Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Vanguard

I don't usually do Can't Wait Wednesday which is hosted by Wishful Endings It's hard enough keeping up with my current tbr I never need to WAIT on a book. But today I discovered this book. And I. CANNOT. WAIT!!!

I absolutely LOVED Encave, Outpost, and Horde. You can read a review of Encave here.
Synopsis from Goodreads: The Razorland saga continues. Since the war ended, Tegan has dreamed of an epic journey, so when she has the opportunity to sign on as ship's doctor, she can't wait. It's past time to chart her course. Millie Faraday, the kindest girl in the free territories, also yearns to outrun her reputation, and warrior-poet James Morrow would follow Tegan to the ends of the earth.

Their company seems set, but fate brings one more to their number. Tegan will battle incredible odds while aiding Szarok, the Uroch vanguard, who has ventured forth to save his people. Szarok is strange and beautiful, like a flower that blooms only in the dark. She shouldn't allow him close, as such a relationship is both alien and forbidden. But through stormy seas and strange lands, she will become stronger than she ever knew.

Share your most anticipated new releases with me! 

Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth

Synopsis from Goodreads: In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.


What I thought: 
           I was unprepared for the roller coaster of emotions that overtook me while reading Carve The Mark. It’s such an emotional fantasy novel. I didn’t want to put it down and when I did I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Carve the Mark was better than I expected.
          The whole plot was pieced together so delicately. The past, who made them who they are, the present, and the future selves they constant worry over. It is exactly why we shouldn’t be able to see our futures.
          Every character is in on the plot. The future everyone’s seen but are simultaneously trying to change it.
         Cyra is friendless and feared. She knows what’s expected of her and she’s always played that position well enough.  Until determined Akos comes along, telling her, she doesn’t have to be the person they’ve made her. Regardless of what she’s done, she was still worthy of mercy and redemption.
        Cyra had been afraid all her life, from her father first to her brother, Ryzek. Her only desire had been to live. But she realized, that as long as she worked with Ryzek, she was just one of his prisoners, like Akos. Akos has been desperate for years, since his kidnapping, through army training and earning armor, to do one thing, get his brother Eijeh and escape the city. Thanks to Ryzek, Eijeh doesn’t want to leave, making it an impossible task.
         I could say so much about this book but I don’t want to ruin any of the enjoyable waves of this book. Cyra, Akos and a patched together band of misfits will have to learn to work together, trust one another, and prepare the inevitable war approaching them.
         I love how Veronica Roth made each character a healthy balance of both good and bad. I love the current and the currentgift each person possesses thanks to the current. I am always interested and enthralled with EVERYONES currentgift. What would my currentgift be, if it comes from within us and who we are? I love the cultural difference of each nation and how much Cyra valued it.
         I DID NOT LOVE THE CLIFF HANGER!
        I’m just gleefully approaching the end, thinking, how will she sum this all up, I guess theres a few more pages.  But it was acknowledgments.  I was so disappointed. I still have so many questions I need answers to! More than I did even halfway through. And I can’t deny my own mental hang up. My lack of patience for waiting. My love of the characters dwindle around 12 months or so. I fear the second book will feel like its dragging a good story out. I enjoyed the fast paced feeling of this novel. I don’t want it to be too much. There adventures to be too big for them to overcome. And if she kills Cyra at the end I refuse to read another Veronica Roth book. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Bookdate Monday

This meme is hosted by Bookdate.blogspot.com


The last book I finished reading was When Dimple Met Rishi, It was really good! 

I am currently reading, or just finished recently  Carve The Mark. SO GOOD. I still have a book hangover! Review coming soon.

My next read will be The Sun Is Also A Star. I'm so excited to read, hopefully I enjoy it as much as Everything, Everything

Share your Monday Readings with me! I'd love to check them out. 


When Dimple Met Rishi


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Synopsis from Goodreads: The arranged-marriage YA romcom you didn't know you wanted or needed... 

