October 13, 2016

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey | PERFECT FOR HALLOWEEN

Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Pages: 460 pages
Release Date: June 19th, 2014
Source: Paperback from Barnes & Noble
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Buy it now! 
World War Z meets Warm Bodies in this action-packed thriller.

From the title and synopsis, you wouldn't think "this is a book about zombies". At least that's not what I assumed. The rude awakening came to me as I watched the UK trailer for the movie, which to my chagrin, showed quite a lot of gore and mindless zombies. I was embarrassed to say that I didn't realize early on that this was going to be a 'zombie book'. But even then I was wrong. After reading the book, I've come to a realization that this is not your average zombie book. Zombies are just an added bonus. This is a story about monsters and humans; and how the bond will help nurture a hopeless world.

The world has been overrun by a ruthless fungi, Ophiocordyceps, that consumes the human brain and turns it in a brutal killing machine. Humans become mindless, flesh-eating monsters. Fortunately, the fungi epidemic can only be spread through blood and saliva. In an enclosed boarding school, there are kids who have contracted the deadly fungi but don't process it the way others do. You see, these kids have the ability to learn, laugh, talk and even love. The story follows a girl named Melanie who realizes she's different but she doesn't know how. All she knows is that she'll do anything to protect her beloved teacher, Miss Justineau. 

I'm going to start with my gripes against this book since I didn't particularly dislike anything other than what I'm about to state. I understand that this is post apocalyptic, but I felt like the author could've given us more background on how the fungus came to be. Most of it was revealed in the end, and I just thought it'd be better if we knew more about the fungus prior to the explosion of the boarding school. That way the reader would be able to put two and two together and try to solve the mystery him/herself.

TGWALT was not a 'zombie' book, in the strictest sense of the word. I don't think the author wrote this book with an intention to scare people with the idea of zombies running around. The main reason this post is so unique different from any other zombie book on the market is because the ending doesn't leave with you with a single though of exterminating all the zombies. Killing isn't always the answer, people! So you may flinch at the gory scenes but just remember that in the end, it all comes down to one thing -- evolution. Evolution is what you should fear the most. The zombies were only a side effect of evolution. I don't think you realize you should be fearing evolution as much in the beginning but it's made quite clear in the end.

The story is told from a multitude of character's perspectives in third person POV. This way we don't know what the characters are thinking, just what they are feeling and how they react to a certain situation.

My favorite chapters were from Miss Justinaeu. I liked Melanie's too, but for some reason Miss Justinaeu's were more relatable. She is the school teacher in the boarding school who learns to love the kids she teaches even though they are blood-thirsty animals. In a world where it's every man for himself, she puts her life on the line to save these 'zombies'. In fact, she's only one of the only few who've shown a shred of compassion for the zombies. In some way, she's the hero of this story. She can save the human population from dying out, even if it means teaching these kid-monsters.

I like a fast-paced, gory zombie thriller as much as the next person, but the fact that this book had a underlying moral took a toll on the pacing. It wasn't extremely slow but it wasn't super fast either. I'd say this book is more of a roadmap for our future. The world works in mysterious ways. We will evolve, even if that means killing off the entire human race to make room for a greater species.

September 21, 2016

Fall Titles we are waiting for! {Waiting on Wednesday #27}

Back to School, Back to Reality. It is all harsh and terrible and leave me alone I am drinking my coffee black at the moment…

But, lets just remember that we are book lovers, after all… so Fall also means lots of shiny new books to buy for school and maybe a few extra for fun? Tons of great releases every fall, especially in the MG and YA spectrum.

I have selected a few of the most promising titles that I have for review consideration or eARCs I have amassed recently that I am super super excited about! ^_^

Fall titles we are waiting (impatiently) for

Diamond’s Waiting for 

Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you. 
Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.
But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.
As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.

Magisterium: The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Are you kidding me?! I can't wait to read this next installment in the series! And I love that both covers, best believe I'll be pre ordering it off The Book Depository.. :L 
Had to include the American cover too...which do you like better?

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike 

I mean okay, this one is pretty much solely cover lust in full effect... :L *dontjudgeme* *okjudgeaway*

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. 
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Some more I'm waiting for but have to end the list sometime... ;)

September 13, 2016

Back from Europe! Diamond’s Summer Wraps up (SADLY)

So this post is pretty much the wrap of my literary and television discoveries (and failures) this summer...it feels a little incomplete perhaps, since there is no mention of Bosnia or anything.

Should I do a post about my time in Bosnia? 

I feel like I should...but I also feel like ya'll may be sick of Bosnia and my posts all over social media... hmm...let me know in the comments below! I would totally do some pictures and a recap if you guys wanted. I'm so sad to be back... lol. :c  I loved it there. 

I got to see so many countries.... and I really like that part of Europe. The people are so nice and I find it honest. Not to mention the food is excellent... *sigh* 

The only thing that is cheering me up right now is that I am going on my last year of graduate school and THEN I will be free to pursue a career in whatever country I desire! And in the meantime, this year I can and will do some more traveling. Now that I know how to travel cheaply and safely...*I feel safer traveling alone now* I mean, whats to stop me now xP 

Books read this summer… 

Hands down my favorite book this summer *one of the favs all year* 
It kept me laughing out loud, and I was so interested in the topic too. Ansari is so funny though...if you like him even just in Parks and Recreation, you are a fan. Also, the topic was so relevant to me. Yes, I am the tinder generation...an active participant. And as a single lady I admit I ate this shit up! So fascinating to me how, from a sociological perspective, dating has changed with the technology and how we look for our soulmates in a different way which marks this greater shift in our culture to marry later and later... plus that fear of divorce. 
Wow, I think I just wrote a mini review on this! haha..

