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Afterwords

I'm just a girl who loves reading more than life itself. A day without a book is a day gone wrong, in my opinion :) Looking forward to meeting new people, talking to them about books and spreading the bookish love!

Book Review: Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

Heart-Shaped Hack - Tracey Garvis-Graves

Before I start this review, I need you to understand that I find this book absolutely perfect. I started it and just could not stop. It was captivating without ever needing to sprinkle DRAMA everywhere, sweet without it ever being so much your teeth ache with it, heartwarming while not being cheesy.

 
It far suppressed everything I hoped it will be.
 
If you're looking for a strong, fearless, real main female character, look no farther than Kate, who is all of these things and more. I never failed to be amazed at this woman and her outlook on life. I sometimes felt like she was sitting right next to me. 
 
If you love male characters who are confident and cocky but in the most effing charming manner, main characters who, despite their sure attitude, treat their women like queens and will never, ever want to hurt them, then I've got just the guy for you in Ian Smith Merrick Bradshaw. I mean, seriously, the guy is total swoon. I would fall for him.
 
And the romance? Well, if you like romances you believe in, romances that suck you in, romances that make your heart beat like crazy and make you wish for a similar experience...
 
TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Musical Obsessions: Karmin - Baby it's Cold Outside (Holiday Cover)

You guys, I had to share this cover with you. If you don't know the due Karmin... you should. Their names are Nick and Amy and they started out by doing covers on YouTube. Very quickly, like in a year's time, they were offered a deal which they took.

 
But after an album or so, they broke up with their record because they wanted to be more honest in their music. They are now back to their old YouTube channel as independent artists and their holiday cover of Baby it's Cold Outside is playing on a loop in my room.
 
Seriously, they made this song so haunting and beautiful and the choice to take a song traditionally sang as a duet and make a single person singing it makes it sound like an internal fight instead of a (somewhat creepy) man trying to seduce his companion to stay longer (I mean, she literally asks "what's in this drink?" at some point. That sounds kind of dark)

It's like we're hearing this person's thoughts, how she is struggling against herself. The angel and the devil on one's shoulder, and the devil is winning against the rationality. 
 
And the darker melody....
 
CLICK THE TITLE TO GET TO THE FULL POST, WITH THE SONG! :)))

Book Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger

I am so glad I gave this book a shot! It's been on my "maybe" list ever since I heard of it, my hesitation steaming from a rumored jerk of a love interest and the whole enemies with benefits plot-line. But, the movie with Robbie Amell came out and it just looked so entertaining that I had to give the book a chance.

And honestly, it's just been so much fun

Let's start by saying that the book explores a lot of deep themes. First of all, it explores slut shaming. It explores the idea of beauty. It explores facades. It explores friendships and family. And all the underlying messages are so positive it's heartening.

And it's pretty much all done through our main character, BiancaA sassy, sarcastic, kind of judgmental girl whom I honestly loved. She's our DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Or is she? She's definitely a fun character to explore, and while I didn't agree with all she did (especially toward the end with Toby...) I always loved her. 

Her love interest and the coined douche above is Wesley. Now, I'm going to apologize in advance for the upcoming section - because I absolutely adored Wesley to pieces. I'm sorry, but anyone who finds this guy to be a jerk is wrong. He acted like a douche, sure. But he was not actually a douche.

In fact, out of all the characters in the book, he never once...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Book Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop

You don't know this about me, but I don't buy full-priced kindle books. I wait for discounts or buy a physical copy because I love physical copies and if the kindle version costs more than a PB... Imma get the PB, you get me?

This book is the only exception. I tried to resist. Tried to wait to February '16 to get the paperback copy. But then I just broke down and clicked that buy now button and I regret nothing even though my wallet is not speaking to me at the moment! 

Vision in Silver was so good. It had everything you could ever wish for and more. It's amazing how with every book I notice more and more reasons to adore this series.

The thing that really stood out to me in this installment is the realization that not one character is wasted. A lot of books, they bring in characters to adorn the pages but not be anything other than pretty decoration. Not in The Others series, a point driven home in Vision in Silver. 

