Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Never Never by Brianna Shrum!!

Hello there guys!!

Friday is here! And since I am on vacation I kinda needed the reminder because days kinda run into each other and I'm not sure what day of the week they are anymore!

I don't have any big plans for this weekend other than reading and packing for my London trip that starts on Monday!

As this week's Friday Reads I have a review of an ARC that is one of the few new books I read during September (which also means that I'm quite behind on my ARCs reading...) and since it's also a retelling of Peter Pan debut, it counts towards my 2015 Debut Author Challenge!

Never NeverNever Never by Brianna Shrum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew it... I knew the ending would destroy me. Brianna did a wonderful job of giving a new life to both Peter Pan and James Hook and gave a villain a story worth of being his own hero. *goes to stuff herself silly with cookies now*

This book had been in my wish list as one of the debuts to keep in mind, and after my very talented friend Sarah made her book trailer  SEE HERE and then I got super excited and requested it from NG as soon as I saw it there! Thank you so much to Spencer Hill Press for approving me!

Never Never is a fascinating story with a voice that change and progresses as the story does and grows as James does. The writing is very visual and it wraps you into the story with ease. Sometimes I was a bit confused because it seemed we switched from first person to third person for small periods of time and that was a bit disconcerting, but served also as a way to enhance the storytelling quality of the story.

Retellings aren't exactly my favourite thing to read, but when they are done from a different POV and even more if the POV is from the villain of the story... I'm all in! And Never Never succeeded in giving us a new perspective on not just James Hook but the entire Neverland story and of course, Peter Pan!

I've never read the original story (I know, I know...) so my only Peter Pan knowledge comes from two movies: the Disney version and Hook with a grown up Peter. Now reading Never Never made me think of how we sometimes lighten up tales that were darker in origin and I wonder if the original story also had this darker undertones.

Peter is an intriguing character, a forever child, one that has not grown to learn compassion or empathy and that is selfish and egotistical and doesn't see further that his own wants and needs. Even with a certain selective memory to forget what he doesn't like and no remorse for his choices. I feel like he is a mix of the worse qualities from a toddler and teenager mixed together!

We meet James Hook as a child and one that doesn't want to remain a child but wants to grow up, so him going to Neverland seemed like a bit of a doomed choice, one destined for unhappiness. He is fascinated by Peter Pan but he is never a Lost Boy, so he finds himself growing apart from Peter & the boy and growing up into a pirate, with an unhappy heart full of resentment.

He's not exactly the hero nor the villain of his own story, not really. He hates Peter Pan and not without reason, but he finds himself in a position with very limited choices and he doesn't always make the best ones either. He's such a nuanced character, full of hate, love, longing and remorse.

Tiger Lily is a much more present character that I ever saw in the movies and so glad of it, because she's a very strong female character that also has to make some really hard choices. Some that would even touch on the clash between destiny, purpose and free will.

The ending of the book can't be considered a surprise, given how it follows the original story, but after everything that we went through in the book it does pack quite the emotional punch!

A very much deserving 4 stars for this stunning debut! Looking forward to reading more from Brianna Shrum for sure!

View all my reviews

And because I've kinda liked the idea of adding a song that matches the feel of the book or makes me think of one of the characters, I will add a song that has very much the same emotional vibe for me, specially the ending of the book!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello October, you're looking good this year!

Hello guys!!

Today is a bit of random post since I don't usually do recaps for months or even a TBR goal for the month, whenever I try I always end up failing massively at reading those particular books.

And this is not a recap, not really, it's mostly a mash up of random stuff that is going through my head today and also triggered by a mention that appeared on my Twitter when I checked it this morning.

It was an extremely positive mention, because I was asked for a follow back by a fellow blogger and was called a #BloggerGoal along with a few other amazing bloggers that create such unique and amazing content and that are both inspiring and a lil intimidating (not them really because they're uber nice) but their blogs and content.

My blog is just my own little nook & corner of the internet where I share my love & support for books, and except for my Ink & Batter feature (that I seriously need to bring back and soon, I'm itching to bake book inspired cupcakes AGAIN!) I don't feel that I do anything so special to really inspire or be considered an example or goal? So yeah, right now I'm a bit baffled and quite a lot floored and honoured!

Now onto other bloggy and bookish things. September was not the most successful month of reading ever, since I only managed to read 5 new books, 2 novellas and I re-read 3 books (on the one side, YAY 3 re-reads, I'm finally allowing myself re-reading books and that's quite awesome) but 10 books total in a month? For a fast reader like me that's quite pitiful, but I blame the massive book hangovers 3 of the books and one of the re-reads gave me!

