Review: Tokyo Ghoul

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Title: Tokyo Ghoul, Vol.1

Author: Sui Ishida

Length: 224

Source: Purchased.

 

 

 

I love reading manga, but the only thing that irks me about them is how short they feel. Even if I buy a bind-up of three volumes I literally fly through them in an hour! Also I don’t know why this happens but I never end up buying the rest of the series, no matter how much I liked reading the first volume! It just never happens…

BUT Tokyo Ghoul might change that (okay no I still haven’t bought the second volume and I read the first months ago, but still…). The concept was just SOOOO good, although it was dark I didn’t feel like that slowed the pace at all.

Here’s the synopsis:

‘Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.’

I was so mad at the blurb for giving away that he became half ghoul, because I thought that would be the highest point of this manga. But actually that happened within the first 40 or so pages of the first volume, the real story is what followed. Ken had no idea at the time of the surgery that he would be receiving a ghouls organ, so it was interesting to read how he discovers that he’s transformed and also what the defining characteristics of a ghoul. I was completely immersed into Kaneki’s story, his journey from rejecting his  ghoulish side to eventually coming to terms with it and discovering just how intergrated ghouls are into society.

We follow this character as he tries to find a balance between his two sides, no longer fitting in with the humans but also rejected by ghouls and also how he practically tortures himself by refusing to eat human meat! This manga had intriguing characters, a unique concept and captivating fight scenes. It’s definitely a series I hope to continue, and I’ve seen the first season of the anime which was just as good!

 

 

 

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Free Book of the Week!

I recently came across this just by chance and wanted to let as many people know about it as I could! Every week on iBooks they’re giving away… yup a free book!

Here are the books that have been given away the past two weeks:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

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  • Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch.

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I still don’t know exactly what this offer is, but all I needed to here was that they were giving away, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I was in. I don’t really read contemporary books, but this book was EVERYWHERE when it was published and I still see people talking about it now, so I thought it was worth checking out… And it was free! After that it kind of became a habit to just check what book was out that week and just download it. Although I still haven’t found a contemporary book I LOVED, maybe this might help me discover it!

This week the free book is:

Burning Moon by Jo Watson.

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This isn’t a sponsored post but I just wanted to share this opportunity, I would’ve probably never read any of these books. Who knows maybe I’ll be into contemporary after this???

REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands

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Title: Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Length: 314

Source: Received a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Everyone who follows book releases or is even remotely in touch with the online book community will have heard of Rebel of the Sands. I mean this was released the beginning of last year and there’s STILL talk about it. With the sequel just recently released (okay maybe not recently, but March is recent enough for me!) Rebel of the Sands was available to request on Netgalley and I just couldn’t help it!

I’ll just start by saying it’s probably not my favourite YA release and I’m deffo not reading the sequel. To keep my frustrated thoughts as coherent as possible I’ll just bullet point why:

  • I tried to go into this story knowing as least as possible, all I knew was that it had a middle-eastern setting (the cover kind of hints at that!) and there was magic involved. SO I wasn’t really prepared for the western concept, and I don’t think I could’ve. I don’t personally think the Western thing worked, being Moroccan means I am VERY familiar with middle-eastern culture and a lot of the aspects for me, just clashed. I tried to read it objectively, but the saloon style setting and the first scene including a shoot out , it just didn’t feel right to me.

Actually, now thinking about it, that was my main problem with this book. Everything else was just a vague blur, the main character didn’t really stand out to me, neither did the world building. It was all just a bit bland.

This is exactly why I steer away from hyped YA books. Obviously not all of them disappoint but it’s becoming hard to manage expectations when reading them. I just didn’t think that this book stood out, it went for typical YA tropes and just didn’t give me enough to have me interested in the sequel.

AUGUST TBR

So I know TBR’s are supposed to be posted towards the beginning of the month, but it always takes me too long to decide what I’m going to read + actually make the post, that it turns into a wrap-up post.

Also I didn’t know reviewing slumps were a thing? I’m reading books but when it comes to writing the review it just feels so longggg that I just move on to my next book. AND I had my uncle’s wedding this month, so I REALLY started reading around a week ago…

Anyway here’s my TBR:

  • The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker:

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I’m struggling so hard to finish this, not because it’s particularly bad, but it’s just SO dark. There’s is no relief from this intense and creepy vibe that as soon as I got halfway I started dreading reading it. Here’s the synopsis:

             The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it’s everything they’ve begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker’s horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

  • Wrecked by Maria Padian

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  • A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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  • Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

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Also I found a bookshop in Morocco that sells YA books in English, anddd I kind of went over the top… But I thought this was my chance to pick up some really hyped YA books and I can’t decide which one to start with… Comment below which of these I should read first:

  1. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
  2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

REVIEW: The Crown’s Game

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Title: The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye

Length: 399

Source: Received a review copy from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book was probably the first hyped YA fantasy book I had read in a WHILE, it was published I around May last year and I avoided it for the longest time. I’ve had some experience being disappointed with over-hyped YA fantasy books, so I tend to come back to them when they’re almost forgotten about.

The synopsis included magic, historical fiction set in Russia and a duel to find the Russia’s next Imperial Enchanter so… I’m in!  So basically there are two competitors Vika and Nikolai (hint: some obvious YA romance transpires between these two) who have been training their whole lives to become the Imperial Enchanter and work alongside the Tsar. They each get a turn to pretty much woo the Tsar with their magic, the winner becomes a valued adviser to him, the loser is sentenced to death.

Being completely honest I wish there was a little more focus on the magical aspect of this story. As mentioned before there’s romance involved between the two competitors, and for the most part that’s what I felt like the focus was on. It was also another case of instalove, and the relationship development between these two characters was not the best, so I couldn’t even follow that aspect. BUT the writing style is something that stood out to me, the writer set a tone from the beginning that was consistent throughout. The story is set in Russia and to celebrate the Prince’s birthday  the two enchanters perform tricks that transform the city, and the imagery really helped to make all the scenes so clear and vivid. And I don’t have the most creative imagination so she’s THAT good.

I was a little disappointed with this book, especially because I didn’t see how the magic performed by the two enchanters would be useful to the Tsar in the future. So I didn’t really see the practical side of this whole competition. At the same time, I’m invested enough to read the sequel and I want to see where the story goes from here, because the ending was a little… interesting.

REVIEW: Glitter

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Title: Glitter

Author: Aprilynne Pike

Length: 384

Source: Received a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

In all honesty this was a book that I requested 90% because of the cover… but the synopsis was not bad either. Basically this was set in France, where Versailles still lived in the 18th century whereas everywhere else was modern day. The problem with this society was that once you were a part of it, it became very difficult to escape. ESPECIALLY if you were to wed the king of this castle. So our main protagonist comes up with this ingenious plan to sell cosmetics, that had drugs incorporated in them, in the castle, to raise enough funds to aid her escape.

At this point in time I was really looking for a book that wasn’t too dense but also was interesting enough for me to immerse myself. This was a perfect LIGHT read, I read it in about a day or two (which is fast for me!) aspects like the world building were actually really good, considering the setting I didn’t really have high expectations! The characters were well developed, the main character wasn’t the most complex, but also wasn’t the most typical YA female protagonist.

Just reading the synopsis you could tell this wasn’t going to be the most complex story you’ll read but I also found that it tried to do too many genres and so couldn’t actually fulfill even one of them . Although it had aspects that could’ve been developed into much more it limited itself to being a simple story. That’s why I would recommend this as a light read, something to read if you’re probably in a reading slump and looking for a way out!

Review: Stealing Snow

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Title: Stealing Snow

Author: Danielle Paige

Length: 375

Source: Received a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

This was a book that I couldn’t miss during it’s release, there was soooo much hype built around it. I haven’t read the Dorothy Must Die series, but I heard amazing things about that series so when I found this on Netgalley I couldn’t help but request it. I think this is a retelling but honestly I’m not sure whether this really was supposed to be a retelling of Snow White or The Snow Queen. The only Snow White element it had was that whilst Snow was in the mental facility she called the seven pills she had to take dwarves, other than that it leaned MUCH more towards TSQ.

I had two issues with this, the abundance of YA tropes and how distant the world and characters felt. It followed the story of a girl who everyone thinks is crazy, but is just misunderstood and actually destined to rule a kingdom. WHICH I guess would’ve been FINE, if the characters and the world were complex and developed. But this story lacked both of these things. For the most part I felt like even the main character couldn’t care less about what happened to her in this story. Even the ending, had I been more invested I MIGHT’VE felt something for Snow, but even she felt like an outsider in her own story so it left me feeling a bit…meh. The aspect that got me through this book was the writing style, it made going through this book a little easier (it took me around a month to finish this book :/)

I feel like this was a book I could’ve done without, it didn’t really leave me feeling any type of way at all. I just felt so indifferent the entire time I was reading, which is probably why it took me so long to get through it!

