review; scarlet

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Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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review; enchanted

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Enchanted
by Alethea Kontis

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past – and hers?

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the DNF shelf; vampire acadamy

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Vampire Academy
by Richelle Mead

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

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review; cinder

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Cinder
by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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top ten; reasons i enjoy the starbound trilogy

bookworm things

Each time I think ‘this is it, this is the best Top Ten Tuesday The Broke And The Bookish have come up with’, they prove me wrong. Each. Time.

I can’t say I feel bad about it though.

I mean, this time, the category is so broad that I thought it would take me forever to come up with an idea.

top ten tuesday

Then I realised one very important thing – I love The Starbound Trilogy. So much. Ever since I picked up These Broken Stars because the cover was GORGEOUS and I fell in love, I’ve loved the series. I thought it would suffer from the sophomore slump.

It did not.

It just got better.

So I figured, why not spread my love for the books, the characters, in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday? Why not give you guys ten reasons I love The Starbound Trilogy?

the starbound trilogy

Note: All fanedits posted in this post were made by me for tumblr, because I love the series just that much. (I love it so much, I’m even making fanmixes! Stay tuned for those.)

  • The romance of it all.
    I mean. Guys. The first novel has literally two characters throughout the whole thing, and was so, so wonderfully written that I fell in love with them both, fell in love while they fell in love, and it was just magical.

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  • Each story is self-contained;
  • but also so wonderfully interwoven.
  • THE ROMANCE OF IT ALL.

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  • Strong female characters.
    Whether they’re physically strong or mentally or emotionally, they have layers and are allowed to be human and vulnerable. Even the side characters! (Sanjana Rao, amiright or amiright?)
  • Strong characters in general.
    They’re wonderfully fleshed out and individual, and just great.

the starbound trilogy (who names a starship icarus)

  • Characters that are allowed to be vulnerable lemme just sit here and cry a little.
    Like I said, strong and human and flawed, but fleshed out and made relatable. Even the villain was made somewhat relatable. I mean. You don’t get any better than that.

the starbound trilogy (who names a starship icarus2)

  • The whole aspect of the OTHERS being given development too!
    I thought they would just be a mythical/mystical figure that we would not be made to understand, but nope! Their Fractured Light gave some answers as to what the beings were, and how they got there, and – almost all my questions were answered, which is EXACTLY what I want from my stories.
  • Did i mention the romance of it all?
    Because seriously, you guys. Each love story was so individual? And I don’t just mean the romances between the leads, but also the romantic notions in the stories. I just – I have no words.

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  • The world building.
    We see so many different planets, all developed enough to understand the people and their lifestyles and their characters! IT IS SERIOUSLY SO AMAZING I RECOMMEND THIS SERIES TO EVERYONE EVER.

Bonus; the fact that the authors are so here for interacting with fans. They respond to tweets (EVEN ONES THEY ARE NOT TAGGED IN YOU GUYS), they reblog fanart and edits (it has happened to me, with bonus flattering comments!), and they don’t dismiss fancasting ideas!

( I am totally speaking from personal experience here. I’ve had the pleasure of having Twitter conversations with both Meagan and Amie after I finished the first book. Mostly just me flailing at them. AND THEY RESPONDED. And then after I finished the last? This happened:

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I didn’t even tag either one of them in my tweets??? BUT??? SO INVOLVED AND READY TO INTERACT??? How could you not love them?)

So yeah. Ten reasons to read The Starbound Trilogy. If you have already, tell me what you thought of them! What would be your reasons when telling someone to read them?

Also what was your Top Ten this week? Link me below! Or if you didn’t make a list, tell me ten things that could fit in this category in a comment!

2016-04-12 11:46

review; steel

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Steel
by Carrie Vaughn

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

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review; poison

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Poison
by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

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top ten; books i feel differently about

bookworm things

I am going to be very honest. This post was rushed together because I had a difficult time coming up with a list. I’ve read so many books over the years that looking back at them and wondering if I feel the same about them now as I did when I read them is just – not so simple. I’ve been second-guessing my choices, and then realising I don’t think I have ten books? So I’ve just put a quick short list of books that I feel differently about since I’ve read them.

Edit: I almost forgot to link this back to The Broke And The Bookish! Whoops.

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  • The Harry Potter series. I still love it, that’s for sure, but over time, I have become a lot more critical about it. The lack of notable diversity in it definitely irks me whenever I think about it.
  • Tamora Pierce’s Circle Of Magic series, and some of her other works. The more I look back on it, the more I love her world-building. I want to read them ALL again. Or as many of them as I can get my hands on.
  • Jodi Picoult’s novel with her daughter? Between The Lines. I want to read the next book, that’s for sure, but now when I look back on it, I feel it was a lot more simplistic than I thought when I was reading it. I think I loved the concept of it more than I actually loved the writing of it.
  • I remember loving Just Ella when I read it, but now that I look back on it, I’m wondering if it’s as good as I remember. Maybe a reread is in order…
  • I have read Patricia C. Wrede’s Dragons series quite a few times since I first borrowed it from my cousins back when I was 11. I loved it back then, I loved it the second time around, I think I loved it even more the third time around.

So this was a quick list that’s now done! I had very few ideas on what to put on this list. Because I tend to feel the same for most things I read over the years, I guess. I should do a reread of some books…

What are books you feel differently about now when you look back on them?

2016-04-12 11:46

readings from the east

bookworm things

Growing up, I was definitely slightly biased AGAINST local authors. Considering the focus given to Western authors even by our teachers, this was not so much of a surprise. Even now I have a tendency to pick up novels written by Western authors, though I am a lot more critical about the representation in them.

Which is why I love the fact that Roshani Chokshi’s The Star Touched Queen is doing so well with readers and bloggers, and why I love how much people recommend Jenny Han’s books. I haven’t read either author (yet!) but they are both on my TBR and as soon as I am able, I’ll be reading their books.

But even then, both these authors grew up in the West. Unlike me. I find myself still having a hard time finding popular books by Eastern authors, and I cannot help but wonder just why that is.

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Books by Eastern authors tend to only be available in the East, which is a high shame. Now that I am aware of this discrepancy, I am trying to make a larger effort to support these authors. A friend recently picked up a copy of Wayne Ree’s Tales From A Tiny Room for me, a slim book of short stories that I devoured in no time. When books like that exist, why do I still hold an inability to actively search them down? Why do I still instinctively go to the big publisher names instead of supporting the Eastern authors?

It is definitely something I am trying to change. A couple of years ago, I got my hands on a couple of books by a popular Indian author Anuja Chauhan during a trip to India. The bookstore owner told me just how popular she was with the Indian public – but I had never heard of her until that very day. When I finished The Zoya Factor, I wondered just why that was. Yes, her books are based in India, and yes, they are highly influenced by the Indian lifestyle, but there is still something relatable there that I am sure could translate over continents.

Then why is she still so relatively unknown?

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I have recently discovered RunHideSeek, a YA trilogy written by Gabby Tye, a Singaporean teenager, that sounds just up my alley, but have been unable to find the novels anywhere outside of Singapore. While it is a little disappointing, on the one hand I am thrilled that Eastern authors are embracing the various genres and giving their own spin to it. I am sure this has been going on for a while now, and I am just glad that I am finally paying attention to it.

There is a whole world of fiction that I have yet to explore, a whole world I have unknowingly been keeping myself from encountering. No more. These characters resemble me, resemble the way I grew up – and maybe by falling in love with them, I can spread the love to other readers.

anuja chauhan

I’m going to be honest – I’m not actually trying to start a movement, but hey, if I can inspire a few people to pick up some books they might not actually? I’m counting it as a win.

So, tell me, would you be willing to read books written by Eastern authors? Would you be willing to try something that may be new to you? Or alternatively, have you read any books by Eastern authors that you can suggest I pick up?

2016-04-12 11:46

review; ravishing the heiress

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Ravishing The Heiress
by Sherry Thomas

Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage–and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.

It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more… Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabella, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife…

As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship – or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?

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