Intimidating TBR Tag

Hey guys! It’s that time again, when Michaela and I do some tags! We’ve been talking a lot recently about TBRs–and how bad we are at them. BUT, they are important and we have very long ones. This is my version of this tag, and Michaela’s will be out soon as well!

Posts Mentioned in the Video

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From the Notebook: Top 10 Series I NEED to Finish!

So, last week’s video was made of some rather unpopular opinions, as I discussed the Top 10 series I would never finish. On the heels of that, I boomeranged back the other way this week with a MUCH more positive (but no less expressive) video about the top 10 series I could have finished … but haven’t. Ergo, I need to get on finishing these series RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Ahem. Anyways, enjoy!

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Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I’ve Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

See, this is where my ya lit obsession starts to let me down. I mean, c’mon guys. Very few of you have figured out that it’s really boring to see ANOTHER girl in a dress on a cover. So these are my top ten choices from all around the board! (If you give any picture a click, you’ll head to the Goodreads page!)

princessAsunder

CrewelStormdancer

Shadow and BoneIncarnate

Eonanefertiti

Alphabet of Thornslioness rampant

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually pretty straight forward. This is a YA blog, and I could say some profound things about world building in YA, but instead I’m going to focus on GOOD world building this time around. Ready? Here we go!

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you haven’t picked this up now, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I believe I said that in my 5 star review. This world is as fantastically built as Game of Thrones, without all the things I don’t like about Game of Thrones, all the way through the characters and the dialogue. EVERYTHING about this book is amazingly awesome.

2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Though I made many comments about the characterization in this novel in my review, the world absolutely knocked me off my feet. Russian magic? With clothing that’s describes like costumes you just HAVE to own? FANTASTIC images that pop off the page? This has it ALL. I recommend this to all those looking for a unique read.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Don’t really think I have to explain this to most folks. I mean, is there anyone left on the planet that reads YA but hasn’t read this? Well, for you guys, best dystopian novel out there, hands down.

4. The Girl of Fire of Thorns by Rae Carson

I basically bought this book for a unique world, and I wasn’t disappointed. The characters were awesome and at the end Carson dropped a BOMB OF FANTASTIC on the whole plot line. I loved every little bit of this, and it was one of the first books I reviewed!

5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

If you missed my review of this, you missed a whole heck of a lot of CAPS. It was just as beautiful as the book’s cover. From the dragons to the city to the notion that love does not depend on gender, Incarnate was a work of art that everyone should read.

6. Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This one I was reminded of because I’m currently hosting a giveaway for this entire series, but basically it’s a fantasy world made up of shapeshifters that is amazingly awesome.

7. The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

You guys have no idea how much I could link to this review, but it’s not out yet. If memory serves, it’ll be up next week or the week after, since this book doesn’t come out til September. The important thing, though, is that this was the most amazing description of urban fantasy I’d ever read.

8. Eon by Alison Goodman

Japanese based world with huge country and DRAGONS. Seriously, what else do you need? Nothing, it’s nothing. The characters were also just as unique as the setting, which was awesome.

9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

How many times have I talked about this book? I know it’s a lot, so I’m not going to stay very long here…

10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Talk about a fantastic world building and a unique concept. I didn’t really like the following two books, but this one was pretty fantastic.

Review: “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads | Amazon

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

4 stars

I should probably tell you that Shadow and Bone was one of my most anticipated debut of the year. I mean seriously, that blurb? I bent over BACKWARDS to get myself a copy of it.

I couldn’t have been more excited for the world, and I was right. The mythology, the society–everything. It was just so utterly fantastic. I admit, at times I wasn’t entirely following what was going on, but that was okay because I was able to get just enough information to take a stab at what they actually meant. I wish I could be more articulate about the world, but I’ve been trying here and I just lapse into nonsensical LOVE SO MUCH. Basically: If you pick up this book because you want to see a new world, you will NOT be disappointed.

Alina, the main character, isn’t a bad narrator. She had some realistic responses, even though she feels a bit petulant at times. By biggest hang up with her, though, was the romance. (If you know me, this is the point where you roll your eyes and go “Of course you did, you are NEVER happy with YA romance, dear sweet creator of chocolate.”) Alina seems to be legitimately hung up on her childhood friend Mal in the beginning, but then she goes “Whoops I’m in love with the Darkling now!” Stupidly in love, too. Then she goes, “Whoops I never really trusted the Darkling at all I love you Mal!” Unfortunately, I’ve learned to glaze my eyes over when this sort of thing happens in YA now.

Plus, with this world, I was willing to give Bardugo a million and three chances. 😛

The book began with a good amount of action that slipped in the middle and then jumped up back at the end. To be fair, the entire middle was spent trying to explain Shadow and Bone’s world and the magic and I drank it all in. Every description was spectacular, down to the Grisha’s robes which I now want to own. NOW PLEASE.

It was also at the end that other things started slipping. Big, spectacular moments that could have been dragged out for dramatic purposes were clipped over and several plot devices at the end didn’t seem to fit. For the whole last fourth, I wanted to yell NO NO SLOW DOWN, GIMME MORE. I guess several things couldn’t be completely explained because the novel was written in the first person, but still. Too many plot points twisted out of Alina’s sight for me to understand them clearly.

All and all, I found Shadow and Bone to be a solid debut novel. Bardugo has crafted a unique world that I want to fall into over and over again. Though almost too many things were left unexplained, I still cannot wait for the second book to come out. I recommend Shadow and Bone to any fans of YA fantasy, especially those looking a new and unique world. Despite my griping about the romance, it certainly isn’t a large focus point of the novel–which is a selling point for me, a detriment for others, but there you have it.

Bottom line? READ THIS.

The second book in the Grisha Trilogy, Seige and Storm, is expected to be released in 2013.

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) (Click for Goodreads)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Expected Publication Date: June 5th, 2012

Summary from Goodreads: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Why I’m Waiting: There are times when I hate putting that subject header there, because it’s like you guys didn’t just read that summary and already know the answer to this question. I mean, seriously. I have been desperately looking for something new and unique, and this looks like it could be it! The reviews I’ve seen so far have been amazingly positive all around, so that counts for something. Plus, I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS. That is all. (Plus, Veronica Roth blurbed it. DUDES.)