Heartless Review

Heart Less.jpgHeartless by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

About the Author: Marissa Meyer is a fangirl at heart, with a closet full of costumes, a Harry Potter wand on her desk, and a Tuxedo Mask doll hanging from her rear view mirror. Han and Leia are still her OTP. She may or may not be a cyborg.

Genre: fantasy, retelling, YA, romance

More Info: hardcover, 464 pages, published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8, 2016

4.5

Cath is not Alice; although, she does live in Wonderland. Catherine is actually in the making of becoming the Queen of Hearts – the “terror of Wonderland.”

Cath’s parents are pushing her to marry the King of Hearts, a sweet, goofy, sweaty, pudgy, and naive man. She wants to marry for love (which is not the sentiment she feels for the king) but she also doesn’t want to disappoint her family.

Then Cath meets Jest, the new royal Joker. He’s pleasing to the eye and stuck in her brain, literally appearing in her dreams. Jest is charming and, as a Joker, tricky. However, the tricks he performs are not only for Court amusement. The problem: he may just lose his heart to a certain Queen in waiting. And she may lose her heart to the mysterious Joker.

Finally, Fate intervenes and brings us the infamous Queen of Hearts.

 

There was so much more to this book than I originally expected. There was a lot stuffed into this small package. And what a beautiful package it is. (Have you seen the exclusive WHITE COVERS! *swoon*)

I’m still stuck on the romance between Cath and Jest. It’s crucial to the plotline, so it’s clearly important. Also, I feel they have real chemistry; maybe because I found myself falling for Jest’s charisma. Now, this is a standalone novel, so there is limited space to represent every important detail. Although I obviously recognize this literary restraint, I still wish their romance was more developed. Specifically, I felt like I knew everything about Cath. However, when it came to Jest, I didn’t always feel connected and intimate with him. My perceptions of Jest, impacted my view of their relationship; this made their love seem less passionate.

Meyer included all of the main characters, in her own creative fashion. Most of the famous lines and prominent personalities were introduced in her book. I wish I saw (read?) more of Cheshire cat. His sarcasm was on point. Then, when I met Mr. Caterpillar for the first time, all I could imagine was 2010 Tim Burton adaptation with Johnny Depp. I actually heard Alan Rickman’s voice (R.I.P.).

On that note, with previous movie adaptions and the popularity of the original novel, my imaginings were already being influenced. There was sufficient detail in Heartless, but not too overwhelming. With the normal accumulation of description, I could still picture most of the book easily. Again, influenced by movies. It was like a living, personal scene happening right in my own head. The only downfall (although it doubled as a advantage) was my previous, visual bias.

Meyer was liberal with her interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. But, she only made it that much more magically. I dug in with an open mind, so her alterations didn’t bug me too much.

The ending was…. I don’t want to spoil the happenings for those who have not yet read this book so, I’ll do my best to be discreet. Cath’s 1st decision made me cringe. I mean, she knew (and I knew) the outcome, yet she did it anyway. Therefore, the climax wasn’t that surprising but predictable. I understood Cath’s following choices but I didn’t sympathise with them. I felt disconnected with the main character. Whether purposeful or not, that detachment paralleled Cath and made sense. Despite this coincidence, I still felt there should have been more feeling during these scenes. Also, everything seemed pushed into the last section of the book; it seemed slightly rushed. Either way, I still loved the ending…especially the final sentence.

This book is very unconventional, from the setting to the characters to the finale. I think that is why I love this book so much, it’s uniqueness.

My view of the Queen of Hearts has forever changed.

Buy it here:

amazon

 

 

Barnes-and-Noble

 

Top Ten Tuesday

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TTT: Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog. They give weekly prompts for a bookish list of 10 items (more or less). On this week’s blog post:

Top Ten Books I Read In 2016

  1. This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  5. And I Darken by Kiersten White
  6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  7. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  8. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  9. The Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn
  10. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

 

{From: The Broke and Bookish}

12/24/16

 

“Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.[7]

Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.[3]

Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.[7]

 

3 Collins, Ace. Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.
7 Gulevich, Tanya. Encyclopedia of Christmas. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc, 2000.”

Source

Disclaimer

 

Waiting On Wednesday

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers can feature anticipated upcoming book releases.

Currently waiting for: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee.


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Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.


Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long for this one. It releases two days after Christmas; less than one week away!

This book seems to have a new twist. I’ve heard the attention to detail is extraordinary, but not overwhelming. It seems to me that this book might have some high school-like drama, which is tiring. However, the cover and unique take on love might just push me to read The Secret of a Heart Note. It may not be on my holiday list, but it has certainly peaked my interest.

 

Which books are on your holiday list?

12/17/16

Snow and sound

The characteristics and age of snow can affect how sound waves travel, dampening them in some cases, or enhancing them in others. For instance, people often notice how sound changes after a fresh snowfall. When the ground has a thick layer of fresh, fluffy snow, sound waves are readily absorbed at the snow surface, dampening sound. However, time and weather conditions may change the snow surface. If the surface melts and refreezes, the snow becomes smooth and hard. Then the surface will help reflect sound waves. Sounds may seem clearer and travel farther under these circumstances.

Snow may also crunch and creak. A layer of snow is made up of many tiny ice grains surrounded by air and when you step on it, you compress the grains. As the snow compresses, the ice grains rub against each other. This creates friction or resistance; the lower the temperature, the greater the friction between the grains of ice. The sudden squashing of the snow at lower temperatures produces the familiar creaking or crunching sound. At higher temperatures, closer to melting, this friction is reduced to the point where the sliding of the grains against each other produces little or no noise. It is difficult to say at what temperature the snow starts to crunch, but the colder the snow, the louder the crunch.”

Source

Disclaimer

Iron Butterfly Series Review

Iron_Butterfly.jpgThe Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly Series, Book 2) by Chanda Hahn

Synopsis: Imprisoned, starved and left with no memories, Thalia awakens to find herself at the mercy of an evil cult known as the Septori. Their leader has chosen Thalia as the test subject for a torture device of untold power, designed to change and twist her into something that is neither human nor Denai.

Escaping, Thalia finds an unwilling warrior to protect her and an unlikely Denai to befriend her. After finding a home at the Citadel as a servant, Thalia’s worst nightmare comes to life and she begins to show signs of power. Scared and unable to control her gifts, she tries to hide her past to fit in among the Denai. But the Septori want their latest test subject back and will stop at nothing to retrieve her, dead or alive.

About the Author: Chanda Hahn is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Author. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

More Info: iBooks, 265 pages, published on February 20, 2012 by Word Circus


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The Steele Wolf (Iron Butterfly Series, Book 2) by Chanda Hahn

Synopsis: After finally settling into her new life at the Citadel, Thalia is reunited with her father, who is disturbed at the changes within her. Risking banishment, Thalia must work to prove to her clan and herself that she is still capable of leading them. The problem is, her memories haven’t returned, and she cannot shake the feeling that she doesn’t belong.

Thalia discovers that betrayal runs deep within her clan, just as she sets out to join Joss and Kael in doing the one thing she fears most: track the Septori to save Joss’ kidnapped sister. Along the way, she must confront her own fears on a journey of self-discovery that will take her deep into the stronghold of Denai; as they travel to the ancient floating city of Skyfell.

About the Author: Chanda Hahn is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Author. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

More Info: Kindle Edition, 216 pages, published on December 31, 2012 by Word Circus


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The Silver Siren (Iron Butterfly Series, Book 3) by Chanda Hahn

Synopsis: Every journey has an end.
Unable to find the answers she sought in Skyfell, Thalia, Joss, and Kael travel to Haven with a prisoner in tow. An attack on the road waylays their plans, and Thalia finds herself traveling alone with Kael to the hidden sanctuary of the SwordBrothers.
But war is on the horizon and the Raven is amassing his army. This time, the target is not Calandry, but the Sirens of Sinnedor. When family ties are revealed, Thalia must choose sides. Desperate to break the final seal on her power and save those she loves, will Thalia willingly taste the bitter pain of the iron butterfly machine one final time?

About the Author: Chanda Hahn is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Author. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

More Info: Kindle edition, 330 pages, published on May 27, 2014 by Smashwords


Series Review

5

This series is so different and unique compared to all of the rest. I believe this series is severely underhyped; it is actually one of my favorites. This series uses conventional tropes and themes, but they are combined in such a special way that make them new.

THE WORLD-BUILDING! Sorry, had to get that out there. The land and the people that Hahn creates are flawed, but still relatable despite the vast difference from Earth. You have Calandry and Sinnedor; Denai, Clans, Adepts, Kings and Queens, Sirens, and Swordbrothers. The series of events over the course of the books take you all over their world.

Along the way, readers watch the progression of the main character Thalia. She doesn’t give up easily; she works hard not to be the victim. She turns into a kick-a$! female protagonist, but also has a lot of people to protect her (specifically two handsome, young men).

Oh! I can’t forget about Faraway! The horse is a very important addition to Thalia’s life/team. He supports her (and can talk to her telepathically) no matter what and occasionally acts as her conscience.

Kael and Joss are two sides of the same coin. Both are actually quite emotional in place of the usual “tough-guy” prescription. They also have their own talents: Kael with fighting and Joss with elemental manipulation. I prefered Joss at first, but Kael grew on me over time. He reminds me a little of Daemon in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

The writing is overall beautiful. It’s not flawless, but the description and variation are on point. The plot development improves over time.

The first two books end with cliffhanger that completely grip your attention. Luckily the whole series is published and you won’t have to wait long (as long as it takes to buy all three novels). The finale of the third book is perfect. While open-ended, I still think it is a perfect ending to the series.

There is so much more I could say, but for now let’s stick with this: give this series a shot, you may be surprised!

Top Ten Tuesday

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TTT: Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog. They give weekly prompts for a bookish list of 10 items (more or less). The topic for this week:

Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

  1. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  3. Wintersong by S. Jae Jones
  4. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  5. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  6. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
  7. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
  8. Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  9. Hunted by Meagan Spooner
  10. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

 

{From: The Broke and Bookish}