Summer Blogger Promo Tour: TBR Tag

Happy Sunday everyone.

This is another post for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour.

1. What is the Summer Blogger Promo Tour?
The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is a summer tour that we’ve put together at The Book Bratz that helps a bunch of bloggers both new and old link up with each other and collab on fun posts throughout the summer!

And for this one myself and Lili @ Utopia State of Mind

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Lili: I put all the books I want to read on my To Read shelf on Goodreads. I know there are books I haven’t looked at from when I first started my Goodreads accounts ages ago, so I only look at the recently added ones.

Me: I usually start with Goodreads and for some of my bought books I looks at my shelf and then my Goodreads to see which books I really want to read.

  1. Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Lili: Print. I don’t normally prefer to read on e-book unless the price is unbeatable OR it’s an e-arc. Those are really the two reasons I’d do this.

Me: It is Print books mostly, sometimes it is an e-book

  1. A Book That’s Been On Your TBR List The Longest

Lili: This older series by Mercedes Lackey – the thousand kingdoms I think? I loved so many of Lackey’s books as a child growing up that they have this special nostalgic place in my heart.

Me: Anything by Patrick Rothfuss and Mark Lawrence. I haven’t read anything by these two authors but I keep hearing great things about them.

  1. A Book You Recently Added To Your TBR

Lili: I think I added WE HUNT THE FLAME recently, but there have been so many fantastic 2019/2020 books announced that I have gone on a TBR rampage. Save me.

Me: Crazy Rich Asians. I know that is mostly because the movie is coming out but I do sort of also want to read the book.

  1. A Book In Your TBR Strictly Because of Its Beautiful Cover

Lili: I haven’t done this recently only because I have to really go the extra effort to add the book to my TBR. So it’s normally just arcs I want to keep a track of or maybe request.

Me: A more recent example is Four Dead Queens. I remember seeing the cover at BookCon.

  1. A Book On Your TBR That You Never Plan on Reading

Lili:  Psh, I would love to read all the books on my TBR! That’s what it’s there for!

Me: If it’s on my TBR, then I will read it. Hopefully eventually

  1. An Unpublished Book on Your TBR That You’re Excited For

Lili: Well I just finished SADIE and that was fabulous, but of course I’m excited for SHADOWGLASS and SPY WITH THE RED BALLOON!

Me: What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertali because I want to see what both of those authors come up with. Also Muse of Nightmares because I just finished Strange the Dreamer and loved it.

  1. A Book On Your TBR That Basically Everyone’s Read But You

Lili: Gah, a lot. I haven’t read Jenny Han or Victoria Schwab yet. So these are ones I get a lot of grief about! Or the Illuminae series – that one too. To be fair, I do now own these, so I have more of a reason to read them now!

Me: Jenny Han as well. I know Too All the Boys I Loved is coming on Netflix and it reminded me that I never even touched those books.

  1. A Book On Your TBR That Everyone Recommends To You

Lili: DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC keeps getting recommended to me, by one person…but I will read it!

Me: Anything by Renee Adhieh. I even met her at BookCon and I felt so bad for not reading her books. I keep getting recommended her books, but I will read them eventually.

  1. A Book On Your TBR That You’re Dying To Read

Lili: Gosh all of them? I am most excited for KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX though. I Have that but I haven’t dug in yet…

Me: City of Saints and Thieves, I am still surprised that I haven’t read it yet

  1. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Lili: I will not be answering this question. It’s too cruel.

Me: Yeah, about that. It will ever be growing that I have completely lost count.

Advertisements

Summer Blogger Promo Tour

Hey everyone,

I know I was suppose to do this last week, but there was some communication problems. But now I decided to combine both weeks.

1. What is the Summer Blogger Promo Tour?
The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is a summer tour that we’ve put together at The Book Bratz that helps a bunch of bloggers both new and old link up with each other and collab on fun posts throughout the summer!

