Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books I've Read So Far This Year

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic is…  Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015
This is a tough topic!  I’ve read so many amazing books this year.  Seriously, though, this has been an amazing year for me, reading wise.  I’m happy to be able to share with you guys my Top Ten best books so far this year.  I hope you get the chance to read these, because they’re all amazing. 
Also, these are in no particular order. 

What books blew me away this year?

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
This was my first Marie Lu book ever and I absolutely loved the writing.  This book wasn’t perfect, but I loved the story, the way it made me feel.  I loved the darkness of the story and the darkness of the MC, Adelina.  Adelina is and anti-hero and I feel like there should be more of that in YA.  I’d definitely read more books from the point of view of the villain. 

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
I finally read The Book Thief in the beginning of this year.  And it was just as amazing as I’d hoped it would be.  This was an amazing book and I loved reading historical fiction again.  It’s a book that anyone, no matter whether you read YA or not, will enjoy.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
This book was AMAZING.  This was my first official Morgan Matson books and it blew me away.  I loved the characters, the story, the friendships.  This is a beautiful summer story about friendship, gaining them and losing them.  About not being afraid to try new things and about discovering yourself.  I can’t recommend this one enough!

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I couldn’t NOT put this one on my list.  The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorites and the conclusion did not disappoint.  It wrapped up beautifully and I love this world and these characters so much.  Who else is pumped for Daemon’s upcoming book?? 

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is such an amazing fantasy series with a strong, kick butt protagonist, a great love interest, plus magic.  I thought I would never find another series like Throne of Glass.  And while they are still completely unique, Poison Study had aspects that reminded me so much of Throne Of Glass.  If you’re a fan of Throne of Glass, you’ll love Poison Study and the amazing characters like Yelena and Valek. 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
I’d heard great things about Colleen Hoover, but I was still surprised.  She manages to create an amazing love story with characters you can root for.  But, still at the same time, writes an amazing novel that deals with big issues and leaves you thinking on a deeper level that most comtemporary/romance books. 

The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas
This was written by Sarah J. Maas, was there really any doubt that it would be one of my favorites of the year?  I loved getting to see Celaena back in her assassin days.  That’s something I wanted to read about from the first time I picked up Throne Of Glass and I was so happy to get a little more insight into Celaena and her backstory.  Plus, SAM. *SOBS*

All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors and it has been a while since we’d gotten a new series from her, so I was beyond excited.  She managed to do it again, in that same Ally Carter style.  I fell in love with the world, the setting, the characters, and the mystery surrounding Embassy Row. 

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
This is one I’ve just read recently, but I was so amazed by this book.  It has relatable characters, a great message and such amazing friendships.  It provides a look at mental illness (specifically OCD).  This was an incredible book and it comes highly recommended. 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
This book was mind blowing.  It was everything I’d been hearing about it and more. Wonderfully written, amazing characters and character development and an immersive setting.  I fell in love with this book and I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel. 

All of these books were hands-down, five star reads for me.  I fell in love (and am still in love) with all of these books.  I very highly recommend each and every one of these and hope you get the time to check them out!

There were also quite a few that I couldn’t fit on the list:  Something Real by Heather Demetrious, Splintered by A.G. Howard, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski.  They were all great, so check those out too.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Published: 2015

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover

What is The Wrath and the Dawn about?

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.


I don’t even know where to start with this book.  Originally, I hadn’t planned on reading it. I don’t know why, but it just wasn’t something I was anticipating.  However, I kept seeing more and more amazing reviews and there is so much hype surrounding this book.  So, finally I decided that if this book was as good as everyone’s been saying that it was, I need to experience it for myself.  And I’m glad I did. 

This book was enchanting.  The writing was captivating.  I flew through this book so fast because I would find myself forgetting that I was reading.  I would get lost in the pages.  It felt so immersive and real and I loved it.  I’m still just in awe. 

I loved everything about this book.  At the start, we have the MC, Shahrzad, volunteering to be the Caliph’s bride in order to get revenge for her friend who died at his hands. I liked how confident Shahrzad was and how determined she was that she would be the one to make it.  That she would live and avenge her friend.

I feel like a main theme in this book is revenge.  There is this cycle if revenge that has led up to this point.  But, at some point, it has to stop with someone or it will just go on forever.  It has you wondering whether it’s really worth it anymore.  People do the wrong things for the right reasons and sometimes you just have to realize that everything isn’t black and white. 

I loved the mystery surrounding why these girls had to die each morning.  When Shahrzad first is there, it’s just about surviving and getting revenge.  But, then, slowly, it becomes more about trying to figure out WHY this has to happen and who exactly the Caliph is. There is a magical element to this story, too, which only adds to the amazingness of this book. 

