Monday, March 30, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: Every Move by Ellie Marney!!!

And as the second Mark This Book Monday post of this week, I have one of those highly awaited books that I've been making grabby hands since I read the first book of the trilogy!

I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone and it reinforces my love for Australian fiction and authors, and I plan to continue to support Ellie Marney and whatever books might came after this trilogy!

As book released on 2015 (even if only in Australia) I'm totally counting it towards my 2015 release category in the 105 Challenge!

Every Move (Every, #3)Every Move by Ellie Marney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since I first got my hands on book 1, Every Breath, I've been addicted to this series, that can be considered a contemporary retelling of Sherlock Holmes with murder mysteries and the most shippity ship of all times. And so my need to get my hands on this final book was rather dire, and after preordering somewhere and them not shipping it, I ended up ordering it directly from the Australian publisher. It arrived as I was leaving for work, so I spent the whole shift wishing the time to pass faster because I wanted to get back home to devour it! And that I did! I stayed up till 5 am till I finished inhaling the book!

If you still haven't started this series, you really ought to get going, but even if you've started it, you might expect some spoilers in this one for book 1 and 2, since I might discuss some of the events, so GO READ THEM NOW!!

As the previous two book the pacing and the plotting and the mysteries in this one were done so well! And the characters and emotional connections and the relationships as well! I love how important for the book are all the relationships, not only Rachel & James and their romantic relationship, but also Rachel and her brother, and Rachel and her parents, specially her mum.
No absent parents here, no even those that are dead, since Mycroft's parents are always present in the way they have shaped who he is and his interests and motivations. Rachel's parents don't trust her know, and her mother is both angry and scared with Rachel's taking off after Mycroft to London and returning injured.

Rachel is going through a very tough time after the events in London, and although she doesn't acknowledge it really, she's trying to push through it, but she cannot allow close contact with even her family and she gets nightmares every day, PTSD to the letter. And it's fantastic how the author deals with it. With Rachel trying to get away from everything and returning to her home away from the city for a day with her brother (that doesn't really work as she expected as they end up having company) and then having someone not involved with the events or her family helping her finding a way to regain control of her fear somehow by focusing on defending herself.

Mycroft and Rachel are a bit more distant at the beginning of the book, given how each of them is dealing with the aftermath of London. Mycroft has thrown himself even harder into investigating his parents' case, and Rachel cannot deal with any of that, so they barely spend time together. It is painful to read, how they need each other not only as a couple but as friends and how they cannot seem to be able to communicate with each other, both thinking that the other needs the time and space to sort themselves out. But when they confront not only each other but their feelings and the way they're dealing with the fear, the threat and the mystery... they're back to being one united team, the ship to end all other ships.

There is one new guy introduced in this book, one that has an interest in Rachel and that helps her when Mycroft couldn't, teaching her self defence and being a neutral party for her to talk to, but I cannot speak of love triangle since Rachel never thinks of anyone but James. And nevermind that Mycroft does actually punch the dude, which if not exactly something I should condone... I actually enjoyed it loads in the book! Bad Pili!

As far as the mystery goes, I had a bad vibe about one character in Every Word and to my surprise, I ended up being right on who was our Moriarty to my surprise and glee! The final climax was full of heartstopping action and tension and boy I couldn't turn the pages past enough!

This book and series was an amazing journey and despite some of my issues of lack of knowledge of the Australian flora that made me pause to search for some terms in my phone (Dictionary app for the win!) I adored everything from these books, from the characters, their relationships, the mysteries, the pacing, the plotting, the OTP!! Very well deserved 5 and all the stars!! VERY recommended!!

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Mark This Book Monday: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson!!

Hey there guys!

Today is not a common Monday for me, because after working the weekend I have the day off, and I'm going to choose the right colour for my kitchen, have breakfast with my co-workers, get a pair of parcels in the mail and work on some bloggy things! And read too!

To start this Mark This Book Monday I have the Alyssa Recommends book for March up for review! This one was another success for Alyssa since I loved it! And since I made a category of Alyssa Recommends books for 105 Challenge, it is counted that way too!

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been wondering about this book for quite a while since before it came out last year, but because my bloggy friends were quite torn about it, some hating it and others loving it, I couldn't decide whether to read it or not.

But then Alyssa added it to the Alyssa Recommends list and since I'm in such a fantasy-reading kick, I felt it would be the perfect book for March.

And it very much was! I love that it was medieval fantasy with a touch of postapocalytpic (and possibly dystopia, though I cannot be sure, maybe once I read the sequel). Our main character is Lia, her Royal Highness, Princess of Morrighan and First Daughter, that decides to run away from the shackles of tradition & court.

She's impulsive and stubborn and given her temperament and the way she was raised... I'm not surprised she just decided to give the middle finger to everything and run away from the palace just before her wedding. Yes, the marriage was very important to ensure the alliance of the kingdoms and probably their survival, but I can understand how she just wants out, how she's tired and sick of being told what to do like she's useless, and she decides that she needs to take control of her life in any way she can.

We follow Lia in her flight with Pauline, he attendant and friend, and we see them both establish their new home far away from Civica, the kingdom's capital. I loved how Lia threw herself into her new simpler life with gusto, not shying away from hard work and always being a good friend to Pauline, even when things got hard.

And then we get to two guys and the other two POVs in the book, Kaden and Rafe, the prince and the assassin, and we don't know who is who till well close to the end of the book. And it kept me guessing all the way till the end of the book and I decided to stick with my very first guess... and I was wrong. Which if you think about it makes very much sense, so yeah, there's that.

And this leads me to the part of the book that I liked less... the sort of love triangle! Both prince and assassin go on a search for Lia, for obviously very different reasons and both then decide to stick around and get to know her better because she's intriguing. Fair enough, I'll be very ready to believe that when it comes to the prince, because well... she was supposed to become his wife and she run away, and he wants to know why, and he can be intrigued about why she run away and started working in a tavern. But the assassin?? His job was to kill her, and instead of doing his job he decides to stick around, getting to know her which could lead into making it harder for him to kill her in the end! What pitiful, sort of crappy assassin is that one?? Hmph!!

And Lia clearly is more attracted to one of them than the other from the start, and when I say clearly, I mean clearly, she only flirts with the other guy to make guy #1 jealous because of his warm and cold (that could be understood for once) moods towards her. So I don't understand why we need the other side of the triangle to make things muddy, mostly because I don't understand why the assassin has to stick around to get involved!!!

Okay, enough with my big pet peeve that costed this book one star, because I absolutely adored Lia, with her temper, her very necessary growth as a character, how she sees her kingdom from the very foundation that it's the common people, how she struggles with finding herself and her worth and deciding that she needs to face her responsabilities. She's a fighter through and through, and I loved her for that, flaws and all.

The world building was fantastic, the descriptions are so visual and they never felt overwhelming or boring with details, instead they were woven into the narration flawlessly, changing and moving with the plot. And I loved how some details and mentions here and there hinted at this world maaaaybe being something more than just a medieval/epic fantasy. I loved the mentions of the Ancients, the lore of the Remnant and how their religion is slightly different from one kingdom to another.

A fantastic first installment in a new series that I'm completely hooked on already. It would have had 5 stars if not for the love triangle and uncomprehensibly incompetent assassin! Well deserved 4 stars though!

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder!!

Aaand as my next and last Saturday Pages entry a review of a book that I got approved for via NetGalley, thank you so much Harlequin Mira for the chance to read this one!

As a book I got for review it will count towards that category for my 105 Challenge!

Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been wanting to read the Study trilogy for quite a while, even before I read the Healer trilogy about Avery, the healer from Kazan. But seems that they kept being pushed back for other books till I got approved for this one, which I'm not sure if I should call a continuation of the trilogy or a spin-off but with the same characters?

Anyhow, I finally read and loved the three Study novels, loved Yelena and Valek and their relationship and came to be really intrigued about the world, the two rival countries Ixia and Sitia and adored so many of the secondary characters (Arin and Janco, I'm looking at you!).

I loved revisiting the world and the characters, even if I was lucky and didn't have to wait for this book as long as most fans did. Time has passed for Yelena and Valek and they continue their relationship as they can when their respective duties allow them, and make the most out of it.

I was quite surprised but very glad when I saw that we were getting more than Yelena's POV in this one! I loved that we had Valek's POV in this one and also Janco's. Valek's was my favourite because we finally find something more about Ghost man through flashbacks to his past. It might have taken us a bit off from the current action, but I loved those glimpses so much, that I really didn't mind at all!

Now that Yelena has grown into her powers and she is sure of them, what twist could be thrown in to add a proper sense of threat? Clearly the only way to do that effectively was having Yelena lose her powers! And oh boy, now that was an absolute game changer! Yelena was so worried and so completely lost without her magic! But I simply loved (and it broke my heart) that the thing she missed the most was her connection with Kiki, her utterly wonderful and adorable horse!

We have Yelena and Valek separated and working on different leads during most of the book and we get introduced to some new characters too. Little Miss Assassin (nicknamed lovingly so by Janco) wants Valek's position with the Commander and he's quite tempted to let her have it, once he gathers if she really can be trusted. And other characters that I would have known if I had read Opal's spin-off before reading this one! Oh well, I'll get to the eventually!

Yelena trying to discover who wants her magic-less and dead and Valek trying to see why security acount the Palace is so lax and trying to crack a smuggler's operation end up leading to an old enemy that they thought was dead but wasn't, and that makes them wonder a lot about loyalties and who can they really trust.

The book ending with quite a bomb being thrown but not with a painful cliffhanger which is something to be thankful for! Still, I really cannot wait to get my hands on the next book of the series! Very much deserving of 4 stars!

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Saturday Pages: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett!!!

Hi there everyone!

The weekend is here and I have to work, but I had a lovely lazy and full of reading day off yesterday, so I will not complain!

Today as my first Saturday Pages review I have The Midnight Garden's Classic YA & MG challenge book for March! As per usual (except for last month) it was a book I had not read before and as per usual, I thoroughly loved and enjoyed it! As usual I will be taking part in their discussion post and writing my usual looong babbling novel of a comment, and I have my own review up here!

The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another gem of a book discovered via the #tmgreadalong. I really am extremely happy that I decided to join the ladies at The Midnight Garden in their classic middle grade & young adult challenge last year, and I do plan to continue to be part of as it as long as they have it!

I was intrigued by the beginning and despite our lil Mary being quite contrary I felt immensely bad for her. She was ignored and spoiled and unloved and she didn't even know what she was missing, which is the worst part of the whole thing.

Then she is taken to England and gets stuck in another grand house where she might not lack anything except love again, but thankfully for her she doesn't have the same kind of servants attending her, but a young pure Yorkshire girl that takes no nonsense from her. I simply loved the change in Mary as she was first a lil forced and then allowed to play on her own and explore and be a child outside!

And I absolutely loved her determination to find the Secret Garden and to make sure it was kept alive! I adored how she was so different with Dickon and Martha and how she loved everything about them and their family and how she stopped thinking herself as above them and never acted like she would have before. She might have been acting out of selfish reasons, but she was kinder that you could have expected her to be!

I was quite surprised when we got introduced to Colin, the small Rajah, and the biggest tyrant you could imagine. I could barely conjure any sorry feelings for him at first, and I was beyond happy when in one of his "fits" Mary came to him and confronted him with her own "spoiled girl" manners! Who would have thought that Mary could be such a great influence, along with Dickon, the red breasted robin, Dickon's menagerie and loads of fresh air!

I just loved how important family was in this book, and how it showed the influence of good examples and encouragement can be. It's also quite a tongue in cheek dig at the way children in afluent families were raised, primed & pampered but without real affection, and it's a wonder how those kids grew to be even half functioning adults!

And I love how doing something with your hands, making things grow and watching and interacting with others that are different from you can be both eye opening and sobering. It's not like planting a flower or two and interacting with someone with a different upbringing will solved every problem for spoiled kids... but it will make them confront themselves with different realities and with some luck make them think about what they have and what other's have and not.

I adored the descriptions of the moor, the gardens, the secret garden and all the food that they were getting! It made long for some warm oatmeal and buns and scones and tea time... *sigh*. It was a wonderfully visual book! I could clearly picture myself in every room and every part of the gardens, and even at the cottage in the moor!

If I had to pick a favourite character it would be Susan Sowerby, even if we don't get to have her in the flesh in the pages till the last part of the book, she's very much present at every turn of the page, with her advice, her observations and her considerable common sense wisdom! She is the archetype of a mother figure and I loved when we finally got her to interact directly with Mary and Colin!

A wonderful book that made me long to visit the moor, skip around the secret garden, have some buns and scones with my tea and made me long for the Magic. Well deserved 4.5 stars!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Reads: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger!!

Finally! My second Friday Reads post is up!

This one is all about The Reader's Lounge Book Club's book for March! I love how I'm discovering some wonderful books through our monthly picks! Not that I wouldn't have read them otherwise but they've been moved to the front of the TBR pile and read, so that's great!

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat FriendThe DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The DUFF was chosen as March's book for my book club: The Reader's Lounge and since I already had a copy gifted by my friend Becca from Pivot Point Reviews, I was all set and ready!

I didn't start the book till this week and surprisingly enough (or maybe not...) I was completely hooked and ended up reading it in one night! I do suck at reading a book in installments it seems!

Bianca is your cynical, too jaded for her age but somewhat sensible teen, and boy did I identify with her... I was pretty much like that when I was 17 or 18 and I was the voice of reason for one of my excessively romantic friends. She's got two best friends that are quite different from her, a crush on the perfect boy and a rather complicated family dynamic.

It all start with Bianca being with her friends at a club, with them dancing and she fighting a headache (I liked dancing loads, so that was not something we have in common) and being approached by the biggest manwhore of the whole school that calls her a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) which causes her to throw a drink on his face (I cheered!).

Bianca always felt like a very real and complicated teen (we are all bloody complicated as teens) and even though I obviously I didn't agree with all her actions, I could understand most of her motivations, even if I saw quite clearly what she didn't seem to manage to see, which means hindsight and some perspective works wonders.

I loved her friendship with Cassey and Jessica, and how they were all different and leveled each other up. I hated how Bianca kept herself so closed up with her friends and pretended she was alright all the time, but I surely can relate to that to an extent too. And despite their disagreements and whatever problems they had, they ended up talking things through and not resorting to simple name calling and catfight drama, which is a very positive example to show.

Every interaction between Bianca and Wesley had the potential to be hilarious, irritating and swoony all at the same time, and I really felt like like smacking Wesley for his continued use of the "Duffy" nickname even if it was quite clear that he wasn't trying to belittle Bianca at all by the use of it after a while. He seemed quite genuine and proved to be a good friend to her more than once, and I actually cheered when he defended Bianca from the "whore" accusations with a good punch.

It seemed rather funny that the guy that was the first to label her ended up being the other that also gave her the best kind of advice about labels of all sorts and the one that made Bianca realize that she is so much more than a DUFF, and that we are all labelled at some point and we all end up labelling others and almost always is because we want to feel better about ourselves by putting others down.

The family dynamics are very important in this one because Bianca's family life is not easy with her parents' issues and how they affect her. I loved that parents aren't perfect here in this book but aren't bad people just because it suits the story. They are not made the enemy, and are also made flawed people with redeeming qualities that are trying to do what they can and will not win a "parents of the year" award while they sort their issues but that do try to do the best they can once they're out of their own cave.

All in all, this was a deeper read that I was expecting at first, and although there were a few disturbing things for me, the main one having a 14 year old in a relationship that included sex with an 18 year old which I felt wasn't addressed as wrong well enough, it was full of positive messages for both teens and adults, because we all need the reminders about facing our problems, not lying to ourselves and accepting help from others, not labelling people and standing against those labels.

Very much well deserved 4 stars for this one!

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Friday Reads: Fire Study by Maria V Snyder!!

Hello there! Happy Friday!

Friday is my day off this week since I work the weekend and yesterday was my day after night shift and I was fuzzy-brained all day!

Today's Friday Reads will be a bit uphazardly done, but I do plan to have two reviews up, and the first one is the final book in the Study series!

Fire Study (Study, #3)Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have thouroughly enjoyed reading this series! Since this is the final book in what originally was a trilogy you can expect some spoilers for events that happened in book 1 and 2, so keep that in mind!

It's a wonderful fantasy series that also has a good look at political differences between two countries and how things are seen differently from inside each one of the sides!

Yelena is still trying to accept her magic and to what point it might determine who she is. It already determines how the people around her react to her, judging her based on the acts of another. And despite how big the mistrust from others is, the worst rejection comes from Yelena herself, since she is scared of her powers and her magic.

Being the Soulfinder is a scary and largely unknown power and Yelena is not sure how to get herself train and get her abilities under control. The First Magician is the biggest advocate for Yelena to be eliminated for being too dangerous and once that possibility is ruled out, she decides she'll be the one to train Yelena, and that doesn't sit well with Yelena at all, as is to be expected. And driven by her fear of her own abilities, her mistrust of her own control and her unwillingness to face it all, Yelena ends up running head first into trouble without much planning or thinking.

The plot was continuining from what started in the two previous books and expands in worrisome ways. I didn't really guess who the bad guy behind it all, because it was such a verbal and in your face character, you wouldn't have expected such deception too, even if it was also the most obvious at the same time.

We get a lot of our beloved characters all working together and it's good that they come become because Yelena is gonna need all the help she can get trying to figure out her abilities, finding the Warpers, fighting the Fire Warper and trying to prevent an all out war between Ixia and Sitia.

Valek and Yelena undergo their first and biggest bump in their relationship because of Yelena's fears and denial and her trying to make sure no one gets hurt because of her makes her push the ones she love away, and takes their right to choose what to do, if they want to help or even how to help. But I still really enjoy how they make a fantastic team and Valek always seems to know when to get to her aid no matter what.

The ending wrapped up things rather well, leaving enough threads here and there for possible new stories with the either the main or the secondary characters and I'm glad that they are a reality, because I am in love with the world of Ixia and Sitia and I want to spend more time here! Very well deserved 4 stars for this end of a trilogy (that is not as final now any more!).

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #87!!

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 biting-my-nails-while-I-wait-for-it-to-download-to-my-Kindle-on-release-day? Forged by Erin Bowman!!

Goodreads Summary:

"Gray Weathersby and his group of rebels must make their final stand in the epic conclusion to the Taken trilogy, which New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu called "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end."

The Order is building an unstoppable army, with every generation of Forgeries harder to detect and deadlier than the one before. It’s time for Gray and his fellow rebels to end the Order's world of lies. But when the most familiar faces—and even the girl he loves—can’t be trusted, Gray will have to tread carefully if he wants to succeed. Or survive.

Why am I eagerly awaiting Forged? This is the final book in the series and I cannot wait to see what's gonna happen now, because in the final book we were ready for an all out war!! Also, I want the love triangle to be properly resolved!!"

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Claimed by Sarah Fine!!

Hey again guys!

As my second Mark This Book Monday entry of the week I have the sequel to Marked and the reason I finally started reading the series, because once I got approved for this eARC on NetGalley I felt like I really HAD to start the series!

Since this one is a fantastic mix of genres and it's an ARC I can count it towards three of my challenges, the 2015 Mythology Challenge, the Dystopian Challenge 2015 and the 105 Challenge for the books for review category!

Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)Claimed by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Getting approved on Netgalley for Claimed is what made me start this trilogy and I'm thankful for both the approval and for the push to start this series because I'm simply in love!

The second book expands on the world building and twists the plot another notch and although Eli and Cacia are present and continue to be important in the book, the focus is not on them this time, very much like it paranormal romance series, we have a new couple to take the lead, with their own conflicts and their on path to finding their way together.

Since most of the world got established in the first book, we focus more on the plot in this one, because even threads that we though had got solved in the first book aren't exactly as well tied as we thought, and things get even more dire, with people dying without getting Marked, rogue Keres are popping up everywhere and we aren't really sure who to trust at all! The tension was even higher in this one than in the first book, because even the good guys could be influenced and turned against each other.

Galena and Declan are an interesting couple because both are very closed off for their own reasons, but given how Galena is an abuse and rape survivor, some warning for triggers need to be given. It is explored rather well, in my uninformed opinion, but despite their relationship starting as a very marriage of convenience, Declan always gave Galena the power of deciding and choosing what, when and how, and she was the one that made the choice to finally stop letting her past control her.

We discover that there are traitors in both the Keres and the Ferrys and that the Fates are not as in control as we'd think (or even hope) and we meet more Greek myths in this one. Maybe that's why I guessed who the bad guy was a bit early in advance and it made me a bit mad waiting for the rest to catch up, because of my knowledge of Greek myths.

The mix of paranormal romance, urban fantasy in a postapocalyptic setting and Greek mythology is flawlessly done and I was turning pages as fast as I could read them! A fantastic sequel that was as good or even better than the first book was! Very well deserved 4.5 stars for this one and cannot wait for the final book in the trilogy!!

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Mark This Book Monday: Marked by Sarah Fine!!

Hello there guys!

A new week starts with another Monday and it's a working Monday for me, but before that it is a Monday to juggle kitchen estimates for the last time! I'm finally choosing a design and estimate! And I'm hoping for some awesome book mail to arrive too!

To start this week's Mark This Book Monday I have a book that had been in my Kindle library a while, and that I was prompted to read once I got approved for the sequel on Netgalley! Since this one is a fantastic mix of urban fantasy, paranormal romance with a generous dash of both Greek mythology and postapocalyptic it counts both towards my 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge and the Dystopia Reading Challenge 2015!!

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)Marked by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard such great things about Sarah Fine's books and although I have her YA series already in my shelves and Kindle library, once I got approved for the eARC of the sequel, I decided to start her first adult series!

Marked is fantastic mix of different genres, since it's got mythology, dystopian, paranormal, urban fantasy and some quite awesomely done romance.

We meet Eli once he's just moved to a new city with his sister Galena, we don't know much of their past or the world they live in, but we keep getting tidbits here and there. Eli is a paramedic and find himself paired with Cacia Ferry, who aside from a great paramedic is also the daughter of the most powerful man in the city. And that man and his family have a few mysterious secrets.

I loved how everything was so well described, from the futuristic work as paramedics with techniques even if the technology is different, to the dystopian/postapocalyptic setting and world, with climate changes and water shortages. Even if we don't get the full background story about how it came to happen, we get enough information for us to get a clear picture of the world.

And the most intriguing part is the Greek mythology that's woven into the story. How a family has the charge to help the souls of the dead cross to the place they ought to go (they Ferry them along...), the head of the family is the Charon and those who will die are "marked" by Fate and then the Kers are the one that make sure they die. I wasn't expecting that twist added and really loved it!

I love how the plot and the world building progressed pretty much in parallel, finding out more about the world as we try and unravel the murder mystery that is the linchpin to all the events to come! And at the same time we're trying to figure out things and make sense of the world and discover who's behind everything that doesn't make sense, we also see the relationship between Eli and Cacia develop, from an early attraction that both refuse to act on, to becoming partners at work and a big support through tough times to finally getting together. And boy, do they have chemistry! Chemistry enough to jump off the pages!

Both Cacia and Eli are complex characters that have many secrets that belong to the past that shapes them, but they discover that together they can find a way to go ahead accepting that past and stopping it to define who they are and who they can be.

My first Sarah Fine book was a complete success because I stayed up till 4 am reading till I finished the book, completely engrossed with it, its world, the plot and the amazing romance between Eli and Cacia! Very well deserved 4 stars!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of LIARS, INC by Paula Stokes!!!

Hey again guys!

Today as my second Saturday Pages entry I have a book and a author that are specially dear to me. This is one of those special books that I got as an ARC and that I owe big thanks to both my dear friend Sarah and to the author herself, because on my trip to Chicago I got my hands on a physical (and slightly annotated) ARC! I loved it so much that I just cannot wait for my preorder to arrive and re-read it!

Liars, Inc.Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very lucky to read this book well in advance, but given the fact that there were a few changes made into the finished copy from the ARC, I'm absolutely dying to get my preorder so I can re-read it again!

I'm quite a big fan of murder mysteries and I've devoured every Agatha Christie book out there, and although that doesn't make me an absolute expert, it does make me rather good at seeing patterns and trying to identify what might be going on and where the twists might lead us.

Another thing that you need to know is that I read this one during my trip to the US last October and I was suffering an acute case of jet lag that turned me into a morning person, meaning that I was up at 4 or 5 am and conking off at 8 pm at the latest. Why would that be relevant you may ask? Well, the day I got this book I stayed up reading, passing pages like a madwoman and only stopped for a quick dinner break and didn't go to sleep till I finished the book at midnight! That ought to tell you something about the gripping pacing and how intriguing the plot was!

Liars INC, is the story of Max and his two friends, Preston and Parvati, the murder of Preston, Max being accused of it and Parvati trying to help Max prove his innocence. But who would trust you when you've made lying your business?

Not only the pacing was absolutely addicting and make you want to keep on turning page after page, in the beginning learning all about the Liars and who they are and then following Max's escape and the investigation and all the things we discover about the characters too. Seems that the Liars are really good at lying to others and to themselves too! The plot was very tightly woven and although it seemed rather straight forward at first, we kept on getting a few twists here and there that I didn't see coming AT ALL! None of my initial theories were right, and although I got my suspicions about something, it was too vague on my part to really think I guessed right!

