Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Pages: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen!!

Happy Saturday guys!

Today I'm happy to share a new review for this week's Saturday Pages, and one book I got thanks to the giveaway I won from Rachel from Fiktshun on the Review Pile Challenge December giveaway.

It was one of the books in my Alyssa Recommends list and after reading Layla's review for it on The Midnight Garden, Wendy's recommendation, I finally decided to give it a try despite the previous mixed reviews from my bloggy canaries, so it is my January AR book!

And since I made the Alyssa Recommends books one of my categories in the 105 Challenge, this one is the first one for that category!

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I was utterly intrigued about since I saw the summary, but given the mixed reviews from many of my canaries, some very positive and other very negative, so I just couldn't decide whether to read it or not.

Then I saw another review that simply made me excited for it, won a giveaway and decided to choose this one as one of the books, and not only that, this was also one of my Alyssa Recommends books!

As soon as I started this book I realized that I was intrigued and within the first two chapters I was well and truly hooked. Kelsea was a character that I couldn't help both frowning at and rooting for her all through the book. She had self esteem issues which were complex and well developed, she was taught to rely on her brain and not to care about her physical looks, but she still wishes she was more like her mother, the beautiful Queen. But her will to do what's right, to try and fight for her people and then her absolute love for books completely conquered me!

The world building was both intriguing and maddening, we get hints and pieces of history before each chapter and we get snippets of information now and then, but it's like working ona gigantic puzzle being given the right pieces but not knowing what the final image will look like. We are given enough information to know that there's certain dystopian-ness to it, but it's also very clearly fantasy, so it seems like a very interesting mix of genres.

Kelsea was hidden for most of her life, knowing she had to train to become a queen when the time came but she was kept in the dark about her mother's past, the current going-on's in the kingdom and even her own parentage. Then her Queen's Guard arrive to take her to be crowned, if she can survive that long. And there starts the adventure, with attacks on her life, trying to prove herself worthy of being called Queen, and discovering that she can have unexpected allies, like a half Mort woman that will become her Seer and the Father of Thieves and the Queen's Guard, not only by duty to the institution but to herself as Queen.

There's murder, betrayal, abuse, missuse of power and a wonderful analysis of the need for religion and how history seems to repeat itself, with or without our knowledge of said history. A fantastic and fascinating book that I enjoyed loads, very much deserving of 4 to 4.5 stars. Now I cannot wait to find out more in the sequel!!

View all my reviews

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Reads: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt!!

Hello there guys!

It's Friday and I have the day off and the weekend off!! *does happy dance*

To celebrate the long weekend off I'm having my review of Tuck Everlasting for Friday Reads, since I'm very happy to continue taking part of the Classic MG & YA challenge from The Midnight Garden ladies and their readalong and discussion!

Tuck EverlastingTuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had not read or even heard of this book before it was chosen as part of The Midnight Garden's Classic MG & YA Challenge for January. After that I started seeing more about it everywhere given that its 40th anniversary was coming.

I had planned to start reading the book last night at work, but I ended reading it start to finish. It was a fast and endearing read, but also one with plenty of food for thought.

This is the story of Winnie Foster and the Tucks and the choice of what to do to defend what you think was right. And also what would your choice be if you had immortality within your grasp? We see almost everything develop from Winnie's POV, although we also get a few other POVs.

Winnie is an only child that feels smothered at her house and one morning decides to go on a small adventure that turns into the biggest adventure of her life. One that gets her to meet a most interesting family, the Tucks, and that makes her grow quite a bit in a lil over 24 hours, making her change her opinions about the world and what she thought she wanted.

I found really sweet how the Tucks dealt with their immortality, each one of them in a different way, but how none of them were turned into something different by greed or ambition, they remained essentially who they were, even if not all were unhappy about their unlimited time.

Winnie showed a certain amount of both childish choice and wisdom beyond her years. Her toad was her first friend outside the house, the one that made her take a step outside and into a larger world, and she wanted to make sure her friend was safe. That way she once again gave power to someone/something that was not likely to misuse it!

This is one of those books that can be read by children and adults alike, and that will provide food for thought for both and that can spark many interesting debates and conversations. Very well deserved 4 stars to this one!

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sorteo (Giveaway!) de Una Noche Oscura en París de Page Morgan!!

