Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Released: May 5th 2015
Read: May 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Series: A Court of Thornes and Roses #1

Description from Goodreads:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I first heard of this book from the ever so lovely Ohana Reads about a year ago when it first came out. From her I heard positive things about the book, that it was AMAZING and so forth. However, I had a TBR list about a mile and a half long so I (can't believe!) pushed it out of my mind. When I stumbled across it in the local library, it suddenly came back to me. I decided to check it out and read it, because why not? I am so glad I did! This book was an amazing blend of high fantasy and romance. Not to mention the incredible setting and character development. I had to read a little while, until it really grabbed me, but boy did it ever grab me. I found the mysterious plot intriguing, and it was one of those books that kept my attention until the very end. I'll admit, I did very little homework the few days that I had it. It was so good. I really fell in love with the characters, and it was a joy to read about them. I simply loved everything about the novel. Plus the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin really grew and developed as the book moved forward, but not in a pushy or rushed way. However I would have liked to find out more about the other courts in the realm, because I think it would have given a certain depth to the story. But still amazing!

Favorite Quote:

“Rhysand stared at me for long enough that I faced him.
"Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all.” 
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Rating: 8.5/10 Stars

Reccomended for people who enjoy: romance, fantasy, cool heroines, magic

Happy Reading,

P.S. Keep a look out for my review of the sequel, "A Court of Mist and Fury"!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Review: Lair of Dreams

16060716Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Released: August 25th 2015
Read: May 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 613 pages
Series: The Diviners #2, here's my review of the first book.

Description from Goodreads:
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.
Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.
As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

Holy cow! I thought that like most sequels, this one would fail to capture the magic that the first one did. I was happily proven wrong. This book (while not QUITE so scary) managed to keep the suspense from the reader until the very end. While I thought that it would be hard to follow the plot from the first book, she managed to create a mystery with the same excitement as the last one. In this novel, the old characters were developed upon, and new ones introduced. In many series, it sometimes feels like the existing characters are almost forgotten, or set aside. Not in this one. Although we got to know the new people, the old were still very much there. Goodness... this is actually such a good sequel! I couldn't stop gushing about it while I was reading, because there were many twists and turns that came from nowhere. The only thing that could've been improved was the "horror" element. It could've been scarier, like the first one was. But still an AMAZING read! And luckily there are still two more books to go!

Favorite Quote:
“We are made by what we are asked to bear, Ling Chan,” 

― Libba Bray, Lair of Dreams

Rating: 8/10

Recommended for people who love: mystery, horror, romance, suspense, supernatural, strong female leads, historical fiction

Happy reading!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Review: Firstlife

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Released: February 23, 2016
Read: April 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Series: #1 in the Everlife series

Description on Goodreads:


    Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.    
    There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
  In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

    Through the eyes of Tenley Lockwood, we visit a world where the life you live doesn't matter. It's your Secondlife that counts. Reading about someone who is stuck in a whack shack is soooooooo entertaining. You learn their daily routine, the weird new hobbies they have, and how they view life. Tenley's story is different from the rest. She stays in there by choice. Well, not totally. Her parents did force her to go there in the beginning, but she could have left at any moment. All she had to do was sign with Myriad, basically sell her soul, then she could do whatever she wanted with her Firstlife. Of course, there are always complications, but that's what makes this novel so interesting.
    My favourite part of the entire book (that's right, I narrowed it down), was the fact that we were always missing a piece of the puzzle; we could never see the full picture. From the very beginning (yes I mean the emails/texts between Archer and General Levi, and Killian and General Pearl), we knew of the intricate unknown relationship between Killian and Archer. This bold background history only intensifies our wanting to know what happened. This great move played by Gena Showalter holds our attention until the last possible moment. And it's not just their relationship that's covered up; we don't know what's happening with Tenley's parents (why they act the way they do) or why Myriad and Troika want her so bad. Why go through all the trouble to sign her? There are literally millions of people out there.
    And then there's the creepy song Tenley mutters at the Prynne Asylum. Ten's tears fall, and I call. Nine hundred trees, but only one is for me. Eight times eight times eight they fly, whatever you do, don't stay dry. Seven ladies dancing, ignore their sweet romancing. Six seconds to hide, up, up, and you'll survive. Five times four times three, and that is where he'll be. Two I'll save, I'll be brave, brave, brave. The one I adore, I'll come back for. Like, HELLO, there's the eerie, stereotypical psychopath we were looking for. At first I thought it was just a random song to fill the silence, but oh boy was that a nice plot twist.
    Everyone has a thing. You know what I mean? Everyone has that one habit like tapping their shoes, or humming to themselves. Tenley's thing is numbers. She counts everything to pass time. She counts days, hours, footsteps, turns. She counts the number of times she hears certain noises. This is a habit I relate with, and it's the first time someone has shared it with me. These numbers are what keep her sane in the asylum, and develop into her personality. TENley even has a nickname after it, how cool is that?
    Now. Let's take a moment to think about Killian. Siggggh. I fell in love with his bad boy attitude from the start, how could you not? He had sly remarks, and the whole bad-ass-on-the-outside-kind-hearted-on-the-inside thing going for him. He wasn't afraid to take what he wanted and mouth off to his superiors. He gives off the 'player' vibe but wins you over by saying lines like, "  Just because I haven't offered it (forever) doesn't mean I won't sometime in the future. I'll give the right girl everything". That's swoon-worthy right there. Archer on the other hand, is the good boy. He understands when you need space, and will let you do whatever you want because he loves you so much. He's pure, says what he thinks and is against anything distinctly wrong. He's more of the protective older brother than the passionate lover type.
    There are so many things I can obsessively rant about, but I want there to be some honest-to-God surprises in this novel. Gena Showalter has truly outdone herself this time, which mirrors what I felt about the White Rabbit Chronicles, another marvellous series of hers. In short (and I'm going to do this the Tenley way):
3- the number of heroic, spontaneous, and witty characters that'll risk it all to achieve their goals.
467- the number of pages it takes to reach the nail-biting conclusion.
0- the number of novels I've read that are even remotely similar to this one.

