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.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Cover Love #18

Jordan and Inia are back with Cover Love! We know you've missed us, so let's get right to it.

Inia: Hmm. It's a nice cover but I feel like I see similar ones all the time. That heart made from red broken glass pieces is brilliant though.

Jordan: I love the detailing on the unpolished white hardwood planks. And I'm in awe of the way the glass shards have been arranged. Heartbroken at it's best. I truly like this one.

Inia: I didn't know Joey Graceffa wrote books! This is such a cool cover. It's so unique too.. I love the vertical placing of title and the futuristic cover art. Great blend of colours as well; it's striking and it stands out yet there is nothing overpowering about it.

Jordan: While I like the font and the placement of the title, I don't like the cover in its entirety. With its futuristic approach, I feel the image presented could have been better.

 Inia: That's a very beautiful mix of blues on the cover page but somehow this book looks boring? I think it's just that HTML font giving me flashbacks to my very boring 10th grade programming classes. The cover page is quite pretty albeit a bit too plain.

Jordan: While I appreciate blue, this is too much blue for me. The cover doesn't not stand out to me in a good way.

 Inia: I saw the the word 'Crows' in an vintage swirly font and my mind immediately went "Game Of Thrones!!!". I know it is in no way connected to GOT though it does look like it's also a fantasy novel. Look at that silhouette of a castle against the backdrop of the moon and the clouds. I like the subtle details in this one.

Jordan: I like the cover with its amazing font, that 'art-that-changes-with-perspective' thing they have going on here, and are those sparkles I see? Ooh, I like that.


Inia: Those beautiful intricate designs on the wolf has me mesmerized!! This is such a beautiful cover! That gorgeous font and the striking gold-black colour scheme.. everything is absolutely eye-catchy.

Jordan: I swoon whenever I see the perfect balance of delicate intricacy and wholesome simplicity, and this is definitely one of those swoon-worthy situations. The font, the colours, the sheen, and the details are all remarkable. I would love to get a hard copy of this one.

Inia: I smell a mystery brewing. I hope that blonde woman is that little girl's mother and not the Stranger in Town who is luring the child away into that horrifyingly omnious looking forest. Oh, who am I kidding? That's probably exactly what's happening. I love covers that allow me to play guessing games from the cover art and the byline. This one has a very pretty covert art as well. It looks like a painting, all soft shades and a hazy glow. There is a very appealingly mysterious aura around this book that is making me want to read it.

Jordan: I adore the backdrop, but I find that the blonde pair look as though they were badly photoshopped into the picture. I don't like it.

Inia: Aah, the standard Danielle Steel cover. Most of her covers, like this one, are so comforting. It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And knowing the story inside will almost always turn out to be good in a raw, emotional way just heightens these feelings.

Jordan: I love the soothing colour palette used here. The image on the cover links beautifully with the title, while the eggs represent a new life. Danielle Steel at her comforting best.

 Inia: Another vintage book!! I love the detailed little roses lining the border and the dainty cover art. This is the type of beautiful books that come into my mind usually when I think of our Cover Love feature. I would buy this book just for the aesthetics alone.

Jordan: I chose this one to feature here, so obviously, I'm charmed by this. Vintage books have that timeless appeal, and whenever I think of curling up into a blanket with a book and a cup of a tea on a cold, rainy day, it is a book like this with yellowed pages and that wonderful, indescribable scent of old parchment that come to my mind.

I'm pretty sure that our favourites this time are quite predictable: Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Wolf and the Tiger and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Book Nerd Problem #15 | Reader Problems

Have you ever missed an awesome book sale by just a few hours. I have and I tell you the pain is almost unbearable and can only be soothed by buying more books or eating chocolate. But, in my case I had known about the sale and still could do nothing about it. I watched it slip away from me. Why? Well, I had a good reason.

Book Nerd Problems #15 | Reader problems

I had bought 15 books from Amazon(yes, in one go), so when amazon had a sale the very next day, what could I do? The books I had just bought were available for like less than half the price. The tragedy of it all. Atleast I had chocolate to console me.

Has anything like this happened to you?

Friday, 7 October 2016

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes|| Review Friday

Before I begin, yes, I went back to Jojo Moyes. This novella was too cute to pass up. Honeymoon in Paris serves as a prequel to The Girl You Left Behind, and it is sugar,spice, and all things nice .

Title: Honeymoon in Paris
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre:  Novella, historical-fiction, romance

This prequel does exactly what a good prequel should do; it sets up the back story of the characters presented in The Girl You Left Behind. We see the stories of two women, Sophie and Liv, united by the space they are in, and separated by a hundred years.

Set in the time preceding the first world war, Sophie is a provincial girl who is swept up in the glamour of Paris while still retaining her rustic charm. And it is exactly this quality that enamours her to the painter Edouard Lefevre. A whirlwind of a romance and a wedding later, they are blissfully enjoying their honeymoon phase.  A century later, in the contemporary age, we see Liv Halston and her husband David who have come to Paris for their honeymoon. We already see the parallels in the lives of these two women.

The twist in the tale happens when the women begin to doubt their relationship with their significant other, Sophie because of the entry of an ex-flame, and Liv because of her husband's excessive involvement in his work.

While Liv roams about in Paris all by herself, she comes across a painting of a seemingly irate wife, one that was painted by Edouard and featured Sophie. And it is this painting that causes both the women to rethink the state of their relationship.

A simple enough tale to predict the ending of, this novella's appeal lies in it's simplicity. The shifts between the past and the present are seamless and noteworthy.  The way reality is depicted to be 'real' and not always a bed of roses resonates through this work.

This is definitely one of those breezy, light reads but with enough substance to be remembered for more than just that. Honeymoon in Paris has definitely piqued my interest to read The Girl You Left Behind, though with the impending first world war as the setting, I am not sure if I should as angst is not my cup of tea. But perhaps, this one might be worth a shot.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Blog Tour: The Sapphire Blade by Dorine White (Spotlight and Giveaway)

Hey Folks, it's Zoella here and we are hosting another blog tour brought to you by Kathy- I Am a Reader. Look out for the giveaway at the end of the post.

The Sapphire Blade by Dorine White

The final journey begins!

Travel with past heroes and a new adventurer to the historical romps of London and the scorching sands of Alexandria. Fourteen-year-old Akmir, raised from birth to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of Cleopatra’s magic gemstones, holds within his hands the secret location of the fifth and final mystic gem: the blue sapphire.
His quest leads him to England, where four other gemstone searchers: Sara, Melanie, Kainu and Claire, are on the hunt. A pawn of the Roman Brotherhood, Akmir must choose his own path, whether to follow in his father’s brutal footsteps or stay true to his mother’s Egyptian heritage. Clues, puzzles, and danger rule the day.
What will happen when the power of all five gemstones are brought together? This is a battle for life and death, and only one side can win.

Author Dorine White 
My name is Dorine White. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanities. I am a member of the SCBWI, PNWA, LDStorytellers, and ANWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, was published in May 2013 by Cedar Fort Books. I live in the beautiful, yet rainy Northwest with my husband and 6 children.

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/30/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway