New Releases: February 2017

february releasesFebruary is right around the corner and as promised in last month’s New Releases post, here are four books coming out this February! We’ve got 2 sequels and 2 stand alone novels on this list -both of the stand alones being diverse read

First on my list is King’s Cage, the third book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Since this is the third book in the series I can’t tell you anything about the plot without spoiling the previous two books. King’s Cage is released on February 7th!

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In Red Queen Victoria Aveyard created a world in which people are divided by the color of their blood: Reds and Silvers. Mare is a Red who has powers she shouldn’t have. Powers only the Silver blooded population has. To cover this up, the palace introduces Mare as a long-lost Silver princess who is engaged to the prince.

I’ve read both Red Queen and Glass Sword and I truely enjoyed the story and everything it had to offer and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one and see how the story continues to unfold and find out if my hatred for one of the characters continues to grow the way it has since Red Queen (which I hope is the case! That’s a show of great writing in my book!).

19186075-_sy540_Up next we have V.E. Schwab’s conclusion to her Shades Of Magic trilogy: A Conjuring of Light! I haven’t read any of the books in this trilogy but I honestly have heard nothing but amazing things from everyone who has read the trilogy, so I wanted to include this book in my list. This book is being released on February 21st!

A Darker Shade Of Magic is about Kell, the last man who has the ability to travel between parallel universes. Officially, Kell delivers correspondence to the Royals of the different Londons (Red, Grey and White) – unofficially he smuggles. It’s Kell’s unofficial business that gets him and sets him off on quite the adventure.

Now that we have dealt with the two sequels that got my attention for this month’s releases, let’s talk about the two stand alones! Does anyone else feel like they are reading way too many series/trilogies? When I look at my anticipated releases for this year, most of them are sequels! But here are two stand alones I am really excited about!

hateugive_10-10snapUp first, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This novel tells the story of 16 year old Starr who lives life in two different worlds: the poor neighbourhood she was born and raised in and her posh high school in the suburbs. When her unarmed friend Khalil gets shot by a police officer, Starr is the only witness. Her statement can destroy the community she lives in – or get her killed.

This story was inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement and I am honestly so interested to see how the author tells this story! I can’t remember reading a book from a black main character’s point of view before and I can’t wait to change this and at the same time get more information on the #BlackLivesMatter movement from an ownvoices author! The Hate U Give is being released on February 28th, so unfortunately we will have to wait a little while longer to get our hands on this book!

american-street-cover-galleycatLastly we have American Street, an ownvoices novel by Ibi Zoboi. After leaving their lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother gets detained by US immigration officers and Fabiola is left to deal with her American relatives, her new home, her new school and a surprising romance all on her own.

And just as Fabiola finds her way in this new world she has been thrust into, a dangerous proposition is made. A proposition that leads to the realization that freedom comes at a cost. But is Fabiola going to pay?

Just like with The Hate U Give, this story is nothing I have read about before and I am truely excited to see what kind of adventure the author is going to take us on and what kinds of things we’re going to be introduced to throughout Fabiola’s story! We’ll have to wait until February 14th until we get to find out – unfortunately!

So, tell me! What are some of your most anticipated releases for February? Have you heard of the books I have on my list? Are you excited for any of them? Let me know!

 

Series I’ve Completed (Part 1)

series ive completedI have recently started watching a lot more booktube videos again and I noticed myself gravitating towards videos about series that people had finished (especially when I was watching someone I had never seen a video by before) and I started thinking about why I was so interested in these type of videos. The answer?

It gives you an overview of what someone has read before and what kind of series/trilogies they really enjoyed and you can compare your taste to their’s and decide if you want to know more about them and what they enjoy reading. So I figured for you guys to know what kind of books I really enjoyed reading, I would do a 10 Series I Have Completed post! You might have realized by now that I trouble ranking books, so we’re going in alphabetical order today!

bloodlines

Bloodlines, Richelle Mead‘s spinoff series of Vampire Academy, follows the characters Sydney Sage and Adrian Ivashkov as they go on a mission to protect and hide a moroi at a human boarding school in Palm Springs (I am purposefully keeping this as vage as I can so I don’t spoil anything Vampire Academy related). After finishing reading Vampire Academy I was head over heels in love with Adrian and when I knew that we were getting a spinoff series featuring him as one of the characters? I was over the moon! And god, did this series not disappoint me!

six-of-crows

Six Of Crows, Leigh Bardugo‘s newest release set in the same world as The Grisha Trilogy, tells the story of a cast of six diverse characters who go on an impossible heist together, we get to see each of them shine in their different areas of expertice and witness their relationships develop and change over the entirety of this duology. The characters are well fleshed out, have their own motives for doing and believing the things they do and that was really beautiful to see. After reading this duology Leigh has definitely made it onto my auto-buy authors list – which is very short.

As a bit of a sidenote: you don’t have to read the Grisha Trilogy before throwing yourself into this adventure, but I would recommend it, because you might get spoiled for certain things that happened in the Grisha Trilogy otherwise.

the-bronze-horseman

The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons is set in Russia just before World War II starts and spans Tatiana and Alexander’s entire life and everything they endure during those years. This story of love and loss is set in the most beautiful places throughout Russia and has me ready to drop everything and travel to all the places mentioned in this book. And to contrast the beauty of the story there is World War II happening all around them and draging everyone down with it.

This trilogy – just like The Grisha Trilogy – also has a special place in my heart because of it’s setting in Russia. I was born there and spent the first almost 6 years of my life living in a small village near Omsk before we moved to Germany. And even though I don’t agree with the political things going on in Russia, the country and the beauty it has to offer in stories is still very dear to my heart.

the-hunger-games

I don’t think I need to tell any of you guys what The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is all about, so instead I will talk about what this trilogy meant to me. If I remember correctly, this was the first book I ever read in English (excluding books I had to read for class) and also my first glance into dystopian novels – I basically fell down a dystopian shaped hole after and didn’t read anything else for quite a while! This was also the book that made me realize I could read books in English and understand what was going on entirely and I am forever thankful for that. I can’t imagine how different my reading would be if I hadn’t read The Hunger Games.

the-infernal-devices

The Infernal Devices – a prequel trilogy to Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series, is set in the London of 1878 and follows Shadowhunters Tessa, Will and Jem as they try to defeat the Pandemonium Club. Oh this trilogy! It broke my heart and at the same time put it back together and I spent so much time laughing and crying with the characters and enjoying the ride that this trilogy took me on – even more so when I re-read it last year.

The Infernal Devices features the only love triangle I have come across so far that doesn’t make me roll my eyes and hate the triangle. I was so in love with everyone involved in it and I felt with Tessa and the boys through all the ups and down! It was truely beautiful!

What have been some of your favorite series that you’ve finished so far? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in this post? If yes, what did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Review: A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

review a list of cagesI mentioned in my Releases of January 2017 post that I was really looking forward to this debut novel by Robin Roe and after finishing Heartless (which I’ve reviewed here) on the release date of A List Of Cages, I took a short break from reading and then picked this book up and read it in one sitting. Literally. I couldn’t put this book down at all.

A List Of Cages follows two teenage boys: Adam, a senior in high school and aide to the school’s psychologist and Julian, a freshman who keeps skipping out on his appointments with said psychologist. Adam and Julian meet each other for the (seemingly) first time when Adam is sent to take Julian to his appointment – which is also when Adam realizes he knows Julian: they used to be foster brothers a couple of years ago.

Julian hasn’t had it easy since his parents passed away when he was a child and he was taken to live with his uncle after staying with Adam and his mother at first. Julian is a boy who has been keeping to himself and has trouble opening up to and interacting with people – Adam included.

One of this book’s main themes is friendship and kindness and it’s written about so beautifully, you can feel the love and kindness that is being spread by all of the characters. Adam’s kindness and friendship is what ultimately brings Julian into Adam’s circle of friends and helps Julian to open up and be more outgoing and also accept the kindness and love he is being shown.

I want to make sure that I talk about a topic that is described multiple times throughout this book: child abuse. I was debating whether or not I should talk about it in my review but after thinking about it for a couple of days and talking to people about it, I decided to put it in here. It’s important that you are aware that the topic of child abuse is described multiple times and at points in great detail in this book. If this is something you can’t read about – please think twice about picking this book up!

Personally, I didn’t know much going into this book and I was able to process and deal with the describtions of child abuse but it was at times very difficult – especially towards the end where I felt almost as trapped as Julian.

But overall, taking everything into consideration this book had to offer, I am really glad I picked it up and read it. I would recommend you do too – if you feel comfortable.

It has taken me a couple of days to decide how to rate this book and I think I have come to a conclusion for now: 4 stars. 

 

My Reading Habbits

my reading habitsEvery one of us has their habbits – things we do repeatedly and often subconsciously. For example, when I step into my appartment the first thing I do is lock my door twice and then as I turn away from my door I take off my shoes and then my scarf and jacket. In that exact order every time. I don’t even think about it anymore.

And just like that particular series of events, I’ve developed a few habbits when it comes to my reading. Today I am going to share those with you!
davBefore I can begin to read a book, I need to start playing some musicOver all the years that I’ve been reading I’ve discovered that I can’t concentrate on a book when it’s completely silent around me. I will pick an album off my Spotify that I know by heart and doesn’t distract me from my reading; lately that’s been Little Mix’ Glory Days. And I don’t listen to music loudly – it’s usually at about a 14 on my volume.
Now that I’ve chosen an album to listen to I’m almost ready to start reading – I just need to get out my collection of sticky notes or my highlighters (I’ve recently started highlighting in my books rather than just putting sticky notes down) to mark scenes and dialogue I really enjoy. Sometimes I get a bit over excited with sticky notes and my book is a SEA of colored taps and other times I only have a few here and there; with highlighters things don’t tend to go as crazy though.

Since I’m listening to music on my laptop, this is usually about the time that I exit out of
every window except Spotify to eliminate any form of distractionAnd I’m only allowed to open Chrome if I am going to update my reading status on Goodreads – I exit out again right after too. Otherwise I’ll end up on Twitter or Tumblr and spend a good 30 minutes just scrolling (it has happened to often).
davOne of my worst habbits when it comes to reading is the fact that I dog ear my pages whenever I put a book down for the day and very recently I also did it to highlight important pages in my copy of Heartless (using a page marker would have been the better choice, but I didn’t have any on hand). And I’ve dog earned my pages for years now. I think that’s a habit I need to get out of!

What are some of your reading habbits? Do you have any bad ones you wish you could break out of? Let me know in the comments below!

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Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

review heartlessMarissa Meyer’s most recent release tells the story of the Queen Of Hearts before she became the Queen Of Hearts. Catherine is one of the most desired girls in the Kingdom of Hearts and holds a special place in the King’s heart. But Catherine doesn’t care about any of that, all she wants to do is bake to her heart’s content and open her own little bakery with her best friend Mary Ann.

At a royal ball, Catherine is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal – instead, she meets the mysterious court joker, Jest and things start to change for Catherine starting that very moment. We follow Catherine on various adventures, meet a variety of fun and loveable characters and learn how Catherine becomes the well-known Queen of Hearts.

In the acknowledgments at the end of Heartless Marissa Meyer talks about how she had mentioned to her agenting team that she wished author Gregory Maguire had written the origin story of the Queen Of Hearts to which her foreign rights agent replied ‘Marissa, why don’t you write the story?’. That’s how this story was born and I feel like you can feel Marissa Meyer’s love for the queen’s story throughout the entire novel and I couldn’t be happier to have been introduced to the Queen Of Hearts this way.

Unlike a lot of people, I have never dipped my toes into the world of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland before and didn’t really know any of the characters introduced in Heartless – apart from the Mad Hatter who appeared on Once Upon A Time (played by the oh so lovely Sebastian Stan). I feel like any and all knowledge I have about anything related to Wonderland comes from the tv show.

unbenanntThis is also why I had difficulties picturing some of the characters while I was reading this novel at the beginning. In chapter 3 there is this moment: ‘Cath’s father was entertaining the Four, Seven and Eight of Diamonds.’ and this was the first time we’re introduced to the characters that are cards in this novel and I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to picture them as actual cards or as humans that had the card symbols painted on them/their clothing in some form. I decided to go with the card thing and ended up being right,  as I figured out much later in the book. I wouldn’t blame this on the author or writing, though. This is simply me never having been in this world before.

Another problem with this novel was the insta-love trope that I have gotten quite tired of – as have many of you probably. So when Catherine and Jest meet and fall in love in moments (that’s what it felt like) I was quite annoyed for a little bit, but then I just fell really hard for the two of them and was really looking forward to their scenes together and seeing how things developed from their first meeting onward. And I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Marissa Meyer has such a lovely way with words that I am usually unable to put the book down and I find myself turning page after page, chapter after chapter and when I finally look up from my book I realize that it’s already late afternoon and I really need to make dinner.

The biggest problem I had with this book were Catherine’s mother’s constant comments about what Catherine was eating and how much of it. It honestly had me so angry and I feel like it might be triggering for people who have trouble with this kind of thing – so please be aware of this when you decide to pick this book up! And you can tell these comments have been going on for a while and that Catherine believes what her mother tells her (Cath’s mom calls her a walrus multiple times) later on during a different situation when Catherine wonders if she is too heavy to be lifted up.

unbenannt1I feel like Marissa always does really well with her cast of side characters and it was no different in this story. Cheshire our little gossiper of a cat, Hatta (I feel like I need to go back and re-read his scenes with an eye for detail soon) and everyone we meet at the tea party, Peter Peter who was so creepy and last but not least Mary Ann! I really enjoyed reading about her relationship with Catherine and seeing their dynamic play out. I almost forgot about Raven! I couldn’t quite figure out what my feelings about Raven were for the longest time (I feel like I almost automatically like anything to do with ravens since reading The Raven Cycle – even if this is a very different type of thing) and then there is the last third of the book and the ending especially.

Overall, I truly and fully enjoyed this story and Marissa definitely has made me curious about Wonderland and all of its characters. I feel like I should pick up more books set in Wonderland in the near future!

I gave this book a 4-star rating on Goodreads and couldn’t be happier with the first book I read in 2017! I was also trying to actually update my reading progress this time around and you can find all of my updates by clicking here!

Have you read Heartless by Marissa Meyer already? Or are you planning on reading it soon? If you’ve read it, please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Review: The Assasin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Say it loud! (8)Hey Everyone, here we are with another review! My first one on here so it’s kind of a special thing, don’t you think?

So, since I’ve been reading this book for a while now I decided to write an extensive review for it. This will not be entirely spoiler free. I really want to go in depth with this one because I want to talk about the content and the story. How everything that happened before the first book affects what happens later on.

Before I really start.. these are just my overall thoughts. I won’t be discussing actual events too much just briefly talking about characters we meet and certain events without giving too much away if you haven’t read this book yet.

The reason I decided to read this book before going into Empire of Storms is that there’s content in TAB that comes into play in EOS and I wanted to be prepared for that knowing everything before getting started with the latest book.

We meet new characters in this novella, at least they’re new to me because I didn’t know going into the Throne Of Glass series that there were novellas so I started reading this one after I finished Queen of Shadows. So for me it’s really cool getting to know what happened before Celaena started out in the first book of the series and also meeting the new characters.