Max was a fantastic character with a genuine boy voice. He wasn't a jerk per se, but he has his rough edges and also his vulnerabilities that he keeps really tucked close, and has some real trouble with showing off his affection and even more with his family. I loved the diversity that you can find in this book, presented like the most natural thing in the world. Max is adopted and has two Korean baby sisters, his family is lower middle class and he lived on the streets for a while as a kid.

Parvati, other of the Liars is half Indian and she seems to both embrace her heritage but refuse to be defined by it. She is also prickly and difficult to straight away like. But she ended up being my favourite character of the lot. She's very capable and totally trained to kick arse, good at flaunting rules and has some mental health issues that can tweak her perception of circumstances and the way she reacts to them. I just need a book all about Parvati, she's such a fascinating character!

Preston... well, Preston is also quite a box of surprises, because once he gets offed, we do learn so many unexpected things about him and how there's much more to him than just the "poor white rich boy" and his problems.

If you are looking for a different kind of read, a very compelling and intriguing YA thriller with a twisty murder mystery, a very genuine male voice and a lot of very welcome diversity... YOU NEED TO GRAB THIS ONE NOW!

Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars to this one!

View all my reviews

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman!!

Hello guys!

Happy Saturday! I'm having the weekend off and I'm hoping to catch up on some reading and writing some reviews because as of late I've been rather busy with things about the apartment, with visits to the bank, getting estimates for the kitchen... and I wasn't very much in the mood to read!

Today as the first Saturday Pages entry I have a review of an eARC that I got thanks to my friend Linda from La La In The Library because she let me know that this one was as a Read It Now on NetGalley!
As a book for review it counts towards my 105 Challenge in my books for review category!

Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being lucky enough to grab this eARC as a Read It Now on NetGalley was the push I needed to finally read Seraphina, the first book in this (so far) duology and loved it.

Shadow Scale is a very interesting sequel and one that I ended up really enjoying even if I had to stop reading for a while. Once I reached 35% I hit a part where my dear Seraphina was missing some really obvious clues about something, and that quite bothered me. It took me a while to get back to the book but once I got back to reading and passed that point, I got hooked on the narrative, world building and the fantastic characters once again.

I must confess that I felt the book was a lil slow sometimes, not so much through the traveling in search of the other half-dragons and where we get introduced to Goredd's neighbouring countries and we explore their differences in customs and leyends and religion... but the way the plot and pace slows down while Seraphina tries to figure out anything that involved Jannoula.

I love me a great villain, and Jannoula IS a great villain, and I understand that for Phina it is very hard to be her usual analytical self when it comes to Jannoula given their past history and how very manipulative and what a great strategist she is. Like Phina, there were occasions when I felt bad for her, but it was really frustrating when it seems that Jannoula is progressing her plans and no one seems to even think of something that could be done!

I adored that we got more world building and information about the saints and I love that I guessed a twist just a paragraph before it was revealed, and that's always rewarding, because you feel like you guessed the twist before it's revealed but not too early or you'll end up feeling irritated.

The rest of the half-dragons where quite fascinating and I was glad to meet each one of them and see how they differed from their corresponding avatar in Phina's mind garden. All of them felt very well crafted and had a very unique voice. And seeing the changes once Jannoula entered the picture gives you an even bigger sense of urgency to figuring her plan.

I loved that the romance was mostly equally as subtle as it was on book one, even if there is a certain resolution of the so called love triangle that we have in the series. And I love how unconventionally it was done and how it avoided all the cliches!

And another thing that I absolutely loved was how it included all kinds of diversity and how well it handled how differences can be both unite us and segregate us, and how we need to see the potential of those that are not like us, instead of treating them as inferior because we fear them.

Well worth reading despite that snag at the beginning. Very well deserved 3.5 to 4 stars to this final book! Although I've heard that there might be companion books with other secondary characters!

View all my reviews

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mystery Twitter Theater!!

Guys, guys you're not going to believe this!

I just found out I'm a suspect in a crime. Noted YA blogger Ensconced in Lit was murdered yesterday and her body has been found on Twitter. Yep, you read that right--Twitter! Apparently the killer made off with a super-epic LIARS, INC. prize pack and now everyone thinks maybe it was me. Well guess what, it wasn't me because I was completely absorbed reading Shadow Study at this new coffee shop that opens till late and has some amazing chai tea!

Will you help prove my innocence? Head over to Paula Stokes's blog for all the information about the crime. If you can figure out who the real killer is and how they did the deed, Paula is going to award YOU the super-epic LIARS, INC. prize pack, which includes a hand-painted tote, a signed book, a deluxe swag pack, and additional mystery prizes. Come to think of it, I might just have to do a little investigating myself. After all, that prize pack is kind of to die for.

Or should I say to kill for...

#MysteryTwitterTheater was created to celebrate the release of LIARS, INC. a twisty YA mystery/thriller!

 For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cover Reveal/Descubre la portada!: Por Amor Al Arte de Sharon Biggs Waller!!

Hello there guys!!

Today I'm super happy and honoured to share the cover for the Spanish edition of A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller!

A Mad Wicked Folly was one of my favourite books from last year and probably my favourite debut book of 2014. I adore historical fiction and this one was the best kind of historical fiction and it was also very dear to my feminist heart!

Hola a todos!

Hoy estoy super feliz y honrada de poder compartir con todos vosotros la portada de la edición española de A Mad Wicked Folly, en español "Por Amor Al Arte" de Sharon Biggs Waller!

A Mad Wicked Folly/Por Amor Al Arte fue uno de mis libros favoritos del año pasado y probablemente el favorito de todos los libros de debut del 2014. Adoro la ficción histórica y este libro es de la mejor clase de ficción histórica que además es uno de esos libros que me entusiasmaron como feminista!

Ready to see the cover now??/ ¿Preparados para ver la portada ya?

*scroll, scroll*

*scroll, scroll*

I love that they've kept the original artwork for the hardback because I absolutely adoooore this cover! And I just love the title in Spanish! Por Amore Al Arte means for the love of art which is perfect given Vicky's love for art, but it's also a play with words that means doing something for free, without expecting anything in return.

Me encanta que hayan conservado el diseño original de la portada del libro de tapa dura en inglés porque adooooro la portada! Y por supuesto me encanta la traducción escogida para el título! No sólo es perfecto como tal, dado el amor de Vicky por el arte, si no que además añades el juego de palabras!

About the author:

 Sharon Biggs Waller grew up around artists and developed a passion for Edwardian history and the Pre-Raphaelites when she moved to England in 2000. She did extensive research on the British suffragettes for her novel, A MAD, WICKED FOLLY when she wasn’t working as a riding instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace and as a freelance magazine writer. 

