Top Ten Tuesday

Untitled.001Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The theme this week is: Today’s topic is: Ten books I plan to read this summer. 

For me, summer means spending time with family, catching up with friends and reading inside my nice air conditioned, bug free house. I’m not a sit-in-the-sun-and-burn kind of girl. I’ll venture out once in a while, but I seriously spend 10 minutes outside and I’m red like a lobster! They haven’t made a sunscreen strong enough for me yet! 😂 Anyway, here are some books that I plan to read this summer.

🌴 What do you plan on reading this summer? 🌴

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Review | Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: iTunes (iBooks)

Goodreads | Amazon

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“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

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What I liked!

Chaol!! Definitely is the best character EVER! Also, Nehemia! I really liked her personality.  She’s a good and loyal friend. Well, in this book, Celaena faces her past and Chaol falls desperately more in love with her, making Dorian lose his chances.Again, mystery is THE MAIN INGREDIENT of this story. Magic finally appears in this book and makes the plot very, very interesting. Celaena, learns what the wyrdmarks are and how they work and gets his friends and herself in big trouble. The end of this book was unexpected!  I feel that everything I have been liking about the book changes dramatically for better and keeps me engaged to continue reading!  There’s more romance and drama,and in this book, Celaena is doing her job as the king’s champion. While she works for the king, she finds out that there is an evil plan that involves power and conquest and is determined to find out how who and when this plan is taking place.

I  am usually afraid of second books, because as you know, second parts are not as great as first parts!, but I was surprisingly wrong and I am happy for that jaja!

What I did not like!

I did not like how Dorian turned out to be in this book. He’s shy and does not stand against his father, he put himself aside when it comes to Celaena and Chaol.  At the beginning of the series I desperately wanted Dorian to be Celaena’s love, but now I changed my mind, he is not for her, I think. Also, I did not like the argument between Chaol and Celaena (Chaol hiding things from her). Celaena should’ve understood that he wants to protect her. Apart from that, everything was amazing!

Thanks to my friend Jacquie who recommended this series a long time ago!

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Liebster Award!

liebster-award-nomination-e1463436518685It took us a while, but we finally did it! Seriously, sorry to everyone who has nominated or tagged us these past few weeks. We are slowly catching up, but it’s a crazy busy time of year for teachers: grading, parent meetings, moving classrooms, etc.

A BIG thank you to The Genre Minx for nominating us. We really appreciate it. If you haven’t visited her blog do it now! She reads and reviews a wide variety of books, so there is always something for everyone. 😍


Liebster Award Guidelines:

  1. Display an image of the award and write about your nomination.
  2. Thank and link the person who nominated you for this award.
  3. Answer the 11 questions prepared for you by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5-11 awesome bloggers who you think  deserve this award, and create 11 questions of your own for your nominees to answer.
  5. List these guidelines in your blog post.

Our Answers:

1. Why did you start blogging?

Gina: I started blogging because I wanted to share the stuff I do and also to connect with other bloggers and authors!

Jacquie: I read all the time and wanted to share the books I loved with others. Plus, it’s something I can do with Gina that’s not related to work or teaching.

2. If you don’t already, would you like to write as a career? If you do write, tell us a little about your career.

Gina: Being a writer has been a “frustrated” dream since a while ago! I would love to do this professionally. Writing a book is something I will really like to do!

Jacquie: I have always written for fun. I don’t think that I have the patience or skill to write professionally.

3. What makes you laugh out loud?

Gina: Basically anything! A good joke , a silly mistake, an “epic fail” from friends! Also…..when I am nervous I start to laugh and giggle!!!!

Jacquie: I laugh a lot when I’m nervous too! Actually, I laugh at almost everything: my dog, the silly things I hear at work, my favourite TV shows….

4. What is your favorite book?

Gina: Well, I have many, I have to say : The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, Red Queen!

Jacquie: Jane Eyre, Six of Crows, Persuasion.

5. What book(s) are you reading now?

Gina: I am currently reading the Throne of Glass series! So amazing! I am really enjoying every single chapter!