Favourite Quotes (so basically all the quotes I like) :
  • " The most destructive or constructive actions begin with a single thought. And, ultimately, a single action can decide the direction our lives take. And our deaths." 
  • " Another day, another breakfast. Or a meal pretending to be breakfast."
  • " My TL once said hate is like drinking a vial of poison and expecting it to harm the other person. You're not hurting the guy, only yourself." 
  • " Fate is an excuse, a way to remove blame and therefore guilt for poor decision making. Free choice decides the outcome of your life, not fate."
  • " I'm beginning to think," I say, " Might Equals Right should mean the strong are tasked with the protection of the weak, because the strong aren't always strong and the weak aren't always weak. Everyone stumbles. And one day, when you stumble -and you will- you'll need someone to help you stand. Will there be anyone eager to do so, or will there be a line of people hoping to kick you while you're down?"
  • " Some people say your entire life flashes inside your head just before the end. Mine doesn't. I don't have an amazing epiphany with all the answers. i know only that I'm not ready to die, and that  won't -I can't- allow courage to fail me. Today I fight to live and live to fight." 
  • " I'm interested in what you're saying, I really am. But I'm actually not hearing anything you're saying."
  • " You, the he-man, will teach me how to fight. Me, a little girl with little might. But what you don't know about this lass is that she's super determined to kick your ass."
  • "What should never change? The truth. Truth should remain the same, always and forever, a steady base at my feet; otherwise it was once a lie-once a lie, always a lie- and I have nothing concrete to stand on, only sinking sand or gossamer silk that tears at the first sign of pressure." 
  • "Are your pearls of wisdom actually plastic?"
  • "One whisper into the ear of another can spark another whisper and another whisper, until the noise is deafening."
  • "If happiness is dependent on outside variables, it can't last. Variables always change. Real happiness has to come from within. Right here. Sometimes you have to dig for it, and you have to dig deep. I know because I managed to find glimpses of it even when I was locked inside a cell, spied on and beaten."
  • "A good General leads an army. A great General leads every individual member."
  • "Just then I'm struck by a truth so real it might as well be a bolt of lightning: there is no greater evil than the one that cloaks itself in virtue."
  • "Your pride dragged you here while my determination carried me. I'm a force to be reckoned with, and today is the day of your reckoning."

Rating: 10/10 (the first EVER)

Recommended if you like: Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles, if you want to know a perspective of what could happen after death, prisons, war, many bloody battles, smooth banter, good vs. evil (and not knowing which is which), self defence, strong female heroines

Keep flipping pages,

Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Review: The Raven King

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Released: April 26, 2016
Read: April 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover, 439 pages
Series: The Raven Cycle #4

Description from GoodReads: Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
   For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
   Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Review: I normally dislike books that get dark and ruined until the last half of the book, but this one did it so well that I loved it. Almost everyone gets their stories wrapped up nicely enough to make me happy, but loosely enough to keep it realistic and open.
   It was also treated as not only an ending, but as just another book in the series, although things were getting progressively worse (not like bad-worse, but like plot-thickening-worse). New characters were introduced, old characters were built upon, the story continued.
   The ending was so good, I just can't get over it! Oh man I don't want to spoil anything, but it wasn't as welsh-kingy as I expected! Problems weren't solved with a flick of a wrist or a snap of a finger, it was real! It was personal and touching, more than I thought it would be. I felt like I was intruding on something deep and dark that I wasn't supposed to see. Whoo boy am I going on a rant.
   All in all, I adored this series, and this, the final book was just as good.

Quotable Quotes:
"His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he'd let them overflow and now there wasn't a damn place in the ocean that wouldn't catch fire if he dropped a match."
"What a strange constellation they all were."
"It wasn't that Henry was less of himself in English. He was less of himself out loud. His native language was thought."
"Richard Gansey III had forgotten how many times he had been told he was destined for greatness."

Rating: 10/10

Read if You Liked: the deeper aspects of Harry Potter, teenagers finding themselves, (screaming)

Optimistically yours, Ola <3
(now off to read the other novel titled the Raven King)