Why I Didn’t Read Today

This post was inspired by Hilary’s at @SongsWroteMyStory

I know as a bookworm and a reviewer, I’m expected to read all day every day. Hell, it even seems like publishers think so too! I’m crumbling under a pile of books I have to read and review and promote. But some days, I don’t read. It’s hard to explain to my friends, who know that I LOVE reading, why “today’s not a reading day”. But I’ll try to list all my reasons (legit ones!) that I’ve used in the past for not reading :

  1. I Netflixed and chilled so hard I forgot to open a book. Literally. Right now, it’s Gilmore Girls and Scandal that are keeping me glued to the TV.
  2. I was tired, and knew a headache would be coming if I focused on tiny little letters.
  3. I’m reading a book and I’m not into it yet. So I’m stalling. (And no, I can’t just stop reading a book; if I start, I finish)
  4. I knew I would be interrupted at some point.
  5. Homework and studying (I’m on vacation now, though).
  6. Adulting.
  7. Sleep was begging for my attention.

Et voilà! I know it’s a short post, but I really wanted to get on Hilary’s train. Thanks for reading this 🙂

Wednesday’s Headline : Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

Wednesday’s Headline is a series/feature on my blog where I will share with you my current read and my thoughts and expectations for them!

I’M SO SORRY!! I published this post without having completed it, and now I feel so bad! I hope you won’t be too disappointed in me.. ):

This Wednesday, I’m reading Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins! It’s the second book in the Anna and the French Kiss series, and it follows a completely other protagonist. Since my little sister insisted (forced) me to read it, I just had to 🙂

Summary (from Goodreads) :

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

just started this book, so it’s the perfect time for expectations, right? So far, I really like it. Lola is so much different than Anna, and I like her very much. Original and teenage-cute, she’s a joy to read! Perkins still knows how to make a character relatable, despite different personalities! It’s all in the thoughts and quirks, people! And gay dads?? Hell YEAH!

Only problem is (and it’s a MAJOR one) : pedophilia. Hello???? I know it must have been a big deal for Perkins to write about this, but ugh, I just can’t accept that. It makes me cringe. It makes me uncomfortable. I want to puke whenever I read about that couple.

Needless to say, I hope Lola ends up with Cricket. I really do. Because, on the first mention of his name, I knew I’d love him. I grinned at the same time HE grinned. That’s how he got my heart! I hope Perkins dealt well with the bullying Lola suffered also, if I understood correctly? Actually, there are a lot of delicate subjects in this novel (homosexuality, pedophilia, bullying, acceptance, redemption,…), so I hope Perkins did a good job. That’s my most serious expectation about this book.

Stay tuned for my review of this novel! Thanks for reading this!

Have you guys read Lola? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments!

ARC Review : Admiral by Sean Danker

Admiral.jpgTitle : Admiral (Evagardian #1)

Author : Sean Danker

Publisher : Roc

Release date : May 3rd, 2016

Rating : 4/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads) :

He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.

Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.

Review :

I would like to thank NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of Admiral!

As a whole, this science-fiction book was highly entertaining and suspenseful and fast-paced! It’s the kind of books that could be made into a movie!

This novel got me like a roller coaster. As it is often the case with roller coasters, I ended up with a smile and the happiness to have gone through it. And a headache (from too much feels). Reading the title could equate to me strapping myself to the seat. Reading the summary and getting excited to read it would be the first ascent. The first 50 pages of the book are the first descent, and the rest of the book was… an infinite ascent? No, no. It would be an alternate between flat parts and ascents, and then the end is a slight descent.

In spite of how this review will start, I have to highlight the excitement I got from reading this book.

The beginning is just plain confusing and frustrating. There is close to no setting. I was as confused as the Admiral was, considering that, as it is stated in the summary, he wakes up to a strange situation. Although I could see that his style of writing would please me, because all descriptions were well-written and never took too much space, Danker just made us leap into the cauldron. We don’t know anything about this sci-fi world, and we are left to figure it out by ourselves, with almost no information to begin with. I mean, if the admiral is confused, how confused would we be? I’m aware that this puzzlement is purposeful since it’s a first person narrator, but having a confused narrator AND no setting is a quick and easy way to turn off a reader.

However, we quickly realize that the Admiral is a capable man. Despite his perplexity, he is cool-headed and goes straight to work, inquiring about their whereabouts and trying to figure out how to survive on this strange planet. The Admiral’s real identity is a mystery to everyone, but even his lack of name (on our part) didn’t stop me from liking him. He is smart, adaptive and highly resourceful. He reminded me a lot of Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, just less funny (but still funny!).

Honestly, all the characters grew on me. There are only 4, but I learnt to appreciate them each in their own way. Deilani was slightly annoying at the beginning, but now the respect I have for her surpasses the respect I have for the Admiral. They are both great, don’t get me wrong, but the ending did her more justice. Nils and Salmagard were amazing and smart and resourceful throughout the book. The interactions and the banter between the characters were enjoyable. Although the hierarchy of this world made me perplex a few times, the 4 recruits come from different backgrounds, and Danker made a point of playing with their different point of views on some subjects. 10 points for Danker.

There is one element I was very conflicted about in this book. Sean Danker knows a lot about computers, technology, engineering, and so on, you know the kind. I always appreciate very much when an author does his/her homework and uses it well. The military thinking was also on point. Really, it showed a lot of dedication and hard work, and I truly thank him for it. However, I myself am not familiar with so many aeronautics and mechanical terms. So, as it turned out, there were some parts where I was completely lost. The first rule of writing I learnt was never to assume the reader knows what I’m talking about. It doesn’t mean that an author has to treat their readers as idiots, but when their story takes place in a highly technology-advanced future and in a domain not everyone is familiar with (aeronautics), one would expect them to explain a little.

Danker’s writing is very good and precise. Not one detail was left to chance, and the military thinking, like I pointed out above, is well thought of. He perfectly conveyed the creepiness of the planet’s inhabitants; I had goosebumps when our protagonists first encountered them. Also, Danker described incredibly well the strangeness of the planet and its eerie atmosphere.

The ending was fast paced and incredibly exciting. It got my heart beating like crazy, and I couldn’t put the book down. I just HAD to know how it would end. I was literally cheering for every character. I sure as hell will read the sequel, because I just have to know what else will happen to them. It’s an amazing way to end a first book: no cliffhangers, but just enough unanswered questions that would push the reader to come back.

Admiral is a nice mix of The Martian and Prometheus. It was suspenseful, and a bit creepy, and there was a lot of action. It was really good! I would recommend it for sci-fi fans!

Picture sources : 1, 2

 

Random Monday : Books I have yet to read PART 2

Random Monday is a series/feature on my blog where I will talk about, you guessed it, random, bookish stuff!

Hey, guys! How are you doing? Have you been reading or, like me, stuck under a pile of manuals and notebooks for your oncoming exams? Hehe, I’m such a killjoy, aren’t I? x) In all seriousness, I hope you had or will have a great day! Thanks for sticking with me.

Here’s the second batch of eBooks I have yet to read. Please know that these are not ARCs. To know which ARCs I have in store, stay tuned until next Monday! To see my previous Random Monday, look here.

Note* : My most anticipated reads are marked with a *.

Note** : All pictures are taken from Goodreads.

      6. Hatred Day (Hatred Day #1) by T. S. Pettibone *

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In the year 2052, it’s not love but hate that unites the world.

Humanity is unified against the Inborns, an extraterrestrial species with godlike intelligence and abilities whose arrival on earth caused an environmental and biological crisis.

Enslaved and despised even by her own Inbornkind, 18-year-old Snofrid Yagami reawakens to the world after having her memories stolen and is certain of only one thing: she will do anything to ensure her freedom. But her resolution is soon tested when the son of a high-ranking human official is murdered and her home city becomes the center of the interspecies war, one that might see the Inborns purged. Desperate to find a way out of the city for herself and her family, Snofrid risks making a deal with the manipulative Inborn Commander, Hadrian, and his brutal cadre of soldiers. Her task is simple: take part in a historic hunt that will bring wealth and fame to all who survive. Unfortunately, Snofrid’s role is one in which survival is rarely seen—the bait.

7. Solace by Therin Knite *

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Corina Marion has a father problem—namely that her Red Cross doctor of a dad has finally returned home from sixteen years of war…

…as a body in a box to be buried.

Her mother is devastated, her friends shocked and saddened, her hometown in mourning at the loss of its local hero. And Corina, indifferent to the man she never met, is trapped in the middle of an emotional onslaught she isn’t prepared to handle.

But when a strange old man confronts Corina at her father’s funeral, he offers her an impossible opportunity: the chance to know the late Luther Marion. And in a moment of uncertainty, Corina makes a choice with consequences she can barely fathom.

A choice that sends her twenty-five years into the past. To the heyday of her father’s hometown. Right on the cusp of the harrowing events that will shape his life…and his death.

And in order to return to her damaged home, supportive friends, and uncertain future, Corina will have to fight tooth and nail alongside the man she’s resented her entire life. Because if she doesn’t help fix the past she’s inadvertently changed with her presence, Luther Marion may not live long enough to become a hero at all.

8. The 52nd by Dela *

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Not one of the sacrifices chosen over the long history had survived–until now.

On the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, the immortal Castillo family gathers in Tulum. Weary and haunted, they receive the names of fifty-two human sacrifices chosen once every fifty-two years for the Underworld, a tradition thought to have disappeared with the fall of the Aztec and Mayan empires.

Driving home one night, college freshman Zara Moss swerves to avoid hitting a ghastly figure in the road. Lucas Castillo witnesses the car crash, but when it comes time to supervise her abduction from the wreckage, he intervenes. Something is different about Zara: Lucas has been having dreams of her arrival for five hundred years.

As Lucas and Zara come together to put an end to the bloody sacrifices, they discover that the ancient tradition isn’t so easily broken. The gods are angry, and they have until the Winter Solstice to drag Zara to the Underworld.

9. The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

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What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

10. Light (Dream Casters #1) by Adrienne Woods

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Mr. Sandman, send me a dream, ta da da da…..Seventeen year old
Chastity Blake knows the Sandman is just a silly children’s story parents tell their children to get them to sleep. At least she thought it was, until the day a mysterious, light golden sand appeared in her hands during a high school prank that went horribly wrong. A sand that has the power to send anyone it touches into a deep, sound sleep.

Fearing she had lost her mind, Chastity soon discovers the shocking
truth of her heritage – she is a Dream Caster. Chastity was never supposed to be raised on the Domain, or what humans call Earth and she is forced to return to her true birth place, Revera – the world of Dreams.

However, in Revera there is no balance between good, the Light
Casters, and darkness, the Shadow Casters, and Chastity is caught square in the middle. She soon learns that there is no place for anyone containing both the light and the darkness within them, and the shocking truth that if anyone in Revera ever discovered her shadow self, Chastity would be thrown into the Oblivion – the world of Nightmares.

Dreams are always more than they seem, and this time Chastity is
going to discover just how different they can be.

11. A Thousand Salt Kisses by Josie Demuth

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Seventeen-year-old Crystal White is the new girl on Starfish Island. Dragged to the remote community by her environmental activist father, she is eager to find fun that doesn’t involve touching fish guts or listening to local folklore.

During a midnight swim with some new friends, Crystal is pulled out to sea by the waves. Convinced she’s going to drown, Crystal is rescued by Llyr, a handsome stranger. As she searches for him in the following weeks, she finds there may be more truth to the Starfish legends than she thought.

Over a sizzling roller-coaster summer, Llyr introduces Crystal to magic she’d only ever dreamed of. But as Crystal comes to love Starfish Island, it begins to drive her family apart. A nearby power plant is devastating local marine life, and her parents are stuck in the middle. As the magic and mundane parts of Crystal’s life converge, she finds herself risking everything to save Llyr, her family, and herself.

Et voilà! The next batch will be the ARCs I have to read. Who’s excited? 😀

TV Show Rambling : Shadowhunters PT. II

Good afternoon, guys! In my previous Shadowhunters post, I talked about what I liked/didn’t like about the show and some of its characters. In Shadowhunters PT. II, I will talk about the other characters that I didn’t have the space to talk about! As always, I encourage you to comment below and tell me what you think 🙂

I already covered Clary, Simon, Jace, Alec and Izzy. To summarize a little bit, I love Simon, I like Jace, Alec and Izzy, and I loathe Clary. As to the why, check out the 1st post in the link above!

As for now, let me talk about Magnus. Ohh, Magnus ❤ I looooove book-Magnus, he’s my favorite character along with Simon. His eccentricity, his nonchalance, his sassiness and his heart of gold got MY heart beating. Having been cast as Magnus, does Harry Shum Jr. do a good job? Yes. A great job? No. I’m still waiting to be thoroughly impressed by him. Don’t get me wrong : I really like him as Magnus, he’s got the looks and the personality. BUT, I have a little complaint about his acting. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, his flourish seemed too forced, too try-hard. I cringed so many times during the earlier episodes. However, I think he’s getting more comfortable in his character, so I expect to see great things from Shum in the near future.

Next up is Luke. I think I can safely say that Isaiah Mustafa was NOT what anyone expected. I pictured Luke as exactly what the book suggested : calm, smart, glasses. Not this hot, muscular policeman. I’m not complaining, though. As long as his protectiveness is the same… and it is. I’m fairly satisfied with Luke, in all honesty. I like that they diversified the cast by bringing in a black man. You go, Garroway.

Moving on to Raphael! I think David Castro is doing a good job with Raphael. He brings more sassiness to the character, which I love. It’s really too bad that his acting suffers whenever he’s in the company of Katherine McNamara. It’s like she’s rubbing her nonexistent skills anywhere she goes. I dislike the fact that Raphael is a bit more present in the show than in the books, because it makes way for Simon and Clary to manipulate him so much, and I hate seeing him that way.

Let’s talk about Valentine, now. 2 words : the hell?? Like father, like daughter, I guess. Wrong casting for Clary AND Valentine. Not only does Alan Van Sprang not fit the character’s physical traits, he couldn’t even get the personality right! Valentine is supposed to be charismatic, driven, charming, cunning. In the show, he only seems sadistic, brutal, “smart”. He’s not at all the Valentine I know. With his current attitude, I’m having trouble picturing him convincing other people to join his cause. What a disappointment.

So, that concludes my final post on the 1st season of Shadowhunters! I know I haven’t talked about Meliorn, or Jocelyn, or Hodge, or Camille, or etc.etc. It’s just because they aren’t relevant enough right now OR they didn’t give me an impression at all. I hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading 🙂