And with such a pitiful amount of books is no surprise that I failed my September is for Sequels challenge and quite catastrophically at that! I only read 1 book for it, and it wasn't even one of the books in my goals...

On other more happy and positive news, it's October! Autumn is here, I am a year older (since I am a late September baby) and the suffocating heat of the summer is gone! And October is one of my fave months of the year because HALLOWEEN!!

And this year it is even more special because the amazing Shelly from Read Sleep Repeat has organized a fantastic October Month of Diversity event!!

I will be contributing with a guest post and book recommendations (that I still need to write, hopefully today or tomorrow at the latest, sorry Shelly, I suck, I know!!) but I'm really looking forward to see what all Shelly has planned! Many amazing posts and books I'm sure!

And because of October being the month of all things spooky and the celebration/reminder of diversity, I plan to focus my reading on that. My not-really-but-sort-of tentative TBR pile will be made of both spooky books and diverse books!

As far as life goes, I'm right now on vacation, with cleaning to do in my new apartment (not keen on it, but life as an adult is hard sometimes) and also quite rewarding trips!
Next week I'm going to London for 4 days with my younger nephew (he's 20, so it's not like I'm babysitting him!) and we'll be visiting the Sherlock Holmes museum, Stonehedge and the Harry Potter studios! Very exciting!
And a lil after that I'm going on a trip to Copenhangen with Paula Stokes! She wants to get inspiration for her next book and I wanted to go somewhere I hadn't been to yet, so we'll be touristing around and generally be silly.

How was your September? I hope that you had a better reading month than mine, at least in numbers? Any particular books you're excited to read in October?? Tell me!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

It's a Manic Monday: It's MY Birthday Giveaway!!!

Hellooooo there guys!!

I might be a lil too happy for it being a Monday BUT it's MY birthday!! And even if I'm getting rather old already! (I can't believe I'm turning 35!!, I wish I could have got stuck at 28, I loved being 28) it's a day to celebrate and to do whatever the heck I want!

And because of that, I'm gonna be hosting a giveaway that will last the whole week here in my blog and another one in my Twitter!

As an unrepentant bookwyrm there's no better way to celebrate my birthday than with books (and of course cupcakes!!). I wish I had a bit more time to have organized a lil bit more of a celebration of my birthday, but with my regular work and all the work that is still to be done in my apartment... I just didn't have the energy!

 This year was a recovery year for me, and I think I'm fully recovered yet but I'm getting much much better and I have so many amazing things that happened to me, so I gotta count it as a win!

- I attended BEA and got the most awesome roomies ever (I love you Britt, Becs and Sarah!!), and also got to meet and hang out with other amazing bloggers that I loooove and that I cannot wait to meet again next year!! ( Cassi, Octavia, Nikki, Christina, Cristina, Melissa!!).

And of course meeting so many amazing authors and getting books signed and getting some brilliant early ARCs and well, it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

And BEA is relevant to this giveaway because what I'm giving away is a preorder or copy of one of my top 5 books from BEA that I've read so far!

And which one are those books you might ask? Here they are:

- Fall Out by Gwenda Bond

- Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

- Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

The 5 books are all 5 stars for me and I can highly recommend them all, so they lucky winner will choose one of these! The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY since the book will be ordered via The Book Depository!  (Obviously if the book is not released, I'll be preordering the book at TBD for you!).

I will be checking the entries, so no cheating dears, I'm in a celebratory mood but I don't like cheaters, so don't get cheeky!

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Best of luck everyone! I'll have a busy day having lunch with the parentals, spending time with a friend in the afternoon and having my nephews over for dinner! Oh boy, I think I need a cupcake now!

Have a great Monday and Happy birthday to me! ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Songs & Pages: #TLCReadAlong: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer!!

Hello guys!

Today I'm a mixed up sort of post since I was feeling quite unmotivated to write yet another review... so I got an idea for this post!

It's a mix of my usual Saturday posts, Saturday Song and Saturday Pages! I'll have a mini review of my re-read of Scarlet for the #TLCReadAlong and also a few songs that made me think of the characters!

To begin with, I'm sharing a song that I feel it's perfect for these amazing retellings, because they are familiar versions of a Once Upon a Time story but they're amazing stories on their own! (and I LOVE this song from the Maleficent movie!).

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

I remember being rather unhappy about how the focus in the book kept changing from Cinder to Scarlet the first time I read the book, before I realized that was how the series was, both consecutive/sequel like books but also with different main characters (and couples) at the head of each book, adding to the cast and the team, making the world richer and the plot even more complex!

So this time around I was ready to read again about Scarlet and Wolf with a different mindset and I found myself liking Wolf almost from the get go, and getting to warm up to Scarlet so much easily too! She's got quite a temper and I feel like teen-Pili would have related with her throwing tomatoes at the wall so much!

I have once again realized that I had forgotten quite a few details but holy cow! I totally had forgotten about some bigger things that I cannot mention because SPOILERS but damn, I'm so glad I re-read this before Winter! 

I also found that I had a few more issues with how Scarlet and Wolf's relationship progress, mostly in the time frame it takes place... somehow I don't think I felt it went too fast as much as I did this time. I can understand that for Wolf it is more of a primal thing, an Alpha finding his mate, but for Scarlet? Even after knowing what I know about her... it doesn't make the same sense for me. But by the end of the book I'm once again totally onboard with the ship and I find them so adorableee!!

Dear Captain Thorne, I had forgotten how conceited and irritating he read from Cinder's POV, since I got used to him being a lil different and seeing him way differently from Cress' POV! But I liked how he quite quickly became an ally for Cinder and how he and Iko ganged up on Cinder whenever Kai is involved!

And now for some more songs!

This Florence +  The Machine song is perfect for the relationship between Scarlet & Wolf, given how primal and visceral it feels at times!

This Metallica song is perfect for Wolf, even if it might refer to shape-shift at some point, the title is quite on point!


I had the harderst time finding the right song for Scarlet, because she's such a firecracker and strong character... And I think this one is pretty accurate after all! If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

And last but for sure not least I found this song that I'd say would be the perfect fir for Queen Levana! Found it while I was looking for the right song for Scarlet!!

Do you guys have any other songs that make you think of The Lunar Chronicles or any of the characters? I have a few ideas for Cress!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Reads: Ungodly by Kendare Blake!!!

Hey guys!

It's Friday! And although I work this weekend, since it's just 3 days till my vacation time, I'm truly in the mood for celebrating Friday, even if I have to work it!

For this week's Friday Reads I have one hell of an awesome book, the final one in an awesome series! I'm a bit sad that there's no more in the Goddess War trilogy but I'm really looking forward to next book and series by the author, so it's all good!

Since it is all about Greek Mythology it counts towards my 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge and since it's the last one in a series, I'm gonna count it towards my September is for Sequels challenge (because I am seriously failing that challenge! September has been a slow reading month for sure!).

Ungodly (Goddess War, #3)Ungodly by Kendare Blake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic final book for this trilogy! As action filled and creepy and gory as the other two, or maybe a lil more! Kendare Blake doesn't pull any punches, so prepare yourself for a wild ride!

With the evil cliffhanger ending that we were left after Mortal Gods, the trepidation of what might happen in this one was real, so much that I read a sampler with the 10 first chapters because I NEEDED TO KNOW!

I will do my best to be as spoiler free for the whole series and this book in particular as possible, but I'm not sure how well I'll do about previous books in the series spoilers. If you haven't started the series read on at your own risk, and really... go and read the books now!

We follow three different story paths at the beginning of the book, and as usual Cassandra was the one I had more issues relating to, she's so angry and so irrational AND seriously so angry and out of control... But as this book progressed I felt like I could understand her better and not being so rubbed the wrong way.

Athena has been my fave character I'm pretty sure throughout the whole series (although dear Andie and Hermes are also firm candidates in the top 3 of favourites) and I really liked how her character development worked in this book. She's found herself in a very vulnerable position she would have never expected herself to be, and dealing with her possible mortality has been a severe kick in the arse!

Kendare's writing is as visual and compelling as always. She doesn't shy away of the blood and gore, and I think she might have kicked it up a notch in this final book. I kept on fearing for all the characters because you cannot be sure about who will survive by the end of the day, or how they will survive!

There were certainly quite a few plot twists and turns in the story that I was NOT expecting and even how they played out ended up being unexpected! Some things I think I should have seen coming but I didn't and in that respect I was at the same level of the characters!

We get some new characters, quite fascinating all of them, some more than others of course and we see some of the old ones with new eyes. Unexpected allies and gods changing sides, unexpected deaths and near deaths and not deaths! Battles and shields and fevers and shears... You'll keep on turning the pages waiting for the other shoe to drop... and boy, do they drop!

After that shocker of an ending I was extremely happy for the epilogue that we get! We don't get all the answers but we have enough closure to be satisfied!

Very well deserved 5 stars to this final book in the trilogy that cements Kendare Blake as an auto-buy author for me!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Walk On Eath A Stranger Release Day Blitz!!

Hello there guys!! Today is release day for  WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson, and I'm super pleased to take part on the celebrain that includes an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new series by Rae Carson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About The Book:


Pub. Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages : 448

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. 

Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? 

Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar
fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Read chapter 1 of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER annotated by Rae Carson HERE!

About the author:

Rae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Her next book, Walk On Earth A
Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015. She lives in Arizona with her husband.


