Teaser Tuesday #21

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB from Books and a Beat.

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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This week I’m sharing a teaser from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, which I hopefully will have finished tonight, because I have some ARCs that I can’t wait to read next!!

Genre: Classics, Non Fiction

My quote:

“A thousand stars were flashing across the blue wastes of the sky. One seemed alone with an inscrutable society.” – p.28

Goodreads

Shadow and Bone: My Review

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication year: 2012

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: I gave it ★★★★☆ on Goodreads, but my actual rating is more 3.5 ★

The story:

Alina and Mal grew up together in an orphanage, and went to the army together, in a country ruled by a weak king and his strong ally, the Darkling, the strongest of the Grisha. The Grisha are the elite, gifted with the power of Small Science, they are able to transform the elements, and each has his very own special gift.

The kingdom of Ravka is divided by the dangerous Shadow Fold and its mounstruous inhabitants the Volcra. When Alina and Mal’s regiment is attacked by the monsters, Mal gets hurt, and Alina reveals a power she has unconciously hidden ever since her childhood: she is Grisha too, and not any Grisha. She is a Sun Summoner. Could she free the kingdom from the Shadow Fold?

Taken away from her best friend and everything or everyone she knew, Alina moves to the Little Palace, where she starts training with the other Grisha, and discover the extent of her powers, as well as the plans the Darkling has in store for her…

My opinion:

I got the ebook on a 99cent promo on Amazon (I can’t resist cheap books!) and I had heard so many things about it in the bookish community, I had to get it. Now, I don’t know exactly what I expected, but one thing is sure, this book was a great read, though for some reason, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I don’t know. There were some moments where I felt that I was totally in love with this book. But I guess the Darkling doesn’t really works on me, and that’s probably what kept me from enjoying it as much as other people did! I don’t know, sometimes it felt a bit disturbing.

Overall, Bardugo created an amazing universe with the Grisha world. It sounds like a mix between Russia and magic (with crazy powers and bits of Red Queen) and I just love this kind of universe. The snowy landscapes as well as Alina’s power totally got me.

The plot is really interesting too, though sometimes predictable. I’m really curious for the other books, and I have to admit I wonder if I will end up liking the Darkling like everyone else (because so far, I just think he is mad and creepy… Yeah, there’s not much hope for me liking him.)

Alina is your typical YA heroine who suddenly feels the weigh of the world on her shoulders. From plain, she is thrown in the spotlight and has to deal with newfound powers and intrigue. Even if she is just so typical, I found her rather endearing and relatable. Overall, I really liked the decisions she took. She has my total approval, and I really like her.

My favourite character is probably Mal, though. He feels so alive, and human, and strong. Like Alina, I find him relatable. And he has already gone through so much, just in the first book, I really want to give him a hug and a cup of hot chocolate ♥

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this book, I find it hard to figure out what I thought of it, actually. Some part of me is screaming THIS BOOKS WAS AMAZING but there’s this other side that’s telling me nooo, the Darkling is so creepy and awful as well as nope it could have been better. I am confused. I guess I’ll just have to read the other books to figure things out, because I am still very curious!

Recommended for:

YA and Fantasy lovers who like a good story with a handsome villain.

Feel free to comment your opinion below, let’s discuss! (no spoilers please!)

Stitching Snow: My Review

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Author: R.C. Lewis

Publication: 2014

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

Rating: ★★★★☆

The story:

Stitching Snow is a clever and futuristic retelling of the well-kown fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Essie lives on planet Thanda, earning money from fights and fixing drones for the mines. But she is also hiding something. Who in their decent mind would go live on the coldest planet? One day, a shuffle crashes, and she ends up rescuing its pilot, Dane. But Dane is more than a pretty face looking for adventure. Dane is trouble, and Essie ends up head first in the war she was trying to avoid in the first place.

My opinion:

I loved this book, even if weirdly I kept waiting for something more. It’s hard to explain. Maybe I just built crazy expectations, because this book was not all that I expected. It was great nevertheless, but something was keeping me from giving it 5 stars.

The setting is amazing, it’s set on different planets, which all have their own particularities, who could ask for more? Thanda is the cold mining planet. Garam is the deserted planet of the techs. Candara is the well-developped planet of those who have a special power, and are considered enemies of the crown. And finally, Windsong is the prosperous ruling planet, deciding everything for the others (and it’s where Essie comes from). We visit all the planets through the story, and I really liked that, it was fascinating.

As for the characters, Essie is both interesting and relatable. I found her rather endearing, she’s a character whose story you want to follow. Dane is more complex and mysterious. Through the book, we learn more about him. He is full of surprises and I really liked that he was more than what he appeared at first. The book also features several drones, friends of Essie. The most important ones are Dimwit and Cusser (who are, as you probably guessed, described by their names) and they are both weirdly adorable.

Now, the plot. It was overall rather predictable, especially the ending. If you have read The Lunar Chronicles, you may find some similar things (evil queen, mechanic heroine, drones/androids, hidden princess…) but it still has its own specificities, and that’s what made me like it. I also liked that as a retelling, it showed main characters who where flawed, but strong, and not-so-typical. A Snow White who is both a fighter and a mechanic, that’s something I thought I would never see, and yet here it is, and it was awesome!

Recommended for:

Fans of fairytales and retellings! If you loved the Lunar Chronicles and are looking for something similar then this is definitely the thing for you.

(And in case you were wondering, my lovely socks are from New Yorker’s and my awesome bookmark is from MyBookmark on Etsy ♥)

Teaser Tuesday #20

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB from Books and a Beat.

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

I’m currently reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which is the first book of The Grisha trilogy. I’ve heard about this author and her books ever since I started my Bookstagram account, and finally I’m reading this, I’m so glad I started it!

Genre: YA, Fantasy

My quote:

“The throne room was three storeys high, every window sparkling with double golden eagles. A long, pale blue carpet ran the length of the room to where the members of the court milled about a raised throne.” – 28% into the story

Goodreads

Sunday Recommendations: Summer Reads

For some reason, I find that summer is the time to read contemporaries. This list is mostly made of YA titles, but I also tried to include some adult reads… Hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment with your favourite summer reads!

*****

The truth about forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

Book blurb: While her (boring and predictable) boyfriend is away at Brain camp, Macy plans on spending the summer working at the library. It’s extremely boring, but she doesn’t mind, and plans on keeping it that way – it’s predictable, and it’s not risky, just how she likes things. But unexpected things start happening, and she ends up getting a job at Wish Catering. She even ends up enjoying it, and starts questioning her choices…

This was a really lovely summer read combined with a great coming-of-age story, the characters are endearing and relatable, I really need to reread this some day!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride

Book blurb: It’s been ages since Auden slept at night, and she likes to spend the night outside. This is her last summer before college and she is going to spend it in another town, with her father. She discovers new things and makes new unexpected friendships…

Another Sarah Dessen book, and definitely one of my favourites ever… Again, it’s a summer read and coming-of-age story, and these are probably my favourites. I really love Sarah Dessen’s book, they just feel so relatable ♥

Us by David Nicholls

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Book blurb: Douglas and Connie have been married for about two decades, and are planning a trip around Europe with their 17 year old son Albie, when she tells him she thinks she wanted a divorce. Against all odds, they decide to go on the trip anyway, and don’t tell their son. Douglas secretly hopes the trip will help his wife fall back in love with him, but as expected, the trip doesn’t quite go quite as planned…

This book is brilliant. Clever and moving, and cleverly written… It also has a bunch of interesting twists. And it’s an amazing trip through Europe. (note: this one is more of an adult read than YA but if you feel confident, and if you loved One Day then just go read it, you won’t regret it!)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Book blurb:All the Bright Places is the love story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.” Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. Everything separated them. Except when they meet on the Bell’s Tower, and their lives begin to change.

This book is so heartbreaking, but definitely beautiful! I know, it’s not as happy as the other ones I featured, but it’s full of adventures and beautiful characters. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

Check out my review here!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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Book blurb: Colin Singleton has dated 19 girls named Katherine, and got dumped every single time. It’s so bad that he even made up a theorem which should predict the outcome of his next relationship. He goes on a road trip wit his best friend, to prove that his theorem is right, and meets a boy named Colin, and a girl not named Katherine…

This was really fun and cute, it’s not John Green’s most famous work, but if you like his books, you should definitely check it out!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1)

Book blurb: Four girls, one jean. That’s what this book is about. Four best friends discover a jean they all fit in, and decide to keep it an share it. Through the summer, they mail it to one another and all live wonderful adventures wearing it.

This book is a fun, light read. It also has four sequels, and they were definitely enjoyable, and a perfect read for the summer!

The Help by Katheryn Stockett

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Book blurb: Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, The Help follows the intertwined lives of three women, Skeeter, a white young lady who just graduated from college, and comes home to find the maid who raised her is gone, and Minny and Aibileen, two black maids, as the three women have to deal with the suffocating lines of what they have to do and not do.

The only book on that list that is not a contemporary, and yet it still feels fitting, either because it includes hot weather, or simply because I finished it last summer… Anyway, summer or winter, this book is a must-read!

*****

And I know there are many more summer contemporaries I have yet to read!

Final thoughts on The 100 Season 3

So apparently this was the week of season finales, so here we go again. I’m going to be so bored now that both OUAT and The 100 are over.. Oh well, I’ll have time to work on my exams watch Doctor Who.

Anyway, one more season of The 100 has come and gone, I can’t believe time flies so fast.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

What I liked about this season:

_ Monty and Harper got together! I’ve been lowkey shipping them since season 1 when Jasper called her “low hanging fruit” and Monty was like, dude no that’s rude and not true. And then they spent a lot of time together in Mount Weather, and even saw each other get drilled, I guess that gets people closer… Just kidding. But what I mean is that I’m glad they’re both getting their share of happiness – especially Monty who had to kill his mom TWICE this season – and they’re so cute together.