Every character that enters the page has a meaning, a role. And no role is a small one. Characters that were...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Book Review: Deerskin by Robin McKinley

Deerskin - Robin McKinley

You are probably slightly confused about the place of this book in my 2015 Favorites, considering its relatively low rating. The thing is, this book is one of those books that the farther away I am from it; the more I think about it. In a good way.

Before getting this book as a birthday present, I have never heard of it. Or Robin McKinley. I guess it's not toosurprising, as this book is different than most anything I've read before, so it wouldn't have been on my radar. That's not the case anymore, as now the name Robin McKinley equals something I'd like to check out.

Deerskin is written in a matter which includes very few dialogues. Most of the story is told through a storyteller, who describes the surrounding, lore, and thoughts of our main characters. In fact, it takes about 170 pages, maybe even longer, until we meet a character for Lissar to speak to, and even then - Lissar is a woman of few words.

I expected this to really hinder my reading process, as the first time I tried this book, it did feel a bit oppressing. But this time around? I gulped it up, in one sitting, stopping pretty much only to eat. And when I reached the end of part one, I felt like the writing style was a smart choice.

Why?...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Anime Review: Asura Cryin' | Less Boobs, More Plot Please!

 
Asura Cryin'
6 out 13 Episodes, dropped
Aired: Apr 2, 2009 to Jun 25, 2009
Followed by: Asura Cryin' 2

Action, Mecha, Supernatural

Natsume Tomoharu is a normal high-school student in every way with one exception: he's being followed by the ghost of his best friend, Misao.
After moving into his brother's old house, Tomoharu expects to continue living his normal life but is one day left with a mysterious and locked briefcase without any instruction. At first he plans to leave it in storage; however, his house is soon invaded by multiple groups of people after the briefcase. Although still not knowing the purpose of the briefcase, Tomoharu and Misao attempt to escape with it.
From there on, Tomoharu tries to learn the secrets behind the briefcase, the connections between it and Misao, and why it has the power to change the world.
The main trio, wearing their best face imo

Once upon a time, I used to religiously watch anime. And by that I mean I watched at least six full anime a month. You could say that's all I did the years I took a break from reading. And then, I re-discovered books and took a step back from anime.

One of my goals in 2016 is to clean my currently-watching list of anime (some of them all the way back from 2011). In order to do that, I'm basically re-watching the anime because god help me but I remember absolutely nothing of some of these.

The first one I'm reviewing is Asura Cryin', a fantasy/sci-fi/rom com type of anime. That I didn't even finishbecause there is so many better things to do with my time than force myself through pointless episodes of a pointless anime.

Both in my original attempt to watch it and this re-watch I ceased my attempts at episode 6, which is halfway into the series. And if by halfway into it I still have no idea what it's supposed to be about, then that says something.

This series opens up with Tomoharu, our protagonist, moving into a new house with his friend Misao. The ghost. Just another day in the household, I guess. Then we meet an assortment of characters (from Takatsuki to Shuri), none of which stand out in any way. They're all very one dimensional.

Then, the first episode ends with a high-note of what appears like it's going to be an epic battle with machines and firearm and fire powers and--Nope, the second episodes starts the next morning, all chill and relaxed, opting to let the tension fizzle into nothing and let everyone be all calm as if nothing even happened. What?

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Why U No Give Five Stars?!

If you've been following this month long recollection of my favorite reads of 2015, you might have noticed something a bit... odd. That is; there are barely any five stars among the group. And if you read the reviews, you might be a bit baffled as to why they aren't five stars.

I didn't even notice this myself, until they were all put one next to the other. But, yes, I am extremely stingy about handing out five stars. It's quite shocking considering how I was the complete opposite in 2012, when I opened my first blog.

I was... overly generous back then.

Back the the point; books like Vicious, Of Beast and Beauty, Shadow and Bone etc that I absolutely loved andadored and had nothing bad to say about (which is reflected in the reviews) got 4.5 stars instead of outright 5.

Right....

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Book Review: Doing it for Love by Cassie Mae

Doing It for Love - Cassie Mae

This review is going to be slightly different than my usual thing, because this book just inspires this type of feedback.

I honestly want more stories just like this in literature; 

Stories that make you smile so widely and so often your cheeks hurt, but in the best way possible. The kind of way you don't care because dammit, I really needed this. The kind of smiles that linger for entire scenes. That make your entire face scrunch up.

Stories that show established couples just... being happy, living their lives, dealing with silly couple-stuff - not epic misunderstandings/angst/pain. Things you can relate to. Things that make your heart occasionally ache because of how normal and real they are without being overly dramatic or nerve-wrecking.

Stories with couples who are fun, and funny, and teasing and you can't imagine them anymore apart than their friends can, because they are just that perfect for one another and you never once doubt their relationship. Their love. Their rightness.

Stories that make you so damned jealous...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

The Book Thief has been reviewed many times over. I bet everything that could be said about it, already has been. But... as a Jew, reading this book, I feel obligated to add in my two cents. So bear with me. This is going to be a very personal review. In fact, it's going to speak largely about things surrounding the book instead of the book itself.

 
Originally, I never intended to read the Book Thief. 
 
As a general rule, I don't read Holocaust based novels. In Israel, we study the Holocaust extensively (in relations to Jews mostly, for obvious reasons) from the first grade to the twelfth. We annually mention and mourn the 6 million lost on a special day. We have school trips to the Holocaust Museum. We do papers and projects on the subject every year. We have lectures with survivors. 
 
And, honestly, every damn holocaust book I read brings me to a sobbing mess, and I don't enjoy that. 
 
I always tell my grandma, who made it her mission to read as many of those testimonies as possible, that one day, I'll probably start seeking those stories, but right now, I am too overcome by the darkness that engulfs me when I read of it.
 
So, again, I wasn't planning on reading this in the near future. But then...
 
TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows  - Anne Bishop

This book. THIS BOOK. You guys, I seriously can't even. It took a re-read for me to be able to form enough words to write a review about it. And even then, I'm not sure this is going to be coherent.

This book starts with a bang, with things developing in my ship--and then coming to a sudden halt. It physicallyhurt, because my little cinnamon rolls are so confused and baffled and I just want to hug them and spell out to them that they're falling in love. And that it's going to be okay.

Even though, let's be honest, it probably won't be. Not sure how Others are going to take a courtyard leader being mated with a human, but that's a worry for some other day.

We have enough to worry about in this installment as it is. Such as two dangerous drugs wrecking havoc among the humans and Others, starting conflicts that end in bloodshed and death and destruction. Mostly for the human side of things...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE

Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

So I'm sitting here, in front of my computer, wondering how the heck do I review this book? It's like, my mind is totally blank. What do I say that others haven't already? Where to begin?

Should I start with the fact I ended up reading this book because of peer pressure? I mean, the whole freakin' world loves Vicious (and Victoria), so I grew tired of being on the outside of that crowd. One page in and I'm like;THANK YOU, PEER PRESSURE!

Or maybe I should talk about how this book is not a "superhero story". At least not in the "hero" sense of the word. Everyone here are definitely "super powered", in one way or another (Even Mitch, whose superpower is probably being able to stand and support the lot of them and still stay alive).

In simpler terms, everyone in this story are Loki, not Captain America.

I can totally imagine Eli saying this btw

 

 

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New Post: No More Apologizing!

 

One of the most distressing things I noticed while revamping old reviews, was how often I felt the need to clarify; "in my opinion", "to me", "I think", etc out of fear. I was absolutely terrified of people taking what I'm saying in the wrong way, especially if I was talking about something popular.

Of people attacking me and criticizing me. To the point I kept putting disclaimers to my reviews so no one could ever mistake that I was talking about my perspective and my perspective only.

Even in the revamping process, I kept catching myself writing those words. And to me, this is just so jarring. Ofcourse this is just my opinion. Of course those are my thought and my take on things and obviously not everyone is going to agree and that's perfectly alright.

When has the internet become something that I needed to fear and counter-defend myself against?.... 

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK ON THE TITLE! 

Book Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

— feeling love
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

JUST POSTED ON MY BLOG

I'm not even sure if I have enough words to describe the amazingness of this book.  But I'm sure going to try to, anyways. Don't ever say I don't love you!

Have you ever read a book so good you just... want to re-read it the moment you finish it? Like, you know you've got other books that need your attention, but you want to go back to these characters and world you almost don't care? You just crave to be there again? Written in Red is literally THAT book. I applaud my self discipline for not re-reading it again immediately. I did, however, re-read it a couple of months later. And just copying this review to Afterwords is making me itch to read it again this very moment.

Edit: I did end up re-reading the book after typing this... 

The world in Written in Red is so intricate and beyond incredible, both in the way it's built up throughout the book and the way it just is. It's all constructed slowly, sometimes between the lines, and so believably and seamlessly; from the mythology and the creation story, to the dynamics and the multiple povs.

A lot of books change the nature of the supernatural - they make them nice, cuddley pets. Vegetarians, or pacifist, or cultured and ethical, saying they're nothing like the legends to make the readers feel alright for liking them, for loving them even. I don't mind that, but it was incredibly refreshing to read a book that un-romanticizes the supernatural. 

That's right. Written in Red doesn't gloss over the reality of The Others.... 
 
 
TO READ THE REST, CLICK THE TITLE 

Book Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow Study - Maria V. Snyder

JUST POSTED ON MY BLOG

WARNING: GUSHING
Oh, wow. Where do I even start?! 

I was a latecomer to the Maria V. Synder bandwagon. She was one of those author constantly on my tbr but I never seemed to get there. And when I finally did last year, ALL the books were already out. Or so I thought. The groundbreaking announcement over the new series and the return to the Ixia/Sitia world came soon after I finished Fire Study and brought my inner fangirl much delight. 

needed more Valek and Yelena.

My inner fangirl reared her #sorrynotsorry head when I got approved for an e-arc via Netgalley. She was shouting THANK YOU SO MUCH MIRA INK for all the world to hear. The neighbors were complaining? who cares!? more Valek and Yelena to go around!

Okay. The actual book. Right...
 
TO READ MORE CLICK THE TITLE! 

Book Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, Book 1) by Kleypas, Lisa (2007) Mass Market Paperback - Lisa Kleypas

JUST POSTED ON MY BLOG :)

Lisa Kleypas is one of those authors that has been on my radar for years, as some of my favorite bloggers hail her name to the stars. But at the same time, I never seemed to quite get there. Until a bundle edition of all her Hathaways novels went on kindle sale.

Feeling in need of a good historical, I opened the bundle very shortly after buying it and embarked on Mine Till Midnight. I was almost immediately pleasantly surprised. For one, Amelia Hathaway is a strong minded young woman who is not in search of a man to complete her. Her voice is clear and clever and at times delightfully dry and snarky.

Then there's our hero, Cam Rohan. He's a Gypsy. Yes, you're read that right. This is the first time I've ever encountered this type of character in a historical, which was really fun. The cultural aspect of being a Rom was fascinating, and the promise of farther exploring the Roma roots in the next novels a cause for celebration.

But that's not what won me over, but rather Cam himself. Here is a man who knows what he wants, and will not accept any other outcome. A man who always seems to be hiding a smile. Who knows how to handle himself and will do everything for the one he loves. Even if it means dealing with the unruly lot that is the Hathaways.

Then there was the romance between these two...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE

Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay

Just posted a new review on the blog. Here's a taste:

 

Oh my, Oh myI never expected this book to be... well, this book. That's not to say that I didn't go into it with high exceptions, because I did. I couldn't not to when it had such a gorgeous cover and was marketed as a retelling of one of my favorite fairy-tales (and favorite Disney movie *wink*).

But I never could've expected this enchanting world, a strange mixture of a bit of sci-fi and a lot of magic, or the beautiful writing, or the captivating characters. 

It's almost a shame to call it a "retelling", because it's far more than that. It's its own story, capable of standing tall on its own two feet without the fairy-tale attached to it, and one does not necessarily need to love B&B in order to love it.

 

Because in Of Beast and Beauty  there is no clear "beast" and no clear "beauty"... 

 

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