Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The One With the Top 10 2014 Releases I Meant to Read, but Didn't.

                                 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week a new Top Ten list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their own choices. 

This weeks topic is

Top 10 2014 Releases I Meant to Read, but Didn't

These are books I either own and never got around to, or books I don't own but wanted to read. 

*All pictures link to GR page

 


      

                                                                             
1. The Blood of Olympus: I own it and refuse to read it. I DON'T WANT IT TO ENDDDD!

2. Red Rising: So much hype. So many reservations.

3. Sea of Shadows: FANTASY AWESOMENESS! ANIMALS! But, I heard some...iffy reviews and I admit it turned me off. Library? 

4. Death Sworn: One word: Assassins. But I also heard not so good things about this one so......

5. The Murder Complex: Yet another one in which I had high expectations yet seems to fall flat. I'll get around to it....eventually. 

6. The Midnight Thief: Loved the prequel I got for review. Heard some rather boring things about this book from people I trust so I'm waiting for book 2 to see if it gets better. 

7. Talon: Why haven't I read this yet? I read the first couple chapters and was intrigued. I would've been happier had it not been urban fantasy. But dragons! 

8. Suspicion: I got this one for review through Netgalley and just haven't gotten around to it yet. I hope to read it soon though. 

9. Mortal Heart: I own it but I don't want it to end! What a great series! ASSASSINS! 

10. The Vault of Dreamers (the picture wouldn't work): I got this for review and really should read it. I read one chapter.....not that I didn't like it, just wan't feeling it. I'll pick it up again soon. 

How about y'all? What books released in 2014 did you mean to read, but for whatever reason weren't able? Let me know in the comments below!

All the best ♥︎
Mackenzie 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The One With All the Books I Got


This post is just to show y'all what books I've gotten over the past....well, as far back as I can remember (been a long time since one of these went up). There's no way I'm going to remember them all since it's been so long, but here I go:

*Pictures lead to Goodreads pages

Bought

                     
For Review

      
Gifted


  

I know this isn't all the books, but this is all I can remember at the moment. I look forward to all the reading I get to do!

What book have y'all gotten this past week?
Let me know in the comments below!

All the best ♥︎
Mackenzie 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The One With My Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels for 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week a new Top Ten list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their own choices. 

This weeks topic is

Top 10 Most Anticipated 2015 Novels

It's supposed to be debut novels, but I realized that there are only a couple that I'm pretty psyched out (so far as I know - my GR shelves are lacking). I used to keep up with them a lot more but not this year. Instead, I've switched it to novels released in 2015 (debut or otherwise) that I'm psyched for (which is more than 10 - I'm obviously not one for the rules). 

The Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10, 2015 (Debut)

I'm sold on this epic fantasy with a heavy dose political intrigue and "elite warriors with god-like powers". 



Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 0.1) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 27, 2015

We get all the juicy details about why Queen Levana is crazy, psycho, and evil. I love a good backstory. 


The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 3, 2015

THAT COVER! Also, Winner's Curse destroyed me in a wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking way. I need more. 


The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
Release Date: March 10, 2015

Dethroned princess, spies, magic, and wraiths. Need. NOW.


Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman
Release Date: March 10, 2015

Um. Dragons. I've been dying for this sequel since 2012! It's been 3 years too long! 


The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2) by Elizabeth May
Release Date: September 17, 2015

THAT ENDING WAS JUST CRUEL. NEED THE 2ND BOOK NOW! 


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Sarah J. Maas. 
'Nuff said. 


Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A. C. Gaughen
Release Date: May 19, 2015

I. NEEEEEEEEEEEEED. THISSSSSSSSS!!!!


The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2) by Erika Johansen
Release Date: June 9, 2015

So, I kind of totally definitely had a love/hate relationship with the first book. Yet, I kind of totally definitely want the second book. Think of that what you will.

Finally, 3 books that don't have covers yet but LOTS of flailing on my part:

Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas (AHHHH!!)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (AHHHH!!)
Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer (AHHHH!!)

So what books (debut or otherwise) are y'all waiting on this year? 
Let me know in the comment below!

All the best ♥︎
Mackenzie 










Sunday, January 4, 2015

The One with My 2015 Challenges

     Even though my track record with challenges is....lackluster to say the least, I still really enjoy participating in them. While I don't take too much stock in the challenges, they are lots of fun and can help me when I'm choosing what to read. However, I'm a total mood reader and won't let these challenges force me to read a book because I feel I have too. How horrible would that be? I usually do it to help keep track of books I read and connect with other bloggers. And they're fun (even though I suck at them). These are some of the challenges that will kill me I'm going to partake in this year. 

