An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
Author:
Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: 9 February 2015
ISBN: 1595148043
Pages: 446
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

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.

Review

Y’all, this novel was phenomenal. It literally had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

First and foremost, the world creating in this novel was inspiring. Sabaa Tahir has created one of the most nuanced and intriguing worlds of any recent book that I’ve seen. The Roman inspiration for the novel is very apparent throughout the novel, which added a realistic quality to the fantasy. More importantly, the world was presented in a really interesting way. At the start, there was a lot of world building which was a little boring at times. However, most of the world building occurred as the story progressed so that readers were learning more about the world as the story unraveled itself. And, quite frankly, I enjoyed that.

Continue reading “An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir”

On Pride and Prejudice and the “Real”Reader

Hey there! I haven’t sat down and chatted with you guys in a while and I figured that now is the perfect time to do so. If you’re looking for a review, those will be back up next week (it’s already written, I promise).

Anyway, on to the chat (rant? confession?).

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read at least 2 classics. And, for the most part, I included it because I want to read more classics. But another part of me knows that I added it because I want to fit into my idea of what a “real” reader or an “actual book lover”. I don’t know when I started thinking that real readers and booklovers are a certain type, but I’ve come to realize that I do. And it’s hindering my reading abilities. Continue reading “On Pride and Prejudice and the “Real”Reader”

Review: Revival – Stephen King

Title: RevivalRevival
Author:
 Stephen King
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
ISBN: 1476770395
Pages: 403
Genre: Horror Fiction
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

Review

This novel made inner science me so happy. I loved it!

First of all, can we just talk about Stephen King’s writing style? It’s so beautiful and unique; I could pick out his writing from a stack of random books. I particularly enjoyed how the ending of the novel was framed, it was incredibly intense. He wields words in a simple yet deep and disturbing way. I’m a definite fan.

King also creates shockingly relatable characters. Despite the fact that I’ve never gone through the events of either Jamie or Charlie, I found myself empathizing with them quite frequently. Continue reading “Review: Revival – Stephen King”

Tag: Celebrating the Little Things

Thanks to the ever wonderful Shouni @Through the Book Portal for tagging me! If you guys aren’t reading her blog, you’re doing life wrong. She’s amazing, go check her out.

Who was your very first follower (if you can find out)? Tag them and give them a shout out!

I think this might be a tie between Shouni @ Through the Book Portal or Cindy @ Stranger Things Have Happened. However, the award for first follower outside of my friend group goes to Mrs. A @ Novels and Nibbles.

You should definitely check out heir blogs, they’re incredible.

What was the last milestone you reached?

I officially hit 20 followers for this blog! I’m really excited about this because I never thought anyone but my friends would read my blog. It’s really nice to know that I’m not just writing into the ether.

What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us!

With shame I write that my first post was my “About Me” post that I absolutely despise. It was initially over on Blogger but I migrated everything to WordPress when I switched over. It’s so poorly written because I just can’t write about myself. I really do not recommend it. Continue reading “Tag: Celebrating the Little Things”

Review: Royal Mistress – Anne Easter Smith

Royal MistressTitle: Royal Mistress
Author:
 Anne Easter Smith
Publication Date: 7 May 2013
ISBN: 1451648626
Pages: 512
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance.

Review 

I’ve never been so glad to be done with a book. Honestly.

I had really high hopes for this lovely sounding novel.If you haven’t, read the description and then come back.

You back? Yes. Doesn’t it sound incredible, like there’s going to be a tiny murder mystery or something even slightly cool. But no, that’s not what you get with this novel. Before I bash this novel, let’s start with the few things I really liked.

Continue reading “Review: Royal Mistress – Anne Easter Smith”

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two, Harry Potter #8
Author:
 J.K. Rowling,  John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Publication Date: 31 July 2016
ISBN: 0751565350
Pages: 343
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Review

So I borrowed this book from my friend Cindy at Stranger Things Have Happened and she had some really great advice for me which I’m going to share with you. Read this novel with the mindset that it’s fan fiction.

I must say, I’m extremely glad that she told me that. If I had gone into this thinking that it was meant to be a literal extension of the end of the Harry Potter series, I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much. However, because I recognized the fact that it was like fan fiction and the passsage of a large chunk of time, I really enjoyed this novel.

Continue reading “Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling”

Review: Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms, Throne of Glass #5Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)
Author:
 Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 6 September 2016
ISBN: 1619636077
Pages: 693
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Review

Y’all know I love Sarah J. Maas. And this was certainly no different.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this novel since I read Queen of Shadows. And I didn’t think that the series could get much better or more intriguing and yet, somehow, it did.

 *** Beware of Spoilers! ***

Continue reading “Review: Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas”

2017 New Year’s Resolutions and 2016 Wrap-Up

Happy New Year!!!!

It’s that time of the year when we get to start all over and make new goals for ourselves, aka my favorite time of year. I’m so excited to share 2017’s New Year’s resolutions, but let’s wrap up 2016 with a bang first.

2016 Wrap- Up

So I did an okay job on last year’s (so strange to type) resolutions. Let’s check those out.

Read 50 Books

Aaaahhh!!! I was so close!! I read 45 out of 50 books.

It breaks my heart that I was so close and yet so far. However, this reading challenge was definitely a good thing. It really pushed me to read more frequently and, because of it, I definitely read some really amazing books (and some not-so-good ones).

Although it’s not a win, I’m not going to consider it a loss either.

Push myself to read outside my usual genres.

Specifically: graphic novels, non-fiction, classics, and science-fiction

I kinda did okay with this one. I did read a graphic novel and a couple in sci-fi. I also got a lot done in the non-fiction department (thank you Multicultural English class). But I definitely neglected those classics. I started reading Pride and Prejudice but gave up less than half way through. I should have finished it but I couldn’t and I used it as my excuse not to read any other classics this year. So I did an okay-ish job with this one.

Write more fiction- hopefully I’ll have a story that just needs to be edited

and

Write every week- even if it’s only 100 words.

Continue reading “2017 New Year’s Resolutions and 2016 Wrap-Up”

Review: Deafening – Frances Itani

DeafeningTitle: Deafening
Author: Frances Itani
Publication Date: 5 November 2004
ISBN: 080214165X
Pages: 416
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

At the age of five, Grania-the daughter of hardworking Irish hoteliers in smalltown Ontario-emerges from a bout of scarlet fever profoundly deaf and is suddenly sealed off from the world that was just beginning to open for her. Her guilt-plagued mother cannot accept her daughter’s deafness. Grania’s saving grace is her grandmother Mamo, who tries to teach Grania to read and speak again. Grania’s older sister, Tress, is a beloved ally as well-obliging when Grania begs her to shout words into her ear canals and forging a rope to keep the sisters connected from their separate beds at night when Grania fears the terrible vulnerability that darkness brings. When it becomes clear that she can no longer thrive in the world of the hearing, her family sends her to live at the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville, where, protected from the often-unforgiving hearing world outside, she learns sign language and speech.

After graduation Grania stays on to work at the school, and it is there that she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man. In wonderment the two begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But just two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave home to serve as a stretcher bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders.

During this long war of attrition, Jim and Grania’s letters back and forth-both real and imagined-attempt to sustain their young love in a world as brutal as it is beautiful. Frances Itani’s depiction of a world where sound exists only in the margins is a singular feat in literary fiction, a place difficult to leave and even harder to forget.

Review

I loved this book so much. If you checked out my November Anticipated Reads and Releases post, you’ll know that I have a fascination with deaf culture and that this is my first literary introduction to the deaf community. And if you’re even slightly intrigued by the deaf community, I think you’ll enjoy this novel.

Continue reading “Review: Deafening – Frances Itani”

Bookish Bingo: Winter 2016-2017

I’ll be participating in this year’s Winter Bookish Bingo hosted by the incredible Bekka @Pretty Deadly Reviews! I’m so excited!

The Details:

  • Every new season has a new bingo card. This one is for books read in the months of December, January, and February.
  • The object is to get as many BINGOs as possible (five across, up and down, or diagonal)
  • One square per book
  • You do not have to review these books, or even have a blog, this is simply for books read during the allotted months
  • At the end of February there will be an international giveaway for all participants. The more BINGOs you get, the more entries you get in the giveaway!
  • To participate, simply leave a comment!

The Card:

winter-bingo

Usually I give a list of suggested books for some of the weirder categories, but this time I’m going to switch it up just a bit. I’m going to share with you all my Fall Bingo TBR. For the Twitter Poll square, put together a twitter poll or something similar and have others vote on the book you read. Continue reading “Bookish Bingo: Winter 2016-2017”