Saturday, April 30, 2016

SPOILER Review ||| Lady (ripped my heart out and tore it to shreds) Midnight by: Cassandra Clare


Lady Midnight by: Cassandra Clare

Series: (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Page Count: 668

Published: March 8th, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


<<<<<>>>>>


"In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?"


<<<<<>>>>>

I didn't originally plan to write a review on Lady Midnight. That is, until I read the last 100 pages...

I usually write spoiler free reviews but I feel like, since LM is an extension of previous shadowhunter stories, the book itself is a huge spoiler. You'll definitely be able to appreciate LM 10000 times more if  you've read Cassandra's previously released stories.

With that being said, let's get to the feels. 

As soon as I started LM I was laughing. (I was definitely laughing because it was crazy to me that I finally had the book after waiting FOREVER after reading COHF.) So the laughing had absolutely nothing to do with the story xD

But Anyways,

We start off in the Shadow market, which I'd love to know more about. It has a very cool, dark, magical vibe that I love.

We get our first glimpse of Emma, who I wasn't sold on immediately. I couldn't truly connect with her until later on when we get to see past the mask of confidence and she begins to appear as... human. Though, I do love Emma because of how badass she is. She very much reminds me of a female Jace. (Who I liked, for the most part, as a character.)

Throughout the course of the story the reader gets to visualize different destinations in LA, many of which are actually real. Something I love about Cassie's writing is that the worlds are always very vivid. I could see the LA institute clearly in my mind as if I lived there myself (I wish.)

Before we meet the Blackthorns we meet Christina, who is fabulous. I wish Christina was my friend, honestly. She's supportive, easy to talk to , and reasonable. She contrasted Emma's more outgoing personality, which made them the perfect duo. Throughout the book I wanted things to end happily for her, and pretty much everyone else. 

Then there's Julian. Julian, Julian, Julian. Something I admired about Julian was that he loved his family fiercely and with every fiber of his being. He was kind, gentle, yet extremely strong. I couldn't imagine having to take care of your family at age 12. AGE 12. I could barely make macaroni and cheese when I was 12, let alone take care of 4 other siblings. 

Speaking of Julian...
As soon as he started feeling things for Emma I was like, "Crap, no, stop. " except I was also like, "KISS HER YOU FOOL." As you can see I had some inner turmoil going on. 

I had super mixed feelings toward Emma and Julian's relationship. There's something about the guy friend becoming the bf in books that doesn't sit well with me. Sometime's I just want to see a girl have a guy friend that's JUST a guy friend. (Kind of like Clary and Simon minus their awkward romantic relationship in COA.) 
Yet, I couldn't help but root for them. They work so well together and they're perfect for each. Why did they have to become Parabatai all those years ago?! Why?!?!


But back to the plot:

I loved getting to see a more "fae involved" world. I've always loved the fae so getting to see more of them was fantastic. I liked that I was able to see more fae politics, and how things  ran in their world. (I'm definitely looking forward to a,  similarly, more fae involved world in the Last Hours.)

I really enjoyed Mark and Kieran, at least for a small while. I liked the fact that Mark had someone while he was away for all those years. Though, I definitely shipped him and Christina. But I also shipped Christina and Perfect Diego. (I can't help but ship everyone.)


But do I ship Mark and Emma? Cassie has something up her sleeve with them. Just judging by the last line where Mark says "Why lie?" to Emma about them falling in love. *Flails*

Taking it wayyy back, let's discuss Malcolm. 
I originally loved his character, up until his betrayal. He was fun and he cried at movies and he was just an overall awesome person. I have to admit that I felt betrayed when we find out that he's been betraying the Blackthorns. I kind of understand why he did what he did but his hatred for the Blackthorns is completely uncalled for. Especially since basically every one of the Blackthorns that is actually alive right now is not an adult. He's holding a grudge over children which is not okay! But neither is murdering people so...

I'm really interested to see how Annabel plays into the next book. In the epilogue she awakens? so it should be interesting to see how she affects everyone else's lives.

Overall if you've enjoyed the Shadowhunter world then you'll probably enjoy Lady Midnight. It's filled with magic, mystery, suspense, and forbidden love *sob*

Hopes for the sequel:
  • We see more fae! (I really do love what they bring to the world. Even if they're manipulative and horrible at some points.)
  • There's Emma and Jem bonding time (because why not?)
  • We get a Kit and Jace confrontation (all the tension)
  • Annabel Lee turns out to be normal and not at all out for revenge (*crosses fingers*)
  • The Mark, Emma, Julian situation isn't too unbearable (no it's going to be very unbearable for me and my fangirl self)

Favorite quotes:

"'Everyone has things they're afraid of...'"
"'It's part of being human.'"

"Heroes aren't always the ones who win. They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes."

"'...people will see what they want to see."

"We all feel the same things, only the shapes of our feelings are different."

"Lex Malla, lex nulla.
A bad law is no law."









