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Fantasies of a Fangirl Book Blog

Thursday, August 6, 2015

July Wrap-Up

July Wrap-up 
2015


  July flew by for me. Summer is my favorite, so I hope it lasts longer in August. Lots of books and movies!:)




Books~ 



Book 1: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 
                                                      Me Before You

Book Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★ 

Do I recommend?: 
 Yes, let your heart be torn and join me

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 




Book 2: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 
Attachments

Book Rating: 3 stars ★★★ 

Do I recommend?: 
 Meh, I guess so.

Book Review 
Goodreads Page





Book 3: Wings by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #1

Wings (Wings, #1)

Book Rating: 4 stars ★★★★

Do I recommend?: 
Yes, I think it's totally worth a try, the books get better:)

Book Review 
Goodreads Page





Book 4: Spells by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #2)

Spells (Wings, #2)

Book Rating: 4 stars ★★★★ 

Do I recommend?:
 Well yes, because it gets better!

Book Review 
Goodreads Page





Book 5: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #3) 

Illusions (Wings, #3)

Book Rating: 4 stars ★★★★

Do I recommend?: 
 Yes! I really enjoyed this one, much better than the first and second with its plot!
(I forgot to write out a review but that's okay:)

Goodreads Review





Book 6: Destined by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #4) 

Destined (Wings, #4)

Book Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★

Do I recommend?:
 YES YES YES!!! THIS WAS THE BEST, LIKE ONE OF THE BEST CONCLUSIONS EVER!

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 




Book 7: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #1) 

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

Book Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5

Do I recommend?: 
  Yes!!! This is my first book by Victoria Schwab and Oh My God. Like she is instantly a favorite author.

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 8: Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

Vicious

Book Rating: 5 STARS BAM! ★★★★★ 

Do I recommend?: 
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Book Review 
Goodreads Page






Book 9: Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian (Fangbone Comic) 

Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian

Book Rating: 2 stars ★★ 

 Do I recommend?: 
 Not unless you are a third-grade boy, but I guess to pass the time sure.

Book Review (more like explanation as to why I picked this up:)
Goodreads Page 






Book 10: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave #1) 

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

Book Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5 

Do I recommend?: 
HELL TO THE YES!!! YOU MUST FEEL THE AWESOMENESS AND FEAR AND I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!!! So you better go read this. I mean I'm a bit scared of what happens next, especially with some of the reviews I've been hearing about The Infinite Sea. But honestly- Why haven't you read it yet? WHY HAVEN'T I UNTIL NOW?
(I shouldn't answer that but: Because I'm a terrible person.)

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 11: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (ADSOM #1)
A Darker Shade of Magic

Book Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5

Do I recommend?:
 Yes. Yes. Yes. Absoletly, this Victoria Schwab's newest fantasy series! AND I SWEAR IT WILL BE GOOD BECAUSE IT IS!!!  

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





* REREAD THE FIRST TWO HARRY POTTER BOOKS again:) 



Books Read: 13 

  Woohoo! I read some fantastic books this month! I did get into a reading slump at the end and I kind of am still in one. Hopefully some Neil Gaiman can cure me with also some awesome movies. WHich brings us to the second part of my wrap-up!


******* 




Movies~ 



Movie 1: Marvel-- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)




Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★/ 5






Movie 2: Marvel-- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5/ 5 





Movie 3: Marvel-- The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)



Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★/ 5 






Movie 4: Disney Pixar-- Inside Out (2015)



Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 




Movie 5: Minions (2015)



Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 




Movie 6: Bean: The Movie (1997) 




Rating: 3 stars ★★★/ 5 




Movie 7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)



Rating: 3.5 stars ★★★.5/ 5 







Movie 8: Gabby Douglas Story (2014)



Rating: 3.5 stars ★★★.5/ 5 





Movie 9: Austenland (2013)

                                             


Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 





Movie 10: Pride and Prejudice (2005) 

                        


Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 





Movie 11: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black
Pearl (2003) 




Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5







Movie 12: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)




Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 




Movie 13: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)



Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5







Movie 14: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) 

                            

Rating: 4 stars ★★★★/ 5 




Movie 15: Chicken Run (2000) 

                                        

Rating: 3 stars ★★★/ 5







Movie 16: Mean Girls (2004) 

                                  

Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5/ 5






Movie 17: 47 Ronin (2013) 

                                       


Rating: 3.5 stars ★★★.5/ 5





Movie 18: Jurassic World (2015) 

                                          


Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★.5/ 5 





Movies Watched: 18!!! 


  Yes! I was able to watch lots of movies this month! Like 18 is pretty good considering I binge-watched most of them in a marathon. I spent the rest of my free time reading and watching T.V. shows- more like catching up. Hopefully in August I can do more reviews than just rating. After all, August is my last month of summer vacation.

So until then Fandoms Unite!!!

~Z:)

Monday, July 6, 2015

June Wrap-Up

June Wrap-Up
2015

  Yay! June was a last struggle of two weeks for school but then I WAS FREE!!! Summer time kicked in- birds are singing, sun is shining brighter and life feels so much more open! Especially when you spent it reading, writing and watching. MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO EVER- I think that's the only reason I live at all:)

Tumblr Post


Books Reads: 

Book 1: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose 

Book Rating: 4 stars ✪✪✪✪ 

  Do I recommend?: 
Yup, thumbs-up. Though I totally WARN OF MATURE CONTENT (NOT FOR EVERYONE)!!!
       
Book Review 
Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review







Book 2: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Book Rating: 4 stars

  Do I recommend?: 
     Meh, I liked it but I felt it had more potential that could've been explored. But sure, I think it's worth a read:)

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review 







Book 3: Valhalla by Ari Bach 
Valhalla

Book Rating: DNF (so I feel bad giving it rating but if I had to- 2 stars)

   Do I recommend?: 
         No. Not at all. I'm not sure if this is a book I'd give a second chance myself. I would guess not.


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 4: Animal Farm by George Orwell 
Animal Farm


Book Rating: 4 stars 
 
  Do I recommend?: 
       Yes, a mind-opening literary classic.


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 






Book 5: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman (Swindle #2)
Zoobreak

Book Rating: 4 stars 

  Do I recommend?:
    Sure, it's one of my favorite middle-grade books.


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 6: Framed by Gordon Korman (Swindle #3) 

Framed

Book Rating: 4 stars 

  Do I recommend?:
          Oh, yes! This is probably my favorite in the series:)


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 




Book 7: Showoff (Swindle #4) 

Showoff
Book Rating: 4 stars 

  Do I recommend?: 
       This one was pretty good:)


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 




Book 8: The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith 
(Crown and Key #1) 

The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1)
Book Rating: 4 stars 

   Do I recommend?: 
        If you like Victorian London paranormal, why not?


Book Review 
Goodreads Page




Book 9: Hideout by Gordon Korman (Swindle #5)

Hideout (Swindle, #5)
Book Rating: 4 stars 

  Do I recommend?:
     Sure thing, I really love this contemporary middle-grade series!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 







Book 10: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (#1 ACOTAR)

Book Rating: 5 STARS BAM!

  Do I recommend?: 
    DO I RECOMMEND?! WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT- OF COURSE I DO!!!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review




Book 11: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (#1 TGoFaT) 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)


Book Rating: 4 stars 

   Do I recommend?:
     Actually it's pretty good, but it gets even better in the next books! I swear it on my heart, you should give it a try and if you still don't like it- keep going!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page







Book 12: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (#2 TGoFaT)

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)

Book Rating: 4.5 stars 

  Do I recommend?: 
    YES YES YES!!! Rae Carson did an impressive job in her story and it's sooooo good!!!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 13: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson (#3 TGoFaT)

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

Book Rating: 5 stars! 

  Do I recommend?: 
       I've been pestering you to read the first two books, why wouldn't I TELL YOU TO PICK UP THIS FREAKIN' AMAZING CONCLUSION?!?!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 14: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (#1 TWATD)

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Book Rating: 4.5 stars 

   Do I recommend?: 
      Yes! This was such a beautiful and wonderful retelling of A Thousand and One Nights!


Book Review 
Goodreads Page 





Book 15: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein 

Becoming Jinn

Book Rating: 4 solid stars 

   Do I recommend?: 
    Sure, why not?:)

Book Review 
Goodreads Page 







  (I started Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- but that will be in the July Wrap-Up:)



BOOKS READ: 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  WOOOOOWWWW!!! I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF.  I feel so acomplished, and I have read some amazing books this month, too. So yes, June has been fanatsic. Happy July!!!:)


Fangirl to the Stars,

 ~Z:)


Friday, July 3, 2015

June Challenges

June Monthly Challenges
2015


6/16/15~ Challenge 1: 
-Reread a Childhood Favorite 





6/17/15~ Challenge 2: 
-Reread a Favorite 






  I could have hit two birds with one stone, but I decided on doing a series reread for the Swindle series by Gordon Korman. One of my favorite middle-grade books as a kid in third grade, yeah I was a big reader even then:) 

~Z:)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review:
A Court of Thorns and Roses
(ACOTAR #1)
by Sarah J. Maas

Book Rating: 5 stars ✪✪✪✪✪

Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review 
Tumblr Review 


“Because your human joy fascinates me—the way you experience things, in your life span, so wildly and deeply and all at once, is … entrancing. I’m drawn to it, even when I know I shouldn’t be, even when I try not to be.” 


   Perfection. Awesomeness. And Beautiful. Those are three words I would most likely use to describe my admiration of this book. Pssh, admiration more like LOVE!!!
   First of all, thank you God for making Sarah J. Maas exist and to write these wondrous worlds that she shares with us. Thank you Sarah J. Maas for not only existing but for being QUEEN AND MY FAVORITE AUTHOR!!!

   *breathing heavily* I. Just. Loved. This. Book. 


     I'm sorry but two days after, and I'm still fangirling over that beauty. So this review will be short since I cannot function correctly to write a review when this book is the main point. My mind will not see straight and will be in too much awe and in the middle of a nostalgia attack.

   I could continue on praising Queen Sarah J. Maas and yet her another masterpiece. But let me give you an insight-
      So kick-ass Maas writing, Faeries, amazing world-building, awesome and terrifying action/adventure with a Beauty and the Beast fairytale retelling. Yes and don't forget the deep, intricate characters that will shatter your heart. A recipe for much heartbreak, this book.


Where I'd Shelf this Beauty: 

  • New Adult 
  • Fantasy 
  • Romance    (Oooh steamy romance hehe:)
  • Paranormal 
  • Faeries 
  • Action and Adventure 
  • Beautiful    (Not kidding)
  • Fairytale Retelling    (Beauty and the Beast)
  • HEARTWRECKING    (I CAN'T BELIEVE I SURVIVED)
  • Inspirational   (seriously motivates) 
  • TOP-LOVE-HONOR 



      Amazing plot-twists, realistic relationships and characters, awesome plot and story. Beautiful world-building and writing, what else could you ask for? I loved the portrayal of faeries and their world. Oh and the world was magical and AHHHH!!!

  And the characters? Feyre was a strong and such realistic female character with wit. And gorgeous Tamlin and sassy Lucien? I ADORE THEM ALL! Then you have the dark Rhysand, which I couldn't help but feel intrigued with. So yes, I loved the characters.


“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.” 


   Fast-paced at all the right places, plot amazingly executed. The many elements and aspects played so well throughout the book. The story and its characters were beautiful. I mean what else do you need to be convinced to give it a try? Queen Sarah J. Maas has painted another masterpiece. AND I NEED THE NEXT BOOKS!!!


Do I recommend?: 
 YES!!! TO THE MOON AND BACK UNDER THE MOUNTAIN FOR SURE! (sorry, but it's okay if you die:)


“Pity those who don't feel anything at all”


  Thanks for reading and sorry for the review that isn't as deep as my others, ah well doesn't change my love for A Court of Thorns and Roses!


    Fangirl to the Stars,
   ~Z:)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Sarah Griffith

Book Review:
The Shadow Revolution
(Crown and Key #1)
by Clay and Susan Griffith


Book Rating: 3.5 stars 

Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review 
Tumblr Review

ARC FROM NETGALLEY, THANK YOU 


   I easily enjoy any book that takes place in Victorian London (favorite time period and place to be) and deals with supernatural forces mixed in the 1800 society. And it sure doesn't hurt to have a flowing plot and writing style. So yes, I rather did enjoy this.

 Except one thing that does annoy me is that the synopsis is rather off, so not what you expect goes along that. Following a team of unique (and at times rather sassy) group of adept fighters, you enter the foggy streets of London where a dark force is beginning to rise. Typical paranormal historical fiction, right?


