continuing with the week long celebrations for my birthday (I'm still feeling a bit wishy washy about it) today I have another fantastic, 5 stars and completely obsessed I'm-pushing-this-book-on-everyone book!

And yes, for anyone wondering this giveaway as all the others is open INTERNATIONAL!

Today's book is Shadows by Paula Weston, and you can read my review for it HERE!
I absolutely adored this book (and the other two in the series that are out so far) and it was quite a surprise, cause I'm not usually big on angel's books. But these are not your regular books about angels AT ALL! These are NOT preachy, full of action, amazing romance that doesn't get in the way of the story and many surprises along the way!

Interested in the book? You should be! Click & enter the rafflecopter below to win!

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