Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review Bites (#2): Beastly, The Night Circus and more

Image credit:

I don't write reviews for every single book I read, at least not here on the blog, but that's just because I don't have enough to say for some of them. Review Bites is here to remedy that.

The books which I will be reviewing are mostly books I haven't received for review but have been sitting in my to-review pile. I still feel like I have to talk about them. So while these reviews are much, much shorter than my regular ones, I feel satisfied in knowing that my own words have been said about them.

Reviewed in this post:
- Beastly by Alex Flinn [swap]
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [gifted]
- Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham [Netgalley]
- Emerald by Karen Wallace [for review]

Saturday, July 20, 2013

[Review] Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

{goodreads}
(#2, The Grisha)
Shadow and Bone | Siege and Storm | Ruin and Rising

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 26/06/2013
Publisher: Hachette (Indigo)
Pages: 400 (311 in this ARC)
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA (14+) - Fantasy

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
♪ x

My Rating: 
Ambitious and surprising

My thoughts

I doubt I will ever master the art of reviewing sequels but I'll try my best. Let me preface by saying there will be spoilers for anyone who has not read the first book, also it has been months since I read Siege and Storm so this review is relatively short and possibly lacking in accuracy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Top Ten Tu...Saturday (5): Books that scare me


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

It's not even Tuesday...and this is actually last week's topic, but I really really wanted to take part in this, add in my little list and send it off to the world. Ten is barely anything, but here's the top most freakishly long or ambitious or old or over-hyped or all the above titles that equate to my feeling the intimidated feelings. Mostly classics--big surprise there, am I right?


Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

  • Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind
    • It's such a highly-revered American classic, plus it's massive!
  • George R.R. Martin - A Game of Thrones
    • Length, hype, epic.
  • Thomas Hardy - Tess of the D'Urbervilles
    • I had to read this for high school and only made it half-way. It was such a chore but now that I don't have to write an essay or overanalyse it I want to try it again (because people seem to like Hardy) but... memories.
  • Victor Hugo - Les Misérables
    •  It's lengthy, it's "intellectual", or at least highly descriptive and political and about the French Revolution of which I have a very limited knowledge base.
  • Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina
    • Again, length. And I just want so badly to love it, but there are so many characters and I worry that it's going to lose me within the first 50 pages!
  • Any Stephen King novel
    • Surprisingly there are some titles of his that have gained my interest. 11/22/63, The Stand, Under the Dome... Ultimately I worry that I won't connect with his writing the way that lots of people seem to do.
  • Vladimir Nabokov - Lolita
    • The subject content intimidates me quite a bit. But it also scares me just so fascinated I have become towards this title. Like, I really want to read this.
  • Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
    • It's like a forbidden star-crossed love gone wrong, right? I'm scared to read any Bronte to be honest, but this one...this one.
  • Any Charles Dickens other than A Christmas Carol
    • Loved A Christmas Carol. But Dickens is so horridly verbose... I want to read all of his novels eventually but I can't deny how intimidating the task is!
  • J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings series + The Hobbit
    •  Well, I fell asleep in the first ten minutes of the first movie (I know, it's sacrilege), so there's that. I won a box set a while back, I just have to muster the gusto to pick them up.

And because I'm incredibly lazy (and it's quite late as I type this) I won't leave Goodreads links. Because you all know these titles. You have to be illiterate to not know them, right? (Or at least not a reader, and then I would have to pose the question What are you doing here? Get yo' gluteus outta here!)


Hoo boy. I'm going to have nightmares tonight... the books are going to attack me!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Reading the Classics] Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

[Arranged from Vintage Classics ©Random House, 2004]

Author: Virginia Woolf
Publication Year: 1925
Pages: 208

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity
  
Verdict: A poetic stream-of-consciousness narrative that follows the mundane day in a life of a middle-aged woman, Mrs Dalloway, as she prepares for her party. This party far from ordinary--a certain old flame from her past will be in attendance. Woolf portrays middle-class society in a sobering fashion; and yet, oddly, there is an uplifting quality that gives tribute to the preciousness of life.
My thoughts

[Source: Gilmore Girls + Tumblr]

Mrs Dalloway is kind of a British The Great Gatsby in the perspective of a middle-aged Daisy who meets up with Gatsby again, for the first time since war-time. With even more language than The Great Gatsby, more angled perception (by varied points of view) and the perspective of post-war depression to boot. The general feeling I was left with by the end mirrored that of Gatsby--this is a very serious novel, a dense piece of literature that speaks volumes, that unsettled me to my core.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

[Review + Giveaway] Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 03/06/2013
Publisher: Random House Australia
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher (thanks!) & Bought
Genre: YA (14+) - Fantasy

Book Tunes
Lenka - Trouble is a Friend

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity

My Rating: 
Enchanting! <3

My thoughts

Fairytales for Wilde Girls is described as a "deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale". In just one word I’d say that this book is, quite simply, magic.

Allyse Near’s debut novel follows the somewhat twisted and macabre everyday life of peculiar Isola Wilde. She converses with brother-princes that no one else can see; and death seems to follow her. She and her estranged father and manic-depressive mother live on the outskirts of society, right by Vivien’s Wood, where they have quite the reputation. New neighbours move in across the street who will each move Isola in their own way—but none more-so than “Edgar Allen Poe”, an unconventionally charming guy who is instantly taken by Isola’s unusual behaviour and wild locks. Isola’s newest haunt will not leave her alone, and the Woods are dying. She will have to trust her new friend, and rely on the loyalty of her seven brother-princes, if she wishes to have any hope of helping the ghost to move on.

My Books (14): Haulin' time!


MBiC is a fortnightly (*ahem*) book haul feature inspired by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie). I love looking at book covers, and especially their colours, and that is where the idea to feature my new arrivals by their spines in accordance to their shade comes from. [Edit: I have stopped coordinating my hauls to the colour of book spines, at least for now.]

~~~~~

7th of July 2013 ~ Notes

Another two months since my last book haul. As always, I'm extremely excited about a lot of these. Once again I bought a lot of books. In my defence, they were really cheap. Also got some review copies, so let's get into it!


Note: All release dates are in the format (dd/mm/yyyy); click on images to zoom in; all book links go to Goodreads.

* = Up for swap

For Review

Thanks to...
Bloomsbury, Hachette, Pan Macmillan, Penguin and Levi Stack!


Everything but The Silent Deal was a surprise for me. I haven't really heard too much about any of these titles, but Stung sounds promising. The First Third is written by an Aussie author. I'm currently reading Game On, which obviously has something to do with tennis. It's actually more about the social side of being in a prestigious academy but it's good fun so far--just what I needed. I do want to read Raven Flight and Dance of the Red Death eventually, but I do not have the first books right now so...

Bought

Titles will be listed left to right, top to bottom.
    Adult fiction (left)
    Young Adult fiction (middle)
    Modern Classics (right)

    I only preordered one thing--The Lucky Ones. I cannot wait to finally wrap up the Bright Young Things series (it was one of the very first historical fiction I'd ever read)! I acquired these books through various places online: Booktopia, AbeBooks, AllBooks4Less (sadly their online shop has been discontinued) and BrotherhoodBooks. Definitely check them out, especially if you're an Aussie resident.

    Gah! I've been wanting to read some of these for ages: The Help, Guitar Highway Rose, Finnikin of the Rock... My most surprising find was A Want So Wicked, which is a fairly new release, HARDCOVER, for $5. Unheard of in Australia.



    Q: Who are your favourite Booktubers?

    To be completely honest I haven't checked up on book blogs in AGES. I've never adjusted to the moving away from Google Reader thing, and while I have got Feedly it just doesn't work the same. For one, there's no search function...

    Anyway, some of my faves...
    • thereadables - Eloquent and succint, and her videos are just so professional.
    • BookedwithacapitalD - Unique and funny-awkward. Awesome chickie!
    • ArielBissett - Her videos and ideas are simply amazing.
    • jessethereader - What an interesting and memorable Booktuber. Love his videos!
    • LittleBookOwl - Aussie! :D
    • nerdintranslation - She is the ultimate collector of beautiful books. <3
    • theheavyblanks - This guy is extremely thoughtful and just lovely.
    • ChapterChicks - Funnily enough I rarely agree with their views but they're so entertaining!
    • WordsofaReader - Probably my absolute favourite Booktuber. Aussie. Lovely. I love her book tastes and I cannot tell you how many times I have picked up her recommendations.


    Happy reading~
    Share with me your own book hauls! :)

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