March Wrap Up

This month was an awesome reading month … I read a total of 19 books (10 of which are novellas)!! I hope I can keep up like this every month or read at least 5 to 10 books!!

  1. Beautiful Bastard (Christina Lauren): 2 stars
  2. White Hot Kiss (Jennifer L. Armentrout): 5 stars
  3. The Shadowhunter’s Codex: 3 stars
  4. Stone Cold Touch (Jennifer L. Armentrout): 4 stars
  5. Every Last Breath (Jennifer L. Armentrout): 3 stars
  6. Stars Above (Marissa Meyer): 4 stars
  7. Obsession (Jennifer L. Armentrout): 4 stars
  8. Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Cassandra Clare): 4 stars
  9. The Lost Herondale (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  10. The Whitechapel Fiend (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  11. Nothing but Shadows (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  12. The evil we love (Cassandra Clare): 3 stars
  13. Pale kings and princes(Cassandra Clare): 4 stars
  14. Bitter of Tongue (Cassandra Clare): 4 stars
  15. The Fiery Trial (Cassandra Clare): 3 stars
  16. Born to endless night (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  17. Angels Descending Twice (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  18. Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare): 5 stars
  19. Attachments (Rainbow Rowell): 2 stars
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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1)

“It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?”

Lady Midnight Cover

Rating: 5 stars 

This book was one of my most anticipated reads in 2016, I had high expectations and I was hoping it wouldn’t disappoint me. Lady Midnight was absolutely phenomenal and it was as amazing as Clockwork Princess !! If the first book was this good i can’t imagine what  the other 2 books will have in stores for us !! It was a strong start for the TDA trilogy !! 

A book about shadowhunters and new characters was promising. Each character is extremely individual and realistic. I love absolutely all of them. I really liked that we got to see characters who were raised as Shadowhunters
What I loved about it is that every character was adding something to the story. It wasn’t just about Emma and Julian, Cassandra Clare made the whole Blackthorn involved in the mysteries they are solving even little Tivvy. It was an action-packed mystery that kept my attention from the beginning. 

Emma was this strong and determined character. She knew what she wanted to do all the way through even when she was making mistakes. Loved how she didn’t give up all these years and didn’t loose hope on who murdered her parents. Julian, on the other hand, had to really grow up fast since he was taking care of his siblings and didn’t get to live his childhood. We see his struggle during the story … keep up with his siblings and having those forbidden feelings to Emma.
We know since forever that parabatai can’t fall in love and we got to know why in Lady Midnight and it kinda makes sense. 

As I said before, it was a strong start to TDA and it has so much potential to be an awesome trilogy and be as good as TID. We need to know so many things: how Julian and Emma will be acting with each others in the second book and if Kit will have a major role in the story and if we’re gonna know more about Diana’s past. 

“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them.”

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Dark Elements #3)

“Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…”

every last breath cover

Rating: 3 stars 

It was a nice conclusion to the series but compared to the two previous books, this one was not what I had in mind. I liked it but kinda expected more idk.
I was happy with Layla’s choice. No surprise in that I was team Roth since he first shows up in White Hot Kiss. Zayne was not happy with the choice but he’ll get over it, he’s a nice guy and he’ll find someone else 😛 !!
Some of the scenes were awesome like when Layla went to face the Lilin and how Abbot died while protecting Layla.
BUT it needed a push and a focus on stuff like this: high school, more scenes with Stacey and how she was handling the situation, wardens (they were pretty left out in the book). I needed more honestly. I had high expectations since the 2 first books were awesome.

Needless to say that i don’t regret reading the story. I had a fun ride with all the characters especially with Roth and his sarcastic comments !!  

“I’m still not happy to see you,” she said.
Roth raised a shoulder. “And I’d say I’m sorry, but I still wouldn’t mean it.”

“And I love you,” he said. “With every breath I take, I will always love you.” 

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

I came across this article on facebook and thought i should share it here because it’s so accurate 😀

The article is taken from:  http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/date-reader-readers-best-people-fall-love-scientifically-proven/662017/

Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?

You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.

You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate. (Maybe, erotic?) You just had an intense and somewhat transient metamorphosis.

Like falling in love with a stranger you will never see again, you ache with the yearning and sadness of an ended affair, but at the same time, feel satisfied. Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul. You feel fed, if only for a little while.

This type of reading, according to TIME magazine’s Annie Murphy Paul, is called “deep reading,” a practice that is soon to be extinct now that people are skimming more and reading less.

Readers, like voicemail leavers and card writers, are now a dying breed, their numbers decreasing with every GIF list and online tabloid.

