Blogging Update

blogging updateSandra and I have been talking these past few days about where we want our blog to go in the next couple of months and we’ve decided to change things up a bit.

We have been posting pretty much daily for the past two months and while it’s been a lot of fun, it’s also a bit much to keep up. Especially if you have work and school like Sandra does! I am at home at the moment, dealing with some stuff so I have time to be online often and write content, blog hop and read but even then it’s kind of been bugging me a little bit.

We want to make sure that we continue to enjoy posting to this blog and reading and interacting with all of you guys. Starting Monday, we are going to be posting every other day. Which is going to result in alternating weeks of four and three posts per week, which we think we can definitely keep up and enjoy doing!

Over the past couple of months, we’ve done both Top 10 Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday posts and we definitely want to continue doing them, as they are a lot of fun to write and a great way of discovering new blogs to read (which is always a plus!) too.

The only other type of post that is going to continue weekly is our Down The TBR Hole posts – we will just alternate between posting them on a Sunday and a Saturday! We both really love doing them and it’s a great way to make sure that we actually look at our TBRs and make sure that we only have books we actually want to read on there!

Other than that, we want to try and continue bringing you guys a new review every other week. We both still have a lot of fun writing reviews and we definitely don’t want to stop doing them!

As for what else we’re going to post? We don’t want to plan that out too far ahead! We want to give ourselves the freedom to write what we feel like writing more often! We’ll continue doing tags and/or awards when people tag us, of course! And we’ll also continue with discussion posts – Sandra actually has some really fun ones planned for the future!

So yes, that’s everything for now! I hope you guys are on board with this change – some of you might actually be relieved not to see us pop up in your readers daily and sometimes even twice in one day. Though that is still going to happen from time to time on days when Sandra and I both want to post something (wrap-ups, book hauls, etc)!

If you guys have any requests for posts you would like to see us do, please let us know! And please wish us luck for the upcoming weeks as we make the switch! 😉

The Bookish Courtship Tag (Take 2)

bookish courtship agSandra recently did this tag and tagged me to do it too, so that’s what we’re doing today! From what I remember from reading her post, this is going to be a lot of fun!

INITIAL ATTRACTION: A book that you bought because of the cover

a thousand pieces of you

I feel like A Thousand Pieces Of You might’ve been mostly a cover buy and can you blame me? That cover is stunning. And the story was good too, luckily!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A book that you bought because of the summary

red-rising-cover

All of my books? I mean, I read every synopsis before I buy a book – even if it’s by an author I really like or if it’s been a book I’ve heard tons about. Or, as was the case with Red Rising, when I like the author as a person but want to get to know the writer too!

SWEET TALK: A book with great writing

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I was originally going to go with A Darker Shade Of Magic for this one, but then I saw the next question and decided to talk about a different book here instead! So, a book with great writing would definitely be any Marissa Meyer books! I loved her The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless too!

FIRST DATE: First book in a series that made you want to pick up the rest

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We’ll go with a recent book here: A Darker Shade Of Magic! I was honestly only about a hundred pages into this book when I decided to order the next two books too! That’s how good this book was and I definitely haven’t been disappointed by my decision so far!

LATE NIGHT PHONE CALLS: A book that kept you up all night

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Let’s go with A List Of Cages. A book I read in one sitting and also well into the night because I just really, really needed to know how things were going to play out. I needed to know if Julian and Adam would be alright.

ALWAYS ON MY MIND: A book you could not stop thinking about

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Again, I have a different book I want to use for this question, but I don’t want to repeat books here, so. A book that I also finished recently (but that has been on my mind before for months) is The Hate U Give. I think everyone needs to read this book and understand the events it’s based on.

GETTING PHYSICAL: A book which you love the way it makes you feel

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We’ve almost made it all the way through this list without mentioning a Sarah J Maas book! But that’s going to change now! For this question, we’ll go with A Court Of Mist And Fury! I love this book so much and I cannot wait to be reunited with it soon!

MEETING THE PARENTS: A book you would recommend to your friends and family 

city of bones

I keep trying to get both my sisters to read The Mortal Instruments but they won’t do it – partially because my copies are in English and neither of them wants to read in English. My youngest sister also isn’t really interested in this world. But my other sister is and actually watches the show too!

THINKING OF THE FUTURE: A book or series you know you will re-read in the future

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And if you think I would not mention The Infernal Devices in this list at all, you are wrong. I would have used this multiple times before, but no repeating, right? But yes, this is definitely a series I see myself reading over and over again in the future! I am actually itching to get back into this world already! I keep thinking about it lately! Hopefully soon!

There we go! This was really fun and I actually didn’t have as difficult a time as I thought I was going to have, huh! I hope you guys enjoyed this tag! Please feel free to do it yourselves and make sure to link your posts in the comments after! 

Review: A Conjuring Of Light by VE Schwab

review a conjuring of lightI can’t believe I am actually writing out this post for you guys tonight. I didn’t think I would finish A Conjuring Of Light as quickly as I ended up doing – about five days. I was trying to savor this book more. To read slowly and really take my time but things were constantly happening and I just couldn’t put it down. But, let’s talk more about that in the actual review, shall we?

A Conjuring Of Light is the third book in the Shades Of Magic Trilogy (I reviewed A Darker Shade Of Magic here and A Gathering Of Shadows here), so this review contains spoilers for the previous books. All I can tell you without spoiling you is: read this trilogy. The world is built so well. The magic system is awesome. The characters and their dynamics are everything I could have asked for and more! This is a must read for fantasy fans for sure!

Before we get into this review, you might wanna grab a drink and a snack! If this goes anything the way my previous review went, this is going to be a long one! I hope you don’t mind! 🙂

Plot

A Conjuring Of Light picks up shortly after A Gathering Of Shadows as we follow Lila into White London as she races to rescue and save both Kell and Rhy. Meanwhile, Osaron escaped into Red London and unfolds his plan to overtake the city and rule it as its new king. As Osaron’s power and reign spreads, our characters set off on a race to find something that is believed to be impossible – all to save Red London and its citizens.

The plot was definitely a lot more balanced in A Conjuring Of Light than it was in the first two books – things are constantly happening and the story steadily develops which I enjoyed a lot!

Overall, the plot kept me engaged and turning page after page! I also cried multiple times while reading this book – the first time about 50 pages into the story. The most heartbreaking cry was towards the end and I found myself shaking and sobbing loudly at about 4 AM.

Remember how I talked about how the stakes in the previous book weren’t high? Well, that definitely changed in this one! You could actually feel the dangers of the different situations and upcoming missions and I loved it!

Writing

Victoria Schwab’s writing continues to be really awesome and it definitely makes for a great reading experience! She also writes in a way that makes you really experience the characters emotions – be it pain or joy!

After finishing this trilogy I am also 100% convinced that I need to read all of Victoria’s books currently released and yet to be released! 

Characters

Before I get into more detailed notes about our main characters I just want to mention something that really bothered me while reading this book but that I also noticed in the previous books.

I’ve talked about the lack of female characters in this world in my previous review and then while reading A Conjuring Of Light it really bothered me how so many of the female characters we knew by name were killed off? It was usually done in a rather brutal manner too. A couple of men die too but it’s never described in as much detail as it was with the female characters. I really want to know why that is a thing happening in this trilogy. Has Victoria ever talked about this before?

Now that that’s put to paper, let’s talk about our main characters!

Lila continues to be a freaking badass woman who kicks some serious ass throughout this entire book! She is also not afraid to voice her opinion and to talk back when she needs to – king Maxim got some of that for sure and I was reading and cheering Lila for it! Because boy, did king Maxim deserve it!

We also continue to explore Lila’s magic and we see her use it more and test its limits of both her own magic but also the Antari magic itself! Lila also quite grew as a person in this book and I loved seeing her grow into the woman she became by the end of this trilogy. Remember how I said I wanted to be a pirate on Lila’s ship? Yeah, that is definitely still something I would love to do!

We have seen Rhy slowly grow into his role as future king in A Gathering Of Shadows and even more so in this book and I honestly fell so much more in love with him through it all! Rhy’s transformation and growth was so fascinating to see and I could have spent so much more time with him and see him in his role! 

Rhy was probably one of the characters who had me feel with them the most! I was cheering for him so much and then I was right there with him during the hard moments when he really showed the kind person he had become but also the kind of person he wanted to be. Rhy Maresh is a gift.

On top of all that, we also get to explore the way Rhy feels about magic and his lack of it. We get to join him as he finds ways to show his strength despite not having any magic of his own and that was truly inspiring!

I came to love Alucard quite quickly in A Gathering Of Shadows and my love just continued to grow in A Conjuring Of Light! Alucard had some really heartbreaking scenes throughout this entire book and my heart couldn’t handle it! I also really enjoyed learning more about his past and how his and Rhy’s relationship came to the point we picked up at in A Gathering Of Shadows!

King Maxim also finally played more of a role in this book, after basically being a background character for the past two books – the same goes for Queen Emira. It was interesting seeing his limited interactions with both his sons and how their relationships changed and grew.

And finally, we can’t forget about Kell! Kell who went through quite the arc during the course of this trilogy! The man he became by the end of this book is quite different to the man we first met in A Darker Shade Of Magic and it’s understandable that he’s different and changed and finally willing to be more selfish with his own needs and wants.

I also want to say something else: Victoria Schwab has such a talent for writing great character dynamics! I really and truly enjoyed reading about all of these different dynamics between the characters – no matter if in pairs of two (Kell and Alucard were hilarious to watch and Rhy and Kell are the best sibling dynamic I have come across in a while!) or as a group! Because let me tell you, scenes between Rhy, Kell, Alucard and Lila were always so much fun to read and I couldn’t get enough of them!

Pacing

I feel like the pacing of A Conjuring Of Light was done so much better than in the previous two books which resulted in the story flowing really nicely! The pacing in this one was everything I wanted the first two books to be. I felt like they needed much longer for things to actually start happening and for the story to develop.

Obviously, this book was much longer than especially the first one and while you could sometimes feel the length of the book, it never felt like it was too long!

Enjoyment

I really and truly loved this book and this entire trilogy so much! I felt with these characters so much. I felt their joy, their losses and their love for each other and I loved every second of it! I rooted so much for them and their world – even Holland.

I am really sad that this story has come to an end and that I don’t get to spend any more time with this lot! But I am also hopeful that we might still get more stories set in this world as quite a few things were still left open with the possibility for much more! And I definitely hope Victoria explore this world more in the future!

This book was hands down and without a doubt a 5-star read for me! I loved it so much and I was really satisfied with how this story wrapped up!

New Releases: April 2017

april releasesCan you guys believe that April is just a couple of days away? How did this even happen? How have three months just flown by like that? Does time move quicker the older you get? I swear, a year lasted so much longer when I was a teen (let’s not talk about how long ago that way, okay?).

But anyways, let’s get to talking about what you came here for: April 2017 releases! 

Release Date: April 4th

30312700Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately is marketed as a teen version of You’ve Got Mail (which I don’t think I’ve ever seen) but the synopsis sounds interesting and with the summer months fast approaching (I can’t even believe how much daylight we’ve been getting! Everything in me is jumping for joy right now) this sounds like the perfect read!

Bailey has been talking to a guy named Alex online for a couple of months by the time she moves in with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex. Bailey doesn’t tell Alex about any of this, though – who knows who Alex is in real life, right? Bailey spends her summer working at the town’s museum with a really hot security guard, Porter Roth. Who just so happens to actually be Alex (and no, I did not just spoil you. This is part of the synopsis).

Release Date: April 11th

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertallithe upside of unrequited

I was so excited to be able to read The Upside of Unrequited a few weeks early and actually talked more about how I felt about this book in my review!

Molly, a fat 17-year-old girl knows all about unrequited love. She’s had crushes on 26 boys but never told any of them. Cassie, Molly’s twin sister, thinks Molly needs to ‘woman up’ but Molly is afraid of rejection. After all, fat girls have to be careful! Enter Mina, Cassie’s new girlfriend who comes with a hipster sidekick who could be just the boy to give Molly her first kiss. Well, if there wasn’t Molly’s co-worker Reid.

