Friday, July 29, 2016

Glass Sword



Mare Barrow's blood is red- the color of COMMON FOLK but her silver ability, the power to control lightning has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tried to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince-the friend-who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever? - excerpt from book

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is the second book in this trilogy and I have to say I was a bit disappointed in it. I think it's because I was expecting a lot more action in this book but it was not up to my standard nonetheless it was still a good sequel. I think the highlight of this book is the character growth but I sometimes find Mare a bit whiny. Her interactions with other characters are sometimes exciting and also frustrating too. There were moments that I wanted to slap her so so bad. Mare did change a lot in the whole journey of this book to the point that either you love her or hate her. 

As for the male character of the book, Cal had quite a good growth in my opinion. It was him who had gave me reason to continue on with the trilogy. I wished there was more interaction of him with the other characters but since the POV is Mare's the readers won't get too much. Maven who is the villain of the book was also a character that I quite liked and I wished there was more encounters but because of the plot we have less of him. I love the side characters this time because there are more people who changed because of their past and also their present situation. The side characters certainly make the book livelier. 

The plot of the book started off good and towards the middle it was getting a bit draggy for me. Around the middle was where I thought it got kinda bored and repetitive so I actually put down the book and read something else. It was about 3 months ago when I stopped reading around 2xx page and recently I picked it back up and finished it. The twist and turns were okay, not too shocking to say the least. Towards the end is where the book got a bit more exciting but I felt that the author is quite lacking when it comes to writing about action scenes. The ending was not unexpected for me as I managed to predict it.

Overall, I think that the second book was not bad but not great. To compare I liked the first book more than this one because I could not predict that book at all. I usually judge how good a book is depending on whether it can capture my attention or not. Since I could read halfway, leave it for months and then come back to it means it was not a successful page turner. I would be reading the third book for sure because I can't predict after what happened at the end. To say the least, this book was similar to other books in the same genre utilizing many tropes but lucky the characters are more unique. I'm not too sure that at this point I would recommend this trilogy to others, so I would have to wait till next year to pass judgement.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday : Most Recent Additions to my Wishlist


As a reader or most would call me a book addict I have a very long wish list of books. I can never read as fast as I add them to the list. But sadly, I also don't buy those books so quickly because cash is always a problem (must not overspend you see =P). I'm always influenced by Bookstagram and BookTube videos, and it is those recommendations that I always add new books in my wish list. So here are the Top 5 books that I've recently added into my wish list that I really really want to buy soon....if I can reduce my TBR pile to 50% of it's current amount.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

I've recently seen many of this series being pictured in Bookstagram and I've heard many good things by the readers. It's rating on GoodReads is particularly good at least 4 stars. 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

This book's cover was really beautiful in pictures and since it's a fantasy book it gave me reason to put into my wishlist.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The final book to the series was out this April which I've heard nothing but good things in the Bookstagram community. Since everything is out I'm hopeful that I will purchase all 4 together and then binge read them if I can.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

After reading this author's The Darkest Minds, I was instantly hooked to her writing. This book was released at the start of the year where I heard time traveling is involved. I am always convinced to put a book into my wishlist with that key word. I hope I would love this book because it seems to be a hit and miss with readers, either you love it or you don't.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Although this book will not be out until September I have already put it into my wishlist. This was a book that I loved very much last year and I cannot wait for the sequel to come. This book will be the last book making it a duology. 

If you know of the books I've listed, it is all in the fantasy genre which I love the most. Those books certainly have covers that attract your attention but it's the content that matters more.  Hopefully by September I would be able to order these books =D. So what are some books that you've added into your wish list? 

Summer Comment Challenge


Hello fellow readers and also bloggers! I took part in this Comment Challenge in June hosted by a dear friend Lonna FLYLeF who has been very supportive of my review. Thank you very much Lonna. She is hosting this with Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense who is another blogger. So for August I'm taking part again. 

The point for this challenge is to comment on a specific blogger's post to spread the love. If you do not know, after writing for so many years, I always look forward to comments be it a good or a bad one. I just want constructive criticism from readers. 

Sadly, my experience for June was not so good because I was quite busy and I think I've only managed to comment twice for my partner and I didn't get a single one from her. Hopefully this August it'll be better. If you're interested please feel free to register at Comment Challenge: August Sign up

Never hesitate to comment on my posts because I enjoy reading different opinions all the time. 



