Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

dreams of gods and monstersFrom goodreads: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Review…

This book left me exhausted in a good way but after 600+ pages I wanted more, needed more finality and while I thoroughly enjoyed and loved every moment, it wasn’t as good as the first two books. Something about the ending left me unsatisfied but again, I did love it a lot.

“Scientist and smart fellow learner-of-stuff, want to do samurai-monster training with us? We intend to become dangerous.” 

I think my biggest concern with the final installment is that I felt Laini Taylor was doing too much; introducing more characters and leaving the door wide open for a spin-off series, which isn’t a bad thing and honestly, it’s what I’m hoping for.  However, the introduction of new characters and their story took away from the journey that should have been all Karou, Akiva and the usual suspects from book 1 & 2.  Every moment that I couldn’t spend in Karou’s or Akiva’s head, I felt robbed.

“We are the beginning . We always have been. This time, let it be more than a beginning.” 

Can I just say how much I loved Liraz?? I enjoyed her badass-ery before but she evolves and grows into something breathtaking because life shapes you, right?  And she becomes a better person for it.  Her actions spoke louder than anything she could say and she broke my heart a million times over for everything she had to endure.  

“I love vengeance like normal people love sunsets and long walks on the beach. I eat vengeance with a spoon like it’s honey. In fact, I may not even be a real person, but just a vow of vengeance made flesh.” 

Zuzana and Mik were so perfect in this book that I simply couldn’t get enough of them.  Mik is the calm to Zuzana’s fierceness.  I’m not sure what else I can possibly say about them except they’re perfect!  And I needed more time with the Stormhunters…it was such an overall tease!

“The terror-the terror, the terror-lingered, and there was something else. It came with the dream, every time, and didn’t recede with it but stayed like something a tide had washed in. Something awful-a rank leviathan corpse left to rot on the shore of her mind. It was remorse.”

Now, as far as Karou and Akiva are concerned, I really wasn’t sure if they would make it or not but I was incredibly thankful that Karou finally came to her senses. That’s all I can say about them without giving anything away and trust me, you’ll thank me for it later.

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts and started the apocalypse.” 

Laini Taylor delivers a beautifully written story, one that commands your full attention and while I had some concerns with the final book, I loved it; it’s still one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. ;)      

4stars

addtogoodreads

buy from amazon

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

18246727From goodreads: When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

 

Review…

Where do I possibly start with this book? I’m definitely in the minority when I say I didn’t love this book.  That might garner a few people to throw stones at me but hey, I’m a risk taker like that.  Mud Vein has Tarryn Fisher written all over it and that’s what makes this story somewhat unique, even if it didn’t blow me away. It’s really rather simple, I don’t love every book I read even if I think the author is a talented writer, so with that being said, let me explain what I loved and didn’t care for…

The first 40% of the book was a real snooze and I almost didn’t finish it. *gasp*  I know, I know…the author was setting us up for the twisted plot, she was laying the foundation, blah, blah, blah but I still think it was a snooze.  I was bored and felt like I had read this story before.

bored

Senna and Isaac are reminiscent of Olivia and Caleb (Love Me with Lies series).  Senna is beyond broken and for very good reason which is depicted beautifully and yet so tragic but I felt I already knew her.  And as beautiful and perfect as Isaac was, I had already met him and fell in love with him in The Opportunist.  I know what you are thinking, I shouldn’t be comparing books but as always, I throw caution to the wind.

What worked was the element of mystery but this didn’t pique my interest until the back story of both characters was explained and once I knew their history, I wanted more and couldn’t put the book down.

There’s an intense feeling of melancholy throughout the entire story and a brief moment of self-love because Senna is truly a tragic character, it was as though she was wrapped tightly in barbed wired and her journey left me exhausted and quite sad.  And as for Caleb Isaac, his life becomes absolutely cataclysmic.

I love dark and tragic stories but there was something about this particular book that didn’t do anything for me.  I was lost simply because the beginning didn’t grip me, the story became too cryptic, the ending didn’t shock me and yet, it left me empty.  I can never get those hours back that I spent on this book.

“Nick was wrong about me. Having a mud vein didn’t kill me; it saved me. My vein drew Isaac. He was the light and he followed me into the darkness. He became the darkness, then he carried my burdens so I wouldn’t have to.”

 I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it and for the record, the writing is fantastic.  So, if you enjoy depressing psychological thrillers you might want to give this one a try. ;)

 

3halfstars
addtogoodreads
Love Me  with Lies Series… ♥
13312527  15832316  16090981

 

Stacking the Shelves: My big book haul!

stackingtheshelveswithCBR

 Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts…

This has been a really busy week because I had to travel for work (not to mention I’m still stuck at the airport) BUT I still found time to purchase a few e-books that I can’t wait to read!!!  Some of these have come highly recommended from book blogs I’ve recently discovered! ;)

Now, the challenge will be finding the time to read all of them.  GAH!!! And you know what else…I see audio-books in my future because I’ve been spending a lot of time on the road, as in driving in unfamiliar terroritories.   :/

dreamer

*click on the image for the synopsis*

tug of war  in the shadows  shadow and bone

mind games  every day  looking for alaska

cruel beauty  ashfall

What’s in your book haul??

