2017 releases + Picky reading

Being the organised freak I am, I find it extremely uncomfortable to have a large amount of books on my Goodreads TBR list. If I’m not eating, sleeping, reading or buying candles on Etsy, I’m probably fixing up and clearing my TBR list.

With this being said, I try to be quite picky with what I add onto it the list, almost exclusively only going for books that are rated 4 stars or over. I KNOW, this is a terrible trait for a reader to have but I’m so terrified of reading slumps. This forces me to only read books that instantly pique my interest or have a good standing with other readers. It’s the “safer option” I guess.

I can’t vouch for its effectiveness because I have also, after a 2 year reading slump, become inexplicably more fussy and critical of books. This has lead to me leaving more and more 3 stars, whilst being extremely frugal with my 5 stars. However, that has not stopped me from adding a few unreleased books to my TBR list.

I’ll be recommending 5 books that are due to be released in 2017 and I hope that some of these interest you as well!

Untitled (#6 Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas

Predicted release: September 2017

Synopsis:
No plot yet (but who am I kidding, why would I need a plot to have this on my TBR list)

 

Untitled (#3 A Court of Thorns and Roses)
by Sarah J. Maas

Predicted release: May 2nd, 2017

Synopsis:
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.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Warcross (#1 Warcross)
by Marie Lu

Predicted release: 2017

Synopsis:
Two teenage bounty hunters are “hired by a young billionaire to catch a hacker in the world’s most phenomenally popular virtual reality video game.”

 

Caraval (#1 Untitled)
by Stephanie Garber

Predicted release: January 31st, 2017

Synopsis:
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Wintersong
by S.Jae Jones

Predicted release: February 7th, 2017

Synopsis:
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.

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NA Romance and a few other addictions

As you guys may or may not know, I went through a massive phase of reading fantasy for a few months. I’m not complaining and that phase certainly isn’t over, but somewhere along the line, I grew a little tired of reading fantasy books after having an unfortunate streak of reading average fantasy books.

So, I decided to pick up an NA Romance novel and for a little while, there was no turning back.

I know that NA Romance could easily be stigmatised and categorised as “lower quality literature” and I can understand where that argument can emerge from. However, I’m also a firm believer in “quality” of literature being a personal thing that varies from person to person.

Today I’ll be bringing to you guys my short thoughts on some NA/YA romances I’ve read recently!

The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne

Thoughts:
This was the first of the bunch of romances I read and was definitely set a high standard for all the proceeding books. I was instantly captivated by the synopsis of this story since I’m always down for a good hate-to-love romance.

The characters’ personalities seemingly clashed at first but honestly, I think their overall relationship dynamic allowed for a really heart-warming and intense character and relationship arc.

The book wasn’t disappointing and went above and beyond all standards I had. Not only was the romance and relationship built up nicely, but the writing was witty, not overly cheesy and the narrator, Lucy, was extremely easy to relate to. I would recommend this book to anyone!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Paper Princess (#1 The Royals)
by Erin Watt

Thoughts:
Yet again, another hate-to-love romance. What can I say, I’m full of surprises! The atmosphere of this book was slightly different to The Hating Game. The characters we’re dealing with in this book are junior/senior high school students but don’t be fooled, the romance is a lot steamier and up front. I’d say that this was more direct with the interactions and romance, whereas The Hating Game had bursts of steamy scenes but overall felt a bit more tasteful.

My favourite aspect of this book (and its next two books) is how there isn’t just one hot guy but 5 HOT BROTHERS. I know, I know, I don’t know how my ovaries survived either but trust me, they only barely made it. The whole family dynamic in the Royals family is a little bit askew and problematic (to say the least), but the relationship that the brothers have with each other and their protectiveness over Ella was soooo swoonworthy.

I deem this book the Number 1 Crack Cocaine Book and I’m sure it’s pretty hard to argue against that, just read and you’ll see 😉

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Fallen Crest High
by Tijan

Thoughts:
This book has a fairly similar setting and idea to Paper Princess, but that wasn’t the reason why I wasn’t a fan of it.

Whereas usually I am a fan of easy, entertaining NA romance reads, this book just didn’t cut it for me. It fulfilled all of categories I listed just before, sure, but there were also a lot of issues with the characters and relationships in it that made for an overall below average read.