Challenge: Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge
Host: Goodreads
Goal: 52 books

I've participated in the Goodreads reading challenge every year since I've found this website. It's a great way to help keep track of all the books I've read that year. I'm not a fast reader and lately it's a miracle if I even read at all (I know, shame on me). I've decided to set my goal at 52 books which means 1 book a week. There are going to be times that I can read more (school breaks, slow school weeks), and other times where I have very limited time. However, I think this is an achievable goal. Wish me luck! I'm going to need it. 

The Daily Prophecy

Challenge: Fairytale Challenge
Host: Mel @ The Daily Prophecy
Goal: Magic Mirror -- 5-9 books

The lovely Mel is taking over this challenge from the previous host Debz. Her obvious love of fairy tales makes this the perfect challenge for this first time host! You got this girl!

As for the challenge itself, I only participated in this last year and only met half my goal (which was incredibly low to begin with). This year, because I know of at least 4 books I want to read that are retellings, I decided to level up to a whopping 5-9. So daring, I know. 
These are the four books I want to read for this challenge:

1. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Beauty and the Beast retelling) - This one will actually be a re-   
    read but I'm curious to know why I knocked down the rating. I remember devouring it. This is      
    what I get for not writing a review immediately after finishing. By the way, I thought this was a 
    standalone but on Goodreads it says it's part of a series. Interesting. 
2. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (Little Red Riding Hood retelling) - Beautiful cover, girl 
    who can kick butt, kingdoms and princes, hate turned love relationship possibility = my cup of tea. 
3. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #0.1) by Marissa Meyer (Evil queen retelling?) - Since evil queens 
    are (almost) always part of a fair tale, I figured this one could count and I'm SO excited. This chick 
    is crazy psycho. My inner psychologist can't wait to understand why that is. 
4. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer - *FLAILS* OMGOMGOMGOMG! So, not 
    gonna lie, Winter seemed a bit....odd to me in her cameo in Cress. However, this series is 
    phenomenal and I have absolutely no doubt that Marissa Meyer will once again blow me away. 
5. No idea. I'll probably re-read Cress (because it was PHENOMENAL! THORNE! READ IT  
    NOWWWWWW). 


Challenge: Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
Goal: 15 books

I was so lucky to stumble upon this challenge because I LOVE fantasy. Like, ridiculously so. It is my go-to genre, the best of the best, the most awesome of all that is awesome! Also, since you can set your own goal and it's my favorite genre, I figured it'd be relatively easy to complete this challenge. So there's that. 
Here are some contenders for this challenge:

1. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (Re-read 1st three so I can finally get to the last)
2. Fire & Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson (Another re-read of the first two so I can read the last one)
3. Book 4 of the Throne of Glass series
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
5. Reread some Tamora Pierce
6. Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder
7. The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2) by Elizabeth May
8. The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
9. Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A. C. Gaughen
10. The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2) by Erika Johansen


Challenge: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Goal: Silver level - 25 books

Ha. HAHAHAHA. I'm really shooting for the stars here. But I've got a horrible ratio (mainly because I got approved for books but forgot to download o_O) but anything helps. And, let's face it, I'm totally going to request more. 
I may or may not have a problem. 



Challenge: 365 Days of Reading YA 
Host(s): Sarah at What Sarah Read and Kate at Literary Kate.
Goal: Whatever I feel like.
I'm doing this one purely for the absolutely AMAZING graphic. WHAT?!? WHO TOOK THE TIME TO DO THIS?!? Regardless, it's awesome. I'm really just joining this one because it gives me great ideas about what to read throughout the year. It's basically a set your own goal. Totally my speed. Head over to the hosts sites to hear all about this one.


     Will I complete all these challenges? Well, I like to think I could, but I'm a realist. So... no. Ha! But that's okay. If I do, awesome. If not, awesome. Basically, if I read, I consider it an accomplishment. Besides, I like to think of these challenges more as guidelines about what to read, rather than actual rules goals. 

All the best ♥︎
Mackenzie 



Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Books read and Challenges

Warning: Epic fail ahead.

2014 Goodreads Challenge


Host: Goodreads
Goal: 60
# of Books read: 30
Status: Not. Even. Close.

2014 Debut Author Challenge 

Host: The Story Siren
Goal: 12
# of Books read: 6!
Status: Even though I still didn't meet the goal, I made it halfway which was a big accomplishment for 2014 *happy dance*
Books:
1. Defy (Goodreads) by Sara Larson - Didn't hate it, but certainly didn't love it either. 
2. Cruel Beauty (Goodreads) by Rosamund Hodge - I really want to re-read this one because I'm not sure why it's at 3 stars. I remember devouring it so I wonder why I changed the rating. This is why you review right after you finish reading. 
3. Camelot Burning (Goodreads) by Kathryn Rose - No. Just no. 
4. The Falconer (Goodreads) by Elizabeth May - YESSS! SO MUCH YESS I CANNOT CONTAIN THE YESSSS! Except that ending - curse you May! *shakes fists in the air*
5. The Queen of the Tearling (Goodreads) by Erika Johansen - I'm....I'm really confused. I liked it. And hated it.
6. Threats of Sky and Sea (Goodreads) by Jennifer Ellision - A hidden gem. Go read it. 

2014 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge

Host: 
Goal: 25
# of Books read: 8
Status: *crickets*
Books:
1. Defy (Goodreads) by Sara Larson
2. Camelot Burning (Goodreads) by Kathryn Rose
3. Threats of Sky and Sea (Goodreads) by Jennifer Ellision
4. The Queen's Choice (Goodreads) by Cayla Kluver - DNF
5. The Lady Thief (Goodreads) by A. C. Gaughen - READ IT! 
6. Sworn to Raise (Goodreads) by Terah Edun - Meh.
7. Manor of Secrets (Goodreads) by Katherine Longshore - Downton Abbey in book form. 
8. Heir of Fire (Goodreads) by Sarah J. Maas - WOEIJSLDFKJWEOIFJWOEF! ROWAN!

Lucky No. 14 Reading Challenge

Goal: 14
# of Books read: 12
Status: Woohoo! So close! 
Books: 
1. Visit the Country: Read a book that has a setting in a country you really want to visit in real life. Book read: The Falconer (Goodreads) by Elizabeth May - SCOTLAND!
2. Cover Lust: Pick a book from your shelf that you bought for the beautiful/creepy/awesome ect. cover. Book read: Cruel Beauty (Goodreads) by Rosamund Hodge - JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER! 
3. Blame it on Bloggers: Read a book because you've read the sparkling reviews from other bloggers. Book read: The Queen of the Tearling (Goodreads) by Erika Johansen - I don't know whether to hug you, or punch you. 
4. Bargain All the Way: Read a book you bought for the price. Sworn to Raise (Goodreads) by Terah Edun - 'Twas free (ARC). 
5. (Not So) Fresh From the Oven: Read a book released last year that you never had a chance to read. Book read: Insurgent (Goodreads) by Veronica Roth - WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?!?! 
6. First Letter's Rule: Read a book with a title that begins with the same letter as your name (M). Book read: Manor of Secrets (Goodreads) by Katherine Longshore
7. Once Upon a Time: Choose a book published before you were born. Book read: None. 
8. Chunky Brick: Read a book more than 500 pages. Book read: Cress (Goodreads) by Marissa Meyer - This book is huge because it is full of AWESOMENESS! THORNEEEEE! Also, Cress is just too plain adorable. 
9. Favorite Author: Read a book written by your favorite author. Book read: ALL THE THRONE OF GLASS BOOKS! MAAS! WHY MUST YOU DO THESE THINGS?!
10. It's Been There Forever: Pick up a book that's been on your shelf for more than year. Book read: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (Goodreads) by Jenny Nimmo - so this is actually a re-read, but I LOVE it. 
11. Movies vs. Books: You've seen the movie, now it's time to read the book. Book read: Divergent (Goodreads) by Veronica Roth - I actually read this wayyyy back in 2011 when it first came out, but I watched the movie and wanted to compare it to the book again (and also read the rest of the series) so I decided to re-read it. 
12. Freebies Time: Read a free book (giveaway, ARC, birthday, ect). Book read: Threats of Sky and Sea (Goodreads) by Jennifer Ellision
13. Not My Cup of Tea: Read from a genre you've never tried (or just disliked) before. Books read: Do textbooks count? Here's to looking at you biology. 
14. Walking Down the Memory Lane: Re-read a book you loved as a child. Book read: I'm reusing this one - Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (Goodreads) by Jenny Nimmo 

2014 Dystopia Reading Challenge

Goal: Rebel 7-12 books
# of Books read: 4 
Status: Eh. Not to bad. Crammed in 2 at the last minute. 
1. Divergent (Goodreads) by Veronica Roth
2. Insurgent (Goodreads) by Veronica Roth 
3. Cress (Goodreads) by Marissa Meyer
4. The Queen of the Tearling (Goodreads) by Erika Johansen

2014 Series Challenge

Goal: 4 series
# of Series read: 2
Status: So, I didn't actually finish any series, but there are 2 series that I've read all available books in which counts. So, that was really my only saving grace. Also, not a single one was a series I planned on finishing. Almost finished the Divergent series (reading Allegiant now) but didn't finish it in 2014. 
Series: Throne of Glass series and Lunar Chronicles series. 

2014 Fairy Tales Retold Reading Challenge

Goal: 4-6 books
# of Books read: 2
Status: Fail. 
Book read:
1. Cress (Goodreads) by Marissa Meyer
2. Cruel Beauty (Goodreads) by Rosamund Hodge



Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Blog (sort of?).



