March Wrap Up & April TBR

Greetings readers!

Yet another month has come and gone. Why time, do you fly so fast? What happened to slow and steady? Dear Rendz can’t keep up. She is falling behind. SLOW DOWN, WILL YA!

Anyways, March was March. Ummmm…what can I say? It was a typical Rendz March, I got a ton of books and read like three. I am really struggling to keep up with my reading schedule, mostly because of some great shows I’ve been watching. Darn TV for being such an entertaining distraction!

Was it a spectacular month…? Not really, it was just a March.

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What I Read:

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes
The final installment of the Falling Kingdoms series. I was quite satisfied, but also a tad disappointed. My Full Review!

Immortal Reign

Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves
Historical fantasy!!!! Not something I read often, but I enjoyed it! My Full Review!

Lost Crow Conspiracy

Captain Guinevere by Clara Bennet
A quick, fun and fast read! My mini-review!

CAPTAIN

I started two other books, but I guess they don’t count since I finished them in April, so you’ll hear more about those later on!

What I Hauled

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway (ARC)
A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall (ARC)
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery
The Golden Road by L. M Montgomery

These books were all sent by publishers, so my dear wallet is actually feeling pretty good this month!

Posts from the Month of March!

Bookish M.A.S.H. Tag

M.A.S.H. TAG (2)

Lunar Chronicles Character Art Reveal: Cinder

Lunar Chronicles Character Art Reveal

A Possibility of Whales Blog Tour

A Possibility of Whales

Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

secret

Latest T.V. Binges

(I actually just finished watching Violet Evergarden, one of the shows I talk about in this post and you guys…I AM AN EMOTIONAL WRECK! I’m deciding whether I want to do an appreciation post for it because I AM AN ABSOLUTE MESS! Read more in my post to see why!)

Karla Montes

The Mulan Book Tag

MULAN BOOK TAG


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April TBR

I have a lot of things to get out of the way this month…like A LOT.

Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby (Finished!)

The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery (Nearly finished…)

The Golden Road by L. M. Montgomery

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

And a couple other books I’m pretty sure that I am forgetting. That is a lot of reading to get done…and I’m probably gonna struggle for sure. Wish me luck.


Let me know what you think! What was your favourite book of March? What release were you anticipating the most? Did you buy any books this past month? What read are you most looking forward to?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Ringing in the New Year Book Tag!

Greetings readers!

I was tagged by the lovely Sophie @ Blame Chocolate to do the Ringing in the New Year Tag! Sophie is a wonderful friend and blogger! She has tons of great reviews and posts, so make sure to drop by and pay her a visit!

It is still January so the idea of setting goals is still applicable. Especially if you have already broken some resolutions, it is not too late to set some more!

RULES:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to the creator of the tag (Bookmark Chronicles)
  • Share the tag image
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag friends (or not if you don’t feel like it)

Best book and/or series that you’ve read in 2017

*I say rereads count!*

I reread The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer in the summer of 2017, which was the best decision I have ever made. Reliving all those emotions and revisiting the characters I adore was the most amazing experience!

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I wrote four fangirling posts along the way which was also pretty fun, so if you want to check those out, be my guest!

A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder A Moment of Fangirling: ScarletA Moment of Fangirling: Cress A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

Authors that you’ve recently found and would like to read more of in the new year

Roshani Chokshi, Stephanie Garber, Kendare Blake, Lilliam Rivera, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

***And clearly in 2018 I have to go about finding some male authors of interest too! I hear Jay Kristoff and Neal Shusterman are ones to look out for!

 

 

Most anticipated book turned movie/tv show?

I’m pretty excited to see The Hate U Give movie…I believe it comes out this year! There are so many other YA adaptations coming to the big screen, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet!

Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight (if there is one)

CARSWELL THORNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CHAOL WESTFALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUT MOSTLY CARSWELL THORNE!

*Artist: Taratjah*

What’s on you TBR for 2018? (Top 5-10 will suffice if it’s an extremely long list!)

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)
via Goodreads

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms, #6)
via Goodreads

Wires & Nerve Vol. 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer

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via @marissameyerauthor

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles (The Belles #1)
via Goodreads

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)
via Goodreads

Wacross 2 by Marie Lu

Furyborn my Claire Legrand (I got an ARC, so I get to read it early! *gloats*)

Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy, #1)
via Goodreads

How many books do you hope to read in 2018?

60 is my plan. 25 Debuts and whatever I find on my shelves or the library!

Will you participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge or any others (PopSugar, Down the TBR Hole, etc.)

