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Saturday, February 21

Standalones vs. Series | Discussion

Today I was pleasantly surprised with book post. I bought Atlantia by Ally Condie a couple of days ago and wasn’t expecting it to arrive until next week. However, Amazon was awesome, like always, and sent it to me early. In all honesty, when I clicked the ‘checkout’ button I didn’t know much about this book’s story or characters or anything really but the cover was so drop-dead-gorgeous that I simply wasn’t able to resist it. This means that I ended up researching Atlantia on Goodreads and found out that it is in fact a standalone – surprised again! Which consequently made me think about standalones and series in YA fiction. As a YA addict most of the books that I own are within this genre and a huge proportion of them are part of a series. Standalones are extremely rare if you’re into fantasy or paranormal YA fiction with authors like Josephine Angelini, Cassandra Clare or Laini Taylor – these sort of books tend to be part of trilogies or series. But if you look at contemporary fiction with authors like Rainbow Rowell or John Green you actually get to enjoy a lot of standalones.

Personally I can’t say that I have a favourite type of book (standalone or series) but I do wish that more YA fantasy and paranormal were published under standalones. I miss it. I miss reading a story from start to end and feeling satisfied because I actually know everything I need or want to know. I miss not having to wait years for the series to be over and be able to marathon it. I miss not having to deal with cliffhangers, and love triangles, and all that I’m-part-of-a-series stuff. I truthfully think that the YA market needs more books such as Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest and Ally Condie’s Atlantia. As a reader, I definitely need to know more in a less amount of time because when you invest in a series you’re investing years… and since you have to wait quite a few months between books you end up starting new series – it’s like a vicious cycle and at the end of the day you start feeling like you have way too many series and not enough time to read them. Still, I do appreciate a good series.

When you fall in love with certain characters or supernatural worlds you want to go back to them as many times as possible. You want to know those fictional persons better. You want to read about their dreams, and their relationships, and their lives. They become your friends. Your ‘partners in crime’ and you simply don’t want to let them go. It’s an amazing feeling when a new book is out and you can go through all of it once again. And when it’s over… it’s like your heart shatters in one million different pieces and you know, right there, in that very moment, that you will miss that world and those characters forever – in the same way that you will always remember them.

Presently I guess I prefer reading standalones due to having a lot of series started and not many finished. I continue to invest in new series as there are plenty of interesting debut books coming out but if I do find a standalone then I will most certainly give it priority.

How about you? 
Do you feel overwhelmed with the amount of new series being published every year? 
Do your unfinished series drive you a bit crazier every day?

Sunday, February 8

Most Anticipated Books Of... | February 2015

These are the books I am looking forward the most to this month. February has some pretty cool new releases coming out and I feel like it is going to be a bit of a nightmare to choose which ones to buy first. May the odds be ever in my favour when it comes to acquiring new babies to my shelves.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Publisher: Indigo
Publishing Date: February 5th

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic
Publishing Date: February 5th

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: February 10th

There's death all around us.

We just don't pay attention.

Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

 Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Orion
Publishing Date: February 12th

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

The Catalyst by Helena Coggan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: February 19th

Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose's identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind. But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties. How much does she really know about her father's past? How far is the Department willing to go to keep the peace? And, if the time comes, will Rose choose to protect her secret, or the people she loves?

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Publishing Date: February 23rd

When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.


They were born together and they will die together.

One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
 The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. 
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. 
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
 The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

Those Above by Daniel Polansky
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: February 26th

They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword. 

Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital.

Friday, February 6

Look At That Cover | End of Days

Fans of Susan Ee (me included) worry no more!

End of Days, the final book in the Penryn & the End of Days series, is happening. Is really happening and today its beautiful cover was finally revealed.

Are you ready?
Are you sure?
'Cause let me tell ya that I wasn't. Not one bit - yep, the cover is that drop-dead-gorgeous!

End of Days publishes on May 12th.

Wednesday, February 4

Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher | Review

Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Series: Never Never #1
Publisher: Hoover Ink
Release: 7th January 2015
Source: Bought (ebook)

Best friends since they could walk.
In love since they were fourteen.
Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember.
She’ll do anything to forget.