She also writes non-fiction books about horses under her maiden name, Sharon Biggs. She is a dressage rider and trainer and lives on a 10-acre sustainable farm in Northwest Indiana with her British husband, Mark. Visit her at

The Infinite by Lori M Lee Blog Tour: Interview & Review!!

Hello there guys!

I'm extremely happy to be part of the official blog tour for The Infinite by Lori M Lee and even more to host Lori herself for an interview on the blog!

And since I was also approved on NetGalley for an ARC of the book, I'm also adding my review at the end of the post but before the giveaway! ;)

But first of all, a lil bit of information about both Gates of Thread & Stone and The Infinite!

Gates of Thread & Stone by Lori M Lee

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe. 

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her. 

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

The Infinite by Lori M Lee

The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe. 

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever. 

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city. 

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.

About the author:

Lori is the author of young adult fantasy novels Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

Interview with Lori M Lee

I very recently finished reading Gates of Thread and Stone (that damned TBR pile is ever growing and I keep postponing books here and there) and I had no idea that aside from the fantasy setting, there were also so dystopian/postapocalyptic elements and I loved those! How did the mix of both elements came to play in the world you were creating for Gates? Did the world came as fantasy or postapocalyptic first? 

The book was originally written as a cyberpunk fantasy. There were hovercycles, virtual adverts, and holograms. The advanced technology in contrast with the grittiness of Ninurta’s slums was initially the groundwork for that cyberpunk/scifi element. Toss in Kai’s powers and the Infinite, and I loved the genre mashup. 

However, things changed in editing, and the book became a straight fantasy. But of course, you can still see the influence of the cyberpunk and the roots of where the world of Gates of Thread and Stone original began.

Kai is ready to go to hell and back for her brother, even if he isn't her brother by blood, and I found it very refreshing that the biggest motivator for her was not romantic love but familiar love. Was that a choice you made consciously or did it come from who Kai was and the story you wanted to tell? 

It was one of the first decisions I made about the plot. Family is one of the prevailing themes in many of the books I write, so I knew immediately that the best way to push Kai into action would be from a threat to her brother. 

The concept of the Infinite is fantastic and both similiar and different enough from gods to be familiar to us all but keep us intrigued and surprise us. How did you decide how your mythology was going to work? Are we going to meet more of them in book 2? (more Infinites in The Infinite, makes sense, right??) 

The Infinite began as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That was back when the story was a cyberpunk fantasy. But as Kai’s story developed into a straight fantasy and into its own contained secondary world, the magic and the gods had to evolve as well. Therefore, I created the Infinite as beings that helped to shape and guide the human world—and stir up trouble as well.

As fo your second question... Weeeeeell, you will learn more about the Infinite themselves. Many more things are explained in the second book—things about the world, about its history, and about the role the Infinite play in it all. Just keep in mind there will still be secrets kept for the last book ;)

Thank you so much for coming over Lori, and please check your pockets since Morrigan and Mini-maug have a tendency to try and smuggle out when people come to visit! 

Thanks for having me! :) 


I had preordered The Infinite before I had even read Gates of Thread and Stone, and I when I got approved for this eARC I was beyond happy! It was fantastic having it there once I reached the ending of GoTaS!

The Infinite was exactly what a sequel needs to be. There are some ongoing issues that are addressed here, if not resolved, and also the world get broader and bigger. The characters must deal with the consequences of the battle at the end of book 1 and all the mysteries that were revealed.

I will clearly try my best to keep my review spoiler free for this book but I might discuss some reveals from book 1 that could be spoilery, so you have been warned!

Kai has put an end to the regime of Kal Ninu, but dealing with the consequences is never as easy as it could be, and the citizens of Ninurta and the politicians are both in turmoil. There's mistrust of the new leadership, inestability and although Kai wants to make things better, change is very hard to implement, not matter if it's for the best.

And not only Kai is mixed on politics now, she's also dealing with her heritage and meeting her father, her new relationship with The Infinite but also with Avan's new situation. Not having lost him was amazing for Kai, but she is no longer sure if she has or hasn't lost him after all.

Avan is quite an intriguing character in this book because he is both familar and alien. He is quite confused himself too because he's lost his memories but he still has some feelings and reactions that he cannot explain, and he is sure that he feels something intense and important for Kai, but he has some insticts now that make him also a different person.

And then our plot takes us to new places, because we discover that Ninurta is not alone, there are more humans and more city and some of them quite closer than anyone (except maybe Kal Ninu and the other Infinites) could have imagined or known. And meeting them is both a joy and a danger and Kai finds herself in a position where she would have never imagined she'd be, having once again to make choices that pull at her different sides: human and not human, duty and family... And I love that this book never really goes down the usual path.

The relationship between Avan and Kai is rather different now and much more complicated since even if the feelings are still there, as intense as ever, so much has changed on who they are, Avan even more than Kai. There are small hints of a third person but I wouldn't say it makes a love triangle, because Kai's feelings and Avan's feelings haven't changed.

We learn some more lore about the world about the Infinite but there's still so much more to learn and I do hope we'll get loads more info in book 3! Also after that ending... No, there's not exactly an awful plot cliffhanger, because the main plot theme is resolved and the battle is finished, but there is an underlying plot line that has just been started to unravel and that I cannot wait to see how it plays in the next book!

And of course, emotionally... damn, that ending! Kai will continue to fight and her choice to be strong and finally accept all of who she is will be very interesting to read, but yeah, I really need to get the next book to see how everything plays out and hope someone comes back properly!!

A fantastic sequel, very much deserving of 4 stars!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #86!!

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 doing the pretzel hoping that my preorder will for once arrive early so I can devour it ASAP? Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins!!

Goodreads Summary:

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

Why am I eagerly awaiting Miss Mayhem? Well, I read and loved Rebel Belle, the first book in the series, with its fluff, banter and amazing humour, and I cannot wait to see where the author plans to take the story!!

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

It's nearly time for LIARS INC! Interview with Paula Stokes!!

Welcome everyone! Today I am extremely pleased to be part of the celebration for Liars INC by Paula Stokes!

I was extremely lucky to read LIARS, INC early and it kept me up reading till I was done with the book, even when I had a biiig case of jet lag! And today I'm once again lucky to have Paula over in the blog for an interview!

