#WWWWednesday: 26 February

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Unlike last week when I set a new personal reading record, I haven’t read much since last Wednesday and only managed to finish two books. The past week has been pretty stressful with my move and I’ve had some busy evenings this week.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab ★★★★★
Didn’t think I’d love Vengeful more than Vicious but there we have it! This series is amazing and it’s everything I never knew I wanted in a sci-fi fantasy book. I love the concept of ExtraOrdinaries and some of their abilities are so killer (maybe literally). Check out my full review.

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin Chupeco ★★★★☆
Although I had some issues with the writing and world building (in that there was a lot to take in) I ended up really enjoying this read! I loved the concept and the alternate history modern world where fairytales and Carly Rae Jepsen all exist in the same reality. I also loved the found family vibes of the Bandersnatches and after a twisty ending, I’m keen to see what happens next! My FFBC blog tour review post will be up TOMORROW!

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 26 February”

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab – #BookReview

Goodreads: Vengeful (Villains #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.

But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

Holy heck. What can I even say?! I loved Vicious but I’m surprised to say that I might love Vengeful even more?! I just finished reading it earlier today (when I wrote this on Saturday) so my thoughts are still a jumbled mess but I’m going to at least try writing something semi-coherent. Also, sorry but there will be spoilers for Vicious as this picks up after that!

Continue reading “Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab – #BookReview”

First Lines Friday – 06 December

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“The night Marcella died, she made her husband’s favorite dinner.
Not because it was a special occasion, but because it wasn’t–spontaneity, people insisted, was the secret to love.”

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 06 December”

Top 5 Saturday: Series I Want to Finish Before 2019 Ends…

Yes, I’m aware it’s now Sunday but yesterday was a weird day for me combined with work + bingeing The Good Place. I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted anything until it was 1AM and I was still binge watching the series. So I’m posting this a little late… But one day late is better than never!

It’s time for another Top 5 SaturdaySunday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books to be read by the end of the year. I actually answered a similar prompt for last week’s Thursday Discussion post, which you can read here. For this prompt I decided to look at the final books in series that I wanted to read this year and still haven’t got to. Is it highly ambitious to want to finish these series seeing as December is already here and I’ve got so many freaking books that I hope to finish before 2019 ends? It definitely is. But who knows what’ll happen, right?! Maybe December will be my miracle month of reading and I’ll be able to fly through whatever I pick up, even if I’m unsure that I’m really in the mood for it 😃It could be my tropical Christmas miracle! 😂

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Series I Want to Finish Before 2019 Ends…”

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab – #BookReview

Goodreads: Vicious (Villains #1)
Genre: Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, SFF
Reviewed: January 2019
Panda Rating:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates–brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find–aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge–but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

“The paper called Eli a hero.
The word made Victor laugh. Not just because it was absurd, but because it posed a question. If Eli really was a hero, and Victor meant to stop him, did that make him a villain?”

This is a story about superheroes and supervillains and ExtraOrdinary people. It’s about right vs wrong, morality, jealousy, revenge and friendship. It explores a complex relationship between two college best friends turned archenemies, and the reasons and consequences of their fall out. Schwab does a magnificent job writing the fantastical into the ordinary, that although you know the concept is a little outlandish, you wonder if maybe it’s really possible. With an immersive style of writing that encourages you to devour as much as quickly as possible, it isn’t surprising that I was hooked right from the start!

Victor and Eli were college roommates and best friends until their senior year of college when everything came crashing down. After a shared interest in adrenaline, near death experiences and an exploration of seemingly extraordinary abilities moves from theoretical to experimental, things go horribly wrong incredibly fast and these two become each other’s worst enemy. When Victor gets thrown in jail because of Eli, he swears that he will get his vengeance and so the battle between our two villains begins.

“But these words that people threw around— humans, monsters, heroes, villains—to Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

What can I say about this book? I loved pretty much everything about it. The characters, the storyline, all of it! It pulls you in and makes you think about perceptions – for example, what makes someone a hero or a villain? In the movies it’s usually pretty cut and dry, but even villains have a reason why they end up being so evil, right? You could see from the start that Victor and Eli have such a complex friendship. It’s one filled with admiration but also jealousy, envy, and greed. Make no mistake—both Eli and Victor are “bad nuts” in the traditional sense of the word and as Schwab writes it, they have something dark lurking beneath their skin—but in this story, it works. It’s funny how I didn’t think I’d ever have a favorite supervillain but if there were teams, I think I’d definitely be team Victor. His rag-tag crew of misfits grew on me—especially Mitch and his story and of course, sweet little Sydney and Dol!

I loved that all the characters in this book had complex backgrounds to their stories and that we got to learn about them all as we moved back-and-forth from past to present. Schwab did a great job with that as well, with smooth transitions and always spot on with the answers to your burning questions from the previous scene(s).

Have you read Vicious? Are you a fan of Schwab?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Friday Favorites: Unfinished Series!

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favourites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: unfinished series (either you haven’t read all the books or the series is still incomplete)! So after talking about books I’ve been avoiding for this week’s TTT, we’re now going into unfinished series territory, eh? I feel slightly attacked at having to confront the series I’ve left hanging! 😅 For many of the same reasons I’ve been avoiding books on my shelves, I’ve left these books unfinished not because I don’t want to read them but because I’m scared I won’t be satisfied with the ending or because I don’t want this series to end or because… Well, too many books to read, too little time, right? 😬I do feel guilty about leaving these series unfinished, especially since I keep starting new ones, but I’m determined to catch up with as many of them as possible for #SequelSeptember!

Villains: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
I loved Vicious and was so excited to get my hands on Vengeful (so excited in fact that I now have two copies of the book!) but still it sits untouched. I’ve heard that it’s not as amazing as the first, although still good. I haven’t been disappointed by Schwab yet, so I really hope I enjoy it!

The Nevernight Chronicle: Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
To be fair, I only started this series two weeks ago. I’m listening to Godsgrave right now and I’m speeding through it like a demon assassin! I’m hoping to read Darkdawn before September ends. Kristoff’s writing style has grown on me and I’m absolutely loving this gorey and humorous series.

Folk of the Air: The Wicked King and Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The release date for QoN is quickly creeping up (seriously, where does the time fly?!) and I’m kind of tempted to read TWK closer to its release date. I re-read The Cruel Prince just two weeks ago, so it’s still fresh in my mind, but… If TWK ends in a cliffhanger, doesn’t it make sense to wait until I’ve got the QoN in hand so I don’t have to torture myself with waiting? 🙂

Caraval: Finale by Stephanie Garber
I feel like you either really love or hate Caraval and I fell in love with it. There are tons of negative reviews, but I really enjoyed getting lost in the games and the characters; and actually I liked it much better than the famed Night Circus (don’t come for me)! But I’ve heard so many mixed reviews, even from people who’ve loved the series, about Finale that I’m TORN! I don’t want to hate it because it’s the last book but also, what if I end up loving it? Do I pick it up already?! Torn, I tell you!

Throne of Glass: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
I started ToG long before I joined the book community so I really had no idea how popular Maas and her novels were. I LOVED it and it quickly became one of my favorites. When I finished Tower of Dawn I immediately pre-ordered KoA and I even counted down the days until it arrived! But then it came, I put off reading it, and the longer I put it off, the less I remembered about the series. Oops? Now I feel like I need to re-read the whole series before touching this one? Am I crazy? Maybe 🙃

Strange the Dreamer: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
I love Strange the Dreamer. Taylor’s prose is a mildly purple but it was beautiful and swept me away! I got lost in Lazlo’s dreams and the City of Weep. As much as I loved Strange, the ending CRUSHED me. I’m pretty sure I howled into my pillow in anger. So I’m kinda scared to read Muse. What happens next? I’m dying to now but also… Call me a coward coz I might let it sit for a while more?

Arc of a Scythe: The Toll by Neal Shusterman
THE TOLL IS COMING but not nearly soon enough! I’m aching to get my hands on the third book of this series. I didn’t expect to love this dystopian series as much as I did but wow, it was intense and so, so good. I love the Thunderhead and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Will we pick up where we left off? Will years have passed by? What is going to happen!? Eeee… I hope I don’t put off reading this once it comes out. I’ll kick myself if I do 😂

The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Wise Man’s Fear, The Slow Regard of Silent Things and Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss
Doors of Stone still has no release date. I raced through The Name of the Wind and tale as old as time, I couldn’t wait to read Wise Man’s Fear but it’s been sitting, waiting for me. I started a re-read of TNotW last week, in prep to reading TWMF but I’ve put it on hold since WHO KNOWS WHEN book three will come out. Rothfuss, how long are you gonna keep your fans waiting, mate?

The Dark Artifices: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I hadn’t read any of the Shadowhunter books and hardly knew anything about this world that Clare built before picking up The Dark Artifices. Honestly, the cover drew me in and continues to draw me in! I surprised myself by how much I’ve really enjoyed this series. It’s full of teenage angst but I’m still hooked on the mystery. I haven’t picked it up yet because have you seen it? It’s chunky AF. Is scared.

The Oremere Chronicles: Heart of Mist, Reign of Mist and War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
I actually can’t remember when I read the Oremere Chronicles. It must have been soon after the first book came out, so probably 2017? But I remember loving it, though this was before I started writing reviews, so with my memory as bad as it is, I actually can’t remember any of it 😅 Yet I continued to buy the two other books in the series because of the covers, but also because I want to see this series through. So, I’ll start from the top again!

And that’s it friends! There are 10 unfinished series on my list today, but there’s probably more that I can’t actually remember. Hah. Do you have any unfinished series to get to? What are your favorites?
Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!

#TopTenTuesday: Autobuy Authors

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: autobuy authors. I tried to diversify my list a little bit instead of repeating authors and books that I’ve already mentioned on here countless times, but you can’t avoid the inevitable because these authors are my all time faves, so they’re bound to make an appearance! It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to just recall all the authors I’d auto buy, so I had to do a little bit of rummaging around my memory (it’s really that bad) and came up with this list. Yay!

Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is a master of crafting words into incredibly bizarre and delightfully magical worlds within our actual world. I’m always left in awe of his stories. They’re dark, funny, did I mention bizarre, and oddly touching. When I read Neverwhere for the first time a few years ago there was no looking back. He’s been an autobuy since! I’ve really enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read including American Gods, The Graveyard Book, and The Ocean At the End of the Lane, to name a few!

Taylor Jenkins Reid. So I’ve only read two of TJR’s books: Maybe In Another Life and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both took my feelings and ripped them to shreds and I loved every minute of it! These reads are so emotionally packed and I’ve found elements of relatability in both of them, which obviously made it more impactful.

Jodi Picoult. I’ve loved Jodi Picoult since I first discovered her in high school. I think my first book by her was The Pact and it just wowed me with the writing style and the storylines. Since I read most of her books in high school, I don’t think I fully appreciated the complexity of her characters and their situations. I’d definitely love to re-read my favorites at some point!

Robin Sloan. Sloan’s books are so odd, intriguing, and full of quirky loveable characters that worm their way into your heart! Sourdough is probably one of my all time favorite books — no joke. It just makes me feel warm and so happy. Mr. Penumbra’s was also such a fun-tastic adventure with BOOKS and who wouldn’t love that?! I wish it were easier to get my hands on more of his books!

Helen Hoang. Hoang has only put out two books (The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient) so far but I’ve loved both of them dearly! I love the diversity of her romances. They’re awkward, funny, sweet, (so) steamy, and have left me feeling light-hearted after each read. I am also eagerly looking forward to reading about QUAN in her next book, The Heart Principle. She describes it as: “kind of a cross between a gender-swapped Sabrina and Say Anything” … I MEAN C’MON. All the 😍 emojis.

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. I’m a little embarrassed to mention this but I’ve only ever read anything by both authors that they’ve written together. So that’s The Illuminae Files and Aurora Rising. It’s not that I don’t want to read what they’ve written separately, there are just SO MANY books and so few waking+non-working hours! But I will buy anything these two write together. They are the ultimate dynamic writing duo and slay me with their stories and characters!

V.E. Schwab. After finishing ADSOM I immediately knew it’d be one of my all-time favorite series and Schwab immediately jumped onto my auto buy authors list. I loved the writing, storyline and characters. The magic really came to life! I’ve since read and loved her Monsters of Verity and Villains series.

Christina Lauren. It’s as simple as I love CLo and pretty much everything that I’ve read from them! Josh and Hazel‘s Guide to Not Dating is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite romances. This duo never fail to make me laugh, swoon, squeal, and generally have the most fun reading experience with their books. I’m so looking forward to reading Twice In A Blue Moon when it comes out!

Jane Harper. I discovered Harper this year after reading The Dry and there was just no looking back. Her writing is just stunning. It’s so deeply atmospheric, reading her stories takes you straight into the punishing dry heat of the Australian outback. Although her books are classified as thrillers, I’d say they’re more mystery, but they kept me guessing right up to the end.

Brian K. Vaughan. He’s the writer of my all time favorite graphic novel series, Saga. I’ve mentioned this one countless times already on my blog but it’s seriously so freaking good. Anytime someone asks me for graphic novel recs, Saga is the first one I mention. He’s also written Paper Girls, which I enjoyed!

Who are your auto buy authors? If you’ve done a TTT this week, leave your link in the comments and let’s chat auto buy authors!

Friday Favorites: Urban Fantasy Books

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favorites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite urban fantasy books. Okay, I have to be honest and say that I had a bit of trouble with this week’s prompt because I’m not really sure what constitutes “urban fantasy”. I love a good fantasy read, but I’m not very discerning with the different sub-genres; I basically just read what I like! So when asked what my favorite urban fantasy is, I had to scratch my head a little to figure out which books I’ve read that qualify as such. Looking at my read shelves, it seems that I apparently don’t read a lot of this sub-genre, so I’m not sure if the five below count, but I think so!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This book is making another appearance because this was honestly the first book that I could think of when thinking of urban fantasy! Also, I won’t stop recommending this book because imho everyone needs to read it.

The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare. Don’t shoot me, but I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments series yet, and after watching the movie and cringing so hard, I wasn’t really pulled to pick it up. But when I saw the cover of Lady Midnight I wanted to try reading it and, while it started off lukewarm for me, I ended up really enjoying Lord of Shadows. I still haven’t read Queen of Air and Darkness though because I don’t want this series to end!

A Dark Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab. Does this count as an urban fantasy? Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m making it count. Time and again I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again, this is such a fantastic series set in three different Londons, that are completely different (and yet not) to modern day London. Please read it.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series by Laini Taylor. I’m also unsure whether this counts as urban fantasy, but big chunks of the series is set in modern city settings, but also, fantastical city settings. It’s beautiful. Who doesn’t love angels, demons, forbidden love and star-crossed lovers? As far as I know, this book doesn’t get a lot of hype (and tbh the other covers for the books in this series are hideous, no offense to anyone who loves them) but I remember thoroughly enjoying this series.

All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I remember discovering this series in the library in 2012 and I was shocked to find that only the first book had come out. I was completely taken by the idea of vampires and witches in modern-day Oxford and New York, without it being overly creepy. I absolutely loved this series when I read it years ago, but I think I need to re-read it because it was before the time I actively recorded my thoughts and ratings down on Goodreads. I wonder if I’ll still enjoy it!

Are you a big urban fantasy reader? What are your favorite urban fantasies? Any recommendations are welcome! Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat books 🙂