quinta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2014

Review: Antebellum Awakening - Katie Cross

Antebellum Awakening (Network Series, #2) by Katie Cross
Publication Date: October 15th, 2014
Pages: 300
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Got it from the author

Synopsis

Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch.


Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage.

Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos, endangering any witch around her. She has six months left to destroy the curse that will kill her and fulfill her contract with the most cunning enemy of all: her former teacher Miss Mabel. 

Bianca must make a choice: learn to control her restless powers, or let the powers control her.

Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the thrilling new fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a haunting tale about tragedy, loss, and the power of moving on.


And here I was, thinking that this series couldn't get any better after Miss Mabel's School For Girls. Well, I was utterly wrong!

I felt that this book dealt with some heavier topics. We have grieve, considering that it starts right after Bianca's mother's death, we have a war coming up and we have Bianca being afraid that her curse won't be lifted and that she will die in a short amount of months. So, perhaps because of this, I think that the first part of the book moves a bit slower giving time to Bianca (and the reader) to assimilate everything that is going on.

Nonetheless, the pacing is right for the story and eventually it does become faster and more action-packed - even more so than Miss Mabel's - with magic and what I believed to be amazingly described sword fights! 

On top of that, as Bianca starts accepting her fate, the story gets ever more gripping and enticing, stopping you from putting the book down until you've read it from cover to cover!

I thought that all the characters were wonderfully written and even the secondary ones had an important role in the story. Miss Mabel was as evil as ever. She is just the kind of villain that you love to hate. At the same time - and like I've said on my last review - I like the different kinds of strong women that Katie is able to portray.

This book is a great sequel to Miss Mabel's School For Girls and it leaves you wanting more!

P.S: This is actual footage of me after finishing Antebellum Awakening
image




domingo, 27 de julho de 2014

Stacking The Shelves #7


Stacking The Shelves was originally created by Tynga's Reviews. The idea is for everyone to show the books they are adding to their shelves (physical copies or virtual) 

Since the last time I did one of these I joined a book exchange website...so I have quite a few new beauties to parade! So, what I got was this:



Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Ecstasy - Irvine Welsh
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (I'm going to try and read some more classic books from now on!)
Master of the Moor - Ruth Rendell
One-hit Wonder - Lisa Jewell
The Sea Sisters - Lucy Clarke
The White Queen - Philippa Gregory (I don't read much historical romance, but I'll give it a try!)
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #2) - Ransom Riggs (this one is a hard-back copy which was never read...it's in perfect conditions! Just as if I bought it from TBD, I'm so happy! :D)


I've also gotten two books for review:


Miss Mabel's School for Girls - Katie Cross    Biggest Flirts - Jennifer Echols
(review here)

And finally, I decided to give audiobooks a chance and I got two from Audible!



Winger - Andrew Smith
To All The Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

What did you get this week? :)

quarta-feira, 23 de julho de 2014

Review: Miss Mabel's School for Girls - Katie Cross

Miss Mabel's School for Girls (Network Series, #1) by Katie Cross
Publication Date: March 27th, 2014
Pages: 308
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Got it from the author

Synopsis

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.




If there was only one word I could use to describe this novel, it would be "WOW"!

This book is absolutely action packed from beginning to end! There are no dull moments and there are so many twists and turns that you just have to keep turning the pages. It's definitely one of those books that you only want to put down when you finish it. I have to say that I don't remember the last time a book surprised me, but this one sure did! When I thought I knew what was going to happen, there was some sort of twist...which made this story incredibly interesting.

I also loved how different all the female characters were. Usually when people talk about "strong female characters" they are talking about the heroine who fights everyone; I liked how Katie challenged that notion: we have Bianca who is indeed the heroine who fights back but we also have Miss Mabel, for example who is probably one of the smartest and most cunning women in fiction...and absolutely evil too! 
The secondary characters were very dynamic and were an important part of the plot of the story.

I don't know if there is coming on the next books or not but there was absolutely no romance in this novel, which, in a way, I thought was quite refreshing and different from everything that is out there at the moment.

Katie was able to create an original and magical world like no other I've ever read about. Plus, places were described beautifully and almost made it seem like we were there. 

This was a great beginning of a series and I'm sure to keep up with it! Definitely recommed it! 

"Fear is an ally. It tells you something is wrong, like pain." is definitely one of my favourite quotes ever!


