☄ Monday, November 23, 2015

ARC Review: Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith (Dreamy Espionage)

Dreamstrider Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reviewer: Sophia

A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
Advanced copy provided by Roaring Brook Press via Netgalley – thanks!

Every time the concept “” appears in a book, I regard it with absolute awe and creepiness (an odd combination, methinks).
Have I mentioned I feel really disturbed over the idea of someone – a dreamstrider – having the ability to take control of your body and access to your thoughts while unconscious, even for a short period of time?

The concept, however, is uber-cool. Smith brings us to a fantasy world where using dreams in the form of espionage is completely acceptable – as a dreamstrider, Livia works for the ministry, and she inhabits another person’s body while they are asleep.

If I placed Livia in a character category, she would be right next to Alina Starkov from Grisha trilogy. Over the course of the book, she’s on the downside; on the plus side, it fits so well with Livia’s character and past. Livia lived her entire life as a tunneler, trying to survive day by day, until she meets Professor Hesse, where she is introduced to her potential as a dreamstrider and the good she can do for the empire for her citizenship and freedom.
Unlike Alina Starkov (Alina is too mopey over Mal, okay?), Livia’s mope is more realistic. She has big dreams and strives to achieve them, crushes over her best friend (it’s harder for males to be one of my best friends – that circle is elite), secretly sweet, and insecure/cautious about many things.

But enough about Livia and how she’s secretly awesome even though she will never ever admit it. I didn’t feel very into Dreamstrider – the passphrases in the Land of the Iron Winds are written in a very rhythmic style, but I didn’t care too much aside from the fact it sounds poetic. But poetry and I don’t get along, and this is why I will never read Ellen Hopkins. I have nothing against the author, though.
Ellen Hopkins aside, dreaming is a big deal – it plays a part in almost everything in the Barstadt Empire, but it felt more like a cultural thing (like Greek myths are to Greeks). I’m taking it all in, but the whole dreaming thing? It’s just there, and the only big deal seemed to be using dreaming in detective work and finding out information. The whole point of the book is really just Livia becoming more confident in not just herself, but her abilities. By the end of the book, I felt satisfied, but I just wanted more from the book.

4 Owls

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☄ Friday, November 20, 2015

Fangirl Friday: Allegiant Movie Trailer

Last week, they finally released the official trailer for the upcoming movie Allegiant  and I was excited like everyone else and I immediately watched the trailer like the crazy fangirl I am. I was not too happy about it since it was really not what I have expected at all. Sure, I will still see it and see how they will drag on this book into two movies but I am still willing to give this a shot!
Now, I was not expecting to this movie be so techy and sci-fi and all that jazz. In Insurgent, the movie was really off from the book with the way Tris battled through her different fears if I remember correctly. I'M SORRY IF I'M WRONG! At least you will know what I'm talking about here.

My biggest concern is how the heck are they going to split this book into two movies. Are they going to do like the Hunger Games movie where part 1 they literally dragged the story line and ended it with a huge scene and a cliffhanger? Will Allegiant end with a huge cliffhanger after the story was dragged to death leading into Ascendant? I just don't like the new trend for making an extra movie. The movie should be a trilogy like the books. Besides, the third book was OK and not the best in my opinion and it didn't really have much to be split into two movies. You get the point I'm making right?

My point is that these people better make it the best two movies in the movie franchise and by that I mean "Please don't fill in time with very boring scenes that are not meant to be in the movie in the first place." It better be good and make me want to see it multiple times because I LOVE IT not because I want to keep finding and pointing new mistakes they have made.

Watch the trailer below and tell me what you think of the trailer in the comments below!

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☄ Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Children of Lightning - Excerpt + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: Children of Lightning
Author: Annie K. Wong
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: September 27, 2014

Secrets beget secrets. The curse that befell the Hollows clan has left them incapable of producing male offspring. To extend their bloodline, they have formed a covenant with the serpentine Ophidians, who give them children. In return, the Hollows must keep these monstrous creatures well fed, though the details of the procurement are so abominable that the truth is never revealed to the other clans. In their homeland of Matikki, they live like outcasts.

Through a series of chance discoveries, the secrets of the ancient curse unfold before a warrior named Writhren Hollow. Is her purely female clan the result of a lapse of divine providence, or are the Hollows themselves victims of an enslavement scheme?

If Writhren frees her clan from the covenant, she risks the wrath of the Ophidians and the future of her bloodline. If she keeps the truth of the curse to herself, she is a traitor to her own kind. Either way, she will suffer for what she must do.

This is not a story of redemption, but regret. This is Writhren’s story.

     At Mother’s instructions, Kiri and a group of kin sisters took the wetskins to their local patrol post, where they would be locked up, thus bringing Mother’s birthday party to a dull depressing end. After the guests had left, Tithren stayed behind with Mother and massaged her neck and shoulders, covered with scales that had lost their youthful sheen. Relaxed, the aging matriarch leaned back against the bench and sighed.
     “As if the swampmob and their bane beasts in The Evergreeds aren’t enough trouble already, we’re now on the brink of a civil war. I should call for a meeting at The Circle tomorrow. We need to keep Matikki united and prevent this war at all costs.”
     Tithren slid her hands down to Mother’s arms and kneaded them, a bit too fervently. “A civil war may not be such a bad thing for us, Mother…”
     She hissed. “Tithren, that’s a horrible thing to say.”
     The voice that usually calmed her had something to say, but Tithren ignored it. She said, “To the rest of Matikki, we’re still the outsiders. They don’t like our single-sex community. They turn a blind eye to our dark covenant with the Ophidians out of pity for our… misfortune and a loathed necessity to rely on us for our battle skills. The strength of the Ophidians is in our blood, and we are better warriors than most of them, and they know it. We thrive in war, not in peace, Mother. Plurans have no place in a united Matikki.”
     Tithren felt Mother’s pulse quickening and removed her hands. Her heart was pounding with conviction about her clan’s status in the land. Still, it might not have been the tactful thing to say, given Mother’s preference for mediation over confrontation. Mother’s approach had won her a seat at The Circle. Although negotiation was not Tithren’s strong suit, she could not deny that peaceful means had their advantages. She sat down beside Mother and awaited the usual lecture on kindness and compassion.
     Mother looked tense. She rested an elbow on the back of the bench, propping her forearm upright. She flexed it. Under the glow of the pearl trees, the scales partially covering her skin shone like a half-formed piece of armour. Tithren pursed her lips, wanting the impending reprimand to be over.
     Mother gestured for her to sit closer. She caressed Tithren’s hair-snakes and said, “Tell Kiri to kill the wetskins.”
     Tithren pulled back, eyes wide. The fear coursing through her veins morphed into excitement. She placed a cautious hand on Mother’s lap. “You… you agree with me.”
     Gaze firm with resolution, Mother replied, “I’ll tell all our kin sisters to keep quiet about tonight’s incident. If anyone asks, we never met the wetskins. We have no knowledge of their plan. More importantly, we need to hone our combat skills. Tithren, you need to earn your weapon fast. The time is now for plurans to rise.”

Author Bio

Annie K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and lives in Canada, in the west coast city of Vancouver, BC. She has a BA in Business Administration and Creative Writing from Houghton College as well as a Diploma in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. Although she explored careers in advertising, television and office administration, the desire to write overtook her at the turn of the new millennium. In 2003 she earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has been crafting stories ever since.

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads


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☄ Tuesday, November 17, 2015

DNF Review - Light Spark: Love's Divide by Gabriel Requadt

Light Spark Love's Divide Gabriel Requadt

Light Spark #1
Gabriel Requadt
Publication Date: April 23, 2015
Publisher: Page Publishing

The legend of the long awaited Light Spark. The warrior who’s arrival is anticipated by the universe. When the darkness tries to prevail over the light once again; it is he who must arise. Wielding the sword with the soul of the elements, where can one find this mythical hero in such a time of need? Look no farther than the young sassy prince of Arcudia, Larz. When his planet is invaded by the dastardly cruel master of darkness, Exxion, for Larz it is merely a time to be ruler and protect his land. The reality of the situation becomes apparent when his wife, Elluna, is kidnapped in the process of the attack. Once he finds out he is the legendary Light Spark, his journey becomes much more than a quest to save his soul mate, Elluna.

And so book club decides to rub in my face that I read 26 pages of The Fifth Wave but doesn't do so with Light Spark, which I only read 25 pages. I actually wanted to stop at approximately 12 pages in, but that wouldn't do the book any justice.

But I swear, they're just trying to pick on little authors.