LIARS, INC by Paula Stokes

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

 About the author:

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

 Liars INC | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


Today I have the pleasure to welcome to the blog Paula Stokes, fellow nurse (part time) and full time awesome author!
Welcome Paula and thank you so much dropping by for an interview! Never mind the two dragons and sheep fangirling around you, they're (mostly) harmless.

That makes me think of How to Train Your Dragon! *wonders if your dragons ever carry off your sheep and feed them to a big super-dragon* And the interview has taken a dark turn already... ;-)

Oh dear... Morrigan, Mini-maug don't you get ideas!! *stern look at dragons*

- Let's get going. I read and loved Lainey last year and it was a cute & fluffy read with depth to it. How did you come to write such different books? Liars INC is both a thriller and a murder mystery and is as different from Lainey as it comes! Was that a conscious choice or simply something you wanted to write?
I've always been more into darker things. I wrote three work-for-hire historical murder mysteries and I remember telling my Paper Lantern editor I was writing a book with zero dead bodies and she was kind of like, "Why?"

Why, indeed! I started out just writing the stories that I most wanted to write, regardless of the reasons. This is the biggest benefit of not having an agent or editor--you literally can write anything you want without worrying about option clauses or branding or the market, etc. I had the idea for LIARS in early 2010, before the idea for LAINEY, but I started LAINEY after a painful breakup and writing her story healed me. Now I feel a like I have a dark audience and a light audience, so I'm going to try to release a book for each of them every year.

- Is there anything that sparked the idea of writing a murder mystery or was it a mash up of things coming together? Also, what came first, the Liars or the murder?

I grew up reading Christopher Pike and Dean Koontz, two guys that really know how to spin some wild tales but make them feel believable enough to be scary. I was definitely inspired by them, but actually the liars came before the murder. I knew what set-up I wanted to use, but it took me a while to figure out what happened to Preston, and more importantly to determine the character motivations behind everything that occurred. I know in the real world people commit all kinds of crimes for seemingly arbitrary reasons, but I think fiction works best if you can look at the actions of all the major players and really understand where they're coming from, whether or not you agree.

- We see a lot of (very welcome) diversity in this book with Parvati being half Indian, Max's adopted twin baby sisters being Korean... how much of it came from a conscious choice to make the book more like life and how much the characters arrived fully formed like that in your mind?

I guess I'm lucky that a wide array of characters naturally appear in my mind, because I'm not sure how organic it would feel if I designed them with a diversity quota in mind. I do believe strongly in diversity, cultural and otherwise, in fiction, but my first loyalty has to be to the story. I generally take the characters as they come and don't change their races, major personality types, etc., unless there's a specific plot need to do so. Obviously if I wrote a book and realized it had no diversity at all I would stop and make some changes, but that hasn't happened to me yet.

I did make the conscious choice to make Parvati Indian because one thing that irks me about CIA-related books and movies is their over-reliance on Caucasian characters when the real CIA recruits people of color heavily because they are easier to station in foreign countries. The Korean little sisters are based on two of my students that I taught English to when I lived in Seoul.

- Given that the murder in the book is a high profile one the FBI gets called in and take over the case. Your FBI agents don't seem as much cocky arrogant bastards as they are sometimes portrayed in most tv shows. Did you do a lot of research about FBI agents and procedure/protocols?

I interviewed a Major Case Squad detective who answered a lot of police/legal procedural questions but recommended using FBI agents for the story due to Preston being a senator's son. I hemmed and hawed a bit and made the switch to FBI agents in one of the later drafts, so there are more changes to the finished book that I made after speaking with additional experts while the ARCs were being printed.

The agents are even more professional now--for example Gonzalez doesn't call Max a jackass anymore, he handles the pictures he shows Max with more tact, and McGhee is portrayed as heavy but not quite as obese as he reads in the ARC, as FBI agents have fitness standards that most local detectives don't have. I also got help from a lovely law student who looked up the proper terminology for all the crimes Max commits during this book and critiqued my arraignment proceedings, etc.

My main thing with McGhee and Gonzalez is that I didn't want them to come across as complete nimrods. I'm not a fan of books where the fifteen year old protagonist solves the crime while the adults can't see the clues right in front of their faces. That doesn't feel real to me. These FBI agents aren't perfect, but you get the idea they know how to do their jobs and would eventually solve this case on their own.

- I felt like Max was written so very well and with such a genuine voice, how hard/easy was it to write a male teen POV? Was it harder or easier than writing Lainey or say Micah?

I've always been a tomboy. I grew up following around my older brother, rock climbing and playing Dungeons & Dragons. In my twenties, I spent six years working as a line cook/kitchen supervisor in a restaurant kitchen. Most of the cooks were boys like Max--just regular guys that you have to get to know to see what makes them special. A lot of people would have seen "high school dropouts" or "slackers" or even "thugs." Maybe that's what I saw when I first started working there, but not once I spent time with them. They were all so unique and worth knowing.

Being the only girl in a group of almost all guys was really informative once I convinced them they didn't have to censor themselves around me, and I definitely channeled a lot of my coworkers for both Max and Micah. But I also gave the LIARS manuscript to several guys to read. My Y-chromosome betas helped me weed out the occasional girly phrase and pointed out places where Max was being too dramatic or introspective. Random funny: The original draft had Max mentioning Parvati's "platform ankle boots." Yeah that got cut quickly once I got my "boy notes" back.

I wouldn't say Max was easier or harder to write than Lainey--just different. He was probably easier to write than Micah, because Micah is such a fan favorite that I was really worried I might mess up his voice in INFINITE REPEAT.

- Although Liars INC feels like a finished and contained story on its own, given how everything is resolved, I feel like I'd love to read more about this characters, specially Parvati since I must say she's probably my favourite. Can we expect more about them? Like novellas or companion novels or any sort of extras? *crosses fingers*

Well I made the mistake of putting Parvati's Guide to Lying up on Goodreads, so I guess I have to write that now ;-) That's just going to be a fun 20-page booklet where P talks about how, when, and where to lie, as well as pointing out the times you should probably never lie. You'll be able to read it free on Wattpad.

A companion book that takes place after LIARS, INC. and features Parvati as the main character alongside a cast of diverse teens is outlined and partially written. Think Homeland meets Nikita meets Jennifer Lynn Barnes The Naturals books. I'd say there's a 95% chance I'll finish writing that, even if I can't sell it to a traditional publisher, but I do have two books under contract I *should* write first >_>

And that's all folks! Thank you so much Paula for answering all the questions and not freaking out when Morrigan almost set your hair on fire, she's also a big Parvati fan and got excited thinking about more Parvati stories!

