Haul #16 | The large and long overdue haul of July 2014

haul
 GoodReads | Leafmarks
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I got so many books I’m out of fingers and toes to count them all. This is mainly the reason why I was delayed in editing and uploading these images (and this post). But here it is—enjoy!

Kindle e-Books

Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
How to Read Literature like A Professor by Thomas C. Foster
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones
Inamorata by Megan Chance
The Divine Comedy by John Ciardi
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Batman: Year One
Batman: The Dark knight Returns
Batman: The Killing Joke
How to Ruin a Queen by Jonathan Beckmann (Netgalley)
The Half That Has Never Been Told by Baptist Edward (Netgalley)


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Share any of your purchases below!
Happy Reading!

Top 5 Wednesday: Top Book Spines

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Top 5 Book Spines

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5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

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4. Homage to Catalonia/Down & Out in Paris & London by George Orwell

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

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3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

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2. We, the Drowned by Cartsen Jensen

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

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1. A tie of my favorite series editions of classics!

(includes: Penguin and Vintage classics)


Please feel free to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday post, I would love to see what you have for the week! If you have read any of these titles, share your thoughts below. :)

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Happy Reading!

(Short) Review | Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

ABOUT THE BOOK

Published: July 1st, 2014
Genre: Horror, Graphic Novel
Edition: Paperback
Length: 208 pgs.

GoodReads | Amazon | BookDepository

THE BLURB

‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

☁  ☁  ☁  ☁  ☁

ramblings

For the most part, I really enjoy graphic novels but I am not deeply attached to them. By that I mean I had yet to meet a graphic novel that would be considered a “favorite”. Until I read Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods.

My biggest disappointment with most graphic novels is the lack of plot, exposition, and good character introductions. Because Through the Woods is a horror, short story collection, character descriptions are unimportant (since it’s more about the stories). Still, I had very little expectation out of this book. I fully sympathize with graphic novel artists and authors in that they have a very short number of pages to work with. Through the Woods, though, not only exceeded all my expectations but became my first favorite graphic novel.

Through the Woods is a wonder that collects five distinct, bone-chilling tales of horror—unlike any bedtime stories you will have ever read. Every aspect of this book is not only wonderful but, in particular, its design has to be the most impressive formats I have seen in graphic novels. Each scene flows superbly from one to another. The art is absolutely droll-worthy and the typography is even better.

My personal favorite was the first story, “Our Neighbor’s House,” most likely because it was the first and I wasn’t aware of what to expect. It follows three children who are left alone in a house for three days while snowstorms rage right outside the safety of their home. The second story, “A Lady’s House” is the tale of a newly wedded girl who is being haunted by voices echoing inside her house walls and this is the one tale that is still haunting me. Each of the stories end on a rather ambiguous note so some of these tales kept me up through the night. One of the stories is most certainly a retelling of the Red-Riding Hood (I say “most certainly” because I have yet to read all of the Grimm’s fairytales so the others might be a retelling too—I just wouldn’t know) and it’s a better one than the original at that!

If you enjoy graphic novels and scary stories, hesitate not and pick up Through the Woods right now!

For more extracts, please click here.

This review is also available on BookLikes and GoodReads.

5star

Top 5 Wednesday: Top Worlds

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(Random) Top 5 (Fictional?) Worlds

5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

The book was kind of awful but I loved the world that this book is set in. It was the only reason why I even bothered to continue with the whole series.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

4. The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum

It was Baum’s version of a Utopian America and it’s actually really amazing. I would never get tired of meeting such a large variety of creatures.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

3. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderon

This world and some of its aspects sound kind of awful but still, I would love to just visit this world. Just once. The reason why I don’t completely hate the US covers (like everyone else) is because if you just look at the cover itself, the art is beautiful and really imaginative.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

2. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

1. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien


Please feel free to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday post, I would love to see what you have for the week! If you have read any of these titles, share your thoughts below. :)

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Happy Reading!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Top Love Triangles

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Did I mention that I hate love triangles? They are completely unrealistic most of the time. I’m going to be picking the last book in any YA series that I choose (since the choice has been made by then). *Not in any particular order.

Top 5 Love Triangles

5. Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Love triangle: Lucas, Balthazar, and Bianca. It has been years since I read this book and I know I wouldn’t enjoy it now but I remember being so conflicted about this love triangle. It was similar to how I felt about Edwards vs. Jacob.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

4. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Love triangle: Jacob, Edward, and Isabella. Eh…I couldn’t find another pick so…honorable mention?

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

3. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Love triangle: Clarissa, Peter, and Richard. This “love triangle” wasn’t exactly a battle between who the main character should choose but when writing about this novel, I couldn’t pinpoint whether Clarissa’s decision had been the right one or not. I still think both Peter and Richard had some really good qualities.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

2. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Love triangle: Cole, Jack, and Nikki. I really liked Jack but by the end of the series, I was weeping because of Cole.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Love triangle: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I think most of us are happy with where this book ends but let’s face it when we were into the fifth and sixth books…we wondered about Hermione’s love life didn’t we? Even years after the ending of the story, just a few months ago, J. K. Rowling herself questioned her own decision.


Please feel free to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday post, I would love to see what you have for the week! If you have read any of these titles, share your thoughts below. :)

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Happy Reading!

Review | Lux: #5 Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ABOUT THE BOOK

Published: Aug 5th, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Edition: Paperback
Length: 500 pgs.
Series: Lux, Book 5

GoodReads | Amazon | BookDepository

THE BLURB

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.


ramblings

I really enjoyed this book. That was both welcoming and surprising, especially since I had quite a few issues with the last book. The thing is, though, that I had quite a few issues with this book too but because it’s the final goodbye, I couldn’t help but enjoy it despite the issues.

I really liked Katy and Daemon in this one. Sometimes I would get irritated that they have to keep thanking each other for protecting and loving each other but they still make a really cute couple. I felt like if you love someone, have been through as much as they have, “thank you’s” should not be required at this point so their constant gratification for support kept irking me. But the reason why I think most people like them in the first place is because they are the corniest and yet the hottest couple written in YA books. And also, Katy is a book blogger. I think we can all relate to that.

There are, however, a couple of things that were left unsaid and unclear which really bothered me but to be honest, I never expected these books to be as good as or match up to higher literary standards so it’s OK I suppose. That’s why this book is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s a lot better than a chick-lit but it sometimes does leave a lot to be desired.

One thing, for example, was the injustice done to Katy’s mom in this book. This is a major spoiler so I am not going to mention anything but if you read this book, you’ll be sad. And you’ll be pissed. I did not like easy it felt to write such a plot twist into the story. It felt like a kick in the gut and my heart reaches out to Katy.

I kind of wished more thing happened with Dawson and Beth. They seem to have a blooming problem of their own and I thought that would become one of the issues discussed but the author just sets it aside after making it such a large cliffhanger in the last book. Beth, in particular, I never really get to know (unless you read Shadows I suppose—which I have not) and that’s sad because Ash got a chance to blabber around so why wasn’t Beth given a voice? I liked the justice done to Dee’s love life. She deserved to have someone, after all the crap Dawson and Katy put her through, and Archer couldn’t have been more perfect. The “bromance” between Daemon and him was a nice little cherry on top. (I love bromances, so much better and hassle-free than romances, in my opinion.) I was sad about Luc but Katy’s last thoughts in the book sums up my opinion on him too.

I was also quite satisfied with the plot. At one point in the book, the story is almost bordering at a dystopian and I am so glad we never got there. If you think hard enough, you’ll probably figure out what our main characters are going to do to stop all the Luxen invasion (it wasn’t all that surprising). But as for the characters, I could see why Katy and Daemon struggled with doing the right thing and I often found myself sympathizing with Daemon’s love for his sister. At the beginning of Opposition, Luxen invasion causes the newly arrived Luxen to invade the minds of every Luxen already on earth and because of this, Dee’s memories are replaced. So having to choose between protecting Dee from herself and the world from Luxen was really not a good place for Daemon to be in. This is a situation I wholly understood and supported in the first book and I still love that side of Daemon which is loyal to his family. Choosing between Katy and Dee wasn’t a choice I wanted to see him make and Katy’s support for him also left me a bit misty-eyed. Also, loved what happened with Nancy in this story—from beginning to end…from being Luc’s bitch to her ultimate end.

Overall, this book was all kind of fun. My excitement had definitely dulled from the last book but, nevertheless, I am still sad to see these characters go. Though five books is a pretty good run.

P. S. This book definitely ends on of the most corniest lines ever. Loved it. And wholly alien babies thank you Jennifer L. Armentrout for not making Katy as keen on popping babies as some of the other YA female protagonists usually are.

This review is also available on BookLikes and GoodReads. 4star

Review | #1 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

ABOUT THE BOOK

Published: 2007
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Edition: Paperback
Length: 332 pgs.
Series: Vampire Academy, Book 1

THE BLURB

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

GoodReads | Amazon | BookDepository

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I have been wanting to read this book for ages and I finally got the urge to read it. Why? I don’t know. I just wanted to read it so I did. My mind’s freaky like that. :D

I really liked Vampire Academy for the most part but I found it a bit childish to be honest. It’s a Young Adult novel so I think it fits best as such but from all the hype about really great mature characters, I was expecting something more. If I had no expectations I think I would have really loved it. It’s a fast-paced novel and I finished it in one sitting so I think for that amount of effort, it was a fun book but it’s not a story I see myself remembering in the future.

Vampire Academy is told through Rose’s perspective, who is a Dhampir (half vamp, half human). She’s on the run with her best friend, Vasilisa Dragomir (aka “Lissa”), when they are caught and dragged back to the Vampire Academy—a school for vampires and dhampirs alike.

What I really liked about this book was Rose, of course, and this unique community of Vampires. I liked learning about how they work and what they are like, in particular how there were different kinds of vampires as well, such as the dhampirs and the Strigoi (the “dark and dead” vampires). The battle involving the Strigoi looked incredibly promising at the beginning of the book but the plot shifts focus onto something entirely different than what the synopsis promised. Instead of dealing with the exciting duel between the Moroi and the Strigoi, the book concentrates solely on Rosa keeping Lissa’s secrets safe. What is her secret? There’s more than one. And they were quite obvious and really uninteresting. So that was my biggest disappointment.

My second disappointment lay with the mundane, childish fights between characters like Mia, Lissa, Rosa, Jesse, etc. This kept reminding me of Mean Girls constantly and I really hate those kind of silly little films so I was really bored with those scenes in Vampire Academy. What I didn’t really mind in these scenes, however, was the fact that Rose doesn’t fit into a particular stereotype. This is where, I think, the hype stood true. Rose is not your average puny, cowering, damsel-in-distress teenage girl. She is straightforward, can literally kick ass, and is the definition of a loyal friend. There were moments when she kind of annoys me—like when she butts in a little too much in Lissa’s life even to the point where she begins to spy on Lissa’s thoughts—but as an individual…it’s kind of hard not to like Rose. Lissa, on the other hand, was just nice in my opinion. She’s a sweet character but her personality is so frequently common in YA heroines that I definitely understand why Rose is our star—and I’d like to keep it that way. I did like her passion for animals and I admire her friendship with Rose more than anything. But, at times, I did find it strange about how obsessed Rose sometimes seems with keeping Lissa safe.

I wasn’t really interested in the romance all that much. From having heard so many thoughts on the series itself, I knew going into the book who the male lead would be but I don’t think Demetri’s character is as well-definied for me to really understand the connection between him and Rose. I can imagine where it might go but as of right now, I wasn’t too disappointed in how the book ends and where they leave off. Christian, however, (Lissa’s love interest) was much more interesting. I really liked him. More than Rose, you could even say.

To wrap it up here, I found Vampire Academy to be a very typical YA high-school drama type of book but at the same time I found some really great elements that defied many high-school stereotypes. I don’t really care to continue on with the series but I already own all 6 novels on my kindle (un-returnable) so I will probably finish the series at one point or another.

This review is also available on BookLikes and GoodReads. 3star