MORE RAPID FIRE REVIEWS

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover is quirky, but not in a good way, and a departure from her past novels-it's "darker." The Voss family is weird. They live in a repurposed church with their stepmother, stepbrother, biological mother, and secrets. I hated their quirks ever since I read a sample of this novel; they don't make sense, and they don't add complexity. I commend Hoover for writing about depression, how subtle it sometimes is, but I don't know if it was accurately portrayed. However, I do know that the LGBTQ representation was written in a harmful manner. It left such a bad taste in my mouth. I know that it's not the author's opinion, but seeing it come out the characters mouth was offensive. The protagonist is unlikable, the love interest is unnecessary, and the plot is mediocre. Pseudo-meta novel that you should pass. 

ATHEISTS WHO KNEEL AND PRAY



Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
by Tarryn Fisher
Self-published | July 13, 2017
     Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.
     She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.
     David Lisey is in need of a muse.
     A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he's found what he's been looking for.
     Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential: A broken heart.
     David’s religion is love.
     Yara’s religion is heartache.
     Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.
Possible minor spoilers?

MUSIC MONDAYS

Music Mondays is a little series I do on my blog that "showcases" musicians, or songs, I've been enjoying lately. I used to do them weekly, but I've decided to do them once a month. I hope this post provides you with new, enjoyable music you like. If you do like posts like these, you can click the MUSIC MONDAYS label here, or below this post, to read previous ones.

A CANDLE REVIEW...

I entered Burning Pages Candles' Instagram, and was rewarded second prize. You can check out the shop here: Etsy, Facebook, Instagram. (The Etsy shop is closed at the time of posting.) My prize included: a full sized candle, a solid perfume, and a tea blend. All of my prizes were Night Court scented, obviously! You can check my pictures of them on Instagram: tea, candle, and perfume.

BRAVE BY JLA COVER REVEAL & OTHER SURPRISES




Brave (A Wicked Saga # 3)
Release Date: December 11, 2017
Available in Paperback (U.S./Canada) and E-book
       Ivy Morgan hasn't been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.
       It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine... and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.
       Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life-altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far-reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart.
       If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves--and, ultimately, to save herself.
       Because behind ever evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen
Preorder on Amazon
(Amazon is the only retailer with a pre-order link at this time)

RAPID FIRE BOOK REVIEWS 3

Cover concept by Alii Kellner
I finally read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline! I loved it, but it is dense! Cline packs many facets of nerd culture and 80s pop culture into his novel. It's a conglomerate (look at that word choice) of anime, cartoons, TV shows, movies, video games, and music. There were so many references that I didn't bother to Google because it would distract my reading. Many references went over my head, but I understood most movie or music related ones. The book is also formatted into big chunky paragraphs that you have to plow through. Despite having a fantastical premise, it has depth, darkness, and a hint of realism. The world is a bleak place because of global warming, overpopulation, unemployment, crime, greed, Capitalism, etc. Virtual reality is the only escape people have, and technology is controlling society. It's a compelling plot, but it takes a detour because of the budding and unnecessary romance. Despite the questionable romance, this book has diversity and a fun story. I highly recommend this book!


THE REBELS OF GOLD COVER REVEAL

I'm so happy to help Elise Kova reveal the cover of The Rebels of Gold. This is the LAST book in the Loom Saga. It comes out December 5, 2017. If you, like myself, haven't read the first book, Alchemists of Loom, you definitely should! In fact, the eBook is on sale at $3.99! Purchase here: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play.
I read the Air Awakens series, and I loved it. Elise is such a great writer. Her worlds are so imaginative and beautiful. Without further ado, here is the GORGEOUS cover:

VAMPIRE ACADEMY REREAD

At the beginning of this year, I read The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare for the third time. I did this because I had such conflicting experiences with it, and needed to justify my purchase. When I first started the series, I loved it. I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a hardcover BOX set. OOF goes my wallet. Once I got the box set in the mail, I decided to reread the series, and I hated it. I found Jace annoying, and I was bored by the writing. You can read how I felt about the series HERE and my COHF REVIEW.

Since I did that with The Mortal Instruments, it only makes sense to do the same with Vampire Academy, which I also bought a box set of (softcover) while purchasing TMI. Rest in peace wallet!

