2014 End of Year Bookish Survey

January 1, 2015

The survey is created by the wonderful Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner
I did the end of year bookish survey for the first time in 2013, and I loved it. I cant believe a year's gone by so fast, and here we are again!

Looking Back... Looking Ahead

December 31, 2014


I don't think it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that 2014 has been pretty much the most hectic year of
My. Entire. Life.

I was so determined at the beginning of the year to implement some new things around here, but things just kept happening without a break, and the blog very noticeably suffered from it. While earlier, it was more out of laziness than anything else that posts around here were sporadic, this year, inspite of truly trying, I realised that there comes a time when sometimes you stretch yourself thin, you wont be able to give your best to anything. And I wasn't ready to blog halfheartedly.

Oh, and in case you weer wondering about those *solemn voice*goals and resolutions*end solemn voice* I made at the beginning of 2014... I barely succeeded at any of them and they're not worth mentioning, honestly. I knew I should've never made resolutions :/

Since I'm so making lists, I thought it'd be fun to make a list of all that's occurred this year and look at it in all its glory.

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley

December 29, 2014

Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N Hensley
Publication date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Comtemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.

At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.
Do you guys remember the Disney movie Cadet Kelly? That real feel good movie with Hilary Duff? That was the first thing that came to mind when I read Rites of Passage's blurb, and also a huge motivator towards requesting this book. And guess what? There actually is a Cadet Kelley in the story! How cool is that?

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

December 23, 2014

Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publication date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Do you know, originally, I had no intentions of reading this book.

I love high fantasy, and owing to my intolerance for anything short of amazing (when it comes to this genre), I don't start a fantasy series until I've heard/seen several positive reviews. Soon after Snow Like Ashes was uploaded on Edelweiss, I started hearing good things about it on almost all my feeds. A couple of weeks later, I caved and downloaded a copy.

Mini Review: Random by Tom Leveen

August 23, 2014

Title: Random
Author: Tom Leveen
Publication date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
Who's the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It's a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he'll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can't help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…
Is it possible to completely dislike a book but still learn a lot from it? Because that's how I feel about Random by Tom Leveen.

Earlier this week, I wrote about how I felt Random's cover revamp was a change for the worse. But that's not all about the book that disappointed me. A lot of things about this story, right from the protagonist to the conclusion and the 'twist' fell absolutely flat for me.

Book Cover Changes Before Publication

August 20, 2014

I think we can all agree by now that we are not immune to book covers. As much as we like to bandy about the old adage 'Dont judge a book by its cover', at the end of the day, the cover does have a significant effect on our opinion of a book. And if you dont know this already, you should know that I'm a bit of a cover snob.

Much has been said about cover changes after the publication of a book, be it entire cover revamps or even cover alternatives from region to region. Features have been formed, cover battles and showdowns take place... there's almost an entire sub-section in book blogging devoted to book covers! But I was wondering, has anyone considered cover changes before publication?

We all have seen that little sticker saying 'Cover Not Final' on our ARCs, but for the most part, the cover on the ARC is pretty much the same thing that will end up on the cover of the final print. Even if changes are made, they're pretty minor, and worked into the basic design.

Review: In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

August 12, 2014

Title: In A Handful of Dust
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Post Apocalyptic
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.
INITIAL REACTION UPON COMPLETION:
This book is such brilliant work! I didn't think I could admire Lynn anymore than I already did, but Mindy McGinnis, thank you for proving me wrong! Lucy, on the other hand... Hmm...
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