Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Title: Flame in the Mist 
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16, 2017 
Source: Bought

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Find Flame in the Mist online!
Ohh, this one was so good.  So, so good.  And that was even after hearing about all the hype surrounding it.  I had my expectations pretty high going in and this story didn't let me down!  While it wasn't perfect, I was kept entertained throughout and had a great time with this story and learning a little about the culture of feudal Japan.  

I really loved the concept of the story in this one.  It's been called a Mulan retelling, and while that can be argued for some aspects of the novel, it wasn't totally similar.  Mariko, the main character, spend the majority of the novel dressed as a boy in order to infiltrate the Black Clan, who attacks her and her convoy.  This was what I had the most fun reading.  It was so interesting to watch Mariko fall into their ranks.  There was always a sense of danger and tension because of the threat posed to her in the Black Clan ever found out she was a girl rather than a boy.  Despite these challenges, Mariko begins to thrive within the Black Clan and I really enjoyed seeing this strength in her. 

The other characters were interesting, though a little hard to keep track of.  Each other seemed to have a few names and nicknames than were used interchangeably , which made it difficult to figure out who was who.  While I thought it added a bit of realism to the story, it did take me out of it at times because I would have to stop reading to figure out who exactly was in the scene.  Another thing that left me feeling a bit dazed when reading was the changing POVs.  This story is told through the perspective of many different characters and, while it adds some roundness to the story, I found myself growing bored with some of the perspectives and just wanting to skip back to Mariko's story.  

Despite these slight problems, I still really enjoyed this novel.  It's full of strong characters and an immersive world with lots of carefully researched details.  The characters, while sometimes hard to keep track of, were well thought out and interesting.  I'm curious to learn more about this world, especially the magic that we briefly see in this book but that isn't really explained.  I can't wait to continue this series!

“I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.” 
  Four Teapots

****I'm hosting a giveaway right now in which you can win your choice of one of the books listed!  Don't miss your chance to win!  Find the giveaway here!****

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #107

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
Series: None
Author: Christina Henry 
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult 
Publisher: Berkley Books 
Publication Date: July 4, 2017 

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. 

Find Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook online

Why I'm Waiting on Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook this Wednesday: I've always loved Neverland and Peter Pan, and I have a thing for retellings from the perspective of the villains, so this one caught my eye from the start!  It sounds really interesting and I can't wait to learn (and read) more about it!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Do you like retellings?  Which is your favorite?  Let me know and leave your links in the comments below! 

***Don't forget to enter my five year blogiversary giveaway for a chance to win a recently released book!  Find it here***

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we share out top ten lists relating to the bookish topic assigned that week.

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start!

Blackhearts series by Nicole Castroman

Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton

Ruined by Amy Tintera

The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

Monsters of Verity series by Victoria Schwab 

Wolf by Wolf series by Ryan Graudin

The Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman

The Girl from Everywhere series by Heidi Heilig

The Young Elites series by Marie Lu

The Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen

Whew, this post really made me want to buy like, a million books so I can start all of these series (and a few that didn't make the list!).  Have you read any of these series?  Which ones did you like/not like?  Which series are you wanting to start?  Leave me a link to your posts down in the comments so I can check them out!

ALSO!  I'm currently hosting a giveaway celebrating the five year blogiversary of Wonderland's Reader!  You have a chance of winning one of six recently released books!  Enter to win here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

5 Year Blogiversary + Giveaway!

Holy cow, I completely missed Wonderland's Reader's five year blogiversary!  I'm a terrible blog parent!  

In case you don't know, this blog was created all the way back in 2012 on June 11!  I was just a wee babe back then and started this blog after reading an amazing book (Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins).  I had no friends at the time that had read it and I was desperate to discuss all my feels with other people.  Hence, the first review on this blog.  

Wonderland's Reader has gone through many looks and name changes (I won't even mention the first name I used for it -- it's too embarrassing) to become what it is today.  I love this blog and all the connections I've made through it.  I can say with absolute certainty that my life was completely changed by this blog and this community and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

So, to celebrate all the positivity this blog (and all of you!) have brought into my life, I'm hosting a giveaway!  

One lucky winner will win their choice of any of the books listed below!  I'm aware that a few of them are not yet released but they will be by the time this giveaway is over and I will ship them then! 



Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions
-Must be a US Resident
- Must be following this blog
- Only one winner will be chosen
- If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, I will choose another winner
- Giveaway will run until June 30, 2017
- I am not responsible for prizes lost in the mail

The winner will be contacted via email!

Thank you guys so much for being a part of this journey and this blog! I'm so grateful for all of you and your support.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You 
Series: Firebird #1
Author: Claudia Gray 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: November 4, 2014 
Source: Bought

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions.
Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

Find A Thousand Pieces of You online!
I've seen this book around and have always admired the cover (because wow, it is gorgeous) but I've always been hesitant to pick it up.  I think this mainly came from the fact that I didn't really like another series by Claudia Gray that I read a few years ago.  But my friend Brandi recommended this book and said she loved it so I decided to give it a shot and, man, am I happy I did!  It was so engaging and interesting and I'm so excited to read the rest of the series!

Definitely my favorite part of this book was the concept and the worlds visited throughout.  It's so interesting to think about different dimensions and this book thoroughly explored them.  It was so cool to see the changes in each dimension visited and to think about why those changes would have occurred.  There were even a few dimensions that I enjoyed so much, I could have happily read an entire novel about them alone.  A lot of the inter-dimensional travel was connected to the science of the actual travel.  Honestly, I wasn't super into the science part of it, similar to Meg.  It felt a little hard to follow and I'm still not 100% sure about all the little details in it.  

I also liked the relationships in this a lot.  There's a really strong cast of characters and they all were different in their own ways.  Meg was a cool character and I liked learning about her and seeing how she worked with all the other characters.  I definitely liked seeing her learn about her other selves in each dimension she visited.  It was interesting to see how her love of art translated in the different lives of each Meg.  

There is a love triangle in this novel and it actually starts up very quickly with one of the guys, which surprised me.  I felt like I didn't really know Meg or the guy before things started happening.  I'm pleased with how the love triangle resolved itself in this book but I'm interested in seeing how it plays out in the next two books.  

I'm already looking forward to reading the next two books in this series!  I'm happy I finally picked this one up (thanks, Brandi!) and I can't wait to see how the rest of the story plays out.  

“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that.” 

Four Teapots

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns