Friday, 11 November 2016

Splintered by A.G Howard | A Review | #reviewfriday

If I were to say Alice in Wonderland what would you think of? A cute blonde girl and her little adventure? Well brace yourself because A.G Howard  is going to change (perhaps, forever) the way you think of it.
Splintered by A.G Howard review
Splintered by A.G Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G Howard
Genres:  Young adults, fantasy, romance.

So, a few days ago I was watching videos of people's library tours and, among the sea of books in this girl's library, one captured my attention: Splintered.

So I went and looked for it on Goodreads and read the plot. It took me a few times to understand it but when I got it I rushed to get the book. What can I say? I love original and weird things and this book is definitely both. 

Now that I talked about my first impression let's get to the real stuff, shall we?

  • The story is original even if the author took a very well known story.
  • This book is full of details like every good written book should be.
  • The characters have defined personalities and are not dull.
  • Romance and fantasy are well balanced and make you crave for more, more and more.
  • It is a mind blow until the very last page and will make you want to devour the other two books in no time. (like I'm doing now)

Alyssa’s character can be really hard to get and makes many mistakes of that make her seem like any other human. That’s normal, you would say, but if you pay attention you’ll notice that the author probably spent a good amount of his time studying how a peoplewould react, what decisions they would make or hoe they would express their emotions. And so it is for every other character in story.

That’s probably one my favourite parts in a supernatural or fantasy story, when the writers create surreal creatures and think them through: details, behaviour and culture included; creating new worlds that will make you stick your nose between the pages and never get up to study or work.

So if you decide to read this book you’ll notice that some characters are really hard to understand and, until the very end, you will not understand what is going on in their little brains.

The writing style is very lucid yet intricate but if you’re not a native English  speaker or you have just started reading in English, then I suggest you keep Google Translate or Wordreference as your reading buddy. To be honest, in certain scenes I was confused and had to read the them a few times to understand what was happening, not because I didn’t understand the words but because a few points weren’t crystal enough. If you’re a native speaker or are already comfortable with the language you can just chill in your cozy seat and enjoy this good read.

All I’m going to say about the end is that left me surprised and honestly I expected it to end in a very different way but I understand the author’s decision and I am satisfied with it because not everything can happen in the first book.
Personally I ship Alpheus (Alyssa and Morpheus) and I really recommend you this fantastic book.

My rating is 4 / 5

About the reviewer

The name's Naila, I'm a reader, fangirl and Wattpad writer. I'm from Italy and have an endless list of fictional husbands. One of my hobbies is creating ship names. You can find me on Instagram, Wattpad, and Goodreads 

If you also want to contribute to our community through articles,short stories,  reviews e.t.c about books please click on the guest writer tab above. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Cover Love #21

 Welcome back to another week of Cover Love where we feature eight top voted book covers and give our unbiased opinions on it. Wow, I sound like a talk show host. I found some of these covers from bookstagram (I have started one too @zoellareads), the others were selected by Jordan, Inia and Hira. Even as I write, I haven't yet seen the covers, so my comments will be the first things that come to my mind. Since, others are a bit busy today, It looks like it will be just me and you today.
Image result for vassa in the night

Zoella: This is one of those covers that look prettier as a hardcover than an ebook (The Elite by Kiera Cass is another example. As much as aI love the font and the typography, the background isn't exciting enough. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the white blurred outlines over the buildings.

 Image result for mime order

Zoella: I found many different versions of this cover. Most of them featured this symbol on a plain red or textured background. That was when I saw this. The addition of silhouttes has made a world of change. I have heard many saying that they loathe seeing people on covers. But in my case, I love covers with people. It adds a kind of intimacy and comfort that you don't find in other covers. And they look pretty. Which way do you prefer your covers *winks*).

                                                        Image result for tonight the streets are ours

Zoella: This book has been on my Amazon cart for a long time now. I haven't got around to buying it yet. I don't know anything about the book,  the cover looked interesting and I added it to the cart. Well, that's one way to choose books.
This book would've looked very fantasy-ish if not for the baby pink palette and sunburst effect at the top. I love how the words in the title interact with each other and that addition of the little feather under "A Novel." The picture is cliche, but the extra effect and good font treatment is really helping this book stand out.

                                                         Image result for nina lacour books

Zoella: I'm in love with this cover.Now, this is how you design a contemporary book cover. The soft colour palette, city n the background to let us know of the setting, the protagonist with face away from us so that we are allowed to imagine her in whichever we want, the amazing font treatment, even the author's name has been included as an organic part of the title and finally the filter like box effect. This is a book I would definitely buy for the cover and not regret it.

Zoella: This cover is umm... weird. The photoshopping of the butterfly onto the apple is good. But this is one of those covers which I will notice but will walk away without a second glance. I'm sorry but I just don't get this cover. Is it about the metamorphosis of a butterfly? Is it about a killer? I get it. It's about a killer butterfly, isn't it?


Zoella: A splash of colour on a monochrome cover works.Every.Single. Time. Maybe I should dedicate one week to exploring just those kinds of covers.I love how they have used a feather to hide her face. This way you can have a face on the cover and be free to imagine the protagonist as you wish.The little flourishes at the boundaries are elegant and do not steal away the focus. See the tagline, see how the numbers are going in descending order. This shows me that it has a prominent love triangle(Which I hate, So won't be trying out this book), is set in two worlds; one probably human and other fantasy and one earth shattering secret. The tagline will do an amazing job of reeling the potential readers into buying the books.


Zoella: I loved this book. If you like college romance you should read this. That said I'm not a huge fan of this cover. Thematically, I really like it. This image really shows how it is to feel trapped, with no way to escape. That probably is the only thing I like about this cover. I would've really loved this cover if it was in a different kind of book. But, it just doesn't match the genre and the story.

                                                              Image result for tom perrotta the leftovers

Zoella: Now, this is one interesting cover. Smoke coming off from shoes would've made an impact on its own. But by setting it up against a wider background, it gives off the impression that the man owner of the shoes disappeared into a puff of stroke, midstride. See, you can see whole story there( even though my story might be incorrect). This is a cover that intrigues you. I will certainly be reading this book.\

My favourite book this time was Nina Lacour's Everything Leads To You. This probably is the first time I have selected a non-fantasy book. So, which was your favourite? Let me know.
And if you want to nominate a cover to this feature, feel free to so. We will give you credit while posting.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Book Nerd Problems #18 | Reader Problems

Hello folks! This is Hira bringing you this week's Book Nerd! 
How is the weekend treating you? You know me...I have been sleeping it away like usual. 

Anyway, this is week's book nerd made me smile because it does really happen...right? Take a look.

Okay, confession. I had this huge crush on Draco Malfoy for the longest time.  How many of you had waited to find your own real life Mr Darcy? I am sure many of us had an unhealthy obsession with a certain Edward Cullen which we are a bit embarrassed to say out now, lol. Don't worry guys, you are not alone..many a times, fictional people are much better than real ones...they will always be there for you (there, I have spoken like the proper spinster, that I am.)

Anyways, tell us all about your fictional loves...I would love to hear all about it!

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass | Flash Review

The Selection series by Kiera Cass consists of a trilogy centered around the protagonist America Singer and then a duology following it which focuses on her daughter. Today, I will be focussing on just America's story.

Image result for selection series
The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass

Something I really loved about this series was how well the love triangle was written and how well the angst was portrayed. I could completely empathise with America, Maxon and Aspen. The first book was where Cass's talent really shone and it's my favourite among the three. The second book was good, the plot progressed and so did character development. But, book three was a huge letdown.

The theme of death was not handled well. Everything was too rushed. The plot just fell apart. The ending and the explanation was so boring, it made me feel betrayed. I felt that all the build up was for nothing. I almost threw the book away in frustration.

If you are looking for a good romance with a strong love triangle, then I recommend this series. But, if you want a lot of action, twists and turns, then this is not the book series for you.

I rate the first two books four stars together and the third book two stars. I gave it two stars because all the characters were well written.

So, average rating for the series is: 3/5

Which as the last book you finished?
For me it was The Confession by John Grisham. Currently, I'm reading The One by Sarah Crossan.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Cover Love #20

How is your day going? Can't believe it's week 20 already. Without further ado let me unveil the top 8 covers this week and remember if you want to see a cover featured here, you just have to comment the book title down below.

The first is an animated cover. It lookes so cool.

 Inia: This is obviously an e-book cover. Now this is the kind of innovative covers that e-book cover designers can take inspiration from. The mechanical moving heart is such an impressive touch to the already noteworthy cover design. I love the light purple, black and white colour theme. The title font is cliche yet a good kind of cliche. All in all, this is a pretty well-done cover.

Inia: This cover looks kind of bare somehow. I'm all for minimalism but this is bordering on too plain. Other than that, the pop-out effect brought about by the cover art is quite cool and the colour palate with just primary colours is soothing.

Inia: Wow. Such a creepily beautiful cover. I'm drawn in by this cover yet it is giving me the chills. Amazing cover art, gorgeous effects and a haunting aura; I would definitely give this book a try just by judging it by its cover.

 Inia: This screams fantasy novel to me a very unappealing way. I don't really like colour scheme or the artificial look the cover art is exuding.

Inia: Damn, this is a seriously cool cover. So unique as well. I don't think I've ever seen such a cover design before. The butterfly with the pretty, fragile looking top wings and blades for its bottom wings...the symbolisms and the metaphors that are springing to my mind right now are countless. I love the fiercely sharp title font that is perfectly matched with the title meaning.

Inia: I love glittery, shiny things and as subtle as the shimmer in this cover art is, I'm still attracted to it like a magpie to a shiny silver spoon. The gold liquid seeping through the midnight blue walls in the cover art and the captivating title all have me hooked.

Inia: Is this a book on black magic? *shudder* No thanks, anyway. I can't even look at this book cover for long, it's disturbingly horrifying. How did this make it into our cover love session, Zoe?

Inia: Ahh what's with all the creepy covers in this session? This is at least a well-done one. I can imagine people wanting to buy this cover seeing the cover art(though I'm definitely not one of those people). The colour scheme is really nice, I have to say. Working with a dark theme, this book still manages not take on a completely dreary colour palatte.

So, which was your favourite cover?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Book Nerd Problems #17 | Reader Problems

If you are a book nerd, I'm sure you can relate to this. I can't count the number of times this has happened to me.

I can't stop reading even on the day before exams. I'm at my most organized during exam times. I clean my room, write stories, draw stuff, watch anime, read books everything on the day before exam. Everything except studying. Sigh.

There have been so many times when I've nearly fallen asleep during exams just because I kept repeating to myself "Just one more chapter" the night before. It's a miracle that I've passed all my exams.
What about you? What do you do on the days before an exam?

Friday, 21 October 2016

#Junkie - Gear Shark Series #Review Friday

Hello Folks, this is me Hira and I have with me a new book with me for this week's #reviewfriday!

 I know that many of you guys have been waiting excitedly for a new gay romance after Inia's review of Escapede and I might just have something you would like.

Title: #Junkie
Author: Cambria Hebert
Genre: MM romance

Gearshark series is a spin off from Cambria's  Hastag series and Junkie is the first book from it. I am sure a lot you guys must be familiar with Hashtag series. But  don't worry if you are not, the story can be read as separate...I myself read Hashtag series only after I finished this one.

Before I talk about the book, as usual let me explain how I came across it. One word-Zoe. I was lounging at her place, talking random stuff and then suddenly she pulls out this cover. At first I couldn't believe it was a book cover (she was showing me the kindle version). The cover looked so good and I felt that it was so innovative. Notice how the title GS kinda resembles GQ? I think this one deserves a place in cover love, right guys?

Anyway back to my story, I was fascinated by the cover. But not fascinated enough to actually read it- I was swamped with work and had a huge list of books to finish off. But then she bursts it to me that it was an MM romance. I was further intrigued but still vary because I didn't often like the way gay romances were portrayed in mainstream books. But my decision changed the moment she revealed that it was a college frat boy romance. It had been exactly what I had been in the mood for. So I put aside my work and decided to lose myself in this one (I regretted that later but still it was so worth it.) 

Drew Forrester is an Indie car racer about to make it big in the racing world. He lives for the adrenaline, the head rush of a race. His veins are filled with oil not blood.  Trent Mask is the president of  Alpha Omega, and Drew's best friend. But is that all he is? The story starts with them as best friends but soon it becomes evident that both of them want something more, but the world around them might not be the  most accepting one.
Trent lived with his brothers in the frat house, to admit that he is gay even to himself takes him the longest time. And then the other dilemma, the only man he had ever loved, could Drew ever return his feelings? Things get even more complicated as the sexy daughter of Drew's new sponsor arrives on the scene. Trent knows she is everything Drew likes...or is she?

To be honest I read the story expecting a lot of angst and turmoil, but found it overall very chill. Neither Trent nor Drew have the stereotypical gay image- with one being a Footballer and Frat President and the other being the fastest racer on the Indie track.

At some portions, I found the story dragging because the author was overcompensating with explanations. I also felt there was also an information dump at some points. But that said, this is Ms Hebret's first MM romance and Zoe tells me that she has never read nor written anything of this genre prior to #Junkie.  If that't true then kudos to her, because while it might not be the best MM romance I have read, it still managed to create an impact on me. The author managed to make me invested in the story of Trent and Drew. 

I think this is the perfect kind of book to pass time during a long journey, or when you are jobless or when you have job but wants to procrastinate (the last one is me). Also warning- #Junkie is not a standalone. It's second and third parts are also out, so you won't have to worry of cliffhangers. 

Rating:  3/5

I hope you have fun reading it...tell me about it after you have finished. Also, have a great weekend folks...I know I am gonna sleep my way through mine :P

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Cover Love #19

And we are back again with this weeks's Cover Love. While all of us have pitched with in with the recommendations for this week, you all will get to hear only Jordan's amazing critiqe this time. All the better, I say. I'm awesome at what I do!  

                                              Image result for colleen hoover confess

Jordan: What I like about this cover is that it doesn't follow the usual dark colour theme this genre entails. A very welcome and attractive change. I like the textured background. This cover is simplistically eye-catching. I am interested enough to give this a read.

                                               Image result for take me with you nina

Jordan: At first glance, it seemed like a mermaid. Is that a mermaid? While I'm not a fan of the different fonts for the title or for the byline, that underwater picture gives me the chills.

                                                Image result for melissa marr book

Jordan: Those warm tones of the flower, especially the gold and the pink, clash with the cool tones of the background.  A cover with the potential to be great, this one just missed the mark for me.

                                                  Image result for harley and rose carmen jenner book

Jordan: I have a special fondness for the combination  of the hues of pink and blue and I do like this one, too. That title font could do with some more, though. A different colour, perhaps?

                                                   Image result for forbidden book

Jordan: That picture gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "guard your heart". I like how uncluttered this cover is. And I suppose this would look really majestic as a hard bound book.

                                                   Image result for the darkest minds

Jordan: Barbed wires are certainly popular this season.  While I don't really get the significance of the trident-like symbol, I appreciate the image all the same. The texture of the background is quite realistic. I like it.

Jordan: I love this quaint cover. That smoking matryoshka doll, and that title! I'm going to get my hands on this book as soon as possible.  

Jordan: I would love to actually hold this book in my hands. Something tells me this one is sure to be a beauty. I love the colours, the images, and that vintage font. And the byline's font is a classic that works every time.

 It's time to choose and I'll go with Anna Blundy's Neat Vodka. It's one of those covers that definitely deserves a second look.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Book Nerd Problem #16 | Reader Problems

Hi guys...this comes later than usual. I am so sorry. I have been so busy with one deadline after the other. Seriously, I feel like a zombie. But that was no excuse for being late. It won't happen again, I promise.

So here it is, this week's Book Nerd Problem. Guess who inspired this one? Guess, guess!

Book nerd problems | reader problems #16

You guessed it right, its none other than our beloved Zoe. The girl seriously has no self control when it comes to books. She filled out an entire shelf in a month and she still keeps buying. She checks Amazon the way some of us checks Facebook or Tumblr. But to be fair, her collection is amazing. You guys should definitely check out her instagram. Her bookstagrams  Are. The. Best. 

Anyways, that's it for this week's book nerd. Tell us if you are also like Zoe...We always want to hear more book crazy people.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | A Review | #reviewfriday

At first, I was going to do a review of just Crooked Kingdom, then I thought why not include Six of Crows too. Since it's a duology it will be easier to compare and review the books(Oh yes, I'm going to compare them).
Image result for six of crows and crooked kingdom

Title: Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

I am not icluding the blurb of the second book because I don't want to spoil the stoy for you.

Where should I start? The cover? Duh. I design book covers for a living, It's the first thing I notice in a book and often it's the reason why I buy books. Most of the time I buy books falling hard for the covers (despite others warning me that I won't like the story) and end up getting disappointed. But, this turned out to be a different case entirely. The cover was beautiful, the details gorgeous. I love how the cover is so symbolic. 

I am not a big fan of the font, but it's okay. I found the hardcover version with its white font better looking than its counterpart with the red font. As for the book, Six of Crows ended up setting a new benchmark for me. It's hard for me to enjoy other books now, because I know how great a story and its writing could be now. It's like being a peasant after having been a King. 

Leigh's writing is subtle, nothing is in your face, not the emotions, not the characters and definitely not the plot. I feel like the characters are independent and do whatever they want. They do not hold back on account of repulsing the reader. I know I'm talking as if they are real, but the way the six of them are written, they feel very real. I like the fact that they do not do a monologue on how unfair life has been to them, how fate toys with them and how they are being downtrodden by the powerful. They don't curse fate, they bargain with it. They overcome insurmountable odds to get what they want and they use their goddamn brains to do that and are not rescued by some super powerful characters that appear out of nowhere just for that.

The plot is brilliantly crafted in both books. I kept thinking "Oh no, they are done for this time" but they find ingenious ways to sail over that hurdle too. But their victory is never perfect. Someone always sacrifices something in order for them to stay alive. I love how the relationships progress with the story, it makes you root for them so hard. I ended up shipping everyone with everyone *grins*

I'm a very picky reader but Six of rows won me over so completely that now I keep recommending the book to everyone I meet. It's that good. You should definitely try it if you haven't.
I'm going to rate the books independently at the end, because one was stronger than the other.

Crooked Kingdom was my most awaited book of the year along with Magic Binds. I bought it the day it released and inhaled it in one sitting. It was so good and yet so sad. Sometimes I feel like I should have expected the ending, Then again it's Leigh Bardugo, anything can happen.

It took me a while to gather my thoughts after finishing it. Even though I really liked the book I could sense a tiny bit of disappointment in me. I wasn't content. The book was really well-written then why was I so disappointed. Then I realized, it was too perfect. I wanted the characters to suffer more before they achieved their final goal. I am a sadist, I know. Kaz and the others do suffer, and I am just nitpicking on the dtils, but I wanted them to fail more. They were too intelligent. This might probably be the first time, I am asking the characters to do more dumb stuff. 

The writing was really powerful, like the previous book. The descriptions well done (neither rare nor overcooked). And the task herculen as always. I guess I was only 94% satisfied because I was comparing it to Six of Crows, which was so great it ruined me for others.

You would probably understand how I feel when you look at my ratings.

Six of Crows- 5/5
Crooked Kingdom- 4.5/5

I think this the first time I have give a book five stars in this blog. Summing up, this is a duology I would definitely recommend. You will be missing out on a lot if you don;t give it try.