To put it shortly, the book was overly dramatic, with a wide array of bratty, lust-driven teenage kids. The issue with this was that the drama was never fully explained to the reader and alongside that, the main relationship in the book didn’t feel quite right to me. It was, to be put concisely, pretty crude for the majority of the book.

I definitely would say this book is a hit-or-miss and whether or not you enjoy it depends on how fussy you are about complex exploration of relationships and issues within a book.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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I hope you guys enjoyed some of my thoughts on these books. I’d honestly recommend most of them to you if you were just in the mood for a quick, guilty pleasure read.

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September Wrap Up

I feel so excited because I read 12 books in the month of September! Technically, I finished one on October 1st but I’m just going to count that in because I’m a cheater and like even numbers.

A Court of Mist and Fury (#2 A Court of Thorns and Roses)
by Sarah J. Maas

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: May 3rd, 2016
Pages: 640 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Assassin’s Blade (#0.1-0.5 Throne of Glass)
by Sarah J. Maas

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Novella
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 448 Pages
Format: Ebook

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Empire of Storms (#5 Throne of Glass)
by Sarah J. Maas

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: September 6th, 2016
Pages: 704 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Rose Society (#2 The Young Elites)
by Marie Lu

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Dystopian
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 13th, 2015
Pages: 398 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Scarlet (#2 The Lunar Chronicles)
by Marissa Meyer

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: February 5th, 2013
Pages: 464Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Cress (#3 The Lunar Chronicles)
by Marissa Meyer

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
 February 4th, 2014
Pages: 560 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Shadow and Bone (#1 The Grisha)
by Leigh Bardugo

Genre(s): Young Adult, High Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: June 5th, 2012
Pages: 358 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

An Ember in the Ashes (#1 An Ember in the Ashes)
by Sabaa Tahir

Genre(s): Young Adult, Dystopian, Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication date: April 28th, 2015
Pages: 446 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Winter (#4 The Lunar Chronicles)
by Marissa Meyer

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: November 10th, 2015
Pages: 832 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Furthermore
by Tahereh Mafi

Genre(s): Middlegrade, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 416 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Siege and Storm (#2 The Grisha)
by Leigh Bardugo

Genre(s): Young Adult, High Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 435 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Ruin and Rising (#3 The Grisha)
by Leigh Bardugo

Genre(s): Young Adult, High Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: June 17th, 2014
Pages: 442 Pages
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Top 4 TV shows (v. 2016)

If there’s one thing that can parallel (almost) my intense obsession and attachment with books, it’s TV shows. I’ve started plenty of new TV shows this year and here I recommend them to you!

I enjoy Thriller/Sci-Fi shows, so if you’re not into that, perhaps these shows might not be for you. However, I’m also extremely confident in my exceptional taste in TV shows (and being humble about it) and I’m sure that any human can find enjoyment in at least one of these shows.
MATTHEW DADDARIO, ALBERTO ROSENDE, EMERAUDE TOUBIA, KATHERINE MCNAMARA, DOMINIC SHERWOOD

5.pngShadowhunters

This show is non-stop drama and action and I am totally hooked. Though the production quality could do with some work, something about the storyline draws me in just as the books did a few years ago. Plus, an exceptionally attractive cast doesn’t hurt the eyes…

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5.pngBates Motel

This show is a prequel for the classic film by Hitchcock, Psycho, set in modern times. If you love a little bit of psychological instability, exceptional acting and just an overall, unnerving show, this is perfect. Plus there’s only 4 seasons out at the moment and it’s almost too easy to marathon it all in a few days.

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5

Stranger Things

I wanted to put on this top but it doesn’t have to be #1 because this show is already crazy popular. This is definitely one of the best shows I’ve watched in a while. The cast, plot and soundtrack are all amazing and pay a respectful homage to retro films.