Okay, the two who enjoy "torturing" me agree with me. I have Snow Like Ashes above their heads. One of them has that AND Zeroboxer. I'm the cause of their fanning! Even if they won't ever, ever admit it. But that’s okay. I’m insulted. >_<

Here's why I didn't continue Light Spark:

No pronunciation guide or glossary in the book, which would have been extremely helpful to have. Words such as Aucudia and Exxion, and I'm pretty sure a glowing blue thing around a sword is involved that I don't even remember the name for. Mons luna? O_O
I just butchered that like my mother butchers most people's names. I'm great with guessing the pronunciation of most words, but that does not mean everyone is like me. I'll tell you right now that is far too many – imagine: over seven billion! Mind = BLOWN.

Larz and Darz. I half expected Marz to pop out of the pages in my face. In fact, I thought it was part of the culture, and expected Larz's and Elluna's future kid to be named between the varying lines of Delluna and Warz. What a fantastic play of words.
(I'm not allowed to complain about Marz. Bookwyrm derived from a changing letter in bookworm. But I'm terrible at blog naming, and there was no such thing as Bookwyrming Thoughts until late 2012, so that's okay, right?)

Language – too casual. Yes, it's been discussed Requadt has a purpose to the casual language being used in Light Spark. I just feel it's a little too casual to use something like, "HOW YA DOIN, MAN!" (fist bumps ensue) in a fantasy book. (Gabriel does not necessarily use those words exactly – that's just my example of how the language is used casually.)

And the first chapter started out with such elegant prose, it was too formal (I sort of liked it, honestly). I do, however, applaud Gabriel for keeping readers in mind with the language and taking the overly formal path where it is blatantly obvious and weird and just sticks out like a random thimble being worn outside of sewing.
Too much cheese. The villain? *dons evil little hat from a galaxy far, far away* "Muahahaha, watch out little good guy, I'm going to take over your planet soon! Muahahaha." *marches upon ship with flourish* Prepare to depart, minions.
Anyways, back to the cheese grilling (cheesy joke time: grilled cheese sandwiches! Get it?). The fight scenes, unfortunately, were boring. Slash, slash, slice, slice.

Okay, that sounds worse than it really is. Regardless, the fight scenes just didn't feel as awesome as I hoped.

Too cheery. The beginning of the book is so happy, I felt nauseous. Everyone gets along just dandy and the entire planet is happy, happy, happy.
Most of that being thrown together? Nope, not going to work out too well with me. Especially that really happy aspect all over. Of course, it gets darker. Did I want to stick around? No. I was done at villain cheeseburger.

And here I hoped my good reading streak would continue.

1 Owl

Note: Originally, I did not want to write a review, primarily due to the fact that as one of the very, very few reviews out there over this book, I could potentially hurt the author (I am technically the only unbiased review). However, via the school librarian, Gabriel did want to see a review, despite the negativity (wish granted).

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☄ Friday, November 13, 2015

Fangirl Friday: Much Ado About Movies

Well, hello there my fellow good friends!

Let us all discuss about all the marvelous things that happened to us when all these fantastic movie trailers were released! Let's discuss!

Finding Dory

Don't hate me but I have never watched Finding Nemo from beginning to end. I mean I have watched some parts of it as a little girl but I don't remember ever watching it completely. Once I get around to watching the first movie (Which will be before this is released in theaters), I will be more excited about this film. I am still excited about it even without watching the first movie! Don't judge me!

(Sophia would like to butt in and say she is TOTALLY making Lupe borrow her copy of Finding Nemo.)

Alice Through The Looking Glass

I truly enjoyed the first film and I cannot wait to see Johnny Depp on the big screen as the Mad Hatter again! Looks like this movie will be another epic movie! I mean just look at all the beautiful scenes in just this small trailer they have given us? Why can't I see it right now? I WANT TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - The Japanese Edition

You know my love for Star Wars runs very deep and this trailer still looks BOMB. There are more small scenes from the movie and there are more clips of R2-D2! It's getting very close to December the 17th and I just can't wait to go see it!

Speaking of which... EXO collaborates with Star Wars: The Force Awakens to create Lightsaber. For those who listen to kpop, you might actually notice it's based off one of their songs...

A Court of Thorns and Roses Movie?!?!?!

Okay, okay. Sophia interrupting Lupe's fangirling spiel. BUTTTTTT.

A Court of Thorns and Roses. The movie rights recently got optioned! And I've been hearing so much hype about Sarah's books in general, including the very fact Throne of Glass has been optioned for a TV Show back in September, that I really need to get my tail together and actually read the book.

Technically, I need to read the entire series (BOTH). And just Sarah J. Maas's books in general.

Lupe, you can have your spot back... *slips away*

Live Action Little Mermaid Movie?

To the lovely actress of Chloe Grace Moretz, I know you will be a great Ariel!

The news is out that this young actress will star in the movie as Ariel! Nothing more is mentioned about the film so we will soon see more news about this live action film in the near future as they begin to cast more people! I wonder who prince Eric will be portrayed by...

Until next Friday! BYE!

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☄ Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Death Becomes Me by Elizabeth Holloway - ARC Review + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Death Becomes Me Elizabeth Holloway

Call Me Grim #2
Elizabeth Holloway
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: November 2015
Publisher: Self Published
Reviewer: Sophia

Libbi and Aaron are Grim Reapers on the run. They may have escaped their hometown of Carroll Falls unscathed, and are together and alive (well, more or less), but they’ll soon find there’s a price to pay. A deadly one.

By escaping Carroll Falls, Libbi and Aaron have broken the Reaper’s covenant with Abaddon, aka Death himself – and now they’re right at the top of Abaddon’s Most Wanted list. There’s nowhere to hide, and not a single person, alive or dead, they can turn to for help.

But just as it's looking like the end of the line, Libbi hears word of a Reaper in hiding – a Reaper who once escaped Abaddon's wrath. Finding this mysterious Reaper might be the perfect solution… if Death doesn’t find them first.
Advanced Copy provided by the author for the blog tour – thanks!

Back in Call Me Grim, Elizabeth Holloway introduced us to the world of Grim Reapers, the dead who take the souls of the newly dead and bring them to Abbadon until they choose someone to replace them. Holloway left an open ending with Libbi's and Aaron's story, and while I felt Call Me Grim can stand on its own well, I decided to take a gander on the sequel because I also felt Call Me Grim can do just as well with a sequel.

In Death Becomes Me, the second book in the Call Me Grim series, Holloway brings back to the Grim Reaper world, where Libbi and Aaron are now on the run with a huge price set on their heads by none other than death himself – Abbadon.

To be honest, by the end of the book, I honestly felt Call Me Grim was better off as a stand-alone, despite the fact there is an open ending where I'm left not knowing if Libbi and Aaron manage to successfully get away from Abbadon. Death Becomes Me seems to drag the overall plot, and the ending of this one also seems to continue on to a third book (I checked later and Goodreads says I'm right). The book is really just Libbi and Aaron on the run from Abbadon, finding out there was once a Reaper who escaped the clutches that comes with being a Reaper, and hoping to find that Reaper before Abbadon gets to them. In between all of that, the romance goes to the next level, and every Reaper they come across either refuses to help them or tries to turn them in.

That's not to say Death Becomes Me doesn't have its good parts, however. (It's not a complete victim of second book syndrome – huzzah!)

Libbi isn't as humorous as I remember her being back in the first book – she's more serious this time around, and it fits well with the situation she's in. Although she's not as humorous, Libbi still has her occasional humor throughout the book – some of the parts where it's completely inappropriate to laugh were funny simply due to the way it was written.

Libbi definitely keeps her fierce desire to protect her loved ones from harm throughout both books, and while it does play a part to the end, it's one of the things I enjoyed seeing Libbi battle with: turn her back on her family and friends as she is recommended, or giving in to Abbadon.

Ultimately, Death Becomes Me stands well as a sequel to Call Me Grim. While I feel Holloway left me with enough to be curious on finding out more on what happens to Libbi, I feel she is sort of dragging on the series to a third book just to give Libbi and Aaron a happily ever after and a solid ending. In all honesty, I'm probably just a weird person who wants to read a tragedy (No harm in that, is there?).

4.5 Owls

Author Bio

Elizabeth Holloway is a writer of young adult fiction living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children and their growing number of pets.

In addition to writing, she is a registered nurse, an avid reader, an out-of-practice artist, a karaoke singer, and music lover. She is still trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


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☄ Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Makes a Book Read-On-Able?

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about what causes you to make the big decision when it comes to not finishing a book. (It is totally a big deal, albeit a sad one.)

Instead of writing a review today, I'm here to bring back a post from several weeks ago and talk about what makes a book read-on-able. In other words, why do you keep reading a particular book?