32860355Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

When I first heard that there was going to be a book about Alexander Hamilton I freaked out. Seriously. It was embarrassing. I am a huge Hamilton fan and have been really into the soundtrack and I keep watching the same videos of the cast performing over and over again. It’s getting out of hand. BUT. Let’s get back on topic her! Alex and Eliza!

This book basically tells the story of Hamilton and Eliza from their meeting at the Schuyler’s grand ball and onward. If you are familiar with the musical, you probably know all about their story and don’t need much more information to want to read this book, right? Everyone else? Please do yourself the favor and listen to the soundtrack (and prepare yourself to be sucked into a Hamilton shaped hole)!

Literally by Lucy Keating30653879

The synopsis for Literally is just so intriguing and meta? Basically, the author writes about a girl, Annabell, who has been living the perfect life. Next thing we know, Lucy Keating (the author in the novel) announces she’s writing a new book – and Annabell is the heroine! Unfortunately, Annabell is tired of living a life where everything is plotted out for her. But will Annabell be able to find a way to write her own story or will Lucy Keating win?

To be honest, when I first read the synopsis I was a bit confused and it took me a few careful and slow re-reads to understand what was going on – but then I was hooked! Doesn’t that just sound like such a fun read? I know I’m excited for this one!

And there we have it! Four April 2017 releases that I am really excited about and can’t wait to read within the next couple of months! Next month I get to talk about two books I am super excited about (I’ll let you guys guess 😉 )!

What are some April releases that you’re really excited about?

As I was writing this post, I realized that I only had books for the first two weeks of the month and unfortunately nothing else really sparked my interest, but if you know of more books – let me know!

eARC Review: The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

review upside of unrequitedThe Upside Of Unrequited, the sophomore novel by author Becky Albertalli, introduces us to Molly, a twin and chubby girl who has never had a boyfriend before. But things change when her twin sister Cassie meets Mina, a Korean-American girl.

Because Mina? She introduces Will into Molly’s world. Will isn’t the only boy who enters Molly’s world, though. There’s also Reid, whose parents own the shop were Molly is working for the summer.

As the summer progresses, feelings start developing and things get complicated on more than one front.

Plot

I thought The Upside Of Unrequited was a nice story about how falling in love and starting a new relationship can change your existing relationships with the people closest to you. And while I did enjoy reading this book (I actually finished it in one sitting one night), I don’t feel like there was a lot happening throughout.

We join our cast of characters at various parties throughout the story, we join Molly at her summer job where she spends time with Reid and then finally we have the wedding. And that’s really all that happens plot-wise and that’s not enough for me, to be honest.

Writing

Becky Albertalli has a writing style that makes it easy to follow along with her story and definitely factors into how much you end up enjoying this novel. And while I did like the first person point of view that the author chose for this book it also made it difficult to get to know the other characters more – they felt really flat to me.

One thing I really enjoyed about the way this particular book was written is the fact that at times it felt like Molly was speaking directly to me as a reader which isn’t something I have come across often in the books I’ve read up until now.

Characters

As I just mentioned, I don’t think we got a chance to really get to know most of the characters apart from what Molly was telling us which was obviously tainted by Molly’s feelings about them and wasn’t from a neutral point of view – I would’ve preferred that at times. Cassie was usually busy being Mina’s girlfriend and neither Will nor Reid got developed much as characters which ultimately lead to me not caring about who Molly would ultimately end up with.

The one character I did feel we got to know well enough was Molly, which is a given since she was the narrator of this story and we were inside her head. And I have to say I often found myself nodding along to a lot of the things Molly was thinking about herself, her body and what it would be like to be with someone. My teenage self was full of all of those thoughts too.

In a way, it was really interesting to be reintroduced to all of those thoughts and compare that to how I am feeling about those things nowadays.

Something else I want to mention in relation to the characters in this story is the diversity that is a natural part of the story. We see characters of different sexualities, races, religious beliefs and a character with mental health issues and as far as I can tell, Becky Albertalli dealt with them appropriately.