Psssst!
I made a Lady Midnight Pinterest board which you can view here! 




Thanks for reading and have a lovely day! 
=D



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Discussion||| Joining the book community for the right reasons


{This is a post inspired by things I've been seeing during my time as a bookstagrammer/blogger.}

I think I've been wanting to write a blog post like this for a while. Most of you guys don't know this but I am someone who LOVES rants. I like to rant but I also love to hear other people rant, depending on subject matter. Ranting can be liberating at times. Rants are when you can get all the feels, usually feels that you've been holding in, out. 

Now as much as I love to rant, this post itself isn't truly a rant. I really just want to be able to discuss something that's been bothering me lately. 
So after that long intro let's get into things! 



Lately I've been seeing a lot of people that are wanting to become a part of the book community for one of two reasons.


To qualify to be a Rep of bookish merch (Owlcrate particularly in mind.)




"Free" books from publishers


Now it goes without saying that I encourage everyone to become a part of the book community. Everyone is super supportive and friendly and so much fun. BUT if you're trying to become a blogger/bookstagrammer just because you want free stuff then maybe the book community isn't for you. 

I'm not saying this because wanting to receive books from publishers, or wanting to become a bookish rep, is a bad thing. In fact, both of these things are perks of being a part of the community. However, you do have to work towards them. 

I've found that people that join the community just to get free stuff don't last that long. What happens is people get impatient. They begin to find out that you don't just get stuff handed to you because you have a blog, or whatever other platform you use. 

Being a blogger takes time and dedication. You really have to love books and you have to put in the time it takes to run a blog, which is no easy feat. (Well loving books is pretty easy, except not really because they continuously break your heart. But you know what I love them anyway.) 
Successful bloggers have had to work for their success for multiple years, generally. 

{Side note: Shops like Owlcrate will choose people to become reps who have a large following. In a situation where there's someone who has 1k followers versus someone with 80k followers, the person with 80k followers is more likely to become the rep. Same situation with publishers. Since reps are their to promote the company/publisher people with large followings are chosen since it is known that people with a large following will have more people viewing the book/product.}

So with that being said...


If you're a fellow book lover and you're interested in blogging/booktubing then try it out! Like I've said the book community is one of the most supportive online communities. If you're looking for someplace to get all the feels out then this is the place!




How do you feel about people joining the community just to get free stuff?

Thanks you for reading and have a lovely day!
=D

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Love for The Crown's Game


So the lovely Evelyn Skye is currently looking for a "major-general" for the Tsar's Guard. So of course I had to at least try to become the major-general, even if my chances of actually making it are pretty low xD

But some of you may ask, what is the Tsar's Guard?

Well, The Tsar's Guard is "an international army of pre-release fans of The Crown’s Game" as Evelyn describes it. I highly recommend signing up for the Tsar's Guard if you're excited for the release of The Crown's Game in May!
 ----> Sign up here!


Anyways....

I've decided that, starting Friday, I will be sharing one reason why I'm excited for The Crown's Game. Every. Single. Day. 
Yep, that's right. Every single day until it's release on the 17th of May I will be sharing TCG love, mainly on my Twitter: @bookandbrunette.

I'm SO excited for TCG and I hope that by sharing love I'll be able to convince even more people that this is a must read book! 


Finally, don't forget to add The Crown's Game on Goodreads here! 



TCG Month of love on Twitter:











Thank you so much for reading!
Have a lovely day.
=D




Friday, April 8, 2016

How to make your blogging experience "better"


So, I really didn't know how to word the title but here's the gist of what this post is about. I'm creating this post thinking of all the times blogging has felt like a chore to me, or when being on social media has felt like a chore. I'm going to be including some tips for bloggers so they can avoid feeling this way, since blogging is pretty great! I'll also be including some advice on just overall how you can make your blogging experience "better" (like the title says.)

So without further ado let's get into things!




#1. Don't force yourself to blog.

 This is one that might seem slightly obvious but it's so, so important. Forcing yourself to blog can result in some not-so-quality posts, which you don't particularly want. There's no shame in taking a hiatus! Everyone needs a break every once in a while and it helps a lot.


#2. Be interactive with other bloggers through Twitter!

  This is especially important if you're a little bit of a new blogger. Start conversations with other book bloggers! Not only is it a fun way to share your love of reading, but it's also a possible way you can bring more traffic to your blog.


#3. Don't feel like you have to interact with people online 24/7.

  This kind of goes along with number one. Socializing on Twitter can be great fun but only if you don't feel like you have to be their. People understand that you have other things to do outside of being a blogger. Your online friends from social media won't abandon you just because you don't reply immediately, or because you're not online for a few hours. 


#4. Remember that work/school comes first.

  Number four kind of ties into everything else. Work/school can be SUPER stressful, if you ask me. Blogging should be a way to escape the stress of everyday life, not something that makes you more stressed. If you're feeling stressed out by blogging then, once again, I suggest taking a hiatus. Please remember that your blog will still be here if you take a break, but other life-opportunities may not be. 



