Top 5 Wednesdays: Books To Get You Out of A Reading Slump

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Welcome! To a Top 5 Wednesday. I hope to do these, too. Just to get me in the mood to blog again. Words, words, words, we need a lot of words that are understandable and clear to the majority of the human race.

Top 5 Wednesday is created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Check out the Goodreads group!

Now my friends, I am not a noob when it comes to reading slumps. I faced a lot of it while doing big projects. The feeling goes: I’m halfway through a good book, and then suddenly the workload comes pouring in. I end up disregarding the book’s existence for days. When I get back to it, the slump hits me in the face.

But, during my lay low days, I ended up discovering books that can cure the slump. After the long months of hitting rock bottom just to get things passed, I have discovered the what kind of books to pick to get me back into a reading mojo. And here are some of them:

5. If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

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Re: Read a short book. 

Honestly, this book is too cute to not recommend. It’s a short book, and it’s honestly just cute and fluffy. Dogs + food descriptions + hot guy + family ties + body love.

If The Dress Fits can be like a palette cleanser if you want to feel a lot of feels real easy and quick.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Re: Read a book that will keep you on your toes

Sure, people say that this can either put you in a slump even more, but I say that it gives you back that hunger for books. We Were Liars kept me on the edge of my seat because it has been a really long while since I last read a book in one sitting. I stayed up until 2 am just to finish this book. I kept my guard up for this book and it still got me in the end.

Be warned, but also have a fun time in reading it. Just keep your guard up.

3. Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Re: Read a fluffy book.

What I meant by fluffy is that you should pick something so sweet that it will give you cavities. That will wake you up. Perfect example is Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Not only will you score some bonus points for checking out if it really lives up to its name (it does, friend), but you also get OREOS.

OREOS are what I call the cast of this book. Everyone is giving me cavities for being the best cast ever, especially Blue. (Not you, Martin. No oreos for you.)

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Re: Read something out of your comfort zone

Science fiction is not exactly the genre that I would normally reach out to when I am in the mood to read. I do not read it at all times, and majority of my books are still mostly contemporary. But I have to give it to Illuminae for breaking a slump. I guess if we don’t usually read books outside our comfort zone, it gives us that push to get out there and finish it. The action, the intensity, and the interesting format made me stick to the world.

Granted, this one took me weeks to get through. But I ended up reading continuously after. Plus, this book is huge. I don’t know if I have read something else that is so gloriously long.

1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Re: Read your favorite book.

Do I even have to explain this one when it honestly speaks for itself? My love for this book echoes to the beyond. When I am in a reading slump, this book is the first book that I pick up. It gives me comfort, and it reminds me of how great books can be. The Perks of Being A Wallflower is the best thing for me to read whenever I feel like I don’t know what happens next (basically me when I read something that left me lying around for days.)

But this one must serve as a last resort. Reading slumps are basically inner demons. There is more than one way to conquer it. Think of this as the Excalibur, or the lucky token. You only take it out if there’s no way out.


So what books do you guys read when you’re in a reading slump? I would like to know more about it. 🙂

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Books I Loved Less || Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Continuing my spree of surprising people with a series of posts, here we have a Top Ten Tuesday. Oh my word. And it’s going to talk about books that I loved less? (Woman, who are you?) New and improved. I have been on a reading journey the past year and I realized a lot of things that I did not know about myself. Yes, I was still reading last year. I just did not have the time to socialize lol. Anyways, let’s get to through this Top Ten (Five) Tuesday, shall we?

Side note: I am not saying that I don’t like these books (with the exception of the last one), but these are generally the books that I thought that I will absolutely love. It ended up being less than what I thought they were going to be. Oh expectations, and the hype. *sigh* And yes, these books are in order. If it is your favorite, yay for you! You liked it, and I didn’t (which is sad for me).

5. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I wanted to like Gemina. I really did. It was one of my most anticipated reads last year, and I almost sacrificed an arm and a limb to get my hands on an advanced reader’s copy. But luckily, I did not.