  • Bold Sarcastic Hero known for his good looks but has secrets abilities? CHECK. 
  • Unique Intelligent Heroine with rare boldness for women of that time? CHECK. 
  • Grumpy Skilled Mentor/Sidekick who cracks one-liners but has wisdom? CHECK. 
  • Fierce Quiet Scotsman spends all his time skillfully killing monsters? CHECK. 

   Should I go on? SO yes there are several cliques and all around concepts. But several original elements and concepts were introduced throughout.

  The magic system and supernatural creatures were different and rather unlike most of the ones in YA these days. Making them unique and a good change for once. For instance, the werewolves are rather vicious and monsters that need to be killed. Weird freaky other creatures are added into the mix- which you'll meet later in. And the MC is quite a unique sorcerer than from the usual ones that are all over in YA or is this Adult? I'm not sure.

Where I'd Shelf this: 

  • Paranormal 
  • Historical Fiction 
  • Science Fiction- steampunk 
  • Adult 
  • YA? 
  • Romance? 
  • Fantasy 
  • Werewolves


  The plot was compelling and fast-paced at all the right places. The action and adventure (terrifying mind you) were so well written out. The details and world-building were pretty good and I enjoyed them quite well. And a bonus: there's barely any romance! Like no love-triangles or the such.
Well in truth, there is a bit of a spark, but it's barely traceable. Except I rather see it as affectionate fondness.

 Anywho, I rather ended up liking this book. The first book in I believe a trilogy, I'm not sure if I will continue on. I'm a bit tempted for I did enjoy this one. And things don't seem to be right as rain just yet. Curiosity might get the best of me if I end up finding the next book somehow. Then I would for sure not deny myself the pleasure of a dark adventure in Victorian London. A worthy and interesting read, I recommended for those who are interested.

  Until next time, Read On!

   Fangirl to the Stars,
   ~Z:)


Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Book Review:
The Darkest Part of the Forest
by Holly Black


Book Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review 
Tumblr Review 



“There's a monster in our wood. She'll get you if you're not good. Drag you under leaves and sticks. Punish you for all your tricks. Anest of hair and gnawed bone. You are never, ever coming... home.” 


     First- Holly Black's writing style just isn't to my liking. And the way she unfolded the story was a bit of a disappointment. So barely into the review, here I am expressing my dislike. Many people enjoyed this novel and I rather did at several intervals, but I wished I liked it more. I was really hyped and excited to read this, but ugghh expectations that are never reached are such disappointment. The only reason I gave it a four-star on Goodreads was the saving grace of several aspects of the book.

   Faeries. I have mixed feelings about them but I also love reading about them. And when I picked this up, I was really in the mood (craving) for some hot faerie prince. And don't get me wrong I got a good bit of that, but things started to go downhill for me. Besides the amazing way Holly Black portrayed the faeries, bringing them to life, I really enjoyed their part. I was in awe at their beauty and strangeness and even shuddered at their cruelty. You really got a good glimpse of amazing faerie folklore walking by. I just really felt more consumed by them in the story.


  “We love until we do not. For us, love doesn't fade gradually. It snaps like a branch bent too far.” 


  Holly Black's writing was just not for me, but at times it was really good and tolerable. The world-building was amazing. The details and the way she conveyed the normal routine of human lives mixed with the faeries was pretty impressive. It was believable and so realistic. The characters was well-written and brought to life, but I didn't feel any attachment to them. Maybe a few times, I began to sympathize and worry a tad bit for them, but overall they were just not in my range of caring.


Where I'd shelf this one:
  • Standalone 
  • Paranormal 
  • Faeries 
  • Fantasy 
  • Young Adult 
  • Romance 

  The pacing of the story at times was good but then it moves too fast and things didn't seem to flow. I felt really compelled to read due to the faeries. I was confused at times but what really annoyed me was the way the story was told. But still, I think she did a great job tying it up in a standalone without needing a sequel. Holly Black had some clever twists to turn you around in a circle. The story was original and different, but I felt like it fell flat. It had so much potential and paths the story could've gone up, but things never turned out that way.


“Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.” 


   Original and different, despite the bumps I tripped on. I enjoyed it nonetheless, creative and pretty impressive with bringing to life the world and faeries. Wish I could've enjoyed it more, but ah well. My first Holly Black book, but I'm willing to give her books a try. The Darkest Part of the Forest was intriguing to me, but sadly my expectations were too high. So much potential, but that's okay.

Until next time, Read on!


   Fangirl to the Stars,
   ~Z:)

 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Book Review:
The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose


Book Rating: 4 stars ✪✪✪✪

Goodreads Page 
Goodreads Review
Tumblr Review



     I received a digital copy from Netgalley, thank you:)



   I had a pretty good idea of the premise of the book, this time actually reading the synopsis. But that still didn't prepare me for the amazing way the story unfolded. An original plot and many special elements, M.J. Rose did such a wonderful job taking you back to Epoque Paris in the late 1800s. Her writing was so entrancing and haunting, very much like her story.


  But first things first, this is adult fiction for sure. Not recommended for younger ages because of mature content. Like really MATURE CONTENT. DO NOT READ FOR THERE MANY SCENES OF SUCH, and SOME VIOLENCE (just a tinny bit). Just putting it out there, because if I'd known, I wouldn't have really picked up the book for those... uhh colorful details. 


    Anywho, my favorite thing about this book was the writing. It really felt like you were in a sort of trance as you read because of the flow of the words. They were like swirling mist telling you of a story that could be or not be. And at times, it felt like the writing was art, the words painted and events drawn out for you. I loved the details, because you really got to be in 1890s France society.

  World-building was just plain beautiful. You really saw the streets of Paris and the buildings, cafes, museums- everything! It was like you were walking down alongside the Seine, headed toward the Louvre. And the old memories of New York, they were just as imaginable, seeing the other distant time of place across the ocean. The details were expressed so well, it wasn't at all difficult to see the main shades that made up the full picture of 1890s Epoque Paris.

   The fashions, styles, interests and even cultural aspects were brought in. And what I really loved is that we got an even more taste and sight for other areas of society like architecture, history and art. Yup, lots of art. I really enjoyed seeing the many sides of France, even the darker part of mythical history and occults. You really learn much without knowing so, the information was fed to you like pretty desserts on a silver platter.

   Speaking of occults and mythical history, those elements play an important role throughout the story. I learned much about the many sides to art and how it's influenced by such elements. You learn also about history, how easily it can be forgotten and merged into legends and myths. The way time has impacted on such things and the many views that people have on them is all so interesting. And lots of it relates to the people of our time. As people, we never truly change in nature.



Where Would I Shelf This Gothic Beauty: 


  • Historical Fiction
  • Epoque time period 
  • Romance 
  • Paranormal 
  • Adult Fiction 
  • Fantasy 
  • Gothic 
  • Magical-Realism? 
  • Mythology 



   Ah, now have I forgotten to introduce our main character? Sandrine Salome was a intelligent but quiet young woman with no strong emotions. When she flees New York from her husband and her father's death, she comes to her grandmother's old mansion. Hiding away as under her grandmother's surname, Verlaine, she slips besides her grandmother in hopes of her husband never finding her. But things start to change, questions, and new-found passions that need to be answered and understood. Things not making enough sense, and reiging in her desires prove to be a challenege. Finding answers, but did that really mean all is well?

  Following Sandrine as she defies traditions, makes her new path, you really start to wonder- is it really her? The characters are all brought to life in such a way and with M.J. Rose's magical writing, you could only imagine how distinct they become. They're relationships take on the many different colors and bumps that make them thin or strong. Sensible and realistic, each character was enjoyable enough. From meeting Julian, Sandrine's grandmother and many others, it isn't so difficult to just imagine them walking down the cobbled streets of Paris or attending flourishing 1890s parties.

   A passionate, artistic work of art with a dash of witchcraft, M.J. Rose wrote a truly enticing historical-fiction novel. Taking a step back in Epoque Paris, it was an original and haunting adventure. A tale worth reading, the many aspects and elements play a strong role. The characters real, that even a ghost could be brought to life with the author's beautiful writing. The plot was  And I think I really love gothic Paris, who wouldn't?


DO I RECOMMEND?: 

   Yup, thumbs-up. Though I totally WARN OF MATURE CONTENT (NOT FOR EVERYONE)!!!


“The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.” 
― M.J. Rose, The Witch of Painted Sorrows




  Until next time, Read On! 

   Fangirl to the Stars,

     ~Z:)