First Look at ABC Family’s ‘Shadowhunters’

Originally posted on TMI Source:

How do you start your Monday morning off right? With the reveal of the first stills from Shadowhunters, of course!

Entertainment Weekly has shared a first look at three stills from Shadowhunters‘ first three episodes, featuring Katherine McNamara (Clary), Dominic Sherwood (Jace), Matthew Daddario (Alec), Emeraude Toubia (Isabelle) and Harry Shum Jr. (Magnus).

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Shadowhunters premieres in January on ABC Family.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. Fairytale retellings – the genre I blindly add books from. No really, if the blurb mentions or alludes to being similar to a fairytale, I will immediately add it to my TBR. Figures, since the first books I ever was obsessed with were these set of illustrated fairytales I had. I must have read them a thousand times – even when I was past the age for it. So, fairytales have always had a fond place in my heart, but reimaging them in alternate universes? I’m totally for it.

So, here are my favorite retellings:

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Let’s face it – fantasy and space opera? Best combo ever! Meyer has blended the four famous fairytales – Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White, in a futuristic world with badass strong heroines (yes, even Cress) and giving representation to POC, all while keeping the spirit of the original stories. Oh, and I love the snippets alluding to the original tale before every book part.

Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

These are actually a set of stories set in the same universe  – ours, and loosely based on the original stories, but with the common theme of wolves and maidens being taken by wolves. The whole series is pretty grim (hee-hee), but you will enjoy Pearce’s take on the stories of Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, The Little Mermaid, and The Snow Queen (haven’t read that one yet, but I am sure it is awesome)

Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1)Beau Rivage series by Sarah Cross

This is also a blend of characters from different fairytales, with the characters being the characters from the original stories in a modern world. It has been a while, but I do remember the main one being Bluebeard.

Between the LinesBetween the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

Technically, it’s not a retelling of a specific story, just has fairytale elements in it. The story revolves around a girl who finds a book in which the characters are actually alive, and the prince and she fall in love with another; only the issue is how to get him out of the book?

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)The School for Good & Evil by Soman Chainani

Again, this one is not a specific retelling but uses fairytale elements. However, the plotline is very interesting, with the normally beautiful girl being the witch and the quiet frumpy type being the princess; also they are childhood friends. The dynamics between them is central to the plot, while the concept of fairytales being written as they are happening is the background.

BeastlyBeastly by Alex Flinn

Yeah, Beauty and the Beast retellings are quite in, with Cruel Beauty and A Court of Thorns and Roses on my TBR (when will I read them?!), but I would have to mention this sweet tale, which many of you may also be familiar with since it was adapted into a movie. The story actually is of the witch, Kendra, and the series is a saga of her misadventures.

EntwinedEntwined by Heather Dixon

This charming and magical retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, is quite entertaining. You will have to read it to experience it.

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Splintered by A G Howard

This dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with an Alice descendant who thinks she is insane – yep, I have you interested already, don’t I? – has a vividly imagined Wonderland and a fantastic twist. Must read!

Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

A Frog Prince retelling – this story continues into two sequels, both of which I sadly haven’t read yet.

DevouredDevoured by Amanda Maroone

A Snow White retelling, with a paranormal twist. This was the book that made me realize I love dark fairytales. It continues the Snow White story, and has a fantastic storyline.

ARC Review: Awake

Awake
Awake by Natasha Preston

Release date: August 4, 2015

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

Conceptually, this had promise. A girl in hiding from a nefarious cult – a lost princess (or prisoner) kind of story. Even the protagonist had her good moments – but nothing could lift my spirits after the terrible written start of the book. It literally just starts with the boy-meets-girl part – out of the blue, with no introduction to even the main protagonist. That is the moment I realized it is going to be one of those love stories – the co-dependent (no, the book is not forgiven for admitting it) type where the couple are glued at the hip. Even with a dual perspective, it was pointless, as the voices weren’t distinct enough until much later in the book.

The new guy, is basically, a honey pot. He has been sent to lure her away from her parents – which considering him being a few years older than her, didn’t sit right with me. Secondly, her parents are the stupidest people to ever go on the run – who keeps their real names when they are running from a murderous group of people? No amount of moving around can protect you enough if you aren’t even doing the basics of going off grid. And then they weren’t even suspicious of this new family whose lifestyle resembled that of the cult – the organic, healthy eating, love for outdoors, and aversion to processed foods. It’s like they were dangling her on a rope to be kidnapped. The cult, meanwhile, only was there to be the crazy group of people – no explanation given as to why they were suddenly into human sacrifice.

Besides the main girl, who actually wasn’t a doormat and didn’t take shit, there was nothing actually going for this book. Sigh, when will I find a good witness protection type story?

Received a free galley from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley; this does not affect my opinions or review.

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ARC Review: Bleeding Earth

Bleeding Earth
Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward

Release date: August 4, 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

Bleeding Earth is a different kind of apocalyptic novel – one in which the protagonist isn’t the one driving the story, or saving the world or something like that. It’s a regular teenage girl, whose life is turned upside down when the Earth starts literally bleeding in a manner similar to the Biblical flood. Since she is a passive character with respect to the world-building, pretty much half of the book is non-exciting. World is getting worse, they are trying to cope up with it. In the midst of all this end-of-world scenario going on, she still wants to live a normal life – hang out with her secret girlfriend, go out with her friends, not get nightmares about the blood, that sort of thing. She seems irritating due to this, but then I also remind myself that she is a teen – and she can’t exactly save a world which is killing itself.

Psychologically, this story has a better storyline. The effect of dire scenarios on relationships, on survival and what you must do to survive, changing ethical values, and what can be forgiven. It would have been great from that angle, but instead focuses on the romance and the long descriptions of how much the world is frigging bleeding. I get it – blood came up, hair came up, bones came up – no need to reiterate every second page. The story picked up toward the last third of the book – but until the end the flood wasn’t explained, so I’m guessing we are going the Biblical route on this one. Disappointing climax, really.

Received a free galley from Egmont USA via Netgalley; this does not affect my opinions or review.

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Will is being a loving dad in new ‘The Last Hours’ snippet

Originally posted on TMI Source:

http://36.media.tumblr.com/967ddab20ecac7c2809f5a7ca4e99b25/tumblr_mlscg966lT1qck31zo1_500.jpg Art by Cassandra Jean

It’s Cassandra Clare’s birthday and since she received a lot of birthday wishes, Cassie took to her tumblr to say ‘thank you':

Thank you all for the lovely birthday tweets and messages; I’m overwhelmed! I’m spending the day with my family but you all will be in my thoughts and long-distance hugs.

A birthday snippet from The Last Hours: Will being such a dad. :)

“Matthew told me what happened at the park,” Will muttered in a voice no one but James could hear. James shot a betrayed look at Matthew, who shrugged and gave him a half-smile. Matthew could be relied on to tattle on James if he thought it was for his own good. “Thank the Angel for Matthew and Thomas and Christopher.” He touched James’ face. “I regret ever having said that your generation was wasting its time with parties and boating and…

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Book Blogger Hop: July 31- Aug 6

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

This week’s question is:

Do you collect things that are book related? Like bookmarks, nameplates, 1st editions.

Answer:

Not really. I love swag like signed bookmarks and bookplates, but mostly I just love to collect books, especially if a particular edition has a pretty cover.

 

Review: Hellhole

Hellhole
Hellhole by Gina Damico

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food – and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

Hellhole, as any book of Damico’s, is fun, and even though there are dark themes to the story, it is foremost a very hilarious. Starting from the character names, and with Max’s mental commentary, Lore’s sass, and Burg’s love for all things artery-clogging, I was pretty much smiling through most of the book. Max has a devil in his basement, all because he accidentally raised him from hell, and now strikes a deal with him to ensure his mother’s full recovery from her terminal condition. What he didn’t sign up for was the mental anguish, dealing with the devil’s demands, keeping said devil a secret, while figuring out how to hold up his end of the bargain. And it’s not an easy one – Burg wants a big house, with a hot tub, as payment, with it being preferably stolen. Max is put into a dilemma, doing illegal and sometimes wrong things, just for his mom. Lore, a former dealer with such a devil, helps him out, initially reluctant but then she warms up to him. There is no mushy romance, but they are cute together.

So, since this was the first audiobook I ever read fully, I am going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back. But – this format is so not for me. I would have finished this book ages ago by actually reading it, not dividing it over two months. The narrator was pretty good, especially when it came to Max’s dialogues and Burg’s sassy comments, but for the female dialgoues – eh…I cringed at some points. Audie was particularly difficult to hear spoken, in that falsetto. Lore being spoken was good, and the narrator totally brought out her couldn’t-care-less attitude. Overall, great book, but not a fan of the audiobook version.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. What better than a favorite character you can related to? And one who loves books as much as you! Here are some:

FangirlCath Avery from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”

The Fault in Our StarsHazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in our Stars by John Green

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

“Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”

“One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

Looking for AlaskaAlaska Young from Looking for Alaska

“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”

 The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight, #3.5)Bree Tanner from Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

“I took the next dozen books in line; that would keep me a couple of days.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Hermione Granger from Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

“No,” said Hermione shortly. “Have either of you seen my copy of Numerology and Gramatica?”
“Oh, yeah, I borrowed it for a bit of bedtime reading,” said Ron, but very quietly.”

“Me? Books and cleverness. There are more important things: friendship and bravery.”

Book Blogger Hop: July 24-30

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

This week’s question is:

Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you match them to the book you’re reading or do you use random scraps of paper?

Answer:

I mostly read on my reader apps, so it holds the place for me.

As for printed books, I try to use bookmarks (Heaven knows I have enough from Bookdepository and Amazon lying around) but I keep losing them while reading the book. So, when I am ready to put down the book again, I look for a random scrap of paper.

 

 

Review: Cress

Cress
Cress by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

I have never denied my love for this space saga retelling of the famous four fairytales, and this one wants me to scream from rooftops how much I love Meyer’s beautiful writing. She has woven these fairytales so seamlessly in one dystopic world, merging genres of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. Girl power is basically the theme of the series, and our favorite revolutionaries, are once again trying to thwart Levana’s plans for world domination. Cinder has gained help from Cress, Levana’s talented hacker, and our Rapunzel, to help with stopping Kai’s and Levana’s wedding. Cress is the main heroine of the story, but since there is a lot taking place, we get perspective from each of our darling princesses. So, at the start of the story, Cinder, Thorne, Wolf, Scarlet, Iko and the doctor are gathered in the Rampion, when they are contacted by Cress. Cress, has been trapped in her satellite, her metaphorical tower, for 6 years, while aiding Levana step by step take over the world. But the bloodshed in Scarlet has emboldened her, making her eager to leave her cage and help the right people. She is also a little in love with Thorne, despite never having met him.

When they decide to rescue her from her satellite, they are interrupted by Thaumaturge Sybil, the Mother Gothel in this story and the group gets separated. Thorne and Cress are plunked in the middle of the desert, after she gets a haircut (dont’ ask, just read the book!), Scarlet is kidnapped, and Cinder and Co get a new ally in the form of Jacin Clay, who, to be honest is morally ambigious. But he says he is loyal to his Princess, and Cinder takes this to mean her, Princess Selene. Together, they hatch a plan to save Kai from the wedding and overthrow Levana on Luna itself. Meanwhile, Cress and Thorne are having a hard time in the desert; Cress, especially because she is new to Earth, only ever having caught glimpses from her satellite. She is still filled with childlike wonder over the planet, and Thorne is perhaps a little attracted to her because of that. He, however, also thinks that he is the first guy she has ever met, so is not quick to return her feelings. It’s a long arduous journey, and when they finally all reunite and the mission begins, it’s all naitbitingly tense. Towards the climax, I was on such a reading high, that when the book ended I was like – No! Why isn’t Winter out yet?

Speaking of Winter, she is an interesting character and Jacin and her seem devoted to each other. As for Scarlet, please save my poor baby!!! Cinder had a lot of soul searching to do in this story, starting with the extent of her powers and the morality of it. Seeing what she can do, and Wolf’s feeling about it, it all is very complicated. They both are the best brotp ever, though, and I even loved the little ‘Alpha’ moment Cress and Wolf shared. He is a fearsome creature, but he is also the gentlest cinnamon roll. Overall, great action, good storyline and some spectacular writing. And sorry for gushing!! :D

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