Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hunted, by Meagan Spooner

Hey all! 

I just finished reading Hunted, by Meagan Spooner! 

"Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?"

This book is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and I think that it was done, well, beautifully! I adored Meagan's writing style, and through it you could really feel the kind of magesty that comes with the Beauty and the Beast story we all know and love. 

Yeva, the main character, has some tropes that we have seen before, but I absolutely loved the character anyway! She is used to both mild riches and poverty, and yearns to go hunting in the woods, but is mostly fine with her life. There is a man who is in love with her, and she doesn't outright reject him, but believes she can learn to love him so gives him a chance. She is the youngest sister in her family and, overall, a very realistic and relatable character. 

One day, Yeva's father goes missing in the woods. She finds him killed, and this leads her to meeting the Beast - a wolf-like monster that has human attributes, such as speach and emotions. He captures her to make her agree to hunt a monster for him. Her task is to hunt and kill the one who cursed him into his beast form. Although she is angry at the beast for killing her father, she agrees and starts training with him. 

The subtle hint of magic in this book was really amazing - it wasn't an obvious, in-your-face magical world - instead, it was brought out through legends, stories, and a kind of 'music' the forest had. I though this was done really well! 

The Beast has some kind of double personality. Much like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, he refered to himself as 'we' and was often conflicted as to what to do or think. I enjoyed his constant mental conflict, and the snippets of his journal. 

One thing that I feel could be worked on a bit is maybe the emotion factor - you guys know, I love it when books hit by feels. This book had an enoromous potential for that, but I feel like emotional parts could have been drawn out a little bit more. On the other hand, moments of tension and action were practically like a single ring of a bell - bright and impressive! 

I'm giving this a 4/5 feathers! It was a beautiful read, and I would highly reccomend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy re-telling! 

Have you read Hunted? Or any other Beauty and the Beast retelling you would like to share? Let me know! 

Have a great day! 
Stay bookish, 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Hey all! 
I just finished reading the Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. 

This is a novella consisting of short stories about Mangus Bane - his past and unusual adventures.  I read this as a part of Just Another Shadow Marathon! 

I do have one suggestion: If you pick up this novella, make sure that you have read all of the Shadowhunter books first - both The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices! This gives a good background about Magnus but would spoil absolutely major points about the story plot of the main series! 

"It is not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he's often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he's in the right place at the right - or perhaps wrong - time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute...

Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But these eleven stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. They are stories he probably wishes had never got out."

Overall, this book was a very entertaining read! In certain novellas, Magnus automatically made me think of a magical, glittery Jack Sparrow! xD If anyone makes a short story of the two of them encountering I'd LOVE to read it! They both have a strange sense of sarcasm, honesty and swagger, which is especially noticable in What Really Happened in Peru

Each of the stories were unique in their own way - some really brough an interesting background for TMI and/or TID - while others were fun little anecdotes about everyone's favorite immortal. 

One thing I absolutely loved was that each of the stories came with a one-page manga/comic strip relating to a part of the story. These were so well drawn and fun and quirky! They gave an idea of the tone of the story without giving anything away and were generally super fun! 

I'll go through this review story by story. I'm not going to try to hide spoilers, so goodbye non-spoilery people! Note: The spoilers are for TMI/TID, it's hard to spoil short stories =P 

What Really Happened in Peru
This story was probably one of my favorites! In one of the Mortal Instruments books, you learn that Magnus was banned from Peru, and refuses to say why - This story has a bunch of short stories that go over all of the stupid and/or unfortunate things that happened to/by Magnus in Peru... yet you never get to know exactly why he was banned from the country. You get a great introduction to Ragnor Fell and Magnus's background in general. This story was super fun and quirky, and often let me sitting there shaking my head and giggling! 

