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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: Cruel Beauty


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Source: Edelweiss ( Thanks HarperCollins!)

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy fairy tale retellings.I am sure I have mentioned this various times. Fairy tales just fascinate me and they can be told in so many ways.They can be lighthearted or dark,hopeful or full of despair,set in the past or even in a dystopian world. There is so much to work with.

Cruel Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is a story I'm fond of especially because of Belle and the fact that the Beast can easily be portrayed as someone who has social anxiety because of physical deformities. Cruel Beauty in my opinion is an original spin on the classic Disney movie that I liked but without it's charm.This is mostly due to the fact that Cruel Beauty is much darker spin on the tale.

Nyx unlike Belle has been prepared since birth to kill the monster. She has a lot of rage.She has had years to nurse her rage.Of course, she's not all rainbows and unicorns like Belle.She's all dark and twisted. I didn't like her as much as a character but she certainly had much more depth than the happy go lucky Belle. Her attraction for the monstrous beast also makes more sense as she is also a monster inside.

The story manages to engage but does drag towards the end. There is also an implied sexual scene which I wasn't exactly sure fit in with the story. I think it just drove home the fact that the story is much more mature and darker than the classic one we,as readers have seen and heard.

Overall, I didn't like this story as much as I enjoyed the Cinder series(another retelling) but it's an interesting spin on the tale of Beauty and the Beast.  

My Rating:

3/5


Saturday, February 21, 2015

All Fall Down by Ally Carter Spotlight + GIVEAWAY

So Ally Carter is coming out with a new book series and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! 

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

GIVEAWAY

Hachette UK has been kind enough to offer 3 pieces of Miss Sporty make up for giveaway on this blog! 
UK ONLY

Please keep in mind that items may vary from those shown in the picture




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)

 It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, These Broken Stars sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Source: Netgalley (Thanks Disney Hyperion!)
My Thoughts:
These Broken Stars was an enjoyable and gripping sci-fi YA that I read almost ages ago and I fell in love with it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to put what exactly I loved about it in words at that time because I was too busy fangirling over it.I am going to try my best to explain why you should read this book now.

The first thing that caught my attention was the narrative structure of the book. It's told from a dual POV(point of view) of the main protagonists.Apart from this what makes the book stand out for me were the snippets from the future that were added at the end of almost every chapter. I really liked this. At first it was a little confusing but that might be because the review ARC that I had was not formatted well.There's a short snippet of Tarver being questioned by someone in the future at the end of the chapters and this really built up the suspense in the novel.The narrative hooked me in more than the characters.The snippets make you really curious.

The main characters of this novel grow on you especially Lilac. She's not a stuck up princess (well not for the entirety of the novel) and she pulls her own weight. Tarver is a character that I really liked. This might have a lot to do with the fact that I just loved his voice and answers of the questions in the snippets but I really liked the guy's spunk and literary voice.The chemistry and the build up of the relationship between the two characters was very well done in the novel.

The world building is great albeit confusing at first. I want to know more about this world that has been introduced and all the different technologies that have been introduced in them.

The plot was interesting there is a very unexpected twist  which I'm not very sure that I liked.I liked the build up towards the climax more than the actual climax. It was unpredictable but I think I expected the story to take a different route and I was a little disappointed.I got over the plot twist though because I was already invested.

Overall, I will definitely be picking up the sequel.This is not a hardcore sc-fi novel but it has a good mix of sci-fi and teenage angst.The plot is interesting and the ending is satisfying.Definitely pick it up if you're looking for a new book.

My Rating:
4.5/5

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Movie News: Mockingjay,Captain America 3, JK Rowling & more.


So if you like my facebook page, you must have seen that I've been sharing Mockingjay part 1 stills and trailers.(It's so easy to share there) I decided it's time to post it on the blog as well. There was new teaser posted yesterday as well. So without further ado here's the new teaser:


The best part of this teaser is that it features the Lorde song that I am ADDICTED to .


In case you missed the first full trailer. Here it is:


My Take:
Catching Fire was amazing and I've been dying to see the next one. But so far not too impressed by the trailers apart from Jennifer (God, she can act!) . I kind of hated Mockingjay the book so I guess I should adjust my expectations. I'm in love with the soundtrack (well more like the song) they've released. Cannot wait to hear more. If you haven't check out the Catching Fire soundtrack, it's amazing!

Now onto the J.K. Rowling film front. The internet has exploded with the news that there's going to be a Harry Potter spin-off trilogy. I think the whole Harry Potter spin-off angle is a LITTLE misleading. It's set in the same universe but it's based on Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I went from 


because I thought it was a HARRY potter spin off, to 
when I saw it was a IN THE SAME universe story. 

I'm sorry but the Harry Potter spin-off tag is a little misleading.

"The trilogy of films will be based on author J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Harry Potter film director David Yates will likewise helm these new pictures. Rowling will pen the scripts for the films, based on her own stories. No word on casting or whether we can expect appearances by any Potter alums. The films will release in 2016, 2018, and 2020."-Forbes.com

I got a little bit more into the idea after I read this article which points out that this story takes place much before the Harry Potter series and that means DUMBLEDORE IS ALIVE!! If you put Dumbledore in the movie Rowling and you can just take my money!


I also have ridiculously exciting Captain America 3 news. 


At first I thought it was just fanfiction but further investigation shows that there's a HUGE possibility that Robert Downey Jr. is going to be in A CAPTAIN AMERICA movie as the antagonist. 
"Robert Downey Jr. is on the verge of signing on to “Captain America 3,” with Tony Stark’s Iron Man set to play a key role in bringing the Civil War storyline from Marvel’s comicbooks to the bigscreen and trigger the start of a new phase of movies from Marvel Studios.
The actor is in final negotiations to play the billionaire in the yet-to-be-titled third installment, that is slated to begin production in the Spring for a May 6, 2016, release, according to sources close to the discussions. Downey suits up as the superhero in next summer’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” as part of a previous deal that also calls for him to reprise the role in “The Avengers 3.”- Variety.com
I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN!! I'm a huge RDJ fan and him and Steve were awesome in the Avengers!
Mortal Instruments news: Mortal Instruments is being made into a TV series. 
"“It actually makes sense to do (the novels) as a TV series,” Constantin film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz told THR. “There was so much from the book that we had to leave out of the Mortal Instruments film. In the series we'll be able to go deeper and explore this world in greater detail and depth.” The Mortal Instruments series is part of a broader strategic shift at Constantin that will see the German-based company move into English-language television series. Moszkowicz said Constantin is looking at possible television adaptations of several of its English-language movie properties, including period serial killer drama Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and the Resident Evil sci-fi horror franchise."-Hollywoodreporter.com
Also I'm so excited for the Gone Girl Movie! I want to watch it so BADLY!!! 
If you've seen it already.. WHAT DID YOU THINK?? 
THOUGHTS? COMMENTS? SPECULATIONS? All are welcome! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Death Sworn

Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1)

 When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.



Source: Edelweiss( Thanks HarperCollins!)

My Thoughts:
This review has been sitting there in my draft pile for a very long time. I have a hard time writing reviews for books that I find unremarkable for no good reason,and this is one of those books.

The premise of this book really drew me in. A cave in which only assassin's live in which a magician who has lost her magic is forced to go.Sounds pretty interesting and full of win,right? Unfortunately I wasn't impressed.There's nothing particularly wrong with this book but it was hard for me to finish it.

I think my main problem with this book was that most of it was cliched and I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters.I liked the main character Ileni because she was so strong and smart but I didn't care about her enough to want to read about how her life was sad and full of so many problems.I wasn't impressed with the male 'hero' of the story as well. Sorin seemed to like Ileni for some reasons that are still not very clear to me.(It might have something to do with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of hers)

The saving grace of the novel is the assassins and their world.I really enjoyed the boss of the assassin world(my words not the authors) and the whole world building and society structure.The murder mystery made me a little curious but I wasn't dying to figure it out.This story had so much potential. I think my expectations were too high.

Overall, If you're really interested in reading about assassins I guess you could give this book a shot but I think I would just enjoy reading Poison Study again instead.At first, I was thinking of giving it a higher rating but I didn't love it and I'm not even that interested in reading the sequel, so ...

My Rating:
2.5/5 

Unremarkable

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: The Swap

The Swap

“YOU BE ME...AND I'LL BE YOU.”

ELLIE spent the summer before seventh grade getting dropped by her best friend since forever. JACK spent it training in “The Cage” with his tough-as-nails brothers and hard-to-please dad. By the time middle school starts, they’re both ready for a change. And just as Jack’s thinking girls have it so easy, Ellie’s wishing she could be anyone but herself.

Then, BAM! They swap lives—and bodies!

Now Jack’s fending off mean girls at sleepover parties while Ellie’s reigning as the Prince of Thatcher Middle School. As their crazy weekend races on—and their feelings for each other grow—Ellie and Jack begin to realize that maybe the best way to learn how to be yourself is to spend a little time being someone else.
Source: Edelweiss (Thanks HarperCollins!)
My Thoughts:
It's been a long time since I've read middle school fiction. I was afraid that I had outgrown it and it wouldn't hold my attention.This book proved me wrong. This is such a nice and sweet novel that I wouldn't mind re-reading it.

When I first read the synopsis it reminded me of the movie Freaky Friday . I really enjoyed that movie and if you did as well, I think you might like this book. Ellie and Jack are different, not just their gender but their personalities as well. It was such fun reading about how each of them dealt with the other's life. The issues of the characters might seem petty at times but I was having too much fun reading about the circumstances each managed to land themselves in.

I loved the fact that family doesn't suddenly disappear in the novel. Family is very important in this novel and it was nice to finally read a novel in which the parents didn't conveniently disappear.

The ending was unexpected but I liked it. I liked it a lot. 

Overall, this was a feel good novel that was really funny in parts and I love these kinds of novels.

My Rating:


Toss up between 3.5 and 4!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Cracked

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

Source: Borrowed 

My Thoughts:

I've been meaning to write this review for a long time, my only excuse is I was busy but I hear the sequel is already out so I thought I might as well write it now.

I would like to start off with the fact that the cover is a LITTLE misleading. It gives off depressing vibes and is dark but the book is actually quite funny (the main character is very sarcastic).So don't judge the book by it's cover , this is not a creepy and scary book.

I loved the main character,Meda . She's so snarky and sarcastic that I wish she was a real person and I could be friends with her.She keeps making such amazing pop culture references and I would read the sequel just to get inside her mind again.

The secondary characters are fleshed out very well. Chi,Uri and Jo are characters that balance out Meda in a very nice way. Chi is like an adorable idiot that grows on you and the dynamic between Jo and Meda is something I loved.

One of the things I loved about this novel is that there is no love triangle or even an annoying forced love angle. The focus is on Meda's inner turmoil and the story is not cluttered with romantic cliches.

The story is interesting but nothing too out of the ordinary.The thing that makes this story stand out from other paranormal YA is the interesting and different main character. I think the hero of the story is the heroine and I would reread this book just for her. If the main character doesn't fascinate you, you might find the story to be a bit slow.

My Rating:

4/5


Read it for the Meda!



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