 The MC, Shahrzad is headstrong and spunky and fiery and I loved her.  She isn’t afraid to speak her mind or be bold.  She has this presence and people pay attention to her.   She’s just such a strong character.  And I really admired her.   The one thing I didn’t like, I’ll admit, are the names.  Or, figuring out how to pronounce the names, more precisely.  The names are beautiful, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to say them. 

The Caliph, Kahlid, was a really complex character.  You want to hate him, because you know what he’s done.  He’s done horrible things.  Yet, the more you get to know him the more you begin to think that there has to be a reason behind it.  So, yes, he’s done bad things, but that’s not the full story.  He’s doing it for reasons that nobody else can understand, and he’s making sacrifices for the good of his kingdom.  He has so much on his shoulders and nobody to share the burden with.  Until Shahrzad comes along. 

Their relationship was one of the most beautifully written and developed love stories ever.  I loved how slowly, you got to see him caring more and more about her.  You see him going out of his way to protect her.  And then you realize how much that really does mean.  Because he’s never done that for any other bride before.  Shahrzad really is one of a kind. 

Another thing that really made this book amazing and unique it the setting and the world.  I’ve never read much anything set in the middle east.  I have little knowledge of their culture.  It was great to read this and experience such an amazingly rich setting.  I fell in love with it.  I loved how it felt Fantasy, yet also like Historical Fiction.  I love the diversity in setting that this book brings to the YA fantasy genre. 

This book was incredible.  And I think because of that, I’m having a hard time reviewing this one.  Because how perfect this book is – it’s something I can’t correctly convey through this review.  Clearly, i’m not as amazing with words as Renee Ahdieh.  But, let me assure you, this book will blow you away just as it did me. 


Actual rating: 1001 Stars

Final Thoughts:
Honestly, I adored absolutely everything about this story.  It is one of the most wonderfully written books I’ve ever read.  The characters and the world feel so real.  The character development is amazing.  This book truly is one that you can find yourself lost inside.  If you read one book this year, make it The Wrath and the Dawn.   


Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn?  If you have, what were your thoughts?  Did this blow you away just as much as it did me?  Are you going to read it?  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up #8

This week, I’m linking up with Stacking The Shelves, and Sunday Post.  Go check them out!
This week was a great reading week for me!
I read TWO amazing, incredible five star books. 
I was able to keep up with my blog this week and I posted something everyday, which is great. 
I’m going away on vacation next Saturday, though, and I’ll be gone for a week.   Most likely, I’m just going to take a break from my blog and I’ll be back in a week.  But we’ll see, it depends on if I have time to write a couple of reviews ahead of time. 

What happened on the blog this week?

Monday: Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han



I’ve wanted to read this book for a year now, and I’m so glad that I finally got around to it.  I really loved this one and It’s become one of my favorite contemporary books.


Tuesday: Upcoming 2015 Releases Part 2: Contemporary, Dystopian, and Mystery



This week I went a little off the schedule and instead of doing the assigned TTT topic, I continued the TTT from a couple of weeks ago and did part 2 of my upcoming releases.  This was super fun and I’m glad I got to feature some of my non-fantasy anticipated releases. 



Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday #11


This week, I featured Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson.  This is one I’m really looking forward to it’s a steampunk alternate history book with spies which just sounds like pure awesomeness. 



Thursday: Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

I reviewed the second and final part of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Duology.  Such an amazing series! 


Friday: Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan


This was a mystery/thriller with a great revenge story.  I really enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend it to any fans of mystery/thrillers. 


Saturday: Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

THIS BOOK.  THIS BOOK.  It was amazing and incredible and I can’t recommend this enough.  Please check it out – it’s a must read! 


What new books did I get this week?

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

I’d seen good reviews for this one and had my eye on it for a while.  I ended up reading and reviewing this one right away, which doesn’t always happen.  Check out my review for more info!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

I am SO GLAD that I picked up this book.  It was amazing and I just want to get EVERYONE to read it.  See my review for more details on this wonderful book! 

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I ended up at the bookstore with no idea what to buy.  And I remembered that EVERYONE has been saying how incredible this book is.  I decided I wanted to pick it up and see for myself.  And I’m glad I did!  More to come in a review next week!

Kissing In America by Margo Rabb

I haven’t heard too much about this one and decided to pick this one up on a whim because it just sounded so cute!  Have you read this one?  What did you think?

What books did I read this week?
This week started out amazing, reading – wise.  But, it slowed down towards the end somehow.  I’m currently in the middle of two pretty big books, though, so I made progress in Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and No Where But Here by Katie Mcgarry. 

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

I enjoyed this one.  Check out my review for more details!

 Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone


This book was so amazing!  I can’t even begin to explain everything I loved about this book, so see my review for more thoughts!

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I’m SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL that I read so many amazing reviews and I finally picked this one up.  This was one of the most wonderful books I’ve read in a long long time.  Review soon to come!

How did your week go?  Are you planning on reading or have you read any of these books?