Friday: What Are You Reading?

Ever since I’ve put my own writing projects on a hiatus so I can figure out where I want things to go, I have taken to reading fiction a lot, both as digital or audio. To be honest I used to hate audio but have now completely embraced it, since it offers certain flexibilities that can’t be possible with other formats. This is a fact that has been dealt with extensively on many blogs, and I will not bore you with the arguments here.

So far as my choice of genres go, currently I have been dedicating most of my time to checking out those hyped YA books that I totally ignored when they came out. Apart from popular titles like The Hunger Games, Divergent series, Harry Potter and Twilight, I have never been too eager to pick up YA novels but now I’m discovering there’s actually a lot out there, great and not so great. It’s not an easy genre to like if you’re too much into serious plots, but if you’re into easy reading and simple characterization, then it does have something to offer.

Moving on to what I’m currently enjoying, or alternatively enduring, here are two I’m taking in simultaneously.

The Elite: #2 in The Selection Series

I’m listening to the audio version of this. A beautiful though low caste girl has entered a competition to become the bride of a rich, handsome prince.

 

 

 

The Sound of Us. #1 in the Radio Hearts Seies

The first ever novel by famous Geekerella writer Ashley Poston. I only just began reading this and have no idea where the plot will take me, so we’ll see.

If you’re into YA, have already checked out these titles? What do you think about them?

Throwback Thursday

This week I have decided to visit Allegiant, the third book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. It opens with Tris Prior being held in some sort of prison, but a plan is soon hatched to free her together with her comrades. I’m kind of having mixed feelings about this book and so far have found nothing extraordinarily exciting about this story even though I have reached that part where Tris and her co-conspirators have finally managed to escape from the city. It’s supposed to be a major turning point but so far I haven’t had any vibes that something big is around the corner.

I’ll stick around though and find out where it all ends. I didn’t read this book when it came out, so please don’t send me any spoilers.

First Lines Friday

I like to participate in this feature a lot because it helps us to check how much we remember of those books we have read and loved. The first lines of a novel do quite a bit of heavy lifting—they welcome us into a story, pique our interest, and initiate the whole process that keep us glued to the pages, until before we know it, we have consumed a good amount of a book. And although a story’s ending is usually what sticks in our brains the most, the first lines are what have paved the way to make us get there.

So here’s my installment for this week.

The screw through …..’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean

      

And here’s the answer: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I haven’t checked this one yet but it’s so high on my TBR list, I won’t be surprised if it’s the next one I pick up, a couple days from now. It received rave reviews on Goodreads, too, so guess I’m going to like it.

How about you. Have you read it, and if so, did you like it?

Credit: First Lines Friday started at Wandering Words, Please head over there and give them some loving.

 

It’s Monday: what are you reading?

Goodreads blurb: Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

I totally ignored this one when it came out a while ago in 2017, but now that I am on a spree to check out all overhyped books, particular YA, I decided to give it a chance. It’s not bad at all and I am enjoying the fact that it’s written in two voices, which adds an extra dimension to the story. Ashely Poston is a very capable writer who is so in touch with geek culture, and I might end up giving this book more than three stars

If classic fantasy retellings are your cup of tea and you haven’t checked this one yet, I would urge you to give it a try.

Throwback Thursday

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle.

I just decided to check out this Sci-fi classic that I read years ago during my formative years. Written circa 1960, it’s truly a beloved masterpiece that has stood the test of time.

Meg, the teen daughter of two scientists, goes together with her brother Charles Wallace, and another teenaged neighbor of hers, Calvin O’Keefe, on an unexpected space adventure that comes courtesy of the three W’s: Mrs Which, Mrs Who and Mrs Whatsit—what a strange way to name characters.

I loved this Middle Grade novel when I recently re-read it, almost just as much as I did when I encountered it the first time around. It’s a fast read with lots of thrills, even though it’s light and targeted at much younger readers. Even so I didn’t regret picking it up at all.

How about you? Did you ever read this one?

Cover Love Friday

COVER LOVE FRIDAY

Hello there, lovelies. Today is my turn to participate in this weekly meme termed Cover Love Fridays. It’s a feature that allows us to judge a book simply by its cover, even though there’s this age-old rule that cautions us against doing just that. My reason for taking part is that Cover Love simply allows us to celebrate the stellar work done by graphics designers worldwide, as they work diligently to bring an author’s ideas to life in the form of a thought-provoking or alluring cover.

My entry today is Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead, a second in series novel I’m currently checking out.

It concerns a down-trodden girl who has signed up to be transported abroad and married off to any wealthy suitor willing to pay the involved hefty fee—and then the girl can live her life happily or sadly as a trophy wife. Does our Girl, Mira, rush to get into the arms of some boring old man? No, not by any chance. Mira has found love for herself and is working hard to flip the system on its head.