I hope this post was somewhat motivational/ helpful xD 
I wish everyone best of luck with their own blogging.


Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D



Thursday, April 7, 2016

March book haul


I don't usually show the books I've collected each month but my haul this month is so outrageously large this month that I couldn't help but share. 



Books collected: 25
Books bought: 2
From publishers: 2
Gifted: 2
Won: 19





The books shown above were all won through Twitter. I won the ARCs on the left from the lovely Brittany  (Brittany's Book Rambles) and I won the ARCs on the right from Alexa (Alexa Loves Books) Thank you ladies! 

On the left from top to bottom:

Shiny Broken Pieces// Red Velvet Crush// Christina Meredith || And I Darken// Kiersten White || Summer of Sloane// Erin L. Schneider || Unplugged// Donna Freitas || Mr. Fahrenheit// T. Michael Martin || Whisper to Me// Nick Lake || Wanderlost// Jen Malone || The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)// Traci Chee || The Outliers// Kimberly McCreight 


On the right from top to bottom:

Stonefield// Christy Lenzi || The Secrets of Flight // Maggie Leffler || A Week without Tuesday (Tuesday McGillycuddy #2)// Angelica Banks || The Smell of Other People's Houses// Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock || Kill the Boy Band// Goldy Moldavsky || Up to this Pointe// Jennifer Longo || This is the Story of you// Beth Kephart || The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend// Katarina Bivald || The Decent Proposal// Kemper Donovan




I received both Thirteen Reasons Why (by Jay Asher) & Me Before You (by: Jojo Moyes) in my Easter basket this year. I'd say it was a pretty good Easter ;) ... and I bought both Lady Midnight (by Cassandra Clare) & The Merciless (by Danielle Vega) for myself. Lady Midnight was a pre-order for me (you know, because it's Lady Midnight.) The Merciless was a spontaneous buy from Target...





I received these two beauties from publishers in exchange for an honest review. Both of these are now released so make sure to go check them out!











How many books did you get this month?

Thank for reading and have a lovely day!
=D


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: May Releases

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine


   It's been a wee bit since I've participated in this meme but I'm back today to share some May releases I'm excited for. I may have mentioned one or two of these before but... what's the harm in sharing more book love? ;)

So what books am I excited for?
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Keep scrolling...
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I'm super excited for all of these! Though, I think I'm definitely most excited for ACOMAF. (What's going to happen?!?!) Also, notice how all these covers are gorgeous (I'm looking at you The Problem with Forever...)




What books are you looking forward to?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D


Monday, April 4, 2016

Review ||| The Merciless by: Danielle Vega




Rating: 3.5/5

Series: Standalone

Page Count: 279

Published: June 12th, 2014

Publisher: Razorbill

>>>>>>>>>>


"Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .
 
In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?"


<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>


 The Merciless wasn't a planned read, it just kind of happened. I went into this book expecting to be a little freaked out. People were telling me that it was going to be gory, but of course I didn't take this to heart. Then I read it and, well....


It definitely didn't start out scary. The first little bit of the story was just our MC in a high school setting mixed with a few hints of what was to come. The popular group of girls that "adopts" Brooklyn into their friend group was... off. If I hadn't been sure that they weren't completely sane at the start of the book, I was definitely sure when they tried to give Brooklyn a christening in the school bathroom. (Hint: she was definitely almost drowned.) 

In between the normal and the full out crazy scenes with all the torture, there were scenes that were creepy. I personally love those scenes because they leave you wondering. Was that actually real? Or was that just Brooklyn's imagination?

Then there were of course the full out torture scenes. I'll admit that I had to look away from the book a few times. I was actually reading The Merciless at school and people asked me if I was okay, since I was probably cringing. Thinking about the torture made me cringe while typing this... Basically, the hundred or so pages of torture were vivid and Vega did an A+ job when it came to descriptions.

Though I do have to say, the ending was what really sold me on the book. The ending was pretty jaw-dropping, and of course very creepy. It was completely unexpected and I, of course, have to give the author credit for this.

But why did I only give this book a 3.5 stars?

Well, I wasn't blown away by most of the book. Torture isn't particularly my thing and I was kind of over it after fifty, blood-filled pages. The story didn't feel like it had much of a plot. The main parts of the story were focused on the kidnapping and torturing of a girl who is believed to be possessed. 
I also couldn't personally relate to any of the characters. Though, I think if you've had to move schools and you've had to go through the "making new friends" dilemma you could definitely relate to the mc in some ways. 

Overall, The Merciless was a fast-paced read that was pretty terrifying at some points.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy scenes of terror, violence, and suspense. 

Read if you've enjoyed Stephen King's novels.



Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D




Review|| A Court of Wings and Ruin (and lot's of cringe) by: Sarah J Maas

I don't usually like to review sequels because then the review can't truly be spoiler free (which is a huge bummer). BUT I ha...