Favourite Graphic Novels/Comics

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This weekly meme was created by The Broke and Bookish and I decided to join cause I feel that memes keep my memory of books fresh and alive. If you want to find out more about this meme, you can find it here.

January 31: All about the visuals: Top Three Favourite Graphic Novels/Comics or Three Comics on My TBR or Top Three Favourite Picture Books

1. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This was my first graphic novel and I absolutely loved it. The art is cute, and Nimona is such a quirky random character. The story is engaging and so exciting, it got me hook till the end. I high recommend it as well as her Lumberjanes series!

2. Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda

This is a steampunk dark fantasy series set in an alternate world in 1900’s Asia. The art is absolutely gorgeous, my favourite as of today, and the story is so immersive. I love the main character Maika, she’s such a strong character, and Kippa who is the cutest! The conflict between the societies is quite intriguing and keeps you engaged throughout the story. I recommend this to everyone, it’s not cute at all, expect blood.

3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

This series definitely deserves the hype. There is war, assassinations, romance, cute moments, intrigue and a lot of great world-building. I love that we get to know more than a couple of characters, although there is definitely a protagonist in the story. It’s a Romeo & Juliet kind of story but with a lot of more conflict and they don’t die but have a child, who’s the protagonist and narrator.

Gilded Cage

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Read on: 22/01/2017

Rating: ★★★★ 3.7/5

Release date: 26/01/2017 (UK)

Publisher: Pan Macmillian

*I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

“There’s no magic more powerful than the human spirit”

Set in an alternate modern world, some people possess powers, Skill, and some don’t. Whereas in most parts of the world that doesn’t matter, in the United Kingdom those who have power rule, those who don’t have to give ten years of their lives to slavery. Common folk are given the option of either applying to work those ten years in slavetowns or at Equal’s, those with Skill, estates.

Abi tried to get her whole family to work at an estate instead of a slavetown, as the rumours said those in such towns lead ten brutal years void of joy. Although Abi managed to get most of the family accepted at the Jardine’s, the founding family of the system in UK, estate, her brother was placed in Millmoor, a slavetown near Manchester, where the family was from. But a revolution was brewing long before Luke’s arrival at Millmoor. With his family way, Luke feels lonely and his hope to rejoin his family ebbs away with time, so when he gets a proposition to join a rebellious group in Millmoor, Luke accepts. At the Jardine’s estate, Abi finds herself falling in love for one of the sons of the most powerful Equal in UK while she slowly uncovers some of the family’s secrets, which changes her perception of the Equals.

Although set in modern England, it didn’t feel like it until very far into the book. There was never any mention of phones, computers, internet, or any other technology which define our generation and time. The only mentions that could tell you it is set in modern England is the existence of cars, television and technology to read chips and ID electronic cards.

However, the two things that bothered me the most were the ridiculous amount of characters that the reader had to remember right in the first book and the ridiculous names of the Equals. Instead of overwhelming the readers with so many characters it would have made more sense to make us care more about the two main characters, which I don’t think it was well achieved. And if the idea to give the Equals names which sounded posh or rare, stick to the ones given to royalty nowadays, like Charles and Henry, they already carry a certain connotation which would get your idea across without resorting to names like Silyen and Meilyr. Most names sounded out of a high fantasy book set in a whole different world, which is not a good thing in my opinion.

The idea is definitely great and it does have a lot of potential to have a great sequel. The first book had a lot of political intrigue and, although most of the plot twists were quite predictable (I had figured them all out long before they had happened), there are some very complex handful of characters which I thought was refreshing. I particularly liked Silyen, Meilyr and Luke. I liked Bouda but only because she struck me as a very strong female character that knows what she wants.

Although it can be improved, I think Gilded Cage is a great start for an intriguing story with a lot of political conflict and revolutions. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Favourite Underrated Books

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January 25th: Favourite Underrated Books

Give some love to those books that aren’t as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love.

1. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I’ve only read this book by Holly Black so far but I loved it so much, yet I don’t hear it being mentioned enough times. The plot is intriguing, it’s a great adventure for someone who wants to read fantasy but doesn’t have the time to pick up a new series.

2. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Like The Darkest Part of the Forest, this one is perfect for fantasy and fairytales lovers who are looking for standalones to read. It seems to get mixed reviews by the readers but it is one of the best, in my opinion.

3. First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

This trilogy broke my heart, it is so good! I wish more people read it because it’s one of the most interesting New Adult contemporaries I’ve read.

4. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

One of the best YA contemporaries I came across and it baffles me that there are not enough people reading it. It’s a little mermaid retelling guys!!! I highly recommend it!

5. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

This one, like Uprooted, gets a lot of mixed reviews. Personally, I loved it and I thought it was a refreshing take on Beauty and the Beast. Again, a standalone so you don’t have to wait for sequels.

Favourite Romantic Pairings

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This weekly meme was created by The Broke and Bookish and I decided to join cause I feel that memes keep my memory of books fresh and alive. If you want to find out more about this meme, you can find it here.

January 24:  FREEBIE — that super specific list you want to make?? All yours to tackle this week!

Since it’s a freebie week I decided to do something I don’t think will show up in any future memes (it has probably been done already).

1. Draco and Hermione (Harry Potter)

This is the one pairing I don’t mind reading fanfiction about. The one pairing which I will ship forever (it was one of my first pairings). I see them in so many books, I actively look for books which might have characters similar to Draco and Hermione so I can ship them. This is how much I ship these two. No regrets.

2. Cress and Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles)

Much like in Tangled, one must simply ship them. The quirkiness and cuteness of these two is precious and I simply can’t get enough of them.

3. Jesper and Wylan (Six of Crows)

These two make me smile so much that their scenes were always my favourite in the books. Much like Cress and Thorne, these two are precious and I’ll always fight for them.

Honorable mentions:

Simon and Baz (Carry On), Kestrel and Aryn (The Winner’s Kiss), Cleo and Magnus (Falling Kingdoms), Chaol and Celaena (Throne of Glass), Khalid and Shahrzad (The Wrath and the Dawn), Laurent and Damen (Captive Prince), Tristan and Cécile (The Malediction Trilogy) and Adelina and Teren (The Young Elites)

Mer

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Author: Joelle Sellner

Read on: 23/01/2017

Rating: ★★★ 3.4/5

Release date: 19/04/2017

Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors

*I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Mer come to land to find a mate. They can choose to stay and become more human or go back, either alone because their mate is Mer too or because their human mate chose to go with them to Atlantis and become a Mer themselves.

Aryn’s mother died recently. Her father only kept a few of her belongings before they moved to Connecticut where Aryn and her sister got a scholarship at a very exclusive school there. While going through her mother’s belongings, Aryn finds a necklace and decides to wear it. However, on her first day of school, Aryn loses it and accuses the guy whom her only friend takes a fancy on.

Although full of stereotypes and clichés, Mer was quite enjoyable to read and the art was very cute. I like the mythos created and Sellner’s take on mermaids so I’ll definitely follow the series when the second volume is released. The insta-love bothered me a bit but, since it was mostly one sided and I guess the mate thing kind of explains why it was so, I got over it. The last scene gives me hope for the next volume, I can’t wait for it to come out.

Three Dark Crowns

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Read on: 16/01/2017

Rating: ★★★★★ 4.7/5

“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends

Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen”

Every time a queen gives birth, triplets are born. This is Arsinoe, Mirabella and Katherine’s time. They grew up together but were separated after a handful of years to be put under the tutelage of three different families who will train them and help them harness their powers. Naturalist, Elemental and Poisoner, respectively, they will have to fight each other for the crown when they hit sixteen. Only one can survive.

The book starts by introducing their lives separately. First we take a glimpse of Katherine’s, who is abused by Genevieve (sister of the head of the Arron family). She’s a petite girl who can’t seem to make her power come to surface no matter how many times she gets poisoned in order to strengthen her. She’s a nice girl and a people pleaser, afraid of failing the Arron family.

Then we have Arsinoe. A tomboy with a taste for trouble and freedom. Her closest friend is Jules, who is an important character in the book, there are probably more chapters in her POV than Arsinoe’s. Jules is a very strong naturalist who has a mountain lion as a familiar. Arsinoe, on the other hand, can’t seem to find hers no matter how hard she tries, which leads her to start practicing low magic, blood magic.

Mirabella is the strongest of the sisters. Born to be the Queen according to most of the citizens of the Island, Mirabella is a protégé of the Temple and the High Priestess Luca, who, even though ought to refrain from showing any favouritism, publicly supports the Elemental Princess. However, Mirabella starts showing hesitance as her birthday gets nearer, memories of her time with her sisters trouble her and she is afraid of hurting them.

At first I couldn’t choose which sister I preferred, they are all so different, but as I read more and more I reached a point I refused to support Mirabella anymore. I really like Arsinoe all the way through the book and her relationship with Billy, it was probably my favourite ship in the book, definitely the only healthy one! I like Katherine and although I was rooting for her, I preferred Arsinoe, but by the end I loved her because she’s so much stronger now. I really liked Jules and I’m 100% behind her back man, I’m rooting for her, I identify myself with her so much that some of her problems hit close home. I sincerely hope she kicks that cheater’s ass out of the way. And lastly, I love Peityr, even though he is sick!!!!

The one thing that I hated the most in the book was Joseph. He should have died in the shipwreck! He’s a sad excuse for a boyfriend and he should end up alone with no one to comfort him for the rest of his life.

The ending was a very much WTF moment! I was not expecting it even though there were clearly some hints. It was definitely a great ending and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I haven’t been this excited for a sequel since last year!

It seems everyone is split between loving this book or hating it. It was one of my favourite books that was released last year. It is a refreshing book in the fantasy YA genre and I very much look forward to the second book.

Favorite Polarizing Books

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January 18th: Favorite Polarizing Books

These are books that people either tend to love or hate, with no in between. Pick some of your favorites that fall into this category.

1. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

The reviews of my goodread friends are split between ‘love it’ and ‘hate it. Personally, I loved it and I have liked every Hodge story so far. I have yet to read her last novel, but I plan on doing it soon.

2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Like Cruel Beauty, everyone seems to either love it or hate it.

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Much like the previous ones, my goodreads friends seem to be split. A lot of people thought it was predictable and cliché, some thought it was boring. I loved it.

4. The Heir by Kiera Cass

At the time I thought I’d hate it because I felt it was unnecessary. However, I was wrong. I quite enjoyed the spin-off and, in my opinion, it is better than the original series. I do know a lot of people disliked it so I thought it deserved to be on the list.

5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Everyone seemed to dislike the last instalment of The Hunger Games and, to be honest, it was my favourite one. I cried for hours after I was done reading it and I remember it like it was yesterday.