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Book Haul – January & February

Book Haul

I am splitting this haul up into two sections today, but not by month. I am Doing a section of books I bought and books that were sent to me by publishers.

Books I Bought:

VA19The final volume of Vampire Knight in a limited edition featuring an exclusive alternate cover and mini art book.

Kaname vows to sacrifice himself. Yuki vows to sacrifice herself to stop him.

Zero takes a weapon in hand to protect what is dear to him.

Whether parted for eternity or close enough to touch, they each will always desire their beloved…

 

VA Fleeting DreamsA collection of short stories based on Vampire Knight

Deranged Love
A dying Rido reflects on his obsessive love for Juri.

Gifts for Yuki
Kaname wants to reward Yuki for doing well on her studies with tutor Aido.

Hidden Love
This is the story of Sara’s first love.

Queen of the Abyss
After Zero parts ways with Yuki and returns to being a vampire hunter, he encounters a vampire named Shien.

 

The-Fiery-Heart-cover-hiresSydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

 

silver shadowsIn The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Books Given

The DogsCameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told.

When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity.

What’s hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

 

UnwantedAll her life, eighteen-year-old Bea has wanted nothing more than to become a sniper on the wall and earn the coveted ink of a Dread warrior – a mark of distinction among her people.

She knows that one day the terrifying Erebii might break through the city’s outer defences, and if her people aren’t prepared and the wall is breached then the last human city will fall.

But everything Bea thinks she knows is about to be challenged…

What does the ink really do as it flows underneath their skin and who is the mysterious Unwanted boy that keeps appearing in her life?

 

DreamfireJoshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.  But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people’s dreams.  For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world’s general anxiety—which only leads to war and strife in the waking world—their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.  By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life. But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?

 

Ruby CircleSydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

 

kissing in americaIn the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

 

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen v2With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

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Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Dogs

The Dogs

Title: The Dogs

Author: Allan Stratton

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Length: 286

Rating: 3.5 Star rounded up to 4

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Description/Synopsis:

Cameron and his mum have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told.

When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity.

What’s hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from Penguin Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I had never heard of it before and really no idea what I was in for. My expectations were a little low admittedly, the angle of not knowing if things are real or not in a book has really bitten me negatively before, but I was actually really surprised and pleased with what I got!

Now, I don’t want to go too into the plot because not knowing all that much about it is what I think made the book for me but I have to touch on it a little. The pace of the story I wouldn’t really call suspenseful but I would call it page turning. The story deals a lot with the comparison of the past and the present and I really liked that. I have always been a fan of past stories in with the present. I really liked having to work out how much of the past had to do with what was going on, as well as trying to work out if Cameron seeing things would work out to his advantage or not and just how much of what he sees is true. Its this that really made the book.

In terms of characters I think most of them fell a bit flat. Cameron, our main character, was really well developed. While I didn’t agree with all the things he does and feels I can completely understand he does and feels things. The people around him don’t handle things well, ever. But all those around him seem very one dimensional and lacked depth. The mother specially really annoyed me, just, gah. You will understand when you read the book. I can almost forgive the lack of character depth in the side characters though, because pretty much all of them are side characters and are only slightly important to the story. It is pretty much just about what is happening (maybe) inside Cameron’s head. They are there to just add little bits to the story, not drive it.

I don’t want t say anymore because I might ruin the book for you then. All you need to know is that I was really surprised and really enjoyed this book. I loved the struggle that Cameron has to go through with all the things that are happening. If enough people keeping telling you you are crazy for long enough you start to believe it. I suggest that you should at least give this book a go, it was a super easy read for me and I completed it in a day.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – All The Bright Places

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Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

Length: 378

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received an ARC of this book early from the publishers, and I just want to make a shout out to the little bits of extra effort they put into this ARC. Part of the book contains a wall of post-it notes of things Finch finds interesting or enjoys in some way, so the publishers stuck post-its into each copy of the book they sent out to reviewers with different things that the publishers liked. I thought this was an absolutely adorable thing to do and it really touched my heart. Here are my post-its:

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Now, onto the actual book!

Now, we all know how I feel about books on suicide from when I reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why, but this book takes a different kind of look at depression why people might kill themselves. I feel I actually have had my views softened for some people who kill themselves. While with Hannah in TRW I thought it was mostly her fault for not speaking up or accepting the help offered. While in this book, I can see and feel the mental illness. Serious intervention would have to be taken to help the people in this book, and that would mean that people had to notice the signs instead of just shrugging them off. I admit that I even shrugged off some of the things that happen in this book as a character trait rather than a sign of something deeper. After reading this book I might not be so quick to jump to a negative thought about someone I heard who killed themselves.

The Parents… are insisting it was an accident, which, I guess, means we’re free to mourn out in the open in a normal, healthy, unstigmatised way. No need to be ashamed or embarrassed since suicide isn’t involved.

I think I liked all the characters in this book. I remember finding any of them disgusting in a way I did in TRW, I think most the side characters in this book just didn’t understand or didn’t notice any of the things that were going on.

The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.

Our main characters on the other hand are completely loveable. They are two completely different people, but they both come together at a moment when they were going to end it all and help each other in ways they didn’t even really know they needed help. Finch is up the bell tower deciding if this was the day he would kill himself or not, until he sees Violet there about to do the same thing, and he decides that he cannot let something so beautiful die and thusly he saves her and she saves him. He then lets the whole school think that she was up there to save his life, so that the whole school doesn’t pick on the pretty popular girl for thinking about death. I loved pretty much all their moments together. I was both jumping for joy and dying on the inside with the emotion that was created between the two.

“You asked why I wanted to do this with you. It’s not because you were up on the ledge too, even though, okay, that’s part of it. It’s not because I feel this weird responsibility to keep an eye on you, which is also part of it. It’s because you smiled at me that day in class. A real smile, not the bullshit one I see you give everyone all the time where your eyes are doing one thing and your mouth is doing another.”

“It was just a smile.”

“Maybe to you.”

The plot of this story is also very touching, and as I have stated, it taught me things. This book is only at a 4 start for me because the ending is not everything I wanted it to be. In the theme of the plot, the ending might have been very powerful, but just for me personally, it was not what I wanted from the book.

What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good? This is what I want to do with Violet – give her only the good, keep away the bad, so that good is all we ever have around us.

And there we have it guys. I don’t want to say anymore because I want your experience of the book to be just as powerful as it was for me. I reazd it months ago and I was only just now able to pull some thoughts together and give you guys a review. I strongly suggest you go get this book and be prepared for the emotions to come. I proudly display my ARC on my shelf, I will be reading this book again, and I might even go get a hardback to add to my collection. I have an interest in reading more good books on the topic and anything else the author publishes in a heartbeat.

Till Next Time…