Breezy’s Bookish Week (7) Mega book haul!

Hi guys! 

Busy week! I got SO MANY books! Plus, I joined the library.

I’ve been feeling a little down in blogging this week, but I’m trying to slap myself out of it. Even though my views were better than ever, I’ve recently realised I don’t get all that many comments. This hasn’t really bothered me, but it is now for some reason. It creates doubts. Makes me rethink my content and constantly second guess it. But this is perking me up, because I realise I’ve had an AWESOME bookish week. 

The most exciting news? I finally received review books from publishers! 😀 😀

Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Bloomsbury, I have two pretty review books: Rebel by Amy Tintera and Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

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I was so excited I started reading them right away! I’ve finished Rebel and I’m now on to Take Back the Skies.

More news: I received REV GIRL by self-published author Leigh Hutton to review this week

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Look at this bad boy. Obsessed with that cover! 

Plus two Netgalley’s:

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

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and Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington.

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ON TOP of this I have a library haul, a haul from the book exchange, plus three books I ordered from TBD.

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The books above are from the local book exchange. I’ve already read Where She Went, but I didn’t own it. Now I do! 😀 Graceling was only $1.50 and Daughter of Smoke and Bone was about $8. In all, I’m very happy with what I got.

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From TBD – I got Panic! I can’t wait to read this book. I just ADORE Lauren Oliver! I also got Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas/

I also got four books from the library, but I don’t know If I’m going to get to them before I have to return them. I didn’t realise how many books I would be getting this week!

I’ve also had a decent reading week, finishing off three books and getting halfway through a fourth.

What I’ve read:

fangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Another book I didn’t love as much as everyone else

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In Starlight by February Grace
I received this book free for review. 

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Rebel by Amy Tintera
A very satisfying end for Wren and Callum

Posted this week:

Monday: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder review!

Thursday: If I Were a Fictional Character, I would be Hazel Grace’s Dad!

Saturday: Sci-fi goes wrong. DNF review of Glow By Amy Ryan Kathleen.

 

Awesome posts from other bloggers!

Review of The Year of the Rat by Kate @ Fictional Thoughts – I really need to get my hands on this book!

Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews posts her thoughts on Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu – and this one

Kelly @ the Pretty Little Reader discusses unfollowing blogs. 

Who Cait @ The Notebook Sister’s would like to have on her Hunger Game team!

Laura @ Laura Plus Books lists five reasons for NOT reading 

Jenn @ Tygna’s Reviews talks about balancing life, work and blogging

YA Midnight Reads discuses girl hates girl in books

Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner talks about the pressure when borrowing books! 

Asti @ Oh, The Books! talks about the non-existent “right” rating or “perfect” book.

I had trouble finding stuff I was interested in this week, which is why it’s a little smaller than usual. There won’t be a wrap-up next week – or much action on the blog, at all, because I’ll be in Sydney! I’m doing a training course for my GAPbreak Asia trip, and will be gone from Friday to the following Monday.

I’ve had a couple of questions about my up-coming volunteer trip. So for those interested, I’ll post a page up soon with more info. (:

In the meantime, keep breathing and reading! ❤

 

Simply Sunday – oh, childhood. Take me back!

Simply SundaySimply Sunday is a meme held by Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. This is a space where we can share our favourite quotes from wherever we find them! 

Again, my quote this week is from Before I Fall, By Lauren Oliver. I just, love the book, okay? I’ve got about 100 quotes from this book stashed in a word document.

Leave me and my obsession be. And go read the book – so you can share your favourite quotes from it with me!

This week, my simple thing is

“It’s funny, isn’t it? When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could go back to being a kid.”

― Lauren OliverBefore I Fall

I chose this quote because there is nothing more I wasn’t to be right now than a kid again. All my life, I remember just wanted to be an adult – to be able to do just about whatever I want. When I want. How I want. Now that I’m 18, however, all these bloody responsibilities are stressing me out, and I don’t even live on my own yet. I have no idea how I’m going to cope with paying bills and stuff.

Just please, child hood. Take me back.

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Does anyone else wish to be a wee one again? To be rid of responsibilities for awhile? Anyone as Lauren obsessed as me and wanna chat? 

Guest Author: Natalie’s Top Ten Fictional Heroines!

So here’s Natalie’s top ten fictional heroines! I have to admit, I’ve only read one of these books, and I totally agree with the heroine choice. I’ve also watched one, recognise another 3 and have never heard of the other 5. I’ll take those as recommendations! I mean, if you love the characters, chances are you adore the book. Thank you to Natalie for taking the time to share your favourites today! 

Alanna – (Tortall Series)

Alanna was my first heroine.

Well, technically she might not have been…but she is the first name that comes to mind when I cast my mind back. I was a tom boy when I was a kid, and I was a tom boy that liked to read books that were typically considered ‘boys books’, at least they were back then. I wanted knights in armour, I wanted epic battles, I wanted different worlds full of history.

Alanna was everything I needed. She wanted the same things as me but, and this was the most important thing even if I didn’t know it at the time, she was still a girl. She had to deal with that as she grew up and it was a joy to see her grow. Honestly, I still re-read The Song of the Lioness Quartet frequently because I will never get enough of Alanna, Lady Knight – the lioness rampant.

Hermione – (Harry Potter)

Hermione was a badass like Alanna, but in a completely different way. But her character is no less important as a heroine, in my opinion.

Here we have a girl that sticks to the rules (apart from when the smart thing is to break the rules, of course), she works hard because she wants good grades, she doesn’t feel the need to change herself when people don’t understand her, she is technically disadvantaged (muggle born with no experience of the magical world) but she still excels, AND she doesn’t spend ANY of the seven books obsessing over boys.

What more can I say about Hermione Granger? She is just a spectacular character and an incredible role model for young readers. Everybody should want to be like Hermione Granger!

(The voice of reason is a hero, love it! Hermione – you rock)

Lyra – (His Dark Materials)

I wanted to BE Lyra when I was younger.

You know how sometimes you see a person, in real life or ontv or film…wherever! You see them and you fall a little bit in love with them because of how amazing they are. You admire them from afar and if you are lucky enough to be their friend you feel incredibly blessed, because they are just the best person?

(Ah! I understand! I feel this way all the time.)

This is how I felt about Lyra. I wanted to be her best friend. She was wild, she was ferocious but her precociousness delighted me. She was so brave, and so strong that I wished I could be like her. She grows up throughout the series but I always felt really connected to her character. So much so that I sobbed for days at the end of the last book.

Ooh, tough 😦 

Mara of the Acoma – (Empire Trilogy)

Reading these books, you watch Mara grow from a young girl to a woman. You watch her overcome so much adversity, I cannot even describe. Honestly, every time you think it will be too much, she rises back up again.

The best thing about Mara is how real she is. These books are never easy on her. She has to overcome her own lack of knowledge. She has to overcome old enemies, and new. She has to overcome her own heart. Why? Because she mustprotect her people. And she does. She does.

Her strength is not physical. Her strength is of the spirit and the mind. She outwits her foes. She dares to do what others would not. She sacrifices so much for her people and her family.

I love her so, so much.

Cinder – (Lunar Chronicles)

Cinder is a recent addition to my loved heroines list but I ADORE her.

What is so great about Cinder is how normal she is. I realise that might sound ridiculous, seeing as how she’s a freakingcyborg, amongst all the other stuff. But she is just so chilled out, you know? She’s got a great sense of humour and a good heart. When she gets a crush on a boy, it’s cute without falling into drama and hysterics. She puts up with her stepmother until it all goes too far and then she REACTS.

There is nothing passive about Cinder. She might be your average girl (cough) but she knows she’s smart. She knows she can look after herself even though she is only sixteen, so she will damn well do it. And this is just in book one!

Her growth as the series has gone on has been just as delightful. She is still Cinder and she certainly has moments where she doubts herself, but she will keep plugging away because she’s a good person that wants to help.

(I NEED to read this book already)

Scarlet – (Lunar Chronicles)

Yep, two ultimate faves in one book series. (I love you, Lunar Chronicles).

Scarlet X shotgun is my ultimate OTP.

