Friday, 21 July 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Character Name + Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2017



This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books


This week's topic is favorite / least favorite character name! 



Favorite


 Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)


I have several favorites. Skulduggery Pleasant, for one. I also love the name Chaol Westfall
 

Least Favorite


 Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)


I'm not a huge fan of the name Grace. I also don't really care for the name Isobel. I don't hate these names at all, I just don't think they're the most interesting names ever. 
What do you think of these names?


~ ~ ~


Now it's time for the mid-year book freak out tag! I found it on The Butterfly Reader


1) Best book you've read so far in 2017


 A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)


I've read lots of awesome books, but those that stick out include Mask of Shadows, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Demon Road.



2)  Best sequel you've read so far in 2017


 Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)



3)  New release you haven't read yet but want to


 The Beast Is an Animal


Ohhhh there are tons of new releases I want to read but haven't yet! The Beast is an Animal is only one of them.


4) Most anticipated release for second half of 2017


 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)


So I already read an ARC of Mask of Shadows (thank you NetGalley!) however I am definitely anticipating the release date for this book so I can get a physical copy. 



5) Biggest disappointment


 Keeping You a Secret


Keeping You A Secret was quite a disappointment for me. 



6) Biggest surprise


 Proxy (Proxy, #1)


 I wasn't expecting to like Proxy so much!



7) Favorite new authors


 Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)


Sarah J Maas! 


8) Newest fictional crushes


Chaol!!!!! Celaena too. 



9) Newest favorite character


Yeah I don't have just one favourite character, but many. Chaol, Celaena, Feyre, Tamlin (Sarah J Maas is essentially providing me with a good portion of my favourites nowadays, as you can see). I also really liked Amber from Demon Road and Syd from Proxy. 



10) Book that made you cry


 When Everything Feels Like the Movies


When Everything Feels like the Movies. To be fair, I can't remember if I actually cried or if I only shed a few tiny tears, but either way this book was very emotional for me. 



11) Book that made you happy


Mask of Shadows! Genderfluid represent!




12) Favourite book to movie adaptation you've seen so far in 2017


I don't think I've seen any! :(




13) Favourite review you've written so far in 2017


 Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)


Oblivion. It's not some epic review, but its a review for the last book in one of my most favorite trilogies ever. 




14) Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year. 


 Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)


I have bought lots of lovely books, but Zodiac stands out for sure!




15) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?



So many. I'm not even gonna bother to list them. Just... so many.



If you've completed this tag on your blog, please leave the link below! Anyways, how has your reading year been so far?

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain




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Series: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Page Count: 372
Published: December 22nd, 2009
Publisher: EgmontUSA
  Did Not Finish


Grace lives a fairly simple and and uneventful life, until Daniel shows up at her school one day. Daniel, the boy who befriended her as a child, moved into her home and who later vanished, and who her family never ever talks about.

Daniel is different, but he doesn't hesitate to befriend Grace once again. Grace soon resolves to fix the tense relationship between her brother, Jude, and Daniel, but soon strange things start happening, things that leave people fearing that the "Markham Monster" might be back. Does Daniel have anything to do with it?

There will be minor spoilers in this review.

I decided to stop reading this at 56% of the way through. I was very disappointed in it, mostly for personal reasons.

The writing itself was actually pretty good, I liked the way that the author phrased things and I was able to picture everything very well. My favourite setting was the area that Daniel ended up living in, because she made it sound so sketchy and suspicious. I also really liked the descriptions of the angel statutes and the atmosphere in the Garden of Angels. 

I also liked Daniel. Actually, he was the only character that I really liked. I liked him because he seemed kind of rebellious, he seemed like he was still dealing with his past and as such he had depth. This is, unfortunately, in contrast to Grace. I found Grace and her family to be rather superficial. 

Grace was too much of a "follower" for me. I feel like she didn't question anything and that got on my nerves. She was kind of a "sheep". I felt no connection to her. Then there was her father, who seemed really awesome at first. He seemed kind and caring and I really liked him! Then, he showed a bit of a petty, somewhat intolerant side at the Thanksgiving dinner and I instantly disliked him. 

Usually I don't mind when some characters are like this, but because of the context it brought up some rather unpleasant memories, so when I say that most of my issues with this book was personal, I mean it.

Here's where the spoilers come in. The author's interpretation of werewolves or shapeshifters, which I'm guessing, due to other reviews and other readers' discussions of this book, is what Daniel is, was approached in a rather unique way. However, as unique as it was, it really didn't work for me.

Basically, Daniel's situation as a werewolf, shapeshifter or "urbat" was explained through people being super religious and devoted to "God", who then rewarded them with these powers. He is a descendant of these people, so he has these abilities. I didn't like this version of the shapeshifter or werewolf myth, and as with the characters, it kind of brought up unpleasant memories. 

I wanted to keep reading to give this book a chance. However, I had to put it down because I feel it had too much religion in it for myself, personally. I think it's kind of funny, actually, that a werewolf or shapeshifter book has more religion in it than most angel and demon books I've read! Of course, I was expecting some religion, but not this much. 

So while I liked the writing style and settings, the characters and religious interpretation of werewolves and shapeshifters turned me off this book. I tried and read more than half, but I just had to give up.

If you're interested in paranormal books with religious themes, this may be a good pick for you.


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Recent Book Hauls

So I wanted to talk about some of my recent book hauls! There's been sales and trips to thrift stores and I budgeted super well during the year so I was able to treat myself this summer!


From BookOutlet's recent sale, I bought:


Held Against You by Season Vining
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Guardian by Alex London
Zodiac by Romina Russell
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Iluminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
The Body in the Woods by April Henry


From thrift stores I recently got:


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Reached by Ally Condie
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Something Strange and Deadly (ARC edition) by Susan Dennard
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice (writing as A.N Roquelaure



I know you're all like, Wren, you already have about a million books on your bookshelves that are unread. And yes, that is quite true. I open up about my book buying addiction in this post.


However, while I keep buying books, I don't think it's too much to worry about as long as I have enough room in my home and I regulate my spending. Essentially, most of my personal or non-essential spending is on books.... so what others would spend on makeup or video games or going to the movie theater, I spend on books. Considering it like that, I've come to realize that so long as I budget efficiently, I have nothing to worry about. And yeah I budgeted super well, as I mentioned. Plus all of these books were on sale in one way or another. So.....yeah.


Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)


Lots of these books have awesome covers. But I really like the cover of Zodiac! I can't stop looking at it.


I got lots of sequels that I've been wanting to read, so that's great too. And lots of books I've had on my to-read list for years have shown up in thrift stores, so that's awesome as well.



My question to all of you: what did you get in your latest books haul?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Blood Sinister by Celia Rees


Blood Sinister

Series: Point Horror Unleashed
Author: Celia Rees
Page Count: 224
Published: September 20th, 2002
Publisher: Scholastic Point
  3.5 Stars ★★★


Ellen is a teenage girl with a mysterious illness. A strange disease or ailment of the blood plagues her, and has her returning to hospitals time and time again. She fears that she may not have much time left.

She moves in with her grandmother, and comes across a series of diaries written by one of her ancestors, a female doctor also named Ellen. As she reads entry after entry, it becomes obvious that the older Ellen had come across a real-life vampire.

With the reappearance of a childhood friend, and the creepy sight of an old cemetery across the road from her grandmother's house, Ellen wishes that she could unravel the mysteries that plague both herself and her ancestor. But will she survive to uncover the truth?

This was a fairly quick read. I read it in one night, I found myself unable to put it down. However, this wasn't because the book was amazing.

It was definitely enjoyable, no mistake there. But there was something missing.

First off, the things I liked. I liked the way that vampires were creepy and not sexy. I love myself some sexy vampires, but a good old-fashioned monster is definitely also appreciated. I liked the way that the author told two stories at once, the story of the past and present Ellens. The diary entries were thorough and painted a clear picture of the past, while the modern Ellen's experiences were also well described and explained.

The mystery of Ellen's illness kept me reading. I really wanted to know what was wrong with her, and if she would survive. There was definitely some empathy from me concerning this situation, and Andy cared for Ellen in a way that made him immediately likeable.

There really should have been more in this book, though. More scenes, more action. A long book, with more character development and emphasis on creepy happenings would have bumped this book up to a four, maybe even a five star read. The base story was there, and certainly enjoyable, but with a little more time, this book could have been fantastic.



Find Blood Sinister on Goodreads

Friday, 7 July 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Supernatural Being




This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favourite / least favourite supernatural being


Favourite


 Image found here

 
 

 Image found here

Alright so technically I have two favourites: vampires and the fey. So I guess I am cheating and choosing both of them!


Least Favourite



Image found here

I still like mythology and the gods / goddesses / deities / demi-gods, etc, often featured in books (i.e Percy Jackson, though I haven't actually read it...just an example) but they aren't anywhere close to my favourite supernatural beings. I prefer fairy-tale retellings to greek mythology retellings, and I will usually pick a vampire romance over a book about whatever mythological pantheon.


What are your favourite and least favourite supernatural beings?