            First off,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
May 2015 shower you with blessings (aka lots of books) and joy (also meaning books)!


Now, on to the purpose of this post. New blog! Okay, not as in an actual "new" blog, but more of a reboot or restart. 2014 was...well quite frankly it was basically a failure. As I'm sure you've noticed I was absent most of this year. You came to visit the blog and crickets started sounding in the background. I could give you a ton of excuses for why, but I feel like I've done that way to much (with all my other "I promise I'm coming back" posts). Instead, I'm just going to jump right in.

Time management is one thing I am not good at. I NEED to set goals or have deadlines. If I do, I'm fine. So, cue a New Year's Resolution: to work on time management. A way to help? Keeping up this blog of course! Not to mention I've been dying to get back to it. Blogging is such a wonderful thing and I miss is dearly! But, along with getting back to blogging, I want to get back to blogging how I first started out: when it was fun. Sure I want to plan, but I also want to just kind of go along with the flow and just have fun with it which is something I believe I've lost sight of. 

So basically this post is just to let y'all know that I'm planning to reboot Oh, For the Love of Books! *cue flailing*

I think I'm going to try and freshen up the blog's look to kind of help me jumpstart (if y'all have any ideas PLEASE let me know). The first couple posts will be some recap of 2014 and looking forward to 2015. I know I'm a bit late to the race (since most other bloggers did that at the end of 2014 -- still weird to say that o_O), but I think it's a good, easy way to get back in the game. 

I can't guarantee that this won't get pushed to the wayside as it has in the past, but I can guarantee that I will try my hardest to keep this up and enjoy it.
I really missed y'all and can't wait to start talking books again! 
I hope y'all have an awesome New Years! 



Monday, September 8, 2014

The One Where I Review RUIN AND RISING

Ruin And Rising (The Grisha #3)
by Leigh Bardugo
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 417
Available Now

Goodreads Synopsis:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.




It's the end of an era. 
Something I both dreaded and anticipated. Whenever it comes to the end of a series, I feel this way. I needed to know how this book ended. Yet, at the same time, I couldn't image what would happen. Would I relish in the ending? Would it just suffice? Or would I loathe it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns?

What words can I possibly use to describe Ruin and Rising. It tore my heart in two, then mended it together. It was full of death, longing, and loneliness, yet also so full of hope, friendship and strength. The world that Bardugo has created is a cruel one, a broken one. Yet, there is always that little glimmer of hope for a better world. 

The characters, both new and old, were full of depth and heart. I laughed, cried, and grew frustrated alongside them. The main characters from books past continued to grow into amazing people. While the secondary characters were all those we've met before, we learn so much more about them and they truly come to light. Alina and Mal are no longer alone. Some of these characters I never would've thought would be brought to the forefront, but I adored them all. I felt their despair deep in my soul, but also saw the hope and strength these characters exuded. Though different, they all came together for what matters most to them: a new Ravka. 

Alina, a orphan girl suddenly thrust into power, yet still so alone. She may not have always had physical strength, but she had strength of heart. She grew so much throughout this series. From a young, lonely girl, to a powerful grisha to a woman willing to sacrifice in order to make the world a better place. 

Mal, who has always been, and always will be there for Alina. A "normal" boy who, like Alina, wants what is best for Ravka. A boy willing to sacrifice his own happiness in order to achieve it. A boy who loved a girl for who she was, not what power she possessed. Unfailingly loyal to the end.

Nikolai, the gloriously good-looking prince. Cocky, arrogant, snarky and most importantly handsome. A swashbuckling privateer. A suave prince. A future king. But he's so much more than that. Through all of his outer arrogance and sarcasm, he truly cares about Ravka. He sees how broken it is and, being the true prince he is, wishes to see Ravka become the glorious country she should be. 

And the Darkling. 
A villain with so much depth that my heart broke for him. He was so alone. A boy with power that no one should have, and no one to share it with. What he did was cruel, cold, and calculating. Yet, all I could see was the lonely little boy who just wanted to be loved. 

And the story itself....I had absolutely no idea what to expect. And this book threw me for many loops. It contained heart-break, death, depth and shocking discoveries, but always with a little glimpse of hope. I can't say too much without giving it away, but Bardugo created a wonderfully complex world, a brilliant story, and characters worth admiring. And the "After" chapter? Beautiful. 

So, thank you Miss. Bardugo. 
Thank you for creating a wonderfully complex world. A world that is far from perfect, yet so lush and beautiful. Your words contained a magic of their own. Thank you for a story that contains so much sadness, yet so much goodness. Thank you for creating characters with such depth. Characters who didn't always make the right decision, yet pulled through anyway. Thank you for giving me a villain I could feel sorry for. A villain so mysteriously delicious full of depth that I could understand the reasoning behind his cruelty. And thank you, THANK YOU, for giving me 
Nikolai.