Buy it from Amazon

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2014

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Pages: 418
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought it


Synopsis
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.


In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


After seeing many great reviews for this book, I finally decided to pick it up. The blurb sounded really interesting but there was so much hype around this series that I was a bit scared that I wasn't going to enjoy it as much as others...luckily that wasn't the case!

I think that one of my favourite things about this book was the way places were described, especially Prague...I've never been there but it sounded almost magical (and I would be lying if I said I didn't look up flights to Prague while reading the book!). 

As for characters, Karou is an amazing main character. She is this really unique, artistic blue-haired girl who lives in Prague and has a group of chimaera as a sort of adoptive family. I found it really easy to connect with Karou and to understand her actions. Plus, I liked how she cared about the other characters and always tried to do the right thing (even if they didn't fully deserve it). Zuzana, Karou's tiny, "rabid" best friend was absolutely hillarious and deffinitely someone I would want to be friends with. Her sarcastic nature truly brought a great energy to the book.
Akiva, the seraph was also quite intriguing. Even though he was brought up in a world consumed by war, he finds it in himself to try to be better. I hope we get more from him in the next book.

Even though I deeply enjoyed this book, I have to say that for me, the last third/quarter of this story was what I least enjoyed. One the one hand I liked the description we got of the other worlds and how the seraph and chimaera societies were organized. It was also interesting to get a bit of backstory on the war and on Brimstone's magic and what exactly he did with the teeth...that part was very imaginative. On the other hand, I didn't care very much for Madrigal's whole story even though I realize why it was necessary to be told.

All in all it was a great book that I deffinitely recommed. And I can't wait to start the sequel!


Buy this book at The Book Depository


domingo, 4 de maio de 2014

Discussion Sunday (#1): To co-blog or not to co-blog...

...That is the question! And it's a question that has been a lot on my mind lately since I know that time will always be a issue with me (except maybe in the summer!).

Pros:
  • Being able to share the fun!
  • Sharing the work (God knows I need it!)
  Cons:
  •   This blog is like my baby, it has my name and everything;
  •       Affiliate links are associated with my personal email;
     
      So, I really don't know what to do...if on one hand I would love to have a blogging friend with whom I could share everything, on the other hand I don't want to part with Joana In The Sky With Books (which, unless my co-blogger was also called Joana, would be really unfair).  I signed up to receive bloging tips from Brent Riggs, the guy from Linky Tools and on one of his latest emails he talked about how he was giving away free Wordpress blogs already set-up and I started thinking that maybe I could get a second blog and get a co-blogger on that one! And then I reminded myself that the whole reason why co-blogging was so much in my mind lately was my LACK OF TIME...did I really want to run two blogs?? Am I crazy?

      Considering I was having this conversation out loud with myself the answer may very well be "yes".

       What do you guys think of my dilemma? Have you ever gone through the same thing?

sábado, 3 de maio de 2014

Review: Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garde, #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Publication Date: February 16th, 2012
Pages: 358
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought it



Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home - before her time runs out forever. What if you knew you exactly when you would die? In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it. 16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage - and Linden's cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.



This is one of those books that I had seen in so many blogs that when I finally got my hands on it I just couldn't wait to read it! And I was not disappointed!

The plot in the beggining is already interesting enough to keep you intrigued and to get your attention but as soon as the story starts to unfold there are so many secrets and so many new questions (some of them which I guess are answered in the next books).
The world-building was quite amazing and it managed to create a believable futuristic society with elements from our time and elements from the future (things like holograms, for example). On top of that the descriptions of everything, from the gowns to the gardens were beautiful and realistic.

I think the pacing was good, not too fast and not too slow, with enough setback's on the main character's plans without dragging the story too long. Although I was really excited to see what would happen so at the time I might have wanted things to move quicker...looking back, I realize they happened at the right speed to be believable!

Now, my favourite part: the characters! I think they were wonderfully constructed and even the secondary characters had depth and different back stories that explained their actions (somewhat). I loved Rhine as a main character but sometimes I had to keep in mind that she was only 16, so making rash decisions was normal. She wasn't, by all means, the girl in the horror movie who runs upstairs or anything like that but she did get herself in some tricky situations because she didn't stopt to THINK first (in her place I would probably act the same way, but still, to an outside observant...)