1 winner will receive a set of the 3 GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US Only.

Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!!!

Hello there!

Today I had to get up earlier than planned because the carpenters were coming home to fix up the last thing that was pending in my house, and now that is done so hooray! Now it's just getting the rest of the furniture, sorting more stuff and unpacking things... A few months still of work, I think, but very much worth it!

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I have one of my BEA ARCs for review, one that I simply adored and I'm itching to re-read and that was full of diverse characters, so it'll be counting towards my 105 Challenge in the diverse category!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had been silly enough to start reading the first 3 chapters as FierceReads started sharing them and I was left wanting so much more (will I ever learn not go for excerpt? I don't think so!) so very soon after I returned from BEA with this amazing ARC (signed!) I caved in and read it.

I had loved The Grisha trilogy very much, but I must confess that I love this one even more! I was captivated since page 1, wondering about what was going on and how will these characters that you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley were going to be involved in a heist.

The beginning of the book reminded me a bit of the start of Ocean's Eleven, since we meet and gather our team of dangerous outcasts, recruiting and rescuing when there's need for it.

Six of Crows was a multiple POV book done right. All the different POV voices were distinctive, relevant and captivating. My favourite character has to be Inej, but my favourite chapters have to be Kaz's, because his story was such a mystery and he's such a fascinating character! You would never consider him a good guy, but he is a multifaceted characters with so many layers and grey areas that I was so drawn to him!

The basic plot is essentially assemble team of dangerous outcasts with special abilities to do the impossible and get something from an impregnable somewhere at the time where it'd be harder to do. But this plot done right is one that has you turning pages like there's no tomorrow! And Leigh Bardugo really did it right!

The alternating POVs worked great for it because you never have all the information, the only one that does is Kaz and he isn't exactly forthcoming or inclined to share it all with either his teammates or us readers, because he is a character with so many secrets! And that reluctace on sharing does gain us (and the others) more than one near heart attack with changes of plan, betrayals that might or might not be real and unexpected tanks (yes, you read right, tanks... you'll know what I mean when you read it).

Even though if romance is not a priority or even a side plot (well, maybe there's one exception) for this book, I ended up shipping quite a lot of ships SO VERY MUCH!! I will not say more because discovering those ships was also part of the experience but one in particular gave me all the feels and I just cannot!!

A wonderfully diverse cast of characters that are all in shades of grey, not really evil, but not what you'd easily qualify as the good guys, with a plot full of surprises, pacing done perfectly, with slow moments and heart stopping moments, full of ships to ship that won't take off from the character development or the plot development and a cliffhanger ending that has me begging for the sequel... this is my favourite Leigh Bardugo book to date!

Very much deserved 5 stars to this one and I'm just dying to re-read my finished copy as soon as it arrives in the mail!

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Pages: DNF Review for Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman.

Hello there guys!

Happy weekend! I hope you guys are having a great weekend, all I'm hoping is for a pair of quiet shifts at work, because at least I have awesome co-workers for the weekend!

For today's Saturday Pages I have a DNF review... I have a hard time not finishing books, but I'm learning to let go of those that really don't grab me enough, so I can focus on the next one that I might just LOVE!

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1)

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancĂ©e, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series

DNF Review:

I was quite excited to read this one because Alexander the Great is quite a favourite historical character of mine, and the Alexandros series by Valerio Massimo Manfredi is one of my favourite historical fiction series! 

That one is NOT YA and this book is, and I hope that I was not drawing unconscious comparisons mentally while reading, because that wouldn't have been fair to the book... 

I read till 48% of the book, stopped... and didn't feel like getting back to it at all. I sort of wanted to know what happened, but I just didn't want to grab the book again AT ALL. And that's a sign that I needed to DNF for sure.

My first issue with the book was the multiple POVs. I don't always enjoy multiple POVs, but there are books that I've loved to bits and the different POVs have not been a hindrance for the plot or the storytelling, but here... we jumped from one POV to the next with very little information about what would tie them all together, or where the story was going. And when we did, we got the information repeated in various POVs...  And by halfway through the book I wasn't sure of the relevance of some of the POVs to the story overall... Somehow I barely cared about the different characters and I didn't find them compelling.

The plot... we get too many unsubtle hints about some things and at the same time, we have no idea why the different POVs matter or how they will combine to form a coherent plot... 

I liked that it seemed to be a mix of historical fiction and fantasy, but the writing and the character progresion (or lack thereof) really were off putting for me. I just didn't care enough!

So, if I had to sum up my review for this book in one word and the reason why I DNFed it?: MEH!

Now, for something different I leave you with Iron Maiden's Alexander The Great! An epic song that tells the whole story much better than this book would in about 8 minutes!