(Yes, that’s from season 2. It’s only to prove a point. These two are golden.)

_ I also really like that they decided to keep Emori, she brings the best out of John, and she is such a badass character.

_ We got to learn a lot more about the Grounders and the origins of the Commander. We discovered the Ice Nation, and even got to see the mysterious Luna. Now it’s all messed up, and I hope Gounders and Skykru will be able to work together and find a solution since apparently the world is supposed to end in 6 months…

_ Abby and Kane finally admitted they had feelings for each other.

_ A lot of questions were answered, including how things got organised with the Grounders, and we learnt more about how this whole Apocalypse started through ALIE and Becca. As much as I hated the City of Lights, this was definitely interesting.

_ Our characters keep getting stronger and it’s amazing to watch.

_ We also got some new character such as Brian, Luna and Roan (and Pike and Hannah too, but since they’re dead, there’s not much we’ll have about them).

_ There are still 44 of the original 100 who are alive according to Wikia. Monroe is the only one who died this season (maybe along with another one we didn’t know) and even if her death made no sense to me, it’s still a record for our delinquents.

_ Oh and we got some flashbacks from the Ark and the Earth Skills class, that was definitely awesome. (And now I’m wondering why Harper was arrested… We know that Miller was a thief – where is his dad by the way? – and Monty and Jasper smoke illegal stuff, we know about Clarke and Octavia, but I really wonder what Harper did… And I hope she’ll be a regular next season!)

_ Indra and Jasper are still alive, which is something I’m thankful for.

_ We got a final scene with Lexa, even if it didn’t make much sense… I told you my spirit would choose wisely.

_ Aaand Jasper and Monty are friends again, I couldn’t ask for more!

_ Also Bellamy and Clarke finished the season side by side, I’m glad they’re still such a good platonic team. And they’re still very close *hands holding*. Now maybe they’ll be able to take some time to cope with everything they did. I can’t wait to see how their relationship will turn out.

Now, the first finale showed Mount Weather, and the second one showed the City of Lights. This time, we’re not really sure, but apparently the world is supposed to end in six months.

What can we expect for season 4?

_ The world will have to reconstruct itself, and accept the fact that they might all die in 6 months.

_ Is Clarke going to ne the new commander? That will probably be an issue, she took the flame after all.

_ Octavia is leaving alone, I expect we’ll see some of that. Maybe she’ll get back with Indra and the Trikru, maybe she’ll go on her own and mourn Lincoln. Or she might join Luna. I think that’s going to be interesting!

_ The Sky people will have to elect a new Chancellor, since Pike is dead. My bets are on Kane. (Oh and please, could he get married with Abby?? That would be awesome okay!!)

_ Monty and Raven (and all the others actually) have been through enough crap and pain, I expect they’ll get some peace for now.

_ What’s going to happen with Jaha, since he’s the one who brought all this mess here?

_ Will season four take up right where season 3 left, or will there be a time gap like between season 2 & 3?

_ And one big question, obviously, is Bellarke going to happen this season?

Anyway, these are only suppositions, and as you probably can guess, I can’t wait!!

Kindred Spirits: Short Review

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Kindred Spirits is a short story written by Rainbow Rowell and published on World Book Day earlier in March.

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★

The story:

The new Star Wars is about to be released and Elena decides to wait in line in front of the cinema with other fans for a few days. Except when she arrives, there are only two people waiting in line, Troy, who has already waited in line for all the previous Star Wars movies, and Gabe, who seems to be around Elena’s age, but doesn’t really seem to be keen on talking to her. And that’s all. However, Elena doesn’t give up, and decides to sleep on the spot, as she had planned (even if her mother keeps driving by and insisting she comes home). And Elena is weirdly having a great time, even if things don’t go exactly as planned (especially when she needs to pee in the middle of the second night!)

My opinion:

This book was adorable. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone who is part of a fandom, even if it’s not Star Wars (I think it’s time I admit I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies… I know, shame on me). It reminded me of the line I did to wait for Sum 41 earlier this year (we arrived at 11am, the concert was at 7pm, and they were playing the third part) or the time I waited like 4 hours for John Green, and that time earlier this year when I waited in line for James Dashner and I thought I’d never get to see him. Yes, this is not as spectacular as what Elena did, but  there is still the spirit of the line and it is amazing.

Anyway, back to the book. The three main characters are all very different and yet endearing in their own way. Really, if you’re a fangirl/fanboy you can’t not like this book. It has its little ups and down and undying love for Star Wars. A bond is created between the characters, and they just feel so human, it’s perfect…

My only regret is that it was a short story, I would have loved to read more of Elena and Gabe!