I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly loving a new character named Ella. She was another girl behind the computers and I bet she and my mom Kady will get along just fine. The chemistry between Hannah and Nik did not work well with me, and I still shipped Kady and Ezra more. The fact that the characters from the last book had more impact on me than the characters that were basically in the last 500 pages is saying a lot. The action was still there, and I am still very much intrigued on how the series will go from there. I just thought that this one will automatically get 5 stars from me.

4. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

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For crying out loud, this was a historical fiction novel. Bianca, this should have been automatically rated as a 5-star read. I know, right? But why not, you ask?

I found myself dragging over some of the parts, like Jacob and Zofia’s perspectives. I need not to read their endeavors since I did not get much at all. I was also excited to just immerse myself in the world, but the characters took that one star away from making it a 5.

I like books with multiple perspectives, and 3rd person narratives are always the best kind of books to read for me. I found Alexander nice, and Katerina lovely. The queen was definitely a character that I would want to read more of. That’s why I was still able to give the 4 star rating for this book.

3. Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

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Oh man. I had such high hopes for this book. Again, it all comes down to expectations. I wanted to read something that will hit me hard in the feels. Yet, did this book deliver? Not really, as I stated in my review.

It did succeed in giving me a lot of feels, feelings of hatred for one of the main characters. Mia was unbearable. I understand where her hatred is coming from, but she came off really strong and unpleasant.

I generally loved everything else, the message it wants to get out there, and the writing style. It was actually quite refreshing to read a book set outside the United States. //shot But the feelings were all negative, accompanied by a resolution that was just meh, and a character that did not look like she will change for the better.

2. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

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WE GET IT. YOU BROKE UP. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE 400 PAGES LONG?

I ended up DNF-ing this book after wanting it for so long. Our school library had it on its shelves (much to my surprise)  and I wanted to lay back and just read. I ended up returning it the two days after with a whole week still under my belt because I just had enough.

What I read was a string of conclusions that are woven to make a coherent conclusion realizable from the very first page. Do you get me? As for now, this one gets two stars from me. Writing style is okay, and the art was simply gorgeous, but with everything that is spiraling around, it gets a no from me right now.

1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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I had a series kick last year, and this one was actually on my list. I did expect to like it, because my own classmates gave me good ratings for this book. But sad to say, yes. I hate this book because of the CHARACTERS again.

Juliette annoyed every fiber of my being and so did Adam and Warner, who I think are both dominant and abusive as fudge. This book was just full of bad decision-making. -_-

I discontinued reading the sequel despite wanting some more Kenji action (who I think is the most sensible person in this entire trilogy). I had hopes that Juliette would make more sense in the next book, but it ended up like a cliche. I was able to predict the next twists and turns, based on the direction that those guys are headed. But fret not, it could have been a one star if not for Tahereh Mafi’s glorious writing style. I love you guys, and I know that a lot of you loved this book in particular. But I am not sorry for disliking these characters. The frustration was just strong.


I narrowed the list down to five because we could be here all day if I did list down ten books. I actually have more books to share about but this post is getting too long for me. I might be boring you with the details already.

And that’s a Tuesday for you and for me.

What books should I give a second look to? What books did you expect to love and loved less? Let me know so we can chat in the comments below!

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PH Blog Tour: Nevernight (Review)

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Before Reading:

I don’t really know what I am getting myself into. Kidding! Of course I know what this is. Jay Kristoff has a history of ripping people’s hearts out in pieces. I could give you Illuminae for that. But this is not it. Nevernight’s on the spotlight now, and it has the moment. Considering how I am shattered and devastated by Jay’s writing style, I decided to give it another go because it comes with the weirdness of my inner self. This book is beautiful, dark, gritting, and is unlike any book I have ever seen.

Please don’t tear me to bits.

Too late.

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Title: Nevernight

Author: Jay Kristoff

Genre: Young Adult (?), Fantasy

Date Published: 9th of August 2016

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Source: Paperback, ARC for the tour

Rating: 4/5 stars on Goodreads

Buy it on: Amazon / TBD

Summary:

The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

After Reading:

I do not have feelings. I am numb. I do not know what to feel. What is this sensation that is left within me? Am I even allowed to even speak or squeal? I can feel a reading slump brewing. OH MY gods…

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Entering a new world is always scary, especially if that specific genre is not your usual cup of tea. Yet in all of the glory it holds, Nevernight managed to convince me to stay and read the bloody book in less than a hundred pages. Nevernight is an example of an exquisite and delicate book with a promise so great that it could instantly hook you in. It also has it’s fair share of your usual young adult fantasy tropes that will hit you right in the face if you’re as meticulous of a reader as I am. Add in an author who is fantastically hilarious, and you get 600 pages worth of all the sleep that you may need to sacrifice to finish this badass book.

Within Nevernight’s pages is the world of Mia Corvere, a girl who is out to seek revenge for her family’s downfall in the hands of powerful men. She enters the Red Church to be trained as a deadly assassin, where she faces the challenges that will either make or break herself. I cannot help but draw my comparison of Mia Corvere to Juliet Capulet in the anime adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. They have similarities in regards to what motivates them to do what they do, and seeing that comparison helped me to connect with Mia. Mind you, I have a history of disliking female characters in some cases so this book automatically gets plus points for that. But the comparison with Juliet stops there, because Mia is not your sometimes damsel in distress. She is still a growing character, and I want to continue on hoping that as the series will progress, she will grow into a character worth of all the praise that anyone could throw at her. She is a strong individual who can stand alone, and I admire her for that. She is an amazing female lead that many can look up to.  She is honorable, courageous, and imperfect. Honestly, she might not even need a love interest. That is how badass she is.

In Mia’s journey, we get this array of characters that we have to be careful not to have feelings for, because as a reader, you must keep your guard up on this book. We get a look of her mentors, who are (almost) too good in almost every aspect. They are almost intimidating, but there is this side of them that is still practically human. As for her peers, let me just say that I will never look at people the same way again. It is difficult not to judge a book by the cover, but you can always see through if you are observant enough.

It is not difficult to get into Nevernight’s atmosphere because of Jay Kristoff’s beloved footnotes. Not only were they hilarious, but they were a reliable souce to get you hooked into the story. Think of the footnotes as your crash course to the history of Itreya. It is my personal liking to know more about the history of the world that I am getting myself into. The setting of Ancient Rome and The Prince of Venice sat well with me. I could just imagine the grandiose and the extravagance of it all. And I would dare not leave out the Red Church. The Red Church is breathtaking, almost as if it will kill you with it’s beauty. It is the perfect setting for would-be assassins and their respectful Shahids. I love the brutality, the frankness, and the attitude that the Red Church gives out. Not really surprised if someone is already dying in the next book. Kidding.

Noting these factors, I would recommend you read Nevernight in all of the glory it contains. Not only would you expect blood, but you will expect something different. Mia Corvere is not your typical YA heroine, and Nevernight is not your typical book with similar fantasy plots. Give this book a try, and you might get that #stabstabstab vibe, too.

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Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Follow Jay on social media!

Facebook || Twitter || Blog || Instagram || Goodreads


Huge thanks to Kate at The Bookaholic Blurbs for letting me join this lovely tour for Nevernight and Harper Voyager UK for providing the ARC for the tour. I will also be leaving the links of the other blogs who joined the tour so as to spread more love for this amazing book. (Also for you, the reader, in case you need more proof of Nevernight’s sheer awesomeness.)

JM at Book Freak Revelations – [Review]

Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions – [Review]

Imogene at Amidst the Pages – [Review]

Mara at Mara Was Here – [Review]

Kim at Divergent Gryffindor – [Review]

Lyra at Defiantly Deviant – [Review]

Kazhy at My Library In The Making – [Review]

Kai at Amaterasu Reads – [Review]

Kate at The Bookaholic Blurbs – [Review]

Alright. I know that I am not alone on this lovely train. Hit me up with your thoughts on Nevernight and let’s fangirl over in the comment section.