Enjoyment

I did really enjoy reading The Upside Of Unrequited! It was a light-hearted and sweet story that at times actually had me laughing out loud and definitely kept me entertained the whole way through!

As I was reading this book I did realize that I may not be the right audience for this book, considering I’m in my late 20s already. But while my age might be off, I could still see myself in the character as we share other aspects.

Had I read this book in my late teens, I would have definitely enjoyed this a lot more. But I am glad that I read it now. I have experiences now that I didn’t have then and my mindset about my body and the way I view it has changed and I am very grateful for that.

Taking everything into consideration, I ended up giving this book a 3-star rating! 

Release

The Upside Of Unrequited releases on April 11th! 

I received an e-ARC from Penguin Random House UK Children’s through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

Down The TBR Hole #4

Down The TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia over at Lost In A Story and this is my fourth week participating!

Before we jump into this week’s post I just wanted to clarify something about my TBR as I confused myself about it last week. I have two separate shelves for books I want to read in the future: my TBR Shelf and my Not Yet Released Shelf. Once a book is released, it moves on to my TBR Shelf which means that my TBR continues to grow even when I take books off it. So yes, I just wanted to let you guys know about this. 🙂

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Book #1: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Up first this week we have The Diviners! I haven’t read a single Libba Bray book yet and this does sound interesting (again with the New York setting) and it’s taking place in a time period I haven’t read much or anything about. So, let’s keep this!

Book #2: World After Susan Ee

World After (book #2 in the Penryn & the End Of Days trilogy) is one I am not entirely sure about, to be honest. From my rating of the first book I seemed to have enjoyed it and I haven’t really read a book about angels since finishing Angelfall – so it might be time to change that. For the time being, this stays too!

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Book #3: Ruby Red by Kersten Gier

Ruby Red doesn’t sound particularly interesting to me anymore, so this one is definitely going! 

Book #4: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Nope. Eleanor & Park doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy at this point in my life. I don’t think ‘star-crossed sixteen-year-olds’ is something I am interested in reading anymore. This is going off my TBR.

Book #5: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Another Rainbow Rowell book! I must really have been looking at her works when I was adding these two to my TBR. And Attachments again doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy and actually kind of creepy? This is going off my TBR!

There we have it! Another week of looking at my TBR and deciding what should stay and what should go. And to be honest with you guys? After I had finished the first two books I thought I wouldn’t kick anything off my TBR this week and then the next three books just didn’t spark my interest anymore. Huh. Did not see that coming!

Have you guys read any of these books? Do you agree with my choices this week? Let’s talk about it in the comments! Also, if any of these authors have books I should absolutely check out, let me know too! 

Down the TBR hole #3

part 3

This is the third week I’m doing this meme that is hosted by Lia over at imaginaryplacesonpaper (Swetlana is one ahead of me) and it’s been so much fun! So here we go another time 🙂

girlofmidnight vs red queen

  • The Girl of Midnight by Melissa Grey has a very interesting premise with magic, mythical creatures, and kingdoms. But reading the synopsis now I’m not sold so – bye! Sorry, Melissa.
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has been surrounded by a lot of hype and attention and I really like the idea of the Story which talks about the concept of purity of blood vs impurity. This one is staying!

 

conspiracy vs painted sky

  • The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall is about a girl named Avery who is chosen for this great destiny (which reminds me of The Mortal Instruments with Clary Fray) which is a rather common storyline these days but I’m very curious so it’s staying.
  • Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee is a story about preservence, friendship, and survival. That cover is beautiful too. It’s also written by a chinese-american woman so that’s great! I’m keeping it for the time being!

 

fairest vs train

  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer is a novella about the evil Queen Levana who reigns over her planet Luna (essentially being the Moon). This one definitely has to stay on my TBR because I’m currently reading Winter and I want to read every book in this series including Novellas. But that’s not the only reason. I just want to know what’s going through her mind, what makes her tick, why she’s so evil.
  • The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins has been adapted into a movie which is quite cool! But right now I have no desire to pick it up. Sorry!

That’s it for this week! I have reduced my TBR yet by another two books. Any progress is good progress is what I always say. Have you read any of these books? Or are you planning to read one of them soon?