Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Reads of 2013

It's that time of year again! I can't believe how quickly 2013 went, but hey, time is bound to fly when you're reading so many amazing books. This year I managed to read 45 books, and choosing a top 10 was challenging to say the least. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my favourite reads of this year:

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2014 Challenge #3: Ebook Reading Challenge

I had a lot of fun with the challenge last year, so I'm excited to attempt the 2014 Ebook Challenge hosted by Workaday Reads. This year, whilst I do plan to read lots of ebooks, I'll be playing it safe and aiming for the CD level - 10 books. 

1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell {review}
2. Awaken by Meg Cabot {review}
3. Pivot Point by Kasie West {review}
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner {review}
5. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi {review}
6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead {review}
7. Eve by Anna Carey {review coming soon}
8. Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier {review coming soon}
9. Reboot by Amy Tintera {review coming soon}

2013 Challenge #3 - Ebook Challenge COMPLETE

Last challenge for 2013 COMPLETE!

Given that I have sooo many ebooks, this year I decided to take part in the 2013 Ebook Challenge hosted by Workaday Reads, aiming to read 10 ebooks for the CD level. In the end, I managed to read 15 ebooks this year! So, more than I needed to, but not quite enough to move up a level. Ah well, maybe next year I'll be able to make it to 25 ebooks for the DVD level. 

Here's what I read throughout the year:  

1. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald {review}
2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre {review}
3. Uglies by Scott Westerfield {review}
4. The Host by Stephenie Meyer {review}
5. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks {review}
6. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart {review}
7. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs {review}
8. The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky {review}
9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin {review}
10. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin {review}
11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett {review}
12. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton {review}
13. Wicked by Gregory Maguire {review}
14. Eragon by Christopher Paolini {review}
15. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi {review}

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Challenge #5 - Books in a Series Reading Challenge COMPLETE

4 down, only 1 to go.

Given that most of the books I read these days are a part of a series, I decided to take part in the Books In A Series Reading Challenge hosted by Book Stacks On Deck, aiming to be Obsessive are read 20+ books from series. And with 33 books read this year as a part of a series, I think I well and truly reached that goal! Here's what I read throughout the year:

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1) {review}

2. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer #2) {review}
3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #1) {review}
4. Ingenue by Jillian Larkin (The Flappers #2) {review}
5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) {review}

6. Wither by Lauren Destefano (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1) {review}
7. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (The Steampunk Chronicles #1) {review}
8. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2) {review}
9. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
(The Caster Chronicles #1) {review}

10. Uglies by Scott Westerfield (Uglies #1) {review}
11. The Host by Stephenie Meyer (The Host #1) {review}
12. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2) {review}
13. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (The Arthurian Saga #1) {review}
14. Splintered by A.G. Howard (Splintered #1) {review}
15. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Maraget Stohl
(The Caster Chronicles #2) {review}

16. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (Tempe Brennan #4) {review}
17. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna #1) {review}
18. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) {review}
19. A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) {review}
20. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) {review}

21. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone #1) {review}
22. Underworld by Meg Cabot (Abandon Trilogy #2) {review}
23. Legend by Marie Lu (Legend Trilogy #1) {review}
24. Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
(The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #1) {review}

25. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (The Wicked Years #1) {review}
26. Angelfall by Susan Ee (Penryn & The End of Days #1) {review}
27. The Enchantress by Michael Scott
(The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel #6) {review}

28. Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir (The Precious Stones Trilogy #1) {review}
29. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3) {review}
30. The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen (Bright Young Things #3) {review}
31. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #1) {review}
32. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance Cycle #1) {review}
33. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #2) {review}

2013 Challenge #2 - Outdo Yourself COMPLETE

3 challenges done, 2 to go. 