I distinctly remember discovering Vampire Academy in the eighth grade, and it was a "hot commodity" among readers of the series. I brought the first book to school, a classmate I didn't particularly like asked to borrow it, I lent it to her, and I have regrets. Why didn't you say no, Vivien? Because I was intimidated by her! Another classmate asked to borrow the book, but I said no because I learned my lesson. Anyway... I loved this series. I loved Rose's sassiness, her friendship with Lissa, the drama, and Dimitri. I hope I still love those aspects and this series.

And so it begins...

AUGUST WRAP-UP

August was such a great month for reading! I read a lot of books, I read great books, I have new favorites, and I rediscovered the joys of the local library. Without further ado, here's what I read this August. 

I read Hunted by Meagan Spooner, and it's brilliant! Because of this book, I realized how much I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. The author reimagines the tale, adds Russian folklore, and a piece of her soul. I particularly liked the addition of The Firebird. Everything is great: the writing, the main character, the supporting characters, the love interest, the "romance," the plot, the concept, and the twist. There are times where you get frustrated with the plot, pacing, and/or characters, but I think that's normal with books. The author even directly mentions Stockholm Syndrome, which I don't recall being outrightly stated in retellings I've read, so I was pleasantly surprised. If you were to read any of the books I mention, read this one!

PRODUCT AND BOOK DEPOSITORY REVIEW

The Bookish Box hosted a Harry Potter trivia on Instagram, and they gave out prizes. I answered a question correctly for the Amortentia bubble bath. It smells pretty, girly, and fruity-like lychee, apple, and berry. Unfortunately, the bottle does not say who created the product, or the scent name. With the help of Google, I was able to find the creator and the product. (You can purchase a bottle from "Cherry Pit Craft's" website, or Etsy.) Here are the possible scents and their profiles, which can be found on the store's website.
-Love Spell: A lavishly lush blend of orange, peach, cherry blossom, and white jasmine.

-Pure Seduction: A seductive blend of musk, floral bouquet, apple, and fresh citrus.

-Orgasm: A unique blend of melons, citrus fruits and berries tempered with brisk citrus notes and hints of kola.

-Passion Fruit & Rose: An exotic floral that is ideal for refreshing the long hot days of summer. Crisp, sweet, and modern… As cool and tropical as a tall iced mimosa, this scent will instantly remind you of warm, windy Hawaiian nights.

Whatever the scent is, I can't stop smelling it! I do notice that they're all similar with the floral, fruit, and citrus combos, but different... The only thing I dread is wasting water.

After using it:
I like baths, they're relaxing-I was very tempted to sleep in the tub. Bathing also made me feel like a little kid again. The cons are still wasting water, and feeling like a cooked lobster. The product made my bathroom smell nice, but it had little to no effect on me. *sniffs forearms and wrists* I still smell the perfume I sampled when I went shopping on my wrists.

CARRY ON REVIEW



Carry On 
by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Griffin | October 6, 2015
     Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.
     That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.
     Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

RAPID-FIRE BOOK REVIEWS II

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
It may be because I finished watching Veronica Mars before reading this book, but the story reminded me of Veronica Mars. The main character is May, who is trying to solve her friend Libby's murder/prove that Libby is alive. The former is essentially season 1 in a nutshell, but the book has less sarcasm and no romance. Her partner in crime is a computer whiz named Richard. Richard has Wallace's personality and Mac's skills. I miss the show, so I was happy to read something similar. I love the illustrations; the story is fun; the friendship aspect of the story is cute; it's also kinda meta. I can see people of different ages enjoying this book. 

MY LITTLE ADVENTURE IN HORROR

I never liked Horror because jump scares are the worst! I think jump scares are cheap cop-outs that screenwriters resort to because they can't build suspense and make people feel scared. I also never like Horror because I'm a total scaredy-cat. Now that I live in a Horror movie, courtesy of America's current political situation, Horror movies don't seem so scary anymore! I do not claim to be an expert in Horror.

THE MAKING OF THE "IF THERE'S NO TOMORROW COVER"

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
releases September 5, 2017!



       Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend, Sebastian, know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances. Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
       Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened.
         For what she let happen.
         With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
      Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was an Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award nominee.
    She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Preorder Today!

video by: Laci Ann

BELATED CELEBRATION OF PRIDE

On Sunday, June 25th, 2017, I participated in the NYC Pride March with three of my friends. I was excited about my first Pride experience, but perhaps the walk wasn't the best option. According to Google Maps, the walk was 2 miles long, but it felt much longer than that. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the "NYC experience."

ANOTHER ARISTOTLE AND DANTE REVIEW



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Simon & Schuster | February 21, 2012

      Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
 
I don't know if you're aware, but my former co-blogger has written a review for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. You can check her review by clicking this link, her review.

