October 9, 2015

Not your average retelling: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars :star :star :star 1/2

Source: eARC via Edelweiss/publisher

Date of Publication: September 15th, 2015

Publisher: HarperTeen Publishers


When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…
The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.
Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.
Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.
Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

My Review 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

As the story opens, you're immediately drawn in.

...to a creepy
in a fairy-tale that is just not quite average.

we meet the main character, Pin.
who is forced to be a seamstress in said dreary prison-like castle
with no memory whatsoever

She fails miserably, and is creeped out by the weirdos who just do their job never asking questions. How come they seem like they've all lived lives spent seamstress-ing (I know that isn't a word) and yet she doesn't know the first thing about it? It's weird. It sucks too. I feel for her, I really do. In fact, the beginning was one of my favorite parts even though I liked someone more than Pin and that is Shoe (don't ask) O.o
Back to Pin though:  Eventually....someone seems to slip some information and she begins to piece things together. Then there's the THIMBLE. yes, a thimble plays a huge role in this story! It's kind of cool though because I always liked thimbles. ;) 

I wish I could keep going but I don't want to ruin the story for you guys. Suffice it to say that it starts out very strange and made even more so by the unique writing style. I know a lot of people couldn't get past this. They found the intro to be slow and quit the book, but I am just sayin' don't give up.

It's worth it. Keep reading. 

I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy with some creepy edges and an offbeat story that breaks convention. It's not fast-paced, but you will be rewarded if you get through the latter half. 

October 7, 2015

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 418 pages
Published: September 27th, 2011
Source: Paperback copy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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 otherworldly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbook 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 hair actually 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? 

Get it here!
What the hell? What the hell did I just read? Is it wrong to be confused at the moment?

I dove into the book Daughter of Smoke and Bone not knowing what I was getting myself into (I tend not to read the synopsis just to get a better feel of the book).

The beginning was quite cryptic. There was talk of the main character, Karou and her ex-boyfriend Kaz, Brimstone, sketchbooks, and someone named Zuzana. I put the book down after reading the beginning... and then picked it up again realizing that I had nothing else to read. I'm so freaking glad I chose to continue reading... Boy, was I in for some excitement.

The story follows Karou, a daring teenager with blue hair actually growing out of her head that color. She was acquainted with her close family/friends composed of Brimstone, Issa, Twiga and, not to mention, her best friend Zuzana. A war was brewing between the seraphim and chimaera that Karou had no idea of. It was not until Karou met a gorgeous plot twist did she begin to realize the true state of her ability and the reality of this war.To Karou, meeting up with Izil to collect a monthly supply of teeth seemed like any other ordinary errand. Wrong. Little did she know that an angel had followed her around Marrakesh. By doing the devil's deed, Karou had condemned herself to a world of utter destruction and hate. The beautiful angel Akiva wished to attack Karou, but was unable to after seeing her face to face. To Akiva, Karou reminds him of the women that he fell in love a long time ago. Turns out that woman is not that far away after all. And the love story begins there...

[ Warning: Spoilers beyond this point are revealed ]

At first I didn't understand the Brimstone's whole teeth collecting hobby. It wasn't until later that the author revealed the reason behind his mysterious collecting. Brimstone was also known as a resurrectionist. He used the teeth to conjure and to create new bodies out of the warrior's bodies that had been slain in battle and war. The hamsas that Karou had on the palms of her hands were actually marks. They marked the bodies of those who had been conjured by Brimstone. And, of course, we can't have a good book without a major plot twist. Madrigal eventually ended up being resurrected as Karou! I think that's why Akiva fell in love with Karou so easily. He was falling in love with the same girl! OMG I KNOW I KNOW! MAJOR MAJOR PLOT TWIST RIGHT THERE.

I didn't expect this book to be that good. I mean, it was super super awesome! Do I plan on reading the second and third book in the series? YES YES YES! I just ordered the next two books so you can expect a series review in about another week or two. The excitement of this series has me hyped up right now.

And now... a message from the Ipad:

Character Analysis:
Karou- Blue hair, blue hair? I envy you. I have wanted blue hair ever since I was little, ok? OMG. This frustrates me. She was definitely a mysterious character. Throughout the book, Karou was always looking to find the truth about herself. 

Akiva- He was quite an enigmatic character. The author didn't mention his background, or anything about his history. I was basically left in the dark the entire time. But... that mysterious part made him all the more sexy. I think Akiva is the new swoon of the month <3 nbsp="" p=""> Akiva was a very romantic character because he was always striving to keep Karou safe. 

Brimstone- I imagined him as a giant toad, or some type of reptilian monstrosity. Yikes! He was a close friend/guardian to Karou. After the portals were closed, she was intent on finding him. "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind."

Have you had a chance to read this book yet? 

October 6, 2015

My October TBR + Dee’s Recommended Reads

October is an amazing month in my favorite season: FALL! So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to read in the month of October …the month of HALLOWEEEEEEN O.o

I love love creepy scary books so this is the perfect time of era for that! It is dark and gloomy and hopefully cold where you are (yes it’s hot here in southern California but I wish it was cold to get in the spirit of Halloween)!

Top of the TBR..

October 5, 2015

World Teacher's Day!

Celebrate your favorite teacher on World Teacher's Day! 

I think we have all had amazing teachers in our lives. Why do I assume this? Well, usually a voracious reader gets encouragement from some special teacher along the way. I remember it was a librarian and a teacher -- both at different ages! I really always will fondly remember that and that is why I am choosing to celebrate World Teacher's Day and share it with you all today.

Read below what you can do to celebrate the day and click the link above to see more information on the subject. 

Have a great day and to all you teachers out there, THANK YOU! :L YOU ARE MAGIC :star



*This content brought to you by Grammarly*

September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesdays #20

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies @ Breaking the Spine. It entails some of the books that we are eagerly waiting for! Wow there are a lot of books to come in the month of October so this is kind of a hard pick!  ^_^

Alex's WoW Pick

Title: Willful Machines
Author: Tim Floreen
Pages: 370 pages
Published: October 20th, 2015 
Genre: Futuristic, Robots, Science Fiction
In the near future, scientists create what may be a new life form: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.

Charlotte's attacks have everyone on high alert- everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeing himself from freaking out about all his secrets. 

But when the attacks start happened at his school, Lee realizes he's Charlotte's next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte's plan too. 

As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte's plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive... and what makes life with living. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
This book screams science fiction and terror to me. I love the LGBT aspect in a futuristic book because it's so unique and unlike anything I've ever seen before.  I requested an early copy from Simon Pulse so hopefully *praying and crossing fingers* that I get a chance to read and review this bad boy at an earlier date for you guys!