The Runaway Queen
For me, this story was less interesting than the others - Magnus helps the Queen of France escape during the French revoltion. You do get a really cute relationship starting between Magnus and Axel, yet the story in general didn't catch my attention as much. I'm not too sure why, it just didn't stick with me ^^

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
This short story was so great! This is the point at which Magnus first meets a Herondale, Will's father. His dad is really cool and suave, just dropping in by jumping off of the roof, kind of like Jace! There's a cool fight scene in which Edmund saves Linette, a mundane, with Magnus helping out. There's a lot of Nephilim-Downworlder discussions, which is always interesting to read about, and there's more Magnus and Camille! One of the best short stories of the novella :) 

The Midnight Heir (!If you had to choose one to read and liked TID go for this one!)
My feels broke on this one, over and over again. Why? The Infernal Devices, that's why. You guys know that that trilogy is a part of me and I love it and it gets to my emotions time and time agian. I can't wait to read it again! This short story is about Tessa and Will's son, James, who goes from being a super sweet, model teen to a rebel, because he believes he's damned. He is in love with Grace, another shadowhunter. Magnus brings him unconcsious to Will and Tessa, and they call upon Jem (Brother Zachariah) to help them heal him, and their encounter practically had me in tears. It was beautiful. 
The short story went from emotional to really good when Grace started trying to kill Magnus. This is the shadowhunters I know and love! 

The Rise of the Hotel Dumort & The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
To be fair, I mostly skipped these short stories. They didn't interest me as much as the others. There was a lot of tension and too many unfamiliar names for me to latch onto the story as much as the others. 

Saving Raphael Santiago
This story, however, I really enjoyed! Raphael is a very enigmatic character in The Mortal Instruments, and it was great to have some of his background as well. His mother approaches Magnus to save him, thinking he's dying. You meet Raphael right after he transformed and killed the head of the vampire clan out of bloodlust. He's about to jump into a patch of sunlight when Magnus saves him and brings him to his house to live in, until he can pass off as a warlock rather than a vampire. Loved it! 

What do buy the Shadowhunter who Has Everything (And who You're not Officially Dating Anyway)
Aah, a Malec story! This one was really cute! It's all about Magnus asking people what he should get Alec for his birthday, all while summoning a demon for a customer. This one was just a fun, quirky read! The demon, Elyaas, was the best! 

The Last Stand of the New York Institute
This story was epic! It was about the end of the Circle, when Valentine had the Shadowhunters working against the Downworlders. There is an epic battle scene in which Magnus is trying to save a little werewolf girl while getting stabbed by Valentine, you get to read about when Jocelyn started bringing Clary to get her memories wiped, and you generally have an amazing background for at least the first three Mortal Instrument books! Highly reccomended! 

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
In short terms - Malec's first date. This story didn't contribute to the context as much as the previous one did, but it was cute and fuzzy and a must-read for any Malec fans! 

This novella was super entertaining! I would reccomend it to any Shadowhunter fan! 

I'm giving it a 4/5 feathers! Even though I didn't put much deapth into reading every single one, the ones that I did read were amazing!! 

Have you read The Bane Chronicles? What did you think? Let me know! :D 

Stay bookish! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

Hey all! 

I just finished reading City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare! 

Make sure to follow this re-read with #JustAnotherShadowMarathon on Instagram, and each of my Cassie Clare book reviews here! :) 

What I love about this series is you can really follow Cassandra Clare's writing evolution - it gets better and better with each book opened, with each paged turned. It's really incredible. 

Or she's just great at writing third books? 

"To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

SPOILERS! If you haven't read the series, there's no way to not be spoiled for the following, I'm sorry! Goodbye non-spoilery people, have a great day! 

This book brings the Shadowhunter universe to the next level. We finally see this magical land of Idris and Alicante. We get some insight on Shadowhunter politics and everyday life, and we can see how extensive this whole system is - it's not just New York!

So much happens in this book! Epic battle scenes and revelations and major character deaths, everything to keeps a reader reading! And more about side characters, finally! 

I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives this book is written in - Clare is great at being able to have several storylines happening parallel to each other to create one large story. It makes the book hard to put down, and things are rarely ever at rest. 

OH and Sebastian. One of the best villains ever! 

In City of Glass, we still get a lot of the weird/gross Clary and Jace relationship they're trying to have while thinking they are siblings. THANK FREAKING GOODNESS they're not brother and sister! I mean there are so many hints that they aren't related, but it doesn't really make it any less strange, to be honest. 

I love how you start this book with a fight scene between the Shadowhunters and a group of Forsaken. To save his life, they drag Simon to Idris, a place where vampires and downworlders are technically illegal. 

Poor Simon in this book! Where City of Ashes was all like "Everyone hates Jace", this book is against Simon. He keeps being put in situations where he has no control and is helpless. However, at the end, where Clary gives him the Mark of Cain, I thought it was amazing! I can't wait to see how that plays out in the next books! Basically, no one can hurt him now, which will probably play a huge role in the upcoming books. 

In this book, we also meet Inquisitor Aldertree, who is plain awful. He seems nice and honest but can trick anyone into every situation with just a few well-chosen words. 

So Simon is in jail and has a cell neighbor who he talks to about practically everything. It turns out that his neighbor is Hodge. As soon as Simon and Hodge escape, there is what is, in my opinion, the best fight scene in the book, between our group of shadowhunting friends and Sebastian. Sebastian is an amazing fighter. He hurts almost everyone and kills Hodge, single-handedly. 

SEBASTIAN - It turns out that he's Clary's brother, which is so much more credible. Where Clary was injected with Angel blood, Sebastian was affected by demon blood. He is dark and dangerous and tbh kind of amazing. He acts all sweet and innocent at first, pretending to be Aline's cousin from Paris, but soon shows his true colors to everyone. But the devil KILLED MAX which just hurt to read! 

Did anyone else who re-read this after reading The Infernal Devices kind of get a mini heart attack when Clary described her fairytale prince as "a king's son who was under a curse that meant that everyone he loved would die." Clary is somehow dreaming of Will. When I read that I sat there kind of fangirling xD 

Here's a list of some of my favorite parts:
- When Jace and Clary found the angel Ithuriel in the basement
- When Alec and Magnus finally get together, finally there was no more tension! 
- When Simon walked up to the other vampires like 'heh can't hurt me'
- The fights in Alicante
- When Sebastian starts admitting that he's the bad guy
- The end, where Valentine summons the angel and is destroyed because of his wrong intentions, and he kills Jace, who is eventually brought back to life. 

I have to get going, but I'm giving this book a 4.5/5 feathers! This book was a lot more emotionally intense than the first few, and a fun, dynamic read! 

Have you read City of Glass? What did you think of it? Let me know! 

Stay bookish, 

Monday, April 3, 2017

City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare

Hey all! 

I just finished the second part of my super long marathon - City of Ashes! 

If you weren't aware, I'm currently re-reading all of the Shadowhunters series, in anticipation for Lord of Shadows, which will be published on May 23rd of this year! You can follow my re-read with #JustAnotherShadowMarathon on instagram :) 

But for now, here's my review for City of Ashes! 

"Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?"

This book was more enjoyable than book 1 - the story is developing in a darker direction which is always more interesting to read about, especially in a familiar, modern-day context. I feel like Cassandra Clare is exploring with messing with our emotions in this book - we all know how she destroys us in the Infernal Devices, right? (Looking forward to being crushed again. Us readers are strange ^-^). You start to see some character relations becoming deeper and more emotionally impacting. The Shadow World she created became darker and you feel a stronger sense of danger than was felt in the first book, and you get a bit more of the side characters. 

You also learn a lot more about Valentine in City of Ashes - for now, he is one of the best characters, in the way he was written and developed. He's sadistic and manipulative, all while using the excuse of 'family' as a reason for his actions. You can totally see why he was popular back in the day. 

I also appreciated that Clare eased off of the huge info dumps - it was refreshing to just get plot and characters for a bit! 

That's all I'm going to say for the non-spoilery bit! From here on I'll be going into specific plot details! 

(I started putting small page markers when sections or phrases spark my interest and it's so helpful!)

Okie let's get to the details! 

I was talking about this book with a friend who read it when I first read it way back six years ago. We just realized how... inappropriate the relation between Jace and Clary is. I mean I get it - They got together then realized they were siblings so some feelings are left over. But both Jace and Clary at separate times approached the other to get back together DESPITE KNOWING THEY WERE SIBLINGS. Plus Clary was with Simon... it's just all kind of a nasty situation, no? (So, so glad they aren't actually related, but I'm amazed I wasn't put off when I first read City of Ashes!) 

That scene in the Seelie Court - you know which one I'm talking about - had both amazing scenery but awkward circumstances. I really have a love-hate relationship with this scene. I feel so bad for Simon! The fact that Clary subconsciously chose Jace over him makes him go so crazy that he goes to the Hotel Dumort to get changed into a vampire - That's so sad, nerdy drama queen! 

"Alec looked at her and shook his head. 'How do you manage never to get mud on you?'. Isabelle shrugged philosophically. 'I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt.'"