Eek! I thought I smelled burnt hair. Wouldn't be the first time, or the second time, but those are stories for another day :-) Thanks for having me on your lovely site, Pili! *eats cupcake* *tucks second cupcake into purse for later*

Mark This Book Monday: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab!!!

Hello there guys!

Happy Monday! Yes, it's Monday, the week starts, but since I've been working the weekend... it is just another day but one where I can get book mail! ;)

Today for Mark This Book Monday I have an amazing book to feature and share and flail about! I read & loved the sampler but given my book buying ban I didn't preorder it, but on release day I decided to say "To hell with it!" and buy the book BUT it was already out of stock in many places! Which wasn't all that cool until it meant I got a brainwave, asked the author for where to buy signed copies, and I ended up getting a signed and personalized copy of it, from Scotland! =D

And since this one is a 2015 release it counts towards that category in my 105 Challenge!

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy crackers!

I read the sampler for A Darker Shade of Magic, I absolutely loved it and was so excited to finally continue reading! When I finally got my hands on a copy of (signed!!) I knew I needed to save it for a day off, cause I wanted to read it from start to finish!

And that's what I did! And it just cannot be done any other way, because once you start reading this one, you just don't want to stop! At first because you are so intrigued about the characters you are meeting and the worlds you are discovering, and soon enough it is because you already care for those characters and the action starts ramping up and then they keep rescuing each other and getting into even more trouble, and then the shit has hit the fan and no one seems to have realized it!

The world the author has created in this book is fascinating and I love how we've got plenty of pieces to feel like these different Londons are all real, as familiar or as alien as they might feel to us. But at the same time, I love that there's still a lot to discover about them.

Grey London, the more normal London, the one without magic, the one more like our world and the one that felt like the Jack the Ripper's London for some reason to me (Victorian London after all), it's quite full of surprises after all. Red London, the most magical but also the more orderly, is fascinating but we get only a glimpse of the city itself, and there are quite some secrets and mysteries around it still. White London, the most crazy and dangerous of the lot, with mad rulers and a hunger for magic that it's more dangerous than magic itself! And finally Black London, the most mysterious of the lot and the cautionary tale for all magic users!

But as much as I feel that we got a real feel for all the places, that the atmosphere was so real and different when switching from one London to another and I was completely immersed... I feel that we have just but scratched the surface of these worlds! I feel like there is so much more coming and I just cannot wait to visit more and discover more and see more in the next book! I feel like that's the mark of an amazing first book: you get a complete overview of the world with enough information to make it feel real BUT having enough to make it grow even bigger and better in the upcoming books!

I fell in love with the characters quite easily too. Both Kell and Lila are delightful and different and complex and I adore how Lila is entirely unapologetic of who she is, what she does and what she wants! She's a pirate looking for her ship and adventures and she finds way more that she could ever dream about! I love how different and at the same time how similar Lila and Kell are, because both accept who they are but want more and keep having their own ways to rebel about the cards they have been dealt.

And not only the main characters feel real and you feel like cheering for them, every single character you encounter has a genuine feeling to them, even if it's just a man that lost a game of cards once against Kell, or the lady that sells Lila the clothes she always wanted, and even more the bigger secondary characters like Rhys, and Holland and the evil twins. And let's not forget about the magic, because at some point in the book you feel like the magic IS a character too, and one that worries you as much as the human villains! And really I won't give any more details because I might end up getting into spoilery territory, and I want to avoid that at all costs!

So, the world building is fantastic, the characters are amazing... and the plot? The plot is brilliant! It's quite hard to manage to build a plot and make it progress and get to a resolution in a first book of a trilogy but the author managed to do so in here and brilliantly! There was so much tension once we reach the climax of the story! But yes, you heard it right, there is resolution and a full story arc closes, and no, there is not a cliffhanger (what?! YES, you heard right!) but an ending, it might be an open ending, and yes it does leave you wanting more because you need more Lila, more Kell, more Rhys and yes what if?? and you want to know MORE about everything!

As I guess it's easy to surmise from my overly wordy review, I adored this book and I just cannot wait to get my hands on its sequel... next year! GAH! SO FAR AWAY!! Very much deserved 5 and all the stars to this one!!

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Pages: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon!!!

Hey guys!

The weekend is here and with it a new entry of Saturday Pages! And this one is counted for my 105 Challenge because as a January release it'll be included in my 2015 release category.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all I must thank my friend Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction because she was the one that convinced me to read The Bone Season and I discovered a fantastic series that is now on its second book and we have 5 more books to look forward to!

The Mime Order starts right where The Bone Season left us and it was full of action from page one. Then we get a small breather while Paige tries to recover from the ordeal of being kept captive, trained and escaping but it's not too quiet since she's in hiding and running from Scion.

I wasn't very happy with how Paige returned to Seven Dials after how Jaxon treated her in Bone Season, but it was also understandable that she needed a safe place to hide, and returning to her position as Mollisher was the most obvious choice, even if her swallowing her pride and running back felt like a step back.

But things change quickly once Paige finds herself in a crime scene, and she decides she needs to solve the crime before she is accused of it. And we are treated to a wonderful murder mystery full of twists!

Most of the world building was done in The Bone Season, but everything gets bigger and better in this book. We see more of the Syndicate, discover more about the different leaders and the inside workings of leadership. I loved how Paige decided to work from the inside to change things and try to unite the voyants in the fight against Scion.

There's quite a bit of growth for Paige in this book, she returns as an escaped victim from the Rephaim and seems to go back to being under the care and fist of Jaxon, but she cannot ignore the threat to all the voyants or the fact that the Syndicate is a bunch of squabbling criminals that can't seem to see beyond their own petty noses. She decides she needs to change things and she takes responsability and fights for those that no one else seem to care about. I just loved how she went against what was the obvious choices or the easy ones.

The romance in this series is on the rather subtle and secondary side, but it is present and although it's not the main motivator for Paige's actions, Warden is a constant presence and reassurance, as well as someone that will always help her try and get stronger. The chemistry between Paige and Warden is pretty good but given their differences is fantastic that they acknowledge how difficult their relationship will be and how they feel very strongly but won't put it before everything else.

The final part of the book was extremely intense, trying to solve two mysteries at once and preparing for the final battle, and once all of that is done, we get an even bigger surprise and slap in the face! Now I just cannot wait for book 3!! Go Paige!! Very well deserved 5 stars for this second book that has no sequel slump in any shape or form!

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