Review | Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

PassengerTitle: Passenger (Passenger #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher:
 Hyperion
Genre:
 YA, Fantasy
Pages: 486 (Hardcover)
Rating:
 3.75/5

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.


“She wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life – that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment.”

Going into this book, I was a little weary. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book, but I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would like, just based on the description. While I wasn’t blow away by this book, it did certainly have some great parts. 

I loved the diversity in this book. One of the main characters, Nicholas, was the son of a slave of the Ironwood family. As a result, Nicholas is constantly being faced with discrimination due to the colour of his skin. Since this book is mainly set during the 18th-early 20th centuries, there were some pretty harsh comments and realities that he had to deal with. 

Similarly, Etta, being from the present day, was stunned by how she and other women were treated in the various eras she visited. The way she reacted to certain situations was really admirable. I think the character Sophia was also dealing with the misogyny of the era in a rather interesting way. It was great when these two girls would talk about the different years in which they lived, and it was nice to see Sophia fight back in her various ways, even if they were a little intense sometimes.

A big drawback for me was the pacing of the book. The start was very slow, though it did have a sense of building up to something. That something just took a little while to show itself. Even when things got going, the action would happen in sporadic bursts, and things were rather slow in between. Don’t get me wrong, the action that did happen was really exciting and engaging, and those bits definitely made the book worth reading.

There were a few things about the storyline that didn’t quite add up with me, though. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that I mainly had issue with some of the reveals about Etta’s mother towards the end of the book. 

In terms of the romance between Etta and Nicholas, I wasn’t really a fan of it. I mean, it was pretty insta-lovey, so that alone is a bit of a let down for me. I think they would have been great as just friends. I mean, the way their romance developed didn’t feel very natural, and it just seemed like the sort of relationship that would begin with an awkward romance, then just fizzle out to just being friends. That’s what I would’ve loved to see, anyway.

Overall, I loved how complex and thought-out this book was; there were a lot of fascinating historical nuggets in there, as well as a very intricate time-travelling system. But while I wasn’t amazed by the book as a whole, it’s still a really fun read with quite an exciting ending, and I’ll definitely be checking out the second book when it’s released.

Amazon

Book Depository

WWW Wednesday #15

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

To join in, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading…

All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I haven’t started this yet, but I will be very soon. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, so I can’t wait to get into it!

Blurb:
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Recently Finished…

UnboundUnbound by Neal Shusterman

I’ll really enjoyed being back in the Unwind world. It was great to find out a few more things that took place prior to the events of the series. There were also a couple of stories that were set after the last book, so it was nice to see a bit of continuation from that.

Blurb:
In the
New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology—Unwind, UnWholly, UnSouled, and UnDivided—Neal Shusterman thrilled readers with the story of a society that deals with its out-of-control teens by “unwinding” them—transplanting more than 99% of their bodies into other people.

In the latest installment of this sequence, Shusterman—along with collaborators Terry Black, Michelle Knowlden, Brendan Shusterman, and Jarrod Shusterman—explores even more aspects of a world that has accepted the unacceptable. These short stories examine the world of unwinding in a way we haven’t seen before, providing a fresh framework, new characters, and a different take on some events.

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

I loved this book so much. It was very fast-paced, and it all felt so real and terrifying. The whole story was just so unpredictable, which reflected the volatile situation that was being described. I’m yet to write a full review, but hopefully I’ll get one up soon!

Blurb:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Never Mind My Thigh GapNever Mind My Thigh Gap by Sarah Newton and Bronte Huskinson

I was approached by the assistant of one of the authors to read and review this book. For the most part, this was a good book. It had a great message, but I feel like it wasn’t told in the most effective way.

Blurb:
There are three things everyone notices about Alice. 1. Her super-hot rugby boyfriend. 2. Her sophisticated, totally gorgeous best friend. 3. Her very noticeable 38-inch long legs.

Alice is tall – just under six feet to be exact – but her self-esteem couldn’t be smaller. When her relationship starts wavering, Alice’s perfectly beautiful best friend somehow convinces her to join a modelling completion, “for a confidence boost.” But Alice is just a normal girl; she loves ice cream too much, has an unhealthy addiction to American TV and lusts after the elusive thigh gap. She can’t even walk in heels, let alone in a bikini, but she finds herself joining Runway Models anyway.

The finale is only a few months away.

Will Alice catwalk her way to self-confidence or fail, proving everyone right? People can surprise you.


Reading Next…

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

I absolutely loved the movie version, so I’m pretty sure the book will be great, too. I’m interested to see the different information we get in the book, as there were undoubtedly some things that had to be taken out for the film.

Blurb:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.


Have you read any of these books, and what have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

Review | The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th WaveTitle: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher:
 Penguin Books
Genre:
 YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Pages: 460 (Paperback)
Rating:
 4.5/5

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


This was a really entertaining and fast-paced story. For a sci-fi book, it was remarkably realistic and easy to identify with.

I think all the characters were really well written in this book. The MC, Cassie, was incredibly relatable and authentic. In particular, her reaction to the Crucifix Soldier situation was amazing. Everything about it, from her immediate reaction to her feelings about it afterward, were so perfectly written. Cassie just felt like such a normal person – she was coping (or not) in ways that were so very human. She wasn’t an amazing, alien-fighting super soldier; she was just trying to survive as best as she could.

I’m not sure how I feel about Evan Walker. Since he was introduced, I was rather weary of him, and that unsure and suspicious feeling never really went away. I like him enough, but I’m not convinced that he’s told Cassie everything. And I didn’t really like how the relationship between these two developed so quickly. I can sort of understand it, at least in Cassie’s case – she was pretty desperate for human contact, so I think she just wanted to have a meaningful relationship with someone again.

Other than the slight insta-love between Cassie and Evan, I really enjoyed the relationships in this book. I loved the group dynamic of Squad 53 (i.e. Zombie and co.) in particular. The desperation and determination of these kids was palpable, and that was reflected in how they related to one another. That brings me to my next point: I absolutely adore Zombie/Ben. He is such an incredible character and person. The development we see just in this book is wonderful, so I can’t wait to see what becomes of him in the next books.

As far as the plot goes, I enjoyed that, too. I thought there were a lot of great twists that kept it interesting, and the story developed really well and with excellent pacing. I guess I just wasn’t blow away by it. I can’t really pinpoint anything in particular, but I don’t think there was anything especially amazing or mind-blowing. That is probably the main reason I didn’t give this five stars. There just wasn’t that wow factor. Don’t get me wrong, though, this book is great and I really loved reading it. It just didn’t leave me in shocked awe when I had finished it.

Overall, I definitely really enjoyed this book. It makes you think about how you would react in similar situations. Maybe not in the whole alien-invasion thing, but the smaller moments that take place in the story. I’m looking forward to reading the next couple of books and seeing how these characters and this story progresses and develops.

(As a side note, I saw the movie the day I finished the last couple of chapters of the book. It was really good, both as a movie in and of itself, and in terms of how it was adapted/how similar it is to the book.)

Amazon

Book Depository

WWW Wednesday #14

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

To join in, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading…

UnboundUnbound by Neal Shusterman

Well, technically, I haven’t started this yet, but I definitely will in the next couple of hours. I’m really looking forward to reading more about the world of Unwind.

Blurb:
In the
New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology—Unwind, UnWholly, UnSouled, and UnDivided—Neal Shusterman thrilled readers with the story of a society that deals with its out-of-control teens by “unwinding” them—transplanting more than 99% of their bodies into other people.

In the latest installment of this sequence, Shusterman—along with collaborators Terry Black, Michelle Knowlden, Brendan Shusterman, and Jarrod Shusterman—explores even more aspects of a world that has accepted the unacceptable. These short stories examine the world of unwinding in a way we haven’t seen before, providing a fresh framework, new characters, and a different take on some events.


Recently Finished…

PassengerPassenger by Alexandra Bracken

This was a pretty good book. There were a couple of things I wasn’t really a fan of (that insta-love tho), but it was still an entertaining read. I’ll hopefully have a full review up in the next week or so.

Blurb:
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.


Reading Next…

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

I’m really looking forward to reading this book. It deals with the serious issue of school shootings, so it’ll be interesting to see how this story plays out. It has a lot of mixed ratings on Goodreads, so I hope I still enjoy it.

Blurb:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.


Have you read any of these books, and what have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Review | Five Seven Five by C.E. Wilson

Five Seven FiveTitle: Five Seven Five (The Boy with Words #1)
Author: C.E. Wilson
Release Date: November 18th, 2015
Publisher:
 Self-Published
Genre:
 YA, Fantasy
Pages: 214 (Kindle)
Rating:
 3/5

White Frost has only known the darkness.

Luckier than most, White’s cousin provides her with what seem to many as little more than scraps of paper, but they hold deep secrets. The papers he provides are cryptic collections that hint at a world beyond dusty hallways and candlelight. These words give White hope that she can be one of the great people in her colony. A Chosen One. A member of a group of the strongest people who are allowed to escape the darkness and venture out into the Unknown. At eighteen years old, White is too young to become a Chosen and decides to take her cousin’s advice and wait patiently. But when a tragedy upends her life, White realizes that if she wants to truly understand what the mysterious words on paper mean, she’ll have to go beyond every boundary set by her society – including ones set by her own cousin.
When White finally decides to seek the truth, what she finds is more astonishing than anything her cousin could have prepared her for. Blinding light. Colors beyond black and gray. A world where tears fall from the skies. And an incredible being who may or may not be the Creator of it all.

Everything she’s ever wanted is right in front of her, but this information comes at a price White is not sure she can pay. She has always suspected that her hunger for knowledge is simultaneously her greatest strength and weakness, and now she must ask herself if the answers she sought are worth endangering not only her life, but the lives of everyone she’s ever known.


This was quite an interesting story. There were a few things that didn’t quite make sense, but for the most part, it was a good read.

I really liked how the main character, White, was curious and ambitious regarding the outside world that the Chosen Ones were constantly venturing out into. I loved seeing the world through White’s eyes – it was amazing to see everything described in such exciting and unique ways. Reading the passages where White was seeing and experiencing something brand new to her were definitely the best parts of the book. Wilson’s writing style made these scenes really beautiful.

I wasn’t a fan of Salt, or even Shade for that matter. Both of these male characters seemed to just be really condescending towards White. That, and the fact that neither of them seemed to have much personality, made me not really like them all that much.

I did really like Kaz, though. At times, he did seem a bit overly nice and a little bit too perfect when it came to dealing with White and her people. He did balance Salt out pretty nicely in that regard, I suppose.

I thought the haikus were really nice, but, for some strange reason, I was really bothered by the fact that the pieces of paper should have been massive for White. Like, they should have been nearly half as big as she was. But that’s neither here nor there.

Overall, though, this was an entertaining story and I’m interested to see what happens in the next and final book in the duology.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon

January Book Haul!

This is my first actual book haul post ever! It’s the first time where I’ve gotten a significant number books in one month, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to do a book haul.

Jan Book Haul 2

I got a total of six lovely books this month:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I read this book early last year and absolutely fell in love with it. I’ll definitely be re-reading it at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I’ve heard only amazing things about this book, so I’m dying to read it. I’m hoping to get to it in the next couple of weeks!
  • Throne of Glass #2-4 and The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – I could not find Throne of Glass ANYWHERE. No bookstores had it. I’ve looked in so many stores, but the first book is just never in stock. I’m hoping to get it from Book Depository sometime soon. At least I managed to get all the others!

Jan Book Haul 1

What books do you guys get this month? I’d love to see your book hauls, so feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments!

Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

acotarTitle: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher:
 Bloomsbury
Genre:
 YA/NA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 419 (Paperback)
Rating:
 4/5

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


I was a little nervous about reading this book because I’m not usually a fan of faeries, but I definitely had nothing to worry about. The writing in this book was, in typical SJM style, absolutely gorgeous.

For me, the highlights of this book were the strong, beautiful writing, and the expert world-building. I’m really intrigued by the intricacies of the faerie lands that we were shown just a small section of in this book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’m looking forward to seeing that other court that Feyre will supposedly be spending a bit of time in during the next book…

One of the reasons I didn’t give this book five stars was that the characters felt cliche and familiar. A lot of the time, Feyre seemed a lot like Celaena from Throne of Glass; Lucien seemed very similar to Dorian, too. Don’t get me wrong, the characters were great and had plenty of personality, but they were just a little unoriginal. It also took me awhile to actually like Tamlin – he had the whole pained immortal thing going on, and it reminded me too much of Edward Cullen.

The second half of the book, where Feyre finds out a lot about the High Fae and all the politics and such, was rather interesting. Though I was a little disappointed to find out that it was a ‘chosen one’ situation with Feyre and Tamlin. Also, the trials were a little underwhelming – they were exciting, sure, I just expected more. And don’t even get me started on how easy that riddle was.

As I mentioned earlier, one of my favourite parts of this book was the world-building. SJM is great at building worlds. Everything we needed to know was revealed slowly and deliberately – there was very little info-dumping to be seen. Some of the descriptions of the Spring Court were simply gorgeous and extremely vivid, so that was a definite highlight of this story.

Basically, this was a great book, though it didn’t necessarily blow me away with it’s originality. I mean, I know that it was a retelling of sorts, but the cliche characters let it down a little. I know I’m giving a lot of criticisms, but overall, I really enjoyed this book. SJM has a writing style that I absolutely love, and she is definitely a wonderful storyteller. Since I didn’t have many expectations for this book, I wasn’t too disappointed as a whole. Criticisms and all, I still really enjoyed it and I’m super excited for the sequel!

Amazon
Buy it on Amazon
Book Depository
Buy it on Book Depository

Books I Will Definitely Read This Year

So, I mentioned in my New Year’s post that I will get around to making a post about books I want to read this year when I got home Aussie. Well, here it is!


There are a lot of sequels coming out this year for popular books, so I’m hoping to get to these books before the next one comes out.

Red QueenAn Ember in the AshesA Darker Shade final for IreneThe Wrath and the DawnSix of CrowsThe Young Elites

 

Snow Like Ashes

Illuminae

 

 

 

 

 


Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard
 (Book 2 coming February 9th 2016)
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Book 2 coming August 30th 2016)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Book 2 coming February 23rd 2016)
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (Book 2 coming May 3rd 2016)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Book 2 coming September 22nd 2016)
The Young Elites by Marie Lu  
(Book 3 coming 2016)
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch 
(Book 3 coming 2016)
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
(Book 2 coming Fall 2016)


There are quite a few movie adaptations of books being released this year, some which I am yet to read. Hopefully I’ll get to these ones before the film comes out!

The 5th WaveA Monster CallsMiss Peregrine's

 

 

 


The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey (now showing in NZ)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (initial release October 14th 2016)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (initial release December 25th 2016)


Then there are those stand-alone books that everyone has been talking about, but I still haven’t read yet.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaAll the Light We Cannot SeeEverything, EverythingAll The Bright PlacesI'll Give You the SunMy Heart and Other Black HolesExtraordinary Means

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
All the Bright Places by Jennider Niven
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Extraordinary Means
by Robyn Schneider


Of course, there’s also these sequels…

UnboundLady Midnightacomaftog3

 

 

 


Unbound (Unwind Dystology) 
by Neal Shusterman (technically, it’s a short story collection, though still set after the main series)
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (also not technically a sequel, but it’s a sequel series to TMI and TID – coming March 8th 2016)
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas (coming May 3rd 2016)
Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas (coming September 6th 2016)


That’s just a fraction of the books on my TBR >.< However, these are the books that I’m vowing to definitely read this year.
How many of these books have you read, and how many are you determined to read this year?

Top Ten Tuesday | 2015 Releases I Didn’t Get To

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is ‘Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t’


Six of CrowsSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I really, really want to read this, but I want to read the Grisha trilogy first so I have that knowledge of the universe.

Blurb:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This has been high on my TBR for quite some time now. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book sounds really exciting, and I’ve heard only good things, so hopefully it lives up to the hype!

Blurb:
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I’m really looking forward to reading this unique-sounding contemporary book.

Blurb:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Heart and Other Black HolesMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Another really interesting contemporary that, while serious, sounds like a great book.

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I love parallel universes, and I’ve been dying to read this book since I heard about it!

Blurb:
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

All The Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, so it must be good!

Blurb:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This book is another one that’s been on my TBR for ages, so I hope to get to it soon.

Blurb:
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

The Wrath and the DawnThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I’m really intrigued by this retelling. It sounds great, so hopefully it is!

Blurb:
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

IlluminaeIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I’m pretty excited to read this book because of the unique formatting, with the emails, documents, interviews, and such.

Blurb:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.


So that’s some 2015 releases that I wish I had gotten around to earlier. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading all the books that are the first in a series before the next one comes out this year!

What are some 2015 releases that you didn’t get around to? Feel free to leave a link to your TTT in the comments, and I’ll try to take a look!

 

December Wrap Up

I’m going to join the masses in saying I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ALMOST 2016!?! I’ve had a great year, not just with books and blogging, but in my studies and with friends and family.
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What I read this month…

Queen of ShadowsQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

I’m still loving this series. There were a few characterisation things that I didn’t agree with, but overall, this was a great book. I’m really looking forward to the fifth book next year! You can find my full review here.


The Adoration of Jenna FoxThe Fox InheritanceFox ForeverThe Jenna Fox Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

This was a pretty decent series. It posed a lot of interesting ethical questions regarding science, medicine, and humanity. I haven’t written reviews for the second and third books, but I posted a brief review for the first one on Goodreads if you want to check that out here.


The Rest of Us Just Live HereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This was the first Ness book I’ve read, and it was pretty good. I’ve heard his others are better, though, so I’m really looking forward to reading those! You can find my full review here.


24 Hours24 Hours by Claire Seeber

I got this book through Netgalley. It was the first thriller that I’ve read, so it was quite an interesting experience. It was a pretty good book, though I didn’t really connect with the characters at all. You can find my review here.


Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

I loved this book! I saw a lot of hype around it earlier in the year, but I wasn’t too sure if it would be my kind of story. Man, I’m so glad I gave it a shot. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I’d definitely recommend it. You can find my full review here.


My True Love Gave To MeMy True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

As a whole, this collection was good. There were a few stories that I absolutely loved, but there were more that were fairly average. Still, it was a nice holiday read. You can find my rating of each short story here.

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What I posted this month…

I posted fairly regularly this month (excluding the last few days (oops)). I put out a total of 23 posts this month (woo!).

Weekly memes:
Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Debuts2015 New-To-Me AuthorsFavourite 2015 ReadsBookish Wishlist
WWW Wednesday: #10#11#12#13
Friday Finds: #12#13#14

Reviews:
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
24 Hours by Claire Seeber
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Other:
Queen of Shadows ramblings
Real Neat Blogger Award
Tis the Season Book Tag
100 followers?!
Dashing Through the Snow Book Tag
Update | I finally bought some books!

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What happened with my blog this month…

I big thank you to everyone who has visited my blog, and liked or commented on any of my posts! I’d also like to thank every who has nominated me for awards this month 🙂

Views: 557

Visitors: 210

Likes: 392

Comments: 117

Follower Count: 120

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What I did with my life this month…

I graduated! …kind of. Well, I finished my course – I have to wait a whole year for graduation >.< I was stoked to complete my Diploma in Audio Engineering with a High Distinction/92% 🙂 Now I must venture out into the real world…

Of course, there was Christmas! I had a great Christmas with my extended family this year (on my dad’s side). It was a very relaxed and happy get-together, as it always is.

Other than that, I haven’t done a whole lot this month, to be honest. Oh well, I had a crazy busy year, so I’m glad to have gotten a relaxing December.

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Once again, thank you all so much for joining me on my blogging adventure this year! I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!