Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (47): THE CROWN'S GAME BY EVELYN SKYE.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.

Expected Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

1.) I am truly glad that even though I was late in signing up, Evelyn Skye still allowed me to become a part of the Tsar's Guard!! Thank you!
2.) Look at that intriguing cover!
3.) Another YA High (historical) fantasy novel? COUNT ME IN!
4.) Did anyone say RUSSIA?
5.) READ THE SYNOPSIS, PEOPLE!! REEEEAD!
6.) Ancient magic? Wait, what!?
7.) I mean, this book has everything I am so into when it comes to this genre. Thank you to HarperCollins International for the advance copy! Can't wait to dive in!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (68): THE YEAR ENDER HAUL EDITION.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.
Happy, Happy New Year again, guys!

I tried this 2015, guys. I tried. And I failed in so many things. But I know that I didn't try hard enough. I've lived an average life last year that I could not really say it was a blast. But just like in 2014, I learned a lot -- and most importantly, I am happy.

I accumulated all the books since September. I wasn't really in to books/reading/blogging last year but I attended a lot of bookish events! Now, here's what I got:


BOUGHT:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling (this is my second copy!!)
- The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (Wooot! Been trying to get a hold of this!)
Storm Siren (The Storm Siren Trilogy #1) by Mary Weber (SO. SO. EXCITED. TO. DIVE. IN)
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (GOTTA GET ME THE HARDBOUND!) *8-star review!*
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo (FIRST FREAKING ED! OMGGG)
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt Volume 1
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt Volume 2
- One-Punch Man Volume 1
- RX-78-2 Head Bust

GIFTED:
- Ashes (Ashes Trilogy #1) by Ilsa J. Bick (Thank you, Kai of Amaterasu Reads!)
- Mystic City (Mystic City #1) by Theo Lawrence (Thank you, Kai of Amaterasu Reads!)
- Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard (Thank you, Leslie of Bibliophile Kid!)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt Volume 3 (Thank you, Don!)
- Pink Instax Mini8 (WOOHOOOOO!! But I wanna get the Raspberry, too!)

FOR REVIEW:
- Waterfall (Teardrop #2) by Lauren Kate
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (not pictured)
- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
- The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine
- Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse #1) by Kathy MacMillan

I cannot wait to read all these fantastic books! I've also got a ton of galleys from Edelweiss! Watch out for my reviews!

Again, thanks eternally to (office secret santa) Don, Amaterasu Reads, (blogger secret santa) Bibliophile Kid, Fullybooked, National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Random House UK, Penguin Random House International and HarperCollins International!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

REVIEW: RITES OF PASSAGE BY JOY N. HENSLEY.

Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Series: Standalone
Edition: Kindle
Publication: September 9, 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Military
Trailer: not available.

Synopsis:

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty... no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust... and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.
Purchase the book here:


My bookish friends spazzed about Rites of Passage on Twitter sometime last year and you know, I trust their judgment. Thankfully, I got an advance copy (so sorry for the late review though) from HarperC through Edelweiss and here we are, stunned by how I loved everything about this book.

When you hear Military School, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Me? FUCKING ABS. I kid you not but that is what I strongly associate with Military School. It is the same thing I think of when I hear Firefighters. Well, thank you Media for corrupting my mind like that. Anyway, back in high school, I was the Battalion's First Platoon Leader for our schools Citizen Army Training so I know everything Hensley tackled in this book. I totally related to all the push ups, runs, drills, smoke shows and whatnots. Reading Rites of Passage made me reminisce my high school experience. Being a part/an officer was I think the best part of my high school life. If I could go back, I would  have done it over and over again.

Rites of Passage kept me glued to my Kindle. I hated how much chores got me side tracked, I hated how I needed to pause reading. Sam McKenna proved that not all YA MCs need saving. You see, she's stubborn AF but her determination to a) complete a dare b) make Colonel Daddy proud c) bring those MoFos down d) prove females belong to Military School made me proud of her, too.Importantly, she made me feel proud of being a female. It isn't everyday that we get to meet someone like her, no complaints, almost no tears, no dramas, enduring and motivating. Hensley crafted Sam's character to be a role model. What I also liked about her is that though in her intense situation, it is truly hard to trust, she listened to her guts and carefully but hard kicked those people's assess she knows could no longer be a part of her life. She's brave like that and logical. She was also hesitant at first but she didn't go batshit crazy taking down those MoFos on her own. She accepted help. And for me, it humbled her character. Way to go, Sam. I hope I get to see you again in the near future.

Well, well, well.. Can we all talk about Drill Sergeant Dean Stamm Drill Sergeant for a minute? I think I cannot, though. He isn't perfect but he is absolutely swoon worthy! OMG how can you not swoon over his character and uber hot abs. I hated Jonathan McKenna up until the last few chapters but I just knew he's got something up on his sleeve. I also loved/hated with fiery passion this ahole Matthews for being this huge douchebag but Sam wouldn't be who she is if it wasn't for him. He's one of the best antagonists out there, he pushed her to hell to bring out the heaven in her. I wanted to slap him so hard with a rifle, like all the time but yeah, his character also was crafted really well. I was a little unsure about Jax's character but she played fair. They all had a huge part in this amazing plot and their contribution as an individual made the story gripping. I actually want more.

Rites of Passage is a stunning debut novel. Nothing beats a hellish set of exercise to beat a hellish secret society with hellish hot drill sergeant. It is one novel fully loaded with girl power!

Thank you HarperCollins International for the electronic advance copy!

"How can you put words to something you are unable to fail at -- no matter what?"
"..you are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop."
"But we've crossed a line neither of us meant to cross. I still feel him against me, the safety I felt even when there's no chance of any comfort at all right now. It felt right. And that's the last thing I have the strength to deal with right now."
"..what he must think of my screwed up family that values appearance so much Amos couldn't even trust us with a huge part of himself.."
"Everyone makes choices about how they live their lives, the way they're going to move toward success. You have chosen an honorable route. Honorable people, people of character and moral uprightness, can be intimidating."

Friday, January 1, 2016

WELCOME 2016!

To be better than yesterday,
To lift and be lifted,
To forgive and forget,
To taking responsibilities
with joy in the heart.
To surrendering at the right time;
To fighting for what is owed.
To being happy longer than being sad,
To love without conditions,
To give without restrictions.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

My #SeaofBooks