Author: booklthoughts

Fanboy Book Club Introduction

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I am happy to announce that I will be a part of the Fanboy Book Club.  This wonderful group is hosted by Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl. This book club focuses on YA novels with male leads.  I realized in my reading that I read so many female protagonists (which is awesome!), but I wanted to read some books where males were more than just a love interest!

If you are interested, the February book is the classic and original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. To sign up, click the link: http://goo.gl/forms/SQqQxcmoqM. For more information, check out Bianca’s post here.

Introduction Questions:

1 Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ali, and I am trying to read more diversely.  I love fantasy which does already have a lot of male leads, but I’ve noticed a lot of YA fantasy is female centric.

2 How did you come up with your blog name?

To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of my blog name.  I guess it’s pretty accurate though; I am a book lover, and you’ll find my thoughts here. 🙂

Fun part:

3 Who is your favorite male character?

Well, I love Harry Potter, but he is probably a very popular answer.  I love Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and also Kelsier from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.  They’re both complex, intense male characters.

4 I’m giving you the freedom here. Who are your book husbands/book boyfriends?

Well, we will be here forever if I list all of mine out.  Kaz, Jem Carstairs, and Nikolai from the Grisha trilogy are just a few.

5 Book with a male lead that really stuck to your heart?

I grew up with Harry Potter, so he definitely had a big impact on my life.  But, I love The Little Prince.  It’s an amazing classic children’s book. Plus, it’s French!

6 Link to your social media accounts.

Twitter: @booklthoughts

Instagram: booklthoughts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/booklthoughts


What is YOUR favorite book with a male lead?

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T5W: Disappointing Eye Candy (January 27th, 2016)

Top 5 Wednesday

Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday! If you don’t know what this is, Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey, or Gingerreadslainey. She creates a different topic each week, and BookTubers and Book Bloggers can discuss their favorite (or least favorite book) based off of the topics! The Goodreads group can be found here, feel free to join in!

Today’s topic is disappointing eye candy – books that look good, but were bad.


Okay – this may get a tad controversial…

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Okay, this is a very LOVED or HATED book.  I was in the latter category. I never wrote a review because I DNF’d it, but I did write an explanation somewhere in a comment explaining my dislike: romance ick. magic boring. 

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – STOP. DON’T HATE ME. I did not hate this book, but it was disappointing.  I gave it 3 stars, and my review is here.  It was very hyped, and I don’t think it lived up to that hype.

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The One by Kiera Cass – It wasn’t the best, and the whole premise is some ridiculousness fun.  But, if you go in expecting a lot, there will probably be disappointment.

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Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – Book 1, Shatter Me, was okay.  This one was also okay.  But, Juliette annoys me so much, and it’s also just another book that did not live up to the hype.

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – This did not work for me.  The romance was weird, and I couldn’t really get into the plot.  The writing, however, was beautiful, and I loved Raven Boys from Stiefvater’s other series!


What are some of your disappointing eye candies? Link your T5W post/video/comment below!

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Book Rambling: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (ARC)

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Title: The Girl From Everywhere

Author: Heidi Heilig

Series: The Girl From Everywhere (Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Publication: February 16th, 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

 


2016 seems to be the year for time travel and ship books.  We have Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor.  We also have The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.

I absolutely loved this book.  It’s a very character driven book and Heilig’s characters are wonderfully developed.  Watching these relationships grow and develop was an amazing experience.  You have father-daughter, friends-to-lovers, and general friendships.  The development of all these relationships was flawless, and I enjoyed the journey.


“Sometimes a person has to let go of something to take hold of something else.”


Readers can tell that Heidi Heilig did a lot of research for this historical fiction novel.  The historical events, folklores, and legends were all very accurately portrayed and explained, and I learned a lot from it!  I definitely appreciate the amount of work that she put into this novel.

This is her debut novel, and it’s an amazing debut novel! She is very talented at telling the story and her sentences are beautifully crafted. I enjoyed the descriptions and the world building.


“‘Love?’ The word was bitter as hemlock. ‘It’s just another addition.'” 


The ending was okay.  I definitely enjoyed the journey more than the destination; it isn’t my favorite ending.  I thought some parts of the ending were a little convenient, and I got confused in some other places.  Overall, it tied up nicely and was more of a nice fizzle than ending with a huge bang.

It is extremely difficult to write a time travel novel, in my opinion, because it is hard to explain whether or not future actions in previous times can change history as a whole, etc.  I think Heidi Heilig did a great job explaining a lot of the technicalities of time travel.  It did get confusing at times but I feel like that is inevitable with this subgenre.


“This is paradise…This is home.” 


#WeNeedDiverseBooks YAY for diverse characters.  If you want a diverse book, this is it! Half-Chinese, Persian, African, Lesbian – you have it all. Diversity is definitely done very well in here.


Thank you NetGalley and Bonnier Publishing for this e-ARC. All opinions are solely my own.

Have you all read this? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you think you’ll pick it up when it’s out? I definitely recommend it!

Also, where can I get a pocket dragon named Swag of my own?

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Book Rambling: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen(Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication: February 10th, 2015

Rating: ★★★★1/4

 


“Rise, red as the dawn.”


I heard a lot of mixed reviews about Red Queen before going into it, so I had very low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

The main criticism I have heard about this novel is the similarities between it and The Hunger Games and Red Rising. I definitely saw a lot of the similarities.  But, I loved both Hunger Games and Red Rising, and I found that I didn’t really mind the tropes. It was more funny to identify all the references I noticed.


“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.”


My one of my favorite parts of the book was how Victoria Aveyard wrote the romance.  Ladies and Gentleman, this is a romance done correctly. A lot of people hate love triangles, but I actually think this is one of the more successfully executed love polygons. We had a strong, independent woman who stood for her beliefs and didn’t compromise them for any guy.  However, she could fall in love.  Just because there is other stuff going on in you life, doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love. Additionally, there was the perfect balance between our female protagonist’s “greater cause” and her romantic life. She wasn’t obsessing over guys during crucial life-and-death situations, but she wasn’t completely devoid of feelings.


“I see a world on the edge of a blade. Without balance, it will fall.”


I really enjoyed the characters that Aveyard created.  At first, I didn’t really like Mare’s family, but when we met the rest of her characters, I loved the complexity behind each character and was actually able to connect with some of them.

The world building was okay.  It wasn’t very fleshed out, but I liked the magic system (powers) that Aveyard included.  They were really interesting and creative!


 

“In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.”


 

The plot was semi-predictable, but I didn’t predict some of the really big twists that occurred.  The second half of the book hurt my heart, tore it out and ripped it to shreds.  I actually threw my phone across the room (my e-book reader). The novel ended with a perfect set-up for book 2 and conclusion to book 1. I want Glass Sword to come out as soon as possible!


BONUS: 

The lovely Giselle from A Book and A Cup of Coffee  created an amazing music playlist for this novel.  I think everyone should check it out! The 8tracks link is here.

What did you all think about Red Queen? I know there are a lot of differing opinions, so I want to hear them all!

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Book Rambling: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: Raven Boys (Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Magic

Publication: September 18th, 2012

Rating: ★★★★3/4

 


“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.”


I ADORED THIS BOOK!

The reason I took off 1/4 of a star is because I thought the beginning was a bit slow.  I tried reading this a few months ago and stopped after a few chapters, but I tried again this time through a buddy read with Kate from Kate Reads Lit!  I don’t know about her, but I had a blast buddy reading this with her and being able to freak out and fangirl with her.


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


The beginning had a eerie feelings which made me dislike some of the characters.  It was hard for me to connect with the Raven Boys at first.

However, the writing was flawless throughout.  I read Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series, but I think her writing in this book was significantly better than in Shiver.


“It was the way she felt when she looked at the stars.”


Once I got through the first few chapters, the plot rapidly picked up.  There were so many unexpected turns and twists; I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I was buddy reading this, but read really far ahead because I couldn’t just stop reading (oops, sorry Kate!)

Although the magic wasn’t my favorite part of the book, this is definitely a character driven story. Stiefvater really makes you fall in love with the characters and creates a marvelous mystery along the way.

It’s worth all the hype and more!


I feel like the last person to read this book, so tell me your thoughts in the comments below!  AND CAN WE JUST DISCUSS RONAN/NOAH/GANSEY/ADAM?!

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Bout of Books 15: Update Post

Bout of Books

I’m participating in Bout of Books 15! The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @Reading the ParanormalFor my TBR click, here!

Below are my updates for the first few days of the read-a-thon!

Day 1 Update 

Pages Read

The Raven Boys – 128 pages

Cress – 100 pages

Total Page Read Day 1

228 pages

Total Read-a-thon Pages

228 pages

Books Finished: 0

Day 2 Update

I was a bit busy today because I went out with a few friends, but I managed to squeeze some reading in!

Pages Read:

The Raven Boys – 130 pages

Total Page Read Day 2

130 pages

Total Read-a-thon Pages

358 pages

Books Finished: 0

Day 3 Update

Today was the first day back at school for me, so I failed today, but it’s okay I’ll try to catch up tomorrow!

Pages Read:

Red Queen – 85 pages

Total Page Read Day 3

85 pages

Total Read-a-thon Pages

443 pages

Books Finished: 0

Day 4 Update

Wow! Today was an amazing reading day.  I got a lot of reading done, but I’m going away this weekend and very badly procrastinated on the packing.

Pages Read

The Raven Boys – 68 pages

Red Queen – 258 pages

Total Read Day 4

326 pages

Total Read-a-thon Pages

769 pages

Books Finished: 2! (The Raven Boys and Red Queen)


There’s still three more days of the read-a-thon, and I plan on continuing to read! I’m really happy about my day 4 reading. However, let me just say, my emotions were all over the place when I finished those two books. I have a road trip this weekend, so I might be able to get some reading done or some review writing done!

How are you all doing in your read-a-thons?

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Book Rambling: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow (ARC)

Book Review

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Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows

Author: Michelle Madow

Series: Elementals (Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Publication: January 26th, 2016

Rating: ★★★


Abbreviated Goodreads Summary:

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. 

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.


 

Non-Spoiler Review:

This books is marketed as a cross between Percy Jackson and the Secret Circle.  I absolutely love Percy Jackson, so I was extremely happy that I was accepted to review a copy of this!

The reason that this book gets a 3 stars from me is probably because of the characters. I thought that the main protagonist, Nicole, was kind of boring.  She has a “chosen one” storyline which I don’t mind, but her as a character was just a little bland.  Also, her romance was very insta-lovey, so beware if you hate that. The insta-love doesn’t bother me too much.  The thing that made me dislike her the most was probably the fact that even through all the challenges and missions the group was trying to solve, Nicole was constantly obsessing over Blake.  For example, it’ll be like “Let’s solve this puzzle. Just kidding, I’m going to stare and think about Blake.” So, she is not my favorite female protagonist.

However, the side characters, Kate and Chris, are my favorite in this novel.  Both of them actually have depth and are more entertaining to read about than Nicole.  Also, the way the author wrote Danielle, as a typical “she’s a b-word; we hate her because she’s dating the hot guy” was a little too cliche for me.  But the side characters were fun to read about for me!

Additionally, a lot of the book was just info-dumping.  We see it with Danielle – we’re more often TOLD that she is terrible rather than shown.  With the magic system in general, we get a lot of info dumped on us rather than exploring how the magic works.  The novel wasn’t very long, so maybe a longer book would have helped with both the worldbuilding and the pacing/convenience.

Overall, I think this novel was a fun and entertaining read.  I liked the Greek mythology elements, and the plot was enjoyable (albeit a little predictable).  If you love YA fantasy and Percy Jackson, I definitely recommend giving it a shot! The different powers were really interesting to read, and I think with more character development further along in the series, I will like the characters more!


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**Thank you NetGalley and Barclay Publicity for giving me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are solely my own.**