I wasn't exactly comfortable with the Climon relationship - I mean, they're best friends, and I feel like he just assumed that since Clary was now single, they could be together. Simon, you're the best but you're just a bit pushy with her. I never really shipped them, sorry! 

But now Simon and Maia feels so much more right! I'm glad that at the end of the book Simon accepts that and makes that a possibility! 

"Clary stepped aside to let him pass. 'How old are you, anyway?' she asked curiously. Magnus winked at her. 'I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.'"

Magnus is awesome - I can't wait to get to his novella! Well, his novella that's the size of City of Bones! 

This book is also the book where Clary's power with runes is discovered - I actually really liked this part of her character development! I love how she can make practically anything happen with runes, but doesn't overplay it either. 

In this book we also get Valentine trying to perform something called the Ritual of Infernal Conversion - he needs the blood of the four types of downworlder - warlock, vampire, werewolf and fairy - to turn the Angelic Soulsword into a demonic one. As Simon says, it has to go from "Lawful good to Chaotic Evil". This leads to the death of unknown characters, and almost to the deaths of Simon and Maia. 

One of my favorite parts was when Simon was 'dead-er', and Jace steps up to save his life by letting him drink his blood. That was majestically written, and I think made Jace's character grow a lot in a short timespan. It was so great! 

I fangirled when Inquisitor Herondale pointed out the Herondale star birthmark on Jace's shoulder! Hehehehe ^-^ 

I'm loving the little Malec moments! The way Alec tries to hide it is so cute, while Magnus is just so sly! 

Thats it for City of Ashes! 

Have you read it? What did you think of it? Let me know! :D 

I'm giving this a 4/5 stars! 

Stay bookish! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

Hey all! 

For a while now I've been talking about how much I've been wanting to re-read all of the Shadowhunter books. I figured that since Lord of Shadows is coming out in May, now would be a good time to read them! 

Of course, I've been quite slow with this so far - the past three weeks have been very stressful, but now that exams are done, I have a week and a half off during which I can just read and watch series all day every day. 

I decided to do some kind of Shadowhunters marathon! On Instagram, you can follow it with #justanothershadowmarathon, or you can follow it on my blog :) I'd love it if you participated in it with me! You don't have to read all of the books, of course - maybe just have a post about Cassandra Clare's books or have a ranking of your favorite characters - it's totally up to you! 

Additionally, if you guys know about any Shadowhunter tags or anything, please let me know! I'd love to participate in them! 

Without further ado, let's get into my review of the book that started it all - City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare. 

There are so many different covers in
different countries but I have this one
so this is the edition I'll be using :) 
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know..."

OK! So how to start? 
Basically this book starts off with Clary witnessing a murder in an all-ages club with her friend, Simon. The problem is that she is the only one who sees it - and the murderers did not expect her to see it. 
Clary is a Shadowhunter - a half-angel, half-human who has had her identity hidden from her since she was a child. In City of Bones, she learns about what being a shadowhunter is, and gets to know the New York Shadowhunters, as well as about the hidden war that has been held in a pause for fifteen years. 

This series' villain is Valentine - his goal is basically to rid the world of demons and anything related to them, by creating more shadowhunters, which he believes to be a dying breed. For this, he needs the Mortal Cup, which has been lost for years. 
Aside from a ton of information dumps that exhibits the story and the world we will be encountered with in the next 10+ books, this book is incredibly character driven, which I always love! Even though the info dumps were a bit dense at times, the character relations. and opposing personalities really kept me going in this story. 

Clary isn't my favorite - she's quick at making (usually bad) decisions, but always does it out of loyalty to her friends and family or to herself. She makes the worst decisions at times, but you have to take into account that up until now she has never heard of this huge world. I really hope that she will mature as a character and be less impulsive when it comes to big decisions that could get her killed unless someone else is there with her. 

Jace could also be better in this book - for now he's quite arrogant and self-involved - so much so that (highlight) he doesn't notice that his own parabati and best friend, Alec, is in love with him, which is something Clary figured out almost right away. He is the best shadowhunter of his age and is fully aware of it. 

Simon is absolutely amazing! He is quirky and nerdy and adorable. He is in love with Clary, his friend since childhood, but they have the absolute best friendship. I think he's super underrated in this series - everyone loves Jace and Alec, but what about Simon? He is incredibly clumsy yet loyal to Clary to the end. 

