Thursday, December 22, 2016

Most Memorable Books of 2016

There are great books.
There are amazing books.
There are interesting books.

There are so-so books. 
There are "I didn't like it" books.
There are weird books.
And then there are the memorable books.

And those are my most memorable books of 2016. The ones I'll immediately think of whenever I look back, smiling and nodding and thinking "yes, this one was truly amazing."

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

This book...
*shaking my head wordlessly*
I shouldn't be surprised I loved it as much as I did. This is a Rick Riordan's book, after all. But before reading it, I was terrified of reading this book. 

Long story short, I had some major issues with the first book in the Magnus Chase trilogy. 
I still ended up enjoying it, but the shock of not absolutely loving it was just too hard for me to handle. 

So when it came to anticipating The Hammer of Thor, I was cautiously excited. I readied myself for the possibility I wouldn't love it. 
And then...

It was incredible and beautifully done.
Rick Riordan... you're amazing!

If you, like me, had your issues with The Sword of Summer, worry not! For this book will take them all away.  

In this book you may (or may not) find: 

  • A gender fluid shapeshifter who is also a love interest. 
  • A goat killer assassin. 
  • A talking sword that loves to sing. 
  • A wedding. 
  • A psychotic god trying to escape 
  • Overall craziness
  • Some fun times.
  • Some hard times
  • Some sad times
  • Some awesome times.
  • Some times in general.

For the rest of the review...

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

*Looking up from the pages of the notebook, I rub my bloodshot and blurry eyes*
O, hello there, gentelfriends. I almost did not see you there.
*Picking up the pages lying all around, I'm trying to make, somehow, order in the chaos*
Forgive me for the mess. It has been a very long time now since I last reviewed a book. Especially a book as... other as Nevernight.
*Clearing my throat*
I think I got this now. Or almost got it. Whatever the case, I am ready to begin.

But before we start, a fair warning to you lot: for those of you who have yet to be immersed into Nevernight's dark pages, I shall recommend not to proceed beyond the 'full review (with spoilers)' sign.
Apart from that, do not fear to read ahead.
After all...

Never flinch.
Never fear. 
And never... ever forget. 

The Call by Peadar O' Guilin

If I had to describe The Call in a few words, I would say this book is somewhat of a cross between the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
It has that same fast-paced and addictive feeling as Fever (and the gruesome faeries. Don't forget the gruesome faeries) and the darkness of Nevernight (if you read Nevernight - or even heard of Nevernight - you know what I mean).

Darn, if I didn't love this book. 
It was all the way in for me from the very first line, and I couldn't let it go until the very last one.
But just like I did with 
Nevernight, I have to warn you this book is dark. And I do mean dark-dark. At times, I found it to be even more twisted than Nevernight (but that's a matter of taste now). Despite the fact this book follows a very YA protagonist (she's only 14), this world Peadar O' Guilin has created is not a world where children are allowed to be children any longer. 

This book is brutal. Don't expect otherwise. Fully expect to see teenagers - kids, really - die gruesome deaths 
from their own POVs.
And yet... as dark as this book was, it was also beautiful and hopeful and 
strong. It delivered strong feelings, strong message and a strong protagonist. Everything about this book was memorable. 

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I didn't review Gemina simply because I was too mind blown to do so. 

Personally, I loved Illuminae (the first book in the Illuminae Files trilogy) more. But Gemina was no less badass, twisty, scary, funny and mind-blowing. 

For anyone who has yet to get on to this trilogy... I can't stress this enough but: GO READ IT! please.

I don't even have the right words to describe it.  

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Maybe I've gone too long without reading (three months, people! Three excruciating months), but this book had me captivated from start to finish.
I don't think it's the case, though; my heart was pounding so hard in my chest and my mind is still whirling, trying to form coherent thoughts. To say The Long Game left me speechless would be an underestimate.
I feel like I ran a marathon. An emotional one. A treacherous one, filled with twists and turns. In the dark.
Yes, I think that describes The Long Game best. 

If you don't know who Jennifer Lynn Barnes is, she's a YA mystery-thriller author who knows how to combine romance, humor and action-mystery in the best of ways.
You should check out The Naturals - the first book in The Naturals series. Or you can start with The Fixer - the first book in The Fixer series. 

For the rest of the review...

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

Taking place in a future where humans created an artificial intelligence so real it can impersonate a human being, the story follows Lee - the son of the president of the united states, and Nico - a mysterious boy who literally seemed to pop out of nowhere.

Willful Machines has action, mystery, romance (the LGBT kind), a rogue artificial intelligence that puts terror in everyone and... oh, did I mention there is some very cool Shakespeare mush in the mix?
I can feel you wanting to read this book. Well, you should, because it's great and hardly anyone knows about it.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight was the very first book I reviewed on my blog. 
So it's twice as memorable to me as any other book in this post.
Do you remember your very first review as well?
Good times, good times. 

Needless to say, I loved this book.
It was SO GOOD. And if you're still not on board the Cassandra Clare train then... please read this post I wrote just for you.

Riders by Veronica Rossi

An amazing take on the four horsemen of the apocalypse. 

Veronica Rossi (as you may know as the author of Under the Never Sky) does a fantastic job in this fantasy paranormal mythology YA book (that I believe is part one in a Doulogy). 

I didn't even expect much out of it going into it, and look at us now - it's one of my most memorable books of the year. 

From the writing style to the characters to the plot and world building, I loved it all.
It's especially more fascinating as it is told from present and past POVs as you try to figure out how everything turned out the way they did.

The Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer

And last but not least is the Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer. 

Took be a while to get on that train but onne I did... blown away I was. 

A Cinderella\Little Red Riding Hood\Rapunzel\Snow White retelling saga. 
Each book is both a continuation of the previous book and a new story.
Four girls, one evil queen, swoony romances, hilarious moments and it all takes place in... the future. And space. 
A sci-fi retelling - now this is a new one.
There is also a spaceship involved, heartwarming teamwork, a kickass android and Captain Thorne (*wink-wink*).

One of the very best in the retellings world. 

And those are my memorable books of 2016.
A truly amazing bunch of them, huh?
By the way, this post is about the books I read in 2016,
and not the ones that came out in 2016 (although most of them did).
Just saying ;)

I hope you enjoyed this little road down book lane of mine.
Now I definitely want to hear your most memorable books of the year.
So tell me all about it.
Also, apologies for my absence this month.
I wasn't feeling all that well, but I'm a bit better now (:

See you soon everyone!
Until then...

"It may comfort your to know that your death, while astonishly violent, will likely be mercifully swift."  
-- Gemina, Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Our psychotic artificial intelligent.
We wouldn't want you any other way. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Most Anticipated Books of December 2016

So this is the last Most Anticipated Books post of the year.

This time next month I'll be doing the most anticipated books of January 2017, and it's goodbye 2016.

Personally speaking, it was a tough year; I finished high school, I was in the worst reading slump in the history of reading slumps (thankfully, I'm out of it), and my mental health wasn't at its peak. 

That being said, 2016 wasn't completely horrible either.
It was the year I opened Magiverse, the year I met you amazing bloggers (yes, I'm talking to you (: ), the year I (sort of) decided what is it I want to do, and the year I finally started writing again. 

So... yes.
2016 was both good and bad.
And I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store (it better be good).
Books speaking, 2017 is going to be AMAZING.

We have The Dark Prophecy, A flame in the Mist, Lord of Shadows, and that's just very-very-very-very few of the books coming out! 

As of December 2016... well, I think most authors decided to publish their books in January, because I only have 5 anticipated books in December (most of them I added last minute). 

In honor of the year 2016, I present you its last Most Anticipated Books post!

Publication date: December 1, 2016

In a summer camp full of at-risk teens, 16-year-old Zander doesn't fit in.
Or so she thinks. 

There, she falls in love, makes friends, and come to terms with who she is and what she wants. 

Centering around various of mental health issues, this sounds like a fantastic coming-of-age YA contemporary story. 
Can't wait to dive into it!

Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman
Publication date: December 2, 2016

This year I had the... *can't find the right word for it* of dealing with suicide.
My sister's best friend committed suicide and it, naturally, affected us all badly.
It still catches me off guard every now and then, thinking that this person I used to know is just... gone. Not here anymore.
I mean, isn't it strange?
Especially when you think that this person chose to not be here anymore.
If there is still one thing I don't understand about it all is the why.
WHY would someone do something like this? WHY would someone put others through something like this?
I hope it doesn't make me a horrible person when I say that, for a long time, I was just SO angry about that girl's decision to just... go away.
she put my sister through something horrible.
She put her whole family through something horrible. 
Didn't she think of her parents, her family, her friends? Didn't she care?
I will never know what went through her head at the time she decided to do it. I don't think I ever will.

So what's left for me to do other than read about it?
This is partly the reason I want to pick up Teach Me to Forget; a story about a young girl who decides to commit suicide when something stops her and she's forced to reconsider. 

That's the story of Ellery.
And maybe... just maybe seeing what went through her head, will give me the tiniest bit of prospective.
Also... maybe, just maybe this story will actually have a happier ending. 

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Publication date: December 27, 2016

I actually received an e-ARC of this books from Netgalley!
Which I have yet to read...
Which means I need to get on to it this month.
Luckily, I still have almost a full month to read it, so... (: 

Ever the Hunted is about a young huntress forced to hunt down her father's killer, believed to be the boy she once loved. 

As of right now, the book seems to have an overall of pretty good reviews. It currently stands on 3.98 on goodreads.
Two of my goodreads friends loved it.
One thought it was alright.
And one didn't like it. 

So, really, it could go either way. 

Special thanks for Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC!

Publication date: December 27, 2016

Now this book sounds super unique and super adorable. 

From the moment my eyes met the synopsis, it was read at first sight. 

A contemporary romance story with just the right touch of magic, The Secret of a Heart Note follows Mimosa, one of two people in the entire world with an extraordinary sense of smell. With her perfumes, Mimosa helps others fall in love.
The problem?
If she is ever to fall in love herself, her ability will be gone forever.
Naturally, love doesn't follow any rules, and it always finds a way in. 

The Secret Life of a Witch by Jessica Sorensen
Publication date: December 27, 2016

So December 27 seems to be our lucky number this month, huh? 😏 

This book is going to be either very enjoyable or very cliche.
Haven't decided yet. 

I was seriously debating whether to mention it in this post today, but since December is a very... dry book month, so to speak, I decided to include every remotely interesting book coming out. 
Plus, just because the synopsis doesn't sound very original, doesn't mean it can't still be good.
At the end it all comes down to great characters and amazing plot. 
I suppose we'll have to wait and see. 

That's it for my December most anticipated books post! 
I'm really happy to share with you my most anticipated books every month.
It makes me even more excited to read them ;)
Well then, what's your most anticipated books this month?
Anything I left out? Any books you want to rave with me about?
Share your thoughts!
And I'll see you very soon with a new post (:
Until then...

Shatter Me - Lindsey Stirling ft. Lzzy Hale
(Does this song's beginning reminds anyone else of Harry Potter? :O )

"If we don't have hope, Zander, we don't have anything."  
-- The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Last Airbebder Book Tag

Avatar The Last Airbender is one of my all time favorite re-watch shows.
Just like how I will never tire of re-reading Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and Percy Jackson, I will never tire of watching this show. 

It wasn't so long ago that I watched it for the oh-I-don't-know-how-many times. In honor of that, I was so excited to find out this awesome 'The Last Airbender Book Tag', created by Hannah from A Clockwork Reader
This is going to be so much fun!
Set. Go. 

㊌Book One: Water㊌

Katara & Sokka: best sibling relationship

I love sibling relationships (especially the brother-sister bond). And Katara and Sokka are one of the very best.

When I was a little girl I dreamt of having an older sister or brother I can talk with.
Alas, I turned out to be the eldest. And me and my little sister? We could not be more different.
If I was a water bender, she would be a fire bender. If I was an air bender, she would be an earth bender. If I was... well, you get the idea.
I suspect it's why I love sibling relationships in books so much.
Because it's something I always wanted. 

In any case, one of the best sibling relationships is of Carter & Sadie from Kane Chronicles.
Aha, those two... 

Yue: favorite star-crossed lovers  

Nothing gets more star-crossed than The Fault in Our Stars Hazel & Augustus.
But as much as I love Hazel & Augustus (*sob*), for my favorite star-crossed lovers it's hands down Clary & Jace from The Mortal Instruments.
Nothing screams 'forbidden' more than their relationship.
Also, I just love them so much. 

Blood Bending: a book with a disturbing\unsettling concept

Does it make me disturbing\unsettling if I find blood bending to be cool rather than disturbing?
Maybe I need to lay off of all those TV shows I watch (The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, etc.)

It is disturbing what the old lady in Avatar did with the power of blood bending (no doubt there). But I was always a believer that power isn't evil, it's how you use it that determines it. 

For a book with a disturbing\unsettling concept, I'm going all the way with The Call by Peadar O' Gulin.
Disturbing and unsettling is this book's middle name. 

㊏Book Two: Earth㊏

Toph: a character whose strength surprised you\surprised other characters in the book

There is no denying Toph is at the very top of most badass animated characters.
Especially considering her disability and how others constantly underestimate her. There is nothing sweeter than showing the world you can be the best at something with a disability that would otherwise render you the worst. 

Sydney Sage from Bloodlines was one of the most shocking character development I have ever seen.

I love seeing protagonists rising to their true potential. But, usually, it isn't from 0 to awesome. It's mostly from 5 - awesome or 7 - awesome.
With Sydney, it was something special. Something truly epic. 
I mean, the girl went from a scared out of her mind of magic and vampires to a vampire's girlfriend and a witch
Also, super strong and kickass (both mentally and physically).

The Tales of Ba Sing Se: best short story\poetry collection 

Hands down The Bane Chronicles.
Best short story collection in the history of ever. 
Not that I read many short stories. Or poetry.
Still! I bet The Bane Chronicles is still the best.
I love it so much.

I don't care what anyone says about the upcoming new trilogy of Magnus Bane. After you read The Bane Chronicles, there is no way you won't want a full Magnus trilogy.

P.S: I really didn't like the Ba Sing Se story ARC. I found it to be even more disturbing than blood bending.  

Kyoshi Warriors: best warrior character

Ah... but practically every fantasy book has warriors in it.
And all I read is fantasy books. 

The best warrior award has to go to someone truly awesome.
And that would be everyone's favorite Greek demigod Percy Jackson.
Half boy. Half god. Perfect hero. 

㊋Book Three: Fire㊋ 

Zuko: best redemption arc\a redemption arc that should have happened

I get the urge to shout "Grant Ward should have totally gotten a redemption arc so WHY didn't he?!"
But since we're talking books here, and not TV shows, I shall suppress said urge. 

How I love Zuko. I mean-- redemption arcs.
Fine, I mean both.
Just like with every good redemption arc, you start with hating the character, proceeds to sympathizing with them, and ending with desperately hoping for a chance for them to redeem themselves.
That was my exact process with Zuko.
Also with Damon (Vampire Diaries).
And Grant Ward (a redemption arc tat should have totally happened).

Moving out of the TV shows category, I absolutely loved the redemption arc of Warner from Shatter Me. Did not see this one coming.

A redemption arc that should have totally happened (and sort of, yet not exactly, did) is of Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments.
Another one is of Cruce from Fever (though there is still a chance it might happen - if very doubtfully so).

Iroh: wisest character

First one that comes to mind is Dumbledore from... wait, do I really need to say from where?
There is only one Dumbledore.

There is also Chiron from Percy Jackson

The reason I'm not going with characters like Annabeth and Artemis Fowl is because I find 'wise' to be different than 'genius' and 'smart'.
Wise is someone with a lot of life experience. Someone calm and poised who doesn't rush important decisions.
Someone like Dumbledore, Chiron, and Iroh 

Azula: best downfall 

Ah yes, Azula's downfall was quite the thing.
Quite the best thing.
I'm pretty sure I hated her so much more than I hated the firelord. 

Another best downfall?
Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles.
That was well deserved combined with "FINALLY!"
I don't think I was ever that satisfied seeing the bad guy going down.

⾵Final Book: Air⾵

Appa: favorite fictional animal

Oh Appa. He's so cute!

I don't seem to read many books with fictional animals.
You know what fictional (sort of) animal I really want as my own?
Mister Kindly from Nevernight
Don't you just want a loyal shadow cat of your own? 

Aang: Purest Cinamon Roll

It took me a while figuring out what Purest Cinamon roll means.
What I gathered: it means innocent (in a sense).
You know, like a four-year-old little boy or girl are so cute and innocent.

This question could be a problem.
There aren't many innocents in fantasy books. Definitely not in sci-fi. And contemporary? I don't read all that many of these.

An innocent character, huh? 
Well... there is Mac from Feverthat being said, she was only the picture of innocence in the first book or so. Then... well, then she became fearless, awesome, tainted Mac. 

There is Tyson from Percy Jackson. Never really felt much for him, but he's definitely a pure Cinnamon Roll. 

I also want to say Peeta from The Hunger Games. Considering what the guy went through... he remained pretty innocent. The guy, unlike Katniss, was never built for The Hunger Games. 

P.S: I love Aang! Isn't he the purest cinnamon roll ever? 

Avatar state: a stubborn character\a character that struggles with letting go

If we were talking TV shows again, I would say Emma from Once Upon a Time.
That woman is the most stubborn character I have ever seen on TV.  

But since we're talking books: 
Celeste from Flat-Out Love, who is struggling with letting go.
Victor from Kids of Appetite, who is struggling with letting go.
Katniss from 
The Hunger Games, who is struggling with a serious case of general stubbornness and suicidal tendencies. 

And that's it for The Last Airbender Book Tag!
I absolutely loved doing this tag. It was such a fun ride.
I also strongly urge you to watch Avatar The Last Airbender if you haven't already.
And if you feel like doing this tag (since it's been around for a while and
I don't know who did it and who didn't) - please do!
See you soon (:
Until then...

"Some friendships are so strong, they can even transcend lifetimes."  
-- Avatar: The Last Airbender 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Celebrating the Little Things Tag

Hiatus and all, I'm putting *pause* on reality to do this tag.
I miss blogging, I miss all of you bloggers and readers.
It's been slowly killing me not blogging lately.
And as much as I want to shout "I'M BACK!" I know I can't make any false promises.
That being said, I'm doing my best. And I hope... you can be patient with me as I try to figure out where blogging fits into my life right now.
Because it will fit somehow.
I just need to find how.

So, not so long ago I saw my friend Esther from Chapter Adventures doing this tag.
And, since she tagged everyone, it would be impolite to refuse.
I also really want to do this wonderful tag, so here is that.
Shall we?  

                                                             ⬥    ⬥    ⬥  

⚬ Who was your very first follower (if you can find out)? Tag them and give them a shout out! ⚬ 

*conducting a quick web investigation* 

My first follower was...
The one and only, my BBFF, Esther from Chapter Adventures!

Me and Esther go way back. All the way to May 2016 when I, awkwardly, sent her an email that went sort of like this: "OMG, I love your blog! How do you do this? Can you give me some advice?!"

Esther, though, wasn't baffled by this out of nowhere email sent to her by a complete stranger in desperate need of some guidance.
The advice she gave me, the warm and welcoming email she wrote to me, were far more helpful and valuable than any "how to" posts I read until then. 

I strongly encourage you to not only visit her blog but also to get to know the amazing person that she is. 

                                 ⚬ What was the last milestone you reached? 

Talking numbers, that would be 50 followers on bloglovin. 
But, honestly?
The most amazing thing I get with every post, the thing that surprises me again and again, every time I see it, is the comments.
Your comments mean everything to me.
They're what makes me smile, makes me laugh and makes me grateful.

Believe it or not, recently I saw a couple of blogs with so many likes and so many followers and absolutely no comments. 
It made me sad, and it made me grateful for every single comment I get.

Your comments are what makes me want to keep on blogging.
No pressure or anything ;) 

          ⚬ What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us! 

My very first post is also my most watched one and it's Introductions and Such.
Thank you all you wonderful people who took the time to read my rantings about me and Magiverse! 

         ⚬ Who was your most recent follower? Tag them and give them a shout out! 

My most recent follower and friend is Uma from Books Bags Burgers.
She already recommended a book to me (Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Black), we bonded over our love for Percy Jackson, and I absolutely love her blog design.
I'm really glad we met, Uma! 

⚬ What was the last post you posted and who was the very first person who took their time to click the like button? Give them a shout out! 

Well, this is a tricky questions considering I... don't have a like button on my blog.
I've been trying to figure out how exactly do I add one on blogger but I gave up on the attempt.
In any case, I'm going to shout out to the first person who took their time to comment on my last post. 

My last post was Infinity by Jus Accardo - Book Review and the first wonderful comment was my dear friend Erika Gold from Books & Stars and the Pages in Between.

⚬ How many months have you been blogging for? ⚬ 

Woah, it feels just like yesterday when I started blogging. But, in reality, it's been a little over 8 months!
We're getting closer to Magiverse one year anniversary.
They grow so fast (*sob-sob*). 

⚬ Do you have any bloggers that you're friends with? Give them a shout out! ⚬ 

Of course.
I'm pretty sure I only have blogger friends.
Where are you people who read blogs but don't have a blog of your own? Have you gone extinct? 😯

Sadly, I can't write out every single blogger I know because there are just so many!
So I apologize in advance for everyone who might feel left out (I'm truly sorry! I appreciate you all so much). 

Special thank you from all my heart for Esther, Erika and Lauren for supporting me, being such good friends to me, and for... well, being yourselves (: 

⚬ Who originally created the last meme or tag you participated in? Give them a shout out! ⚬ 

My last tag was the Fairy Tale IRL Book Tag and I honestly have no idea who created it. Trust me, I checked. I couldn't find out who. Whoever it was, you're amazing! I loved this tag. 

So the tag before that was The Pokemon Go Book Tag created by the lovely Aentee from Read at Midnight. Which I did all the way back in August and... yeah, my hiatus is worst than I thought.

Awesome tag, Aentee!  

⚬ Have you any social media related to your blog? ⚬ 

But of course.
Feel free to say hello to me on TwitterGoodreads, and Instagram.
I'm especially known to hang around these parts of social media. 

⚬ Last but not least... just say thanks to all your followers. ⚬ 

*Taking a big breath*

Needless to say, I couldn't have done it without you all.
You're the best part of my blogging.

And that wraps up this heartwarming Celebrating the Little Things Tag.
I enjoyed reading it on other blogs just as I enjoyed writing it myself.
It's never too late or too much or too little to celebrate the little things.

On another note, you may have noticed I have been using some emoticons
in this tag.
Yep, blogger added them and I got excited 😉

Thank you all.
I tag everyone reading this post.
Go do this tag - it's one of a kind.

See you soon!

You don't realize how much you miss something till it comes back to you, and then you wonder how you went so long without it.  
-- The Assassin's Curse, Cassandra Rose Clarke