Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.  This is not that world.  Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. Forhope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Rating: êêêê

I had mixed feelings about starting this book; the first was REALLY good and I felt like it was complete, even though there was an openness for a second book.

I am so glad I decided to read the second book. I devoured it!

Laini Taylor has found her calling for sure, she is a talented author. The writing is high quality and easy to read.

This book is deep, it's complex, and at times dark. Karou grows and begins to establish herself within her community, but she still has so much work to do. Karou is also trying find the balance between her human life and her knowledge of the answers from Book 1. We learn more about Akiva in this book and begin to understand him better. As the summary states, Karou and Akiva are on opposing sides of the war and it is truly agonizing. Zuze - I wish I had a friend like her, she is amazing, like the best book friend ever.

The plot has plenty of action and lots of important things happen. This book is about war and the events make that very clear. We learn a ton about the world that Korou and Akiva come from and there is still so much more to learn. The ending is fantastic, but will leave you hanging so be sure to have book 3 ready!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actuallygrows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Rating: êêêê


I was initially drawn to this book because of its stunning cover, but I was hesitant because I found out that it had to do with angels and devils and I typically can't stand those types of books. But, the othersbooks in the series got quite a bit of hype in the blogosphere and I spotted this at a used bookstore at a reasonable price.

My initial thought when I started reading this book was: "Wow, this is really easy to read". I have no idea what it is about the author's style, but it truly was a breeze to read - and it is not low level reading, just well written I guess. The next thing that stuck out to me about the author's style was how the chapters were titled based on something within each chapter - yes I know that is typical, but the way she did it was really unique.

So, onto the review...

Like I said I breezed through this book, I enjoyed it, I found myself drawn to it before going to sleep at night. The world building is well done, I have officially added Prague to must must visit list. I was intrigued by Karou's life and her role within her monstrous family, especially her relationship with Brimstone. I wanted to know about the teeth and the errands. I wanted to know who Karou was just about as much as she wanted to know who she was. And then Akiva slammed his way into the story and  I was fascinated by him. The plot moves at an excellent pace and peppers you with questions along the way. And then questions are answered in the most tantalizing way. It was really well done. I loved the big reveal, but wasn't entirely surprised by it. The ending of the book felt complete to me, but there is clearly an openness for a sequel.

Glass Arrow

The Glass Arrow

Author: Kristen Simmons
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads: The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

Rating: êêêê


I LOVE that this book started with action right away, I really feel like when authors successfully do this, I am hooked. The world building in this book was terrific. It is an interesting world, the author has clearly drawn from many resources, but she has created something totally unique and terrifying. While the book took off running, it did slow down a bit, but it felt purposeful. Aya is an amazingly well developed character; she is wild, tough, and true to herself. I loved her friendship with Kiran, it was surprising and interesting.  The ending was perfection.

Stacking the Shelves #34

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and 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 and of course ebooks!

Wow... I haven't done one of these since April! I have no idea what I may have forgotten to share, so I will only be sharing my most recent addition.


How I Read Books Tag

So, I wasn't tagged, but I spotted this on Downright Dystopian and decided I wanted to participate.

1. How do you find out about new books to read?
Other blogs, goodreads, and twitter

2. How did you get into reading?
I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. My mom loves to read, so I have a feeling it's because she read to me a lot.

3. How has your taste in books changed as you've gotten older?
I've always loved fiction and fantasy and still do.

4. How often do you buy books?
It all depends on my situation, but I buy them entirely too often.
Me at a bookstore and online

5. How did you get into blogging?
I was always recommending books to friends and family and my sister suggested a blog.

6. How do you react when you don't like the end of a book?
Like a big baby. I get pretty angry and I usually complain about it or shake my fist.
Fist of Rage

7. How often do you take a "sneak peak" at the end of a book to see if there is a happy ending?
NEVER!! I can't imagine reading anything out of order and I hate spoilers.

8. Who are you going to tag?

Unearthed After Sunset - Kickstarter Information

Indie author Lauryn April is trying to raise money to publish her next novel. Unearthed after Sunset is an Urban Fantasy novel about vampires. It’s filled with action, witty dialogue and a bit of romance. Lauryn has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed for editing, marketing, and other publishing needs. With your help Unearthed after Sunset will be published this fall, and in return for backing her project Lauryn is giving out awesome prizes like signed postcards, book swag, and copies of her book. She’s looking to raise $1,000, and her campaign will run until August 25th. Become a backer by visiting her kickstarter page and make a donation or help spread the word by sharing this post via twitter, facebook, and your own blogs. Any help is much appreciated.

About the Book: When Greg Erickson is killed by sultry and seductive vampire Lila, he wakes up cold and alone in a wooden box. After clawing his way out he finds himself thrust into a vampire turf war, unsure of exactly what he’s fighting for. Greg discovers that it’s not easy to be human one day and hunting humans the next, and while his new vampire cohorts try to get him to accept his newfound existence there’s one girl from his human life he’s unable to forget.
Caroline Christensen lived a normal life once. Then her brother was killed by vampires and her family legacy as a vampire hunter was handed down to her. When she meets Greg out at the bar one night they both feel a connection. Then Greg discovers Caroline’s secret and she worries he’ll never talk to her again, but soon she finds out that he has a very different reason for not calling – he’s dead.

Now Greg has become the thing Caroline is supposed to hunt, but can she bring herself to kill him? Greg, however, isn’t Caroline’s only concern. There’s something going on with the vampires. They’re fighting over something and she’s determined to find out what it is.

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood
Publication Date: March 16, 1998
Source: Gifted via Books n Bloggers Swap
Summary from Goodreads: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

Rating: Did Not Finish

This book had been on my to read list for a really long time - it sounded like something that was right up my alley, but I just can't continue reading it. The first thing I noticed was a unique writing style, it feels like the main character, Offred, is talking directly to the reader. Normally, I would love this, but the author does not use quotation marks, which made conversations extremely confusing. I also found Offred to be a bit boring.  The other major issue I had with the writing style is the frequent switch between past and present. Usually this non-linear style does not bother me, but the transitions were unclear and confusing. I also struggled with the purpose of these switches, I'm sure the author felt that there was something happening in the present to jog Offred's memory, but that connection was not always clear. Finally, I felt that about halfway through the book NOTHING happened, like there was no plot. And then there was a scene that felt like it was included solely for the shock factor, and the way it was told felt so unlike the character that it just didn't work. I preserved, hoping to learn more about the world Offred lives in, hoping to learn more about her and how she got where she was, but I just can't suffer through it anymore.



Author: Betsy Schow
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads: Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Rating: Did Not Finish

The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie (I mean, my blog is named after it), so of course when I saw this on Netgalley with its fabulous cover and summary, I had to have it.

Unfortunately, this book was entirely too cheesy for me. The writing style was elementary and the cliche puns were cute at first and then annoying. There are so many fairy tale references jam packed and it was overpowering. With the high level of cuteness, think this book would be great for a young audience, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me.

Lion Heart

Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3)

Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #3
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads:The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief. Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

Rating: êêêêê


Wow, this was an amazing ending to the trilogy. I am truly struggling to write this review, because I know whatever I write will not do it justice.

The book starts out dark and gloomy, and I know it seems impossible but this book was more intense than the last. I was captivated the entire time I was reading this book. Despite her circumstances, Scarlet remains true to herself, and I believe that this book brings her to her full development as a fierce, strong, brave, young woman. Robin also grows and becomes a more formidable young man and leader. The adventure in this book is thrilling. The historical elements come into play a little more in this book than in the previous books, but again it supplemental information that supports and complements the story. Everything comes together and the ending makes sense. It was truly and epic tale and I think my favorite retelling.

Lady Thief

Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)

Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #2
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

Rating: êêêêê


This book picks up just about where the first left off, however it is a fast paced, emotional, and bumpy ride. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest when Scarlet married Gisbourne, but I remained hopelessly hopeful that the deep bond shared between Scarlet and Robin would persevere.

The characters remain true to who they were in the previous book so basically they are amazing! To be fair, I think we see more strength and bravery in this novel from Robin's band, but we also see a different side of strength and bravery. The bad guys are detestable and it really just solidifies your love for the main characters.

Typically, I'm not one to enjoy historical fiction, but I found this book to be a perfect balance. It sprinkled enough history to give you an understanding of the time, place, and circumstances. It transports you to this moment in time. But it is never overbearing or boring.

The action is fabulously written. Your heart will race as if you are in the thick of it all. The relationships are complex and will overwhelm you with feelings in all the right ways.


Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)

Author: A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #1
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets - skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood's band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet's biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know...that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl. The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more - making this a fight worth dying for.

Rating: êêêêê


This book has been on my must read list for a while now (probably since 2012 when it was published); I mean look at that cover and there is something fascinating about Robin Hood's story and I was intrigued by the twist presented in the summary.

It's summer vacation and I finally had some time to myself to read and I was HOOKED, like literally did not want to put this book down.

This book is everything you could want is a fantasy retelling: action, adventure, romance, friendship and so much more. The story is told through Will Scarlet's voice and she has a unique way of with words. At first I was hesitant that this writing style wouldn't work for me, but I quickly learned that it was an essential piece of who Scarlet was and it really helped me to connect with her.

The characters are well developed and consistent. Scarlet is a strong, brave, yet vulnerable young woman, and I immediately loved her. I truly feel that the author has created the perfect character for young girls - she screams girl power in a wonderful and inspiring way. Robin is ::sigh::, how can you not lust after such a heroic outlaw. John Little and Much, the other members of the band, are perfect characters to round out the group. The townsfolk are even well developed.

The plot moves at an excellent pace. The action really drives everything forward and it was thrilling heart pumping kind of action. The romance builds painfully slow in a good way. I couldn't help but feel wrapped up in it. Like I said, I couldn't put this book down.

I finished this book around 2 am and immediately purchased the next book in the series: Lady Thief, because YES it was THAT GOOD.

Timothy Other: The Boy Who Climbed Marzipan Mountain

Timothy Other: The Boy Who Climbed Marzipan Mountain

Author: L. Sydney Abel
Publication Date: October 2, 2014
Source: Author in exchange for honest review
Summary from Goodreads: 12 year-old adventurer, the intriguingly named Timothy Other, escapes the Dreams and Hopes Orphanage and travels to the bizarre world of Marzipan Mountain, where he befriends some amazing creatures. With the help of his friends, Timothy seeks to discover his true origins and returns to the Orphanage. He becomes embroiled in a matter of life and death and faces the evil forces that crave the secret of ‘Golden Life’.

Rating: Did Not Finish

The author has a very distinct and unique writing style, unfortunately it's not for me. While reading, I felt like someone was telling me a story, which would have been fine accept I felt like I was being talked to like a child. There is also a strange use of adjectives and adverbs: biggertybig, blackertyblack bird, tip-tapping sound, sticky-up hat, etc. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past these nuances and decided not to finish the book.

July 2015 Book Blog BINGO Link-Up

Welcome to the June Review and Progress Link-Up for the 2015 Book Blog BINGO Challenge. Before linking up, make sure you signed up for the challenge. Don't forget, you can update or change your goal at any time!

My Goal
A Double BINGO (2 traditional BINGOs in any direction)

My Progress

A book that takes place in a school: The School for Good and Evil
A book purchased in 2014: Shadow and Bone
The second book in a series: Siege and Storm
A book with magic or paranormal characters: Ruin and Rising
A book written by an author that you've never read before: The Donor
A book with romance: A Wizard Rises
A book published in 2015: Bright Fire
A book that made you cry: The Sin Eater's Daughter
A review persuaded you to read it: The Winner's Curse
A book outside your comfort zone: Moneyball
A book that has been on your TBR shelf for two years or longer: Ashes of Foreverland
A book with a dragon: The Girl at Midnight

How is your challenge going? Share and link up in the comments

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Update

This challenge is hosted by Falling for YA. Basically the goal is to tackle your review books and get your feedback percentage up.

My goal is 25 books and to maintain a percentage of 80% or better. I am also going to sign up at Edelweiss this year.

My current percent is 87%.

Here is my progress so far:
1. The Donor by Nikki Rae
2. A Wizard Rises by AJ Nuest
3. Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
4. A Time of Reckoning by AJ Nuest
5. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
6. Hidden Huntress by Danielle Jensen

The Girl at Midnight

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)

Author: Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads: Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Rating: êêêê

I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I had been transported into a magical version of our world. The writing was beautifully descriptive, making it effortless to envision everything. I felt sucked in and struggled to put it down and when I did, I couldn't stop thinking about picking it back up. 

I loved the characters, Echo is a badass with a tender heart, she is instantly likeable and consistent. Without giving too much away, I will say that every member of her motley crew holds a special place in my heart. Echo's journey drives the plot. Typically with fantasy novels about a journey I get bored and find that the destinations/encounters feel forced, but that was not the case. The journey was a decent length and felt purposeful. There was some heavy foreshadowing that sort of took away from the climax. 

So, why did I give it 4 stars instead of 5? I felt like I needed a better understanding about the Avicen and Drakharin and would have appreciated more information about their history. I also felt like the romance piece of the story was a bit predictable. But all in all, I enjoyed it and definitely plan to continue the series.
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