Isabel and Alec are the Lightwood siblings, and in my opinion there really isn't enough of them in the books! Alec is very angsty - you see him hating on Clary a lot, but he's hiding a huge secret that could destroy his reputaiton and respect in his family. Isabel is cool and confident and knows she's amazing but isn't obnoxious about it. 

Magnus *glitter glitter* Bane (I saw that on a pic a few days ago and laughed way too much xD) is so, so cool. He's the High Warlock of Brooklyn and has this huge social status to keep up with, and flamboyant personality and cat eyes. I really like Magnus and I can't wait to read more about him! 

There are so many more side characters, but each are amazing in their own way. 

The world that Cassandra Clare built is absolutely amazing - this is just book one and it's huge. You have four divisions of sociaty - Mundanes, who have no idea the Shadow World exists, Shadowhunters and Silent Brothers, angels - which may or may not really exist, - Downworlders and demons. Each of these levels interact either directly or indirectly, have some kind of heiarchy, and each have their own complex history. 

Spoilers from here on! Highlight to see them! 

- Madam Dorothea's transformation/possession was so crazy, but made for the best fight scene! 
- Ok. I know what happens after these books, but it was still kind of heartbreaking to find out that Jace and Clary are brother and sister. And the fact that Valentine is their dad is actually really cool! 
- The end battle was epic but I feel like Valentine disappeared with the cup way too easily...

That's it for this review! I'm giving City of Bones a 4/5 feathers! I really hope that some characters develop for the better, that we get more from the side characters and that we will explore the world just a bit more :) 

Of course I've read the books before but I'm pretending I haven't ^-^ 

Have you read City of Bones? What did you think of it? Let me know! 

Stay bookish! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bookish Talks ~11~ The Perks of being a Booklover

Hey all! 

I know I just wrote one of these, but I have a lot of things to talk to you guys about! 

Nox To Lumos Candle Co
If you read my last bookish talk, you'll have read that I was chosen to be a rep for the Nox to Lumos Candle Co! I received my rep package today and I'm so, so excited to share it with you!

Look at how pretty they are! :D 
Ok so let's go through one by one. 

The first one is based on the Bone Witch - I haven't had the chance to read it yet, but I'm planning on picking it up eventually. The label says 'Black Currant, Tea, and Driftwood', and the candle is black, white, purple and glittery! This might be one of my favorites of the pack - it's both subtle and soft but has that current background that is so, so nice! 

The second one - Caraval - is an awesome black, red and white. I haven't read this either, which I am ashamed of, but I'm hoping to get to it soon! It says that it smells like roses and magic. This candle does smell stronger, but whereas the smell of roses usually puts me off, the other scent, 'magic', seems to balance it well, even though I can't put a name to what it smells like! It's almost maybe hazelnut? Anyway, I like it! 

Then we get to everyone's favorite warrior prince - Rowan! I love Rowan from the Throne of Glass series so much, and having his candle is so awesome! It says it smells like pine, snow, and a hint of vanilla. The vanilla is a tiny bit overpowering on the snow and pine but I think it will be blended perfectly once I start burning it! Might just be because there's a whole white layer on top of a green layer ^-^ 

Next is the Night Court. Two candles based on queen Sarah J Maas! Yas! This candle is perfect for me - it looks like the universe - it has a black background, with white, pink and purple and glitter. It's supposed to smell like Honeysuckle Jasmine, Orange, and Sea Breeze and I love it! The smell is so incredibly fresh and for some reason reminds me of when I lived in Italy! 

Last but not least is Queen of Hearts, that is a pretty red and white and smells like Pumpkin Spice Cake! This candle smells like thanksgiving dessert - I would totally eat it if I could! Not sure how much I'll be able to burn this one, though - someone in my family can't stand pumpkin, but if that's your thing, I would highly recommend it! It's making me crave pumpkin pie like you have no idea xD

Thank you so much to Nox to Lumos Candle Co for sending me these! I can't wait to start burning them! Make sure to go check out the Etsy store by clicking here!