Basically, this was a wonderful way to start my reading pile this year (yes, this is the first book I've read, school sucks!) and I can't wait to read Fever!


Get this book from The Book Depository!

sexta-feira, 2 de maio de 2014

Book Blitz: Dead Girl Walking - Ruth Silver (+GIVEAWAY)

dgw-rdb-banner

DEAD GIRL WALKING by Ruth Silver
a Young Adult Paranormal Adventure
published by Patchwork Press
Dead Girl Walking

Forget everything you know about grim reapers.
Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.
Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.

Excerpt
“Forget everything you know about grim reapers, Ophelia. Humans have it wrong. It’s easier to believe in angels and demons, than to see what’s right in front of you. Who wants to believe the undead walk among us with beating hearts? It would frighten humans. It would probably send many to their graves faster,” Edon said.


Ruth Silver author photo
About the Author: Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of ABERRANT, a young adult dystopian adventure series published by Patchwork Press and Lazy Day Publishing. Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy young adult stories. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY

- $10 Amazon GC;
- 2 Necklaces featured in Dead Girl Walking;
- 5 Dead Girl Walking Charms;

domingo, 27 de abril de 2014

This or That Tag!

Hi!! Long time-no see! The lovely Lexi @ Lexi Swoons tagged me and I can't wait to answer these questions! 



The rules:
  1. Answer the questions given to you
  2. Give the people you nominate the same questions
  3. Nominate three people
  4. Let the amazing three know they've been tagged

Let's do this!

Hair up or down?
I like to wear it down but since I have a lot of classes in labs I have to wear it up a lot!

Dessert or fruit?
DESSERT!!! Easiest question, ever! :3

Dress or shirt and sweatpants?
Usually I wear more shirts and jeans but I love dresses, I want to buy more and change up my style a little bit!

One Direction or Jonas Brothers?
Neither? But I guess One Direction, they are WAY cuter!! (and more my age...I think?)

Radio or iPod?
My iPod decided it would be fun to randomly delete all its songs every now and then and I'm way too lazy to put them back on...but on the other hand, in Portugal at least radios are really reptitive so I'll go with option c), Spotify! It lets me listen to the songs I like and it has a "radio" feature that shows you songs based on the songs you listen to (and you can say whether you like those or not to help  them improve their suggestions!)

Sleepover at your house or at a friend’s house?
Friend's house! You don't have to a mess to clean up the next day and I am really weird when it comes to my bed...I feel like it's my space...

Cookies or apples?
I used to eat an apple a day until I got sort of sick of them, I'm just getting back to eating them again but the answer to this question will ALWAYS be cookies, always!

Playing cards or painting?
Playing cards, I'm terrible at painting (I'm terrible at playing cards too but oh well...). Although sometimes I do get this huge urge to colour for some reason (I'm going to be an awesome mother...I can tell)

In a board game, would you rather be a green or a white piece?
I don't really have a preference...maybe the green because the white one usually goes first and I don't like going first?

Now, on to my tags:
Chrissi @ Chrissi Reads
Roberta @ Offbeat YA

terça-feira, 4 de março de 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #7


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme in which we make lists about a certain topic. This meme is hosted at The Broke and the Brokish

As it turns out, studying for 2 Curricular Units is just as bad as I thought it was going to be! I have two exams this week!!

Anyway, this week's topic is one that comes very easily for me...popular authors I have never read! (I almost just referred to myself as "we"? Weird...) So, in no particular order:

1) Sarah Dessen
2) Cassandra Clare
3) Tahereh Mafi
4) Marissa Meyer
5) J. R. R. Tolkien
6) Stephanie Perkins
7) Nicholas Sparks
8) Veronica Roth
9) Cora Carmack
10) A. S. King

And since in my last TTT I only got 7, I am going to allow myself 3 more!

11) James Dashner
12) Gayle Forman
13) Marie Lu

Some honorable mentions: Lauren Oliver, Scott Westerfeld, Laini Taylor (I have their books at home, I just need to start them!)

