Saturday, August 23, 2014

Confession Of A Weird Reader #3: Reading The Last Book In A Series

Hey you all, bookish people! Let's talk about the last book in a series. In the last couple of years some of my favorite series ended and I think a lot of us had to go through the heartbreak that comes right after reading the very last sentence in that particular book.

The news that a series is going to end always makes me anxious. It's one of those things I dread with all my heart and I always hope I don't see it on an author's website. And even if it's not about those big series, of over 6 books in it. Even just the release day of the third book in a trilogy that I loved makes me anxious.

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I'm not ready for a series to end. I know at some point it should, but I don't want it to end. Not only because I'm so invested in the story, the characters and the world in that series, but because really, that series has become like... a magical portal to this incredible world that gives me immense joy and sometimes heartbreak. I know those characters. I cried for them, I jumped with joy or moped around with them. They're like friends.

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Yeah, it might sound weird to non-bookish people, I know. But let's be honest here. Not only have you read their stories and seen them grow and develop and become great men and women, they've also changed you in a way. It always makes me angry when I hear people saying books don't teach you anything and I want to just smack them so hard, but I hear it isn't polite and that it's illegal in some countries *rolls eyes*

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So, here comes the confession part of this post (it is titled that way, after all). I have yet to read the last 4 books in Women Of The Otherworld. It's not because I've stopped loving that series, I haven't. And I do want to read about *SPOILER ALERT* Savannah and Adam. But reading these last 4 books means reading the end. I don't want that. I've literally picked up those books and put them back on their shelf dozens of times just because of that reason. 

Not to mention that I've delayed reading the last Harry Potter book for a year after it came out, because I didn't want to read about any of my favorite characters dying in the last battle. Guess why I haven't yet read Allegiant and tons of other series endings. I had the courage to read Beautiful Redemption only because I knew there's a sequel. I'm a chicken sometimes, okay?

I have a hard time reading the last book in a series. Okay, so some authors, like Kelley Armstrong, are nice people and write little "What happened after" stories or novellas. It's not the same. And I know, I know, I said I love re-reads and I do. I stand by what I said. But it's still going to end again and again and again. Now, I know I could read stand-alones. But again, I love series. They're big and they give me time with characters that I love and they tell me more stories than you can ever fit into a single book. Plus, with series, there's a certain ease you have when reading from your favorite character's POV. It's like you're meeting with friends. 

What about you? Do you have a hard time reading the final THE END in a series, or is it just as easy as if it were a stand-alone?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 31st 2010
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them....

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Disclaimer: Before I start my review I should warn you that: 1) my review might contain SPOILERS and some curse words and 2) There will be a few GIFs because words fail me at the moment and I need them to accurately convey what I'm feeling right now. 

So...Umm...I finished reading this book on Sunday and I'm still a bit confused about what I'm actually feeling about this book. I loved the first part of it. Adored it, actually. Then the second half of the book happened and I kept wondering "What am I reading? What did I miss?". I'm getting ahead of myself though.

So the first half of the book was great. A girl was murdered and no one knows why, there's another girl kidnapped and a race of warriors feared by all dark creatures that will do anything to protect the humans, also known as "mundanes". Everything sounds fine until now right? Right. Our heroine is a book lover as well and that was so great, because I love book nerds as heroes/heroines.

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I have to admit to one thing first: I decided to read these books after I saw the movie. I saw the movie and I liked it (I know, I know, those who read the books were disappointed) and I thought I need to see if the books are just as awesome. The idea of a strong warrior race fighting demons, vampires, warlocks and other dark creatures has always appealed to me and it's still not getting old. I love that theme and so here I am. Granted, The Infernal Devices takes place before the events in the movie, but I always hated reading series/sagas out of order.  

I was thrown off by Tessa's naive nature, but then again she was a young girl in a new country, new continent, hoping to meet her brother whom she has not seen for a while. Plus, she's been God knows how many weeks on a ship and that would make anyone longing for some human interaction. Granted, there were people on that boat but maybe she was just shy *shrugs*. I did like the idea of her being kidnapped right as she arrived at her destination though. It made the villain be very scary, the fact that he acted right away, with no warning whatsoever. We are introduced to our hero (or so I thought), Will. Will is a smart-ass and I like that in a guy. Sarcastic and completely unashamed of his shortcomings. Sometimes he's a bit rude, but he secretly loves books and again my judgement was clouded by emotions. Then I got to know him a little bit and by the end I wanted to punch him in the nuts, just for shits and giggles, but that's another story. There's another guy in the picture, Jem, but I kinda didn't like him all that much. I mean, I didn't dislike him, but he was a little...he's a character I can miss, someone that I don't necessarily notice all that much.

Anyway, the first part of the book had a great deal of suspense, some mildly irritating moments involving a female Shadowhunter (of which I will refrain from talking about because then this review will turn into a rant about characters I'd like to bitch-slap into the next century), and some action-filled scenes, during which I was keeping my fingers crossed for the good guys.

Then... the rest happened. Here's the thing. I'm usually a forgiving reader. I understand that my expectations are somewhat weird in terms of how a book should end and that if I guess correctly what's going to happen sometimes that makes me roll my eyes, other times it makes me want to pat myself on the back for being a smart cookie. HOWEVER. Something happened here that didn't quite sit well with me.

First, how is it that the Shadowhunters, a great race of warriors, feared by all supernatural creatures, didn't know that one of their "trusted friends" was actually working against them? You'd think they would have the means necessary to control everyone 'cause, you know, they sounded like the freakin' police of the supernatural world. Amirite?

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Second, why is it that it took the good guys so much time to even consider that the one guy feeding them information might be lying? Granted, the possibility didn't even register in my mind at the time, but why would they, the smartest, strongest, most fierce of all, took so long? And then, when time came for them to figure it out, Will said it like he said something ordinary, like...oh, I don't know, "The sun is hot". If it was THAT easy, why did it take so freaking long in the first place??? 

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Then there's something...technical, if you'd like, that bothered me. It seemed that in the last...100-150 pages or so, there were too many important moments that could've been the ending of the book. Now, you might frown and look all confused, but usually big moments in a book signal the end of that book, right? Huge, bombastic moments happen once or twice, but this book seemed to have more. I probably wouldn't have noticed this, had the book been split in two parts. Then it wouldn't have been an issue. Since that was not the case, I kept scratching my head, wondering what could possibility happen next, because it seemed that all that had happened was all that seemed possible at the time. 

I'm not saying in any way, shape or form, that the book was bad. It wasn't, but the ending...Yeah, that was bad. The only way for me to express my feelings about the ending compared to how the book started, is by using this gif:

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It was exactly like that. I'm now confused, because I don't know if I am ready to read further or not. I do want to read City Of Bones, but I just don't know... It's sad, because I see so many bloggers that I follow and that I trust that gave glowing reviews to this book and I'm sitting here all confused and pouting, wondering if I read a different book.

Obsessed With Covers #15: Wicked Heroine, The Jewel, Gilded Ashes

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

This is a very pretty cover. I love the multitude of colors of the clouds. That is one powerful storm waiting to start. I love the hand holding the orb, which I admit looks strangely similar to an eye and that makes the entire thing creepy. Which I love. And then there are the calm waters and the lone boat that makes my heart stutter because there's a storm coming and it makes me think no one on that boat might survive. Then there's the weird shadow in front of the boat. I wonder if it's a tree, a cloud or a sea creature. All in all, this cover is great!

Wicked Heroine - Jasmine Giacomo

Pretty dress? Check. Creepy factor added by the fact that the girl is reflected in the many sides of a "jewel"? Check. It's pretty easy to explain why I love this cover, really. I'm hoping the cover stays the same for the paperback edition of the book.

The Jewel - Amy Ewing

There's a stairs theme in this series and I like that. I love the trees surrounding the stairs. I like that the stairs don't look so scary as in Cruel Beauty though.

Gilded Ashes - Rosamund Hodge

What about you? Any pretty covers you saw recently that you loved?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Who We Were by Christy Sloat

Who We Were by Christy Sloat
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Coming September 15th, 2014!

“Who we were had washed away with the summer. Who we are was yet to be seen.”

Summer school at Alcott High was only supposed to gain Sadie Peters extra credit, nothing more. Her goal wasn’t to make friends, or gain the attention of the most popular football player, yet she managed both. Her life was cruising along on course … until that summer.

Could a simple stint in a different school change her identity completely and introduce her to love for the first time? How would that affect her relationship with Lily, her best friend?

Hopefully their friendship was strong enough to make it through the tumultuous summer. Sadie learns that great things come with change, but sometimes memories of the past are hardest to part with.

About the Author

Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother's loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor's Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.


Survey: Reading Habits

I have a confession to make: I love surveys. I do. I was doing my daily blog lurking and I stumbled upon this survey on Shae's blog and I thought it was so cool so I decided to do it here. So, here it goes.

1. Do you snack while reading? If so, favorite snack?

I don't snack. That's one of my main issues actually, because if the book is engaging enough, I tend to forget to eat... *oops*

2. What is your favorite drink while reading?

It depends on my mood. I usually like to drink more tea when I'm reading, but coffee or water are good too...

3. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the mere thought horrify you?

If the books are for college (and it's my book, the one I bought) then I will underline, mark, highlight and scribble the hell out of that book. If it's a fiction book then no way in hell.... I hate marks on my precious books.

4. How do you keep your place while reading a book?

I use bookmarks. Or a bus ticket if I don't have a bookmark handy.

5. Fiction, non-fiction, or both?

Both...Well, actually I read a lot of fiction. Sometimes I read the occasional non-fiction, but those are usually either autobiographies or books about Ancient history.

6. Are you the type of person who needs to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

I like to get to the end of a chapter when I close a book. But if that can't happen then I'm okay to stop anywhere. Usually I try to stop after a dialogue has ended though, otherwise I forget what the characters were talking about *blush*

7. Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or onto the floor if the author irritates you?

I have done that once or twice. I usually tend to just close the book and just pick another one.

8. If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you look it up right away?

If I can't understand the meaning from the context then yes.

9. What are you currently reading?

I'm between books. I'm not sure if I should start Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead or Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz.

10. What is the last book you bought?

I bought Three Essays On The Theory Of Sexuality by Freud.

11. Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

No. I'll read whenever and wherever. I do however adore reading when it's raining. The rain sort of gets me in the mood to snuggle up on the couch and read.

12. Do you prefer series books or standalones?

Series definitely.

13. Is there a specific book you recommend over and over?

Anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon. No specific book. Actually if someone ends up listening to at least one of the suggestions that I make and they like it, I'll end up doing some serious book pimpage

14. How do you organize your books?

By language first. Then in this order: genre, author, series. And if they're standalones, by publishing house (because some publish standalones in the same height and that makes me insanely happy) and by collection.

What about you? What would you answer on this survey?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Reaper's Property by Joanna Wylde (+18)

Author: Joanna Wylde
Series: Reapers MC #1
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc
Release Date: January 9th 2013
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Marie doesn’t need a complication like Horse. The massive, tattooed, badass biker who shows up at her brother’s house one afternoon doesn’t agree. He wants Marie on his bike and in his bed. Now.

But Marie just left her abusive jerk of an ex-husband and she’s not looking for a new man. Especially one like Horse—she doesn’t know his real name or where he lives, she’s ninety percent certain he’s a criminal and that the “business” he talks with her brother isn’t website design. She needs him out of her life, which would be a snap if he’d just stop giving her mind-blowing orgasms.

Horse is part of the Reapers Motorcycle Club, and when he wants something, he takes it. What he wants is Marie, but she’s not interested in becoming “property of”.

Then her brother steals from the club. Marie can save him by giving Horse what he wants—at home, in public, on his bike… If she’s a very, very good girl, she’ll get lots more of those orgasms only he can offer, and he’ll let her brother live. Maybe.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

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When I first started to get curious about the motorcycle club culture Sons of Anarchy was about 4 seasons in, I think. I watched the pilot and I enjoyed it, but then stuff happened and I couldn't watch it anymore. Then after my exams at the beginning of the year I decided to start over with the show. Once I got into it I wanted to see if there were any books about that world and I stumbled on Reaper's Property.

I didn't think I was going to love it. I feel like I have to say that before I say anything else about the book. The MC club lifestyle and rules are so different from what I expected and from what I'm used to, that I didn't think I was going to enjoy the book. It was the same feeling I had when I first watched SOA. I am however glad that I started my journey into the MC branch of the romance genre with this particular book.

First, I loved how the story went from present to past in the first part of the book. I love it when an author manages to successfully juggle the two timelines without making them blurry or incomprehensible. And I love to get teased like that, because if it's done well, it keeps me hooked and it makes me want to finish reading. So that's what I noticed first about the book and what I loved.

Then there are the characters. Horse is not the type of hero I immediately fall for. Yes, he has the bike and the leather and the words and the attitude and all that, but it takes a while. At first he seems like a bad guy, a really bad guy, but then he surprises you. I love that with each chapter I got to discover him and understand his motives for acting in a certain way. Then there's the fact that he won't pussyfoot around a certain issue, nor will he beg for something that isn't going to happen. There's this heartbreaking scene between him and Marie where he's willing to give her everything he has and it's pretty clear that he's trying to make her understand his world and that's the scene when I finally understood him.

Marie is a normal woman that has had some issues in the past. She's a fighter though, she's not the type to rely on someone else to save her. She falls for Horse, but his world scares her a lot and it makes her see the violence that surrounds him more than the man. Which is completely understandable. I think I would've been disappointed had she accepted his world and the MC lifestyle with ease. So I liked that she does and says certain things that might seem hurtful (and even are) but when thinking about the danger element surrounding the Reapers MC and about her past makes them be the natural reaction I was hoping she'd have.

I think this was a very good book for a first book in a series. Oh, by the way, you have got to read the other books in the series. Man oh man they keep getting better and better. It's now an addiction for me :D So yeah, I'm anxiously waiting for the new book to come out, Reaper's Stand, which comes out in September *whines* But if you're a newbie to the MC world I say this is the perfect book to start with :D
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