Waiting on Wednesday: Flame in the Mist

waiting-on-wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine which spotlights exciting up and coming releases.

My pick for this week:

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist

Release date: 18th May 2017

Synopsis:

Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored. When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan enroute to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden – the emperor’s son – Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued… or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.

Disguising herself as a peasant boy, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan’s hideout and befriends their leader, the rebel ronin Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Okami. Ranmaru and Okami warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. But as Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

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I absolutely adore Renée Ahdieh’s writing – she’s one of my favourite authors, so I CANNOT WAIT to read Flame in the Mist! It sounds amazing and I think I’m already in love with it! 

What releases are you waiting on?

February Wrap Up & March TBR

I think it’s safe to say that the reading slump I had for practically the whole of 2016 is finally over. I read more books in February than I’ve read in a long while – I mean, I read 4, but still. It’s a start! And I actually want to read again! Here are the books I read:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

This was the first book I read in February and I honestly was not prepared for the feels it gave me. It was wonderful Queen of Hearts origin story – you can see my full review here.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

If you’ve been anywhere on bookish social media in the last few months, then you’ve probably heard of this book. So many people have loved it, and so I was bursting with excitement to see what all the fuss was about. It was so different than how I expected it to be, but it was magical. (4.5/5 stars)

When We Collided by Emery Lord

I’d had this book on my shelf for the longest time and decided to finally pick it up on a whim when I couldn’t decide what to read next (the STRUGGLE). I have kinda mixed feelings about When We Collided and I’m really not sure how to rate it, but one thing I loved for sure was the mental health rep!

The Circus by Olivia Levez

Rock the Boat were so lovely to send me a surprise proof of The Circus, which was SO EXCITING (and I definitely squealed when I opened it) because I LOVED The Island, and so I had to dive straight in to The Circus. I read it in less than 24 hours and let me tell you – it. Is. Fantastic. And now I can’t wait for everyone else to be able to read it in May. (5/5 stars)

I’ll get my reviews up for Caraval and When we Collided in the next week, so look out for them! I’ll post my review of The Circus a little closer to release date.

March TBR

There are TONS of books on my TBR that I want to get to ASAP because they all sound amazing, but I think I’ll aim to read 4 again, like in February. I’m hoping that I can read more this month, but with mock exams coming up in the next two weeks, I think 4 is a safe bet! Here are the books I want to read in March:

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I’ve been dying to read Wintersong ever since I first found out about it so this is the first book I’ll read this month! I’ve started it yesterday and so far I am loving it!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 

I’ve had this book on my shelf for so long, and I’ve been wanting to get around to it for ages, so hopefully I will this month.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I loved Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and I’ve heard great things about The Sun Is Also a Star, so I need to get to this asap.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I’ve heard a lot about his book over the years and I’ve heard that its wonderful so I really hope that I can get to it in March!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite OTPs Part 2

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they suggest a new theme with a list for bloggers to choose from. This week was a romance freebie, and since it’s been over a year since my original Top Ten OTPs post went up, I decided to update it with my newest obsessions.

Cath and Jest from Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

If you’re looking or an adorable romance that’ll break your heart into a thousand pieces, I recommend you read this book. I loved Cath and Jest together.

Scarlett and Julian from Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval-uk

I finished this book yesterday and I still haven’t completely stopped fangirling at how amazing and magical it was, and one of the biggest reasons for my fangirling is Julian and Scarlett. They were so cute together and I spent so much of the book on the edge of my seat, waiting for them to just kiss already.

Norah and Luke from Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

These two will forever remain one of my favourite ships. I loved how supportive and understanding they were of each other and I just love them so much.

Amani and Jin from Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

I adore Amani and Jin, and together they are so awesome. I’m really looking forward to reading more of them in book 2 when I get my hands on it!

ARC Review: Heartless

heartlessTitle: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 464
Published by: Macmillan Children’s
Synopsis:
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

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Firstly, THANK YOU to Macmillan Children’s for sending me a copy of Heartless to review!

Review:

Heartless is a prequel story to Alice in Wonderland, and it follows the future Queen of Hearts, Cath. The Queen of Hearts is one of my favourite villains from one of my favourite books, so obviously I couldn’t wait to get my hands this book. I was expecting something dark and wonderful and let me tell you – it was so much more than I expected.

I loved how this book progressively got darker as it went on, even though it completely shattered my heart towards the end. Cath was so far from what I expected the Queen of Hearts to have been like at the beginning of the book, but she was a great and fun character, with a passion for baking (and the descriptions of all these baked goods continuously made me very hungry) and I really sympathized with her situation, with the king and her parents hoping for her to become the next Queen of Hearts. And then she meets Jest, and things get a little more complicated. Jest was such an adorable character, and he was so much fun. Their relationship was so cute and I spent so much time internally screaming for him and Cath to just kiss already! 

I loved the appearances of some of my other faves from Alice in Wonderland, like the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. They were so fun, and I was really happy to see that we also got a little of the Hatter’s back story, too, and even for a few of the minor characters from Lewis Carroll’s book.

I loved how well Marissa Meyer built up and added her own spin to many aspects of a world that so many people already know and love. I love the strangeness of this world and its character’s so much.

And can we talk for a second about that ending? My heart! I think it’s safe to say that I’m still very much an emotional mess because of this book. And I 100% recommend it.

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: What Light

what-lightTitle: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Pages: 256
Published by: Macmillan Children’s
Release date: 20th October 2016
Synopsis:
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon – it’s an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other…

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

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Thank you to Macmillan Children’s for sending me a copy of What Light to review!

Review:

It’s now the end of January, and thanks to this book, I’ve never felt more Christmassy in my life. What Light is a heart warming and touching read that is perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas, whatever the time of year and it is guaranteed to give you a serious craving for peppermint mocha. (And now I want peppermint mocha again…sigh.)

This book is quite a short read, but it is incredibly sweet, and slightly cheesy (but, I mean, CHRISTMAS. You’re allowed to be cheesy then!) and I enjoyed it oh, so much. It follows Sierra, who spends her Christmases at her parent’s Christmas tree lot in California. Although I didnt really connect with Sierra all that much, I loved reading her story, and the other characters were all great fun.

I loved the fact that friendships were at the heart of this story and  I loved the friendship between the characters – how supportive (and funny – especially Heather. I loved her) both Sierra’s friends from back home and the ones in California were, and Sierra’s relationship with Caleb was the cutest.

The setting was amazing – I loved that the book was set on a Christmas tree lot. There were so many things about this book that just made me feel so nostalgic and happy. Honestly, this book just makes me want to go back to Christmas time.

A bright story with a focus on forgiveness and Christmas cheer that I am sure I will want to reread come December.

Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

Review: Aerie

AerieTitle: Aerie (Magonia #2)
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Pages: 320
Published by: HarperCollins
Release date: 4th October 2016
Synopsis:
Where is home when you were born in the stars?

Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.

As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.

When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner, Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, the Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.

Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Firstly, thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of Aerie to review!

Review:

I absolutely adored Magonia, the first book in this duology – it was one of my favourite books of 2015 (and all time!) and I talk about it any chance I can get. So I was extremely excited when I heard about Aerie. But going into it, I had very high expectations. And looking back, I think I probably set my expectations a tad too high, because – I didn’t enjoy Aerie as much.

I think the largest problem I had with this book is that I completely lost track of what was going on. There was so much time when nothing was really happening and it just seemed like the characters were spending more time talking about things than actually doing them and it just made the plot drag.

The characters didn’t seem the same, either. Or, really, just Aza and Jason. I loved them in book one. Their personalities were so fun and original and they were a joy to read about. And this shone through at the beginning of Aerie primarily, but less, I felt, in the rest of the book. I still love them, of course, but they frustrated me a lot at times.

I loved Eli in this book, though. We didnt see very much of her in the last book, so I was so glad that she had a bigger part in Aerie. She was so kick ass and sarcastic and I think she might even be my new favourite character in the series. I also loved seeing some of my faves from Magonia return, like Wedda and Jik.

I mentioned in my Magonia review how I loved the writing, its uniqueness, but I felt like there was something missing about it in this book. I still adore the writing style, but to me, it just didnt feel the same as in Magonia. The world building, though, was as brilliant as in book 1, and I really liked seeing more of the world of Magonia.

Rating: Overall, I don’t think that Aerie completely lived up to what it could have been, but I also don’t think that it was too bad.  ★★★☆☆

Review: Frostblood

frostbloodTitle: Frostblood
Author: Elly Blake
Pages: 304
Published by: Hodder and Stoughton
Release date: 12th January 2017
Synopsis:
In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light – until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable…and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King’s men, she’s taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her – and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she’s spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies – but together create a power that could change everything.
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

goodreads

Firstly, thank you tons to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a proof of Frostblood to review!

Review:

It’s been days since I finished Frostblood, and I still cant get it out of my mind.It was glorious and gripping and so much fun and feels all mixed together. I am in love.

This book grabbed my attention from the start, pulled me right into the pages and spat me out at the end with a whole load more feels than I had before, in the best possible way. It was so fast paced and engaging that I could not tear my eyes away.

I loved the main character, Ruby. She was such a great character to read about – fierce, strong and funny. She’s a character who is not afraid to defend herself and what she believes in and I loved that! It was a pleasure reading her adventure. And  I adored Arcus in equal measures (which is a lot).  I loved seeing them grow as a characters and I can only imagine how much more this will be in book 2, since they both have a lot to deal with after all that happened in this book. Their stories were a complete whirlwind and I can’t wait to see where they – and all the characters from the Abbey, who were a delight to read about – go in the next book.

I loved Elly Blake’s writing. The world building was amazing and the plot was so, so addicting. I literally could not put this book down. Seriously. I stayed up until 4am to finish reading it, and even after then I couldn’t sleep because all I could think was what happens next? and now what do I do with my life? (100% worth the tiredness that came the next day).

This was one fiery (haha, sorry) debut and  I am dying to see what happens next. The sequel, Fireblood, cannot come soon enough!

Rating: ★★★★★