And as usual, I will do my part in helping my babies that really cool portuguese band I have been talking about lately ^_^ I believe they might have an album coming out very soon!!


terça-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #6

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme in which we make lists about a certain topic. This meme is hosted at The Broke and the Brokish

This week's topic is books that make you swoon! I have to say I had a tough time coming up with ten...so I cheated and I got seven instead! :3

So, in order of swooniness (is that even a word? it is now)

1) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: This book gives me a lot of feelings that I can't explain! On the one hand I love Hazel and Gus's relationship and I wish I could find one just like theirs...on the other hand we have "the incident" which made me cry like a baby! It's still one of my favourite books! And if any guy wants to win my heart he should take me to watch it in the cinema in June ^_^

2) Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: I absolutely adored this book! Oliver and Mallory's relationship was so genuine and cute! And their both really funny and witty and I like this book a lot, okay? :)

3) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: I really liked how this story happens over the space of one day and yet it is so capable of conveying the emotion of young, impulsive love! And Oliver (again) is a great british gentleman!

4) Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle: This book contains 3 short stories, one by each author and my favourite is deffinitely Maureen Johnson's! A girl gets stuck on a train during a blizzard and manages to get out and find a little Waffle house where she meets a charming stranger! (Of course, in real life he would probably be some sort of murderer...but okay...) Why don't things like these actually happen?

5) After Hello by Lisa Mangum: Another book that happens over the course of 24 hours! Sara is in New York for the first time with her dad who is on a business meeting, leaving her to wander around town alone where she meets Sam who takes her on an adventure (again, in real life Sara would have gotten killed...maybe...)

6) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: I have no words to describe how amazing this book is and how real the characters are! Also, the fact that Eleanor is overweight and Park still sees her as beautiful and the way their relationship grew was so real and normal!

7) Phantom Summer by Amy Sparling: I quite liked this one too and I thought that Raine was an amazing character! The passion he had for the ghost tours on that little town was sort of endearing and his and Taylor's relationship was really nice!

And just like I've done in the past couple of posts (you know what's coming!)...here it is our musical moment! They usually only sing in Portuguese but they did sing All You Need Is Love by The Beatles and since most of you doesn't speak portuguese...here it is! Aren't they amazing? :D

They are called Aurora! You can find them at @osauroraoficialfacebookinstagram and youtube!

What do you guys think of them? And what's on your lists this week?

quarta-feira, 5 de fevereiro de 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #6


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking The Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating! 

It seems like I'm going back to some memes that I haven't done in a while! This week I bring you a book and a music album! (If you saw my last post you can probably guess what's coming!)

This week's literary pick is Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell! (April/March 1st, 2014)


Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.

Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Doesn't it sound really intriguing? A female serial killer is not a very common thing and the whole story sounds interesting! I can't wait to get my hands on it!


Now, for the music! I swear I will keep talking about these guys until they get the recognition they deserve! I know that they only sing in Portuguese so most part of you won't be able to understand the words but they're really really good and I think they might already be recording an album! 
They are called Aurora! You can find them at @osauroraoficial, facebook, instagram and youtube!
What do you guys think of them? :)

domingo, 2 de fevereiro de 2014

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking The Shelves was originally created by Tynga's Reviews. The idea is for everyone to show the books they are adding to their shelves (physical copies or virtual) 
So, I haven't done one of these in forever and I have gotten a few books that I would like to show off so let's do this!

    

I haven't gotten around to starting them but I'm really excited about them! I bought them all used (these covers are the ones I own)...From What I Remember and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are in FLAWLESS condition! They seem brand new! Besides, the people at AwesomeBooks are extremely helpful so I would definitely recommend them!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
What new books were added to your shelves this week?

Also I am going to shamelessly advertise an amazing portuguese band that got kicked out of the portuguese X-Factor (BOO)! One of them is from my town but I don't know him (and apparently they were here on Friday night and I didn't know?? Why wasn't I informed of this?)

sábado, 1 de fevereiro de 2014

And the blogger is back (ish?)!

Hi everyone! Some of you may have noticed that I sort of disappeared from the face of the earth! I didn't plan to do it but life got in the way...especially school! I wasn't doing very well and I was nearly failing a certain curricular unit (the most important one this year!) so I had to take an unplanned break and get that in order! Thankfully I had my last exam on that curricular unit on Wednesday and I passed!! :D

Now I have two more to do at the same time so it's going to be quite challenging too! I really don't want to take another break though so if anyone has any advices on time management that they would like to share, I would deeply appreciate it! I'll try to leave some posts scheduled for now since I have some time! I'm so glad to be back! I have really missed all of this :)

And as a way of apologising I leave you with the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars! I know probably everyone has seen it already...but still!