The worst part about this looming extinction is that readers are proven to be nicer and smarter than the average human, and maybe the only people worth falling in love with on this shallow hell on earth.

According to both 2006 and 2009 studies published by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and “theory of mind,” which is the ability to hold opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own.

They can entertain other ideas, without rejecting them and still retain their own. While this is supposed to be an innate trait in all humans, it requires varying levels of social experiences to bring into fruition and probably the reason your last partner was such a narcissist.

Did you ever see your ex with a book? Did you ever talk about books? If you didn’t, maybe you should think about changing your type.

It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference.

They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things you’ll never understand and have experienced deaths of people you’ll never know.

They’ve learned what it’s like to be a woman, and a man. They know what it’s like to watch someone suffer. They are wise beyond their years.

Another 2010 study by Mar reinforces this idea with results that prove the more stories children have read to them, the keener their “theory of mind.” So while everyone thinks their kids are the best, the ones who read have the edge as they truly are the wiser, more adaptable and understanding children.

Because reading is something that molds you and adds to your character. Each triumph, lesson and pivotal moment of the protagonist becomes your own.

Every ache, pain and harsh truth becomes yours to bear. You’ve traveled with authors and experienced the pain, sorrow and anguish they suffered while writing through it. You’ve lived a thousand lives and come back to learn from each of them.

If you’re still looking for someone to complete you, to fill the void of your singly-healed heart, look for the breed that’s dying out. You will find them in coffee shops, parks and subways.

You will see them with backpacks, shoulder bags and suitcases. They will be inquisitive and soulful, and you will know by the first few minutes of talking to them.

They Won’t Talk To You… They’ll Speak To You

They will write you letters and texts in verse. They are verbose, but not in the obnoxious way. They do not merely answer questions and give statements, but counter with deep thoughts and profound theories. They will enrapture you with their knowledge of words and ideas.

According to the study, “What Reading Does For The Mind” by Anne E. Cunningham of the University of California, Berkeley, reading provides a vocabulary lesson that children could never attain by schooling.

According to Cunningham, “the bulk of vocabulary growth during a child’s lifetime occurs indirectly through language exposure rather than through direct teaching.”

Do yourself a favor and date someone who really knows how to use their tongue.


They Don’t Just Get You… They Understand You

You should only fall in love with someone who can see your soul. It should be someone who has reached inside you and holds those innermost parts of you no one could find before. It should be someone who doesn’t just know you, but wholly and completely understands you.

According to Psychologist David Comer Kidd, at the New School for Social Research, “What great writers do is to turn you into the writer. In literary fiction, the incompleteness of the characters turns your mind to trying to understand the minds of others.”

This is proved over and over again, the more people take to reading. Their ability to connect with characters they haven’t met makes their understanding of the people around them much easier.

They have the capacity for empathy. They may not always agree with you, but they will try to see things from your point of view.


They’re Not Just Smart… They’re Wise

Being overly smart is obnoxious, being wise is a turn on. There’s something irresistible about someone you can learn from. The need for banter and witty conversation is more imperative than you may believe, and falling in love with a reader will enhance not just the conversation, but the level of it.

According to Cunningham, readers are more intelligent, due to their increased vocabulary and memory skills, along with their ability to spot patterns. They have higher cognitive functions than the average non-reader and can communicate more thoroughly and effectively.

Finding someone who reads is like dating a thousand souls. It’s gaining the experience they’ve gained from everything they’ve ever read and the wisdom that comes with those experiences. It’s like dating a professor, a romantic and an explorer.

If you date someone who reads, then you, too, will live a thousand different lives.

 

Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Dark Elements #2)

“Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…”

stone cold touch cover

Rating: 4 stars

In this book, we get to know the characters even more as well as the world we’re set in, therefore it was a little more enjoyable. (Even though i adored the first book). Let’s get started!!

Roth is back and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t imagine reading the book without him, his arrogant attitude and his sarcastic comments in it. In this book, he was really portrayed as a total asshole especially toward Layla. It was obvious (to me I think) that he didn’t mean what he was saying. Layla meant the world to him since he met her even if he didn’t show like a normal human being.

Maddox hissed. “You think you’re cute?”

“Nah, I think I’m sexy.” The smirk spread, but it didn’t reach his cool ocher eyes. “And I also think I’m hilarious”.

Layla was more confident in this book and in her capacities. Even when she doubt it herself, she overcome it easily than before especially with the help of Roth. Loved her character development.

