A Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

4 Stars

Blurb

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Untitled-8a

Pages: 496 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published on: 29th March, 2016

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3

Find it on…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

The Winner’s Kiss is a spectacular ending to this series. I didn’t really enjoy The Winner’s Crime that much but this book was a big step up. Unsurprisingly, this book still managed to captivate me in the way that had me reading late into the night.

One of the issues I had with the last book was Kestrel’s mediocre military strategy. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly really impressed by her plots in this book, but I was able to see Kestrel’s mind in action and that was really cool. I was not impressed by Arin’s war strategy either. The reason for my lack of admiration for these strategies is because they are mostly based on what they know about the General as a person. This also makes the General’s character seem foolish as their plans succeed 95% of the time. Unrealistic. I expect a person with the General’s reputation for intelligence to be able to realise why he’s losing and make some less predictable moves. Sure, this is a flaw of his character, but this flaw is unrealistically debilitating.

The romance in this book was a great asset to the story. Rutkoski develops this romance in an very believable way that is really touching. It makes the characters so much more human because yet another aspect of their character is revealed: the softer, the more romantic side. Arin and Kestrel are one of my favourite OTPs. ❤

The shadow of her old self curled into the shadow of him.

It’s not just the romance that was touching. The friendship and the relationships between characters in general were pretty realistic. Kestrel’s relationship with her father was brutally honest.

There is also a tinge of awesome humour in this story, especially regarding Arin the tiger. It lightened the otherwise sombre atmosphere and made the read extra enjoyable.

“You thought there were Valorians in the woods. You weren’t frightened then.”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

“Spiders,” he said gravely.

She elbowed him.

Rutkoski is also a skilful writer and her writing kept me immersed in the story the entire way. This was a truly fantastic novel- a feast for the mind. I really recommend you check it out of you like YA fantasy!!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

Announcement: I’m going on hiatus for a little while…

Hey guys! ❤

I have exams coming up this month and the next, so I’m going on a hiatus until my exams finish. That means that I won’t be able to write reviews or do book tags/ awards until after my exams. However, I have scheduled some quotes (and some reviews I have written beforehand), so there will still be something being published haha.

I’ll miss you guys!

Kellie xo

P.S. I’m so scared for my exams. *shudders*

A Book Review: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

4.5 Stars

Blurb

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Untitled-8a

Publishing Company: Broadway Books

Published on: 5th of June, 2012

Pages: 372 (Paperback)

Find it on…

Amazon / GR / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”

Ready Player One was a wonderful whirlwind of an adventure. In fact, this book pretty much had all the elements of a typical tournament-adventure-science-fiction novel so it is a little cliché in that sense, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this. If you’re looking for something that breaks away from the general formula however, Ready Player One may not be the book you’re looking for.

The characters in the story were definitely pretty cool. Every main character in this story is different from each other, and these differences can be seen through their language. What’s so interesting about this particular cast of characters, is their interactions with each other. In real life, how people act changes depending on who they’re interacting with, and inReady Player One, this is really clearly reflected which makes the characters much more realistic than a lot of characters from other books in the same genre.

Even though the characters themselves were quite realistic, I found that some parts of the relationships were unrealistic, specifically the easy transition of their relationships from the simulation world to reality. In the novel, Art3mis actually talks about how a person’s true personality is not always reflected in the simulation of themselves in Oasis. I think that this surely applies to relationships as well. A good relationship in a virtual simulation does not automatically mean that the relationship will be good in real life. On the other hand, the main characters do stay true to their personality in the simulation, so I can understand their ease around each other in real life, but there is still a suspicious lack of awkwardness.

Identity was also an integral part of this story. I was partly surprised by the true identity of some of the characters. I had guessed some aspects of their identity, but the other aspects were cleverly veiled so that I didn’t question whether those aspects were true.

Also there were a lot of 80’s culture references. I don’t know much about the 80’s so I didn’t understand most of the references, but there were info dumps which I liked as it helped me to understand the culture more. The only reference I unquestionably understood was Ultraman. Surprisingly.

There were also some deeper concepts in this story I liked. For example, Ready Player One really takes the “don’t judge a person by their physical appearance” to a whole new level since everyone’s avatar can look different from themselves. I really liked the characters’ lack of judgement when it came to physical appearances. They paid more attention to a person’s personality, which is part of the reason why I liked this cast of characters so much. Another concept was escapism versus facing reality. The world in which the main characters live in is not a very nice world, so people tend to log on to Oasis for escapism. Halliday sort of addresses this issue at the end of the book. Both are pretty interesting concepts that can’t be immediately answered.

Overall, Ready Player One was an enjoyable read, and I recommend this to passionate fans of the 80’s or readers who are looking for a thrill. 🙂

Untitled-8a

Thank you to my friend Lilian for recommending this book to me!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

An Award: Book Fangirling Blog Award

Thank you to Larkin @ Wonderfilled Reads for nominating me. This is a unique award that I am really excited to do. If you haven’t seen this blog before I really recommend you go visit it. Her blog is amazing!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions they set for you.
  • Set some new questions and nominate five more bloggers.

Untitled-8a

The Questions

Which fandom do you identify yourself most with?

I normally identify myself most with The Hunger Games fandom since I used to have a tumblr blog devoted to this fandom. I also identify myself as part of the HP fandom a lot of the time though. I love both fandoms equally (and they’re not the only ones I’m a part of)!! ❤

What are some positives and negatives to fandoms in general?

One of the positives is definitely that you can find a lot of other people who are just as passionate about the books or tv series or movie… As you are. There are always great discussions, great canary, fan fiction that one might not have discovered without being part of the fandom.

In terms of negatives, there can be some conflicts between two fandoms sometime and they don’t always end peacefully. Thankfully I haven’t witnessed many of these conflicts.

Is there one fandom that you will never understand or want to join?

I’ve always wanted to join twilight fandom!!!!!!!!! Just joking hehe. 😉 I have read the books, but I don’t feel passionate enough about it to join the fandom.

Do you collect and fandom items? What are they?

I don’t often collect fandom items since it’s hard to find them over here, and shipping is very expensive. But my friend did go e me this really cool THG cup with a design that changed when it is heated.

What book, tv show, or movie do you think deserves a hardcore fandom but doesn’t have one?

I feel like The King of Attolia should deserve a hardcore fandom. That book is a masterpiece, I loved it so much. Actually, I think The King of Attolia does have a small and less well known fandom. I don’t think the fandom is that hardcore though.

Untitled-8a

Five New Questions…

  1. Which fandom do you think creates the best (subjectively) fanart/fanfiction/gifs…?
  2. How many fandoms do you identify yourself with? What fandoms are they?
  3. Do you have any fandom items? If you do, what is your favourite item?
  4. Favourite OTP from your favourite fandom?
  5. What book (series)/fandom/tv series/anything will you remain a fangirl for until the very end?

Untitled-8a

I nominate…

  1. Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide to Novels
  2. Ali @ Arctic Books
  3. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
  4. Brigitte @ The Book and the Bone
  5. Maddie & Bee @ Heart Full of Books

As always, if you’ve already received this award, feel free to not answer my questions! 🙂

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Awards: Versatile Blogger Award and Creative Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Liam from Hey Ashers! for nominating me for these two awards!! I’m going to do what Liam did and complete two awards in one post (two birds with one stone :P). I hope you don’t mind, Liam!

His blog is amazing, so I really recommend you guys to pop over and check out his blog. 🙂

Untitled-8a

RULESUntitled-1vb


The Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Show the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person that has nominated you.
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself .
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice.
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
Original award image. Copyright belongs to the original creator!

The Creative Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Share five facts about yourself.
  • Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.

Untitled-8a

Versatile Blogger Award

  1. I love tea. A lot.

    From tumblr.
  2. I’m a night owl but I also like waking up early which makes no sense to me.
  3. I use chopsticks a lot, but I actually don’t hold a pair of chopsticks the correct way.
  4. I’m a cat person who still finds dogs cute.
  5. I love watching Avatar: The last airbender (I don’t like legend of korra that much :-/), Teen Wolf, and am planning to start watching the 100 and the Americans.
  6. I don’t like spicy foods. Actually mildly spicy foods are fine, but I can’t eat really spicy foods with out drinking something after each mouthful.
  7. I’m an avid reader and dedicated daydreamer.

Creative Blogger Award

  1. I like flamingoes!
  2. My favourite letter is A. There is no real reason why.
  3. My second favourite letter is Y. I would like X but it always gets lost, so I have to keep finding it all the time during maths (*shamelessly retells an overused joke*).
  4. I like wearing bracelets more than wearing necklaces. I just find wearing a bracelet so much easier than a necklace. It’s sort of like grab ‘n go but instead it’s wear ‘n go.
  5. Pluto is my favourite dwarf planet. I’ve liked Pluto ever since I was really young (I feel a lot of sympathy for the poor planet. Being demoted is never fun.).

    PLUTO ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Untitled-8

The AWESOME Nominees!

I hope you guys will enjoy doing these awards! If you’ve already been nominated for these awards before, sorry! There is no obligation for you to actually do these awards. 😛

Brigitte @ The Book and the Bone

The Book Llama

Alicia @ #lovebooks

Tiffani @ The Book Venom

Anjie @ Love Thy Shelf

Bri @ Paperback Bri

Paige & Yasmin @ The Wild Readers

Kelly @ Stellar Scrutiny

Kat @ Bookbox by Kat

Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide to Novels

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination

Brittany @ Brittany Marie Reads

Klinta @ Book Owly

Amy @ Book Enthral

Chandini @ Of Rambles and Books

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post,

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8

A Book Review: Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat

Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat

3.5 Stars

Blurb

“This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison”

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

Untitled-8a

Pages: 240 (Ebook)

Published on: 22nd of May, 2012

Series: Captive Prince #1

Find it on…

Amazon / GR / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat (or S. U. Pacat) was an interesting read. I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb, I thought that the book would have pages of erotic passages, and ultimately lack substance.  Well… I was wrong. Captive Prince is filled to the brim with fantastic characterisation and political intrigue (if you’ve read my review on The Fixer, you’ll know I love reading about political schemes).

I can wholeheartedly say that this book has some of the best characters I have encountered this year. All of the characters have multiple faces even though it may have been less obvious in some characters. There was actually this character that fooled me for a while. I honestly thought that this character was a pretty good person with an air of decency until I read about his ah… unique preference in the slaves in this book.

Pacat’s skilful writing slowly nudges the reader’s subconscious, and gets the reader to start liking Laurent (one of the main characters in Captive Prince) by peeling back his layers and revealing slivers of what could be interpreted as kindness. Although most of Laurent’s seemingly kind acts are just stepping stones that help him to achieve a political goal, it is hard to dislike his character by the end of the book. Bear in mind, Pacat was able to get me to like Laurent even though I was (sort of ) rooting for Damen whose adversary is Laurent. At the same time, Pacat subtly turns the tide of sympathy against Laurent’s Uncle.  It’s like magic.

magic

The politics in this book is really interesting. It’s interesting to see how the Regent and Laurent strategise against each other. However, sometimes I was not able to get a full grasp of the political scheme as we see the events unfold through the perspective of Damen, who does not always notice a scheme unfolding or find the small details that Laurent sets in place for a plan. Some of the plans were quite surprising as well.

One aspect of the book which was not developed as well was the world. Occasionally, the names of places are thrown in and the city very briefly described. When I was reading this book, I had no firm idea where these places were in relation to each other. I also had no clear idea of the shape of the country, the terrain. Even the difference between the peoples in terms of their attitudes and behaviour was more perspicuous to me than the place in which they lived in.

Also, there was not much action. So if you’re looking for action, this may not be the book for you. However, if you like politics and good characterisation, you should definitely check this book out!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

An Award: The Entertainer Blogger Award

ebaAn Award: The Entertainer Blogger Award

Thank you so much to The Book Llama for nominating me for this award!!! This seems like a really interesting award, so I’m excited to answer these questions. 😛 But first, the rules:

  • Write a post with the award picture.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring, and, most important of all, ENTERTAINING!
  • Add these rules to the post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog!
  • Also, answer these questions down below!

Untitled-8a

Questions

Why did you start a blog in the first place? 

I started a blog because wanted to have a place where I could share my thoughts and feelings regarding my passion for books. ❤ I also generally gravitate towards blogging, (I’m not sure why haha) so I decided to start a blog on WordPress.

What is your favorite book? 

AH it’s this question again. I can’t decide. This is like making me choose between my favourite OTPs. It’s simply heartbreaking. </3

But if you’re interested, here’s a link to my favourite books.

What do you dislike the most? 

Err in general? I dislike humid weather.

What is your favourite food item from the mall? 

Godiva chocolate even though it’s too expensive for me to buy haha. 😛

 What is your favourite pastime?

Definitely reading. I could read all day if I had the time, which I sadly don’t. 😦

Untitled-8

I nominate……………..

This is the actual award picture. 😛

If you guys have already received this award before, feel free to not do this!

Brigitte @ The Book and The Bone

Kat @ Bookbox by Kat

Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

Kelly @ Stellar Scrutiny

Liam @ Hey Ashers

Kate @ Pass the Feels

Anjie @ Love Thy Books

Alicia @ #lovebooks

Amy @ Book Enthral

Laura @ Laurasteatimereads

Audrey @ Forwards and Bookwords

Alexandra @ Silent Night Reviews

And also anyone else who wants to do this award!!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. 🙂

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

4 Stars

Blurb

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Untitled-8a

Pages: 668 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published on: 8th March, 2016

Series: The Dark Artifices (Book 1)

Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

Here’s a summary of my experience with Cassandra Clare’s books: I really love the shadowhunter universe and The Infernal Devices. I had mixed feelings about The Mortal Instruments (I still don’t really like Clary no offence, even after reading this book). Due to my previous experiences, I was not sure what to expect from Lady Midnight since this book happens after TMI, the series I liked less. If you had the same reservations as I did, brush them aside, and read Lady Midnight because it is a pretty worthwhile read.  

I can tell you right off the bat that Lady Midnight is way better than The Mortal Instrument series in terms of writing and characterisation. Clare has improved vastly as a writer. The writing in this book flowed much more nicely than it did in City of Bones, and the action was described in away that emanates suspense. I became much more captivated by and emotionally invested in this story than in her previous books (with the exception of TID, which still remains my favourite shadowhunter series  <3), because of Lady Midnight’s nicer writing.

The characters in this story were pretty diverse and very emotionally realistic. About fifty percent of the book is focused on inter-character relationships, love, and friendship. This focus really helped the emotions of the character to shine through. In this book, there were both subtle and blatant descriptions of a character’s actions or expressions that allowed me to see exactly how they were feeling. Basically, there was so much emotional baggage that I needed a tissue box in the end.

As I mentioned before, the characters are diverse, in terms of their personalities. Whereas in other shadowhunter stories, the personalities of some characters blended into each other a little bit, there was a stark contrast between characters from LM. Also, many of the characters had their own, unique habits, actions, and choice of words which helped to distinguish their personalities even more.

“He bumped into a pay phone and said, ‘Excuse me, miss,’ on our way in,” said Julian.

“It’s polite to apologize,” said Mark with the same small voice.

“Not to inanimate objects.”

It’s ok Mark, I do that too. ❤

As expected, Clare gives certain characters from previous series small parts in this book. Although I love these small appearances, I feel like these constant references to old characters sort of takes away the focus from the central, integral characters of this story. On top of that, the old characters are constantly praised, and almost revered as if they were gods (*ahem* Jace and Clary *ahem*), which again undermines some of the admiration and glory that the characters from Lady Midnight deserve because the praises make it seem as if the accomplishments of the old characters are much more significant than the accomplishments of LM‘s characters.

The plot of LM was pretty exciting. I was kept on the edge of my seat for most of the time, as I usually get excited when there is a need to decipher a piece of text (it adds to the mystery). However, I was a little disappointed by the identity of culprit. After reading the exciting build up, I was expecting a more dramatic wrap up of the story and a little bit more flair.

Julian and Emma had a really interesting relationship. I could tell that the bond was strong from the very start. They have this system where they draw letters on each other’s skins. Draw letters. All I can say is that this is a pretty bad form of communication. A, it’s not secret at all. Everyone can see you doing weird stuff on each other’s arms. B, can you even write these letters quickly? And if you do write them, how do you differentiate between words?! But it’s a nice concept, I suppose.
Much to my surprise, Julian actually became one of my favourite characters from LM. Him, Mark, and Cristina. Julian is actually a very good example of Clare’s improved characterisation. On the surface, Julian seems like a soft hearted person, someone who would probably never hurt a fly unless the fly decided to hurt his family. However, underneath that layer, Julian actually has a very ruthless heart, which is clearly revealed when Nightshade is framed.

“He said you were gentle,” said Kieran. “The most gentle person he knew.” He smiled, and there was a cold beauty to his face when he smiled, like the crystalline surface of frost. “You are not gentle. You have a ruthless heart.”

Good lord though, I dread the romance in the next book. Come on Emma. Why on EARTH would you do that?!?!?! And here I thought you were the one with more experience concerning love. Do you really think what you did will work?!?!
facepalm

If you are a fan of Clare’s previous series, I really recommend this book to you!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280
Untitled-8a