Yes! As stated above I plan on reading 60 books, so I have Goodreads to keep me on track! It is the same personal goal I had from last year and I got close but didn’t exactly achieve it. Here’s to hoping this year turns out better!

Any New Year’s Resolutions? (Bookish, blogging (or vlogging), and otherwise)

I do! I even wrote a whole blog post so that they would be written out meaning I can’t opt-out anymore!

New year reading goals

  1. Read my shelves
  2. Read 25 Debuts of 2018 in 2018
  3. Get to 1000 followers (I’ll kind of need your help for this one)
  4. Manage my book money
  5. Expand my genres

You can check out my full post here!

In terms of life goals….I’m trying to get Real Life-Rendz together. We have important decisions to make and she has to not be afraid of change and taking risks. So hand me your most inspirational quotes, please!

I Tag…

If you’ve already done this tag, feel free to just tell me your goals in the comment! ❤

Abigail’s Books

Darque Dreamer Reads 

Pages Unbound Reviews

Let me know what you think? Do we have any common goals? What were your favourite books of 2017? What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

 

Renegades | Review

Greetings readers!

Well…I…did…it.

I read my most anticipated book of the year. My Queen, Marissa Meyer came out with the highly hyped, totally intriguing superhero novel that I had put on hold after I received it in November.

Well, I finally read it.

And I’m…I’m…

Underwhelmed.

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via giphy.com

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades IG

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.



Buy It!

Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository



Don’t get me wrong. This book was definitely not a bust for me…but it really lacked the BOOM! too. I just…I just…I was hoping for so much, much more. And I didn’t get that. Maybe I was hoping for too much and I over-hyped myself because ladies and gents the Lunar Chronicles is my life, Marissa is my Queen, but this book just did not reach that bar.

What I Liked:

Characters:

Nova: My amazing Nightmare. Gosh I really liked her character for many, many reasons. A) I love a good tragic/sob story and since we actually (sort of) experienced what happened to her at such a young age, it was even more tragic. (That prologue really hurt my soul) B) I love an inventor. And my goodness is this girl nifty and thrifty! I was not one who could pursue a career in all the sciences (I was an excellent science student, but passion lies elsewhere 😉), but geez the things you can create with that kind of knowledge is priceless! Nova’s abilities and creativity is amazing, it’s like a second super power she has. C) Snark. Snark. Snark. I love it when characters can come up with a good comeback!

Adrian: I liked him well enough, I just feel like I don’t know enough about him. He’s cute, I totally admit. A) TATTOOS and for that matter SUPER POWER TATTOOS!!! This all points to book boyfriend status! B) He is incredibly sweet. Especially when he is with his brother!!! I was aww-ing perhaps a little too much for my own good. C) His super power is making his drawings come to life. YES!YES!YES!I NEED THAT!!! Still, I feel that I don’t know enough about him. That connection is still very loose.  So whoever said that Adrian tops Carswell Thorne, you are incredibly wrong.

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via giphy.com

Other characters…I loved reading the varying characteristics between the Renegades and the Anarchists. Seeing how their stories related and clashed with each other. I would have so many conflicting emotions because while I sided with one, I also saw the reason of the other side. I was one reader full of contradicting feelings! There were characters of different races, mixed races, disabilities, sexualities and beliefs. So you know, a regular world….but with super powers. :))))

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via giphy.com

World:

I liked that it wasn’t too sci-fi and still stayed true to the current technology that we have today, but ever so often mentioned the more advanced mechanics and structures functioning within the city. I loved the story of the Battle for Galton and how this story is not set too far in the future from that event, so the wounds are still fresh!

The Super Powers:

There were all kinds of super heroes in this book with all kinds of power. I loved that Meyer used a variation of powers. Of course the classics like “flying”, “fire” and “invisibility” were all still present, but adding in more non-conventional powers into the mix created a more interesting dynamic. Having characters with powers that were different, fun and even silly made the characters and the story better.

What I Disliked:

Mellow, mellow, marshmallow: 

Where was the intensity? The action? The nail-biting suspense? The high stakes? I did not feel any intense emotion while reading this. It was all so mellow and just….I felt nothing! And I wanted to feel like I was being crushed by a building! Like the sky was falling! Like waiting a year would tear out a piece of my soul. But no, I did not feel those at all. This book should have had so much more. More conflict. More drama. More fighting. Higher stakes! Something! THERE WASN’T EVEN ONE LOUSY KISS!!! COME ON!!! THE SMOOCH FACTOR WAS THROWN OUT THE WINDOW!

more GIF by Shorty Awards
via giphy.com

Predictable:

Oh gosh the ending. The ending. The ending! I saw it coming from the very beginning of the novel! Heeesh………..really! It was so cliche and just no. There were perhaps, a few things I didn’t see coming. But the ending was a dead giveaway. Sighhhhhhhh. After finishing I actually said I could wait the year. Hopefully she makes the next one more epic.


Overall, I feel underwhelmed. It’s as if Meyer lost her focus on this one. What was the point of it? Still…the novel is incredible in other areas. Like making you question your own allegiance to the Anarchists or the Renegades. Seeing the greys between good and bad. That is all wonderful and the characters are amazing, but I just felt that this one did not meet the high, high expectations I had going in. Never fear, Marissa Meyer is still my Queen but this book just did not meet the levels of fangirl like TLC and Heartless created. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Rating: 3.75-4 / 5 Stars (This is what I call a “good four”, not a “great four”)

Recommend: Well yeah, but don’t go in with the highest of expectations. The next one should have bigger things in store.

I feel like this was one giant negative review, but trust me it’s not! I really did enjoy most of the book. The characters were cool, the last hundred pages or so had me flipping. However, I cannot say that it met the standards I was hoping it would set off.

Let me know what you think! Have you read it, what did you think? Any favourite characters? What super-power do you want to have? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

September Wrap Up, Haul & October TBR

Greetings readers!

September went by in such a blur. I can barely recall most of what I did this month…oh wait! Yes I can. School. School and some more……wait for it…..school.

-_-

Yeah, it’s been fun guys….*fake yay* September has been tough on Real-life Rendz and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Starting university this month has been a roller coaster of emotions. Excitement, self-doubt, fear. These are all things I feel on a daily basis.

My reading month was good. I actually got a lot more done than I thought I would. Things are starting to slow down and I’m trying my best to keep up, but school is a priority and it’s taking over my life. That’s why I’m sporadic a lot of the time on blog, I take some breaks to blog-hop or write but most times I just need to sit and relax and do nothing.

Enough about me, let’s talk about bookish things!

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Wrap-Up

What the heck did I read this month? Seriously I kind of forgot….bless the creators of Goodreads for keeping track for me!

This month I read…

Poison’s Kiss by Breanna Shields

I buddy read this with the amazing Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews. It was so much fun reading with her, even though this book didn’t quite meet our expectations. I ended giving it a 2.5 / 5 stars. You can read Mandy’s amazing review here because I’ll be honest the story is kind of a blur to me now….

Colorless by Rita Stradling

This was a Netgalley and it also turned out to be less than what I hoped for! It had such a cool concept and so much potential but it just fell flat to me. The beautiful cover definitely deceived me. My Full Review

Warcross by Marie Lu

I reviewed my ARC that I won in a Goodreads giveaway and I LOVED it! Hello! It’s by Marie Lu and she is my idol, I expected nothing but an intense and twisty read! She delivered perfectly and I cannot wait for the sequel! My Full Review

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

A long awaited book. A book all about my baby Chaol! I wrote a rather long and ranty review because I had thoughts and I needed to vent! My Full Review

All The Wind In The World by Samantha Mabry

I am read this while I commuting to school, but sometimes I got dizzy reading on the bus so I have to do short reading bursts. Still I am enjoyed it, the ending left me feeling many things though! Review To Come.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is actually a book I’m read for one of my classes. And wow, I loved it. I will be honest, reading this book made me nervous. It is super hyped and deals with such an important topic that sometimes I would get overwhelmed even just by thinking about picking it up. But I’m so glad I did. It’s so important, heart-breaking and inspirational! Review To Come.

*I’m so sad I missed Angie while she was here in Toronto on tour! But SCHOOL is messing with me!!!*

That’s a total of six read books! A success, I would say!

Other Fun Blog Posts!

One Year of Blogging (The Thank You) 

You Asked, I Answered! (Blogoversary Q & A)

A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

Book Series I Want to Give A Second Shot


The Haul

What did I get this month? The Month of Releases! Did I even go to the bookstore? No. Well I did go to my school bookstore, but that doesn’t count!

I did, however, send Kez to buy me Tower of Dawn from Indigo because they had a special edition!!! Oh and Strange the Dreamer came in the mail earlier in the month, which I won in a lovely giveaway hosted by Laura @ TheBookCorps

And I also pre-ordered Marissa Meyer’s Renegades and Wires & Nerve Vol 2. because I had a gift card to spend and I of course spent it on the Queen! Le duh!

tod2


TBR

The TBR

Well it’s going to be a long one, but I will definitely not make it to all of these reads. *Sad face*

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko
Captain Guinevere by Clara Bennet
Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (This will hopefully happen, as I want to buddy read it with Mandy @ BookPrincessReviews!)

I still have Gemina from the library…oh gosh I think it expires soon?? I will have to either return it or renew it…but it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting to it any time soon. *sad face*

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So that’s my October. It looks like it is going to be quite busy for me in terms of school and blogging responsibilities, but I rather enjoy blogging so it’s not too much of a hastle (yet).

Let me know what you think! What was your favourite read from September? What did you buy during September: The Month of Releases!? What book are you most looking forward to this October (Another month of insane releases!)?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The New Disney Princess Book Tag |In Which Rendz is Behind On All Her Tags…

Greetings readers!

You know what’s sad? That I’m just doing this tag now. I was tagged (the first time) to do this in May. May. From then on, I was tagged two more times! Like Rendz??? Get yourself together!!! But hello? There are so many tags and award posts out there and only one Rendz! How am I going to do it all?! *crumbles under pressure*

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via giphy.com

I can DO IT! IT JUST MIGHT TAKE MONTHS!!! So if you tag me for stuff, I’m sorry if it takes like 6 months for me to do it…BUT I will do it!!


Anyways, enough ranting! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to the very BESTEST Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews! Co-creator of this tag and Blogger Princess extra-ordinaire! If you don’t follow Mandy, (which I’m pretty sure you do…) then you must bow down to her royal highness and seriously read her posts. They are fun, cheeky and full of magic! She is a huge Disney Princess fan as am I! (Hence this tag!)

ALSO HUGE THANK YOUS TO:

Lyndsey’s Book Blog  and Melting Pots and Other Calamities for tagging me ages ago as well!! (I’m sooo late, so sorry!) Both have such incredible blogs, with incredible posts and reviews!! Follow! Follow! Follow!

So I am extremely delighted that I get to take part in this amazing tag!! And just for the record, my favourite Disney Princess is Cinderella! *quizzical faces from the crowd* It’s true Cindy and I have a long  history and while she not be the most progressive or coolest princess out there, she is still my #1!

THE RULES

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you because that’s always good fun
  • Tag Book Princess Reviews and Zuky with our posts so we can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Mine is this link and Zuky’s is here)
  • Play a game of tag at the end!

snow-white

SNOW WHITE

THIS BOOK (LIKE THE MOVIE) STARTED IT ALL

Favorite Debut Book From an Author 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I’m going to stick with a 2017 debut. This is one of the few debuts I have read from and this book took the YA World by storm earlier this year. With reason I believe. This book was magical, mysterious and very beautiful! I cannot wait for the sequel Legendary coming next year!

cinderella tag

CINDERELLA

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Just Like Cinderella, You Either Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But Turned Out to Be a Total Gem 

Magnus Damora from the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes

What can I say? I hated his guts in Book 1 and 2. He grew a little on me in book 3. In Book 4 and 5 I completely adored him. He upped himself to book boyfriend status from being a no-status-guy and that my friends is a miracle. When I say I hated his guts, I hated his guts! And now look! I love (and am very worried) for his guts!

aurora

AURORA

SLEEPING BEAUTY

A Book That Makes You Sleepy or Just Could Not Hold Your Attention

Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1)
via Goodreads

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

In my defense, I read this way, way, way, way back before I actually liked reading. And it did indeed put me to sleep. My sister woke me up after she noticed the book had fallen on my face. Perhaps I shall give this book another try one day because it is a true classic.

ariel tag

ARIEL

UNDER THE SEA

A Book With a Water/Ocean Setting

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

I think this is the only book I’ve read so far with a ship setting. Actually no, that’s a lie. I have read a pirate-y book before, but I didn’t like it so let’s stick to the classic Narnia. It’s my trademark guys!

belle tag

BELLE

BEAUTY AND THE BOOKS

Name a Book With the Best Bookworm/Book Lover

Fangirl
via Goodreads

Gosh why is this one so hard?? Gonna go with the obvious, Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The only book by Rowell that I’ve read and I very much enjoyed! Cath is a super-duper book nerd and writes fanfiction so I think she most definitely counts XP

jasmine

JASMINE

THE THIEF AND THE PRINCESS

Name Book with an Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance or a Book You Didn’t Expect to Love So Much)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I honestly didn’t expect much from this book/series other than cheese and cliches. I was sooooooooooooooooo wrong. Immensely wrong. SO SO SO SO SO wrong!!!! I will always regret not picking it up sooner, but then again not regret it because I got to binge read them! Just a truly amazing series that is very close to my heart!

poch

POCAHONTAS

THE REAL LIFE PRINCESS

Name a Book that is Based on a Real Life Person You Want to Read/Have Read

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Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

It’s a fictional, emphasis on the fictional, account of the teenage years of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the Canadian author of Anne of Green Gables. I really enjoyed this book and I was lucky enough to even win a signed finished copy! Super yay!

mulan

MULAN

THE PRINCESS THAT SAVED HER COUNTRY

Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know

tlc3

Cinder & Co. from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

FEMALE FIERCENESS TO THE MAX!!! AND CINDER ACTUALLY SAVES THE MOON AND THE EARTH!!! With the help of her uniquely fierce female cast (and male co-stars as well)! Cinder is the leader and the brains, Scarlet is the protector and muscle, Cress is the hacker and intelligence, Winter is the sweet talker and comforter, and out lovely Iko is team mascot, or in other words she gets the ball rolling!!

tiana tag

TIANA

THE PRINCESS WITH THE COOLEST AND MOST DIVERSE CREW

Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like Tiana’s group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and more) or just diverse in general

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. My always, always answer! This motley bunch was so much fun to follow and you have all kinds of characters in here with of all backgrounds, identities, personalities. All things wonderful!!

 

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RAPUNZEL

LET YOUR LONGGGGGG HAIR DOWN

Name the Longest Book You’ve Ever Read

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

800 glorious pages….that if you want to know more…I rant about it in this post:
A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

merida

MERIDA

I DETERMINE MY OWN FATE

A Book Where There is No Love Story/Interest or Isn’t Needed

A Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights, #1)
via Goodreads

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

There is no time for romance when your spinning stories to keep yourself alive!

ANNA/ELSA

FROZEN HEARTS

A Book in a Winter/Cold Setting

Oh my, oh my….

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via giphy.com

I wonder….

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What I could possibly….

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via giphy.com

Write about….?

Day 5 of #febbooksarelit is First Love (First Book You Fell in Love With)  I don't think anyone should be surprised when I say The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my my first book love.  Well, it is.  It is also my first movie love, so it's a two in one special.  The magic of Narnia has touched me for life and there's no going back!  Hope you are all having a great day!  #bookstagram #books #narnia #thechroniclesofnarniathelionthewitchandthewardrobe #thelionthewitchandthewardrobe #cslewis #readingwithrendz #magicalstory #reader

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

moana headMOANA

HOW FAR I’LL GO

A Character That Goes on a Journey

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Meira from the Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch

Meira definitely has her world turned upside down! From the beginning of the series she is put through so much and has to endure so many painful situations. The last book made me cry a little because *a thing happens* and I just could not! She is still one of my favourite characters and I hope to reread the series one day!


I Tag…

Really anybody who hasn’t done it yet! I’m so late with this tag! My newbie bloggers out there just joining the game! I tag you!!! Feel free to ping-back to me (or not) so I can see your answers!!

Let me know what you think! Who is your favourite Disney Princess? Your favourite Disney movie? What has Disney done for you in your life?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Warcross Review

Greetings readers!

There are some moments that just stick with you forever. Those moments that either truly traumatized you or just leave you feeling good inside.

I have a lot of traumatic memories, most of them are embarrassing but hey, that’s just me and my awkward self.

One of those special moments is a mixture of both traumatic and happy! I was lucky enough to meet Marie Lu almost a year ago, in October when she was on her The Midnight Star tour. Meeting her left me shaking, if you don’t know, MARIE LU IS MY IDOL!

*Read more about that fateful day here*

Her books have left me mostly traumatized since I was 12 (but traumatized in a good way!)

So earlier this summer, I, for some odd reason, got a magical stroke of luck and won my first Goodreads giveaway! (It was the first one I ever entered!) AND I WON A GALLEY OF WARCROSS!!! Just imagine loud screeching and jumping up and down, that was basically my reaction! Then I actually received the book on Book Lovers Day!! I can’t even explain how over the moon I was!

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross, #1)
via Goodreads

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

*I received this galley from a Goodreads giveaway, which doesn’t affect my opinion in any way.*

I’ve been waiting for this book since she first announced it! I will gobble anything written by Marie Lu. Even though I am not a video game kind of gal (I’ve never played a real video game in my life….it’s true!) I was still super excited for this! Virtual reality and a hot swoony billionaire, Y A S! So after having read it, I can happily tell you that it is classic Marie. Fun, stressful, and a hell of a lot twisty. PLUS THAT ENDING! I almost died.

What I Liked

Characters:

Emika: I love her, rainbow hair and all. (Not going to lie though, I would sometimes forget her colourful hair in my imagination and have to fix up my visual image!) But yes, Emika! A super talented hacker and incredible Warcross player with a tragic life story. She lives day to day just thinking about the amount of money she owes and scratching up just enough to get by, but time ran out for her and she had to make some big decisions. One of those obviously including hacking into the biggest game in the world! Perhaps not the most well thought out plan, but she is crazy smart and so brave considering how alone she has been her whole life. She is no Cress (the hacker-love of my life) but she knows what’s she’s doing and she does it well!

Hideo: Oh my God, *swoon*. Marie always makes up such great complex and broody book boyfriends that I just cannot! And he is a young, successful billionaire! Plus insanely hot! *I’m not saying I’m a gold digger, but billionaire is a pretty attractive word 😂* He is a rather elusive character, but slowly he is revealed to the reader. His own tragic past and his plans for the future: to make it different, make it better. He is as I mentioned a very complex guy.

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Other characters…Marie never fails in the diversity factor! Long before it was even a hot topic in YA (though it should have always been) There are all kinds of characters in this killer novel. Disabled, gay, various different races including a Latina (yay!) not to mention Emika is Chinese-American. I loved all the side characters of course! They were so much fun to explore and added an extra richness to Emika’s life and story!

Setting: Hello Japan! A country I have actually never visited, but I would love to some day! Though the Japan in this book is very, very different from Japan today! I don’t know the exact year, but I am pretty sure this book takes place in the future where technology has reached levels so incredible that only books likes these know of them! The descriptions of the tech and scenery really gave a beautiful distinction between the reality and virtual world, which I will talk about next!

The Virtual Reality: Since tech is so advanced in this story, people can live in Warcross basically all the time. (Which while I think is cool, is also pretty scary!) I loved every moment of playing the Warcross game and exploring the worlds within it. I loved the use of the characters’ knowledge in coding and all things computer science! I think it added authenticity to the story instead of the characters just knowing how to do all that crazy nonsense!

Action Packed!: Marie also never fails to keep me on my toes. When I was reading I wouldn’t leave the couch because there was always something next. Another game to play, another hacker to stalk, another secret meeting with Hideo. It was a constant pull to just keep reading, keep going. Plus the actual Warcross games themselves were like actual video games, so they were very action packed and suspenseful! Not to mention those that went downhill!

Romance: Slow burn! It’s always a slow burn with Marie, nothing ever happens in the moment, it happens with time. Emi and Hideo build a relationship. One that was supposed to be strictly business, but it leads to more. As they interact they find their commonalities, they find their differences and everything in between. Emika has looked up to Hideo since she was 11 in foster care and he was a 13 year-old genius. She might have idolized him just a tad, but who would ever think that they would get to meet and find more to love in their idols?! And find out that their idol is secretly impressed with them and begins to open up about himself to them. The chances of that happening is like 0, but this is a one in a million romance guys and I SHIP IT!

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Those Legend & Young Elites Easter Eggs: I just about died, when I read “Daniel Batu Wing”. I highly doubt he has any relation to my precious Daniel Altan Wing, but still! And then the one-eyed white wolf showed up in a Warcross game and I just about died again!

The Ending: Welp. I saw it coming and at the same time I didn’t. If that makes any sense. You see I predicted it but usually my predictions are never spot on…and while I wasn’t exactly spot on, I still got it!!! Was I a little upset that I guessed it? Yes and no. Yes, because darn it! I like to be surprised. And no, because darn it that was a great ending! THAT TWIST! It makes you seriously questions your morals and what you think “saving the world” is all about! Magnifique!

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What I Disliked

It Took A While: As much as I say there was Suspense! Suspense! Suspense! There was that little section of the beginning where I felt like Emika was just drawling on and on about her tragic past. Which was very tragic…but I got tired of it a little too soon…Awesome things did happen at the beginning, but there was no effortless connection to the characters. Everyone was a stranger to me until things finally started to happen!


Overall, I loved it! This book has had some intense amount of praise and hype because it deserves it! I’ve never read a book half set in a VR and it was an incredible experience! Trust me, once you let the characters grow on you a little bit you’ll be sobbing, panicking and cheering right along with them. Until the end of course, then you’ll just be sobbing!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: HECK YEAH! It’s Marie Lu people, MARIE LU!

Let me know what you think? This book came out last week so if l would love to hear your thoughts on it! What’s your favourite Marie Lu book? Does she always make you sob? (The only answer is, yes.) What are some of your favourite video games?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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You Asked, I Answered! Blogaversary Q&A

Greetings readers!

A short while ago I celebrated my one year blogoversary! (blogaversary? blogiversary? whatever…) and I asked you guys to ask me questions! Anything you were curious about, whether it be about blogging or me in general. There was such a huge response, when I was literally expecting to have to fill in a post with only two questions! So thank you to all those who asked me questions and I hope you enjoy my answers!

1. If you could make an group to survive the zombie apocalypse with, which five book characters would you choose and why? (SYDNEY @ FIRE AND RAIN BOOKS)

  1. Cress Darnell (Lunar Chronicles) Super hacker skills would be great to get into all those secret government safe houses should they exist….(they must)
  2. Helene Aquilla (An Ember in the Ashes) I heard she’s good with the killing.
  3. Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) I heard she is good with the killing and sneaking/stalking those zombies!
  4. Wolf Kesley (Lunar Chronicles) Someone to protect me, hello!
  5. Carswell Thorne (Lunar Chronicles) Just because he would promise to kiss me before I die, sorry Cress.

 

 

2. How did you find the writing style for you? Like, we all worry we’re not typing the right words to express what we feel or that if we do, the post could be boring, but how did you find what fits you best? (OLGA’S ODDISH OBSESSION)

My writing style doesn’t really differ from how I talk in real life. A little big of professionalism with the use of big words and some fangirl language mixed in. I didn’t want to sound stiff and formal while writing my reviews I wanted to come off as charming and fun. So I didn’t stop myself from using the “Omgs” and the “Lols” and most importantly the “Ahhhhhhs”.

It’s not that people who write formal reviews are boring, in fact I admire them. They can write a full page without the fangirl additions and still keep you very entertained. I am just not at that level yet and I cannot write about books without using my fangirl language. C’est moi! It’s who I am. What fits me best is what I already have on, so let’s stick with the big words and fangirl words. Together.

Plus gifs. Gifs make everything a whole lot funnier and entertaining.

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3. Do you have a sort of ritual for reading? A specific drink you like to have when reading, music you like to have playing? Or do you just read, no ritual required? (The Book Goddess)

I don’t usually drink or eat while reading, but before I start a new book I do have a ritual!

*Rendz takes book off shelf*
*pets front cover and backcover *
*If there is a dust jacket, Rendz carefully removes it*
*Reads synopsis, reads author’s bio, reads and fumes about the prices of books*
*Pets naked hardcover, front back, and lastly the spine*
*Traces the lettering on the spine*
*Opens books, flips through every single page as I go (even the publication info)*

I literally flip through every page, no page left unturned. Even if they are blank at the end. They get flipped through!

Before I dive into my reading, I flip to the very last page of the story, read the last word, go back to Chapter 1 and try and figure out the story!

My mantra: I read cover to cover. That means everything in between.

4. Did you ever feel pressured to change your blog format/appearance to look more like “popular” bloggers? If so, did you and did it help anything? I’m asking for a friend 😉 (ROYAL READER)

Do I ever feel pressured? EVERY. DAY. SINCE. I. STARTED.
A lot of the big bloggers get their designs done for them and they pay $$$ for them too.
Me? I’m a cheap  student and would rather try something on my own, break out my watercolours think of something cool.
But I’m always so lazy and I need to look up tips for blog design making me lazier. I’ll just stick to my amateur logo and pink colour scheme! That’s not to say you can’t go all out. Be my guest! And then share with me your wisdom, please!

Pretty blogs are one thing. The content is still 100000x more important!

5. What happened with Disney? (MELTINGPOTSANDOTHERCALAMITIES)

So if you don’t know Disney has a publishing company named Disney Hyperion and they always have nice books to request on NetGalley. So naturally Rendz is like: “YES! Disney will see how much I love them and accept me right away.”

LOL past Rendz

I have been declined every Disney book I have requested. Popular or not. And it stung the first time…so I’ll never let it go. Until I get approved!

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6. Are you writing/have written a book or story project? (INKGIRLANDWORDS)

Yes! Though, I have never finished a single project because student life is busy and I don’t actually have a good outline for any of them. I just write down the scenes that play on and on in my head.

That being said, I do have three projects started. One is middle grade and the other two are YA. I realized that I sill need to simmer a lot of the middle grade and the first YA piece I started up because they are heavy fantasy and a whole lot of stuff needs to be drawn out.

This third YA one, that I recently opened a word document for is slowly coming along. It’s actually Urban Fantasy so less world building per se.  I know how it begins, I know how it ends, I know the climax. It’s just the in between that needs to be figured out. The characters also need some polishing and I’m not exactly sure on a lot of things. But it’s going along and it obviously has a soundtrack and Pinterest board!

Plus, I have a note pad filled with 10 other story ideas, spin offs and short stories. My imagination obviously never stops.

Will these projects ever see the light of day? Time will tell.

7 & 8  What character do you feel closely resembles you? If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? (SHANAH – BIONIC BOOK WORM)

7. The characters I find myself most in are Cress (TLC) and Laia (AEITA). Cress because she is the shy, meek fangirl who when she pushes herself has the courage to use her talents and be brave. Laia is also very important to me because she was not brave at the beginning of her journey. She was scared and cowardly, she ran away instead of fighting head on. Something I would do. Neither of these girls are your typical “badass” kind of heroine, but I have never felt “badass” myself. These girls represent me and help me see that I can still save the world, even if I can’t come up with something snarky to say on the spot or wield a sword like a pro.

8. I would eat pupusas for the rest of my life. (A traditional Salvadoran food.) They are freaking delicious and can be eaten at all times of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Break Time: There are a lot of questions…here is a funny gif.

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9. How do your posts compare from the beginning to now? (DARQUE DREAMER READS)

At the beginning I was still trying to be a professional, then a month later I was like “screw it” and found my odd little blogger voice. The set up is somewhat the same, but I think I got better at really communicating what I want to say, instead of rambling.

However, I still do not know how to use a comma properly. End me.

10. If you could bring one fictional character to life to be your best friend who would you choose? (JOURNEYINTOBOOKS)

After some pleading I was able to raise this to two character BFFs, so YAYAY!

Linh Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) BECAUSE SHE IS CINDER!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) GIRL TAKE ME AND CINDER TO NARNIA!!!

 

 

11. & 12.  How often do you read? What is your favourite food? (CHARLOTTE ANNELISE)

11. I usually read everyday. Throughout the day time hours I read a physical book, for about a hour, two maybe three? Then in the night time I switch to my ebooks/kindle. But since I don’t want to completely destroy my eye sight, I only read for about an hour and a half. Unless I am in the final stretches, I’ll exceed my limit.

12. Fave food: Pupusas!!!!!!

13. & 14. & 15. Do you like mangoes? If Thorne died, what would you do? Why do you go by the name Rendz? (MAY @ FOREVER AND EVERLY)

13. MANGOES ARE MY FAVOURITE FRUIT EVER!!! IT TOPS EVERYTHING. GREEN OR YELLOW, I AM IN LOVE!!!!!

14. HOW DARE YOU ASK SUCH A CRUEL QUESTION!
If Carswell Thorne had died in the books, I would have freaking balled. A part of my soul would have been ripped out, chewed up and thrown away. Even thinking about it hurts. I honestly would have cried!!!!! Sobbed!!!! I would have ended up in the depths of despair. My swoony Captain would live on in my heart (and fantasies) forever, but I am so glad he lives in the books!

15. I go by Rendz for two reasons. One being that as much as the internet is cool and all, there are still creepy, stalker people at large and so I never give away any personal info like my name, age and birthday (sorry to all the birthday tags) It’s a safety precaution. Secondly, I wanted to separate real me, from blogger me, so I created Rendz to fill in that role.

16. What do you do to get through a reading slump? How many books do you own? What’s your favorite reading spot? ANDDD What’s your favorite quote? (NADWA @ PAINFULLYFICTIONAL)

Reading slumps are tough, but I usually just stop reading for a while. Make myself miss it. I go read some raving reviews about exciting books, maybe even reread some of my favourite parts of older reads!

I own 143 books currently. That number is about to rise exponentially.

Favourite reading spot is the couch. A perfect place to lean my back on, sit,  lay and be in complete comfort! (Guys you don’t understand my couches are super soft and sitting on them is pure bliss)

Favourite quote, from my Idol, Marie Lu:

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“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
― Marie LuLegend

Thank you once again to all of the lovely people out there who asked me questions! Thank you to all you lovelies who read my answers and found something interesting about my boring self XP! Here is to another year of blogging *cheers*!

If you want to know anything else, I’ll gladly answer you in the comments!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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