Hello guys! Buenos días!

Today I'm having my first bilingual post in the blog!

When Page Morgan contacted me to see if I'd be interested to host a giveaway for my Spanish followers for a copy of her first book, The Beautiful And The Cursed, that has finally come out in Spanish, I was super excited to say YES! Not only I loved the book when I read it, but the Spanish edition is gorgeous!

Here you can see a photo of my friend Gema posing with her copy of Noche Oscura en Paris!

Hoy es mi primera entrada bilingüe en el blog!

Cuando Page Morgan se puso en contacto conmigo para ver si me gustaría tener un sorteo en mi blog para una edición en español del primer libro de su trilogía, Noche Oscura En París, por supuesto dije que sí! No sólo me encantó el libro cuando lo leí, sino que además la edición española es preciosa!

Aquí podéis ver a mi amiga Gema con su copia de Noche Oscura En París!

But before we get to the rafflecopter giveaway, let me tell you a bit more about the book and the author!

Pero antes de que lleguemos a la parte del sorteo rafflecopter, dejadme que os presente el libro y a la autora!

Noche Oscura En París de Page Morgan

Una serie de extrañas desapariciones sacuden París y sólo dos hermanas tendrán la clave para esclarecer el misterio...

Las hermanas Ingrid y Gabby y su madre, Charlotte, han decidido dejar Inglaterra para abrir una galería de arte en París, y planean trasladarse a la mansión en la que el hermano gemelo de Ingrid está viviendo desde hace meses. Cuando llegan a la dirección indicada se encuentran ante una abadía centenaría y decrépita y descubren que su dueño ha desaparecido. Según les cuenta Luc, el atractivo mayordomo, la de su hermano es la última de una serie de extrañas desapariciones que han conmocionado a la ciudad de París. Lo mejor, les advierte, de que nunca salgan de casa después de la puesta de sol. Pero las tres mujeres no tardarán en ponerse a investigar por su cuenta...

 Soy Page Morgan, la autora de Noche Oscura En París, una novela juvenil sobre dos hermanas que, en su misión de encontrar a su hermano desaparecido, descubren un mundo oculto de gargolas y demonios en la ciudad de París.

Vivo en Nueva Inglaterra con mi marido y nuestros tres hijos. Acepto regalos virtuales de café, chocolate y cupcakes.

 And finally! The giveaway!! Page wants to share a signed copy of Noche Oscura En París for one of my blog followers or any of you that stumble upon it! I must confess I'd prefer if it went to someone that does read Spanish, but it's fair game to anyone! Of course, open INTERNATIONAL!

Y por fin, ¡el sorteo! Page quiere compartir con todos vosotros una copia de Noche Oscura En París, para un seguidor de mi blog or cualquiera que se encuentre con mi blog! Debo confesar que preferiría que fuera para alguien que lea en español, pero está abierto para cualquiera! Y por supuesto, INTERNACIONAL!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #79!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

Soooo, what book am I jumping up and down and very (im)patiently awaiting this week??? The Return by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

Goodreads Summary:

"The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series."

Why am I eagerly awaiting The Return? It is the start of a new spin-off series, the Titan series, that is based around Seth, the other Apollyon of the Covenant series! I am super excited to see what Seth will do now that the story focus is on him!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd Release Day Blast!!

Hello guys! Happy Tuesday!

I am so excited to share with you guys the release day of A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd and to share an excerpt of the book too!

If you haven’t yet heard about this one, the last book in the trilogy by Author Megan Shepherd, be sure
to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400

Find it: AmazonBarnes&NobleGoodreads

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the
mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.
Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity. 



Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.” “Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost
there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said. “Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.

Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat. “We’ve arrived,” he said.

About Megan:


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and
spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious,here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Author Photo
by Kristi Hedberg Photography

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! US Only.
Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson!!

Hello there!

A new week starts and this one is a very relaxed one for me, because after working the weekend, I'm only working today and tomorrow and then I'll have the rest of the week off! *dances*

I'm starting the week with a new Mark This Book Monday entry and this one is special, because it's the first book chosen for my new book club, The Readers Lounge, organized by the lovely Emma from Never Judge a Book by Its Cover!