What… the… heck?!
I’m still trying to figure out what the hell I just read – that’s how good, and surprising, and unbelievably amazing this book is. If you’re looking for a brief story that will constantly keep you on the edge of your seat guessing than Never Never is the right book for you. I’ve been a massive fan of Colleen Hoover ever since I read Hopeless and even though I have yet to read a (solo) novel by Tarryn Fisher I can honestly say that these two authors, writing together, is something out of this world!

I feel like I don’t want to say too much about the story as this is one of those books which are way better if you get into it without knowing much about it. What I can tell you though is that I was hooked right from the first chapter. The mystery surrounding Silas and Charlie’s ‘new’ world is so intense and curious, the questions which are kept unanswered are amazing in the sense that give a very particular feel of thrilling and life to the book, and all the little details, the sneak peaks of what their lives might have been and what could be in the future make Never Never an awesome and super fast read. I loved the sensation of relentlessly discovering new things, formulating new questions and develop new theories. I loved the two very different POVs – and I one hundred percent loved Silas (which was written by Colleen) and Charlie (which was written by Tarryn).

Never Never is the first part/book in a series and I can seriously say that I am dying to read the next instalment. The ending of this book was mind-blowing and definitely the most perfect cliffhanger of all times – and I hate cliffhangers! Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher absolute geniuses and I can’t wait to read more from them. I’m curious… I’m deadly curious and totally invested in this story.

Sunday, February 1

Wrap Up + Book Haul | January

I’m so immensely upset with my January wrap up.

I can’t tell you how excited I was with the beginning of the new year as usually that means a great reading month/start for me – so you can only imagine my disappointment when an unexpected reading slump decided to hijack my highly anticipated January plans. I’m currently feeling much better however it took me two unfinished books and almost two weeks of total despair until finally find the ‘one book’ that was going to help me get out of this nightmare – Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher, I thank you both.

As for that, in January I only read two books:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I’ve reviewed this book on the blog so you can check my thoughts here. I truly enjoyed this book and I can’t recommend it enough – it’s an absolute must for all those book lovers who so often obsess after a certain author, book or characters. I saw so much of myself in this book, plus Rainbow’s writing style is delicious!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This book is not yet reviewed on the blog but it will be shortly. This was my first Laini Taylor book and gosh I couldn’t be more surprise! Karou is probably one of my all time favourite female protagonists and I love her to death! Feeling super excited with the next installment in this series.

My book buying plans ended up being way better than what I expected. I bought four books and received one from a publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know that the image only displays four titles in total and not five – I purchased Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor in second hand and because the book is in horrible condition I simply couldn’t put it here. This means that I continue my infinite search for a good quality/condition Hardback edition of this title – if someone knows of anyone or a place where I can get one, please do tell me!

You might also be asking why the hell I bought book one and book three in a series – well, Ensnared was at a really good price when I acquired Splintered so I wasn’t able to resist. Now I’m only missing book two, which is sort of good in a way seeing that Splintered was one of my January unfinished books (I’m still hoping to go back to it some time soon, though).

Other interesting posts on the blog: 
British Books Challenge 2015
New Authors Challenge 2015
Fairytale Retelling Challenge 2015
Debut Author Challenge 2015
Fangirl's Book Trailer
Most Anticipated Books of January

And that’s all!
Let me know how your first reading month was… and how many books you got in January!

Saturday, January 10

Most Anticipated Books Of... | January 2015

These are the books I am looking forward the most to this month. January seems like it’s going to be an amazing month in new releases, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of these five (or better yet, four as I already own a copy of Golden Son).

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
Publisher: Chicken House
Publishing Date: January 1st

When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: January 8th

'I'm still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.'
Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations. 
In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?
Hic sunt leones.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Penguin
Publishing Date: January 8th

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. 

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: January 27th

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: January 29th

This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.

Thursday, January 8

Bout of Books 12 — Days 2, 3 & 4

Unfortunately I wasn't able to read much in the last couple of days - actually I wasn't able to read at all yesterday. Today has been much, much better and with a bit of luck I'll be able to squeeze some more pages in!

Pages of the day: 100 (Day 2) + 0 (Day 3) + TBU (Day 4)
Total pages read: TBU
Book(s) of the Day: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Books read: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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