This year I attempted to 2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen. In 2012 I read 28 books, so my goal this year was to read 30. And boy, did I do that and then some, managing to read 45 books! In the end, I managed to complete the I'm on fire! level, reading 17 more books than I did last year. Here's what I read throughout the year:

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth {review} {amazon}
2. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {review} {amazon}
3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare {review} {amazon}
4. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald {review} {amazon}
5. Ingenue by Jillian Larkin {review} {amazon}
6. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon {review} {amazon}
7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor {review} {amazon}
8. Wither by Lauren Destefano {review} {amazon}
9. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross {review} {amazon}
10. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel {review} {amazon}
11. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer {review} {amazon}
12. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl {review} {amazon}
13. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre {review} {amazon}
14. Uglies by Scott Westerfield {review} {amazon}
15. The Host by Stephenie Meyer {review} {amazon}
16. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks {review} {amazon}
17. Insurgent by Veronica Roth {review} {amazon}
18. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart {review} {amazon}
19. The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes {review} {amazon}
20. Splintered by A.G. Howard {review} {amazon}
21. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl {review} {amazon}
22. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs {review} {amazon}
23. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake {review} {amazon}
24. The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky {review} {amazon}
25. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin {review} {amazon}
26. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith {review} {amazon}
27. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin {review} {amazon}
28. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor {review} {amazon}
29. The Help by Kathryn Stockett {review} {amazon}
30. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton {review} {amazon}
31. Underworld by Meg Cabot {review} {amazon}
32. Legend by Marie Lu {review} {amazon}
33. Withering Tights by Louise Rennison {review} {amazon}
34. Wicked by Gregory Maguire {review} {amazon}
35. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith {review} {amazon}
36. Angelfall by Susan Ee {review} {amazon}
37. The Enchantress by Michael Scott {review} {amazon}
38. The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales {review} {amazon}
39. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn {review} {amazon}
40. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier {review} {amazon}
41. Allegiant by Veronica Roth {review} {amazon}
42. The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen {review} {amazon}
43. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon {review} {amazon}
44. Eragon by Christopher Paolini {review} {amazon}
45. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi {review} {amazon}

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: 5th February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: eBook
Pages: 348
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 EBC, 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life"

Usually I give myself longer to process a book before writing a review. But, 2 days after finishing this one, I need to get this review up to stay up to date with the schedule I wrote myself for the Christmas break, so here goes nothing. Unravel Me was amazing. Simply amazing. 

It's been well over a year since I read Shatter Me, but Unravel Me transported me back to that world instantly. With the unique writing style that Mafi has employed in these books, how could it not? Merely pages into the book I'm asking myself Why did I wait so long to read this? Seriously, I don't understand why this wasn't at the top of my TBR, because Ignite Me definitely is. I just love how Mafi has employed this pseudo stream of conciousness for Juliet. You really get to understand Juliet better as a character because of it. You hear everything she's thinking, feel everything she's feeling through the poetic nature of the prose, understand the thoughts she's ashamed of having as they've been crossed out. It's nothing short of genius on Mafi's part. Everything is intensified, which makes this one of those books you struggle to put down. 

Let's talk a bit about Warner, because he's one of my favourite characters by far. We learn a lot more about Warner in this novel. You get to see a lot more of the good, rather than the bad. He's very much a tortured soul - it's obvious that years of mistreatments have shaped him into who he is; there's a back story there just waiting to be told. I believe a lot more in Juliet and Warner's relationship than I do in Juliet and Adam's. Juliet and Adam always felt a bit instalovey for me; it seemed that the main reason Juliet was ever interested in him was because he was somehow immune to her touch. I think her relationship with Warner, on the other hand, shows a much more natural progression - he has to work a bit harder to win her over, so I'm much more inclined to want Warner with Juliet. Plus, that bedroom scene - lordy lordy bee. 

Overall, Unravel Me was a very solid follow up to Shatter Me. This has a strong, action filled plot, a love triangle that I didn't hate, and a lot of new and interesting personalities were introduced. Plus Kenji; lets not forget about the awesomeness that is the witty, inappropriately acting yet serious when needed Kenji. And after that intense ending, I cannot wait to get my hands on Ignite Me early next year. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (29)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Summary from Goodreads:"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I've started to hear quite a bit about this one, and when a book starts popping up around you all the time, you can't help but become interested in it. If I saw this in a book store, I may pick it up because of the beautiful cover, but I don't know if the blurb would convince me to buy it. But, every time I hear about this it's always positive, so I'm curious enough to want to give it a go

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope everyone is having a lovely, relaxing time with their friends and family over this holiday period - and I hope you get all the bookish presents you wished for!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Challenge #4 - Genre Variety Reading Challenge COMPLETE

2 challenges completed, 3 to go. 