I was concerned that the book wouldn't arrive in time to read it before the end of the month, because the post over here has been insanely slow and it's still recovering from a massive backlog over Xmas, but it arrived in time and then I read it at night in one sitting, so problem solved! ;)

Since You've Been GoneSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since You've Been Gone was chosen as the first book of the book club I'm part of, the Reading Lounge and even if I wasn't entirely too sure if I'd like it. But luckily it was exactly what I needed to fight my blue mood & distract me of my insomnia! I didn't stop reading till nearly 6 am and I was finished with the book!

Emily is our main character and she's a very shy girl, used to having her best friend Sloane taking the lead in everything and dragging her out of her shell. Once Sloane seems to simply up and disappear without a trace, Emily is lost and a bit paralized without her. And then a list sent by Sloane appears and pushes Emily to get out of her shell, her comfort zone and to make friends and rely on herself.

I really enjoyed seeing Emily grow during the summer, finding herself in situations she wouldn't have been before (even less without Sloane next to her) and sometimes losing her nerve before compliting a task but always trying and finding that she's capable of more than she thought she would.

I loved that Emily's family is around, even if they're peculiar and are quite distracted for most of the summer, her parents are there and I simply loved their theater tradition and laid back but not lax attitude. Emily's brother was a riot with his daredevil ways!

I also really liked that we got the flashback moments to when Emily and Sloane met and their interactions and going out, because that way we could really get a sense of their friendship and how much it meant for Emily. I feel the book would have been incomplete without them, not as easy to relate to Emily's sense of loss.

This book managed to make me smile, laugh and giggle loads of times, not only there were fun and witty dialogs but some of the situations were simply hilarious! And the most fun were always those that involved Emily completing a task from the list.

Emily grows, find new friends, makes mistakes, learns from them and by the end of the summer she can stand on her own two feet, doesn't need Sloane to go out and interact with people and discover what she likes or not, but she still wants to find her friend. And once she does, that friendship is stronger for that.

I loved that friendship was such a central theme to this book and that the message for the most part about friendships and interactions was positive, without name calling or slut-shaming or any other pitfalls about female friendships that I abhor in books (and in society in general).

One of those contemporaries that makes me want to read more of them and well deserving of 4 stars!

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton!!

Hello guys!

Happy Saturday! Today I'm reviewing yet another ARC as this week's Saturday Pages because I'm trying really hard to finally catch up with my NetGalley ratio, but seems that everytime I approach 80% I get approved for something else! Must resist requesting!

As an ARC this one is also part of my 105 Challenge and the review category!

Seeker (Seeker, #1)Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't entirely sure when I requested Seeker if I was going to like it, since it was clear there was gonna be a love triangle, but it sounded like a very interesting fantasy so I decided to give it a try!

When I started reading I got rather confused at first because the world seemed to be a mix of fantasy and science fiction and it was a bit disconcerting at first. The change of POVs at first also didn't work too well for me, because I had no idea what kind of world this was, what the heck was going on or why we kept on changing POVs. When I thought I was getting the hang of Quin's voice, then we'd switch to John and his jaded attitude and secrets will confuse me yet again.

That kept on going on during the first half of the book when I kept on reading because I was intrigued but felt that the pacing was rather slow and we were getting too many pieces without a clue of how to put them together, but then the second half picked up speed in a BIG way!

Things change quite a lot, John seems to turn against his previous friends, Quin loses her memory and Shinobu turns to drugs to avoid is memories and his guilt. Then as Quin starts recovering her memories we start getting much more informationa and all the pieces we had for the puzzle start getting together and we seem to understand what is going on with the Seekers, really, learn more about their history, even if there are still many holes.

I was glad when the POV of the Young Dread was included because through her we got more background history for the Seekers and the Dreads, and it was really interesting. And adds quite a lot to the grey areas of the book, because in this one you are never sure who is in the right. John might be the bad guy, but if you think of his past and what's going on, his behaviour is more understandable.

The love triangle was something that bothered me a bit, but strangely enough not as much as I would have expected, but I'm not entirely sure of what will happen in the next book. I'm not particularly pro or against any of the two guys, but maybe I might be a bit more pro Shinobu than John.

Disconcerting at first but then quite fascinating, I am looking forward to more answers in the next book! 3.5 stars to this one!

View all my reviews

Friday, January 23, 2015

One Year Celebration: Happy 1st birthday to A Mad Wicked Folly!!

Welcome, welcome!

Come on over and have a cup of tea, grab a cupcake and make yourself comfy! Today I'm doing a small celebration in honour of the one year anniversary of one of my absolute favourite books from last year, the impressive debut YA novel of Sharon Biggs Waller, A Mad Wicked Folly!

I saw quite a few raging reviews for A Mad Wicked Folly from some trusted bloggers and when I decided to give it a try myself I was blown away and fell head over heels in love with the book! So much that whenever I've been asked about a book to recommend or to include in any sort of Top 10 list, it's quite probably the first one to pop into my mind, even if I read it in the first months of the year. You can check my review HERE.

I got to talk to the author, Sharon via Twitter and she was amazing and friendly and an absolute joy to talk to, and when I went on my "find myself alone" trip to the US, I met with her (and my dear Sarah!) for lunch and some historical sites visit in Chicago!

So when the idea of making a lil celebration for the book's first anniverasy of release day popped into my head, I asked her for an interview, and we had a wonderful Skype chat, with plenty of time rambling and talking not only about Folly, but about her upcoming book for 2016 and for the one that's asking to be written right after (which I'm DYING for now!!).

No celebration is complete without some sweet confections, and so I want to share again my Ink & Batter cupcakes inspired by A Mad Wicked Folly!

And now let's welcome Sharon Biggs Waller so she can tell us a bit more about her writing journey and her inspiration for A Mad Wicked Folly!

 A Mad Wicked Folly was your debut as a fiction writer, but you had written non-fiction before. How different is writing fiction vs non-fiction for you? 

Writing non-fiction is easier in a way, since you don't depend so much on inspiration to strike. You’re given someone to interview or a topic to write about, and you can jump right it. It’s important to find a good hook in order to draw people in—very much like you'd do with fiction. With non-fiction you can hit a deadline more easily as long as you have your information, but with fiction it depends on how well you know your characters and your story. That can take a lot of time.

When you moved into writing fiction, what made you choose historical fiction over other genres? 

When I was a park ranger I started out working at historical sites in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and I was responsible for writing and giving programs to the public and area schools. My specialty was the Voyageurs who had traveled through the area, trading with the Indians and settlers. I absolutely loved this part of my job. I was fascinated with the Voyageurs’ history and their personal stories.

So later when I started writing fiction, I wrote contemporary Judy Blume type stories and horse stories, which were popular and more marketable. But my imagination never really sparked to life until I returned to those stories from the past.

How did you choose the Edwardian era to start writing your first
story? What's your writing process like? 

I’d written two contemporary middle graders that didn't go anywhere. I had so much to learn so I started going to conferences, joining critique groups, reading lots of books on writing, and just learning the craft of writing fiction. When I moved to England my husband and I bought a beautiful Edwardian armoire and dressing table. I became fascinated by that era, and I started learning more about it.

As far as my writing process goes, once a story gets in my head it keeps on poking at me like "write me, write me now!" I start writing down ideas in notebooks—I usually end up with about three notebooks for each book. All the ideas, research, details, everything is in there. Every notebook has a key list for reference and also many colourful post-its! I'm not a “pantser” at all, but I don't write a formal outline either. Instead I write a list of short descriptions for important scenes that will tell the story. And then I imagine the entire story in my head before I start writing so I have a general idea of where it’s going to go. Until the story is at that point I don’t start writing, aside from bits of dialogue or description that I’m playing with, sort of how artists make informal sketches. It’s too easy for me to get sidetracked and I end up tearing out loads of stuff that doesn’t serve the story. (One time I dumped one hundred pages!) That kind of writing takes too much energy and it’s too painful to delete work.

Did Vicky as an artist arrive first or was the pledge & fight of the Suffragettes what solidify first in you mind once you chose the Edwardian era story? 

While I was living in England I’d often pass this statue of Emmeline Pankhurst and it inspired me to write about the suffragettes. At first Vicky came from a collection of stories I’d written that wasn’t really gelling as a book so I decided to work on her story only. I went through so many revisions with FOLLY. At first Vicky felt too sheltered and she lacked drive, so I thought I would give her a passion for something. I made her a jewelry maker but that wasn’t a good fit for her, so I passed to on to her friend Lucy. When I got to know her character better I realized she would make the perfect artist, especially one that refused to paint in the approved standards for women. Going for the forbidden art gave her the drive and motivation to fight for what she wanted out of life.

