YEAR END CLEANING GIVEAWAY!

Can there ever be enough books? Ever since book blogging, new shiny covers in Kinokuniya Bookstore make my heart soar as much as they make wallets bleed (sorry mom). It’s the end of the year again and bookstores are gearing up for the final sales and I will be well-prepared… except one nitty gritty little detail– my room is already overflowing with books! That’s literally me when I decided one hot, sweaty afternoon (Singapore is always about hot, sweaty afternoons) to sort through all my books. I think it’s ok to call me a hero. There were the read and the unread, the loved and the hated, the old and the new, the classics and the momentary faves… too many. TOO MANY.

For books that I probably won’t get to reading in this lifetime, I have decided to give them a new home in charity/the library… also, I want to share some of them with you, my best internet friends. I picked the ones that I WOULD LOVE to read if I hadn’t:

a) bought duplicate copies
b) bought a sequel cover that doesn’t match the rest
c) decided over time that this is not a ME book… but someone else might want it!

Enough of me talking.

☆ GIVEAWAY TIME ☆

Books that I will definitely be giving away:

The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass // World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee // The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Kady Cross // Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton // Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1) by Anna Banks hardcover set of Fallen (Fallen #1) and Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

And then there may be *secret* books that I will pick for each winner!

The Modus Operandi

1. Fill in the Rafflecopter giveaway form (link below) and tell me what book(s) you want from the list above in the Free Entry section OR you could leave them in the comments if you need more typing space, just make sure your name in the comments is same as the one entered on Rafflecopter so I can identify you =)

2. You can ask for as many books, but please be nice. If you know you won’t be reading it… someone else might REALLY want that book!

3. Winners will be picked by random (based on whatever mechanism Rafflecopter works on). The first winner gets top priority i.e. all the books that he/she wants. For the remaining books, I will continue picking winners that have indicated their interest, until all the books are given away.

4. I will email the winners (min 1, max 6 woop!) for their addresses and links to their Goodreads I-WANT-IT-BAD shelves to customize their *secret* book gifts. I may not find one on my shelf that suits you, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry! I will send candies and marshmellows and cute cat photos your way.

CLICK HERE FOR A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

Giveaway is hosted according to Singapore time (GMT+8) and ends on 17 December 2014 12AM. You must be 13 years or older to enter. Open internationally. If a winner does not reply within 48hours, a new one will be chosen.

Edit 17/12/2014– Congratulations to the winners!

Sarah Skylark: Of Poseidon, World After, Everneath

Christina Helen Childers: Fallen, Torment, The Girl in the Steel Corset

Ryver: The Elite

Good luck!! So, what’s the state of your one night stand like? Or are you a lucky beauty with a gigantic home for all your pretty books? What do you do when there are TOO MANY books all over the place?

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top ten books on my winter tbr 2014

ttt-christmas

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovelies at Broke and Bookish.

RING RING RING ONE MONTH TILL CHRISTMAS!!! Winter in Singapore is basically Summer With Lots of Rain, which means it’ll be perfect to turn on my favourite 8tracks playlist, get a warm cup of green tea, and get reading!

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

Well said, Mr. Aaronovitch.

2014 releases I WILL FORGO CAKE FOR to read before the year ends:

My True Love Gave To Me // Blue Lily, Lily Blue // Heir of Fire // I’ll Give You The Sun // This Shattered World

Sophisticate Me Time?

The Bell Jar // The History of Love // The Snow Child // The Goldfinch // Things We Know By Heart

I always feel like Summer is time for the beach reads that go easy on my brain. They are the fluffy, cutesy, utterly adorable “feel good” books that you read on a sunny day with good hair boiz (fictional or otherwise). And then Winter is when things get dark and solemn i.e. time for the “sophisticated” books! Obviously this a completely arbitrary category dictated by yours truly, I suppose these books will make me wiser/ more worldly/ feel the winter chill just by holding them near me. We have Slyvia Plath, Pulitzer Prize nominee, Pulitzer Prize winner… and a Jessi Kirby book about heart transplant on the same list =)

What books are topping your TBR list this winter? Do our lists look the same, or vastly different? Books that you’ve regret not reading this year? Am I the only one with the Winter = sophisticated time idea?? Yes? Okay… okay.

Anyhow, I’d love to hear your winter plans, reading or otherwise! Have a great great time ☃❄☃

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even blizzards start with snowflakes ❄ snow like ashes by sara raasch

snowlikeashes1Published: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genre & Keywords: Fantasy
Other Books From Author: none, debut author!

I received this for review from the publisher, but that in no way swayed my opinion, promise! All quotes are taken from the advance reader’s copy and may be subject to change.

Amazon | Goodreads | @seesarawrite |

Kingdom of Winter has been conquered, its people are enslaved and magic is taken away; Until there is talk of a way to get the magic back. 

Orphaned during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

borderscribble

I was apprehensive of picking up Snow Like Ashes, what with the comparisons to epic fantasies like Graceling, Game of Thrones, Throne of Glass… When you make claims like that, you’ll have to live up to them or die a horrible death.

(Though honestly, I’d much prefer a book pitched as something I’ve never read before than something I already have.)

Snow and Ashes was an interesting fantasy read, nothing revolutionary. I will admit that I was hoping for a touch… more.

The world-building drove me nuts as I tried to keep track of names and geography and MORE names. I’ll give you a taste: there are 8 kingdoms in Primoria, spread among a huge desert, mountain ranges, rivers, and also a chasm underground that contained magic. On top of that, I had to remember names of 8 Kings/Queens, their Royal Conduits that conduct magic, political enemies and alliances and histories… whaaaat!!! I was pretty lost and ready to give up by the first 50 pages.

Of course I didn’t. With a book as hyped as Snow Like Ashes, I had to at least stay and see what the hype’s all about right?

