Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Planning Ahead (5)

Hello everyone! Sorry that this week's schedule is up a little later than usual. I really have no excuse, but if it makes it any better, I finally finished The Final Empire and it was fantastic. I'm currently 40 pages into the second book already and I'm so excited! Anyway, this week is currently spring break which means last full week break in this school year and one month till APs. Who's excited?

I'm super duper excited to finally be starting this book. I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Trudi Canavan and her works that somehow (somehow) I ended up with 6 of her books...I'm already a good 100 pages in and absolutely loving it!

I am participating on a book tour for this book and my stop is on Friday so be sure to stop by to check out my final thoughts! I haven't started the book yet which probably isn't the best idea but I'm starting it tonight!

Just finished this book yesterday and it was soooo good! I desperately need Miriam Forster to continue the series because I want more from this world. However, I'm also really excited for what she's currently working on now that I've read both of her books. Anyway, more of my thoughts in my review which hopefully will be up tomorrow :)

Just finished this book today and it was such a fun book to read. I read it on the subway while on my way to a dentist appointment in NY and I cracked up more than once. Not ashamed, even though I did get some pretty weird looks for sporting a huge grin.

Come back on Friday for Book Tour fun!! 

Oooh, new banner~

So I have a BIG announcement to make! Recently I got together with my best friend Claudia aka Cloudy Ethereal and we decided to try our hands at making a podcast. I've been listening to quite a couple different book podcasts lately while doing homework and I found that there weren't a lot of them focusing on YA. Some had special edition episodes where YA was the center focus but most centered around other genres. So....I asked Claudia if she was up for it and it took about a year of persuading before she finally agreed. 

And THE LITTLE BLACK BOOKMARK was born! Clever title huh? I'm a book blogger and Claudia's a fashion/lifestyle blogger. Indulge me, I am literally in love with the name. Our first episode was posted this Saturday over at the blog: The Little Black Bookmark. We were originally going to upload onto Tumblr because Blogger didn't accept MP3 files but our file turned out to be too big. We ended up uploading the audio onto YouTube as a MP4 and then transferring through Google onto a new blog while keeping the YouTube video unlisted for the time being.

So what do you guys think? If you guys like it please go and follow that blog. The current game plan for uploading is biweekly which I think is definitely doable. If you have any recommendations please leave them either in the comments below or over at the podcast blog:

That sums up all I have for this week! Super busy but it's spring break~ Let me know in the comment what you're doing this week and if you're reading anything great!!

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

City of A Thousand Dolls

Pages: 359
Source: Library

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

Hello everyone! Today I've got my review for City of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster which I've been meaning to review for the past two weeks...Fun fact, I first heard of this book when the book trailer appeared in my YouTube dash and I wanted to read it then but never got around to until I was browsing my library shelves and found it. Needless to say I borrowed it and read it as fast as I can and now I'm here to share my thoughts~

Nisha lives in the City of a Thousand Dolls, an estate for girls who have been abandoned by their parents. The girls are trained to be scholars, musicians, courtesans, and even assassins. As Nisha was abandoned at an older age, she was not able to fit herself into a specific house and ended up becoming the Matron's messenger and ears around the city. She's never imagined life outside the city gates until she finds herself falling in love with a young courier from one of the kingdom's most affluent families. However, before she can even dream of a different life, murders start occurring within the city. Under the Maton's permission, Nisha goes to investigate the deaths with the help from her friends, a spotted cat tribe, but as she gets closer to finding the truth, she also gets closer to meeting her death.

The world is very fascinating with a complex history that you get snippets of from historical texts that are spread throughout the book. There is a birth limit of two children per family so many people will often leave their daughters at the City of a Thousand Dolls so that they can raise two sons to carry on family business. In some sense that seems very cruel, but the city trains the girls in specific houses that fits their talents and interests. Eventually,  the girls will be sold to the highest bidder at the Redeeming Ceremony where they will leave the city and start the lives they've trained to live since arrival. I wish we could have gotten some more insight in regards to the royal family. We did get to see the Prince who seemed a bit spoiled but at the same time generally good hearted, but nothing more than that.

Nisha was a pretty decent character though there were definitely times where she seemed to stumble. There are several moments where she breaks down in tears because everything has become too much to handle (trust me girl, I've been there too). However, in the end, I sort of attributed that "weak" quality in her to represent how she was missing a part of herself: her identity basically. After she found out about her history and her parents, you could see her grow in confidence and character because now she's whole. Despite being naive at certain times, she very brave and willing to take the job of searching the murders and doesn't stop even when her life becomes endangered.

The mystery in the story is very compelling but takes a while to really build up momentum. At the beginning when the first murder occurred, true the City was in disarray trying to find the culprit, but I didn't exactly feel heart pounding excitement or fear. It just didn't seem that interesting, but as the story progressed and you start to develop attachments to the characters, that's when things got interesting. I would still rate this pretty low on the mystery/thriller scale with maybe a 3 or 4 out of 10, but in some cases it did help to give the story a push and lull.

I have to talk about the spotted cat tribe because I literally loved them. We only really get to know two of them: Esmer and Jerrit. Esmer is this mother figure cat who really helps to guide and protect Nisha, as a mother would, throughout the story. She becomes the role model that Nisha never got to see in her own mother. Then there's Jerrit who I absolutely adored! He's Nisha's best friend and he's so supportive and an important for Nisha. I don't want to spoil much but he's literally amazing! 

Of course there are other characters such as Nisha's best human friend and future Princess, the Matron, Josei the Mistress of Combat, the Mistress of Shadows, and Devon. To sum them all up, they were pretty well crafted characters and stayed true to their nature. I just have to talk a bit about Devon because as far as book boyfriends go, he sucks. You start out rooting for them because it's a bit taboo for a nobleman like himself to love a servant girl in the city, but at the end you're just like "No, please." The House Mistresses and the Matron played important roles in guiding Nisha throughout the story but I still think that Esmer is the ultimate mother figure.

Then there's the solution to the mystery. I will admit I didn't see it coming because it's never revealed why the girls were killed until the very end when the murderer confessed. I definitely suspected the accomplice in the situation because that person just seemed creepy and a jerk from the start.

Overall, I really liked this book. The beginning was interesting, the middle a bit slow, but at the end everything seems to come together and it's amazing! I'm still thinking over my final rating of this book, it's somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4 but as of right now I'm definitely rounding it up!

3.95 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where One Goes

ISBN13: 9781311022677
Pages: 244
Source: Nook

What happens when the very thing ruining your life ends up saving it?
I was never one to believe in spirits—until six years ago, when a bone-chilling accident changed my life…forever.
My name is Charlotte, but most people call me Char…and I have a special gift.
I talk to the dead.
Make no mistake, I can’t summon them. I’m only able to see and speak to the spirits that linger when they’re unable to crossover. They’re somehow weighted to the world with unfinished affairs. And for the last six years, I’ve relentlessly used my gift to help their lost souls.
But it’s come at a price. My life is dark. Feeling despondent, I’ve begun to give up. And in helping the dead, I’ve realized I haven’t allowed myself to live. With no money, no place to go, and most importantly… no hope, I’ve decided there is only one option—to end it all.
But fate is a funny thing. One minute, I’m about to leap to my death, and the next, I’m saved by Ike McDermott. The strong, striking soldier stopped me from putting an end to my despair. He’s the kind of man that smiles and brightens an entire room.
Sweet and gentle.
He is my savior.
And he’s dead.
We’ve made an agreement. He’ll help me find a place to stay and a new job if I’ll help him with his unfinished business so that he may crossover.
Ike’s unfinished matter involves his twin brother, George. George has been falling apart since Ike’s death and Ike has not been able to compel himself to crossover in peace until he knows George will be okay.
When I agreed to help, little did I know that I’d fall in love with the charming folks of Bath County, and…Ike and George McDermott.
Now, as both brothers own equal parts of my heart, I am faced with a cruel and unfair predicament. In saving George, I must let go of Ike.
But how does one let go of half of their heart?