LoveCristina

 

Glitterland (Glitterland #1) by Alexis Hall

glitterlandFrom goodreads: The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

Review…

Glitterland is my first m/m romance and while I’ve read m/m romance with supporting characters, I’ve never experienced an entire novel about it.

amy adams

And let me just say, it’s absolutely FANTASTIC!!!

“I was playing games with myself, putting up a show of resistance, as if I could take it or leave it. But the truth was, whatever the price, I would gladly pay it just to feel…better. Connected. Human. Alive. Anything at all.”  

I was definitely hooked from the start but I had a hard time connecting with Ash and I can’t specifically tell you why.  As the story progressed I came to understand him and his struggles a bit better but there were plenty of times that I wanted to slap him repeatedly. He definitely had a douchey quality but Darian made up for that.

 “My world was one of only broken images, like I was standing always on the threshold of a mirror, unable to tell the reflection from the real. The shining city and the blasted heath-the truth lay somewhere between, a thin grey line, slender as the edge of knife.”

Darian is someone I was able to connect with immediately. Oh my goodness, I thought he was perfect!!! He’s not refined like Ash but his character, his heart and the truth he spoke made him incredibly compelling which made him completely endearing in my eyes.  I fell for Darian as quickly as Ash did and don’t worry, there was no insta-love but perhaps, insta-lust and I was totally okay with that. ;)

“The sight of him stirred a wanting that was starting to feel familiar, though it was less frantic tonight. It was a warm, steady thing, like a heartbeat.” 

The dialogue in this story is priceless because it felt genuine, nothing was forced.  Alexis Hall really took his time in developing the characters and the overall story seemed quite clever, not to mention everything wrapped up rather nicely.

“So what else you into, then? I mean except reading and writing, talking like the Queen, and dressing like my granddad?” 

As always I will leave you to ponder my vague thoughts on this book but know it’s written incredibly well and highly enjoyable. ;) 4stars

addtogoodreads

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, in English by Karina Halle

waiting on wednesday

 

Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’m dying to read Love, in English by Karina Halle! Like DYING!!!  I’m not sure what it is about forbidden romance that gets me crazy excited with anticipation but it does.

excitement 2

Now keep in mind, not every author can write a story that is more or less taboo and could be somewhat controversial but since I’ve read a few books by Karina Halle, I have no doubt this book will exceed all my expectations. *fingers crossed*

love in englishFrom goodreads: He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.

He speaks Spanish. I speak English.

He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.

He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.

He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.

I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.

Until now.Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.

***

To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.

Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.

Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.

Something that can never, ever be.

Or so she thinks.

addtogoodreads

Expected Release Date: 4/22/2014

Now that you know what the general gist of what this story is about, it won’t appeal to everyone and so, I thought it might be good to recommend a few books that aren’t quite as scandalous as Love, In English.  The Artist Trilogy was absolutely fantastic, think Martin Scorsese meets Quentin Tarantino. If you’re a fan of zombies (think Walking Dead), you’ll love Donners of the Dead. And you’re welcome! ;)  I’ve never read the Experiment in Terror Series but everyone says I’m missing out!

sins and needles   donners of the dead  dark house

 

 

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

under the never skyFrom goodreads: Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered.

This was worse.

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, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. 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 accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Review…

Oh this book!

Under the Never Sky blew me away and I need to thank Dre from Sporadic Reads because it was her review that made want to read this story!! ♥ And I’m so happy I did!  

“She looked up. A world of nevers under a never sky.”

This story is a cross between Elysium meets Star Trek and Veronica Rossi knows how to build a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It’s non-stop action that includes cannibalism, wolves, etc…  

“He felt like his body had a will of its own. Always looking. Preparing for the only fight that would satisfy him.” 

The heroine, Aria, her life is within the Pod but lives her life through different virtual realms but in order to do that she needs to wear her smart eye.  Everyone who lives in the Pod has to wear one and what’s wonderful about living in the Pod is that sickness can’t touch you and you can’t feel any real physical pain.  

“And in life, at least in her new life, chances were the best she could hope for. They were like her rocks. Imperfect and surprising and maybe better in the long run than certainties.”  

Aria’s world is completely rocked as an Outsider breaks into the pod and the adventure begins when she meets Perry. Perry is so wonderful and complex but that’s all I will say as I want to keep the element of surprise intact.  The romance between Aria and Perry has the perfect amount of push and pull, no insta-love here.

“Something heavy and cold at his core lightened. Hugging wasn’t what he’d had in mind, but maybe it was better. It shouldn’t surprise him, her knowing what he needed more than he did.” 

There’s a definite supernatural feel to this story which I loved and the world building was beyond amazing.  And the Aether storms??  WOW. Just wow!  I wouldn’t say that Aether as a whole is explained thoroughly and it took a little google-ing on my part to understand the general gist but I still think that focus was brilliant.