My comment: This cover, friends, is awesomely pretty and it swept me off my feet. I maybe a sucker for fine-looking girls but you have to admit this model is the definition of gorgeous. The flowery background contrasts well with her skin, and well, what more could you ask for? Overall, a five-star piece.

First Lines Friday

I have never participated in this weekly feature before, but after noticing several bloggers take part, I thought to give it a go. The feature, hosted by @Wandering Words, revolves around giving away only the first few lines of a novel and then letting readers guess the title, plus of course the author. The little game, I suppose, is most relevant to those readers who read a lot among several genres, and it tests their ability to remember the first chapter of their past reads.

That said, here goes mine for this week.

WHEN WE GOT THE LETTER in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me. I didn’t think I was a particularly disobedient daughter, but this was where I drew the line.

I didn’t want to be royalty. And I didn’t want to be a One…

The answer is THE SELECTION by Kierra Cass,

A novel I read only last week and found it quite entertaining even though the prose wasn’t as polished. A full review is on it’s way. Just watch this space.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

 

 

I’m glad to say it’s my first time to participate in this amazing feature, and I probably will continue to do so—because we all love old things, don’t we?

Let me kick off this week with The Death Cure, by James Dashner, the third installment in his amazing Maze Runner series

I have been meaning to read this final book of the Maze Runner saga for years but then never had the time for it, as I got swamped in other things. But now that I have gotten to, I am getting mixed feelings. I loved the first two books but that was years ago even before the movies came out, but now I’m sad to say the third one isn’t living up to the hype.

The Death Cure starts with the M/C Thomas holed up in some prison-like white room, trying to recall the events that led him to be there. The cure for the Flare, the deadly virus that leads to all the experimenting with humans that’s the subject of this novel series, is yet to be found, but Thomas is told by his informer that salvation is near, and what’s left is just a little more simulation and then the ordeal will be over.

A novel in which terrible things are done to children for the sake of saving the greater society might make for an engaging read, but I think by the time the story gets to The Death Cure the power of this plot gimmick has waned considerably. I found it difficult to stay interested in what WICKED was trying to achieve, or feel any connection with what the main characters were striving for.

 

James Dashner is a great writer however, and his prose is up there with the very best and even though I wasn’t too taken with this one, I will always seriously consider any new works he may publish.

What I am reading now. 

 

It hasn’t been my practice to say something about a book before I finish reading it, but here is a brief review of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, a historical romance and adventure novel that has won quite some readership in the almost four years since it’s been published. It’s sold as fantasy but I insist it’s a historical romance.

 

The story concerns a lead character named Adelaide, a countess of Osfrid whose family has lost its fortune and she is in danger of leading an impoverished lifestyle unless she can marry well. In the novel’s beginning, Adelaide—apparently not her real name—has an arranged marriage hanging over her head, but before this is consummated, she must make a daring escape to join the Glittering Court, a finishing school for poor uneducated girls seeking to find husbands among successful men abroad. That’s how Adelaide ends up being shown off to potential suitors whom she has zero interest in—while her heart surprisingly is with someone who has always been very close by.

 

Gosh, I must say I am finding this quite a compelling read and will most likely continue with the series. Mead paints a picture of a highborn girl who has had a bit of misfortune but never gives up the fight to make things go her way rather than simply resign to fate. I am invested not only in the story of Adelaide but also of the other girls who are struggling for a better life alongside her. I already gave the book four stars on Goodreads and that’s not likely to change.

Coming to You: A Prequel to The Hunger Games

The fever has begun to build in advance of the anticipated release of this prequel to the Hunger Games in May this year. Suzanne Collins returns to the world of Panem to chronicle the events of the 10th edition of the games, which happen at least 64 years before Katniss’s. The M/C of this divisive prequel is Coriolanus Snow himself, the much hated villain of the Hunger Games books. Snow—probably having emerged winner the previous year, although there is no details of this yet—is now up to mentoring other contestants, specifically a girl from District 12. Do you like the idea—Suzanne hopes you do.

The general feeling among early reviewers though, at least according to what I have glimpsed, is that fans are not impressed by this choice of lead, and I tend to agree with them. Taking such a dastard human rights abuser like Snow and making him into a lovable hero has to be one of the most ludicrous decisions in the history of novel writing or in this case prequel writing. Coriolanus dies a defeated man at the end of the main series, and there is not an ounce of sympathy anyone felt for him. Suzanne should have left him dead and buried and not try to resurrect him while giving him a veneer of respectability.

I haven’t read an actual copy of this myself, but dare I say it will take a lot of deft maneuvering to pull of a twist like this. Otherwise the whole thing is going to fall flat and seem just a pointless, if not actually a very greedy money-grab. Not that it’s bad for authors to profit from their works, but fans deserve a decent, well-conceived product.

Now how about you guys, what do you think? Are you impressed by this latest effort of Collins and her publishers? Are you going to rush to stores when the book finally comes out in May? Me, uh, I’ll just wait and see.