July TBR/Wrap-up

I haven’t made a TBR post in a while, mostly because I stopped planning and just picked up whatever I wanted to read. The problem with that is I end up reading much less, because I procrastinate picking my next read! So here’s my (very late) TBR:

  • Miss Christie Regrets
  • Stealing Snow

I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one, but I really liked the concept (and the cover) so I requested it on Netgalley and received copy. I’m about 85% through and I have mixed feelings about it, I heard it was a retelling of Snow White but honestly felt more like a retelling of The Snow Queen. I’ll stop here before this turns into a full on review, but that should be up on my blog next week!

  • The Crown’s Game

Probably my favourite read of this month, I literally flew through this in about a day. I travelled to Morocco a few days ago and only packed 2 books with me, this and Outlander. Mainly because I have around 90 books on Kindle that I haven’t read, and I wanted to get through those first! I’m rambling again… Although I enjoyed reading it, it had some major problems that I’ll discuss in the review!

  • Rebel of the Sands

I was really looking forward to reading this, all I knew was that it had mystical beasts and magic. But I read the synopsis to familiarise myself with the story, and it reveals too much! I feel like I already know what’s going to happen just from reading the summary.

I know this TBR/Wrap-up is ridiculously late but I wanted to get back into the habit of posting them, because my reading becomes much more organised when I do

REVIEW: RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW


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Title: Rarity from the Hollow

Author: Robert Eggleton

Length: 284

Source: Received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

I’ve read some books with pretty strange concepts, but this honestly has to top that list. I’ll just let the synopsis summarise this story because honestly I couldn’t:

‘Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.

Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.’

I’ll start by saying this was a book I couldn’t finish, I got about 40% through and it was just too confusing for me to carry on. It felt like I had to put SO much effort just to read each page. The concept was bizarre but that wasn’t the problem, I personally think it was the world building and character development that were the problem.

If the story has concepts that are difficult for the reader to grasp easily, I feel like usually the character or the setting tend to compensate for that. If I can somewhat relate to the main character, or even just understand them that’s enough for me to finish any book. For me this story just didn’t give me enough to carry on reading through the weirdness, the main character felt a bit distant, and the familial relationships weren’t really developed.

There are talking trees, a creepy alien, and a main character with a mission to save the universe. If reading stories with weird concepts is something you enjoy, this  is definitely out there.

Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

NOTE: The character mentioned above (Faith) is a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual content is present in this novel.

Update Post!

Well, it’s been a while… I was doing well up until the posts I made in advance were all posted and I had to sit down and make new ones. A LOT has happened, but I feel like I’ll just be listing more excuses as to why I was slacking in posting (once again!). So instead I just wanted to make an update post on what I’ve been up to whilst I was gone and (few!) books I’ve read!

All in all I think I read maybe 5/6 books whilst I was off blogging, probably another reason why I didn’t blog much. When I stop reading I feel like I’m out of the book blogging loop. I have no idea what’s been going on, what new releases have come out and what books have been doing really well!

Some of the books I’ve read:

  • Tokyo Ghoulby by Sui Ishida
  • Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
  • Rarity of the Hollow by Robert Eggleton
  • Miss Christie Regrets by Guy Fraser-Sampson

I think this list pretty much highlights how diverse my reads are!

I also decided to start learning Korean. I’ve always had an interest in learning languages but I never follow through with what I started! Spanish and French were the two languages I started self studying, but kind of just forgot about them… I feel like the same is happening with Korean, just after teaching myself how to read it I kind of just felt meh about the whole thing.

I know for the most part this blog post has been everywhere, it’s always hard making a blog post after being out of it for a while, it all feels a little awkward. I’ll be posting reviews starting next week, and on that note I’m currently NOT accepting any more books for review for a little while. When it gets to a point where I have more books that I own that I haven’t read, I’m forcing myself to get through what I’ve accumulated rather let that pile get bigger!

Let me know in the comments what posts you would like to see from this blog, what should be my topics for my next discussion posts?