June Wrap-Up

Hello Readers! another month has passed & with it comes my typically-late-thus-making-it-right-on-time?Β Wrap Up smh haha! this time around I excluded my haul simply because Bookcon happened & in one day I managed to haul way too many books & that’s not including my regular books bought for the month. Also, I posted my Bookcon haul last year & that was all fine and well because I was new in the blogosphere & was very excited to share my 1st bookish event. Whelp, 1 year later I was still very excited to attend Bookcon but this time around I’d like to think I was a bit more wiser & aware of all the drama surrounding ARCS. Not to mention that book hauls from these types of conventions tend to generate negative attention & I’m not here for that. So I decided to skip the haul & just speak about the event itself…

The best part of the event was seeing my twin aka bff Gretchen who most of you know has a blog called ChicNerdReadsΒ (pictured below in the glasses next to me). My hubby also accompanied us which is always fun since he’s also a reader & I’m his source for new book recommendations. The event seemed to have been dominated by Penguin with giveaways every hour on the hour as well as author signings. This made for extremely long lines, stampedes, and overall madness tbh…

I am honestly surprised to have acquired the ARCS that I did but it wasn’t easy & took a bit of prioritizing. Gretchen & I pre-gamed for this event mapping out which books we were aiming for & I do believe this actually helped as much as we thought otherwise during the event. Overall, the event & it’s lack of organization was terrible for our anxiety. The positive however is that we got to spend the whole weekend surrounded by BOOKS & talking about BOOKS and that’s always a fun time no matter what. Also! we met another Puerto-Rican Bookworm who had flown in for the event. She told us about getting caught in the stampede for Warcross on Saturday & how after hours of standing in line she walked away w/out the ARC. My hubby gave up his ARC to Warcross which we had at home. We shipped it to PR & when it arrived she sent me a very happy text which made my week πŸ™‚

Me (left side) & Gretchen (right side)

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

Song of the Current by Sarah TolcserΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Bearly a Lady (Novella) by Cassandra KhawΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…1/2 (4.5 Stars)

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and VirtueΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 Stars

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) *Conclusion to duology w/spoilers for This Savage SongΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 StarsΒ 

Although for the month of June I only read YA, each book was so different from each other that it honestly felt like I read diversely. I read some books with hard topics like Saints and Misfits andΒ Bad Romance which led me to discovering two amazing authors. I had a ton of fun reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue and Bearly a Lady (novella) with many laughs. Started a new Diverse Fantasy with Song of the Current & can’t wait to read the sequel to this du-ology. I also read the conclusion to monsters of Verity…Our Dark Duet broke me yet it is the most satisfying conclusion I’ve ever read. Yea, I was a bit all over the place but my reading reflected my life as a whole in June haha!

My most highly anticipated flick for 2017 DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Wonder Woman had me engaged from the opening scene. I have always been fascinated by the Amazons & Wonder Woman has always been a icon for me…getting her back story on the big screen felt like the best earliest Christmas gift I never thought to ask for LOL! little Diana was lively & eager to learn the ways of the Amazons & seeing her natural born instincts play out gave her a new sparkle in my eyes. My only regret is not reviewing this movie on the blog when my feels were fresh haha. I loved the entire cast, humor, fight scenes, and plot as a whole! my interest in The Justice League sky rocketed after leaving the theater googling for any bit of early news hinting at a sequel to Wonder Woman. For those who didn’t think Wonder Woman deserved her own solo debut…Gal Gadot sure showed you *5 Stars* πŸ˜‰

My second date night with the hubby (we got lucky in June with sitting)Β was great & all but Transformers The Last Night was lackluster. I was really rooting for this one more for the hubby’s enjoyment than mine really. I just went to see Markie Mark & Bumble Bee but the irony in that I tell ya smh! So, as a lover of all Mark Whalberg’s movies I can go ahead and say this…In my opinion, he should’ve never accepted the lead role no matter how badly he wanted to realize his childhood dream of playing with life sized Transformers #jussayin. Love me some Markie Mark but that role really needs to go to another younger guy (not shia Labeouf, that ship has sailed). I’m hoping that the history they introduced means we are due a new main character *fingers crossed*Β I found myself bored & ended up rating this movie *3.5 stars* 😦

Happy reading in July Bookworms!!! Hope you all had a wonderful June month & are enjoying your summer reads. Read or watched any of these? drop a comment down below <3’s!

Advertisements

Review: Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity#2) by Victoria Schwab

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

Published by:Β Grenwillow Books

Date of Publication: June 13th 2017

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal

Pages:Β 510

Format: I own physical book

Rating:β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 Stars

*Please note there are spoilers for This Savage Song in this review. If you’d like to check out my review forΒ This Savage Song, please see here.

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKERΒ isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNNΒ once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waitingβ€”one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

It has now been 1 week since I finished Our Dark Duet aka “Breaker of Hearts” in my home *sobs* &Β since this is the sequel to a duology, I’ll keep this review short, dark, and spoiler free πŸ˜‰

Great track to listen to while reading ODD, Windmill Song is strictly Violin & it def has that Monstress tone to it πŸ˜‰

When we last left Verity, Kate & August had confronted Harker (her dad) & asked for his truths. After finding out that Harker is responsible for the death of her mother & also for breaking the truce, Kate doesn’t hesitate to shoot at her father. August intervenes & reaps his soul so as to prevent her from making the kill shot & thus creating her own monster. They each go their own ways with the expectation that it would be their last time seeing each other. This was all fine & well until the world as they knew it grew even darker than before while under the “protection” of Harker. With Harker out of the way, Sloan a Malchai (Monster) has taken up the mantle with a full crew of monsters & deviants to do his dirty work. Up until now, Verity was the only place infested with these creatures. Kate soon learns about a new monster behind violent acts & it is roaming the streets of Prosperity a place known to be safe from the darkness that plagues Verity….

The events in This Savage SongΒ left deep scars in all of the players involved & also left some questioning the very foundation of their principles. In this new world innocents seek shelter from the monsters that have taken over more than half of the city. However, a warm bed/meal on the opposite side of the city is made available only to those souls who have never taken a life voluntarily or in self defense. August is now a leader in the FTC & to himΒ is left the toughest task of reaping souls. We all know August as a Sunai who longed to be just an ordinary boy going to school & not acceptant of his true nature. We see August give in to his darker side in ODD & kind of go numb to his new world. Kate on the other hand has gone full on vigilante mode in Prosperity. She’s even found a group of hackers that serve as kind of her “Over watch” who go by the name of The Wardens while she goes on missions to clean up the streets one monster at a time. I found this addition of new characters to be a bit odd this late in the game but I’m keeping hope alive that this leaves the door open for a spin-off. As always, Schwab doesn’t disappoint with character development. She has created a dark world filled with fear & desperation that has molded these characters in order to fight back. Seeing both Kate & August’ slow progression to their end game cemented my attachment to these characters. Heavily flawed & jaded yet holding on tight to the belief that humanity is worth saving…

Photo credit:Β alekzandermorozova

β€œPeople were messy. They were defined not only by what they’d done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back – time only moved forward – but people could change.

For worse.

And for better.

It wasn’t easy. The world was complicated. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt.

So make it worth the pain.”

It’s safe to say that I will read anything Schwab writes at this point. She speaks to that dark part of your soul…yea I truly do believe we all have a smidge of that (some more than others lol). I’m also noticing that as I follow her writing career through her books, she gets better & better with each new book. I’ve gotten accustomed to her first book in any series being slow paced while it builds to the sequel & yet I do not mind. She is wonderful at weaving complex characters and worlds where nothing is ever as simple as Good or Evil. Her characters always walking that thin line between either or making them much more authentic. I’m sad to see this world come to a close & that ending truly destroyed me, yet I am satisfied with it all. A ending that isn’t neatly wrapped up & one where the reader shares in the pain of the characters they love. AMAZING. Fingers crossed that the door to Monsters of Verity is left even a fraction open, I’d take that πŸ™‚

Are any readers out there mending a broken heart? (no spoilers in comm plz) I sure am! any theories on The Wardens? I’m being hopeful here lol!

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab *Spoiler free*

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Grenwillow Books

Publication Date: July 5th 2016

Format: Hardcover (July Owlcrate)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 464 pages

Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

IMG_1586
@Lair_Of_books

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villainsβ€”and friends or enemiesβ€”with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided cityβ€”a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocentβ€”but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

 

“Violence begets violence” Β only in Verity, when a violent act is committed, a monster forms. A shadow that sticks with you tainting your once pure soul.Β In a city where violence is rampant, the monsters thrive & outnumber the humans. The city is split into North & South, ruled by two very different leaders with a very different approach to keeping humans safe. After what has come to be known as the phenomenon, there are three types of monsters roaming in the dark: Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. Each of these monsters have different ways of killing or reaping.

“Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,

shadow and bone will eat you raw.

Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,

smile and bite and drink you dry.”

“Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,

sing you a song and steal your soul”

“Monsters, monsters, big and small,

they’re gonna come and eat you all!”

Governing the North we have Callum Harker who offers protection from the monster’s for a price. Only the more fortunate families are able to pay & he keeps tabs on those under his protection. Governing the South we have Henry Flynn who protects his side of the city with the help of a task force he’s put together to keep everyone safe. Both these men also utilize the monsters in one way or another. When Kate Harker manages to get herself expelled from 6 different schools, she finally ends up back to where she wants to be…in North City, by her dad’s side. Callum Harker however, much preferred to keep Kate a safe distance away nonetheless, he enrolls her in Harker Hall. Right where she wanted to be. Kate feels she can prove herself to be a real Harker by being close to her dad and controlling the city. Once word reaches the South side of the city, the Flynns decide to enroll their son August Flynn in Harker Hall. The idea being that if ever the truce that has kept both sides at peace were to break, they could use Kate Harker as leverage. August Flynn just like Kate would also like the chance to prove himself to his “dad” by joining the fight or doing something useful. He thought that he could watch over Kate & this would be his contribution since he wasn’t allowed to be physically involved in the fight.

I loved Kate Harker’s character, I never knew what to expect from her since she seems to walk to a dangerous beat. Kate’s suspicious nature made it impossible for August to maintain his cover & once she pieced the puzzles together, I really couldn’t tell what she would do. If I loved Kate…then I honestly ADORED August Flynn! I don’t know why I got Johnny Depp/Edward Scissorhands vibes, but I did & I LOVED THAT MOVIE! so it was easy to make him come to life. Where Kate was true grit, August was a much softer soul which is ironic given his true nature. I loved that Victoria Schwab did not include any love interests as part of the story, this to me was just what was promised, a story about good vs evil. How none of us are 100% good or evil, there is a bit of gray for most if not all. In this book you will NOT find a hero, a love story, a victory. You will however get morally ambiguous characters that you can’t help but love. This Savage Song stands apart from anything I’ve read this year & I’m adding it to my All Time Fave Reads shelf now that it has surpassed my expectations after reading my first Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic two months ago.

Favorite Side Character: August’s sister Ilsa, a Sunai with a beautifully dark song she only uses if absolutely necessary. I need more Ilsa! especially after that ending!

Soundtrack I listened to: Dark Violin Songs by Max Ablitzer (specifically the Ghost Song) even though all throughout the pages of this book, the monsters song which is sung to children as a cautionary lullaby…imprinted itself in my brain & I liked it so if that makes me a bit of a weirdo then so be it! *averts eyes*

I buddy read This Savage Song with Gretchen @Chicnerdreads & devoured it in just a few days as did she! it was so dark & sorrowful yet it lured me in every time I opened it’s pages and even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking of it. Beautiful & haunting are just some of the words to describe this read, Ms. Schwab has now become an auto-buy author. The wait til Our Dark Duet will be loooong & hard lol.

hwfx1gbtdleu4

July Owlcrate Unboxing

FullSizeRender

Owlcrate’s July theme is Good Vs. Evil. The Owlery delivered yesterday & this month I received a ‘Good’ box. I did have my heart set on ‘Evil’ but that’s only because I had my eyes on Maleficent HAHA! Did anyone get her in their box?  I’m in love with my little friend Dobby & very happy to have received a full sized Funko Pop. Super excited to receive This Savage Song by Victoria Scwab! It was on my highly anticipated 2016 new releases. Also in this box were the following items:

1 Millennium Falcon necklace from Vector Engraving
1 Alice in Wonderland magnetic bookmark (back of Alice’s head says “I know who I was when I got up this morning. But I think I must have CHANGED several times since the “-Lewis Carol

1 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff hand designed quote sticker

1 booklet of YA book covers to color

1 personalized letter from Victoria Scwab

1 promotional bookmark for Kenneth Opel’s New book Every Hidden Thing

I LOVE This month’s box!!! Dobby now sits on my shelf next to Luna & Dumbledore (collection is growing) & This Savage Song is in the Hall Of Schwab. I’ll be buddy reading This Savage Song in the next couple of weeks with Gretchen over at Chicnerdreads πŸ™‚