This year I attempted to 2013 Genre Variety Reading Challenge hosted by A Daydreamer's Thoughts, aiming to be Cautious and read 12 books from 12 different genres. And, as of yesterday, I reached that goal! Here's what I read throughout the year:

Classic - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald {review}
Historical Fiction - Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel {review}
Drama The Help by Kathryn Stockett {review}
Crime A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton {review}
Chick Lit The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes {review}
Espionage Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre {review}
Dystopian Divergent by Veronica Roth {review}
Adventure Eragon by Christopher Paolini {review}
Young Adult - Wither by Lauren Destefano {review}
Fantasy City of Bones by Cassandra Claire {review}
Steampunk The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross {review}
Fairy Tales Retold - Scarlet by Marissa Meyer {review}

2013 Challenge #1 - Off the Shelf COMPLETE

1 challenge down, 4 to go.

This year I attempted the 2013 Off the Shelf Challenge hosted by Bookish Ardour, aiming to Make a Dint and read 30 books. And, as of yesterday, I reached that goal! Here's the list of what I read:

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald {review}
2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel {review} 
3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer {review}
4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett {review}
5. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs {review}
6. Divergent by Veronica Roth {review}
7.  Insurgent by Veronica Roth {review}
8. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre {review}
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky {review}
10. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks {review}
11. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith {review}
12. Ingenue by Jillian Larkin {review}
13. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton {review}
14. Uglies by Scott Westerfield {review}
15. Eragon by Christopher Paolini {review}
16. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor {review}
17. Legend by Marie Lu {review}
18. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake {review}
19. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl {review}
20. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl {review}
21. A Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin {review}
22. A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin {review}
23. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart {review}
24. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross {review}
25. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {review}
26. Wither by Lauren Destefano {review}
27. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon {review}
28. The Enchantress by Michael Scott {review}
29. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare {review}
30. Wicked by Gregory Maguire {review}

Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini
Release Date: 1st February 2002
Publisher: Random House
Format: eBook
Pages: 452
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 EBC, 2013 GVR, 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"One boy . . .

One dragon . . .

A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. 

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands."

At first, this book bothered me. In fact, thinking back on it, this book still bothers me a bit. I may have loved the plot and the characters, but there were some things that hindered my reading experience.

Firstly, the writing style. It's a given that what with this being a children's book, that the writing style is going to be simplistic. And at the beginning, this was very, very obvious. I wasn't sure I'd be able to read 450 pages of short paragraphs consisting of He did this. Then he did that. Someone says somthing. Then they did something else. That's what it felt like, and it was painful. Luckily, as the story progressed and the plot became more detailed, that seemed to stop, or become less noticeable.

Secondly, I had issues with the relationship between Eragon and Seraphina. It felt like instalove. I know that there is supposed to be an amazing bond between a Rider and his dragon, what with the dragon waiting for the right person to turn up before they even hatch, but I just didn't buy it. Maybe it's because I'm still not sure over what time period the events in this book took place (was it a year or so?), so I didn't feel that there was any natural progression there. Either way, their bond annoyed me at times.

Pushing those aside, I did enjoy the plot and the characters. Although it became abundantly clear that this novel was almost entirely a set up for the rest of the series, I still enjoyed the storyline. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but I think once Brom and Eragon teamed up, thats when the plot became interesting. We learnt about the history of the Dragon Riders, we follow Eragon as he learns how to master his powers, and, interestingly, we're told the basis of the entire series storyline through a fortune teller. 

And lets not forget about the characters. Eragon at times was a bit painful, but overall I thought he was a strong protagonist. I adored Brom, even if I hated how he mysterious he was sometimes. Loved Murtagh, he's pretty cool, and I didn't see the twist involving his character coming. Any other characters who I'm sure will be prominent in the following novels appeared too late for me to form any concrete opinion about them, aside from just liking or disliking them in general. Already I like Arya, just because Eragon does, and for the same reasons I don't like the Twins. I'm interested to hear more from them as the series progresses.

Overall, whilst this was mostly filled with backstory and setup for the rest of the series, I really enjoyed it, and I'll definitely be checking out the sequel. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Book Review: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon
Release Date: 20th August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 452
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

For the past couple of days, I've struggled to write this review, because I'm not entirely sure what my feelings for The Bone Season are. On the one hand, the storyline is brilliant, the detail of this new world is amazing, and I loved our main characters. But on the other hand, there's just something that feels a bit off, and I think it comes down to the fact that I didn't feel immersed in this world - I felt like an outsider looking it.

But isn't that what we do with every book? Well, yes, but this is different. With most stories, I feel like I'm there with the protagonists. I'm invested in the storyline, I care about our protagonists futures. A book may be set in a completely new and foreign world to me, but I believe it and I'm there with the characters - I'm completely immersed in the story. But with this, I didn't get that. It wasn't until well into the second half of the novel or so that I finally began to feel invested in these people and this new world. Up until that point though, I felt like an outsider looking in, and overall, it made me struggle to get into the book.

That being said, this is an amazing read. The storyline is so new and interesting, the new world established is so messed up, and the Rephaim are a real treat to read about. There's just enough mystery to keep you intrigued, enough action to keep you on edge, and plenty of romance. I don't know what it was that wasn't allowing me to get invested in the beginning, because I was well invested in the end, and will undoubtedly be continuing on with this series. I would definitely check this one out for a new twist on the supernatural and dystopian genres. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

2014 Challenge #2: Seriously Series Reading Challenge

For my second reading challenge for 2014 I'm signing up for the Seriously Series Reading Challenge, hosted by Reading the Paranormal. There are three different categories for this one - Series started before 2014, Series started in 2014, and Series rereads. Since I don't reread books, I'll just have a go with the former categories, and I'll just be attempting to read the books in a series I currently own/are released in 2014. So, without further ado...

Series Started Before 2014
Goal: Semi Serious, 1-6 series COMPLETE

1. Abandon Trilogy by Meg Cabot
Awaken (Abandon Trilogy #3) {review}
2. Splintered by A.G Howard
Unhinged (Splintered #2) {review}
3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) {review}
4. Tempest by Julie Cross
Vortex (Tempest #2) {review}
5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) {review}
6. The Flappers by Jillian Larkin
Diva (The Flappers #3) {review}
7. The Precious Stones Trilogy by Kerstin Gier 
Sapphire Blue (The Precious Stones Trilogy #2) {review coming soon}

Series Started in 2014
Goal: Seriously Serious, 7-12 series

1. Pivot Point by Kasie West
Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) {review}
2. Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) {review}
3. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) {review}
4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) {review}
5. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) {review}
6. Eve by Anna Carey
Eve (Eve #1) {review coming soon}
7. Reboot by Amy Tintera
Reboot (Reboot #1) {review coming soon}

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (28)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Summary from Goodreads:
"Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I love anything and everything to do with retellings. So when I saw this, a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, I simply had to add it to my wishlist. And the reviews I've seen around the blogosphere haven't been bad either, so I really want to read this in the not-too-distant future. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2014 Challenge #1: Rewind Challenge

It's that time of year again - time for me to finally sign up for the reading challenges I plan to participate in next year. So first off, we've got the 2014 Rewind Challenge hosted by Coffee Bean Bookshelf. This is a new one for me, and I'm excited! There aren't many rules to this challenge (which you can see here), and there aren't even any levels - you decide your own reading goal, which is actually tricky in itself. In 2013, I read 30 book as part of the Off the Shelf Reading Challenge, and I'd love to be able to aim for 30 again. But, with my 3rd year of uni just around the corner, and the possibility that I may need to get a job in the not-too-distant future, I'm not entirely sure that's achievable. So, my official goal will be 20 books, but since there are so many books on my TBR pile that I want to read, I'm listing 32 books that I just can't wait to read any longer - so the aim is to read 20 of the 32 books listed below - although I do hope I can surpass that!

1. Vortex by Julie Cross {review}
2. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
3. Awaken by Meg Cabot {review}
4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell {review} 
5. Looking for Alaska by John Green {review coming soon}
6. Diva by Jillian Larkin {review}
7. Eve by Anna Carey {review coming soon}
8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare {review}
10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
11. Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
12. Pivot Point by Kasie West {review}
13. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
14. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
15. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 
16. All Our Yesterdays by Christin Terrill
17. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
18. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
19. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline {review}
20. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken {review}
21. World After by Susan Ee
22. Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier {review coming soon}
23. Icons by Margaret Stohl
24. Pawn by Aimee Carter
25. Feed by Mira Grant
26. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
27. The Maze Runner by James Dashner {review}
28. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
29. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead {review}
30. The Program by Suzanne Young
31. Reboot by Amy Tintera {review coming soon} 
32. Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs 
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