Really though, right from the start of Scarlet I knew I loved this lady. Her attitude and her short fuse was perfectly balanced by the fact that she was clearly shown to have a compassionate heart. The fact that she was stomping around in a red hoodie with a gun in the back of her jeans just made my immediate love all that more intense.

Like Cinder, Scarlet is not passive. She does what she wants, goes where she wants, and trusts her instincts. That doesn’t mean that her instincts are always right, but I don’t need my heroine to get things right all the time. I just need them to have agency, and Scarlet certainly has that.

She also has a SHOTGUN.

(Okay, I DOUBLY need to read these books already)

Bitterblue – (Graceling series)

I feel like loving Katsa is probably more common than lovingBitterblue, but I just really connected with this young queen. We don’t have similar life experiences, obviously, so it wasn’t a connection due to that. I think it was because Cashore made it so clear, through her writing, how oppressive the palace was for Bitterblue. So in those moments, I felt for her, and when she got out to freedom, I felt her relief.

The book was also incredibly frustrating in a good way, so when Bitterblue was frustrated I emphasised and understood her confusion.

Bitterblue was also unique in that she feels like she isn’t that great at anything. Her whole crisis is one of wondering – what is she good for? She’s not particularly tough. She’s not incredibly smart. She’s just ordinary, yet she’s the queen. This made her easy to relate too, and by the time she starts figuring things out, she is also figuring herself out.

I found Bitterblue to be incredibly refreshing and unique and I feel proud fuzzy feelings when I think of her.

Sophie – (Howl’s Moving Castle) 

If Bitterblue is unique, then Sophie is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyunique.

(I love this move! I mean, uh, yeah, book! *shame face*)

How many books have you read where the young heroine becomes a grumpy old woman?

Sophie is hillarious. Honestly, she made me laugh so hard throughout the book. Her unique perspective, due to the sudden aging, means her outlook is different to what I would normally read. This means that she treats the other characters differently to how other heroines would. Watching her boss around/ignore/berate Howl, whose charms might have worked on her immediately under normal circumstances, was a true delight.

And of course, her whole character arc is delivered impeccably. Only as an old woman does Sophie learnt o appreciate herself and understand her worth. She’s a true treasure, old and young.

Celaena – (Throne of Glass)

You know, technically I can see the issues with Celaena’scharacterisation as Adarlan’s Assassin. I see the issues in her behaviour and how it doesn’t all add up…and I’ve decided to stop caring. These books are just so much fun, and Celaena is the heart of all that.

Crown of Midnight was the book that really made me fall in love with her. The quality in general was much higher. But we also got to see her actually showcase some of her assassin like ways! We got to learn more about her history and the pain of her past.

And then we got to see her sink into a truly dark place and I was so happy about it. You get the full range of Celaena inCrown of Midnight and I cannot wait to continue her adventures. I am DYING for the *reunion* scene between Celaena and Arobynn. DYING FOR IT. GET HIM GIRL. GET HIM.

I still struggle to spell her name though…

Queenie – (Code Name Verity)

Have you read this book? No? THEN GO AND READ THIS BOOK. (YES SIR!)

Right from the start, Queenie’s voice was incredibly entertaining to read. She managed to come across quite chipper despite her dire circumstances. I mean, being a POW was obviously a nightmare, but her wit and charm still seeped through the page (well, the Kindle screen) in a completely authentic way.

Then, just past the halfway mark, this book turns and destroys all of your emotions. Queenie becomes everything I want from a heroine. Her courage is beyond anything you can imagine. Her love and loyalty brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Her fear makes her so real. But she stays strong.

I just…

‘KISS ME HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!’

*sobs*

 What do you think of Natalie’s heroine choices? 

Cover Reveal

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A Strange Kind of Familiar

By

Hannah Harvey

 

Release Date: March 1st 2014

Synopsis

 Phia’s summer gets turned upside down when her sister Lucy arrives home from college and declares that she no longer wants to be a lawyer, and instead has decided to become an actress. While trying to figure out what’s gotten into her sister, Phia is repeatedly thrown into the path of Lucy’s best friend Daniel, who’s also back in town after his first year at college.

As Lucy begins to draw away from her family and Daniel in the pursuit of her newly acquired acting dream, it leaves Phia and Daniel spending a lot of time together. As they begin to get to know each other, they discover that they have a lot in common, especially their love of music.

About the author

 Hannah Harvey is a twenty two year old author of young adult fiction. She’s self published two previous books, ‘How I Got Here’ and ‘After Summer’ both of which are available on the Kindle marketplace.

She runs her own blog where she reviews all the books she reads, talks about her writing and does other book related things.

When not working on her writing, Hannah is an avid reader.

Links

Website: www.the-book-tower.blogspot.co.uk

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/bookish92

UPDATE!

Just letting everyone know that my computer is back up and running! So even though I’ve been enjoying my free reading time, I have no excuses now not to come back with lots of reviews and post content. Especially since my internet is still not working. -___-

So, this week I’ve basically been reading Game of Thrones, a Song of Fire and Ice. I’ve been managing to get through just over 100 pages a day and I’m nearly done!

Also, I got my e-reader working again, too! Thanks the gods, because I am in no way able to afford another one right now.

On the plus side, I also received a huge package of books a store called “Basement Books” based in Sydney. The books are cheap ’cause they have black marks on them (no reason not to read a book, I say), and I got a couple of double ups, (which they told me I could keep). Should I do a giveaway or just share them out? Tell me in the comments! Life is so weird without blogging. I actually really miss the community I found out here. 😦

I only have a short while of internet right now, so after I get to some important stuff I’m going to try and get some posts I promised ready to go – whether I’ll be able to post them on the day is another thing.

Be back soon!

Sorry Guys, Technology Hates Me

So it looks like I’m going on an unexpected blogging break! Wanna know why?

1. My internet thingy decided that the charges I had were no longer suitable to provide it with energy. So no internet at home for Breezy for a while.

2. The power lead the charges my computer lead decided to break and leave me with a dead computer and no other suitable Toshiba power leads in the house. So, as well as no internet, I have no laptop.

3. My eReader (the 2nd this month) decided to freeze

again. I’ve just about had it with Kobo. I’m not sure if I can get another free replacement,  so I might have to get a cheapy – my old Sony was reliable until it mysteriously disappeared,  so I might look for another one of those.

Soo, without any internet my access to my blog will be limited.  Without my computer my ability to create decent posts is hindered, and without my eReader all those to-review books are going to have to wait.

Deepest apologies to those awaiting posts from me, to the books I needed to read and review this week to the cover reveal I might not get to. I’m hoping to have everything back up and working in a week, but there’s no garuntees.

Until then, what do you guys suggest I do on my unplanned break? I did just get a whole stack of books yesterday – all ones published a couple of years ago that I would like to review – should I get stuck into them even though I can’t write a review just yet?  Or should I kick back, relax, watch some Grimm, tackle those Game of Thrones brick sized books and do some needed re-reading?

Please comment! I would love to jump back on and see the love even when I can’t post.

See you guys soon! (Hopefully) :p

Showcasing: Muse Unexpected (Giveaway)

Muse Unexpected

Muse Unexpected has such an interesting premise! Definitely something I have to add to Goodreads. See giveaway below! 

We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.” Sophie was sure her mother had reached an epic level of crazy. ‘We’re Muses?’ She thought Muses were lame, not to mention she found the idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation that made Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries look like a bad Walmart make-over, not to mention why her mood swings triggered an uncontrollable ability to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.

Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have evolved into powerful guardians of humankind, tasked with keeping mortals on the right path and the original Olympians locked away from the world. But old hatreds don’t die easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. Well aware of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war, and a young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie or destroy her. Either way, they will make sure everyone associated with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a future of never-ending servitude and misery.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Praise for Muse Unexpected

“Ripe with conflict, skin-crawling creepy that is sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor and a plot fraught with horrific danger in every step taken by Sophie, this book should be on the top of everyone’s must read list. Simply put, I loved it and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.” ~Olive (Amazon Review)

“I remember learning about mythology & Greek gods in elementary school….boring! Well, this fantastic book takes everything you thought about gods/mythology and turns it on it’s ear, sort of like “Wicked” did to the “Wizard of OZ”. At times funny at times gruesome and scary, this story definitely kept my interest. I loved the way the writer made the gods “human”. I also liked the subtle, blink and you’ll miss them hints sprinkled throughout the story. Don’t let the young adult genre scare you away. This is an engaging story that can be enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!” ~Paula (Amazon Review)

Muse tour

Tour Schedule

Author V.C. Birlidis

V.C. Birlidis was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has always been involved in the arts. He attended the New World School of the Arts and was a member of The Miami Ballet.

Mr. Birlidis moved to Ohio to attend college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Capital University. He currently is the Director of Marketing at one of the top midwest advertising agencies, SBC Advertising. He has freelanced as a writer for Outlook News and Tickled Pink Magazine, where he wrote a comical advice column named Ask V.

Five years in the making and inspired by the numerous Greek myths his father would utilize as demented bed time stories, Muse, Unexpected is Mr. Birlidis’ first novel. It is the first book in his Muse series.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/7/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Simple Sunday! (#5)

Simply Sunday

Simple Sunday is a meme hosted by Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. On Sunday, we share a quote from a book, poem, movie, song or anything else!

This week, my simple thing is:

“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”

Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

There’s no special reason for this quote or meaning – I just like it. I love the subtle hint of disobedience and snark behind it, and it’s irony. It just makes me smile a little bit, because I think it sums up Ella very well. And I just love Ella and Carson’s creative, poetic way of writing!

What do you think of my Simple Sunday? Do you like Carson’s writing? Comment! 😀

New Feature: Author’s Spoltlight

In recognition that not all authors want to give away a free book for review, I have decided to put a new feature where Authors are given the chance to showcase a book or series on the blog for a week.

Similar to a guest post, author’s get the chance to spotlight one of their books and post something to feature on the Monday for a week. This could be an interview, a character post, book description plus buy links, links to good reviews, author bio, giveaway, book trailer… anything!

This feature includes a spot on the sidebar for one week, plus social networking coverage of Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin’ .

This service is free. I only ask that the book is suitable for a YA audience.

Authors can find more information on the “Author Spotlight” page in the menu.   

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Published: 10th December, 2013

Genre: YA, Sci-fi/romance

My rating: 4 thumbs up! 

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4 thumbs up“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.”

My thoughts

I came into These Broken Stars with huge expectations. Great reviews, a killer synopsis, my favourite genre mix and an amazing cover hinted at something I would love. Thankfully, it hit my expectations and more. It had some elements I was not expecting, but loved, had an amazing build, plot and executed the multiple narrative with excellence. The only issues I had were pace and a little connection problem with the characters.

To be honest, my favourite aspect of These Broken Stars is the buildup. It takes a long, loonnggg time for Tarver and Lilac to act upon their feelings. Which is good! It’s great to see something non-insta, real, and built up until I cannot stand it anymore.

Character development was also performed to a level I was not expecting. Lilacs odd mixture of strength, determination, vulnerability, stubbornness and her battle of selfish/selflessness is dug up, explored and annihilated throughout the course of the book. Tarver doesn’t go through a massive change – more so overcomes some personal issues that were keeping him from Lilac, though he is still thoroughly explored and detailed.

Despite this development and character dynamic, I had a hard time connecting to Lilac and Tarver. It might just be a personal thing only I’ve had a problem with, so don’t let this comment be your deciding vote of read or no-to-read. For some odd reason I cannot justify, I didn’t love and connect to them.

A negative I have with These Broken Stars is that the first half was slow. Once the ship coined the “galactic titanic” crashes, the plot stalls and is hard to get back in to. Plus, some weird things happen that made me feel like I was reading a bad horror/supernatural story, but that soon explains itself.

Actually, I loved how everything is released slowly. No person jumps in with all the answers (how often have we seen that? Countless). We are kept mostly in the dark until the very end. After that slow beginning, the last 10 chapters really had me on an emotional roller coaster. The story picked up, as with the plot which you could not see in the first half. And in come the surprising elements that I loved (which I can’t mention, spoiler much!).

So, the beginning of the novel could have picked up a bit, and I wasn’t in love with the characters – but I still loved These Broken Stars, which must mean the other parts were pretty phenomenal. I recommend this book to any sci-fi lover, to any romance lover, and to every other person who reads young adult novels. These Broken Stars is a must!