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5.pngSense 8

This show is genius. It started off slow but you do come to realise that this pace is needed to build up the complexity of the relationships, which is the foundation of the show. It’s about 8 people from all over the world who find out that their souls and minds are all linked and must find a way to survive being hunted…

Hope you guys find some enjoyment in these shows! They’re all super good. If you want something intense and more teen orientated, go for Shadowhunters. If you want something to make you uncomfortable yet intrigued at the same time, go for Bates Motel. Stranger Things…everyone should just give a try. And Sense 8 is perfect for those who love to watch relationships develop and enjoy a bit of sci-fi and awesome action sequences.

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Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes (#1 An Ember in the Ashes)
by Sabaa Tahir

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication date: April 28th, 2015
Pages: 446 Pages
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover

SYNOPSIS: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Trigger warnings: Sexual assault (rape)

THOUGHTS: 

Note: I do discuss some specific names and relationships. However, I don’t discuss the fate of these relationships or the plot.

  • The story is quite slow at the beginning and only begins to pick up around the 100+ page mark but nothing a dedicated reader can’t endure. (It is worth the wait)
  • Though nothing in the synopsis truly stood out to me as revolutionary, Sabaa Tahir was able to write out the story in an extremely authentic way. The novel had a very good balance between an engaging plot and an exploration of character morality and emotions. Although I must say that Elias’ storyline showed a lot more of this than Laia’s did.
  • Though Laia and Elia’s storylines start off as separate (and will unavoidably become intertwined), I found that Laia’s wasn’t developed as much. Though her back story and motivation for pushing through her difficulties were very much real and rooted in something she felt strongly for, the rest of her story and the whole Resistance concept felt severely underdeveloped in comparison to Elia’s story.
  • Another doubt I had was about Laia herself. I feared she would be proven as a “weak” character and then receive no character development. However, Sabaa Tahir challenged my expectations and the character arc that Laia underwent was really nicely done. The author kept the characters consistent and therefore, the story played out smoothly.
  • I really appreciated the romance in this book! Although it played out to be a major plot point near the end of the book, it wasn’t overbearing and it held respectable restrictions. This judgment could, however, be biased since I’m a sucker for romance but I also know an unrealistic, burns-too-bright relationship when I see one. And this isn’t it!
  • Keenan and Laia’s relationship always confused me as I found there to be no foundation or development of this relationship whatsoever. It felt like whatever “thing” the author was trying to create was unnecessary and fell flat for me.
  • My opinion of Helene was varied throughout the book but solidified into positive respect by the end. My confusing feelings of her arose through the fact that she would show a softer side of herself and then by the next chapter, she would be back to the harsh, law abiding warrior she was. However, I do understand why this was and I appreciate the author’s consistency.
  • There were some inconsistencies/unexplained situations in terms of the world building. When the Moon Festival is discussed and two of the characters go to have Moon Cakes I was confused. I thought that the characters lived in the desert and by the sound of their full names, they certainly didn’t seem Chinese. However, this was only a minor event and was one of the only inconsistencies I could find with the book.

Overall, I loved this book and Sabaa Tahir’s engaging writing just made it that much better. Elias is totally swoon worthy (I couldn’t not mention it merp) and that cliffhanger at the end of the book…

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Mid-September TBR

Often when exiting a reading slump, I find myself disinterested in at least 50% of the books in my To-Read list on Goodreads. I think what your inner book eater needs is a little adjustment from time to time. So, ever since I’ve returned back to reading, I’ve cleared out my TBR and now there are less than 25 books on my list.

Here are a few of the ones I plan on reading for the last half of September!

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Furthermore
by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 416 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

 

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Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: November 10th, 2015
Pages: 832 pages
Format: E-Book
Source: Library

 

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Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
by Sara Raasch

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 416 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

 

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Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 435 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

 

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It’s been 2 years?

Wow.

It’s been about 2 years since I stopped making videos and slowly descended into the deathly spiral of book slumps (eep). A lot of reasons contributed to it e.g. schoolwork, prescribed texts for school, more school… I guess one year was enough of a reading slump to get me back into reading again, now that I’m in my first year of university. Busier than ever yet also more excited to read than I ever have been before! Pretty much renders my excuses from just before meaningless.

I don’t have any content to post on here yet but I’m pretty sure there’ll be an exciting post about books or something like that in the next coming week. PRETTY sure. Until then, you can follow/befriend me on Instagram and Goodreads for daily updates about my ever exciting book life.

Have a wondrous week!