Friday Finds #2

Friday Finds is a meme that features the books you 'found' and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.
Whether you found them online, in a bookstore, in the library - or wherever! 
Hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Only three additions this week. I love the cover for Ice Like Fire so much! And I'm strangely excited about The Night We Said Yes as well. I haven't read a good contemporary in a while.

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

The Heir Kiera Cass The Selection
The Heir Kiera Cass cover The Selection

Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass 
Series: The Selection #4 
Genre: Romance, Dystopia, YA 
Publication date: May 5, 2015 
Rating: ★★★ 

Synopsis: Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Friday Finds #1

Friday Finds is a meme that features the books you 'found' and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.
Whether you found them online, in a bookstore, in the library - or wherever! 
Hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

I try to keep my TBR under a 100 books. I'm at 95 now so I'll need to start reading a little faster if I want to keep this up. I added no less than seven books this week. Some of them I've known for a while but never actually added. 

Review: A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of Thorns and Roses Sarah J. Maas
A Court Of Thorns and Roses Sarah J. Maas cover

Title: A Court Of Thorns And Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Series: A Court Of Thorns And Roses #1 
Genre: Fantasy, YA/NA 
Publication date: May 5, 2015 
Rating: ★★★★ 

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Be glad of your human heart, Feyre.
Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.
How to rate this book? Four stars? Three and a half? I can’t decide. I liked it a lot. Loved the ending. My expectations were high. Very high. It’s safe to say I adore the Throne Of Glass series and with still a couple of months to go before the release of Queen of Shadows, I needed something to distract me from the wait. This was the opportunity to see if Sarah J. Maas could live up to her success. I didn’t exactly doubt her, but I was still a bit anxious to start it. What if this book wasn’t any good? I could have saved myself the worries of course. A Court Of Thorns And Roses did not disappoint.

I loved the fantasy setting, the world of faeries and High Fae. It’s not a world I’ve explored before. Not really. So everything was new and exciting. Prythian is a Faerie kingdom, divided into seven courts. Each of these courts ruled by High Fae and a High Lord and inhabited by all kinds of faeries. The diversity was remarkable. No two faeries were the same and this is where Sarah J. Maas shows once again that she’s an exceptional author. Although I think she could have shown us more of the faerie world.

When Feyre, the main character, goes hunting and ‘accidentally’ kills a faerie, she is forced to go to Prythian and spend the rest of her days with Tamlin, who is High Fae nobility of the Spring Court. At first she hates him, but it doesn’t take long for her to start seeing his good sides.

Basically this story is a modern version of Beauty and the Beast. It has more action, depth, complexity and it’s a bit more “steamy”, but there’s no denying where Sarah J. Maas’ inspiration came from. That’s not a bad thing. I for one love fairy tales, but even if you don’t - this was different enough that it kept being interesting. The story centres on romance, obviously, but there’s a lot more than that. I promise.

I should probably say that the first half is a bit slow. Maas takes the time to properly build the relationships between the different characters and maybe it lacks action at some point, but the building up is essential, I suppose. Slowly, we get pieces of information on who Tamlin exactly is, but also on what is wrong with Prythian, why magic is disappearing and why the Spring Court has been punished so severely. And all that leads to an epic, action-packed conclusion and feels, so many feels. I love authors who are not afraid to do what needs to be done, but I die a little bit inside every time they actually do it.

The main character, Feyre, is a nineteen-year-old girl with a single life goal: to provide for her family and to make sure they survive. When Tamlin takes her to his court, she doesn’t only lose her family but her purpose as well. Feyre is witty, sharp, loyal, loving and overall a very relatable and likable character. I liked her, but I have some reservations as well. For an intelligent character she sometimes made very foolish and impulsive decisions. There were points were I was literally screaming WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? WHAT ON EARTH MADE YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA? She was terrible at following rules and mostly I admired her for it, but sometimes I wish she had been a tad less rebellious and had thought her actions over. She was also a bit whiny at times, I’m afraid.