My partner is Lili @ Utopia State of Mind

My name is Lili and I am a scholar at heart, obsessed with SFF and always carrying a book wherever I go (including to the top of a dormant volcano and mountain for Instagram photos). I did my Masters and BA in Women’s Studies and English Literature. I lived in Germany for three years and am now working in the publishing industry. I am obsessed with diversity and use Utopia State Of Mind to champion books I feel deserve more praise and attention (including smaller presses and indie authors).

Some facts about Lili:

1. I don’t even remember the first series I read. When I was in elementary school I read The Encyclopedia Brown Series and then after that I binge read every Tamora Pierce book I could get my hands on.
2. Right now I actually work in publishing at the moment, so I get to work with books on both sides of the curtain!
3. When I was in college I studied English Literature and Women’s Studies. Then I did a Master’s in English Studies.
4. I read a lot of everything really from science fiction to historical fiction, literary fiction to YA, and more! If we were talking about other things I’m recently obsessed with, it’d have to be comic books!
5. What is my life that isn’t just books? I love to dance and sing, for fun of course, but it’s something I wish I was able to do more of.
6. I grew up in a very musical family. I can’t play the piano really, because my mom was my teacher and you know how those situations end…
7. I’ve only recently gotten into fandom, but I am a HUGE Doctor Who fan. I enjoyed Harry Potter, I just never really got into it. Oh, I am a big fan of superhero things, I’ve seen like every Marvel movie at least twice. I saw Thor Ragnarok twice in theaters.
8. The only real video games I like to play are those co-op ones. And those types of situations end a lot in me yelling. I make a great team player.

9. Right now I’m back in New York, but I grew up in in New York, went to school in Pennsylvania, and moved to Germany for three years since High School.

10. My favorite book series would have to be….The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller from Traci Chee – if you’re talking about recent favorites. Old school nostalgia favorites include The Immortals Quartet from Tamora Pierce and The Fallen Kingdom Trilogy from Garth Nix.

11. The most influential book seems like a cruel question – and I know I’m the one who made it up! Gosh, I guess it would be Sabriel by Garth Nix.

12. I don’t know what the first books I bought for myself were. I spent my childhood and, almost whole life in a library, until I moved to Germany. I took out almost 100 books every two weeks it felt like, especially when they were picture books!

13. I have re-read not too many books actually. Maybe Frankenstein? Or Heart of Darkness? I was assigned those two texts multiple times.

14. I own the entire Fallen Kingdom Trilogy twice in two different editions with different covers. Yes. I’m that person.

15. My favorite character is another of those cruel questions I devised myself. Well, I really like Phedre from Kushiel’s Dart, Sabriel (duh), Daine, I can only really think of my nostalgic favorites by name.

16. I am a true Ravenclaw with Slytherin ambitions, which really means that I’m entirely intellectual and justice oriented, but very ambitious.
We decided to do a Top 10 Tuesday on a Sunday and the topic is Favorite Covers that haven’t been released yet.

Image result for song of the dead sarah glenn marshImage result for lady's guide to petticoats and piracy

Image result for wildcard marie luImage result for internment samira ahmed

Those are just a few of my favorite to be released covers. Check out Lili’s Post for other fabulous covers

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review:

This is the second book of the Illuminae files, in which the first book, Illuminae was one of the best books I read last year, and this book did not disappoint, in fact I think this was an excellent sequel.

Gemina follows another person Hanna, in which she is one a different space station, so this one doesn’t really follow up with Kady’s story but she does play a role in this book. She is the captain’s daughter, and she is a great character. She reminded me a lot of Jyn Erso from Rogue One with a little bit of Katniss Everdeen. Even though she is basically a “princess” she really doesn’t act like it and when stuff goes down she is on the scene trying to get the job done.

Nik, as a member of a crime family is basically Han Solo. He deals drugs to the people at the space station and has a great backstory which really adds a lot to his character. Both Nik and Hanna are an amazing couple and you get a real good sense of their relationship, especially their IMs and chat logs.

The plot was also really well done. I like that the main antagonist was a strike team, and how Hanna and Nik had to take them out individually. The leader Faulk, was a really good villain which reminded me a lot of General Zod, who always cared about his troops and making sure that they are focused on the mission. I like the idea of having a take over, while the the virus was a good plot, I like that it had an actual antagonist that you also got to follow.

This book was also a lot more action packed than Illuminae. While Illuminae focused heavily on the political aspect, this one had a lot more action scenes, which was very easy to follow mainly due to seeing the security footage.

Like Illuminae, this book is also told through unconventional means, and what I liked about was that it puts you right in the middle of the action and it feels like you are actually there witnessing everything that is happening. This book also had a lot more security footage which made it little bit easier to follow the story. Also the illustrations was done by Marie Lu, and it looks awesome.

The ending twist was also amazing, seeing Kady again was great and having here work together with Hanna added a lot to both Illuminae and Gemina. Also the possibility of other universes also makes me excited about future books .

In the end, Gemina was an amazing sequel that really pushed on where the Illuminae files will go, It gave a us great new characters and a really well done plot. It makes you want to see where the story and the characters will go.

Grade: 5/5

October Wrap up/November TBR

Hello everyone,

We are currently in the month of November, and I was suppose to do this a few days ago, but I got busy. It was still a pretty good reading month despite how busy I was, but I still read what I needed to read. So lets recap.

What I Read:

Queen of Shadows by: Sarah J Maas

While everyone else was reading Empire of Storms, I was a little behind and was reading Queen of Shadows. Here is my review. I gave it 4/5.

Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo

One of my most anticipated reads. After reading the great Six of Crows and loving it, I had to finish the series. Here is my review. I gave it 5/5

And I Darken by: Kiersten White

It was a nice book, the cover looks amazing. I actually liked the book more than I thought I would. Here is my review. I gave it 4/5

The Midnight Star by: Marie Lu

The conclusion of one my favorite series by one of my favorite authors. It was a good conclusion, and I enjoyed the series. Here is my review. I gave it 3.8/5

Vicious by VE Schwab

Another great book by the fabulous VE Schwab, and it was amazing. A very good read, that blurs the lines between good and bad. Here is my review. I gave it 4.7/5

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This was a book, that I kept saying, why did it take me long to read this. I loved how unconventional the book was. Mainly told through chats, and security and I loved every page of it. Here is my review. I gave it 5/5

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

This was a nice short read. I enjoyed reading it and I plan to read the rest of the series. Here is my review. I gave it 3/5

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Another book on my TBR list that I finally read, and I really liked it. Here is my review. I gave it 3.5/5

November TBR:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

My Lady Jane by: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

That was my monthly wrap up. I am very surprised I read that many books in October. I hope I will get to all my November books. If you have any recommendations. Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (Spoiler free)

Summary:
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. 

The Review:

This book was one of my most anticipated reads, because I was a fan of the first two books and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. I actually really enjoyed this book and it felt like a very quick read.

The book picks up with Adelina conquering lands and imposing new rules for those lands  by giving more rights to the Malfettos, and is even willing to kill those who disobey her. You could really feel that she was going more darker and she is not the same Adelina that she was in the first book.She is seriously one of the best characters I have read. Maybe because we don’t see a lot of anti-heroes in YA and I applaud Marie Lu for creating a good anti-hero that could still be likable in a way.

I just wish that you got to see her be Queen a bit longer because about a third into the book she is forced to help the Daggers again. I liked that the Daggers were mostly playing a reactionary role to Adelina’s misdeeds. I would have liked to have seen more development with Raffeale and Enzo because I actually did like them in the series. I also really loved Adelina’s romance with Magiano. Marie Lu knows how to develop a good romance without the drama you see in other YA books.

While I did feel that the ending was very well-written, I also felt that the book should have been at least 100 more pages. Mainly because I wanted to see some loose ends tied up and it could have made for a better conclusion, rather than seeing some things wrapped up a bit too quickly (I will be going more in depth with the ending in my spoiler-filled review).

But I will say is that Marie Lu knows how to write a good sibling relationship. You could tell that Violetta was Adelina’s center and kept her human and in spite of all of the things Adelina’s has done she still really loves her sister.

In the end The Midnight Star was a good conslusion to a great trilogy, while it was a bit weaker than the other two books, I still enjoyed the series and I want to see what other books Marie Lu has to offer.

Also sorry for the vague review. I didn’t want to spoil anything. Look out this week for a spoiler filled review.

Grade: 3.8/5

Hype or Like Friday-I Ain’t Scared of the Dark: Scariest Settings

 

Happy Friday everyone,

October’s theme for Hype or Like Friday is I Ain’t scared of the dark, to symbolize Halloween and the Book of the Month is  Mrs. Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

Oct 7th-This question was brought by Donna @ Chocolatenwaffles “It’s locked” The scariest settings/places where you would not want to be stuck.

This list will include mostly TV shows and movies.

Sunnydale High from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I am a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but honestly Sunnydale High would be an awful high school to go to. I think the fact that it is on top of a Hellmouth is very scary, and school does have a steep death rate among the students. Vampires, Mummies and even Band candy are within this school.

Briarcliff from American Horror Story: Aslyum

An insane asylum where the criminally insane go. It was serial killers, child murderers, killer Santa’s and even the anti-Christ. Asylums are already a scary place, but Briarcliff is insanely scary.

The Overlook Hotel from The Shining

It’s October, I have to include Stephen King and the Overlook Hotel is very scary place, with creepy twins, blood in an elevator and a very creepy maze. I would not want to spend a night in that hotel.

The Amityville House from The Amityville Horror

Murder houses are scary. I would feel so uncomfortable living in a house in which a mass murder took place, and feeling like the spirits of the house creeping in.

That is my list for scariest settings. What scary settings would you not want to be stuck in? Let me know in the comments below.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Summary:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

The Review: 

I seriously don’t know what to say in this review without spoiling anything so here we go. This book was an amazing conclusion to an awesome duology. I really liked Six of Crows, and I thought it was leaps and bounds better than the Grisha trilogy. Here is my review for Six of Crows.

Crooked Kingdom picks up right where Six of Crows left off, with Inej captured, and the rest of the crew trying to rescue her. Right within the first few pages the book was in GO mode, and it did not stop at all. It did not have one dull moment, and it was exciting page after page.

The characters are still amazing, and each of them went through their own significant arc. One of my favorites is Inej, even though she spent the first few chapters of the book imprisoned she still was very useful and could still handle herself which is what I loved about it. Most times when you see a strong female protagonist in a book than all of a sudden in the third act she has to get rescued and become damsel-ed. Here she wasn’t damsel-ed and was even trying to rescue herself before the crew got her and finished the job. I also loved her relationship with Kaz. It was well written, and well developed and you want to see them succeed in the end. I even liked the scenes where she had to fight another “spider” like her, which was of course amazing.

I also loved Kaz in this book. Like I said in the Six of Crows review, he is basically the Malcolm Reynolds of this world, and while he mostly cares about money he cares a lot about his crew and what happens to them. He was still the snarky con man who was always trying to be one step ahead of everyone.

My other favorite character is Jesper. I really liked his storyline in this book especially the scenes with his father, and the relationship with his dead mother. Even though he found out he was a fabrikator, in Six of Crows, I liked his struggle with his Grisha powers, but I would have liked to have seen more of his powers. His relationship with Wylan was also great. I loved their back and forth with each other. I also liked Wylan’s story and I liked the fact that he had POV chapters, and got to see more of what he was thinking. Also looking into his relationship with his father. I liked that Wylan and Jesper are the very few LGBTQA+

Nina and Matthias character arcs in this book was also well done, especially Matthias’s arc. Dealing with his personal religions and his relationship with Nina.

The crews relationship with each other is what really made the book work. Like I said in my Six of Crows review, they reminded me a lot of the crew from Serenity in the show Firefly. They all have distinct personalities and Leigh Bardugo did a good job at meshing all of those distinct personalities within the story. This is a cast of characters I would love to see in more books, but since it is a duology this is unfortunate the least we will see of the characters.

In the end, Crooked Kingdom was a fantastic conclusion to an amazing duology, with great characters and a plot that keeps you engaged from page one. Even if you weren’t a fan of the Grisha trilogy like I was,, I would still fully recommend this book series.

Grade: 5/5