Meet Dimple.

Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination.

Meet Rishi.

He's rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she's got other plans...

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


My Review

UUUHHHH MMYYYY GOOODDDDSSSS!!! I just freaking LOVED this book.

It was incredibly over the top sweet. It was the type of book that made you feel all warm and fuzzy and just wanted to give it a hug, and curl up with it giddily to consume and devour. It was such a fun and pleasurable successful summer read.

Dimple is an Indian American recently high school grad obsessed with web development. Rishi, also Indian American and recent high school grad, is obsessed with doing the right thing. Rishi's parents and Dimple's parents arranged for the two to meet and get to know one another while working together on a summer web development program. Completely unbeknownst to Dimple. Dimple is over the moon excited. Rishi is only there for Dimple and to follow in the path so perfectly laid out by his parents. Of course Dimple is a rebel. She refuses to wear her mothers make up, ditch her glasses, or straighten her hair unnecessarily because her worth is in her amazing personality, her passion, her drive, her openness. I loved how much Dimple just wanted everyone to live up to their potential. Herself. Her roommate and new bestie Celia, and especially Rishi.

The book sets off to show how against Dimple is to listening to anything her mother tells her. She even seems a little bratty. In comparison to Rishi who is happy to go along with his parents plan for his life. As the story progresses, both have to learn to balance their own hopes and dreams for their lives with the path their parents want them to take. Dimple comes to understand her mothers point of view. And Rishi learns to go after what he wants, even if it's a little scary and not perfectly set.

Their love story is so cute! Rishi is head over heels in love with Dimple almost right off the bat. But it doesn't feel like insta love. I don't think I'd be down for this arranged marriage either. Every love story is different. Rishi loved Dimple but didn't even know her. He kept trying at first from duty to his family, not because she seemed particularly interesting, cool or pretty. So I absolutely loved Dimple. She only agreed to continue spending time with Rishi because she liked his characteristics. Until she fell in love with him. Not because her parents bullied her into it.

A great testament to Diversity. I love how proud Rishi was of his heritage. How he gladly took every opportunity to showcase it. Dimple as well, who disagreed with the rigid lines for women still respected and valued her culture.

I'm so happy I read When Dimple Met Rishi.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Allerleirauh Chantal Gadoury






Book Description:

Once Upon a Time… 
In the Kingdom of Tränen,
a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he'll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king's eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.

She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale. 



Pre Orders are available on Amazon and iBooks

About the Author:
Chantal Gadoury is a young author who currently lives in her hometown, Muncy PA. She enjoys to paint, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and enjoys her favorite Disney classics. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family: A Mother, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and sends a prayer to her Dad, who now resides in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!

Parliament House Press: http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/
Parliament House Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theparliamenthouse


Excerpt:

     Prologue

“If you ever decide to remarry, you must marry someone who has my golden hair.”
The words echoed in my ears as my mother murmured them to my father. The entire court had gathered there with us in that darkened room with stone walls covered in old tapestries of red and golden threads, watchful eyes of men and women looming over us from the walls. 
My mother, the königin, the queen of Tränen, was dying.
Servants had lit candles across the room, creating a gloomy, death-like ambiance. The only source of light came from the flames, curling out like a snake’s tongue from the fire place. Many of my father’s councilmen stood murmuring while they waited for the queen’s end to come. They waited for death’s dark cloak to wrap around her like the cape of the goddess, Nótt.
Mother lay in her bed, her form still as her breaths became shallower; her lungs becoming less full of air. Her hair, like spools of golden thread, clung to her pale skin. My father’s hand brushed over her forehead, pushing the strands away. She lifted her hand, touching his, seeking an answer from him.
The contrast of her skin against his was shocking. She was pale—corpse-like, the tips of her fingers already turning a frosty shade of blue. My father kneeled, dressed in a white tunic and tan hunting trousers. His light brown beard seemed thicker than usual. His tired blue eyes, the same eyes that others often commented reflected my own, gazed upon my mother.
He was a handsome man for other women to admire.
He carefully grazed his lips over her knuckles. I could hear his soft murmuring.
“My wife. My poor, lovely frau.” There had been talk that he had been by her bedside for majority of the night and all through the morning, while I had been kept in my chamber. I was to wait until the end was nearly at an impasse before I was to bid my mother farewell. He had waited upon her on bended knee. It was an unexpected display of affection. My father had never been the affectionate sort, and especially never with me in all my nineteen years.
 His gaze drifted toward the line of young maids surrounding the queen’s bedside, all waiting for an order or request. He lifted a hand and beckoned one of them closer. With reddened cheeks, one of the maids took a step toward the bed, offering a warm, wet rag for my mother’s forehead.
My father’s eyes seemed to taunt the maid to come closer as they glittered in the candlelight, a small, amused smirk on his lips as he held out his hand. He knew his effect on women, as did my mother. My father seemed to have always found a strange delight in tantalizing the young women of the court right under my mother’s nose–especially the young maids of the castle. His wandering hands had been an unacknowledged topic between them, and yet had most haunted my mother in her own private chambers.
As I was guided away from my tutoring lessons earlier in the afternoon, I found many of my father’s councilmen murmuring in the hallways. Their conversation had rattled me as they spoke of the queen’s declining health, proclaiming quite loudly their uncertainty of the future of the königreich, the kingdom. With no male heir, there would be no one with my father’s bloodline to carry the crown. If he were to die, the succession would be uncertain, leaving the kingdom without a könig, and I would be left with nothing.
There were a few young girls my father had bedded over the many years of his rule, all of whom had come to his knees, begging for acknowledgement, money, or a future for their child. Many of the children were male, all of which my father craved to take under his wing. But as the string of his lovers began to unravel before my mother, she’d quickly banished them and their children from our courts.
“Any male that is not born from me will never be könig,” she insisted.  My mother feared of finding herself replaced by a younger, more beautiful woman, who would give the king something she could not… 
A son.
            I had been told my mother looked to my father with apologetic grey eyes on the day of my birth. The wet nurse had lifted me, the accursed girlish bundle into the arms of my father as my mother promised, “A son I will give you next time.”
As I grew older, I could see the desperation in her eyes as my father drifted from maiden to maiden, leaving a trail of bastard children in his wake. All while she remained infertile.
As a girl, I was no use to my father. Without a son, the marriage with my mother would always be a failure in the eyes of his court. Because I had not been born a boy, I rarely saw my father. I was only granted permission on special occasions.
My mother hardly paid attention to me either; I was a constant reminder of her failure, her misery, her curse. I had only been permitted to receive an education in writing and reading, and brief history lessons about the kingdom and surrounding countries. I excelled in learning and did what I could to avoid all the other womanly lessons I was expected to learn. I hated the mundane tasks that were deemed appropriate for the fairer sex.
My mother did everything she could to keep me tucked away in the castle, out of sight. I was never permitted to join the court for festivities. My mother preferred me to stay in my room or the library, like the castle’s ghost. She wished to pretend I didn’t exist. As my youth began to pass before me, I wondered if I would spend the remainder of my years hidden away behind the stony walls of my father’s castle. I wondered whether, if my mother finally had a son for the king, somehow his birth would release me from the prison which cradled me in my own home.
“Promise me,” my mother hissed at my father presently, as she grabbed his hand. She pushed herself up in the bed with a grunt, to look at him more closely.
I watched them as I clung to the red velvet bed drapes. I could feel myself grow light-headed from the warmth in the room and the array of eyes and voices behind me as they murmured their fears and prayers.
Promise me,” she begged, her voice cracking as he tucked another golden curl behind her ear. “She must have golden hair, like mine.”
 As I watched her glossy strands circled around his fingers, I touched my own loosened curl. My hair was tied back with a black ribbon to match the black gown that Myriah, my nursemaid, dressed me in—a symbol of mourning. And yet, I felt nothing like how a daughter should feel while watching her own mother die. 
Perhaps my mother thought her eager demand would bring her peace in the grave. I understood. If she could not be a proper wife, who’d brought him honor with a prince, perhaps her golden-haired replacement could be.
Fear surged cold through my hollow ribs as her last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s firm grasp.
A cold shiver ran up my spine as I heard my father’s reply.
I promise.
His gaze lifted to me in the quiet moments after. I was my mother’s reflection and her only true legacy.
And I knew the king’s promise would become my curse.









Thursday, June 22, 2017

Caraval

Synopsis From Goodreads: 
I wanted to love Caraval. It was full of whimsical magic, action, love. What was there not to like? Let me tell you. I wouldn’t say I disliked Caraval at all. I quite enjoyed it. However, it wasn’t the epitome of YA magical love story for me.

Scarlett is your average 18 year old, sheltered by her abusive father, afraid to be strong. She’d rather hide behind an arranged marriage. Until she is sucked into a game, a magical game. As much as it is “against her will” she definitely wants to. Like when your best friends makes you drink too much and act up. You end up with a hangover the next day, but you have no regrets. That is Scarlett and her sister Donnatella.

Scarlett ends up with a boy, Julian, who both helps and hurts her along the way.
I always feel a bit guilty, or put on the spot by saying I only, barely, liked a book many of my favorite blogs raved about! So I know I’m going against the grain here in saying, I enjoyed The Night Circus a lot more.

Trope: Abusive parent- The Night Circus was equally as guilty of this. The one parent present being the actual villain. Not just annoying, negative, misunderstood, selfish. No, Caraval went all out. Their father is beyond hateworthy!  And I was very satisfied with how the story wrapped him up.

Trope: Damsel in Distress- Scarlett wanted so badly to be the Damsel. First she held out hope that her fiancé would be her savior from her big bad father. I doubt her father would have readily agreed on anyone who made her happy or was genuinely good. I was quite happy when she had to find a way to save herself.  

Trope: The crazy best friend/sister- This story should have focused on Donnatella. She was far more interesting of a character, self reliant, independent, creative, underestimated. Scarlett barely respected her, as the outgoing, bold, bodacious friend often goes. Because she speaks her mind, and didn’t take their abuse lying down, Scarlett thought less of her. Thought her reckless and stupid really.

Trope: Terrible love interest- Julian was pretty. But he was awful. I get it. He did good too. To Make up for his bad! He disappeared on her regularly. He continued to say “I don’t care, I’m not that nice, I’m a liar” When she proceeded to say, then go away he got so hurt and offended.


I don’t even hate tropes. This book was just surprisingly easy to put down. I did want to find out how it ended but I probably wouldn’t read it again. 3/5 stars    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pandemonium (Mini Review)



                   The second book was just as good as the first one. Actually it was better. Lauren Oliver did a great job making this story different than the first one. Lena has grown and changed. The challenges she face and overcome are far different than that of #1.  which is great. Unfortunately I couldn't read this book as quickly as I did #1 because I got really busy and I couldn't sneak read at work. But I wanted to. Its like every chapter ended in some jaw dropping way. It was more fast paced that #1 and had more action. Lena repeatedly said "The wilds harden you." But Lena didn't let the Wilds take away everything. She didn't lose sight of why she was there in the first place. She's learned hot to fight and use a knife.

I warn you, it ends with a cliffhanger. I didn't find it at all shocking because most YA books have this pattern. I don't want to ruin the surprise. And even though I didn't find it particularly shocking, I cannot wait to read #3 and see how it all ends. This is a reason I try to wait until a series is completed to read the whole thing straight through. The waiting is torturous. So I am more than happy to go finish this series.