ACOWAR REVIEW



A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3)
by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury | May 2, 2017
       Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
       As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
A Court of Wings and Ruin was my most anticipated book of 2017. I read A Court of Thornes and Roses and didn't enjoy it. I didn't plan to read A Court of Mist and Fury because of this, but I did, and it's my favorite Sarah J. Maas book to date. I was over the moon when I received my copy. I was prepared to embark on this emotional rollercoaster ride.

RAPID-FIRE BOOK REVIEWS I

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Carina's Book Blog
After reading the Six of Crows, I gave into the hype. I only enjoyed the end because that's where all the action happens. Bardugo writes of an "impossible heist", yet I wasn't excited by it. I expected a fast-paced and high-octane story, but the writing was dull and lifeless. It's ironic how a grand heist can be boring. I was excited about the next installment but was extremely disappointed by Crooked Kingdom. It couldn't hold my attention, and it was too long. The plot sounds promising and full of life, but it develops slowly. Bardugo orchestrates something elaborate and grandiose, but she failed to ensnare my attention. She created a diverse group of lovable thieves, but they can only do so much for the story.
Watch Ocean's Eleven or Reservoir Dogs instead.

CONCLUSION OF TMI | REVIEW



City of Heavenly Fire (TMI #6)
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry | May 27, 2014

         Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.
         The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris-but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?
         When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee-even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

STARTING A BLOG | PART III : DESIGNING

Designing is easily one of the most fun and frustrating parts of blogging. There are many beautiful blogs out there and you need to make yours stick out. In this post, I have accumulated some resources and tips to help you in your designing endeavors. 

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS REREAD UPDATE


If you follow me on Goodreads, you know that I recently reread City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass (the first three books in the series). I reread the first two books a year ago, and I hated this series. I think I was unhappy with the series because I was in a book slump. After rereading the third time, I understand why I fell in love with this series. It's an imaginative world with a compulsive storyline. However, I thought City of Bones was a bit haphazard. Clare introduces the world, her jargon, and it's a lot to take in. Things become clearer as you read, but everything was thrown at you. I felt like Clary being thrown into the world.

I see everything with new eyes because I know what's going to happen. I picked up on hidden foreshadowings that I never paid attention to. Clare drops these hints you don't expect to be important, but they are!
This time around, I found Jace annoying. I used to think he was charming, but his charm became annoying and obnoxious. I think I disliked all the characters, except Magnus. I found them all whiny, lol. I was able to appreciate the diversity of the series a little more. Clare creates characters from every corner of the world, it makes sense to do so because there are demons all over their world, and incorporates demons from various cultures. The ones that stood out were Japanese. I'm a little more acquainted with these because of manga and anime. I loved the oni demons and the possible mention of the shinigami. (She mentioned this demon with a katana, and it reminded me of the shinigami in Naruto)

By reading the series the third time, everything made sense. I skimmed through the books the first time, and now I'm taking my time reading. I'm not reading for the sake of reading; I'm reading for my enjoyment now! It's funny how I hated this book in my book slump, but it brought me out of my slump. 

Yes, this series is hyped, but you should try it. I know I say books are original all the time, but this series really was. 

WELL DESERVED HYPE | ACOMAF REVIEW


A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thornes and Roses #2)
by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury | May 3, 2016
        Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court,but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
        Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms-and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future-and the future of a world cleaved in two.

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 REVIEW



Wintersong
by S. Jae-Jones
Thomas Dunne | February 7, 2017

      Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
      All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
      But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
      Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS SHOW REVIEW

Image result for series of unfortunate events netflix
If you're like me, you've read The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket as a child and it's very precious to you. It was thrown at me by my sister and it encouraged me to read more. I loved the books because it was dark, informative, entertaining and easy to read. I would make my mother take me to the library, borrow 5 books at once and finish them in a week. After reading up on the series, it's wickedly smart. I would not have been able pick up those allusions and comprehend the story in its entirety as a child. The series can be enjoyed by people of all ages!

The television adaptation definitely reignited my love for this series, but the adaptation was another installment in The Series of Unfortunate Adaptations. I think I'm the only one that didn't enjoy it because I've seen glowing reviews everywhere.

BEST READS OF 2016

2016 was a terrible year. David Bowie's death, the election, David Bowie's death... I can't continue because it's gonna make me depressed. But, there were amazing books this year!!!! Here are some of my favorites from 2016, in no particular order: (If you click on the titles, it will lead to my review)