We begin with Meria and the surviving Winterians dodging around Evil Spring King’s forces to get their Royal Conduit back. The plot took a while to get running because THE ONE THING that could save Winter was kept in wraps, and the first part was all preparatory work. I nearly cried tears of joy when we zoomed in on 3 kingdoms: Winter, Spring and Cordell. Works much better on my goldfish memory. Ms Raasch’s descriptions are extremely detailed and I settled in the slow pace to enjoy the distinct cultures of each kingdom. Again, it was interesting, but not unlike other fantasies I’ve read before.

I’m not sure where your line is drawn. For me, Meira sits on the border between Strong & Fierce and Stubborn & Reckless. The book begins with her in a sparring match with Mather, Winter’s future king, and it’s clear right off the bat that she’s all for GIRL POWER. She’s got a steadfast loyalty to Winter, deadly chakram, and temper that could make anyone fall to the ground in terror. (Celeana Sardothien, anyone?)

“Meira,” She says, her voice worn. “Please, dear, you should be grateful you aren’t needed”
I whip to her. “Just because you’d rather be patching dresses doesn’t mean all women should want that.”

It’s easy to understand her steeled personality because she’s the one girl holding up this show, and I admired her tenacity. Despite that, there were moments when I wished Meira could be more… mature?? She is bent on her ways, and faults anyone in disagreement, even if it’s for her own / the greater good. Imagine an angry bull, charging full force towards the red flag in spite of warnings to be careful. Thankfully, Meira’s obstinate nature brought more good than harm in the end, but it could have easily gone astray.

‘‘Meira, this isn’t going to fix anything—’’
‘‘Don’t care.’’
‘‘I’ve talked to him every day since he announced […] if I can’t change his mind—’’
I grit my teeth. ‘‘I. Don’t. Care.’’

✪ ✪ ✪

THE FINAL THOUGHT: Snow Like Ashes was whelming. Not overwhelming like I thought it would be, just… whelming. I still liked it– there were moments I reveled in, multiple quotes that I highlighted, favourite characters (Nessa! Sir! oh and Theron obviously) and there is still a lot more to explore(COME ON. 8 KINGDOMS????). Sadly, it gave me the same vibes as that of many other fantasy novels, so while I really enjoyed reading this – it is a good book and all – but not memorable enough for me to give it ALL THE LOVE you know?

I’m clearly the minority on this one! Have you read this? Did you like it? Would you read this? I maaaay be continuing this series, simply because the plot development in the end was phenomenal. WOWZA. I’d love to hear your thoughts (*^▽^*)

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kismet tryst ❋ isla and the happily ever after by stephanie perkins

isla-stephanieperkinsPublished: August 14th 2014 by Dutton
Genre & Keywords: contemporary
Other Books From Author: Anna and the French Kiss (Book 1), Lola and the Boy Next Door (Book 2)

Amazon | Goodreads | @naturallysteph | graphics source |

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year in the School of America in Paris. From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for them, but as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

borderscribble

I feel really terrible writing this review.

I LOVE Anna and Lola, those are my ultimate happy pills. I love Stephanie Perkins. I dived into this one trusting her flair for sweet sweet sweet sweet fluffiness (I still trust her), too bad I hadn’t prepared for hitting headfirst on rocky ground ouch.

While Anna and Lola swept me up in a dreamlike whirlwind of seeking true love, Isla WANTS to deal with the mess of falling out of love. Isla is not a cutesy love story like Anna or Lola, not that this makes Isla a terrible book, it’s just… I wasn’t mentally prepared for so much emo drama?? The more I think about it, the more I find Josh and Isla’s problems self-inflicted. They were basically out looking for relationship trouble in Barcelona, when Josh spoke on TV and didn’t tell Isla, in that limo etc. I was too tired by the end. It wasn’t the cute love story I expect but worse still, 2 teenagers with angsty first world problems.

Judging from the synopsis, I should have guessed right away that something was amiss“falling in love is easy for them”

Yeah well obviously Josh and Isla were making out before anything made sense to me. I hate love stories that say, “So these two fell passionately in love”, and expect you to believe it. Isla and Josh met once in a bar, and bam! XOXO EVERYWHERE. They somehow had a crush on each other all along… fate… kismet… I CAN’T BUY IT!!! Because I wasn’t invested in the couple in the first place, when their relationship went into trouble, got caught, couple fight, blah blah it was too much misundestanding, miscommunication, jealousy and insecurities, eventually to the point where you know what.

“I would flirt with Étienne, crush on Cricket, and date/marry Josh.” — Stephanie Perkins

Maybe not….? Josh and Isla make me feel deeply uncomfortable (e.g. rabbits), and they aren’t the most fun protagonists so it’s really hard to get into their heads. There were certain moments when I almost related to them. I could almost understand the choices they made if only I could relate to Isla’s insecurities. She thought she wasn’t good enough for Josh and she didn’t deserve to be loved. Yes, we all have these low points; I hoped against hope that she’d pull through them and learn to be strong but she didn’t. She chose to cave in to her insecurities and by then I couldn’t make myself root for her anymore.

(KINDA SPOILERY) To cheer things up a bit (because really, some dialogues are still pretty adorable and worth squealing over), the best part of this book has to be the ending when we reunited with our crew aww man. I couldn’t stop smiling!!!!!! Perfect conclusion to the series thank you so much I miss everyone I couldn’t stop smiling TOOOO CUTE ♥

Have you read this? What do you think about Isla and Josh and the other characters (like Isla’s sister???)? What were your favourite/least favourite parts? DID YOU EXPECT WHAT ÉTIENNE DID? I didn’t see it coming omg! Which is your favourite Stephanie Perkins book? If you haven’t read Isla, would you? I’d love to hear from you! :)

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