Which automatically brings me to Tamlin. High Lord of the Spring Court. He’s the kind of character that is at first considered ‘bad’ by the MC, but is obviously not that bad at all. To be honest, I didn’t like him too much. I liked Lucien (Tamlin’s grumpy friend) a lot more, because he felt a lot more realistic and honest. He has a surprisingly big heart and he was delightfully sarcastic. I certainly hope we’ll get to see a lot more of him.

“I heard you scream,” he said as he examined the blade in my hands. I’d never held one so finely crafted, so perfectly balanced. “And I hesitated. Not long, but I hesitated before I came running. Even though Tam got there in time, I still broke my word in those seconds I waited.” He jerked his chin at the knife. “It’s yours. Don’t bury it in my back, please.”

Tamlin on the other hand gave me a bit of an Edward Cullen-vibe. He gave me the creeps. I couldn’t help it. He was too perfect and was just trying way too hard. (Note: The starlight lake almost made me vomit.) He’s supposed to be a beast but I never really felt that. BUT, apparently there was a good reason for his awkward flattering and other ridiculously cheap behaviour in the beginning so I think I should be forgiving him for it – as should you if you’re planning on reading this. I needed time to get to know him, but I guess he grew on me a bit in the end. He definitely has his good sides.

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.

There’s also Rhysand – High Lord of the Night Court, who I really can’t tell anything about without giving away spoilers, but I’m still mentioning him, because GOD, it is so TYPICALLY me to fall for him. Dark, cruel but strangely vulnerable, powerful… and somehow a bit broken. If there’s one thing I want from ACOTAR2 it’s for there to be lots and lots of Rhysand.

“When you healed my arm...You didn't need to bargain with me. You could have demanded every single week of the year." My brows knit together as he turned, already half-consumed by the dark. "Every single week, and I would have said yes." It wasn't entirely a question, but I needed the answer.
A half smile appeared on his sensuous lips. "I know," he said, and vanished.”

I’ve found myself wondering what distinguishes Sarah J. Maas from other authors. For one, she’s a great writer, in the literal sense. Her writing is clever, rich, detailed. She finds the right words for vivid descriptions and lively dialogues. But there’s something else as well. She creates a perfect balance between dark and bright characters, heroes and anti-heroes. And that makes them so fascinating, so compelling.

I’m really excited for the sequel. It won’t need so much time to introduce the characters so there will be more room for action and world building. If this series follows in the footsteps of Maas’ other series, the next parts will be even better than the first!

Note: I really don’t like the cover. I’m sorry I’m just not feeling it at all.

Review: Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters To The Dead Ava Dellaira
Love Letters To The Dead Ava Dellaira cover

Title: Love Letter to the Dead 
Author: Ava Dellaira 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Contemporary, YA 
Publication date: April 1, 2014 
Rating: ★★★ 

Synopsis: It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven? It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

Spotlight #3: Liars, inc. by Paula Stokes

Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, YA
Release date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368 pages
Goodreads rating: 3.77 stars

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Why This Book Deserves The Red Carpet:

 I found this book a couple of weeks ago and it’s been intriguing me ever since. I still need to get my hands on a copy, but when I do, it won’t be long before I start reading it. Everything about it seems interesting and different. I haven’t read much YA thrillers before and I’m not exactly sure what to expect. I do enjoy literary thrillers most of the time, so I’m kind of hoping it will be similar. But none of that matters because the storyline and the cover (have you noticed how great it looks?) already captured my attention. The ratings aren’t very high (only a 3.77 stars on goodreads), but I’m determined not to let that affect me. I’ll start this book with an open (and very excited) mind. Have any of you read it? Please leave a message when you have. I’m dying to know how you’ve experienced it.

Upcoming Releases: May 2015

Upcoming Releases May 2015
May is a heavenly month for book lovers. It’s a busy month as it is, but with all these releases coming up, I don’t think there will be any time left to spare. Here are the most anticipated ones, in order of publication. Enjoy!

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen Victoria Aveyard cover

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard 
Series: Red Queen #1 
Genre: Fantasy, YA
 Publication date: February 10, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army, she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own, an ability she didn’t know she had. Except… her blood is Red. To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard – the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.
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