Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #128

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

Title: The Winter of the Witch 
Series: Winternight Trilogy #3 
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey 
Publication Date: January 9, 2019

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic. 

Find The Winter of the Witch online

Why I'm waiting on The Winter of the Witch: I'm completely obsessed with this trilogy right now. The first book, The Bear and the Nightingale, totally took me by surprise -- I did not expect to like it as much as I did. I read the first two books pretty quickly and now I'm just desperately waiting for this one! 

Have you read this series? What did you think of it? Like I said, I'm completely obsessed. I love Vasya and Morozko; they're a couple of my favorite characters ever. Anyway . . . what are you waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments below!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top Ten Favorite Character Names!

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

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Favorite Character Names!

1. Locke Lamora from The Lies of Locke Lamora
I'm reading this book right now and I'm completely obsessed with the main character's name. It rolls off the tongue so well -- seriously, say it. Amazing, right?

2. Vasilisa from The Bear and the Nightingale
This is another one that is a lot of fun to say. Plus, it's so pretty and the nickname she uses (Vasya) is nice, too. 

3. Amari from Children of Blood and Bone
Amari was not only my favorite character in this novel, she also had my favorite name!

4. Cardan from The Cruel Prince
 If I'm being totally honest, the name Cardan might be one of my favorites purely because of how amazing his character was.

5. Lara Jean from To All the Boys I've Loved Before 
 Lars Jean is so sweet and kind -- her character has totally made me associate those traits to that name. 

6. Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses
I love this name. Love love love. It definitely helps that Cassian as a character is also freaking amazing. 

7. Tessa Gray from Clockwork Angel 
I loved this name so much that I've seriously considered naming my *possible* future daughter Tessa. 

8. Richard Gansey III from The Raven Boys
While I've only read the first book in this series, I've heard so much about Richard Gansey that his name is just immediately associated with being awesome. 

9. Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows 
Another one that rolls off the tongue really well. Plus, I love Kaz so much. I can't not include him on this list. 

10. Kaiden Rowe from Sweet Evil 
Yeah, I absolutely love this character and his name. Kaidan is a super cool name and one I've actually included in the novel I'm working on 'cause I love it so much. 

What are some of your favorite character names? This was a surprisingly hard question -- it was hard to decide which names I actually liked for the names themselves and not only the characters. There's definitely some that I chose specifically because of the characters they're attached to! Let me know your favorites in the comments below! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: The Deal

Title: The Deal 
Series: Off-Campus #1 
Author: Elle Kennedy 
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary 
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Bought 

She's about to make a deal with the college bad boy...
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she's carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush's attention, she'll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice...even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.
...and it's going to be oh so good
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he's worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he's all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Find The Deal online!
I need to preface this review by saying that I am THE WORST. Seriously. I keep coming back to the blog, writing an "I'm Back!" post and then disappearing for another few months. I'm so sorry. Honestly, I've been so mentally and emotionally drained the last few months because of school and all the things that go along with graduating that I have not had the energy to write for this blog (or write anything besides what I'm assigned in classes -- whoops). I miss it though, and I've been brain storming ways to get back into the swing of blogging. I hope you guys will stick it out with me while I figure it out! 

On to the review . . . 

This book took me by surprise; I've seen the cover floating around the blogosphere for years and even read a sample of the book a while ago and decided it wasn't for me. The first chapter just didn't have that spark that I look for in contemporary romances. However, I bought it out of desperation before boarding a plane with no other new reading materials and ended up completely engrossed in it throughout the flight. I'm so happy I gave it another shot because I fell in love with these characters. 

First things first -- the characters. While it wasn't love at first read, they won me over pretty quickly. Hannah has experienced and dealt with some really horrible situations but still remained strong and was determined to not let them hang over her life. I appreciated the way she handled the struggles she went through; having experienced situations similar to Hannah's, it was nice and heartening to see her living her life without a constant cloud of worry and fear. She didn't let what happened in the past define who she was and I loved that. Overall, she was an amazing character -- strong, stubborn, hardworking, relatable, and fun to read about. She's the type of character I would want to be friends with. 

Garrett, like Hannah, was incredible. He's not the typical "New Adult" hero (i.e.: arrogant, possessive, aggressive), he was way better. Sure, he was a little full of himself at times and earned his status of a "player", but it never crossed the line into discomfort or abuse (like the behaviors of so many other heroes). Garrett was a funny, sweet, and down right adorable guy who was passionate about hockey and made an amazing friend to Hannah. 

I loved seeing their relationship slowly morph from hate to friends to more than friends. This progression felt natural and easy to believe; I was swooning and cheering for them the whole time. It's not easy to find a New Adult book that does this transition well but The Deal definitely accomplished it. 

As far as the plot goes, it was honestly pretty typical of the New Adult genre, though made more interesting and engaging by the characters. Hannah and Garrett strike a deal (ayyy, look at that) in which Hannah tutors Garrett in exchange for Garrett taking Hannah on a date to get the attention of a guy Hannah has a crush on. It's a fun concept and Elle Kennedy executed it well! 

Like I said, this book took me by surprise; I fell in love with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed reading their story. While it took me a couple chapters to get invested in, once I was invested, it was almost impossible to stop reading. I haven't read the second book in the series (and I don't know if I will), but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting!

“Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.” 

 Four Teapots

Monday, April 2, 2018

Back on the Blog!

Wooooooow, it's been a long time, you guys.  I've missed blogging and this community so much. There's been a lot going on in my life recently and I haven't had all the time I wanted for blogging or reading. As much as I love Wonderland's Reader and writing posts for it, life often gets in the way.  But still, I've missed sharing books and bits of my life with you guys! 

1. School!
I've been SO. BUSY. with school these past few months. I graduate in June so a lot of the classes I was taking were required ones in order to graduate. Because of that, I was stressed about doing well with them and making sure I had everything in order to graduate. It was easily my hardest quarter so far in college and I had almost no time to read (or really do anything besides go to class, study, and sleep). Luckily, I'm on spring break right now and starting a new batch of classes which will, hopefully, be slightly less stressful than the ones from last quarter. 

2. Writing Articles! 
I have been writing a lot . . . just not on here.  I currently work for an online magazine affiliated with my university where I have to write weekly articles. This has been an incredible challenging and time consuming position but one that definitely had helped me grow professionally and as a writer. But, unfortunately, a lot of my energy goes into writing those articles and it keeps me from Wonderland's Reader. 

3. Bookstagram! 
While I've been away from the blog, I haven't been totally cut off from the book community! I've started posting daily pictures of books on my instagram. This has been a super fun and creative activity and had been a great way tp stay active in the community even thought I haven't had a ton of time to read and write reviews! Here's a sample of some of the photos I have on my page: 

 Here's a link to my page if you want to check it out or give it a follow! :) 

4. Preparing for Life After Graduation!
When I haven't been doing school work or writing articles, most of my energy has been taken up with planning for my life after graduation. This has been a particularly stressful activity because I really have no idea where I'll be come June. There's a lot of big decisions I've been having to make -- where I'll live, what jobs I'll apply for, how I'll pay for my living expenses. These are just a couple of the questions that have been hanging out in the forefront of my mind for the last few months. I don't have answers to all these questions but I'm still working on them. 

So, that's been my life the last few months. I know it might not seem like a lot but, trust me, it's kept me busy (and stressed out). Now that that quarter is behind me and I'm starting fresh with some new classes, I'll hopefully have more time on my hands to read and post on here. 

I've missed this and you guys a lot so I'm really excited to start being active on here again! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince 
Series: The Folk of the Air #1 
Author: Holly Black 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: January 2, 2018 
Source: Bought

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition features a special jacket and bonus story starring fan-favorites Kaye and Roiben of the bestselling Tithe series, allowing readers to witness the pivotal coronation scene from an alternate point of view.
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Find The Cruel Prince online! 
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018.  Not only did it sound super dark and interesting, it's about faeries.  And faeries are my jam.  Seriously, give me everything faeries.  That being said, I hyped this book like nothing else. Whenever that happens, I always worry that I'll ruin the experience of reading the book by holding my expectations too high.  That said, this was absolutely not the case with The Cruel PrinceI adored this book and was drawn into the world and the story in a way that I haven't been with a book in a long time.  This is the type of novel that would have ignited my love of reading and that continues to build my passion.

Ohhhh boy, was this a good one. I honestly don't really know where to start but I guess Jude, our main character, will do!  Jude was . . . so amazing. I loved how strong and morally gray Jude was -- she was so dynamic and complicated which I really appreciated.  I love it when books are full of morally ambiguous characters and The Cruel Prince had tons of them.  This made for a more complex and interesting reading experience!  Especially once we saw them all interacting with each other.  I was really interested in seeing the way Jude interacted with Prince Cardan, a faerie who is wicked and mean.  Characters like Cardan are my weakness and I honestly just couldn't help loving him.  I wanted to much more of him and Jude interacting and I'm hoping we see more of that in the books to come.  I also am really interested to explore the relationship between Jude and her adoptive faerie dad.  After what happened in this book . . . lets just say that their relationship is more complicated than ever and I LOVE IT.   

I've heard from a lot of people that the main problems they had with this book was that it was pretty slow, especially in the beginning.  Honestly, this wasn't something I even noticed or cared about when I was reading.  While the plot was maybe a little slower moving, I was completely entertained by the cool and complex world and the interesting characters.  There was clearly a lot of world building being done to set up for the next books in the series (which I'm pumped for!) But, like I said, this slow pace and set up didn't bother me in the slightest.  I just enjoyed spending time in this world that Holly Black has built and with these characters.  

As one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, The Cruel Prince lived up to and exceeded my expectations.  I'm completely taken with the world and the characters.  This is my first Holly Black book and I'm looking forward to reading more of her writing.  AND I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of this series goes!  

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop.” 

Five out of Five Teapots! 

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns