Friday, 31 October 2014

On My Radar: Upcoming November Releases

   I'm going to start off by saying that November's lineup disappointed me. Usually, there's a whole bunch of YA books coming out, and I have to dial down my excitement and choose only 10. But this month, there weren't enough YA books to be excited about that I actually had to tread into the--gasp!--general fiction section. Just kidding, I love books from all genres. Yet even in the GenFic section, there weren't a lot of promising releases. To be fair, the fact that I don't include sequels on this list took a lot of books out of the running. Anyway, enough of complaining. Without further ado, my Top 10 for November:

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson (November 4)

   As you may or may not know, Melanie Dickerson is one of those authors I'm a fan of....but have never actually read anything by them. I think, from what I've read in the Goodreads summary, that this is a Frog Prince retelling, although there was no mention of a princess spying whatsoever. But let's take a moment to look at that gorgeous cover. Aaah, to live in a fairytale world and spend your days parading around in lovely gowns. 

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan by Stephanie Thornton (November 4)

   If there's one thing I want to learn more about as a history buff, it's Asian history. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't seem to find as many Asian royal biographies as I do European ones (if you guys have suggestions, please do leave them in the comments!). I really hope I can land a copy of The Tiger Queens; even though it is historical fiction, it's a stepping stone, right?

Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little (November 4)

   I'm just going to start off by saying that if I were an author (or a publisher, as I understand sometimes they're the ones with the final say), I wouldn't choose a title as generic as Forbidden. Seriously, this is book is one of six books that popped up in the Goodreads search machine. I do love that cover, though. Man, I'd pay pretty money for that dress. This book is set in ancient Mesopotamia, which helps my resolution to read more historical fiction set outside of Western Europe. 

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (November 4)

    I guess this is your typical dystopia, which isn't a bad thing at all. Now that the most of the dystopian trilogies that were born in the aftermath of The Hunger Games are wrapping up with their final books, I've been looking for a worthy successor. I love how The Walled City seems to be high on grit: drugs and brothels galore. Also, one of the characters follows in Mulan, Alanna, and Arya Stark's footsteps and dresses in drag. Can she (and this book) live up to these three amazing women?

The Silence of Six by E.C. Meyers (November 5)

   I'm going to be honest and say that the summary of this book does nothing for me. Buuuut, the book blogging community have been over the moon with this novel; they can't stop raving about it. It's about the hacking world, I believe? And this guy's best friend shoots himself and now said guy has to figure out why? I'm not really into that kinda shiz, but ahhh, we shall see, we shall see.

The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher (November 8)

   I sometimes like to joke that I'm a changeling child myself, because I look nothing like my baby pictures. But then I realize that I'm a dead ringer for my father, and that theory goes right out the window. Anyway, I haven't read a faerie series since Wicked Lovely, and I've been itching to delve into the world once more. I've toyed with starting Julie Kagawa's books (yes or no? Comment below!), but I could also start with this book. And what a pretty cover! So sparkly. The only thing I really don't like about these fae series is that they're usually set in modern times, with a dash of supernatural romance. I just feel that I've kind of grown out of that genre. Now it's go big or go home: Realistic contemporary, or high fantasy. There have been exceptions though (i.e., Starcrossed and Mortal Danger), so maybe this book will join those lucky ones.

Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers (November 11)
   This book was marketed as "The Stepford Wives meets Stephen King". HOW COULD I NOT BE ONBOARD FOR THAT?! Seriously, this is probably the book I'm most excited about. I've loved lighthouses and their place in horror since I read The Babysitters Club Mysteries: Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost, which I will still swear up and down is one of the creepiest novels I've ever read. Like that novel, Stone Cove Island has to do with an unsolved murder. Also, this book is set in "a sleepy New England town". Murder, She Wrote, anyone?

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel (November 11)

   I LOVE dystoptian novels where breeding and marriage is a plot fixture. It's just such a sacred thing to most people, and so reading about a twisted version of it is just so deliciously creepy. The Book of Ivy is about a girl who has an arranged marriage with the enemy, but is really sent to kill him. Wooooh. I've gotta say, that cover of a pretty little bride hiding a knife behind her back nails the plot perfectly. I'm pumped to read this one!

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson (November 18)

   Ooh, ~*General Fiction*~. La belle epoque is one of my favorite historical time periods, and this book is set smack dab in the middle of it. The story is about a poor girl who is apprenticed to a rich family, rich family has secrets, poor girl is caught in the web of lies, you get the gist. But I genuinely am excited to read about this. I've only read a couple of books set in this time period and I would love to add more to my collection.

Trail of Shadows and Blood by Carina King (November 18)

   I searched EVERYWHERE for this book's cover. It's come to the point where I'm not actually sure this book exists. I would love for it to be real though, its plot sounds amazing. The protagonist is a Grimm, and there's a battle between fairytale characters, and it's set in the future, and just whoa. Please, please, please be a legit book.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cuckoo for Books Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

   I'm writing this review literally two seconds after I finished this book, because oh my goodness I can't even contain my feelings. What. A. Novel. Whew. Pretty epic stuff happened in Sarah J. Maas' second installment of the Throne of Glass series. What's the opposite of a sophomore slump? A sophomore success? A sophomore spectacle? Well, whatever it is, this book is it. 

*Caution: A minefield of spoilers is coming your way, because all the bombshells in this book is what makes it so awesome. Brace yerselves.

   The book starts off shortly after the events of the first book: Celaena is now the King's Champion and as a result, is in charge of carrying out his dirty deeds. Soon, Cel is visited by another vision of Elena who gives yet another ominous you-must-save-the-world message. The rest of the book unfolds accordingly. 

   I said in my Throne of Glass that I was on the fence about the series being so magic-centric, instead of being a high fantasy series that was well-grounded in reality. Crown of Midnight took me even farther from that hope, because magic surrounds the plot more than ever. It was a smooth transition, though. My one complaint is about the main magical premise however: three magical objects are out there in the world that, if brought together, will give a person immeasurable power. WOW. THAT SOUNDS SO UNFAMILIAR AND NOT AT ALL LIKE THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. The plot also took its own sweet time to get the ball rolling; it was forever before some action happened. Last con is that I so badly wanted more Kaltain time, but unfortunately she only showed up in a total of like, 4 or 5 pages.

   Now that my cons are out of the way, allow me to share the oodles of pros Crown of Midnight had going for it. My love for Celaena grew even stronger in this book, which I did not think was possible. I love how she doesn't fall for the whole "destiny" schtick. She's also one of the few heroines cuss out their significant other for being overprotective, instead of falling at their feet, swooning over how totes romantic their bae is. Speaking of baes, let's talk about the bae of the book: Chaol Westfall. Oh man. Ohhhhh man. That dance under the stars had me giggling like a 13-year-old fangirl. It was all too sweet. I also loved that at that exact moment, Nehemia and Dorian were watching them (and probably singing "and they'll never be royaaaaals..."). 

    I refuse to talk about Nehemia. I just...shhh, let's just not. Let's just talk about Dorian and the fact that he has magical powers!!! I totally though Cel was going to end up with the magic, but surprise, surprise, it's my bb Dory. But while we're on the topic of Cel and magic,  that ending was AH-MAZING. It was a theory I kept tossing back and forth in my mind: "OMG she's totally the heir....nahhh, no way is it her...but it would make sense!....No, no it wouldn't....OH MY GOSH SHE TOTALLY IS I KNEW IT!"

   Despite the slow beginning, I liked the pacing of the rest of the novel; it felt like a true epic adventure. Oh! And before I end this review, I'll mention another favorite part of mine: MORT. I love that little body-less bugger. 

   I have one teeny favor to ask of all you Filipino book bloggers out there: Have you guys seen any copies of Heir of Fire? I absolutely have not, and I NEED IT IN MY HANDS RIGHT THIS SECOND.


Cuckoo Rating: 9/10

Monday, 27 October 2014

Book Creatures of the Night

   This tag was created by Katytastic, an awesome BookTuber, and although I have yet to gather enough bravery to launch my own vlog, I thought I could do this tag in blog form! Plus, this eerie season of Halloween comes but once a year, and what better time to write this post? 

   I'm going to extend an olive branch and say that my favorite vampire is Carlisle Cullen. 

Looking for this chapter was the first time I'd opened this book in eons.
   WHOA WHAT IS SALVE CHOOSING A TWILIGHT VAMPIRE?!? Yes. Yes I am. I am feeling particularly generous today. Plus I decided to put the Blue Bloods coven under "Angels" so really, I had no other choice. But even while I read the books and watched the movies, I absolutely loved Carlisle. I felt like he was the redeeming character of the series. I mean, think about it. Some immortals choose to spend eternity cavorting about and wreaking havoc on humanity (though there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, cough, Magnus Bane). Instead, Carlisle spent his centuries bettering himself, because he knew he was more than just a cold-blooded killer. And when Peter Facinelli walked on screen, he just was Carlisle. There is no one who could've been a better casting choice.



Daine in wolf form, I guess. I remember buying a shirt from Zara because it looked like this.
    No, okay, so technically Daine isn't a werewolf, but she is a human who can shapeshift into animals, notably in the second book, a wolf. So I think maaaybe that counts? I guess for general YA, this choice is a tad obscure, but guess what? How about you make it not obscure and familiarize yourself with TAMORA PIERCE CHARACTERS. Yes, this choice was made as a part of my crusade to get all y'all to love Tammy Pierce. If you want a more relatable wolfie, I'll just throw Lupin's name out there, because, hello, tell me you know a Potterhead who doesn't love Lupin, and I will tell you are a liar. 

Jesse going "Nooo Susannah don't do that stupid thing you're probs about to do"
   I didn't even have to think about this. Jesse de Silva from Meg Cabot's Mediator novels! Like I've said before, I rarely turn into a swooning, in-love-with-love fangirl, but Jesse makes me collapse into a pile of Salve-feels. Lemme tell you a little bit about this guy: He is a ghost from the 1800s, and therefore imbues all the gallantry of the time period. He carries a handkerchief. He calls Suze by her whole name, Susannah, which I think is just plain adorable. He protects our protag, Suze Simons like the dashing white knight he is, although he and Suze both know she doesn't need help in the ass-kicking department. He *spoiler alert* stops haunting her room and moves away because he doesn't want to get tempted to frickle frackle. I could go on forever about this boy, but I won't. Just hop on the Jesse train and fall in love, won't you?


   I WONDER WHO MY CHOICE COULD BE. It's certainly not a dark-haired, green-eyed, bespectacled boy with a lightning-shaped scar.

Fetus Radcliffe.

Just kidding, it totally is.

   Do you guys ever have those series that you feel is yours, and yours alone? I'm not talking about books that you absolutely love but feel is underrated, and you just want the whole world to know of its awesomeness (i.e, Tamora Pierce novels). I'm talking about those books you might've discovered as a kid. It doesn't have to be your favorite series. Maybe nobody aside from you has heard of it. Whatever it is, there's a connection you have to it.
The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones would be that series for me. Tania and her sisters are characters I grew up with and even though I haven't read the series in years, I can still remember the books so vividly. Out of the seven princesses, Sancha the bookworm would be my pick.


  I was seriously debating whether or not the supernatural characters in Blue Bloods fell under the category of vampire or angel, because they are technically both. But I chose to put them under angels, and my favorite angel would definitely be Mimi Force. She's sexy and she knows it. She's richer than Trump. She can kick ass. She has the world at her fingertips. She's like, the BeyoncĂ© of the supernatural world. 

    If you haven't read The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer yet, I suggest you pass over this category, because my choice is just one giant spoiler alert. My favorite alien ever, ever, ever, would definitely be Cinder. I love that she's not a pining, swooning, fangirling girl like her Disney counterpart was. She shows up to the ball in a tattered gown and she couldn't care less. And, of course, there's the whole bad-assery of being part cyborg. Sorry Walt, my man, but not even a fairy godmother and talking mice could beat being a cyborg.

   Kingsley Martin-- OMG NO MAGNUS BANE. Yep. Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles . I had a hard time choosing a demon because, let's face it, how many literary demons are there who aren't either lackeys of the villain or the villain themselves? How many actually have the gift of speech? Well, okay, there are some out there, (like Magnus' father, but ew) but MAGNUS BANE. He's only part-demon (and part-Asian, wootwoot), yeah...but...MAGNUS BANE. I can't say anything more. Let's just repeat his name again. ~*MAGNUS BANE*~

                                                    -SUPERPOWERED HUMAN-
   My Grisha babies!!!! I love Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, and the idea of all these people with superpowers training in a beautiful palace for the King's Army. My favorite Grisha babies would definitely be Genya & David. OTP, bro, OTP. I always thought about what order of Grisha I'd be in, and I think I'd be a Tidemaker of the Etherealki. On a related note, I am so excited for Leigh Bardugo's upcoming Six of Crows, which also takes place in the Grisha universe!!!

   So that's it for my Book Creatures of the Night tag! I challenge all of you reading this to  do this tag; I personally had tons of fun doing it. Happy Halloween, everyone!


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Bookhaulin' Like A Boss

Hey there, my beautiful bookworms! Today I had myself a merry little bookhaul (ugh, Salve, it's way too early for Christmas references), which I have not done in a while, mostly because my unread bookshelf has been steadily growing and haunting my dreams. But what with all the new book releases these past few months, I put the hundred unread books out of my mind for today and hit the bookshop.

Melanie Dickerson's Fairy Tales
   To be honest, I've never finished a Melanie Dickerson novel, but her name pops up whenever you Google "YA fairytale retellings", so her books have been on my wish list for quite some time. I've never actually come across physical copies, though, so imagine my surprise when I found all three sitting side by side on the bookshelf!

Inglorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll
   I love Leslie Carroll's books! I've previously read Notorious Royal Marriages, as well as Royal Affairs (loved them both to bits), and Royal Pains is back in my dorm room waiting to be read. I'm so happy that I was able to find this new one, because her books are seriously harder to track down than a unicorn. I'm not too sure what sets a notorious royal marriage from an inglorious one, though. 


Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini and Blackbird by Anna Carey
   To have these books in my possession makes me so giddy. About a month ago, they made my "Top 10 Upcoming September Releases" list, and I still can't believe they're finally in my hands. I've been a longtime fan of both these authors, who, by the way, are both extremely underrated. You guys should really do yourselves a favor and pick up their books. They're excellent! 
***I did not get paid to say that. Heck. I don't get paid to do anything on this blog. 

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
   Ahhh, this book. I feel like this book is the Adele album of YA: you've heard about it a long time coming, but you really have no idea when its release date would be. This cover is giving off some serious Percy Jackson vibes, which I love. These two authors have both made quite the name for themselves in the fantasy YA genre (Holly Black is the author of like, a billion YA books, and Cassie Clare is the legend that brought us all those Shadowhunter books), so this book should be epic.

Legacy by Cayla Kluver
   Before today, I'd never even heard of these series, but the high fantasy premise intrigued me, so I took a leap of faith. I started it on the ride home, and I'm impressed so far. Just try to ignore that disgusting, generic, looks-like-a-tawdry-romance-novel cover.

Eight books later, I am one happy bookworm. Of course, I also ended up feeding the monster that is my unread bookshelf. I'm thinking of giving the thing a name. Any suggestions, bookworms?