From reading Throne Of Glass we know that Sam Cortland is a very important person in Celaena’s life and plays a lot into the kind of person she is and how the events of The Assasin’s Blade changed her. Particularly in this book we get to know more about their relationship and how they know each other. Obviously both of them work for Arobynn, their master. Them growing closer and slowly connecting in a way that they haven’t before really foreshadows their impending relationship. I really enjoyed their dynamic in this book. As I said knowing what happens further down the line makes me really feel and understand what Celaena is going through in the other books.

I also enjoyed getting to know Arobynn and the sort of person he is and how exactly Celaena ended up working for him and ultimately being indepted to him. Arobynn is a very interesting character. It’s this thing where you don’t know if you trust him or not. He’s quite unpredictable in that way.

Another highlight for me is Celaena’s and Ansel’s friendship. I really enjoyed reading their chapters – even when later on Ansel makes a decision that threatens to tear their friendship apart, Celaena doesn’t give up on her and gives her a second chance.

Last but not least Yrene also plays a big part in this book. I really enjoyed it when Celaena helped her in a tough situation and it’s this thing where these two women aren’t pitted against each other or put into competition with one another because nowadays that sadly does happen quite often. It shows that women don’t have to resent each other but instead can be encouraging and supportive. They have a really great moment in their chapters. I think people who haven’t read this book might really enjoy that.

Rating: 5 Stars. My overall thoughts about this book are fairly positive. I really enjoy Sarah’s writing in particular because the way she crafts a story is just so good.

Let me know your thoughts about this book! (If you read it). And if you haven’t read it yet tell me what you’re currently reading below in the comments. I’d love to find new books to read for my never ending TBR, haha. You know how it is.

 

#ThrowbackThursday: First Memorable Read

first memorable readThis thing you (yes, you reading this!) and I have going on here is still pretty new and we don’t know much about each other, so how about we change that? I’ve shared a little bit about myself in my very first post on this website, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, to be honest. Why don’t we dive in a little bit deeper and explore how I found my love for reading?

One of my earliest memories of myself reading is probably from when i was about 10(-ish) years old (I am terrible with remembering things from my childhood to be honest) and my sister, our cousin and I had been gifted this collection of classic fairytales and I remember looking through that book but never actually reading it. Back then I didn’t really care much about books and I did not take care of that book whatsoever. I don’t think it made it out alive.

51dkapf5aglFlash forward a couple of years and my godmother is over visiting us and she gives me this random book that I ended up absolutely loving and I read it so, so many times, it was falling apart (it was a hardcover too, just to give you some context as to how often I must have read that book). I have since looked it up on amazon a couple of times, thinking about buying and reading it again for nostalgic reasons. But at the same time I am really afraid that I just won’t love it as much as I did as a young teenager! And I don’t want to ruin that memory to be honest.

I just realized I wrote an entire paragraph about this book without giving you a synopsis, let me do that real quick!

This book follows Pia who is dealing with the impending death of her younger brother, her boyfriend Noah going abroad, her parents getting a divorce and having to go to a boarding school all at once. But Pia isn’t going to let these circumstances bring her down – she fights her way through it.

Sidenote: this book is apparently a companion to a German tv show, but I am 99% sure I never saw the show or knew it existed – maybe I should change that and watch the show!

To this day I remember certain little details about this story that will pop up here and there and I wonder how on earth I can remember scenes from a book I read over a decade and a half ago while having trouble remembering events from books I read last year. How does that work? You would think the more recent books would be at the front of my memories rather than the other way around.

But yes, this is the one book that I vividly remember sparking my interest and love for books that has lasted for more than a decade – even if it subsided in various degrees over that time span. In the end, I love books and reading so much – I keep coming back to it.

What is the first book you remember reading and loving? Which book sparked that fire in your love for books and reading? Let me know in the comments!