Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-read Forever


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and the meme moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to list their top ten books that they could re-read forever. The following books are in no particular order.

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - There is no questions asked that this is my favorite series of all time! Harry Potter is a huge part of my life! Check out what Harry Potter means to me!

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - Fan fiction..about wizards! Starbucks, cute boy, first year in college...YES! I absolutely adore this novel about Cath, Wren and Levi!

3. To All Boys I've Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han - An adorable novel about three sisters, first crushes, delicious food, embracing Korean culture and a loving father.

4. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi - Whimsical Middle Grade, modern fairy tale, a girl who lacks color, an adventure with Oliver, and lust and a vibrant world.

5. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord - Dealing with loss, finding love in an unexpected time and place, Quiz Bowl, strong friendships and a perfect ending.

6. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See - Akha people, adoption, tea leaves, mother and daughter relationships, tradition, culture, family, love, loss, sacrifice, perseverance, new beginnings and origins.

7. Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco - Wadsworth and Cresswell, Victorian London, forensics, Romania, mystery, macabre and atmospheric.

8. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia - Web comic, alter egos, Monstrous Sea, fandom, online forums, complex families and hidden secrets.

9. Little Elliot series by Mike Curato - Timeless illustrations with a story for all ages. Join Little Elliot, Mouse and friends on many adventures.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - Feeling infinite, first crushes, family drama, loss and grief, coming-of-age, honesty and friendship.

What books can you re-read forever and not get tired of them? Do we share any similarities?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Title: Ink, Iron, and Glass
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Publisher: Imprint
Publication date: February 20, 2018
Pages: 336
Source/format: e-ARC from publisher

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation by her mother—a noted scriptologist.

But when her home is attacked and her mother abducted, Elsa must cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative 19th-century Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of pazzerellones—young people with a gift for mechanics, alchemy or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and a tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

"A damaged worldbook meant a damaged world, and without its core properties intact--properties like breathable air and solid ground--she'd be opening a portal to her own unpleasant demise. Not to mention that there'd be no one left alive to return to." -e-ARC of Iron, Ink, and Glass

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Elsa lives in Veldana, a world created by the scriptologist Charles Montaigne. Ink, Iron, and Glass starts with Elsa tinkering with a clockwork glove in the water. She decides to visit Jumi, her mother. In a quick moment, someone abducts her mother taking her mother's portal device. Elsa is left to fend for herself. She makes sure the spare portal device is with her just in case she needs to use it in an emergency.

Elsa makes sure the Veldana Wordbook is in tact because if it's not, Veldana will cease to exist. After all, worlds only exist when a scriptologist pens the world to existence. This rare gift is passed down and is very valuable.

Gwendolyn Clare crafted a wonderful and alluring novel where science and magic collide. Elsa meets other characters who are gifted with other talents who help her hunt down the Worldbook before it's destroyed or placed in the wrong hands. Travel locations included places like Italy and France.

Although the premise sounds fantastic, I did have some issues with the pacing of the novel. The instalove came on strong. The novel didn't have that spark that kept me wanting more throughout the book. Readers who enjoy a mixture of travel, steampunk, historical fiction and fantasy will find this novel intriguing. Join Elsa on a journey full of magic and the old world adventures in Ink, Iron, and Glass

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Heart of Ash by Kim Liggett

Title: Heart of Ash
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 20, 2018
Pages: 288
Source/format: Hardcover from publisher

Rating: ☆☆☆ 

Synopsis (from goodreads.com): Ash may have escaped the immortal-worshipping cult that killed her mother, but the love of her life is still under its thrall. Dane has been possessed by his diabolical ancestor Coronado, a man who's fabulously wealthy, dripping with fame, and the leader of Europe's most dangerous immortal network. Dane begs Ash to join him at Coronado's castle in Spain, and swears that his blood bond with Ash is stronger than Coronado's hold over him. Ash is desperate to help Dane vanquish Coronado without having to sacrifice herself to the darkness. But when you're all in, blood and salt, the only way to hold on to the light might just be by setting everything on fire.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

"We're like a dissonant chord in the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, begging for resolution. As long as we're apart, there will never be peace in the world...harmony." - pg 41 of Heart of Ash

Ash Larkin barely survived a year ago when she was caught in the crossroads of a cult's curse and tradition. Through her mother's sacrifice, she lived and evaded Katia's wrath but is is now an immortal. But because without darkness there can be no light, Ash's twin brother's blood can kill while her's can heal. In a star-crossed lover's story, she is drawn to Dane but Dane is possessed by the evil Coronado. Ash needs to find her brother Rhys before he is found by the Arcanum Council.

Kim Liggett starts the novel off strong with her vivid descriptions. Although readers are transported back to New York and Spain instead of Kansas, Liggett draws in the reader with intrigue. Ash tries to see the good in Dane and tries to believe that he is ultimately trying to fight off Coronado's grasp over him. However, Dane connections is the closest she has to finding Rhys.

Beth and Timmons have been very supportive of Ash during good and tough times. Timmons is always helpful and promises to take care of Ash and Rhys. Beth is Ash's friend who will do anything to be there for Ash. Dane seems like he wants to help Ash but Ash is suspicious of his true intentions.

Heart of Ash is more of a mystery Ash and Dane are trying to investigate. While trying to win over a strong group of immortals and convincing them they are Katia and Coronado, Ash and Dane need to be careful since there might be a traitor amongst them trying to get them killed.

Heart of Ash is everything I want to see in an atmospheric, twisty, paranormal plot line. With its compelling words, the tinge of darkness and the banter between Ash and Dane, it keeps you wanting more. I highly suggest this novel as well as the predecessor, Blood and Salt, to readers who love The Vampire Diaries TV series as well at Kerri Maniscalco's Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Novel Notes: I'm Finally Starting to Heal

It's been a month since I've moved away from a toxic environment where it was consuming my life. Ever since 2016, my life has changed and it for the worst. My quality of life has plummeted. I was no longer sleeping well, my appetite was all over the place and my anxiety started increasing to the point that I had panic attacks. I would be crying multiple times a week and I wasn't happy with my life. It was affecting the relationships I had with people as well.

I was trying to get out of the situation in the fall of 2016 and no avail. Things were a little bit better for a few months of the winter but then everything got swept into a whirlwind for most of 2017. The fall of 2017 was the absolute worst. I almost hit rock bottom but I was strong enough to find a way out! I needed this! Not just for me, but for people who have seen me be defeated. One wound was opened in 2016 and before it was able to heal, I was striked again and again in 2017. Enough is enough and with hard work and new changes happening, I knew that I needed to change things for 2018.

I was able to officially leave the toxic environment during the beginning of January. 2018 is a year of change! Last November my fiancé and I were officially engaged and we plan to wed later this fall! I am looking forward to a year of possibilities and opportunities that will last a lifetime. It's been a month since I moved forward and I am completely happy with my decision. My quality of life has improved. I feel like a new person. I feel empowered! I finally have a sense of peace.

During these couple of years, I've noticed that my blogging was sporadic. Because I am at a better place right now, I am hoping to create more of a schedule for Nicole's Novel Reads. I am ready to reinvent myself!