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?

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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 🙂

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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

Continue reading

5 Hidden Gems of the Book World

These are some not as very well-known books that I’ve really enjoyed, which I hope this post might interest you in:

1. Origin by Jessica Khoury

alicemarvels.com

GoodReads Synopsis

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home―and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin―a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

2. Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski

www.amazon.com

GoodReads Synopsis

The dark will bring your worst nightmares to light, in this gripping and eerie survival story, perfect for fans of James Dashner and Neil Gaiman.

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

3. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

GoodReads Synopsis

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

4. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

thebooksmugglers.com

GoodReads Synopsis

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

5. One Year to a Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghein

One Year to a Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghein

GoodReads Synopsis

Whether you are a writer of fiction or essays, or want to explore poetry or memoir, Tiberghien’s twelve fundamental lessons will help you discover and develop your own distinct voice. Tiberghien’s inventive exercises focus on the processes unique to each genre, while also offering skills applicable to any kind of writing, from authentic dialogue to masterful short-shorts. With vivid examples from literary masters such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Eduardo Galeano, May Sarton, Terry Tempest Williams, and Orhan Pamuk, One Year to a Writing Life is an essential guidebook of exercises, practical advice, and wisdom for anyone looking to embrace, explore, and implement creativity in everyday life.

Related–Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love But Don’t Talk About Enough

Have you read any of these hidden gems of the book world? What are your thoughts on them? What are some hidden gems that you’ve discovered and liked? Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment–I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award

Thank you to Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd for nominating me–I really appreciate it! 🙂 I apologize for the late post.

Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • Answer the 10 questions sent to you
  • Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer
  • Nominate 10 blogs

Ariana’s Questions

  1. What are some new releases you are most looking forward to in 2016?
    So many! New 2016 releases that I’m most looking forward to would include Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, Traitor’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini, A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, ToG #6 by Sarah J. Maas, The Young Elites #3 by Marie Lu, The Last Star by Rick Yancey, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer.
  2. What is you favorite under-hyped book?
    Favorite under-hyped books…probably Origin by Jessica Khoury and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.
  3. What is one thing (activity, song, movie, etc…) that always makes you happy no matter what?
    Reading. The large majority of the time I’m reading a fairly enjoyable book.
  4. Do you prefer series or standalone novels?
    I do not mind standalone novels, although I have a harder time finding standalone novels that I like, so I’d say series. Plus if I like the series I get to read more of it.
  5. Do you play video games? If so, what are your favorite games to play?
    I do not play video games.
  6. What is your favorite song of all time?
    Lithium by Evanescence.
  7. If you could have any fictional animal as a pet, what would you choose?
    Either Fleetfoot (Throne of Glass) or Fawkes (Harry Potter).
  8. What 2016 movies are you most looking forward to seeing?
    I’m really looking forward to seeing The 5th Wave and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in 2016 since they’re both film adaptations based on two of my favorite books.
  9. What book or series would you recommend to someone who says they don’t like to read, and why would you choose that book or series?
    To someone who does not read very often, what book or series would I recommend? It really depends on the person. To everyone (unless if they dislike fantasy) I’d recommend the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling because who could go wrong with these books? To people who prefer more realistic fiction, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart because it’s a well-developed novel with unique characters. To people who prefer very action packed books, The Maze Runner by James Dashner because my heart would not stop pounding during my first read of the series.
  10. What is your absolute favorite quote?
    I have many favorite quotes, but to pick one…

I Nominate…

My Questions

  1. Favorite band or singer?
  2. One yet to be released 2016 book that you’re really, really excited about.
  3. Favorite color?
  4. You’re sleeping until you suddenly have a really good idea. You (a.) Write it down on the nearest piece of paper, (b.) go back to sleep and write it down the next day, (c.) go back to sleep and forget about it the next day, or (d.) none of the above.
  5. One book that always makes you happy when you reread it.
  6. What is your favorite hyped book?
  7. Who is your favorite intelligent/strategic main character?
  8. Favorite book based on mythology?
  9. Favorite book with a made up language?
  10. Prose or poetry?

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

alicemarvels.com

alicemarvels.com

TitleOrigin
Author: Jessica Khoury
Series: N/A
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Razorbill; Reprint edition (September 17, 2013)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The novel, Origin by Jessica Khoury, draws you into the world of Little Cam.

Little Cam (short for Little Cambridge) is a secretive research center in the Amazon Rainforest. The scientists of Little Cam’s goal: to create a race of immortal humans. Their first success is Pia, an immortal girl with flawless memory and impenetrable skin.

One day, Pia’s Uncle Paolo says, Pia will take over as head of the Immortis Team. But to do this, Pia must succeed in a series of calculating tests: the Wickham Tests. In one of the tests, Pia must watch a bird get electrocuted over and over. She begins to secretly question the scientists’ means. However, Uncle Paolo insists, “the end always justifies the mean.”

All her life, Pia has stayed within the gates of Little Cam. The gates and fence are charged with electricity and almost always closed. After her seventeenth birthday party, Pia discovers a gap in the fence. With her pet jaguar, Alai, she ventures into the forest. In the jungle, Pia discovers a world she never dreamed of.

But as Pia becomes attached to the world beyond Little Cam, she finds herself in a dilemma. Eventually, she must make a choice between freedom and a dream of creating immortals. As Pia learns more and more about Little Cam’s hidden secrets, she learns about herself and most importantly, what the Little Cam scientists did to make her. Whose dreams is she choosing?

I really, really enjoyed this book. It kept me reading non-stop from page one. Also, the development of Pia’s character is well done. By the end of the book Pia had evolved completely and both grown and matured as a character. Furthermore, the author had two very important themes in her novel. The first was that end does not always justify the mean. Find out whose dream you are living for, the second theme, was subtle compared to the first one. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science-fiction books on immortality and scientists who cross the boundary between inhumanity and ambitions.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments section. Are there any similar books you would recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of October 13, 2015 is: the top ten author duos you’d LOVE to see write a book together.

I made these author duos based on authors who have similar genres or characters, etc.

Top Ten Tuesday

1. Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins

2. Sarah J. Maas and Veronica Roth (Both authors have compelling heroines, but write different genres.)

3. Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling

4. Soman Chainani and James Dashner (Both authors are good at keeping you glued to a page with suspense and frightening plot twists.)

5. Chris Grabenstein and Trenton Lee Stewart

6. Kristin Cashore and Sarah J. Maas

7. Christopher Paolini and Rick Riordan

8. Jessica Khoury and Sabaa Tahir

9. Suzanne Collins and Sarah J. Maas

10. J.K. Rowling and Sabaa Tahir

Who are your top ten author duos? Feel free to post a link to your post in the comments. 🙂