Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

www.amazon.com

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: N/A
Pages: 240 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (May 13, 2014)
Rating: 4.25 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

 

GoodReads Synopsis

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

The novel, We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart describes the summers of Cadence Sinclair Eastman at a secluded family island.

Warning: Review contains spoiler!

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WWW Wednesday #56

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi HeiligThe Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I have recently finished reading Eon by Alison Goodman, Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder, and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

Eon by Alison Goodman Magic Study by Maria V. SnyderSiege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I hope to read The Circle by Dave Eggers, Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder, Eona by Alison Goodman, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, and Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie next.

The Circle by Dave EggersFire Study by Maria V. Snyder Eona by Alison GoodmanRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy If Given A Free Gift Card

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays: a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of August 2, 2016 is: top ten books that you would buy right now if someone handed you a fully loaded gift card *opens GoodReads app and want-to-read list.*

Top Ten Tuesday

I decided to go with an additional theme of unreleased books, since I can just get already released books from the library.

1. Preorder Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

2.  Preorder A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

3. Preorder Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini

Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

4. Preorder The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

5. Preorder The Dark Days Pact by  Alison Goodman

6. Preorder Tales from the  Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

7. Preorder Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

8. Preorder Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

9. Preoder The Mystery of the Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine

10. Preorder Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Honorable Mention — A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, which I have pre-ordered already

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

What books do you have on your TTT this week? What books would you buy if you had a fully loaded gift card? Feel free to leave a link to your TTT in a comment :)

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

allgeektome.net

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices | Book 1
Pages: 720 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (March 8, 2016)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

 

GoodReads Synopsis

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

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WWW Wednesday #55

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig and The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi HeiligThe Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I have recently finished reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord, and Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Sol of the Coliseum by Adam GaylordPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder

I hope to read The Circle by Dave Eggers, Eon by Alison Goodman, and Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder next.

The Circle by Dave EggersEon by Alison GoodmanMagic Study by Maria V. Snyder

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Want To / Have Learned After Reading A Book

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays: a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of July 26, 2016 is: top ten books that you want to learn after reading a book or have learned after reading a book…this should be an interesting topic.

A little late for posting, but better now than never🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

*Want to learn, haven’t learned yet
**A skill in-process

1. Krav maga** | City of Bones by Cassandra Clare — I’m still very much a beginner, but I have picked up a few useful things

2. Pigpen cipher | The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein — Useful if you’re hesitant about journaling in public spaces🙂

3. Architecture / design* | Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

4. Apparition* | The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling — Sadly I do not think I will ever learn how to

5. Writing well** | Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott — This one is in process

6. Learn Greek or Ancient Greek* | Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan — Unfortunately the few Greek words are not words that you would use in a day-to-day conversation (I hope)

7. Learn Old Norse* | The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini — The same thing that can said about my Greek can be said of my Old Norse.

bookriot.com

8. Archery** | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — I know the basics, but I am no where near Katniss’s level.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

9. Fencing* | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas — I’m interested a little in learning how to fence from Throne of Glass, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

paperdroids.com

That’s it for this week–what books do you have on your TTT this week? What have books inspired you to go out and learn? Feel free to leave a link to your TTT in a comment :)

Review: Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

Title: Sol of the Coliseum
Author: Adam Gaylord
Series: N/A
Pages: 262 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (September 17, 2015)
Rating: 4.5 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

 

GoodReads Synopsis

Deep in the bowels of the Coliseum of the mighty Astrolian Empire, the orphan, Sol, is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed Gladiator in all the land. Alongside K’nal, his giant Frorian fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. But when an oppressed populace transforms Sol into a revolutionary folk hero, the Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to put an end to the uprising. Sol’s only chance is to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the Coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

With elegant prose, Adam Gaylord tells a fast-paced gladiator story with layered, multi-dimensional characters. Sol of the Coliseum is not your typical Hollywood gladiator story. It is a story about someone just trying to survive to see the next day with their humanity. Even though he is a famous gladiator, Sol (the main character) kills only for survival, has strong values (despite his circumstances), and tries hard to keep his humanity, which I admired.

The author’s skilled prose made reading great fun (despite the small smart phone screen I read on). When Sol must fight in the Coliseum, the fights are detailed and descriptive with Sol more often than not having a clear strategy in mind for how he and his fighting partner (K’nal) are going to survive.

I am giving Sol of the Coliseum 4.5 stars, but there were just several small things that were preventing me from giving the extra half star. While the majority of the book was very suspenseful and action-packed, the beginning got off to a slightly slow start, so I had to power through for a small stretch before things started to pick up. However this wasn’t too much of a problem because the author took that time to help the reader gain a better understanding of Sol’s world and its inhabitants. Also I would’ve liked to see more character motivations/objectives/goals. Does Sol really want to escape or just live to see another day? Why is Lysik the evil sadistic assassin that he is? Why does he serve the empire and how did he come into its service?–since I don’t see a clear motive for his homicidal streaks other than that he is clearly insane, does he have some secret backstory or history?

On a positive note, I really liked how the author had the main POV’s storyline and then minor POVs’ storylines told and then at the end they all came together and fell into place. Also I liked how there was no love triangle between Sol, K’nal, and Korra and just a friendship, which is a hard phenomenon to come by sometimes. I’m also pleased that there was more than what meets the eye with Slink (a guard who puts up an unfriendly front who is constantly enduring ridicule from the other Colisium guards) instead of just having Slink being the classic nasty guard. Furthermore, Sol was actually mature enough to listen to Occi (his mother figure) and try to be nicer to Slink.

Overall I immensely enjoyed Sol of the Coliseum and am pleased that I got the chance to read it in exchange for an honest review as I do not think that I would’ve picked up this book (much less heard of it) on my own. This book is definitely a hidden gem in gladiator stories and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a unique gladiator story. I’m left with wondering whether there will be a sequel after Sol of the Coliseum‘s ending–what will happen to Sol, K’nal, Korra, and Slink?

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord in exchange for an honest review.

WWW Wednesday #54

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardguo, The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heiligwww.amazon.com

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry BrooksSol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

I have recently finished reading* Fairest by Marissa Meyer, Stars Above by Marissa MeyerRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (re-read), The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, Uprooted by Naomi Novak, The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan, The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine, Riders by Veronica Rossi, The Last Star by Rick Yancey, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, How to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman Ph.D., The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine, The Whispering Statue by Carolyn Keene (re-read), Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie, and Third Girl by Agatha ChristieIf you’re interested in reading a bit about my thoughts on these books, read my Return From Hiatus + Reading Update post.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodmannerdist.com

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski The Winner's Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Uprooted by Naomi NovakThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearsontweenthepages.wordpress.com

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryStardust by Neil GaimanThe Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

Riders by Veronica Rossiwww.amazon.com

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonThis Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonWhere She Went by Gayle Forman

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareHow to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine WioodfineThe Mystery of the Jewelled MothThe Whispering Statue by Carolyn Keene

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha ChristieThird Girl by Agatha Christie

I hope to read The Circle by Dave Eggers, Eon by Alison Goodman, and Poison Study by Maria V.  Snyder next.

The Circle by Dave EggersEon by Alison GoodmanPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

*I have been on hiatus, which is why I have so many books under ‘recently finished,’ but I wish I could read books that quickly though🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays: a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of July 19, 2016 is: top ten books set outside of the US–by outside the United States, I’m assuming that means anywhere else in the world (since high fantasy worlds are separate?).

Top Ten Tuesday

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling — Set in Britain

apilgriminnarnia.com

2. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman — Set in Regency-era Britain, I believe

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

3. Winter by Marissa Meyer — Set in outer space, Luna (the moon), and the Eastern Commonwealth (?)

usatoday.com

4. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie — Set in Egypt

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

5. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine — Set in Britain

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Wioodfine

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Return From Hiatus + Reading Update

Hi Readers,

After an approximately two-month long hiatus, I’ve returned to blogging. As I said in my hiatus post, I took a break to focus more on my writing, but I’ve decided to return after encountering a particularly nasty stretch of writer’s block.

I’ve still been reading though (quite a lot) and would love to hear your thoughts on these books:

Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer — While this was definitely not my favorite book of The Lunar ChroniclesFairest was still an entertaining and insightful (if dark) book into the mind of the series’ main villain, Queen Levana.

 

 

 

Stars Above by Marissa MeyerStars Above by Marissa Meyer — I did find this collection of novellas to be quite delightful, but I’d originally read it with the intent of finding out what happened to everyone after Winter and I thought only the last story really did that.

 

 

 

How to Write with Flair by Heather HollemanHow to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman Ph.D. — An instructive and short book on writing.

 

 

 

 

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard — I’d seen both positive and negative reviews, and sadly if I do review this book, my review will fall under the latter. While mildly entertaining with relatively smooth writing, Mare just got on my nerves and I felt like the over-all concept wasn’t too original.

 

 

Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard — I still wanted to find out what happened (thanks to that cliffhanger), but I liked Mare even less and I ended up skim reading to the end (another cliffhanger), but this time I don’t think I’ll pick up the sequel. On a positive note, I did like Farley’s character more in this book.

 

 

The Dark Days Club by Alison GoodmanThe Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman — I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this historical fiction-fantasy blend.  The writing style was unique and the main character a strong willed, independent young woman.

 

 

 

nerdist.com

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir — This was a re-read. I love reading this book because of how action-packed and suspenseful it is, but I really can’t love the two POV characters and their decisions.

 

 

 

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