Do you sense a theme here? Yes, this summer my heart was healing from a breakup....and these books were just the trick. Rational thinking always helps me heal after the incredulity that a breakup always inspires. 

And this was just bliss. So cute. OMG. >.<
For some reason I was never in the mood for Magnus Chase :( I didn't read more than 1 page the entire summer... but I'm not giving up on this series!! I do miss Percy Jackson tho :c
also didn't finish lumberjanes and never started the graphic novel, Giant Days... not yet anyway.

TV Shows 

I *discovered* this summer 

Thanks to Netflix in Bosnia (US Netflix doesn’t have Rick and Morty O_o 

 Definitely, Rick and Morty is a show people have begged me to see. They all say, you’d love it! Somehow though, I never got around to watching it until I looked at my drastically different Netflix screen in Bosnia this summer.
Now,  Ididn’t spend a lot of time in my apartment, (i mean, adventure called!) the city of Sarajevo was much more alluring than Netflix (and yes, even books! eek!) But don’t worry, I brought books with me anyway…and got some reading it haha :P

Back in US and I'm already hooked on the Netflix original series: Marco Polo, btw. Which, although I didn't discover while abroad it is still technically summer sooo gotta throw it in there :O

 Currently Reading 
Pretty Good..not sure if I can finish it though. I am remembering a lot of the problems I had with the first book that I had forgotten. Thanks to the repost of the review last week I had an "aha" moment with that. Lol, but thats okay. Not all books can be finished. 

So cute so far. That's all I can say :rainbow

(some) Recently Acquired Review Books


Thank you Delacorte Press* and Random House for thinking of me and sending these for review consideration (The Secret Horses of Briar Hill and If the Magic Fits).

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill --> I can't wait to read Megan Shepherd's foray into middle grade! You know, the fabulous author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy I love? :L

Leave a comment below!

September 11, 2016

With Malice by Eileen Cook | YA Mystery Thriller

Title: With Malice
Author: Eileen Cook
Pages: 320 pages
Published: June 7th, 2016
Source: Hardcover from The Strand Bookstore
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Get it now!

September 9, 2016

Review from the Archive: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose

This review has been reposted in lieu of the upcoming release of the sequel, The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune 2) by MJ Rose. I read this book July 7th, 2015. I thought it was funny to go back and read my review since now I am reading the sequel… lol :D My goodreads status updates are funny too … 

Apparently I read this in 2 days! Much faster than I am currently reading the sequel, oops. :| Have any of you read this one? Do you like MJ Rose? 

I know I don’t read as much adult historical fiction as I would like, but I love LOVE when adult (or YA) historical fiction adds fantasy elements (I mean c’mon! that shit is gold :star) lol. 

Diamond’s Review Repost
 July 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
My rating: 3 of 5 stars :star :star :star

Review originally posted on my blog here —> Dee’s Reads

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

The Witch of Painted Sorrows was on my kindle for awhile after I got the eARC. I figured it would be on there for awhile, because although I wanted to read it I knew I wouldn't pick it up until I was in an 100% historical fiction mode. Fortunately, that came quickly and I needed a book to read that would satisfy my historical / romantic / fantasy mood.

Why this book goes onto my “guilty pleasure” shelf

So when I was in high school (about ten years ago) >.< my friend and I were listening to some pop music on the radio and looked at each other and laughed because we both really loved whatever songs was playing. My guy friend said—hey I like ____*whatever artist was playing*__ her songs are my guilty pleasure! Right then and there an important saying was born. Ever since then I refer to things that I love/like that way, even though for one reason or another society/other people may think them less than worthy of my enjoyment.

Do I care what society/other people think? 

…. YET… 

it’s not something that I would go shouting from the rooftops. I LIKE _____ ! Usually that is just because usually I don’t like ___ , and because it doesn’t fit into that “usual” aspect of my taste I call it a guilty pleasure.

Regarding The Witch of Painted Sorrows, this is a book I would call a BIT of a guilty pleasure. I am not guilty about liking it.
I am just a little embarrassed (with myself).

You may be puzzled by this, so let me explain a bit further.

There were parts of this book that had me rolling my eyes repeatedly, groaning and just wanting to smdh so hard i’d hit my desk. While it was one of those books that you shake your head at and grumble at so many little annoying things, yet you realize you did just spend hours reading past your bedtime.

The main thing that really kind of just…made the book feel less than genuine was the language and references. It felt like a modern woman/character telling the story. It didn’t feel like she was of the age the book was written. Most of this was due to the language. Things like “__ was the biggest artist of the day” was said over and over and I couldn’t help but think that that wasn’t the sort of thing you would say. It’s hard to pinpoint because a lot of it was just in little phrases or words, but it was everywhere in the novel. That sense of not being fully of the past, but instead of the present. That is definitely fine but it didn’t have that quality of a great piece of historical fiction where you completely slip into the past and don’t remember anything else.

You know what though? That’s okay.
 I still was up late at night reading this book in a period of time where I haven’t been doing that anymore. I have been saddened by book slump after book slump and I realize now that any book can get me out of it. Even the most unexpected one! I know that going for what you’re craving helps.. so

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a juicy historical novel with bits of fantasy and romance, a woman with a “secret” is running from her terrifying husband all admist the lovely backdrop of Belle Epoche Paris.