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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Monthly Recap. April 2016

Welcome to my first Monthly Recap. Here I'll write about everything book-related that happened during the month (books read, books bought, reviews written, etc...). Shall I start sharing my bookish month?

Books Read

This month I read four books (hopefully, Bout of Books will help me to read a lot more).
  • Gracie's Song by Michelle by Schlicher
  • Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
  • Riders by Veronica Rossi
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
My favourite reading, without a doubt, was The Scorpio Races [review to be published]. I loved everything about the story. Sean, Puck, the mythology... Everything! Everyone should read it!    

April's Book Haul
 
From my Instagram account
These are the books I got this month. The Serpent King came with March's Owlcrate (mine was delivered a bit late) while Flawed came with April's box. I pre-ordered Love, Lies and Spies a few months ago (its cover is so pretty *.*) and it's finally here. 

The Weight of Feathers and Signs Point to Yes were two contemporary romances that I'd wanted to add to my collection for some time now. Also, after reading wonderful things about The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, as an epic fantasy lover, I decided to give this series an opportunity. I used a coupon from BookDepository to buy these four books.

Something You May Find Interesting
How was your bookish month?
Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Waiting on Wednesday. Everland

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is Everland by  Wendy Spinale. Why am I waiting for Everland? Not only is it a fairy-tale retelling of Peter Pan but also because I read a bit of a review that said that this novel is for those who always thought that Wendy and Peter should be an item (and I'm one of those people). Between, retelling and steampunk seems an intriguing combination. The book will be released on May 10th.


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
"
From Goodreads
Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Short-Reviews 1. Spinning Starlight & Riders

Title: Spinning Starlight
Author:
Publisher: Disney Hyperon
Published: October 6th 2015
Pages:
336 pages

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word, and her brothers are dead. Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans fuses all the heart of the classic tale with a stunning, imaginative world in which a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.


As a fairy-tale retelling lover, I had to read Spinning Starlight, a sci-fi retelling of The Six Swans by Hans Christian Andersen. I had only read one retelling of this tale before and it was Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marilier, a novel that I loved. That said, I was expecting to love Spinning Starlight a lot more than I actually did.

First, I think the cover is gorgeous. Second, I loved being inside Liddi's head, seeing her struggles to save her brothers and to express herself without being able to use her voice. I was captivated by the way Liddi interacted with her surroundings and dealt with the other characters (who were not only complete strangers, but aliens) without her voice. And that made me love her relationship with Tiav. It all started with a fascination for being from different planets and then it evolved into something more. Between, the romance isn't overwhelming and doesn't take the focus away from Liddi's main goal: to save her brothers before it's too late.

However, the world-building was confusing. So confusing! I couldn't keep up with all the portal-talk (trying to understand it made me feel like Liddi when interacting with her eight genius brothers). I did not appreciate the plot as much as I wanted to because of my lack of understanding of all the science and technology involved (and I don't think it was because of English not being my firs language).

I was fond of how R.C. Lewis was faithful to the original tale (she kept the main elements - a huge number of brothers; the main character not being able to speak to save them...). Nevertheless, I couldn't appreciate the story to its fullest because of all the scientific and technological concepts. 


Title: Riders
Author:
Publisher: Tor Teen  
Published: February 16th 2016
Pages:
384 pages 

"Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. They fail. Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him?"


When I first found out about Riders, I was super excited to read it. Its apocalyptic plot reminded me of Supernatural and The Messengers [TV series], so I just knew I had to read it. However, I think my expectations were too high  and I ended up not enjoying the story as much as I was expecting to.

Riders is told in Gideon's POV. I believe the author did a great job at not giving Gideon a feminine voice. I may not know what goes inside a male's head, but Gideon didn't sound like a girl to me. I enjoyed how the story starts "backwards" as the novel starts with Gideon being interrogated by the US Army and must tell the events of the last weeks that led to thousand of dollars in damages.

I found intriguing Gideon's search for answers and attempt to understand what was happening to him after the bizarre accident that should have killed him. However, after it, I slowly started losing interest and I blame the interactions between the characters for it. Everything was motive for Gideon and the other guys to fight between them. It was a who-is-the-biggest-macho contest all the time. Perhaps some people find it funny, but, as I told before, my sense of humour can be awful. Also, I felt that the chemistry between Gideon and Daryn was forced. I know there was little romance, but even with only a little of romance, I should have felt the chemistry and I didn't.

One of the best elements of Riders is the world building - the Four Horsemen mythology and the Kindred blended well with the contemporary society.  

All in all, I'll probably read Seeker as it will be told in Daryn's POV. Also, because there was a kind of cliffhanger and my curiosity needs to know what happens.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Bout of Books 16 - Sign Up


"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"
Just two more weeks and Bout of Books 16 starts. Who can believe it? Time surely flies. :) As always, good luck to everyone who is participating. Hope you've tons of fun as I always do (this is my 8th Bout of Books and I still have fun).
Saturday, 23 April 2016

Happy World Book Day! Feliz Dia Mundial do Livro!

Image from here.
There is nothing better than celebrating this day with a new book.
Nada melhor do que celebrar este dia com um novo livro.

http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=MyLovelySecret

Friday, 22 April 2016

My Bookish Life 4. Three Months with Owlcrate



In February, I received my first Owlcrate (read all about it here). I felt super excited when I saw it on the mailbox. I couldn't believe I was finally part of the Owlcrate family! I wanted to be part of the family since their first box was shipped a year ago. Three boxes later and I still feel the same way I did when I received the first box arrived. 

Today, I decided to share how amazing my experience with Owlcrate has been for the last three months. 

February 2016 - Sci-fi Love
The waiting for the Owlcrate is almost unbearable. I am always refreshing the tracking website, peeking at the window to see if the postman is anywhere to be seen - and when he shows up, there's a feeling of disappointment. I'm always impatient to get my hands on my Owlcrate. 

The curiosity to know which book and goodies are coming is always enormous. I keep wondering if I already have the book, if it's on my wishlist, which items were chosen... However, I also want it to be a surprise, so I have to do my best to avoid spoilers - but sometimes a few bookstagramers can't restrain themselves and as soon as they get their Owlcrate, they share photos of it. However, who can blame them? It's the Owlcrate effect! You simply can't wait to show what is inside the box!

And when the box finally arrives, I can always count with a huge smile on my face. I love the books I've received. I love how my bookish collection is growing. I love discovering new bookish stores. And my cats love to have a new box to sit. 

March 2016 - Writer's Block

I'm now trying to decide if I'll stay with Owlcrate for a few more months. I'll probably make my decision as soon as May's theme is announced (I have heard it may or not may be Steampunk; if it's, I'll probably keep my Owlcrate subscription for the next month)

However, I confess, I have been looking at other bookish subscriptions. I do love Owlcrate (from the goodies and books sent to the nice people who run it), but, sometimes, I'd like to give an opportunity to other subscriptions (such such as FairyLoot) and see if I do feel the same anticipation and excitement. Why don't you get both? I'd love to, but my budget does not allow me. Shipping costs are huge! Now and then, I do feel bad for spending money on this box, but, all in all, I truly believe it's worth every penny. Truth be told, I end paying less than if I ordered every item separately - also, a few items are exclusive, like the pink tote bag inspired by The Lunar Chronicles (three months later and I've yet to finish the series. I'm such a bad reader). Who doesn't love exclusive items? 

April 2016 - Dystopia
To summarize, after three months, I give the same advice that I did back in February:  I recommend that you to get one Owlcrate (or a FairyLoot or a Uppercase Box - the last one doesn't ship to Europe). Just get a book subscription box! Even if it's only one time experience, it will be an experience that you will never forget and worth every penny.

*All the photos have been taken by me. You can find them on my instagram account [click here]. 
Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - The Crown's Game

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is The Crown's Game by  Evelyn Skye. Author debut alert! This novel takes place in Imperial Russia and has enchanters battling for their life. Fantasy and history are always a perfect match. Another book that I can't wait to put my hands on. The book will be released on May 17th.


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
"
From Goodreads
Tuesday, 19 April 2016

TTT. Ten Books That Make Me Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish
TTT this week is about books that made made me laugh. I started making my list and I realised that contemporary novels are the ones that usually make me laugh or chuckle. I don't read as many contemporary novels as I'd like (I read too much fantasy, I know). So, unfortunately, this will be a small list.


To All The Boys I've Loved Before & PS. I Still Love You, Jenny Han. Oh Lara Jean, you made me laugh from the first moment you decided to make Peter your fake boyfriend. These novels are super adorable and if you're in need of a laugh or chuckle I completely recommend them to you.

The Fill-In Boyfriend, Kasie West. Another fake-boyfriend plot. Why those always make me laugh?

 
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell. Cath, I completely understand your obsession with fanfiction. And your are the biggest introverted in the world, after me, of course. So, fanfiction, introvert Cath plus Levi (if you are wondering who Levi is, go read the the story) means a lot of chuckles. Who wants a dancing party?  

The Shopaholic Series, Sophie Kinsella. Becky Bloomwood. Enough said, right? I mean, I laughed at the way she tried to avoid her bills. I laughed at her crazy schemes. I can't remember a single page that I didn't laugh or, at least, chuckle.

*Here it's my small list. I should read more contemporary novels - feel free to make recommendations (especially those that make a reader laugh).

Review 14. Gracie's Song by Michelle Schlicher

Title: Gracie's Song
Author:
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Published: March 11th 2016
Pages:
Ebook

"Everything can be undone." That's what someone tells Gracie Brannen, but she's doubtful. After graduation, she walked away from everyone she knew with barely a word. Ten years later, she's back. Even as familiar places and faces bring back old pain, Gracie finds hope in rebuilding old ties and forging new ones. Maybe everything can't be undone, but perhaps everything can be overcome.


Once a while there is a book that makes you think how life is never what you wish and how unpredictable it can be. Gracie’s Song is a beautiful story that shows life has bumps and is hurtful, but also that happiness is just around the corner. 

Plot: It has been ten years since Gracie Brannen left Glenwood, the small town where she grew up. She left everything and everyone she loved behind without a word. However, after the tragic news of her mother’s death, Gracie finds herself facing the memories of the life and the people she thought she had left behind for good.

Gracie's Song is a short heart-warming story. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did, but the plot quickly grabbed my attention. I was feeling a reading slump approaching and I can say that Gracie's Song saved me from it because I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know more about Gracie and her troubled past and about the people that surrounded her.

Michelle Schlicher writing is simple (not a bad thing). There is character development - which is done perfectly. How many writers can do it perfectly? The romance isn't overwhelming, but it's perfectly adorable (I think I may have a crush on Finn). How couldn't this book become one of my favourites?

Characters: The characters were brilliantly written (they all came across real) as well as the relationships between them. The relationship between Gracie and her sister and how they rebuilt it after ten years apart was very well written. Also, the relationship between Gracie and Finn was so pure (I'm lacking words to describe it). Even after ten years and a few relationships in-between, the two still had strong feelings for each other. And Finn is every girls' dream.

I loved Gracie, as I found her flawlessly imperfect. Everything about her was intriguing and mysterious. Slowly, her past is revealed in flashbacks - I really enjoyed how there were flashbacks from her childhood to her teenager years - and you get to know her and what she has been through. Gracie never became a sour person even if she had all the reasons to become. Her past was painful and although she had the love of her mother, her sister and Finn, she was screwed up (I apologized for my language) by her alcoholic father. I found myself wanting to hug Gracie so many times (especially when she finally revealed why she left Glenwood all those years ago).

Cons: The only thing I didn't like about this novel was its cover. Fell free, to call me shallow, but this cover... I wish I could use emoji to describe how much I dislike it. I think an attractive cover influences the reader to choose a book from a shelf and I confess that I’d never pick up this book because of its cover - which would be a shame, because it's such a great book.

I received this ARC from the author Michelle Schlicher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you. PS. I really love(d) this book.
Monday, 18 April 2016

Cover Reveal. A Torch Against the Night


And the thing is: I don't know if I like it or not. :S I was super excited when Sabaa Tahir announced that the cover was going to be revealed today (you can check it here; you may also read the first chapter of A Torch Against the Night). I love the cover of An Ember in the Ashes, but the thing is I love the cover from 2015. Razorbill released the book with a new cover last February, which I wasn't so fond of, and this cover is a lot more alike the new one. So, maybe I'm over the fence because I hate when publishers change the covers -specially because it won't look good in my bookshelf and/or book collection. Well, just four more months (which is equivalent to 4 years to a bookworm) and I'll finally know what happens to Laia and Elias.

A Torch Against the Night is expected to be released on August 30th 2016.
"A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.
"
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Saturday, 16 April 2016

Cover Reveal. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess


I'm in love with this cover. A beautiful rose burning? Gosh, I'm officially as much in love with the cover as I'm with the summary! *.* This was one of the first books I added to my 2016 wishilist and I've been counting the days to have it. Just a few more months...just a few more months...

A Shadow Bright and Burning is expected to be released on September 20th 2016.
"Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.
."
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cover Reveal. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor


Isn't this cover pretty? *.* I can't believe it has finally been revealed1 I confess I've only read Daughter of Smoke & Bone *goes hidding in a corner full of shame*, but it was such a beautiful and intriguing novel that I can't wait to read its sequels. Hopefully, I'll do it before Strange the Dreamer is released. 

Strange the Dreamer is expected to be released on September 27th 2016.
"Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
"
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