Mid Year Book Tag

Mid Year Book Tag

I may, kind of, be in a slump but, fortunately, I am ahead of my Goodreads challenge. I don’t usually do tags but I felt like my blogging slump is taking too much control and I should do something about it. Without further ado here we go:

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016?six of crows by leigh bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I read it back in April and I still think about it, Kaz is always on my mind. Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Waylan aren’t far behind. Not only did I enjoy the multiple perspectives, I also loved the way the story was told. The team’s dynamic was so much fun to read; their interactions never failed to amuse me. I WILL FOREVER LOVE SIX OF CROWS.

  1. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016?memories of ash by intisar khanani

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani is definitely my favourite sequel of this year so far. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before. Intisar Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is close behind.

  1. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?and I darken.jpg

And I Darken by Kiersten White. Ever since I’ve found out about this I’ve wanted it. And now that it’s out, it shouldn’t be so hard to get…but it is (stupid self-imposed book ban). Just a few more days and I shall get my hands on this beauty.

  1. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

This is really hard, so many books I’m anticipating are releasing soon. How am I supposed to pick one? HOW?…. How? How? How? I’m just going to list them all: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, Replica by Lauren Oliver, Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Someone Like You by Lauren Layne, The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid, Beard Science by Penny Reid, The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson, and so many more.

  1. Biggest disappointment? the raven boys.jpg

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, I wouldn’t really call it the biggest disappointment but I can’t find anything else I was excited about. I just had too many expectations and while I did end up enjoying it I had built it too much in my head.

  1. Biggest surprise?the wall of winnipeg and me

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. My friend recommended it and since our tastes coincide I decided to give it a go. I could not put the book down, I was that engrossed with it. I re-read it a few weeks back.

  1. Favourite new author? (Debut or new to you)

Leigh Bardugo, Intisar Khanani, Eliza Watson, Mariana Zapata, and Zeenat Mahal.

  1. Newest fictional crush?

KAZ BREKKER. He owns my heart. ❤

  1. Newest favourite character?

Amani from Rebel of the Sands. She is a kickass protagonist; when everything was crumbling she didn’t whine or cry, she took it in her hands to find a solution. I loved how she wasn’t one of those sacrificial lambs who always thought about how the outcome of their decisions would affect others. She was selfish, tough, and somewhat naïve, to watch her grow was truly amazing.

  1. Book that made you cry?

None.

  1. Book that made you happy?Flying by the Seat of my Knickers final

Flying by the Seat of my Knickers by Eliza Watson. It is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read.

  1. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year?

I actually haven’t watched many films this year. One day I shall watch Me Before You.

  1. Favourite review you’ve written this year? 

I’m really proud of my review for Six of Crows.

  1. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year?written in the stars

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. *__*

  1. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

A Court of Thorns and Rose/A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

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TTT: Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

toptentuesday2

Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year.jpg
Built by Jay Crownover 

“I choose you, Sayer. Lover, lawyer, and all the shit you are in between that, I choose it. I choose us. When you’re ready to accept that, you come find me.”

I had been waiting for Zeb and Sayer’s story since we were introduced to them in Rowdy and it did not disappoint. Ahh, Zeb! ❤ Who knew I had a thing for construction workers…or shall I say a specific construction worker. 😉 I had a lot of expectations and they were well met.

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid
“If they don’t learn about launching rockets at home, then they’ll just learn about it on the streets.” I glowered at him. “That sounds like something Hitler would say.”

I have been obsessed with Greg and Fiona’s story ever since I read Ninja at First Sight. Greg wooed me with his debates, one-liners, banter with Fiona, and the way he appreciated her just the way she is. I knew then that these two would be something special. Happily Ever Ninja did not disappoint, it definitely wasn’t something I’m used to reading but I devoured it nonetheless. Penny Reid takes an unusual turn and makes ordinary married life into something extraordinary yet relatable. (Well not so much for me, but I could get the gist that married couples go through what they did in their everyday lives.) Despite being married for 14 years their love for one another had not diminished one bit, they were smitten with one another as they were when they first met.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapta

“What if everyone hates me and no one talks to me? What if someone throws something at me?” Aiden snorted, setting the shirt he’d been holding aside and picking up the next one on the pile. “What are they going to throw? Bookmarks?”

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is one of them books I didn’t know I needed. A friend recommended a few months back and because our tastes coincide I decided to give it a chance. And, boy am I glad I did. I loved every single second of it, I devoured it in a single sitting. I could not get enough of it. I re-read it a few days back because that’s how much I love it.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was supposed to have come back from Florida feeling like he had that day he impatiently counted the hours until he saw her at the welcome-home party. She was supposed to feel what he was feeling. If he only knew what that was.

I had been waiting for Vin and Jill’s book since Frisk Me. I love the ‘will they, won’t they’ trope and Lauren Layne executed it incredibly. I am a sucker for subtle romance and this is an epitome of subtly. It was the little things they did for each other and how in tune they are with each other that had me swooning. This was much more than a friends to lovers romance. They were each other’s everything long before they took chance at a romantic relationship.

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

“It’s sandalwood,” he replied. “Here, give it to me.”

I handed it across the table and he swiped his fingers in, extracting a small blob. Before I could react he took my hand and smoothed the cream into my wrist. His hands were very….large. My fingers felt completely encapsulated, minuscule by comparison. A tingling, nervous feeling buzzed in my belly as his fingertips massaged my sensitive skin. When he was done he lifted my wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“Smells good on you,” he said. I was momentarily lost for words.

Cosway and Reid are a riot. Alone they produce art, but together they produce a masterpiece (or should I say masterpieces). Their writings complement each other so well, I thought the first book was great but this…this is on a whole ‘nother level. Sean and Lucy were a delight to read. And now I miss them, looks like I need another reading session with them. 😉

Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year 2.jpg

Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson

“What better place to reinvent myself than a place where nobody knew me. I could be whoever I wanted to be.”

This is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read. It’s a power pack filled with laughter, joy, and growth. Caity is an amazing and relatable protagonist – she had her ups and downs and watching her grow was remarkable. I also loved the romance – it gave off slow burn vibes. 😀 I’m eagerly waiting for the next book, like this, I’m positive it’ll be a riot. I cannot stop smiling thinking about this.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I was a desert girl. I thought I knew heat. I was wrong.

Rebel of the Sands is an interesting and creative book – the mythology and desert combination worked out really well. The story is really well fleshed out – with so many plots and characters everything came together quite nicely. And, Amani is a remarkable protagonist – the blue eye bandit won me over from the start.

Good Girl by Lauren Layne

“You’re playing with fire, little girl,” he says quietly. “I’m not one of your toys, and I’m not interested in what you’re offering.”
“I’m not offering anything.” I retort, even though his words sting. “I like my men more…refined.”
His grin calls my bluff. “You sure about that?”

Good Girl is an all-rounder – I laughed, I cried a little, and I blushed (a lot)! Lauren Layne is one of those authors who cannot do wrong in my books, she understands what I need and she delivers it. This is a little different from her usual but it still won me over. There is nothing LL will write and that I won’t adore. Jenny is an amazing protagonist, I loved her to bits. My heart really went out to her when the paparazzi went cuckoo and when Noah was being an ass.

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

Run far, run fast, keep the wind in your hair.

MoA is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I cannot even begin to describe my love for it. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before. Hitomi is a really likeable protagonist – she’s strong, witty, loyal, intelligent, and flawed. Intisar Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. We were introduced to many new characters and they weren’t without reason, everything tied up. I am in awe with her writing.

Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

“You’ll be tactile, and I’ll be clingy, and we’ll be very happy just as long as we sleep in a twin bed and call each other seventeen hundred times a day.”

Grin and Beard It is an awfully adorkable yet meaningful story. Jethro and Sienna have their own thing going – one has turned his life around for the better and the other is happily living her without the need of a man. They cross paths and the rest is history. Jethro and Sienna are magical together; their chemistry was blazing and they had an easy-going, genuine relationship. They had real obstacles and they were dealt in a mature and beautiful way.

 

Review | Memories of Ash by Instisar Khanani

memories of ash by intisar khanani

Memories of Ash
by: Intisar Khanani
The Sunbolt Chronicles #2
Publication Date: May 30th, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

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add to goodreads

Review

My rating: 5 stars

Memories of Ashes takes place a year after Sunbolt – Hitomi has been learning under Brigit Stormwind. Until one day a rogue mage hunter visits to escort Stormwind to the Council for a trial. Knowing Blackflame is behind the charges Hitomi decides to break Stromwind free.

MoA is one of the best books I’ve read this year; I am still on a high from it. I cannot even begin to describe my love for it. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before – it probably has to do with romance usually playing a major role – but in this there was hardly any. A full length novel about a girl travelling the land with the help of allies.

Hitomi is a really likeable protagonist – she’s strong, witty, loyal, intelligent, and flawed. Hitomi has a habit of getting into situations without much planning, and while that may usually seem annoying it isn’t with Hitomi – she acknowledges that it is a flaw – and to do the right thing is more important to her. Despite regaining some of her memories she was still haunted with the deaths she caused and refuse to take anymore; it was very humane of her.

The political plot was quite interesting as well, usually I steer clear of politics but Khanani’s writing made it really fascinating. The fight for power, the will to save one’s own skin even if it means losing one’s soul, the deception and manipulation, were really well immersed with the story. There was so much to learn – if something is not fully unveiled it is best to trust one’s gut.

While this was not heavy on the romance, this did have some really beautiful bonds – whether they’re familial, friendships, or alliances. This was a breath of fresh air from the usual fantasy books I’ve read. The bond between Hitomi and Stromwind gave me some paternal feels, and it was nice for Hitomi to have someone to guide her after being alone so long. I didn’t realise how much I missed Kenta until he showed up; I loved their relationship in Sunbolt and I love it even more after MoA. Val and Hitomi’s relationship is so unique and special – the trust between the two is beautiful.

I know I said I’m happy that this barely had any romance, but I’m a romantic at heart and I need to share my opinion. In Sunbolt we were introduced to the Ghost, and I feel in love with them after reading their first scene. Hitomi and Ghost give me so many Kaz and Inej feels. Though there was only mentions of the Ghost I’m hoping we’ll meet him again in the next book. I’m definitely rooting for these two, and I hope we get like a secondary/tertiary romance plot with them.

Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. We were introduced to many new characters and they weren’t without reason, everything tied up. I am in awe with her writing.

I received an arc of this from the author in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author

Intisar Khanani

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Release Week Blitz + Giveaway | Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) by Intisar Khanani

MoA RWB

Hello readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2)
by Intisar Khanani

Fantasy lovers, this one’s for you! Love magic, look no further!
And you definitely need to check out the awesome giveaway found below.

Happy Book Birthday, Intisar!

Let’s celebrate everyone!!

 

MoA Cover

 

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

add to goodreads

Title: Memories of Ash
Series: The Sunbolt Chronicles, Book Two
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

MoA_Teaser1 Final

 

excerpt

I start forward, my eyes on the bundle ahead of us. I cannot quite make out what it is. Something sticks out from the bulk of it, reaching across the floor like an errant branch, dried twigs.

Filled with foreboding, I draw closer, straining to make out the thing in the light of the glowstone. The mage slows beside me. My throat closes up. I stare, frozen mid-step, at the shape stretched out before me: a body that is nothing more than papery skin curled over the brittle bones within. A mummified corpse, preserved by the endless heat, untouched by nature, its clothing long since dissolved away. Its bones protrude obscenely: each rib tracing a line around its chest, the pelvic and hip bones encased so tightly in skin that the gaps, the natural spaces formed by the bone, seem translucent, as if the light were shining through thin parchment.

My stomach tightens into a ball. I swallow hard, forcing down the bile in my throat. The skull bears no expression, dull teeth showing through leathery lips, the eyes long since shriveled away. But that hand, outstretched… A plea. Or a single, hopeless attempt to escape death.

Beside me, the mage breathes a curse.

 

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

sunbolt_coverFNLE2

The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

add to goodreads

About-the-Author2

Intisar Khanani

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

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