Hello everyone! So if you read my Plan for this week, you'll know that I recently discovered this book from Aesta's Book Blog and she wrote this amazing review that had my heart racing. Of course I did the most logical thing and went on Barnes and Noble to purchase a copy for my Nook because I couldn't wait to start. Usually when a book is an impulse buy I don't start it immediately because I know I own it so there's no worry about not having it in the future. However, something about the summary just completely grabbed me and refused to let go. I started the book immediately and finished it in a day. The following review may not be my most coherent ones because the feels, but let's give it a shot~

Charlotte can see the dead which can come as both a blessing or a curse. Her parents have disowned her and think she's crazy so jumping off a bridge to end her miserable life does not seem like such a bad idea. Everything was going well until someone stopped her, correction a dead someone stops her. His name is Ike McDermont and he died in Afghanistan while on duty. His unfinished business comes in the form of his twin brother George who after finding about Ike's death has succumbed to snorting drugs and reckless sleeping around. Charlotte agrees to help George only because Ike isn't letting her jump, but as she spends more time with the brothers, she finds herself falling in love with both the sunny and dependent Ike and the moody broken George. 

Let me get things straight, the feels in this book are literally overboard. I don't know if I actually breathed at all while reading this because I was so immersed. There are moments where you're gripping the edge of the seat and you just burst out laughing because the author weaves this random comment that fits perfectly in the situation. The story is written in two points of views: Ike and Charlotte and it allows you explore both their personalities. At first I was a bit sad that we didn't get George but (little spoiler) he does get to say a bit towards the very end. Everything about this book is just so heartwarming and beautiful and as cliched as it sounds, it reminded the amazing aspects of contemporary that you just don't find in a fantasy novel.

Charlotte has been through a lot and you don't know what until later on in the story. Despite being called insane by her parents and drugged by doctors until her parents threw her money and told her to get out, she's so incredibly resilient and strong. Having to deal with a drugged up emotionally unstable man is not easy, especially when she sees herself in him, but Charlotte manages to take everything he throws at her and go with it. While some decisions she made were definitely a bit rash, everything came around and at the end if she's crying then I'm sobbing.

Ike and George. Dear Heavens help me because I can't even choose. The two brothers are so different yet so incredibly similar. If you're not fond of love triangles like I am, don't worry because this one is not your typical one. I love Ike, I actually do. He's sweet, funny, a bit of a smartass at times but all in his easy gentle way. He manages to make you smile and hold your heart because he's so incredible. The way his connection with Charlotte eased easily from distrust and annoyance (on Char's part) into an amicable friendship is pretty much due to his nature. Also that dream/fantasy life they shared, did anyone else burst into tears? George on the other hand took some time to get used to, but once he makes his way into your heart there's no going back. His relationship with Charlotte started off shaky, but as she continued to push through his walls and boundaries, he started opening up and their relationship bloomed. I think it's pretty obvious who Charlotte ends up with, but the entire book has you begging that someone miraculous is going to happen. The ending was beautiful but one hell of an emotional blow.

Final thoughts, can someone please tell me where I can find this town? Everyone here seems so incredibly nice I just want to run away and live there for a while. People like the McDermonts, Sniper, Anna, and the Mercers are just so golden and precious that it will definitely bring a smile to your face. I think it's safe to say that I adored this book and I definitely think you should go pick it up!!

“Would you dance with me tonight if you could?” - Charlotte
His brows rise, surprised by my question. Standing, he looks down at me, his expression serious. “Every fucking song.” - Ike

"Yeah well, you're growing on me. Kind of like a fungus." - George
"You really know how to make a girl feel special George," I reply, tossing my crumpled up wrapper at him. "That burger was awesome, but I probably just gained a thousand pounds eating it...Well I think I just gained a third butt cheek." - Charlotte

“It’s an odd bond. I’m fighting to give her and my brother life, while she’s fighting to help me let go. Somehow we’ve become tethered to one another, even though we both know our time is limited.” - Ike

"I'm sorry I couldn't carve that I & C in the tree for you." - Ike

4 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Planning Ahead (4)

Hello everyone! Sorry for missing last week, but I'm back with my plans for this upcoming week! I've been feeling a bit slumpy when it comes to reading lately, but I've picked up a couple books that hopefully will pull me out fast because I have so many books I want to read. Also, it's the week before break so fingers crossed that school is not going to kill me before that...