“She looked at the knife, her throat tight with emotion. No roses or rings with him, but a knife with feathers carved into the handle. A knife that was part of him.” 

I purposely keep my reviews vague because sometime the less you know, the better.  All you need to know is that you’ll either love it or hate it, there’s no in between but if you give this book a chance…I think you’ll love it as much as I do. ;)

5stars

addtogoodreads

buy from amazon

Suggested Reading Order:

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)

Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

waiting on wednesday

It’s no secret that I love urban fantasy and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series could potentially be the MOTHER OF ALL BOOKS in this genre.   Not only will each installment stretch your imagination to the fullest but the writing is lyrical and unlike anything you’ve read before in a YA novel.   Now you understand why this is my #1 pick for my debut W.o.W! Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor is expected to be released on April 8, 2014. ♥

dreams of gods and monstersFrom goodreads: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

addtogoodreads

This is my suggested reading order:

  1. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1)
  2. Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5)
  3. Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
  4. Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)

If my reading order seems a bit wonky, it is but trust me…it makes sense this way. ;)  But the most import question is, what book are you waiting on????

 

LoveCristina

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462From goodreads: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Review…

This story pulled me out of my very deep book funk.  I was worried that I would never find a book that I would enjoy ever again but fear not, Maggie Stiefvater saved the day.  That’s a bit dramatic, I know.

“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

The writing is clever and utterly fabulous but what I loved most is that it’s told in a third person narrative.  It’s almost as if I can hear the author in head, in a non-creepy way of course.

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

Blue is a wonderful and feisty heroine, she comes from a long line of clairvoyants and  when she meets the Aglionby boys, aka The Raven Boys, her life will change drastically. The supporting characters are equally as complex and wonderful as Blue and Gansey.

“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

There are several plots going on at the same time and can be a bit confusing.  So if you are a skimmer, this is not the book for you.  Consider yourself warned.  I think one of the many things I loved about this particular story was the intense mystery and that element kept me completely curious the entire time which was greatly appreciated.

“The journal and Gansey were clearly long acquainted, and he wanted her to know. This is me. The real me.”

If you think this will be an intense YA romance, you will be sorely disappointed and the blurb on goodreads is somewhat misleading.  While it lacked in romance, the story made up for it with compelling characters and a highly imaginative plot. Two things I absolutely loved: 1. the focus of the ley line was pure genius and 2. Blue’s relationship with The Raven Boys felt like being in a dysfunctional family.  I couldn’t get enough!

“Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils.”

I have a soft spot for stories in the paranormal genre and this by far was thoroughly enjoyable! ;)

4stars
addtogoodreads
buy from amazon

New Cover for Unteachable by Leah Raeder

Unteachable has been picked-up by Atria!!! Woo-hoo and this fabulous story has a NEW cover!

I read Unteachable last year (my review doesn’t do this book justice) and I seriously LOVED it. This made my FAVORITES list of 2013.  It’s incredibly well written, sexy, thought-provoking and it combined my love of books and film in a way that left me breathless. This is a 5 star book and I don’t give out that rating easily (trust me when I say that), so if you haven’t read this book…go forth and one-click!

unteachable cover

Synopsis:

An edgy, sexy USA Today bestseller about falling for the one person you can’t have.

Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.

But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.

That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

Smart, sexy, and provocative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script.

addtogoodreads

E-book Purchase Links:

Paperback Purchase Links (on sale 11/11/2014):

About Leah Raeder:

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago.

(And she still writes pretentiously lyrical fiction.)

 Follow Leah Raeder:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Directed by Wes Anderson

grand_budapest_hotel_ver2_xlg

From IMDB: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Running time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • Screenplay: Wes Anderson
  • Inspired by the works of: Stefan Zweig

Review…

I promise everyone that my next post will be a book review but for now, my thoughts about my new favorite movie!

The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far Wes Anderson’s best work to date and that says a lot considering Rushmore is one of my favorite films.  Not only is the film a visual gem but the story itself is extremely heartfelt.

 
Oh how I loved the casting and every actor is absolutely brilliant, not to mention these actors are top-notch.  You’ll find no shoddy acting here.  First off, Ralph Fiennes is known for dramatic acting and I didn’t even know he could be remotely good with comedic interpretation.  Frankly, he knocked my socks off and he delivered some of the best one-liners!  And newcomer, Tony Revolori delivered a performance of veteran caliber, everyone should see this film for his deadpan alone.

Wes Anderson has the ability to create an ornate world, weaving the past and present, blurring the lines of history and fiction that I found completely spellbinding.  The wide frame shots, to the action sequences and everything in between felt like a beautiful dance, one that only Mr. Anderson can do.  I have nothing but a tremendous amount of respect for him as a filmmaker, director and screenwriter.

If I were granted a wish, it would be to see Wes in action, nothing would make me happier and here’s some b-roll for your viewing pleasure!

I won’t tell you what the movie is about exactly but I will leave you with the official trailer by Fox Searchlight.

There’s a certain wistfulness to this film but it’s also incredibly funny and charming. ;)

5stars