Given her fight, what do you think Vicky's opinion would be about all the girls that have been saying in social media that they're not feminists because those problems aren't theirs and don't concern them? 

First of all, Vicky would be fascinated by what's been achieved, and she'd want to wear jeans all the time! But she'd also be shocked about how sheltered some women can be given the fact that even if we've made a lot of progress, there's still a long way to go. In a place like the US there's problems with equal pay for equal work, no equality on political representation, and there’s still a limitation of reproductive rights for many women.

You posted a song on Facebook called Brave by Sara Bareilles and said that Vicky would have loved it. What part of the lyrics would have resonated the most with her? 

The song as a whole has a fantastic message to let yourself be heard and not to let other push you down, but these are the ones I'm sure Vicky will find most relatable to her situation:

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is 

Vicky lives in a golden cage, and she tries to find her voice but she keeps getting pushed down. She finally discovers that the way to make herself be heard is through her art.

And here's the video for the song that Sharon shared, and I have to agree with her that it's a great song, and one that reminds us to be brave and not be afraid to speak up for ourselves!

Thank you so much Sharon for a wonderful chat and so much information on your process and the world of Vicky!

And guys, you need to check this book out if you haven't yet! A must if you love historical fiction and if you don't think it's your genre, it might even change your mind!!

Friday Reads: Arsenic For Tea by Robin Stevens!!

Hello there guys!

Friday has arrived here and with it another going-back-to-work-for-the-weekend for me, but it's still a pretty good day because I have a quite delightful book with you all as this week's Friday Reads. It might seem odd to some of you calling a murder mystery delightful, but that's the very first word that comes to mind when I think of this book!

As a middle grade book it is part of my 105 Challenge, as one of my categories includes reading more MG this year! And with a third book from this series coming out later this year, I think it won't be as hard reaching my goal! I also got this as an ARC from Netgalley but I decided to add it as MG and not review copy. I cannot wait for my preordered copy to arrive because I feel like I'll end up re-reading it!

Arsenic For Tea: A Wells and Wong MysteryArsenic For Tea: A Wells and Wong Mystery by Robin  Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big Agatha Christie fan and so when I discovered this series, I was elated to have something in her style but MG and with diverse characters. I loved the first book in the series, and although I guessed who the murderer was (did I mention I've read A LOT of Agatha Christie?) it was close to the final reveal so it didn't bother me, and the same thing happened here, I guessed before the reveal (that makes me feel clever) but not too early (which ends up being annoying).

In book 2 we have a change of scenery, Daisy & Hazel aren't at school but at Daisy's house to celebrate her birthday during the holidays. Hazel meets some odd members of the Wells family, a suspicious character wrecks some havoc on the family and then all of a sudden there's a murder, and everyone's a suspect!

I loved how the author managed to make us suspect everyone in turn, with a few red herrings here and there, some suspicious activity and incriminating conversations between different characters. Everyone seems to have a motive and opportunity and it's quite a tough investigation for Daisy to handle, so Hazel has to step up from her role of vice president to call on Daisy when she refuses to accept what seems to be the reality of it.

It's great how the friendship between Hazel and Daisy continues to develop, how they trust each other even when they're being pushed into something they don't like, even if it's more often than not Daisy pushing Hazel. They balance each other very well and they have loads to learn from each other, even if they don't seem to change much at first.

Hazel herself is a fantastic character and I love reading from her POV, she can sometimes be biased on her opinions, but with her think first and run later (unlike Daisy) she usually manages to reflect on clues and come up with the truth, even if she doesn't always have to like it. I loved how she was trying to put a brave face even when she was treated different, when she was feeling homesick and scared, and how she was always there for Daisy.

My hope is that Robin will continue to write many more books in this series, hopefully as many as Agatha Christie wrote, because I plan to read them all! Enchanting, thrilling and with plenty of food for thought. A delightful murder mystery, if you can call it that! Well deserved 4 stars!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #78!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I eagerly awaiting and bitting my nails while I await its arrival? The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson!

Goodreads Summary:

"The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret."