I'm currently reading this for review and it's crazy so far! It follows Alice who killed her entire class and was locked in an asylum. Then she's summoned by another asylum-dweller and serial killer Professor Cater Pillar who has interesting news: She is the Alice from Alice in Wonderland and she's the only one who can stop the other Wonderland monsters (now human serial killers) from destroying the world. 

I read the first book City of A Thousand Dolls and really enjoyed it which made me pick up the second book. So far it's amazing and I'm absolutely loving it. Everything is flowing a lot smoother than the first book and the characters are a lot more developed.

I found this book through Aesta's Book Blog whom I've been following for quite some time. Whenever she raves about a book, I'm instantly intrigued but it usually takes me a while before I pick the books up. However, like I mentioned above, I'm falling a bit into a reading slump and for some reason when I read the synopsis, I was immediately hooked and bought the book on my Nook. It's been a while since I read a contemporary and honestly, I'm really excited to feel the feels.

This is the first book to the Bhinian Empire series which I'm currently loving. I originally planned to post this last week but never got around to it so it's on the top of my list for this week! 

I think it's finally time I posted my review for this book...thank goodness I have notes written down because I don't remember much about my reaction and initial thoughts...

That's all I have for this week! Let me know what you're currently reading in the comments below!!

Foreverly Obsessed,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top 10: Book on My Spring TBR

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I did one of these posts, correction it's been forever. I didn't post a weekly plan this week because so far school's been crazy but I will try to get at least another review out before the end of the week. Anyway, as you can tell from the title, the topic for this week is to pick the Top 10 Books on your Spring TBR. I'm not 100% certain, but I think they don't have to be spring 2015 releases, so that's what I'm going to go with. I have a bunch of books so let's get just get started~

I've been eyeing this book for a long time and recently picked it up from my local library. I've been reading a ton of fantasy lately so some contemporary will be good for my state of mind.

This is a 2015 spring release and comes out on April 14. I have an ARC from Entangled Teen and I'm really excited to start it!

While this has a very wintry cover, I still plan on reading it this spring. I was given an e-ARC of the book way back in January before it was published, but haven't gotten the chance to read it yet. Emoji I really loved the first book and can't wait to see what Book 2 brings.

I'm actually already currently reading this so I'll extend it to the entire trilogy. I've been wanting to read a Trudi Canavan book for so long and now that I own two completely trilogies by her, I think it's time to start. Emoji

I wanted to read this last year when the movie came out, but didn't get around to picking it up. With The Longest Ride movie coming out in April, I want to try to read this book and watch it (along with the Longest Ride).

Heard a lot of people talk about this on BookTube and I want to read it. An added bonus is that I own it on my bookshelves so I don't have to borrow it from my library!

I read the first book last fall and really enjoyed it so I'm excited to continue on with the trilogy. The cover looks perfect for spring with all the green and trees and life.

I've wanted to read this book for FOREVER and recently was allowed a copy for review. It's a retelling of Alice and Wonderland and that's all I know, but Goodreads also has it classified as horror which I am really excited about! 

Another Spring 2015 publication (May 5) that I was given an e-ARC for review from Entangled Teen. Needless to say, I'm ready for some contemporary!

Another review book that I'm really excited for. Again, I haven't read a mermaid book in a while so I can't wait to give this one a try!

Is that 10? I always look track when doing these lists and ten is a lot harder than it looks. A bunch of these books are ones that I need to review, but I thought I'd throw them in since my TBR for each month changes with my mood. Anyway, that's my list! Let me know what are some books you're looking forward to this upcoming spring! 

Foreverly Obsessed