Being kind of rejected by Roth, started a sort of relationship with Zayne. He really was in love with her and didn’t want to have this “brotherly” relationship with her. Even if I’m team Roth since the start, the relationship with Zayne wasn’t going to happen. Zayne always protected her and didn’t let her be herself like Roth. The latter was protective but he did have her back in everything she’s doing. Roth has been there for here all the time, accepting both of her sides and telling her that it’s ok to have little of bad in you. Zayne was really this nice guy and he didn’t deserve to be with Layla. I mean she didn’t do him justice since she was really into Roth the whole time even she was denying it.  But he was kicking some serious sexiness in this book and he kind of stand out more.

Abbot was this huge asshole in the book. He was totally blinded by his judgements and «hatred» toward Layla. We got that he doesn’t trust her completely after her lies but he didn’t have to shut her off like this and act like she was a complete stranger as well as a threat.

Loved the ending and how Roth’s behavior toward Layla was explained. But the mind blowing thing? It’s that cliffhanger that I didn’t expect at all. JLA knows how to end her books.

Overall it was a nice sequel to White Hot Kiss and didn’t fall in the category of the «middle book syndrome».

 

 

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Dark Elements #1)

“Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.”

whitehotkiss

Rating: 5 Stars

Jennifer L. Armentrout is definitely one awesome author and this book did not disappoint. I think her books are becoming my guilty pleasure. She surely knows how to keep her readers on edge during all her books and they keep craving for more.

When I read the synopsis, I already wanted to jump and started reading. Wardens* and demons in one story? It catches the attention of the reader and might well be an awesome action packed novel!!

(* Warden are gargoyles that look like humans except while they sleep or when they choose to shed their human skin as in during a fight. They protect mankind from demons.)

This novel follows the story of Layla, who’s half-warden and half-demon. Since a young age she was raised by the wardens but despite that they kind of despise her because of her demon side. She despises this side as well and the thing she hates more is that she craves human and wardens’ souls. One simple kiss and she won’t be able to stop herself from sucking someone’s soul.

This thing couldn’t let her to express her feeling toward Zayne. The only Warden who ever cared for her and always cared for her. They were raised together and were always next to each other’s as friends.

The main protagonist turned 17 at the beginning of the book and strange things kept on happening. All kinds of demons were after her and she didn’t know why until the sexy upper demon Roth came along and started helping her.

With the Wardens, Layla always felt unwanted and an outcast. But when she was with Roth she was able to be herself, felt secured and forget about her demon side. She could touch and kiss him without feeling guilty since he didn’t have any soul. She didn’t  where to belong and she was struggling all the way through.

The characters were funny, adorable, and fierce. Loved the chemistry between Layla, Roth and Zayne especially in the end. Layla, as a protagonist, didn’t bother me at all. She was this warrior and fierce character who knew what she wanted and didn’t accept to be put on the side. She was always up to every challenge that she was facing.   Zayne was this good friend to Layla and cared for and was there for her anytime she needed him. But on the other hand Roth was the one who made me go all crazy if you want. He was this arrogant and sarcastic boy who can make any girl falls in love with him. His comments with Layla were always on point:

“What are you looking for?” I asked, curious.
“A chicken,” he said, poking around the shelves. “Preferably a live chicken, but doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”
I leaned closer to him. “Do I want to know why you want a live chicken right now?”
“I thought it would make a good traveling companion.”

The story was so well written that I couldn’t put it down. The plot was addicting and full of surprises. It was full of actions from the beginning and it didn’t made me get bored easily. In every single page something popped up and made want to continue reading eagerly. The ending left me speechless so I’m starting the next one right away!!

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.”

Perksofbeingwallflower1

Rating: 2 stars

So I’ve finally read this book after putting it on my TBR list for so long. But let me tell you one thing … I might be the only person on the planet who didn’t love it. Maybe I had high expectations because of all the hype surrounding it. It’s my opinion, I know that many people loved it and recommend it to everyone. I might watch the movie in the near future just to see how the book was translated on the big screen. 

First of all the writing did really annoy. I had a hard time connecting with the story because of it. The story could have been written in the 3rd person or in many POV’s on how they see Charlie or something like that i don’t know. 

Then, concerning the plot !! I thought that the author wrote about every single issue any teenager can go through during this phase to mention a few: alcohol, drugs, insecurity … He could’ve shed the light on one or two of those issues and attempt to get to a result at the end of the book!! 

 Some books have some slow beginnings but somewhere in the middle the story can really catch someone’s attention. I thought this book would be in that category but needless to say that it didn’t have that strong story line that I keep looking for in every book I read. The thing that made me finish the book is that some of the characters were a little entertaining and I wanted to know how the author has ended his story.