Why am I eagerly awaiting The Shadow Cabinet? Well, I read and loved the two first books in the series last year and the ending of book two was rather cruel, so I cannot wait to read this one! I'm not sure if it's the final book in a trilogy or the third book in a longer series though!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tell Me Tuesdays #25!!

Tell Me Tuesdays is a meme/feature created by the awesome ladies of Please Feed The Bookworm and La La In The Library, where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it.

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.

But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.

Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.

Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination.

 Ensnared by A.G. Howard

 After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world—-a parallel dimension filled with mutated and sadistic netherling outcasts.

In the final installment of the Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?

This week I'm taking a lil breather from reading ARCs and enjoying the feel of reading some physical books! I'm finally reading Ensnared, the highly awaited finaly book in the Splintered trilogy, and I'm doing a buddy read with Britt from Please Feed the Bookworm! And I'm also finally reading my Alyssa Recommends book for January: The Queen of the Tearling! After not only having Alyssa recommend it, but also Wendy and Layla from The Midnight Garden highly recommend it, I had to read it already!

 So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cover Reveal: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L Jensen!!

Hello guys!!

Today I'm lucky enough to be part of the cover reveal for one of my most awaited sequels of the year, book two of The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L Jensen!

Since the cover of Stolen Songbird was a stunner, I was so very excited to finally get to see the one for Hidden Huntress, and OH BOY! It IS brilliant and gorgeous!!

Wanna see it? Then scroll down!!

*scroll, scroll*

*scroll, scroll*

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L Jensen
(The Malediction Trilogy #2)
Plublishing date: June 2nd 2015

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.
Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.
To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication.

Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

And if you haven't read the first book of the trilogy, go read it now!

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven!!

Hello there guys!

Welcome to a new week, starting with a new Monday! And what better way to start the new week than with a new book review for Mark This Book Monday!

I was approved for this book via NetGalley and I have to give a big thanks to Penguin Random House UK for the approval! This is one book that I MUST recommend for everyone, even if I have to recommend that you stock up on tissues, comfort food and a strong cuppa tea!

This one is part of my 105 Challenge but not as part of my review shelf part of the challenge, but the one for Diversity, because there's still plenty of conspiracy of silence and stigma about mental health issues, and this book talks about them in a very raw and real and rather well done way.

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had read plenty of reviews from my fellow bloggers warning me about the crying with this book, but I was not prepared to spend the last 10% of the book bawling my eyes out, connecting so much with the characters and feeling so much for them... It took me a good half hour to stop sobbing and then I was still feeling pretty gutted for the rest of the night.

All The Bright Places is told in dual point of view for the most part, following both Theodore Finch and Violet Markey who meet at the top of their school's bell tower, both thinking about jumping and both saving each other in a way at the time.

I was both fascinated by Theodore as well as worried sick after the first few chapters. My mental health knowledge is pretty basic since that's not my work speciality, but with what little I know, I could see so very clearly what was going on and what was likely to happen in the end, but seeing it coming didn't prepare me well enough for the emotional punch that I'd be getting. Theodore helps Violet through her loss and her insecurities, but he never feels like he can get help or accept other people's help.

There's such a stigma on mental health illnesses that people are afraid to speak up, to search for help, to ask for help that they end up fighting entirely on their own, and that's not always a battle you can win without help. But society as a whole still tends to ridicule or hide or ignore or a combination of all three when it comes to mental health, and books like this one are so important for all of us, but even more for young adults that might be dealing with something similar and don't even know what it is that they are fighting, and only get the "freak" treatment.

Be ready to be changed somehow by this book, Theodore Finch won't pass through your life and leave you as you were. We can all learn a few things from this boy that burns like the brightest star.

A wonderful and poignant book that is both relevant and intimate. More than well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars. Read it now, but buy some tissues first.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Shutter by Courtney Alameda!!!

Hello everyone!

For this week's Saturday Pages I have a book that I devoured in one night and stayed up till I finished it (it's a good thing I usually don't work morning shift!) and that I am very thankful to Faye from The Social Potato for insisting that I HAD to read it!!

This is the first book that will count for my 2015 Debut Author Challenge and as an ARC (thank you Mcmillan Children's!!) it counts towards one of my categories in the 105 Challenge!!

ShutterShutter by Courtney Alameda

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first reaction on seeing this book's cover was to shudder and ignore it because it looked like a scary book, and I'm a total wuss!

But then I read the review that my friend Faye wrote at Xpresso Reads and boy, I got so damned excited about the book!! Then I read another equally good review for it from Maja and I knew I HAD to read this book! So once I saw it on NetGalley, I requested it, crossed my fingers and did a happy dance when I got approved!

I dived straight into it without refreshing myself on the summary, so when all the last names and the connections with the old families I was even more excited about the book's story!

Micheline is our main character and she's a hunter of paranormal entities, a Helsing and a tetrachromat, and her weapon of choice is an analog DSLR camera with special lenses to capture ghosts. Micheline was a fantastic character, she was strong and stubborn, with a lot of loss in her past that has changed who she is from who she was, but she still fights, she still cares for her friends and she goes head first into danger!

The book starts right into the action, and we're learning about everything as we go, so it's a wild ride indeed! The pace was great, no time to be bored at all, because when we aren't following Micheline and her team fighting ghosts, we're dealing with the aftermath and getting extra information and world building. I loved the dynamics in the team, Micheline and her boys: Oliver, Jude and Ryder. I love how the main 4 have a strong team feel and there are no love triangles, thank goodness!

There IS romance in this one but it's the not overwhelming, slow burn sort of romance, the one where they're friends first, have been team mates, supported each other through the tough times, and ready to jumpt to hell if need be! I shipped these two since the first hint at something else about them and I cannot wait to see the progression of them in the next book!

The plot of this one was very well done since I was kept wondering for a good half of the book, even if I had guessed (right) who the main villain was before Micheline did, which only irked me a bit, because I was too busy turning pages and waiting to see what will happen next! I was glued to the pages and finished it in one sitting!

I highly recommend this one, it's urban fantasy with a strong paranormal/supernatural element, with action that will keep you reading while biting your nails! Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars! I cannot wait for the sequel!!

View all my reviews

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Polaris by Mindee Arnett!!!

Hello guys!

Friday is here again, and although for me it means work and a working weekend, I have a review for a book that I love for this week's Friday Reads!

I was extrememly lucky to win a print ARC of Polaris, signed by Mindee Arnett in a giveaway that the author herself organized, and I was rightly chuffed because any print ARC are so rare and precious for me to get my hands on! And of course, I had to read it right away! But now, it releases next Tuesday so I can share a bit about the book even if I've had to work very hard at keeping the review spoiler free!

Polaris (Avalon, #2)Polaris by Mindee Arnett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Avalon was one of those books that I loved last year and like all science fiction for me feels like comfort food! So when I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Polaris and got to read it early, I was elated!!

Polaris stars pretty much where Avalon left us, with a lot of heartache, shock and with plenty of anger and loss to go around. And this is not exactly a sunshine and puppies kind of book, it's a darker book, with a lot of strife to get through.

Poor Jeth goes through so much and has to grow so much! He's always been the leader of the Shades, but he's never had wanted more and less to be in charge of everything that he has to in this book. He gets thrown curve ball after curve ball and keeps doing his best to take them in stride but has to learn some really tough lessons about himself, about control and about trust.

I don't really want to talk much (or at all) about the plot because I don't to accidentally spoil something for either this book or Avalon. I'll tell you that the Shades undertake their biggest mission to date in this one, that they don't do it alone and that it is biggest clusterfuck of a mission they ever had to deal with! We travel to two very different but very important places and we learn a lot about life, the universe and everything! (except for a thing or two!).

Polaris has everything that I love in science fiction, bigger questions about ourselves and what we're doing, what defines being human, responsability and consequences, spaceships, banter, adventure!! And some references to other geeky science fiction bits here and here that made me giggle happily even in between tough scenes.

This book is everything that Avalon was and more, everything is kicked up a notch (or two) and by the end of the book I couldn't turn the pages fast enough (while wondering what else could go wrong, and what else could happen to poor Jeth!)!

All I can say is that if you've read Avalon, of course you MUST read Polaris, and if you haven't started the duology, what are you waiting for?? GO NOW! Oh, and a word of advice, also read Proxy, the novella, you'll be better prepared!

Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars to this one. I cannot wait to read more science fiction written by Mindee Arnett!

