Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. December is here, which means the year is almost over and with a new year, we can look forward to new books! This week’s theme is 2014 releases I’m dying to read. Honestly, I get excited for every sequel of every series I read, so this list is tough to make but these ten are the ‘give-me-right-now’ books:
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
I am not excited for this book – said no one ever. It has to be one of the most anticipated YA books of 2014, with it being the last in a series of 6, and with the author Cassandra Clare promising us readers that there will be deaths. All shadowhunters are waiting with bated breath for this book’s release and since there is no cover yet, it is killing me even more! It does not help that the placeholder cover says – Who Will Survive?
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Yeah, I have been saying again and again how I love Laini Taylor’s writing so it should be obvious by now how much I am dying to read this final book. Plus, gorgeous cover – can’t wait to have it in my hands!
Cress by Marissa Meyer
On the subject of gorgeous covers, this one is also my favorite. But no, I am not waiting just because of the cover. It is a futuristic adaptation of Rapunzel plus Thorne might finally meet his soulmate, so I am a bit giddy over this one.
Infinite by Jodi Meadows
Another last book in series. 2014 is seeming like a very sad year with me having to say goodbye to my favorite series. With the truth of Janan out and the reason the citizens of Heart agreed to it, I want to see what will Ana do.
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Do they reach the safe haven??? Please, without any casualties!! Nope, kidding. I expect the worst from every post-apocalyptic dystopian YA book.
Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
Last one ended on a cliffhanger and this is the last book- enough said!
Unhinged by A G Howard
More creepstasticness? Hell yeah I want to read this book!
Enders by Lissa Price
Honestly, the wait for this book has been way too long! The first one released in 2012 and novellas don’t count. Just give this to me already!
Sister’s Fate by Jessica Spotswood
Last book again. Previous one on a devastating cliffhanger. *sob* This one will destroy me.
The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Did you see the author’s name? Yeah, I don’t need to explain this one. I will read any and every book she writes. Too bad it does not have a cover yet.
You thought that’s all? Heck no! I haven’t even included the new series that will be coming next year.
Cloud Nine was one of the most disappointing books I have come across. The blurb promised so much but the book delivered a hald-baked plot and cardboard characters. It is all ‘hey I am your guardian angel. I lurve you so much’ and them bam, return of the most stalkerish exes ever. Claire and Sterling are bland for protagonists and spend most of the time being attached at the lips and breaking hearts as they go. (eyeroll) Also, meet the family happens more than one time and it all is repititive. The entire set of characters is boring and the author has trouble sticking to things – first we find out that Claire basically takes her of herself because her parents are so absent and later on, they are being all concerned and friendly parents and basically around all the time. Exes are trying to meddle and win back. Upstairs, there are some bereaucratic geezers that don’t give a damn about what their guardian angels are doing. Seriously, I can’t believe with the lack of authority, how no angel until Sterling even thought of hooking up with humans. Must have not occured to them, right – what with all the shacking up with fellow angels. Also, exactly what these guardians do beside ‘being’ there and doing genie jobs, I can’t guess. They even got their charges sent into asylums in the past, so I doubt they know what protecting their charges exactly means. The end was so anti-climatic (what was the plot exactly?), I was like – are you effing kidding me? The psychopathic ex will just be ‘watched’? Really? I wanted to throw it across the room but sadly it was a digital copy and I love my tablet too much for that. Seriously, nothing in this book makes me want to pick up the sequel.
Looking at the blurb, I chose Phoenix Island for the conspiracy (god, I love those!) and because I wanted a fresh genre. Set in today’s world with a bit of sci-fi, Phoenix Island entrapped me from the first page. Told majorly from Carl’s narrative, it has teen delinquents being sent to a military style boot camp. At first, Carl and the other orphans (yes, all the delinquents are orphans) are fine with the system – since they were promised a clean slate when they reached 18 and a chance to join the military if they want. Opposed to a real prison, it sounded good – even if the Drill Sergeants bully them non-stop. But as time progresses, Carl finds out that they are not disciplining kids here, they are hand-picking them for a mercernary army called the Phoenix Force. Escape from the island is nearly impossible and with the kids being pushed into becoming savages, they don’t have any unity. It actually seems a bit like Nikita (the TV show) and while those at least had contact with the outside world, here they are isolated and the only home they know is the island. Carl is chosen for further enhancement and at first, he is happy for the chance but soon discovers what they really stand for. Coupled with that imposing ending, the plotline is highly engaging.
As a character, Carl is the heroic tough-guy type. A former boxing champion, he is used to order and structure while fighting. He fights with his mind and even though I first thought him to be some sort of jock (he doesn’t know Hogwarts???), he grew on me. The writing is lush with fight scenes and from Carl’s eyes, even the violence seems a bit fascinating. There is not just jabbing and hitting – it is like a dance to win over the opponent. His principles are challenged again and again and he stands up to all that is wrong, even sacrificing himself for it. And god, was it cruel to read everything that happened to him and Olivia. I must admit – the violence at times nauseated me, and the cruelty of the psychopathic Parker and that Decker & Co. really enraged me. It was beyond torture, what they did, and the body count is nothing is comparison to what happened to the living ones. Despair and hopelessness is the main atmosphere of the book and even with its fast pacing, you can’t escape it. Speaking of pacing, I loved how balanced the book was – it paid attention to detail at exactly the right points and things skimmed over when necessary. As I said before, there are plenty of fights which are described so intricately, you feel like you are in the scene.
Overall, a great book for people who love a good conspriracy theory, secret organizations and past-paced action. It should, however, be noted that it contains violence and cruelty so caution while reading.
Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
It’s December! Yay! November went by so fast – and now we are almost at the end of the year. It has been such a wonderful month – with NaNoWriMo (no, I didn’t participate) and some awesome movies releasing too. Before I babble on, let’s see what I had read this month:
That makes it 8 novels and 3 novellas and 1 manga. Compared to other months, I know it is a low number – my Goodreads widget is reminding me of this. Thing is, I just got employed this month in a nanotech research centre as a project trainee, which means I have little time for reading except on Sundays. As much as I love the job, I do miss reading daily. I hope to cultivate a habit of reading an hour before bed but with all the tumblring, facebooking, tweeting and mailing, I barely have time to even watch my favorite TV shows, forget spending 2-3 continuous hours to read. I wanted to watch Catching Fire but got a really unpleasant surprise when I found out it releases on December 6 in India. Also, I have two big tests in December, which means you can expect fewer reviews in December. I am NOT taking a hiatus from blogging and reviewing, though, so you can expect the weekly memes as usual. I also won’t be posting any TBR because honestly, I don’t even know which book I will pick up next. Anyway, I will still find time to read – I am sure of that!
That’s all for November and happy December reading, everyone!
The world of Moth, though set as fantasy, feels like an alternate reality of the Medieval ages. The backstory goes like this – the Earth had stopped spinning centuries ago and now lies still. There are two parts – one constantly bathed in sunlight and the other in darkness. Two races live – the Timandrians and the Elorians, both believe the existence of the other is just a myth. But a sect of monks from Timandra believe in Eloria and want to burn it all down. Living on either side of the races are Torin, a Timandrian and Koyee, an Elorian and a major part of the story is told from their view. War is emerging thanks to the ministrations of the blood-thirsty monks and both are stuck as unwilling participants.
What I really loved about Moth was the plotline and the subliminal meaning behind it. In a world where these two races haven’t encountered each other, prejudices lead them to believe the other is demonic. The Elorian calls the Timandrans sunlight demons and the latter calls the former creatures of the night. The manipulative monks create tension in a time of ignorant peace and start to lay the foundations of a bloody war. Torin had seen the Elorians and believe them to be innocent people and Koyee had her father murdered at the hands of the monks. Both embark to their respective king/elders to plead inaction/action from the powers that be. More interesting is the story of Koyee, a young girl who took upon herself the responsibility of saving her land. Her long-lost brother also comes into the story but he doesn’t leave the impact she does. She comes to her capital city, to warn the elders but has to live off the streets, become a thief and finally join the battle. Torin, meanwhile, tries to stop his king but there are too many forces that drive them towards the war. The whole story rests on ambition and hatred and I found is superbly written. I enjoyed the vivid storytelling, the shifting narratives and the excellent world-building that is so richly devised and executed – keeping me engaged and hooked onto every page. I daresay it is one of the best fantasy I’ve come across.
Received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Deadly (#14 in Pretty Little Liars)
Release date: December 3, 2013
High school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have all done horrible things—things that would put them behind bars if anyone ever found out. And their stalker “A” knows everything.
So far A has kept their secrets, using them to torture the girls. But now A’s changed the game. Suddenly the girls are hauled in for questioning, and all their worlds begin to unravel. If A’s plan succeeds, Rosewood’s pretty little liars will be locked away for good. . . .
Rain of the Ghosts (#1 in Rain Cacique)
Release date: December 3, 2013
Welcome to the Prospero Keys (or as the locals call them: the Ghost Keys), a beautiful chain of tropical islands on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. Rain Cacique is water-skiing with her two best friends Charlie and Miranda when Rain sees her father waiting for her at the dock. Sebastian Bohique, her maternal grandfather, has passed away. He was the only person who ever made Rain feel special. The only one who believed she could do something important with her life. The only thing she has left to remember him by is the armband he used to wear: two gold snakes intertwined, clasping each other’s tails in their mouths. Only the armband . . . and the gift it brings: Rain can see dead people. Starting with the Dark Man: a ghost determined to reveal the Ghost Keys’ hidden world of mystery and mysticism, intrigue and adventure.
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer
This week’s question is:
Do you leave a link back to your blog when you participate in weekly memes?
