Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books that Came Into My Possession

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people of The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is about the last ten books that have come into my possession, whether that be by purchase, library loan, audibook, whatever it might be. So, here’s my list (I’ll be listing these from most recent to least recent):

1. “The Heart of Betrayal” by Mary E. Pearson. You have no idea how excited I was to get this. I literally went during my hour lunch break and drove like a maniac to get to my local Barnes and Noble and back to my workplace just so I could get this book.

2. “Dreams of Gods & Monsters” by Laini Taylor. I also got the paperback version of this book at the same time as the book above. So excited to continue this trilogy!

3. “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh. I’ve been hearing good things about this book and so I’m intrigued as to how it’s going to go. I bought it the same time I bought the book below.

4. “The Witch Hunter” by Virginia Boecker. Again, another book that piqued my interest, but I started reading it and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through it…

5. “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out and I DON’T KNOW WHY I HAVEN’T YET. So I purchased it as an ebook for my nook when I saw that it was on sale for $1.99! Eee!

6. “Words of Radiance” by Brandon Sanderson. I’m still on the first audiobook of this series as it’s over 45 hours long, but I got the second one so I could continue on with the story (and it’s three hours longer than the first…).

7. “P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han. I was excited for this sequel and it was just as cute as the first, but just a little less so. I purchased it at the very beginning of June and read and reviewed equally as fast.

8. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve already read and reviewed this, but I haven’t bought a lot of books or come into possession of a lot of books these past couple months, so there’s this one…

9. “The Heir” by Kiera Cass. And this one that I bought at the same time as ACOTAR and subsequently read and reviewed. Was very excited for both and was surprised by both.

10. “Magonia” by Maria Dahvana Headley. This one is kind of like “The Witch Hunter” in that I was having a hard time getting into it, so I put it down for now.

Yup, so those are the ten most recent books I’ve acquired, mostly through me buying them… Actually, through all of them being bought by me in some fashion.

What books have you gotten recently? Have you read them yet? Let me know!

April Book Haul

I don’t think I went crazy this month… Maybe? I’m not sure. But here are the books I got in April! I did get physical and ebooks.

Physical Books

  • None of the Above” by I.W. Gregorio. A book about a girl who finds out she is intersex, this book covers a topic about something I’ve never even heard of. I had to pick it up.
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. A not-so-openly gay Simon is being blackmailed by someone at school to help him win a girl’s affections. If he doesn’t, Simon’s secret emails between him and a guy from his school by the code name Blue will be shared on the Internet. Yesssssss.
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga. A girl finds a suicide partner and though there’s a set date for it, the closer they get, the more she realizes what it might mean to live. Powerful message and powerful story.
  • An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir. This book is being super hyped and even has a movie being made of it. A girl who becomes a slave to find her brother; a soldier who wants freedom. A fantasy world and cool things collide. Yes.

Okay, so I won a crap ton of ebooks from the Spring Fling Giveaway that was hosted by Sarah Dalton, but first let me list the ebooks I bought (there’s two) then the rest was all won.

Ebooks

  • The Whitechapel Fiend” by Cassandra Clare. This is the third installment in the Shadowhunter Academy series, and even though I have yet to start this series, I just want to keep up and get them all. So, yeah, it happened.
  • Talon” by Julie Kagawa. I had been debating with myself for a long time on if I wanted to get this, and then I saw a $2.99 sale, so I jumped on it. People turning into dragons is just something I’m drawn to, clearly.

Okay, now the rest of these ebooks I won for free, so yay for that!

  • The Blemished Series by Sarah Dalton. This consisted of the complete series, which is five books. I’m interested to read about it because I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds kind of cool. Genes control if you get an education and a right to a normal life? Intense.
  • Somewhere Only We Know” by Cheyanne Young. Where dreams start to become reality, this book sounds like it’ll be an interesting read.
  • Falling from the Sky” by Nikki Godwin. A story about a guy who lost his father and the boy he meets thereafter. I’m actually really excited to read this one.
  • The Edge of the Woods” by Ceinwen Langly. A story about a girl trying to find freedom and acceptance in a society that doesn’t really allow it, she wants to escape to the woods and a boy who promises that freedom if only she’ll cross the border.
  • The Body Electric” by Beth Revis. This was the one I was most excited about, and I’m excited to read it. A girl who has the ability to walk through people’s dreams and let them relive their memories is suddenly shown memories of hers that she’d rather not remember. Her memory is being altered and she’s unsure of who or what she can trust.
  • Obsidian Eyes” by A.W. Exley. A girl goes to an academy where she is looked down upon and she discovers a guy who is building weapons. They have to work together to make sure that the weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands, but will their new friendship be able to save both of their lives?
  • Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent” by Kristy Tate. A girl goes into a fortuneteller’s tent to hear what has to be said and ends up leaving into another time period: Elizabethan England. She must survive this new land in hopes of getting back, but will she?
  • Turning on a Dime” by Maggie Dana. The first African American girl to be in the Olympics for equestrian riding finds herself thrust through a portal and is sent back through time where people of color were kept as slaves. She meets a girl who is rather bold in riding horses bareback and the two form an unlikely friendship.
  • Meritropolis” by Joel Ohman. In a world where those who have the highest scores in the System thrive, while those with lower scores are punished, a boy who’s a High Score seeks vengeance for his brother’s death, no matter the means necessary to do it.

Oh! And I got one audiobook because of an Audible credit!

  • The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson. This is a beheamouth of an audibook, and I don’t even know how that’s possible. It’s over 45 hours long, but it sounds really cool with near-invincible warriors, wars, lords doubting their sanity, and a girl who is planning to steal when she’s given hints as to the real cause of the war. Cool stuff, yo.

OKAY THAT’S IT. Wow. 20 books. Okay, so there were a lot of books this month, BUT in my defense: I didn’t buy most of them. Yay for saving money!

Accompanying video: April 2015 Book Haul

The Kiss of Deception Book Review

thekissofdeception

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: Book #1 in the Remnant Chronicles trilogy
Publisher: Henry Holt – an imprint of MacMillan
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Genres: Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 492
Format: Audiobook via Audible & Purchased Hardcover

“The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson is a story about a girl name Lia who is a princess. Rather than going along with the life her parents are planning out for her where she is being forced into a marriage with someone she doesn’t love, let alone know, so that their kingdoms can become allies, Lia decides to run away to a town a long way from her city. She wants to be able to make her own decisions in her life and lead it the way she wants, away from her parents and away from the gift of Sight that she supposedly is supposed to have. She wants to rebuild her life and start over as a new person, but things become more complicated when she learns a secret about the friend who came with her, and two boys a little older than her who seem to have taken an interest in her.

Small spoilers below!

Okay, so this book was awesome. This was also my first audiobook that I got from Audible and I have to say that I made a good choice. There were four different narrators: one who was the “before chapter” reader, one for Lia, one for Kaden, and one for Rafe (there was even one for Pauline in there that was toward the end that made me go, “WHAT!?” but in a good way). Each of the narrators did a really great job of giving each of the characters in the book their own voice. I mean, obviously each one had their own voices, but the narrators gave a feel for the character that they were betraying, allowing the personality of the character they were portraying to shine through their voices. They were all engaging, using accents when needed, different tones of voice, and they did well at speaking the Vendan words. Overall, I was highly impressed with this audiobook and recommend it if you’re in the market for one.

Now let me talk about the actual book, plot, characters, etc.

Lia was a great main character to play a princess. She wasn’t necessarily stuck up or snobby, but she could pull the “princess card” if she needed to, which she rarely did in this book. She acted very much like an average citizen and she wanted to prove her worth to everyone, including herself, that she could make it in the outside world. And she proves herself, indeed, taking on chores as a tavern maid and doing tasks that she otherwise never would have been required to do at the palace: washing dishes, cleaning messes, attending to unruly guests. Lia is a strong minded, strong willed, very ambitious girl and I really enjoyed her as a character. Throughout the book I felt as though she never really lost herself, she never really changed, and any change that did occur was because of the circumstances thrown at her. But the changes she went through helped to better her character, in my opinion, and made her a stronger female protagonist.

Pauline, though a side character, was seen throughout most of the book (heck, she even has a chapter to herself!). She is Lia’s companion on the journey that they take from Morrighan to Terravin and though she is stuck in her ways as a servant for the beginning of their journey, she quickly loosens up and becomes the friend that Lia needs. But then something major arises in Pauline’s life that will forever change her. I thought Pauline’s character was sweet and endearing, and a great little relief on the side when she was around.

Rafe is the prince of Dalbreck, the neighboring kingdom for which Lia was to be wed to, but when he goes in search of her after she disappears and finds her, her tells her that he’s a farmhand and is currently off duty from his work. With his build, tan, and worn hands the lie could be easily believed. He is intelligent and authoritative in his speech, and at first he hates Lia, but as he gets to know her more he starts to fall for her. I thought that Rafe was a good male protagonist. He had enough of a hard edge to him that continually reminded me that he was a prince (because aren’t all royals stuffy in their own way?), but he also has a softer side that made him fit in with the crowd.

Kaden is the assassin sent to kill Lia. He, too, found her in Terravin and claimed that he was a trader of sorts, which was believable given that he technically does “trade pelts” for a living. Anyway, his character was different from Rafe’s in that he was quick to use more wistful phrases and words, and he was much better at pretending than Rafe was. Frankly, I love Kaden the most out of all of these characters. Bad boys with a troubling past that we haven’t learned yet? Oh, yes please. He’s conflicted with his line of work, knowing that he owes his life to the man who gives out those kinds of orders, but his morals seem to be weighing on him and his past. I really hope to learn more about him in the second book when it comes out this July.

Now as for the plot, at the beginning it was a little slow at times when Lia and Pauline were getting their bearings in Terravin, but I felt overall engaged throughout the novel. I definitely think that the second half picked up once the romance started to blossom between the characters, and more so when Lia is captured. I love love, though, so obviously the romantic parts were some of my favorites, but I loved the world building in this novel and how we got to see the rich and vivid details of the landscapes, the characters, and everything around the main characters. It really made the story take on a life of its own and made it believable. The plot itself may have been one that can be seen in many novels in many different ways, but I thought that the execution of it was well done and made this novel stand out from the others.

I’m also rooting for a certain character to end up as her romantic partner, but we’ll see. I mean, there are two more books in this trilogy that have yet to come out.

Overall, I recommend this book if you’re looking for a romance/adventure/fantasy type of read. The romance isn’t super heavy in this book, and there are more action scenes toward the end, but it’s definitely one riddled with vivid descriptions and a girl trying to find her place in the world – as well as who she is as a person.

I rated this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it.

March 2015 Wrap-Up & April TBR

Can you believe it’s April tomorrow? Where is the time going?

In the month of March I read a total of seven books! Holy carp, I have never read that many books in one month before! It was a great reading month, obviously, with both physical and audiobooks to quench my thirst for adventure.

So, without further ado, let me go over the books I read this past month:

  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone” by Laini Taylor. This book became a favorite of mine really quick as I read it. From the romance, to the mythological roots, to the characters, and more, I fell in love with this book and can’t wait to continue on with the trilogy. I rated this 5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. I went in with less than high hopes for this book and it kind of met my expectations. A lot of it was predictable and at times, annoying. I knew the plot twist long before it happened and I didn’t really connect with the characters or anything. I rated this 3.5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes. I had the most difficult time getting through this book back in January, but I managed to finish it this month and I did enjoy it. I really loved each individual main character and how their stories are interweaving. Yes, it was a little predictable at times, but it was still a good story. I rated this 4/5 stars. Read my review!
  • The Elite” by Kiera Cass. This is the second book in the Selection series and it was my least favorite of the three, but it was still a good read. America was really whiny and annoying in this book and made lots of stupid decisions, but it helped to push the plot along and to learn more about her world. I rated this 4/5 stars. Read my review!
  • The One” by Kiera Cass. This is the third book in the Selection series and it was my favorite of the three. America really came into her own and proved she wasn’t just some lovestruck teenage girl, but someone who really cares about those around her and the kingdom. I rated this 5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Firelight” by Sophie Jordan. This was my TBR Jar Challenge for the month of March, which was to reread a favorite book. Well, I reread it, still loved it, but I was a bit more aware of the writing style and the characters within the book. My new rating for this book is 4/5 stars (where before it was 5/5). Read my review!
  • The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. This was my first audiobook from Audible, and I must say that I am impressed. I love the book itself, and the voice actors are great. The story was rich and well thought out and written. I can’t wait for the next one to come on later this year. I rate this 5/5 stars. Read my review!

I’m pretty dang proud of myself.

As for next month, I don’t plan on reading as many books (I wasn’t planning on reading as many as I did this time, either) as I’m going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April, but I do still plan on reading a few books, and they are:

  • On Writing” by Stephen King. I got this book last year and have been wanting to read it since, so I thought what better time than another NaNoWriMo month? It’s a memoir on the craft of writing, and as I writer I am more than excited to read this book.
  • Vanish” and “Hidden” by Sophie Jordan. For my TBR Jar Challenge for April, I picked finish a series. So, since I reread the first book, I figured I may as well reread the rest of the trilogy while I’m at it. I remember some of what happens in these books, but not everything. I wonder how my ratings will compare to when I read them before.

So, since I’m going to be more focused on writing this month, those are all of the books I’m planning on reading in April. I may or may not read more, including an audiobook, but we’ll see how things go.

Accompanying video: March 2015 Wrap-Up & April TBR

What did you read in March? What are your reading plans for April? Are you planning on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know!

March 2015 Book Haul

Oh my gosh the books. I seriously have a weakness, guys. #ashamed

Anyway, I got a bunch of books this month, including physical, ebook, AND audiobook, so I’m just going to jump right in to what I got.

Physical Books

  • Gathering Darkness” by Morgan Rhodes. This is the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series. I got it so I’d have it on hand for when I’m ready to read it. This series is interesting and I do want to read it and everything. So…yeah.
  • The One” by Kiera Cass. The third book in the Selection series, this is the wrap-up to America’s story as part of the Selection. Just like the rest of the series, I enjoyed it. I had to read it as soon as I finished the second book, and I did. You can read my review here.
  • Never Fade” by Alexandra Bracken. This is the second book in the Darkest Minds trilogy. This is really hard to find in my area, so I made sure to pick it up as soon as I saw it. I haven’t started reading this trilogy yet, but I plan to soon.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane” and “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman. Nail Gaiman is definitely one of my favorite authors and I’m excited to read both of these. One is about a man remembering the past and how strange that past was, with its many secrets and mysteries; the other is about a guy in London who comes across this girl, and once he had contact with her he is no longer in his own London, but in hers. I think both sound interesting, and in all honesty, Neil Gaiman is one of my auto-buy authors.

Ebooks

  • The Prince,” “The Guard,” “The Queen,” and on pre-order, “The Favorite” by Kiera Cass. These are all novellas from the Selection world from the points of view of different characters. I’m really excited to read all of these and get more from the Selection world. There’s just something about this world that pulls me in, man. And I’ll probably forget about the pre-order by the time it comes out… hopefully not.
  • Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy” and “The Lost Herondale” by Cassandra Clare (feat. Sarah Rees Brennan and Robin Wasserman, respectively). These are novellas one and two of the ever growing world of the Shadowhunters. I love Clare’s work and so I just couldn’t hold myself back from getting these (actually, I could have, but I chose not to). I’m trying to not look at what they’re about because I know I’ll be spoiled for something.

Audiobooks

  • The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. This is a book that’s been floating around for a while with a lot of highly recommended reviews, so I’m really intrigued to read it. Because it’s in audiobook format, I obvious listened to it while I drove and whenever else I wanted.
  • Red Rising” by Pierce Brown. Another big book, but in the adult world (gasp!). This is a fantasy book where people that are Reds are trying to build a civilization on Mars. They are the lowest class in society and when Darrow discovers that a lot of things have already been built and cultivated on the surface, he sets out to find out exactly why no one told him or anyone else. Sounds intriguing, very interested in reading it. Plus the narrator’s voice is awesome.

So that’s everything I got this past month. I’m excited to get to these books in time, as well as happy I finished what I did.

Have you read any of these books? Which do you recommend I read sooner rather than later? Let me know!