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rebel of the Sands




Tell me how you want your story to go, he says, and we'll write it straight across the sand.

Dustwalk is an unforgiving, dead-end town. It's not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al'Hiza must call it 'home'.

Amani wants to escape and see the world she's heard about in campfire stories.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up, and with him she has the chance to run.

But the desert plains are full of dangerous magic. The Sultan's army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion... - excerpt from book.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is a story about a girl trying to escape from her terrible circumstances and then find her fate in the world. This book had a good start and then a slow middle part and then a great climax. It took me sometime to read this book when I was in the middle as the plot is just okay then. When I reached about 75% of the book it started to get really good. All the excitement was kinda focused at the later parts of the book. The world built for this book was quite good as I have not often read books that are Arabic inspired.

The characters were good in this book, I liked them very much. The struggles that the main heroine has to go through kinda drives her in the story. Along with the male character of the book, things are more interesting than when she is on her own. I often look forward for their interactions and adventures together. Towards the end of the book more characters were introduced and I really love them. It was so exciting to read more about them. They truly help bring more life ans excitement into the story.

I thought that for a debut book it was not bad and the author left the ending at a good place to prepare for the next book. I can see a lot of potential for the story to evolve and become better in the second book. It was refreshing indeed reading this book as I could not expect what's to come but even though I felt that way, my attention wasn't captured long enough for me to keep reading. Towards the end of the book is where it became a book that is hard to put down. I do recommend this book to those readers who enjoy Arabic theme. I think for first in a series it had a good start so fantasy readers should try this book too, it's worth continuing on to the second book.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Start of Me and You



It's been one year since it happened....

When Paige Hancock's first boyfriend died in a swimming accident, she shut out almost everyone. Now Paige has decided it's finally time to rejoin the world, and she has a plan. First on the list: go out with Ryan Chase, her longtime and newly single crush. And last on the list: swim. Terrifying, yet possible?

But when Ryan's sweet, nerdy cousin Max moves to town and recruits Paige for the QuizBowl team (of all things!), her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Starting over isn't easy, but Paige knows the scariest things are usually the most difficult. Can she face her fears and open herself up to life and love again? - excerpt from book

The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord is a story about a teenage girl who is dealing with her grief and trying to live life again after hiding for a year. I really love this book as I could relate to her feelings and what she is trying to do with her life. Obviously there are certain circumstances that are different between us but the grieve and wanting to start again is quite true.

The plot of the story was really smooth and I really like the incidents that happened in the book. I like how the twist and turns of the story suite the personality of the main character. Everything happens in such good timing and it was such fun reading about her activities. There were good times and sad times and many fun times in the book.

The characters of the book are truly the people who captured me. The friends and family surrounding the main character were such awesome people. Though they are flawed but perfect for the story. The support they offer to the main character was just so heart warming. I would really loved to have more friends like them. I honestly can say that I grieve a lot on my own and did not have many friends reaching out to me but Paige's friends were just there for her and they are a tight group. As for the boys in the book, they are wonderful boys and I loved reading about their interactions with Paige. Often their activities are ones that fun to read about. One of the family members of the character was also such a great support to her and offered many great advice in life.

Overall, this book spoke to me reminding me of many great things of life. For me, the characters really made this book a great book where I manage to laugh with them and cry with them. Having read many books on grieving I find that this is one of it that I could connect with the characters the most. Even though it was about grieving but the approach of the character to start again was truly touching to me. I will definitely recommend this book to contemporary lovers. This is one book worth keeping and in the future I would read it again. Here are some lines in the book that I loved:

"In books, sometimes the foreshadowing is so obvious that you know what's going to happen. But knowing what happens isn't the same as knowing how it happens. Getting there is the best part." - page 124, line 18

" Sadness still fell - the soft pitter-patter of spring rain - but each small joy opened like an umbrealla right above me." - page 312, line 9.

"Love extra, even if it means you hurt extra, too." 
"Everything else will fall into place. Just live your life"- page 331, line 10, line 14

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Books I Wish had Sequels


There are so many standalone books that I have wished there were sequels because the story was just too good to end. Of course those books had good endings but many a times I would really love to read about the characters and their happily ever after. Below are top 5 of my choice without following any order:

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
I have to say this book ended with a slight cliff hanger because there was still so much more to elaborate on the relationships of the main characters. Many that have read this book like myself are eager to read more about the boy in the story. I have heard rumours that the author might be planning a third book (YAY!).
Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2014/06/the-unbound.html

The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord
This was a really touching book for me. After reading the bonus email correspond between the main characters, it made me want to read more of their stories which includes their senior year and college days.
Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2016/07/the-start-of-me-and-you.html

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book had a suspended ending and many fans were quite devastated by it included myself. I really wanted more for those two and a sequel will surely satisfy many readers.
Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2013/07/eleanor-park.html

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This book featured a really sweet and funny love story. I laughed many times and I wished there was more for the couple. I would look forward to reading more about their life story.
Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2014/01/attachments.html

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The characters in this series were just so much fun to read about. I wished there was one more book that combined all the characters together featuring their university life.
Review here: http://www.anythingbuteverything.com/2013/12/anna-and-french-kiss.html

Most books that I've picked are contemporary books because usually fantasy books have proper ending or at least a satisfying one for readers. It's the characters in these books that made me want to read more about them because their story manage to captivate me well. What are your picks of books that you wished had sequels?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summerlost



Summer would be same and never the same.

Last summer we had a dad and a brother and then they were gone.

It's been a year since the devastating car accident that killed Cedar's father and young brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what's left of her family are spending the summer in her mother's hometown of Iron Creek and trying to amend their broken pieces. Memories surround Cedar, including strange gifts that begin to appear in the night- the type of small household items her brother Ben used to collect.

Until one day a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike, and everything about Cedar's summer changes. Soon, Cedar not only has a jov working at the reowned Summerlost theater festival, but also a growing friendship with Leo that will blossom as they piece together clues about the short and tragic life of one of Iron Creek's most famous residents. - excerpt from book.

Summerlost by Ally Condie is a standalone middle grade book. It's about this girl who is 12 years old and trying to grief on her father and brother's death. Her summer is totally different because of the missing family members. I really like the characters of this book because it's quite realistic. I could sort of relate to them easily and how they try to deal with their grief. I loved the activities that the festival has, it was quite interesting. I also love the interactions between characters especially Cedar and Leo, Cedar and her other younger brother. I definitely look forward to reading about them all the time. The side chracters are really interesting people too and I wished the author would have gave them more depth like Leo's family.

The plot of the book was very basic and simple with the topic of grieving as the main thing. This was a really short read and so there weren't too many twists and turns, just a reasonable amount. The flow was really smooth, everything happened at a good pace. I truly wished that their adventures would be longer so I would have more to read. I love the writing of the book as how the author managed to describe Cedar's feelings simple yet wonderful at the same time.

If you tend to enjoy middle grade books then do give this book a try. I find that even though it was short it captured my attention well and I love how I could relate to the book. I love that I learnt new things when it comes to the subject of grieving. 


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Love, Lies and Spies



Juliana Telford isn’t your ordinary nineteenth-century lady. She’s more interested in publishing her research on ladybugs than in marriage or fashionable dresses. Spencer Northam isn’t your ordinary nineteenth-century gentleman. He’s a spy for the War Office on his first mission. But when Spencer’s assignment involved keeping an eye on the lovely Juliana and her friends, their plans for a season without romance are unapologetically foiled.excerpt from book.

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey is a historical romance in the YA genre because of the main character’s age I guess. I have always loved this genre and if you’ve been reading my reviews then you know I’ve read many. So the bad thing is that I can compare it with many other books and my verdict for this book is it was just okay. It has a plot that is similar to many other books and I find it quite repeating at some point. But I guess this is because a season London is always the same for the ladies, you can’t run from traditions. So when there was one or two plot twist in the book, those were the parts that managed to capture my attention well. Other than that, generally I was always waiting for something romantic to happen between the characters.

As for the characters, I really wanted more interactions between them. They were not particularly characters that grew with the story because they are who they are. I felt that the side characters were also a bit bland and didn’t necessarily supported the main characters well enough. Sometimes it felt like they were just there hovering around in the background without doing much. Although I have much criticism, I do like the personality of the characters which is one of the reasons that I kept reading the book. They are not special people but their personality fit the plot very well.

In conclusion, I would say that this book is not boring but not too exciting to read. It certainly was entertaining but at the borderline of almost dropping to the boredom line. I don’t really recommend this to historical romance readers because there are way better books than this. But if you’re interested in the characters themselves maybe you can give it a go, find it in a library. Sadly this is one of those books that I would not read again and probably don’t mind not having in my collection.


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