I always do. I love the feedback I get from other bloggers for my answers as well as visiting other bloggers’ answers.
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.
Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.
Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.
Perception is a good book when it comes to science fiction. A futuristic world where people are divided into naturals and genetically engineered ones – is a concept derived from designer babies, I guess. It is quite a debate in the scientific community whether it would be ethical in the long run to perform gene therapy on humans beyond the normal (like for genetic or congenital diseases). Though that is the basis of the novel, it is basically still a rich girl loves poor boy kind of story, in which a mixing of their worlds is forbidden. The first half was about Zoe trying to find why her brother went missing and you know there is a conspiracy coming. The plot really picks up in the second half with her finding out the truth but losing Noah. It was all going fine right until the last chapter, which felt kind of rushed to me. Otherwise, the storytelling was sort of okay, though at times felt a bit lost in the details. Telling about all the futuristic gadgets and all seems exciting, but after some time just gets too repetitive and the narration falls at some points. So, 3.5 stars from me.
Guys, I feel like Christmas has come early! I came home, and found 5 packages waiting for me.
After the initial squealing and guessing, I sat down to open it (while feeling like a kid on Christmas morning).
Something Strange & Deadly was thanks to Natalie’s Something Wicked Returns Giveaway Hop.
Crossed was thanks to Kathy’s Dystopian Giveaway Hop.
I bought The 5th Wave to read along with my Goodreads group The Young Adult Book Club in December. Yes, I am opening up to the idea of participating in book clubs.
Also won Champion swag from Kat over at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. My cat (Yuriko) loved the poster too!
Finally, the cherry on the cake:
Signed copies of Every Which Way but Dead and Into the Woods plus swag from Kim Harrison herself!!
So, all the books:
Now, I have to clean up my shelves again to make space for these new additions. Expect a shelfie soon enough
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week’s topic is things that I’m thankful for – it could be bookish or not. I decided to keep it bookish because that is what this blog is primarily about. So, here are my Top Ten:
Harry Potter series
I bet you saw this coming when I said I would make the list bookish! Thing is, Harry Potter was the first YA series I ever read and though at that time I didn’t even know what YA was, I consider this book to be the first to immerse me into fiction. Before this, I was all about detective series and biographies but I wasn’t as much in love with reading as much I was after this book series. Rowling, you changed my life
Say what you want, I keep this series on a pedestal – it was the first YA series that I read when I knew what YA was. Again, that was only after the first book (at that time, I didn’t even know about the movie), but since then YA has been my first choice of genre. I never thought vampires could be sexy – it was drilled into me from childhood that vampires are ugly, bat-like creatures (thanks for that, Stoker!) and monsters in general. I guess I wouldn’t have read all the paranormal fiction I did so far without this start.
All her books are awesome and I have read every single one of it (I think my count is 54?)- except the middle grade ones (never got around to those and now I feel too old to do so) and I admire her for her versatility in writing, which includes from middle grade to adult, contemporary to fantasy, mysteries to romance. Each of her female characters are strong girls/women and are inspirational. They are all relatable, even if they are a teen witch or a princess or a psychic medium.
First Urban Fantasy series and before that, I wouldn’t go near the genre at all. The covers used to simply put me off – a leather clad, mostly skimpy young woman looking tough – and I don’t know why, but they didn’t appeal to me. This series was one of the first few recommendations from Goodreads and I learnt that every book in a genre doesn’t speak for the whole. This series was an eye-opener that never to judge the contents of a book fully by it’s cover – sometimes you gotta read the blurb too
For weaving magic into everyday life. Her book ‘If You Could See Me Now’ was the first book to put me in tears. And no, ‘P.S. I Love You’ couldn’t even do that to me – I’m that stoic.
The Fault in our Stars
For being the best contemporary fiction I’ve come across and for teaching me that some things really are worthwhile. Also, thanks to John Green for creating Gus (aka the best boyfriend ever) and Hazel Grace.
Fallen by Lauren Kate
For making me fall in love with the angel sub-genre. I mean, I literally added all the angel book recommendations I got from Goodreads after reading this one.
The Lord of the Rings
For making me realize the depths of human imagination when an entire world with it’s own different languages was created by a single person. I may not like the book but I appreciate the world-building. Also, thanks for teaching me that just because a book is popular and is totally a fad to read, doesn’t mean you HAVE to read it – you should choose what you like. I won’t, however, thank you for putting me off fantasy for years.
Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
For removing me from the self-imposed aforementioned fantasy restriction. High fantasy was something I avoided until this book.
Lastly, I would like to thank Kagawa for making me fall in love with faeries, especially the quiet brooding ones.
Honorary mention – Goodreads
Seriously, more than half of my reading list is made up of recommendations from Goodreads. I was a booknerd before Goodreads came into my life, but finding my next literary fix was a challenge. Thanks to Goodreads, I came to know of so many amazing books which I otherwise would have missed out on.