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour for The Body Electric by Beth Revis!!

Hey there everyone! Today I'm taking part in the Blog Tour for The Body Electric by Beth Revis, one of my fave books of 2014, organized by Xpresso Book Tours!

I will be sharing my review & a Blog Tour wide giveaway, so click HERE for the full tour schedule! But before that, let's get you some more information about the book & author, shall we?

The Body Electric by Beth Revis 
Published by: Scripturient Books
Publication date: October 6th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

About the author:

Beth Revis is the NY Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series. The complete trilogy is now available in more than 20 languages. A native of North Carolina, Beth’s most recent book is The Body Electric, which tells the story of what was happening on Earth while the characters of Across the Universe were in space.


I've always been a big lover of science fiction and I really enjoyed Beth Revis' Across The Stars series, so when I heard she was self publishing a book set in Earth at the time the story of Godspeed was happening in space, I was extremely excited to read it!

And once I got my hands on it, I'm very happy to say it didn't disappoint at all! Not only I really enjoyed reading about what life on Earth was like after Godspeed had left it, I also really loved the story in itself, because if there's something I love about science fiction is how it always manages to ask some serious questions in between the tech and the action and "ooooh shiny! future stuff" things.

Ella is our main character and she was a girl dealing with grief from a death that happened and for one that might come in the not too distant future and that shapes how she acts and reacts. She isn't entirely sure of who to trust and the more she learns about what is going on and herself, the less sure she is about everything.

Jack is a character that seems to be more sure of everything that Ella at any given point of the book, but he's a bit too sure at times it seems, I liked him more when he showed doubt or didn't have all the answers. But I liked that his certainity never wavered when it came to Ella!

I won't talk much about the plot of the story because I'd rather you lot go along with it and be surprised or figure it out at your own pace, but I must say that despite all the comparisons and hints along the way, I was mostly surprised when most of the revelations happened.

The Body Electric like all good science fiction novels makes us think about what it really means to be human, what do we want from technology and what we're ready to give up in the name of comfort and safety, and how even the best of intentions can turn into the worst of acts.

Beth Revis managed to create a great novel, filled with references that would make any geek happy and with enough content to stand very well in its own two feet! Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars!


Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • Complete signed trilogy of the Across the Universe series
  • A signed copy of The Body Electric
  • An Across the Universe branded water bottle (image attached)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #77!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

This week the book that I'm making all the grabby hands at and whining about not getting an ARC of is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!!

Goodreads Summary:

"The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?"

Why am I eagerly awaiting Red Queen? Well, look at that summary! Doesn't it sound fantastic? And I've seen some really positive reviews for this one from some of my blogging friends, so I'm very much excited about this one! I hope I can get to read it soon and love it as much as some of my friends!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tell Me Tuesdays #24!!

Tell Me Tuesdays is a meme/feature created by the awesome ladies of Please Feed The Bookworm and La La In The Library, where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!

 All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.

 The Future Collection by Beth Revis

This collection of sci fi stories from NY Times Bestselling author Beth Revis features worlds and technology from the future. Featuring three brand new, original tales and three reprints, each story explores a different set of characters in a different world and facing different problems in the future world.

"Doctor-Patient Confidentiality": A girl wakes up in a cryomed unit and must recall why she's there and what's she's lost.

"The Most Precious Memory": In a world where memories are sold and consumed like drugs, one deal has a weird twist.

"The Girl & the Machine": A time traveller meets someone who claims she's met his future self and that they'll change the world together.

"Lag": A reporter has found the story of a lifetime--but a malfunctioning teleportation has made her forget it...

"The Turing Test": A college student must determine which test subject is human and which is an android with A.I.

"As They Slip Away": A novella set in the world of Across the Universe, exploring the fate of a side character.

 The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

I'm still reading Thornhill but since my preorder of Willowgrove hasn't arrived yet, I've decided to set it aside until I have the final book too, just in case there's a cliffhanger at the end of this one!

I've been trying to do my best to get through all the January/Feb eARCs that I got approved for via Netgalley, but I decided that some short stories are always great to read when I need a break from something else, and science fiction is like comfort food for me, and I just HAD to start The Conspiracy of Us as soon as it downloaded at midnight because secret societies, guys with a British accent, ancient puzzles, treasure hunting!!! 

So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!!