Jacquie: I just started The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman and Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin.

6. What is your favorite form of social media?

Gina: I loooooove Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr but recently I’ve been more into Twitter.

Jacquie: I scroll through Twitter a lot and am usually quite active on Instagram.

7. Who is your favorite author and why?

Gina: I like authors who take the reader to the stage and scenario of the book. I am really picky on that matter, So far I do not have a specific favorite one, but I have to say that Sarah J. Maas’s style really impacts and fascinates me. She is so detailed and at the same time catchy.

Jacquie: Leigh Bardugo is my queen! I love her world building and characters. There’s such a darkness in what she writes, but that makes you appreciate the humour, loyalty and emotions felt by her characters.

8. Electronic books or paper books?

Gina: Paper books are my favorite because they make reading a whole experience. I like to feel the pages and smell them hahaha, but I also like e-books because you can take them everywhere and read at any time…and, they are not heavy !!!!!

Jacquie: I read a mix of both. If I’m traveling then I take my iPad because who wants to lug around a stack of books? However, nothing beats the look and feel of a physical book. I love cover designs and you just can’t truly appreciate all of the work that went into it with a digital copy.

9. If you weren’t blogging right now, what would you be doing?

Gina: Reading or writing a diary maybe.

Jacquie: The work I should be doing. UGH!

10. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?

Gina: I like YA Fantasy. At first, I was reluctant to read this genre but after reading Red Queen, everything changed and now it is all I read!

Jacquie: Fantasy all the way! I also through in some historical fiction as well, although lately my reading list has been dominated by magic. Fantasy is such a fun escape and historical fiction feeds my obsession with history.

11. What’s the title of the next book you plan to begin reading?

Gina: The next book I plan to read is called Endangered by Dani Hoots.

Jacquie: Oh boy! I don’t know. Once I finish the books I’m currently reading I’ll see how I feel and go from there.


Our Nominees:

All of these blogs are fantastic and beautifully designed. Please make sure you check them out. 🙂


Our Questions:

  1. How often do you work on your blog each week?
  2. Have you ever written a guest post for another blog? If not, would you like to in the future?
  3. On average, how many books do you read each month?
  4. If you could only read 1 book for the rest of your life, which one would you pick? Why?
  5. What has been your favourite book so far this year?
  6. Favourite villain?
  7. Which book release are you most looking forward to?
  8. Tea or coffee or hot chocolate?
  9. What’s your favourite beach read?
  10. What’s your favourite non-book blog/website?
  11. What’s your all time favourite book cover?

Review | The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

27396942The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse
Release date: May 9th, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

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Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

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While promoted as a Peter Pan retelling, this book is more of an extension or reboot of the Peter Pan story. Actually, Peter Pan himself isn’t even the focus, which was alright with me. Instead, it revolves around Gwen and her fear of growing older. She needs to decide if becoming an adult is worth all the stress and pain, but in the process, she finds herself front and centre in a battle between our world and Neverland.

I loved Gwen! She was such a fantastically written character and I could really relate to her. Being an adult is hard and I totally understood her fear of growing older. Essentially, this book is a story of a girl easing into womanhood and finding herself along the way. As much as I loved Gwen, I found that the others characters fell a bit flat. I wanted to get to know them better, but they just kind of got lost in the story and especially the conflict between reality and Neverland. I especially wanted more from Peter Pan. What was he thinking? How did he feel? So much as changed for him and in a way he was also going through an inner struggle. Over the years of traveling from Neverland and our world he had aged. He’s no longer a boy, but a teenager. The topic of his aging is kind of addressed, but like so much of this book, it only skimmed the surface. I definitely could have done with more depth.

The author’s writing style was quite fun and perfect for the dreamy, magical world described in the story. It was very descriptive and did a great job feeding into the world I had already imagined due to the fact that I was obsessed with Peter Pan when I was little. I couldn’t get enough of the story or the Disney movie! The only issue I had with the writing was how sometimes I seemed very mature only to slip up, read uncharacteristically immature and then switch back again.