The Harry Potter exposition, NL! 
Last Bookish Talk, I told you guys that I was going to the Harry Potter exposition there is now in Utrecht, in the Netherlands. I went on Wednesday and it was so much fun! :D 

The exhibition had so many parts and was covered in the most amazing detail! You had the common room, the Great Hall, the forbidden forest, even the 'dark' area with all of the Horcruxes and that 'death' statue in the cemetery in the 4th movie! I loved every minute of it! And look at the displays! o.o

What House are you? I'm a True Blue Ravenclaw! 

Needless to say, these are only a fraction of the pictures I took, and I loved every minute of the exhibit! They put such amazing details everywhere, and it brought out all of the most amazing feels! There was a little Dobby that got me really emotional, more than I thought it would! 

When I mentioned my upcoming trips, I mentioned the one to Nijmegen, and my friend Erika @ Books, stars and the Pages in between asked me to say how all of my trips went, so here's a little about that trip as well! 

I've been looking into doing my master's degree there for a while but had never been. Since I found the degree, one of my friends, who is from there, has been offering to show me around for a day. We found a day we could go and realized it was the university's open day! I went to the open day and found the BEST master's program - I could study chemistry and astronomy as one degree! I met up with my friend afterward, and he showed me around all the little corners of his town, it was so nice! ^^

To make it bookish, we did see an antique book sale, but it was all in Dutch =P Such a nice town, though! 

I have a new ARC! 
The amazing Kensington Books Publishing sent me an ARC of Pintip Dunn's upcoming book - Girl on the Verge! Make sure to add it to your Goodreads' list! I can't wait to get to it and I can't believe that they sent me a copy without me asking! :D Made my day! 

Anyway, that's it for today! I have a huge paper for Sunday and two exams on Tuesday - it's a lot of stress but hopefully, it'll be fine ^^ 

Have a great weekend! 

Stay bookish, 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi

Hey all! 

I just finished reading Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi! (Mild spoilers ahead)

"Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland — known as The Death Shop — are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent energy storms will. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild — a savage — and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must come together to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky."

To be honest, this is a re-read for me. I read it several years ago, I think when I was 14 but decided to pick it up again because I'll be meeting Veronica Rossi here in April! 

It's hard for me to review this book. If you guys have been following my blog for a while, you know how much I adore characters, sometimes even more than plot. 

Under the Never Sky had an amazing plot but was lacking on the character side of things. 

This dystopian/sci-fi debut is about our two main characters, Aria and Peregrine. Aria is a 'Dweller' - she is a part of a selected few who were chosen to live in some sort of underground bunkers to save humanity from the Outside. This world is very futuristic and is riddled with Aether storms, which to me sounded like lightning tornados. Since these are so dangerous, a part of humanity was put in enclosed cities, where they basically live in a video game - they have eyepieces that let them travel do virtual worlds. Aria was banished from Reverie because of her friend and is left on the Outside. 

Peregrine (Perry) is an Outsider who is trying to find his Nephew. He has a really weird sense of smell that lets him smell emotions and how people are feeling at any given time. He also has night vision and is a good hunter. The smelling thing was really strange for me to get used to, but it was a creative idea, so why not? 

My problem is that I'm having a hard time describing what they were like. They both despised each other at first, more than any two characters I've seen. They were both so rough and annoying and stubborn. Suddenly, they both realize that the other isn't as awful as they thought, and they fall for each other almost too quickly. 

Now one character I did really like is Roar. This guy has a really intriguing backstory and a fun, snarky personality. I really want to know what happened between him and Liv, and why Perry is so against their relation. 

Now for the good part: the worldbuilding. There is this huge contrast between the Dweller world and the Outside world. The Dwellers live in this very futuristic society with virtual reality, advanced science, prolonged life, no disease, etc. On the other hand, the Outsiders live in an almost primitive way, with hunting and fighting to become the Blood Lord. They have animalistic senses and have virtually no problem living in the wild. And the two societies hate each other. 

I think it would be nice to have more of a backstory about what happened to separate these people, why they hate each other, and even about our main character's past. In that sense, this book flet more like the sencond book in a series, or as if it was missing a few chapters in the beginning. 

The good thing was that it was fast paced, had a great world built around it, but I think could have been drawn out a little bit more. 

I'm giving this book a 3/5 feathers. It was an enjoyable read overall! 
Have you read Under the Never Sky? What did you think about it? Let me know! 

Have a great day! 

Stay bookish,