Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Sword and Verse
(Sword and Verse #1)
by Kathy MacMillan
Published: January 19, 2016

Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the King, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery. Everyone knows that Raisa is Arnath, but not that she is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that, although she may have a privileged position among slaves, any slipup could mean death.

That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people. Joining the Resistance could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved, an honorable man she knows wants to help the slaves.

Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences. As Raisa struggles with what’s right, she unwittingly uncovers a secret that the Qilarites have long since buried…one that, unlocked, could bring the current world order to its knees.

And Raisa is the one holding the key.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January 2016 Reads + Monthly Recap

Goodness, is it February already? I haven't even gotten a good look at my 2016 goals enough to make a great start. LOL. It had been a really busy month actually. I was swamped with work since Christmas vacation and things aren't going to be easy until the end of February. Way to go, 2016! But freedom is oh so close and one more month of very little to no sleep won't bring me down.

That said, I am currently 1 book behind schedule on my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I swear I am going to catch up this summer. It was still a pretty good reading month, considering. A big thanks to the Clean Slate Read-a-Thon which is the main reason why I am not as behind as I dreaded. My TBR pile for this week-long event consisted of four books and I read three of them even though I had enough time to start and finish the last one -- work couldn't help itself but get in the way. Also, I am proud that I stuck to my TBR.

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) Vengeance Road Emmy & Oliver Crossed (Soul Eater #3)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 2016 New Releases: Part 2

New Book Releases this January 2016
*cover image links to Goodreads*

We Are the Ants
by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published: January 19, 2016
The Book Depository

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

GFC Followers Drop

Unlike my Instagram or Twitter I don't have as many followers on Google Friend Connect (GFC) so it's easy to notice when someone unfollows.

Yesterday, when I opened my Blogger account I found out someone unfollowed me. Or that's what I thought, at least. I wasn't that sure so I left it alone. I don't really mind the small following - I get steady pageviews and comments on my blog so I know it's not that lonely in here ;) But just a few minutes ago, my GFC followers had a sudden drop. More than 10 unfollows at once! That has never happened in my almost four years of blogging. Until now. At first I thought maybe I offended people with one of my posts, or maybe Blogger is removing inactive accounts. Ha! Close enough.

If this happened to you recently and you are also wondering, here's why:

Monday, January 25, 2016

[RELEASE WEEK BLITZ] Review + Giveaway: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

COVER REVEAL + Giveaway: The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra is the second novel in Michelle Madow’s Elementals series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Where I Live... I Love It Here

Let's talk about something random and personal for a bit. In books, a lot of the characters I've met have expressed the notion of moving away. To escape, the need for space, independence, freedom, adventure... There are plenty of reasons.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 2016 New Releases: Part 1

New Book Releases this January 2016
*cover image links to Goodreads*

Thief of Lies
(Library Jumpers #1)
by Brenda Drake
Published: January 5, 2015
The Book Depository

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Current Feel-Good Playlist

I believe the last time I made a music related post was almost a year ago *cringe*
Anyway, here are some of the songs that are currently in my feel-good playlist.

"Verge" by Owl City ft. Aloe Blacc

I love Owl City's Mobile Orchestra album. Verge is one of my most favorite and Aloe Blacc's voice is amazing! It is also because of this song that I discovered People Are Awesome's channel on Youtube.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Clean Slate Read-a-Thon Progress Report

Clean Slate Read-a-Thon has officially started and I decided to make a separate post for my updates rather than putting it in my sign-up post. This will include my goals and progress throughout the read-a-thon week which I will hopefully be able to update daily.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goodreads Awards Challenge 2016

The challenge is to read as many 2015 Goodreads Awards nominees as you can and I sure-as-heck am joining. The 2015 awards was a sad event for me. Out of all the books nominated, I have only read more or less five. How fun is that? So this challenge is pretty much perfect for catching up on the books everyone else is loving aka 2015 books that I marked as to-read who knows how long ago but still didn't pick up when they finally came out.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate
Illusions of Fate
by Kiersten White
Published: September 9, 2014

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Me and My Bookshelf: My Last 2015 Book Haul

This is where I feature the books I received, bought, gifted or won that are recently added to my physical shelf, which means no e-books and the like, and recount epic book hauling stories. It is usually posted on Saturdays.

Friday, January 1, 2016

December 2015 Reads + Monthly Recap

HAPPY NEW YEAR! How is 2016 for you so far? I hope it's good. Me, not so much. I've been sick this past week and currently my voice sounds funny as hell. I can't speak too loud because it hurts.

Moving on to the books I read in the last month of 2015:

The Girlfriend Request Not Okay Cupid The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals, #1) Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Wrap-up

If I have to describe 2015 in one word, it’s BUSY. From job interviews to certification exams to that big project I was - am - working on.. it was tiring. There were a lot of sleepless nights. I had even gone without sleep for 32 hours straight once last month.

But it wasn't all bad. I had a lot to be grateful for this past year. I got to hangout with my classmates from elementary, high school and college! I met up with some of my elementary friends last November and I realized that it's been almost 10 years! I literally haven't seen them since I went away for high school. My high school batch also got together quite a few times this year - we always try to meet up with everyone whenever there is a chance. Also went out with my college buddies whom I haven't seen since graduation earlier this year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Top 10 of 2015: Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2016

Day 5: Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2016

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! Today is the last "Top 10" day and it is the list of books I am most looking forward to this 2016. I have a lot. My list is already super long but to cut my list short it will mostly consist of, what else, SEQUELS!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Top 10 of 2015: Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

Day 4: Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

The list must consist of book boyfriends from books we have read this 2015. That means I can't include Archer Cross but let me just tell you, he's still my number one ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Top 10 of 2015: Best Couples of 2015

Day 3: Best ____ of 2015

The topic for day three is reader's choice and I chose to make a list of my favorite couples from the books I read this 2015.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top 10 of 2015: Best Book Covers of 2015

Day 2: Best Book Covers of 2015
The list must be made of books that were released this 2015.

Without further ado, here are the covers that really caught my eye this year (there are A LOT of them but I did my best to narrow it down to 18).
*Covers link to Goodreads

Monday, December 21, 2015

Top 10 of 2015: Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

It's that time of the year. My fervent wish for December to go extra slow remains unheard, it seems. Oh well, nothing we can do about it now. Here is one thing to get excited for though: the time for our top favorites to be on display! Favorite books, covers, characters, upcoming releases... we all know how awesome lists are and a week-long of it? Mmm-hmm.

Now let's get to the first Top 10 list - the BEST BOOKS I've read this 2015!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Not Okay Cupid by Heidi R. Kling

Not Okay Cupid
Not Okay Cupid
by Heidi R. Kling
Expected Publication: January 11, 2016

Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart...

Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.

Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.

With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge...or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.

WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can't have.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 2015 New Releases

New Book Releases this December 2015
*cover image links to Goodreads*

Not If I See You First
by Eric Lindstrom
Published: December 1, 2015
The Book Depository

The Rules:

Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Review: The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

The Girlfriend Request
The Girlfriend Request
by Jodie Andrefski
Expected publication: January 11, 2016

Updating best friend to girlfriend is more than a change of status…

Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like...way more. From friend request to In a Relationship--it all seemed so completely logical when she'd planned it.

Eli can't figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she's the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe...he missed his chance with the girl next door.

Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one fake Facebook profile, two best friends who secretly crave each other, and a dreaded sex talk with parents…boy crush in the room included. Pushing a relationship beyond the friend zone has never been so crazy…

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

SERIES REVIEW: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1) The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #2)
The Book of Ivy Duology
by Amy Engel
Published: November 4, 2014

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

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