Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2017 So Far!

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday!  It was my birthday so I wanted to spend the time with family and friends!  
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we share out top ten lists relating to the bookish topic assigned that week.

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2017 So Far!





Oh, I love all these books so much!  Going back over what I've read so far was so nice; it's made me more excited to keep reading amazing books this year!  Also, wow, I'm so happy I finally read the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series this year!  It was so amazing! what were some of your favorite books so far this year?

Don't forget!  I'm hosting a giveaway right now in which you can win one of six amazing books!  Don't miss your chance to win here!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tea Party Talk: 5 Books I Will *Eventually* Finish

***In case you didn't know, I currently am hosting a giveaway!  Enter here for your chance to win one of six amazing books!***

Over all these long years of blogging, there's been many books that I have started reading and ended up putting down.  Some, I just didn't like and decided I didn't want to force myself to continue reading something I just absolutely didn't enjoy, others, I just got too busy or distracted and ended up putting the book on hold.  Why didn't I just pick those books up again once I was less busy?  Who knows.  More likely than not, there was probably a brand new, shiny book I had got that was calling my name from the book shelf. 

So many books are sitting on my shelf, half read and sad.  Books that I was so excited to finally get my hands on and read!  Those are the books that I want to *eventually* get back to and finish.  And these are a few that I want to finish more than the others! 

1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake 
I stupidly started reading this one during midterms a couple quarters ago.  What I read, I liked, but I just got so swamped with work and essays and classes that I ended up putting it down for weeks.  By the time I was back to my regular, less busy schedule, I had forgotten most of what I read and just wanted to start another book.

2. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Oh my gosh, I loved the first book in this series, The Raven Boys.  It was so good, the characters were so amazing, and I was desperate to continue the series.  But when I finally got my hands on this one, I was (surprise, surprise) busy with school.  I ended up reading about halfway before I had to take a break to focus solely on homework and my studies.  When I had time to read it again, I couldn't recall some of the details and knew I would have to start all over.  I plan to finish reading this (and the rest of the series) this summer! 

3. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller 
I just . . . wasn't feeling this one when I began reading it.  I found myself not really wanting to pick it up and being more excited to read other things.  But I think this is mostly because of the reading mood I was in.  I was more inclined at the time to read a light contemporary and this didn't really fit that.  So, I want to give it a fair chance and read it when I am more excited for it. 

4. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan 
I love this series so much and I love Rick Riordan and Percy but I kept losing interest in this one.  It was so long and the chapter that didn't have Percy in it just . . . didn't interest me enough.  I like the new characters introduced but I don't think anything will ever beat out Percy for me.  I want to eventually finish this book and the rest of the series, I just need to find the time and motivation to do it.  

5. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski 
I have this whole series and the first book, while I had some problems with it, was ultimately one that I enjoyed.  The whole series is sitting on my shelf so I definitely plan on finishing it one of these days.  I started this one and just found myself uninterested with the characters at the time.  I plan on picking it up again soon (and hopefully feeling more motivated to read it then)!

What books or series have you started but never finished?  Are there any you plan on getting back to?  How do you feel about the books I've listed?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Title: Flame in the Mist 
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16, 2017 
Source: Bought

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Find Flame in the Mist online!
Ohh, this one was so good.  So, so good.  And that was even after hearing about all the hype surrounding it.  I had my expectations pretty high going in and this story didn't let me down!  While it wasn't perfect, I was kept entertained throughout and had a great time with this story and learning a little about the culture of feudal Japan.  

I really loved the concept of the story in this one.  It's been called a Mulan retelling, and while that can be argued for some aspects of the novel, it wasn't totally similar.  Mariko, the main character, spend the majority of the novel dressed as a boy in order to infiltrate the Black Clan, who attacks her and her convoy.  This was what I had the most fun reading.  It was so interesting to watch Mariko fall into their ranks.  There was always a sense of danger and tension because of the threat posed to her in the Black Clan ever found out she was a girl rather than a boy.  Despite these challenges, Mariko begins to thrive within the Black Clan and I really enjoyed seeing this strength in her. 

The other characters were interesting, though a little hard to keep track of.  Each other seemed to have a few names and nicknames than were used interchangeably , which made it difficult to figure out who was who.  While I thought it added a bit of realism to the story, it did take me out of it at times because I would have to stop reading to figure out who exactly was in the scene.  Another thing that left me feeling a bit dazed when reading was the changing POVs.  This story is told through the perspective of many different characters and, while it adds some roundness to the story, I found myself growing bored with some of the perspectives and just wanting to skip back to Mariko's story.  

Despite these slight problems, I still really enjoyed this novel.  It's full of strong characters and an immersive world with lots of carefully researched details.  The characters, while sometimes hard to keep track of, were well thought out and interesting.  I'm curious to learn more about this world, especially the magic that we briefly see in this book but that isn't really explained.  I can't wait to continue this series!

“I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.” 
  Four Teapots

****I'm hosting a giveaway right now in which you can win your choice of one of the books listed!  Don't miss your chance to win!  Find the giveaway here!****

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #107

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
Series: None
Author: Christina Henry 
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult 
Publisher: Berkley Books 
Publication Date: July 4, 2017 

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. 

Find Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook online

Why I'm Waiting on Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook this Wednesday: I've always loved Neverland and Peter Pan, and I have a thing for retellings from the perspective of the villains, so this one caught my eye from the start!  It sounds really interesting and I can't wait to learn (and read) more about it!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Do you like retellings?  Which is your favorite?  Let me know and leave your links in the comments below! 

***Don't forget to enter my five year blogiversary giveaway for a chance to win a recently released book!  Find it here***

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we share out top ten lists relating to the bookish topic assigned that week.

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start!

Blackhearts series by Nicole Castroman

Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton

Ruined by Amy Tintera

The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

Monsters of Verity series by Victoria Schwab 

Wolf by Wolf series by Ryan Graudin

The Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman

The Girl from Everywhere series by Heidi Heilig

The Young Elites series by Marie Lu

The Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen

Whew, this post really made me want to buy like, a million books so I can start all of these series (and a few that didn't make the list!).  Have you read any of these series?  Which ones did you like/not like?  Which series are you wanting to start?  Leave me a link to your posts down in the comments so I can check them out!

ALSO!  I'm currently hosting a giveaway celebrating the five year blogiversary of Wonderland's Reader!  You have a chance of winning one of six recently released books!  Enter to win here.

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns