18 Dec 2019

#Discussions: My Favourite 10 Books of the Decade!

18 December 1 Comments

My Favourite 10 Books of the Decade!

I am working on wrap-ups and reading and reviews and the like but I want to make sure I acknowledge that we're at the end of the decade! I am going to do my best to remember some of the books I read 5-10 years ago since I didn't start tracking until 2015 on Goodreads so forgive me if I don't have all of the right books!

Five years ago I started this blog and my reading changed for sure but I also have been reading for about 25 years! I love books, I love reading, and I have been thriving since I started blogging. I can't wait to see where the 2020s take us (and me!) and I have a lot of great plans for my blog in the future.

But without further ado, my favourite 10 books of the decade!

2010

THE HUNGER GAMES

Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Source: Purchased at Chapters
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 14, 2008

Summary:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
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2011

CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Source: Chapters
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2011

Summary:
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
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Amazon | Chapters | TBD

2012

PANDEMONIUM

Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Source: Chapters
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 28, 2012

Summary:
The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
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2013

THE HOUSE OF HADES

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Source: Library
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Publication Date: December 3, 2013

Summary:
Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea's strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can't exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
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2014

PANIC

Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: N/A
Source: Chapters
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Summary:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
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2015

AIR AWAKENS

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: August 27, 2015

My Review!

Summary:
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
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2016

INTERIM GODDESS OF LOVE

Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Series: Interim Goddess of Love #1
Source: Amazon Kindle
Publisher: Published by the Author
Publication Date: April 21, 2012

Summary:
College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn't know why everyone tells her their love problems. She's never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn't stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she's going to have to take on this responsibility -- but for all humanity.


The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It's a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world's obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.


While she's learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who's got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah's mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he's not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after -- or at least something that'll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he's so, well, hot.)
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2017

FURYBORN

Author: Claire Legrand
Series: The Empirium #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

My Review!

Summary:
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.


A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.


As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.
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2018

RED SISTER

Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: Book of the Ancestor #1
Source: Finished copy via Publisher
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

My Review!

Summary:
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.


But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.


Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
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2019

WE HUNT THE FLAME

Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Source: Indigo Book Box
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Summary:
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 


Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.


War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.


Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
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What books are you hoping to read next?

16 Dec 2019

#Review: WICKED FOX by Kat Cho

16 December 2 Comments

WICKED FOX

Author: Kat Cho
Series: Gumiho #1
Source: ARC via Publisher; Purchased from Audible
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

This could have been better but was bogged down by random things. There also was a neat bow to tie it all up and then the epilogue decided to open it back up? This felt like three things in one and none of those things was done to the extent that I wanted them to be.

There are a lot of really great elements in this one: new(ish) immortal being, romance, drama, and supernatural problems. But none of them seemed to work really well together. I wanted there to be more cohesion in the story but it felt as though there were 3-4 "acts" in this that didn't really flow into one another.

I just wanted a bit more out of this one than what we got. The first quarter was really interesting but then it started to go a bit downhill from there. It felt overstuffed, which is usually fine for the first book in a series, but this felt like a standalone with a "but actually!" at the end. I was bored by 60% but wanted to finish because this was the first book I'd read in a while so I didn't want to stop my flow. But it was just meh.

I liked the setting of Seoul and the incorporation of South Korean mythology - two things I haven't read a lot of in books. I definitely enjoyed the "this is how Gumiho came about" stories that were strewn throughout. Putting this mythology in present day was also really interesting because it wasn't like a lot of those tropes where there are a big group of mythological creatures/people together to face issues - Miyoung was basically on her own.

The first half was definitely better than the second, there were great K-drama elements in this, and I liked the mythology mixed into present day. Take all that with a grain of salt as you make your decision as to reading this one!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

11 Dec 2019

#Discussions: Next 5 Books on my TBR

11 December 2 Comments

Next 5 Books on my TBR

I need to get back on track for reading! I have a lot to unpack at my new apartment so I am going to queue up some audiobooks and listen while I open boxes upon boxes of mostly books my stuff!

So here are the next five books on my TBR that I have on audio and I can't wait to get to!

KINGSBANE

Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #2
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.
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WE HUNT THE FLAME

Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Source: Indigo Book Box
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Summary:
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING

Author: Randy Ribay
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Summary:
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
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WICKED FOX

Author: Kat Cho
Series: Gumiho #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Summary:
A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:

ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: N/A
Source: Audible
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 10th 2017

Summary:
From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
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What books are you hoping to read next?