Frost Like Night-Reviewed!

Greetings readers;

I’m going to be reviewing Frost Like Night today. I just recently finished and am very excited to tell you all my thoughts! A little reminder that this will of course be spoiler-free, like always.

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

This is one of the books where I like to use my super long, hyphenated words to describe my feelings right after reading. I finished reading this at about 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, the light from my iPod illuminating the pages of the book and my loud-sounding page flips echoed in my dark, quiet room. If you have seen any of my tweets you would know that I was crying  right after the last paragraph. The tears got my pillow all soggy and my shirt was kind of wet from wiping my snot. (Rendz! TMI and ew, gross)

Anyways, I finished the last paragraph read it over a couple times then went on to read the acknowledgements (because I always do) and cried the whole way through. So what made me cry? I don’t know exactly, perhaps the emotion of the series finale is what had me upset or that there were some crucial deaths that had me crushed was what had me tearing up (a mixture of both really).

So my thoughts…

What I liked

The Setting: Primoria is probably one of my favourite fantasy worlds out there. I just thought it was very creative to use the seasons as their own kingdoms and that only that season occurred there. Then the Rhythm kingdoms each represented a form of art, which I thought was very cool. Plus in this one, the kingdoms of Autumn and Paisly were explored, both of which were barely touched in the first two books!

The characters: I loved Meira because she was flawed and expected to be perfect. She was spunky, sarcastic, quirky, funny and caring. She honestly cared for her people and was willing to go to the ends of the Earth for them! Mather, A. he was hot, B. he was an awesome soldier and C. he fought for whom he loves. He was flawed as well, a bit too cocky sometimes but in the end he was honestly so sweet and loving. Theron, although we do not see much of him he was always a character I liked because he followed his passions, even when they were degraded and offended. Ceridwen was an amazing character. So much fire and anger, yet she loved so much and her heart led her in most decisions even when her head got in the way. The rest of the cast was cute too. I will miss some of them. (Yes people die, it’s a war, many people die)

The romance: Cute, funny, passionate and overall steamy in some parts. *fans self* It was a love triangle which I despise, but from the first few chapters we know who Meira has chosen in her heart.

Chapter 21: No spoilers, but it has to do with the aforementioned topic.

The Ending:  I really did have tears in my eyes and snot coming out of my nose at the very end. I was going solid throughout the whole novel. I endured most deaths with dry eyes but those last two paragraphs broke me. They are just so full of hope and love that I could not help but be moved.

What I didn’t like:

Pace: Personally, sometimes I felt like things were moving so quickly I had a hard time keeping up and got lost. I had to reread some stuff to get my thoughts back in order. Other times I felt like it was too slow and dragging on that I got bored.

Where were my super villainy moments?: I did not get to see a lot of Angra. I mean you hear about him and fight him and all…but there was never a solid chapter where you just listened to him speak and be evil and all. Also, Theron was hardly in the book so you never saw what it was truly like for him to be infested with decay.

***

Over all, I loved this book. I loved this series. It was interesting, adventurous, suspenseful and MAGICAL (always a winning factor). I will have a hard time getting over those deaths, but the ending was perfect. Of course I want to know more about what happened afterwards, but only Sara knows so maybe she will tell us how they are doing one day.

Super- long hyphenated word: This book was amazingly-heartbreaking-swoon worthy-hope filling-heart stopping-scream making-rage bubbling-beautiful-yet-sad-yet-wonderful story.

Rating: 5/5 stars (even with its minor faults I loved it!)

Do I recommend? YES YES YES!

SO, do yourself a favour and pick up this series. It’s the perfect binge-read and I guarantee it will make you hurt inside (in the best way). AND, if you have read this series, let me know in the comments below and we can totally go crazy about it together!

Happy reading!

-Rendz

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Mid-Month Update: November 2016

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via giphy.com

Greetings readers:

Oh my goodness, it is already the middle of November. 2016 is going by fast! This month has been good so far. School is…school. It’s still work loaded and heavy, especially grade 12. But you don’t want to know about school, you want to know about books!

So, this is how November has gone for me book-related wise:

1: I finished REPLICA.

Yup, I finally did it! *pats self on back* So, now that that book is out of the way, I moved on to Frost Like Night (hooray) and am making my way through it, slowly but surely. As for REPLICA, you can read my full spoiler-free review here.

2: The Assassin’s Blade audio book

It is still being listened too, its just a very slow process. I am enjoying the audio book and hopefully I am able to finish it soon.  I am on the third novella and very close to finishing it.

3: Book Buying Ban

I will be officially taking a break from book buying for the next couple of months until the new year. Lately, most of my money has been put towards books and I just cannot afford to do that anymore. But fear not, I will be heading to the library a lot these next couple of months and still updating you with library hauls. My book buying will resume on February 3rd, 2017. (I have two very important things to buy that day 😉 )

4: I won my first giveaway!

I won for once *cheers* Danielle L. Jensen author of the Malediction trilogy, was giving away signed sets of bookmarks and I won. I was so happy my friends had to calm me down! I am super excited to receive those and will post a picture when I get them!

SO, how are your TBRs coming along this month? Comment down below! That’s all for now! Wish me good luck with the rest of my reading!

-Rendz

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Replica ARC-Review

Greetings readers:

Any of you who have been following me for a while know that it took me a while to read Replica. Now, it is not because I didn’t like it, it was just that October was an extremely busy month for me and I hardly had any time to read! However, I was finally able to finish it, so keep reading for my review!

Replica by Lauren Oliver

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image via Goodreads

Good reads synopsis:

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book” that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

*I received an ARC from the Indigo Fall Preview Event

The length of time it took me to read this book does not necessarily show my opinion of the book. In fact I rather enjoyed Replica, I thought it was interesting and fun. It is science fiction so there were many pharmaceutical and medicinal words that had to deal with the “research facility” which at times required further research (not complaining though, it was fun).

The “flip-book” aspect itself was very fun. Even though I did not alternate perspectives, I enjoyed flipping the book back and forth and finding the connections between the narratives. I decided to read Lyra first followed by Gemma for no particular reason. I just chose to read it like this!

What I liked

The characters: I enjoyed reading both Lyra and Gemma’s stories. Even though many parts intertwined within the two and there was some overlap, they each had their own unique experiences and perspectives. I think Lyra’s characteristics perfectly reflect her life in a closed of facility. She is a curious soul with a knack for finding and discovering ways to use opportunities that fly past her. She may think herself as lost and dumb, but she is in fact very intelligent and observational. Her internal conflict dealing with her own humanity is often an excuse she uses to complain about her problems. I thought her romance within the story was very cute. There is not too much focus on it, but in the few scenes that are there, I found it adorable. Gemma has more typical teenage problems. She has strict parents who don’t allow her out of the house much. She only has one friend, April and is a target for bullies at her school. And although her life may seem dull, it turns into an adventure and mystery over one spring break. I think what I liked the most is her quirkiness and awkwardness. She always has so many things going on her head, some that come up at not the right moments. Many of them about boys. Overall Gemma’s story was more action packed, I believe and it had more information about the actual plot of the story. This is probably because she understands the world better than Lyra.

The Romance: There is not a lot and I usually tend to like more (I’m a hopeless romantic, let me be) However, there are only a couple  romantic scenes in this book and it seemed to be enough for me. I think of the two Lyra has the cutest romantic connection and Gemma has the more humorous one. Lyra, does not understand much about the world or romance, so seeing her discover these new feelings within her is cute. Gemma definitely has the more hilarious romance because her mind is always racing about the various possible situations in which she may find romance.

What I didn’t Like:

The pace: I think it is really slow at the beginning of both stories. Lyra’s first couple of chapters are mainly just her wandering around in Haven. Gemma’s are mainly her complaining about her parents and limited freedom. Gemma’s chapters are more intense than Lyra’s mainly because she knows how the world works, but there are still moments that drag on until we can get the information we need to move on.

The action: It is minimal. There are definitely suspenseful moments within both stories and the ending scenes are fantastic, but I feel as if it needs more. This is more of a personal peeve because as a fantasy reader, I see more fight scenes and magical battles. But it could have more explosions at least. Even the scientific laboratory, Haven is not fully explored since Lyra does not spend much time there as I thought she would in this book.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

I read the ARC so there may have been some changes to the story, but over all I liked the book. It was an enjoyable read, the stories were cute and inspired many questions about humanity and what it means to be human. I loved the “flip-book” aspect of it and I am looking forward to the next one called HELIX.

Favourite Quote: “You are mine and I am yours.” (You can definitely tell now that I am a hopeless romantic)

SO, have any of you read REPLICA? If so, comment and tell me what you thought of it, I would love to know!

-Rendz

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The Lady is a Champ – Experience

Greetings readers:

As promised, I am finally bringing to you my thoughts and experience from The Lady is a Champ Tour. This amazing event featured four incredible writers in which they answered some very important questions and let the audience in on their life as writers. This event was held about three weeks ago (I know it has been a while) but it was so amazing, I am glad I get to share all the details with you.

It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in October and I arrived about an hour before the event. It turns out that I should come to these events earlier if I want to sit because there was a huge crowd and I had to stand the entire time. (Still it was so worth it.) Anyways, a short while later, our amazing authors arrived at Chapters Brampton. Marie Lu [The Midnight Star], Kiersten White [And I Darken], Catherine Egan [Julia Vanishes] and Morgan Rhodes [The Darkest Magic] all paraded through the crowd  and sat at their table. (At this moment I was very, very star-struck) Once seated, the real show began.

Catherine Egan, Kiersten White, Marie Lu, Morgan Rhodes

The event started off with a few questions from the MC, about the author’s books and various struggles to write them. Marie Lu spoke about how The Young Elites began as a novel about Raffaele, but was soon took over by Adelina and thus began her villainous journey. Kiersten White talked about how difficult it is to write historical fiction and the amount of research it required to get dates correct. Catherine Egan spoke of her drafting process and that as she writes she has to keep changing and starting again before her book can have a solid outline. Morgan Rhodes said that she has to reread her books to remember the details and tie up the loose ends of stories. She also said writing involves a lot of wine and chocolate.

The authors then diverged on to the topic of villains. Marie said that writing a villain is basically allowing the character to do whatever they want, morals were thrown out the window. Catherine agreed and said that writing villains was very cathartic for her. She also stated that villains were easier to write because they just came to her. Morgan Rhodes agreed and said “the nicer the character, the harder to write.” Kiersten said that writing Lada was tough, since she had to restrain from softening her up (if you don’t know, Lada is not exactly very nice) and that she had to throw out the idea of likability.

Afterwords the authors shared stories about strong female characters they read about as teens. Marie Lu praised the novel Julie of Wolves as her inspiration and model growing up. Morgan shared that she read adult novels in her teens, and teen novels as an adult, but over all it was Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy that resonated with her. Kiersten White shared that her influential female Character was Anne from Anne of Green Gables (I was a very, very proud Canadian) Anne’s coming of age story and fearless self gave Kiersten confidence growing up.

There were many moments of laughing and fun especially when our authors would go off talking and forget whether they had answered the questions. (Morgan I’m talking sbout you) Marie Lu said that she had trouble writing romance scenes because she felt that her mother was scrutinizing her and asking “Where did you learn that, huh?” Marie takes months to write kissing scenes, so appreciate them. Morgan said that she dealt with difficult situations with lots of wine and chocolate, the other authors agreed straight away. She also finds it very easy to kill characters off, so be warned.

They also each shared a genre of writing they would not be able to explore or take on. Kiersten and Marie both said contemporary and agreed that fantasy and Sci-Fi was far more interesting. Morgan said that middle grade was not for her as well as an all male 1st person POV. Catherine always shies away from historical fiction, in which Kiersten said “don’t go down that road” humorously.

After a couple audience questions, the infamous “How tall are your characters?” was brought up again, the signing began.

Now as I mentioned I was towards the back of the line and had to wait three hours, standing carrying seven books! I was extremely tired, but again, so, so worth it. Anyways as I approached Kiersten and Catherine, I got really nervous and my heart started beating fast. (I’m very introverted so it’s my usual reaction) However, I got up there introduced myself and presented them with little pieces of fan art I made. They were both very delighted and Catherine almost cried! (SCORE) I had Illusions of Fate signed by Kiersten while she and I talked about Narnia (2nd SCORE) and how her boyfriend (now husband) gave her The Horse and his Boy as her first Christmas present. (He is definitely a keeper)

Then I approached Morgan Rhodes, I didn’t have a book to get signed by her since I had them signed at a previous event, but I still handed her a piece of fan art as well, which she graciously accepted. It was a painting of a pouty Magnus and she reasoned that his angry expression is what won him the ladies. (She’s not wrong) Then came the moment of truth!

I stood in front of Marie Lu. Six years I suffered under these woman’s books. Six years. And do you know what I said?

“Hi, I’m Rendz and I just want you to know I’ve been waiting for this moment for six years.”

*face meet palm*

Oh but it gets worse:

Marie: “I’m so glad you came!”

Me: “No, no, I’m so glad YOU came!”

COULD I HAVE BEEN MORE OF A DORK?!

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Afterwords, I just kept calling myself a loser in my head! It was slightly embarrassing since the other authors listened in and started laughing. I turned red in the face, but kept on talking so I was proud of myself for that. After she signed six books (her hand must have ached afterwards, she had already signed so many) I left her saying thank you once again, walked down the steps shaking from head to toe because ladies and gentlemen I had just met Marie Lu.

Overall it was a long day, full of standing, waiting and fangirling, but I couldn’t have asked for more! My feet did ache the whole rest of the night through the next day but I would have stood even longer if it meant I got to meet my idols!

Experience score: 10/10 (even though I had to stand the entire time) 

I do sincerely love author events. Although I do not see any in my immediate future, rest assured you will read about another time I embarrass at these events. If you have any author event stories you would like to share, comment below or shoot me an email, I would love to hear about it!

Happy Reading!

-Rendz

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November TBR

Greetings readers:

So as you know last month was a slow reading month and well, I decided to plan out this month to see how much reading I could get done in November. It’s turns out it’s not as much as I want.

So here’s the stitch, my November TBR is practically the same as my October TBR. Meaning I will continue reading/listening to Replica and the Assassin’s Blade. I will also try to get a start on Frost Like Night since it is a library book and I will need to return it soon. If by any miracle I actually get this reading material out-of-the-way early ish, then I will start A Shadow Bright and Burning.

*cries thinking about all her lonely books*

Soon I will be posting my weekend event of meeting Marie Lu, Kiersten White, Morgan Rhodes and Catherine Egan. It’s taking some time to get my thoughts together because it was such an amazing day! That will be coming your way next.

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Sneak peek at what is to come! (sorry for the quality!)

I hope you guys get your TBRs completed and that they are much more ambitious and fabulous than mine (not to say these books aren’t fabulous).

Feel free to let me know what you are reading this month and if you have any tips about fitting reading into such a tight schedule that would be greatly appreciated!

Happy reading!

-Rendz

October Book Wrap up + Haul

Greetings readers:

So this past month I have completed a total of 0 books.

*womp womp wompppp*

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Yes, yes I know. Shame on me. Shame on me. BUT, in my defense it has been a pretty busy month for me. October was not how I planned it would be. It turns out, being two months into school, means being bombarded with loads and loads of work. I am lucky  I have time to write this post since I’m in the middle of working on two assignments. *procrastinating*

As for my reading I’m still not done Replica, I only have a few chapters left and I’m dying to find out the end of Gemma’s story. I am also still working my way through the Assassin’s Blade audio book. I like to listen to it in big chunks of time so I don’t forget what has already happened. Seeing as it’s not a regular book where I can flip back, I need to make sure I listen carefully and don’t lose the story!

So that is my unfinished, wrap-up. Don’t worry though. I will finish these books very, very soon.

Although, I have not read many books this month I have accumulated some great books.

This month I bought*:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Fairest by  Marissa Meyer

*Each have the Goodreads link if you would like to know more about it

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Bear with me and my terrible photography skills. This was a quick picture, but trust me I can do better!

 

I have not read any of these books, except for Illusions of Fate and Fairest, which I read about a year ago and enjoyed very much!I am so excited to read the rest of these books, there have been such great things said about each of them.

Coming soon, I will be recapping one of the most wonderful days in my bookish life and my November TBR. (Perhaps I’ll have more time to read this month)

Happy reading!

-Rendz

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