Humor Me

No, really. Just humor me. The books that make me laugh are the ones that are memorable. The ones that make me giggle will be remembered. The ones that make me snicker in class and cause a few people to look at me weirdly?
I won't forgive you for that, but I'll definitely be on the look out for your future books. Even if I didn't like the book, if I find you comedic, I'm probably going to follow ALL of your future works. And if I love the book? You're a shoo-in for the top secret favorite/near favorite authors list. You'll be with and and

Okay, Stacey Rourke isn't exactly as famous as Rick Riordan. And despite the fact I didn't like Julie Kagawa's , she's still my favorite author. Her good books outweigh the bad. That's all that matters. Right?

Unique Idea/Concept

Out of all the reasons I'll continue reading a book, this is the number one reason why. It's what I look for when I prowl around on Netgalley, decide to sign up for a blog tour, and accept/decline review requests. Because the synopsis, while small and doesn't tell you everything (it's the whole point!), basically tells you what kind of broad idea/concept the author uses.

Have something that has never been written before in another book? Perhaps it already exists, but it isn't common? Does Is your main character Did your main character
I'll be on your book like a kid attracted to that last candy bar in a candy shop. Oh, and please don't repeat those ideas. They've been accomplished by Lindsay Francis Brambles, I.W. Gregorio, and E. Latimer.

Weird Format

Recently, I read All Our Yesterdays. By the first few chapters, I pretty much complained about the formatting and the confusion.
By the end?

I ended up being a little fond of the weird formatting Cristin Terrill had going on there. It was really confusing for the most part, but it was really neat how Terrill pulled the formatting off.

Then there's Ellen Hopkins. I don't intend to ever read any of her books because I don't click with poetry, but I once decided to take a peek in her book... just for fun. Despite the fact Hopkins writes her novels in poetry, the formatting and placement of her words on the pages is really neat – it's like a word cloud of sorts, only it's not exactly a cloud.

Long story short, I like weird formats, but only if you make sense.

Kick-Ass Heroines

There goes my filter again.
I love strong heroines. I love heroines who aren't afraid of having , stand up for themselves, and I love the ones who are

Most of all, I love the ones who

Have I mentioned I like It goes great with the whole butt-kicking scenario. Don't overdo this one though.

Interesting the Entire Ride

Here's a scenario: Imagine yourself on a trip to your dream place. It's hours away, but you'll be driving there with a few people and you get to choose who comes with you! Who would you choose? The people who you click well with, or people you just met?

Now, if you were really adventurous, you would choose people you just met. Not advised if you're paranoid about being kidnapped, though.

Keeping it interesting sometimes goes hand in hand with stalling. , I'll stick around. I'll stick around until the end where everything is revealed to me and by the time I realize you were stalling, it's too late.


Most of the time, the book has a unique idea or concept that I spotted in the synopsis. Most of the time, that fabulous idea and concept isn't really going too well thus far.
After all, you're a growing author! There's got to be some way to pay the rent aside from running around the fast food industry like the high school kid I am, right? (Except the thing is... I DO pay my own rent. It's a long story.)

And most of the time, I'm literally trying to be patient with the book, waiting for something mind blowing to happen to the characters that I didn't guess a hundred pages before what I guess happens. Unfortunately, I guess at least 50 pages beforehand. Sometimes it's exact, sometimes it's really close.
Okay, the book is also pretty interesting the entire ride. A lot of books I rate 3 or 3.5 have a lot of potential, but I feel they're just missing something.

Little Amounts of Shadow

I suppose it's common knowledge not having a shadow is a bad thing because that means you must not be from the human world.
It's also common sense that putting too much eye shadow (har har har) is a bad thing because you'll either look like someone punched you in the eye the wrong way and just caught your lids or you have an upside down case of sleep deprivation. I totally came up with that JUST now and I'm laughing at myself because of the image. I, of course, don't wear eye shadow. Or any makeup for that matter. I live a sheltered life.

So let's pretend the shadow in this case are subplots – the romance, the best friend scuffle, etc. etc. Most of the time, one of those subplots is the romance that develops between the protagonist and another character who either plays a vital role already or will be playing a vital role sometime in the future.
Applying none might make the book boring. Applying too much will defeat the purpose of the book – the main storyline! But if a small amount is applied to the point where it isn't overwhelming (or someone punched you weirdly), the book will be pretty. And let's face it: real life isn't full of drama everywhere unless you actually seek it out. It's an emotional rollercoaster.
I guess that explains why the makeup people complain of not enough sleep. But that doesn't explain me, who doesn't even wear makeup. I admit I stay up until midnight just to get some reading in. It's pretty much the only way I can get any reading done.

Makeup analogy aside, tell me what makes you continue reading a book. What's so great about the book that makes it read-on-able?

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