If you like retellings or enjoyed the Peter Pan story growing up, this would definitely be a good book to read. I had fun reading it and thought the idea behind it was creative, but it didn’t have the certain elements that I feel make a really good or even excellent book. I wish it had more depth to the characters and their inner struggles instead of focus on the war between reality and fantasy.

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Review | That Summer by Sarah Dessen

9780142401729_ThatSummer_CV.inddThat Summer by Sarah Dessen
Release date: January 1st, 1996
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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Goodreads | Amazon

For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

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My first Sarah Dessen book! I picked it up because all of my friends are big fans and have been pestering me for years to read one of her books. I finally gave in and picked up the shortest one I could find (it was one of my reads for the Bout of Books read-a-thon). The book was alright, just not what I was expecting.

Basically, NOTHING HAPPENS. How the book starts is basically how it ends. It’s 200 pages that go absolutely nowhere. I loved Dessen’s writing style and the idea behind the book was interesting enough, but it’s what I expect the start of a story to be like. The characters were introduced, the plot and family drama established and I was expecting something exciting to happen, life changing even but nope. The story and characters never really took off and the ending was anti-climatic.

I was expecting the main character, Haven, to have some life altering event or realization. However, the story is mainly about the planning for her sister Ashley’s wedding. You don’t really get to know Haven, just her thoughts or observations of those around her. She was quite one dimensional and overly concerned about her height and slightly obsessed with her sister’s ex-boyfriend. Frankly, I found the characters annoying or completely uninteresting.

I’ve been told this book isn’t a great representation of Dessen’s work. I can totally see why many people like her books. Her writing style and the easy flow made it a quick and easy read. I have no objections to that. It’s just the plot that nearly bored me to death. I may try another Dessen book in the future, but right now I’m not so sure. This one was really disappointing.

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Bookish Bingo: Update

bookish-bingo1-1024x261From March to May, Bekka from Pretty Deadly Reviews is hosting a round of Bookish Bingo. The whole point is to get as many bingos as possible. The more bingos, the more giveaway entries. All types of books (fiction, non-fiction, novellas) count, but you can only have one square per book.

My Progress:
The challenge end very soon and I’m happy to be able to check off a few more categories.

  • Set in More Than One Country: For this category I read Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. The story starts in Germany, but progresses through Africa and the Middle East before ending in Japan.
  • Characters Are Not Human: Mermaids and mermen (merpeople?) are the main characters in Josie Demuth’s A Thousand Salt Kisses. Yes, merpeople are half human, but they still count right?
  • Number in the Title: A few weeks ago for the Bout of Books read-a-thon I read The First Star to Fall by Diana Peterfreund. It’s a novella from the For Darkness Shows the Stars duology and set between the two books, but was kind of confusing.
  • Metallic Lettering: And I Darken by Kiersten White has beautiful and bold metallic letters on its cover. The whole cover is a challenge with the main character Lada glaring at you with her war paint on. I love it!

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UPDATE: So, I was able to complete 19 squares. Not bad for my first ever round of Bookish Bingo! Bring on the summer version! 🙂

Book Traveling Thursdays

yyyyyyyBook Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. To Find out more, join the Goodreads group.

Topic: Choose a book you would want to see as a movie or TV show. 

TV or movie adaptations of books always worry me. They are never as good as the book, but I hate it when they change too many things or lose what made the book special. But if I had to choose a book I would want to see made into a TV or movie it would definitely be Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. Visually it would be stunning! What do you think?

Original Cover/Cover From My Country/Favourite Cover:

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Just look at this cover! It’s so gorgeous I don’t even have words to explain how much I love it. It looks even better in person. The way the gold shimmers in the light. WOW! The image just doesn’t do it justice. I just adore it!

My Least Favourite Covers:

Why mess with a good thing? These covers aren’t terrible, but they don’t have the same wow factor as the original. Also, the woman has a dead face. There’s nothing there that resembles Amani.