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Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Book Review

Before Reading:

Sometimes, when you’re new to the book blogging business, you go with the flow. And in that flow, comes the hype. I would have had never heard of Illuminae if I did not have the guts to create this blog in the process. But seeing how people seem to melt for it is something else. And to the flow of the river did I drift in.

Okay, what is all the hype about? I felt intimidated by this book that I don’t even know if I will jump on the train or not. It is just so huge. Yet, being a book blogger and a book enthusiast, one cannot help it when one discovers something equivalently epic as it’s shell. Is it the hype? Is it about the way the book is presented? Or does it have powers unknown to man but it attracts one? I dare not say because the attraction was real. If you see Illuminae on your local bookstore, you grab it. Especially if it is one of the two copies out. You grab it, because it’s calling out your name. The premise alone is as intriguing as can be.

Alright, I know I will gain extra bragging rights if I finish this humongous book.

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Title & Author: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre:  Young Adult- Science Fiction

Year Published: October 20th 2015

Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Publisher: Knopf Books

Source: Hardbound, Bought (National Bookstore)

Rating:  

Stars 4 blah

Summary:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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After Reading:

I cannot even. Is that the proper way to say it? My mind is out of words to describe this huge phenomenon. I was speechless and dumbstruck. It was mindblowing. To be honest, that was my first time reading a Sci-Fi novel. And I can definitely say that the experience was ridiculous. Why have I never picked up a sci-fi book before? Maybe it’s because of the Star Wars fever. Maybe it’s the hype. Maybe… just maybe… it makes you wonder how Illuminae got built in the first place. I would really need to read more sci-fi.

Final Thoughts

Illuminae offers a unique perspective when it comes to how you want to present a book to your audience. Believe me, when you present it to a non-reader, they will look at it in awe. It is unique in every way possible, but it still gives you that thrill in reading. It was fast-paced, incredibly constructed, and surreal.

When it comes to the characters, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason are the real star-crossed lovers of the 25th century. Faith made them break up on the eventful day a company attacked their planet, changing the course of their lives forever. Just by that statement, you could immediately assume that they are not your ordinary teenage lovers. Although the book did focus more on Kady, Ezra still stood out as a character of his own right. (I think the part where he said he was at least 6 feet got my attention.) You could easily root for the two of them, despite their clearly different personalities. You have to, because you want to.

Meanwhile, the supporting characters give much more insight. They will smash your heart into smitherins because even if they only appear in a slight number of pages. It will make you question a lot of the things that are happening in the book, because of what has happened to them. I would not be stating any of their names because I would want you people to discover them yourselves. They were all so unique, and it felt like they deserved their own story. On everything that was happening in the book, you will feel attached to some of them. They are all distinguished to avoid confusion from any other supporting character. Watch out for AIDAN, folks. That one felt real. Bravo to that. It was similar to walking in a pit of darkness with a dim light in your hands. You never know what to expect from it. So look out for it.

Overall, Illuminae came into our lives and it delivers. Not everybody could pull off a book that is narrated through different types of files and transcripts. Honestly, if someone said that to me, I will say that they have lost their senses. But from the way Illuminae was made top-to-bottom, it made sure that it will give you the best feeling ever from conquering the humongous book. Illuminae sounded crazy, but it made crazy the new best thing. The hype is real on this one. Prepare the fandom ships, because Illuminae is here to stay.

Author

or authors rather…

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Amie is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the award-winning These Broken StarsThis Shattered World, Their Fractured Light and Illuminae. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Amie writes science fiction and fantasy for young (and not so young) adults.

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Jay Kristoff has managed to trick the world into thinking he’s an author. His award-winning steampunk series, THE LOTUS WAR and the New York Times bestselling sci-fi novel ILLUMINAE, the first of a trilogy, are out now. A new fantasy series, NEVERNIGHT, hits shelves in 2016.


No regrets. Now I just need to read more science fiction. Now run along and let’s try to keep our heads together before Gemina comes out.

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