Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pair Me Up! Tuesday ~ Team Hector

Formerly known as Team Tuesday, Pair Me Up Tuesday follows the same terms as Team Tuesday. (Sorry for the lack of posting these posts!) I have recently finished one of new favorite fantasy series this year, The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy. So, definitely I choose Lord Hector for Elisa more than ever! 

My heart belongs to Lord Hector because:

1. His honor as Captain of the Queen's Guard may be maddening when he can't put his feelings on the forefront but, he does have good intentions.

     Hector refers back to his honor to protecting Elisa many times when he knows that technically, he shouldn't have feelings for royalty. His honor blocks all his feelings from showing. But, what I respect about his honor is that, he shows that he cares too much to let his feelings guide him. Hector does his job well but, sometimes he needs to forget about that honor and just love (me) oops, I meant Elisa.

Psst... I'm the one who's rejected. 

2. When he loves, he loves hard.

        Hector has fallen for Elisa when he found her after she was kidnapped and from that moment on. No matter what Elisa saw with her insecurities about her body and other things, Hector overlooked that and still loved her for her. He's not the type to fall in love for some time and move on, NO, he's the type to love someone for as long as he lives.

3. He's the Captain of the Guard. 

      Ok, who doesn't ogle their eyes over the captain of the guard? Hector wouldn't be chosen to be the Captain if he didn't have these qualities: loyalty, honesty, physical-ability, fairness, etc. So far, I have my eyes for two characters that are captain of the guard in their books... I am slowly collecting more. *wink*

Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~
Did I convince you to love Hector too? Or did you love him already? Why? Comment below!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Starring... It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han {Review}

6584188Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

Stars in: YA Contemporary, Romance

Book Rating: 
Fangirling Scale: Wishing on the Stars!

Belly's perfect summer was set every year: at Cousins and with Susannah & her boys. Her summer will never change right? Well, put in Susannah's death this year into the picture. Things will never be the same for Belly and the boys ever again. 

How can I say this in the nicest way possible? This book did not woo me at all not like with the first book, The Summer I Turned Pretty. I know, I shouldn't be the one to judge since I don't review many contemporary books on my blog. But, I've read my fair share of contemporary and this one didn't do it for me. My main reason for not liking this book as I wanted to was that the whole time I was CONFUSED and ANNOYED at times with the characters and the storyline.

I will explain myself, don't worry. First of all, the plot was so disorganized where I mean that the order of some events should have been lined up next to each other rather than released in bits and pieces. Recalling a memory at the same time would have been easier to understand. Second, the events that did happen in those memories did not make any sense to me. At first, I thought I forgot some things that happened in the first book since it's been a long time I have read it. But, actually, Ms. Han just wrote those memories into the book. I didn't recall that Belly was ever even the girlfriend of Conrad because in the first book, he rejects her badly. When Belly referred to her and him dating, I was shocked because the time of when the events occurred, I felt that them dating was not logically correct. Everything just happened too fast when I felt that the book should have been started after the events of the first book. This just left me with more questions like: How can Belly even consider loving Conrad at all still?

As readers receive the dual point-of-views from Belly and Jeremiah, I felt that Belly's point-of-view was truly from a girl. Coming from a girl myself, I understand where Belly's love attachment to Conrad and her feelings would come from. From being insanely in love with Conrad, she is blinded by how he makes her feel and treats her. Even though her reaction totally makes sense to me, I still felt that Belly could have been less passive to Conrad's treatment and learned at least a LITTLE from her last try at love. In this book, she did not grow up at all and still goes back to Conrad at some point. Although she goes back to Conrad, in the end, I am sort of happy that she finally caught on that Conrad makes her go crazy and what surprises me is that she learns that maybe he's not the one for her. (But, guess what, she turns to someone else and ends up with that person!?)

I am deeply saddened that my feelings wasn't swayed by the romance or anything in this case. Since this book is a contemporary, romance and drama was its main focus. However, the romance was very dry as Conrad is basically acting as a hard-butt towards Belly and Jeremiah likes her but, she is not into him as much as Conrad. Conrad doesn't deserve Belly because she has been trying when he would basically appear to be toying with her emotions in my sight. This interaction in books and movies just kill me sometimes because I feel so bad for the person trying when the other person ignores their actions. Which then leads the person who was trying, to have another love interest they're involved in and that's the turning point where the other person who ignored them to finally display their true feelings towards the other person. That cycle looks like it will happen in the next book. *disappointed sigh and repetitive hitting my head on wall*

This series may have become a downer in the contemporary genre for me but, I decided to read the last book for the sake of wanting to know what will happen next. I'm not excited for the choices that Belly made in this book because I know that will just fill the storyline for the last book. All I'm going to say is that I was disappointed with my high expectations for this book. It's Not Summer Without You just didn't reach the stars this time.

Twinkling Quote:
Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Starring... Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen {Review}

11983940Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. 

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Book Rating: 
Fangirling Scale: Reaching for the Stars!

A new tale of Robin Hood is among us. Robin's band of thieves consists of a woman on his side and her name is Scarlet. Not to be thought of as weak, she's a missy not to be messed with or she will gut you with her knives. Bound to steal for the town of Nottingham, don't mess with Robin and his band because they will definitely steal your attention and heart.

I am very proud of the research clearly done for this book by Ms. Gaughen. She nailed the voice of where Scarlet takes us, the setting, the tale, and need I not say: my attention too! With the informal speech and correct English tone clearly shown in Scarlet's voice, I can envision her talking to the other characters which is a good thing for readers like me. (I'm not from England or anything but, I think Ms. Gaughen has gotten her voice right!) As well, the setting of the forest and Nottinghamshire is very easy to imagine. I could feel as if I am there with the characters in their story. Lastly I will boast about the research Ms. Gaughen has done on the tale of Robin Hood which she clearly did as she gave readers a list of sources she used to read more about Robin Hood. This retelling kept to the story very closely in my opinion and I loved that!

The characters in Scarlet are a great humorous bunch where their trust and hope is unconditional despite what they say to each other. It's clearly shown that Scarlet and the others love each other like family. Their lives have intertwined with one another's and that's what keeps them together. There is one character in particular that I respect and *cue applause*-Scarlet. She is an icon for strong women and female empowerment during the time. But, that's not the reason I respect her greatly. She can stand her own without the help of the guys. Scarlet can fight depending on her ability and strength as a person. At the same time, she is human too: her emotions and past cannot be hidden. (There is one person she is always honest to and guess who's that?)

If you guessed Robin Hood, then you are correct! The romance in this book resides with two of Scarlet's band mates. Another love triangle is in the air. However, I am swooning over and over for the relationship between Scarlet and Robin. (SORRY- but, I am SO going for Robin!) Ms. Gaughen writes a deep connection between the two throughout Scarlet when each time the other likes the other, which is displayed a lot, you can see (or should I say: read.) that Scarlet and Robin care for each other. Waiting for them to finally tell each other that they love each other took a while in Scarlet but, the time that it took for their relationship to take its ride is definitely worth it because that's how relationships form. Smiles and blushing covered my face the whole time when I read about them. (Oops, somehow I still can't wipe that smile off my face...)  

Scarlet is a retelling everyone should read. With an intriguing premise of the well-known tale of Robin Hood, Ms. Gaughen has written a heart-pumping story where the point of view doesn't follow Robin Hood himself but, Scarlet, a lady thief of sorts. Adventure, suspense, and romance is what stole my heart and are what I hope it takes to steal yours too.

Twinkling Quote:
Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~

Friday, December 26, 2014

Starring... Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen {Review}

16181630Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
Stars in: YA Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Book Rating: 
Fangirling Scale: Reaching for the Stars!

Robin Hood's band of thieves may have hit some bumps along the way to save their little town of Nottingham but, this time may not be easy to go by.What will Scarlet, Robin Hood, Much, and John do in order to save the town or themselves? Will their unselfish selves finally pay off to a life they wanted?

When I marathoned this series, I am so glad I did! A continuation of Scarlet's adventure in their pursuit to saving the town of Nottingham is the most suspenseful as compared to the previous book. Readers will see beloved characters (Robin, my beloved.) in pain and involved in serious trouble that puts their lives at stake. As Lady Thief is the sequel to Scarlet, I would say that the series is getting better and better! My heart was thumping of fear and excitement with the events that Ms. Gaughen has executed in this installment. Surely, Lady Thief was never a bore to read.

Readers revisit Scarlet's point of view and authentic voice in Lady Thief. Scarlet's speech is relatively evident to how people during the time the book is placed in with the slang and past tense of how she spoke. Not only does Scarlet have a great voice in her story, she is an amazing lead character. I'm officially announcing that Scarlet is part of the Strong Fictional Women Hall of Fame! Even with the pressures of the royal court and the expectations of her "husband" (whom I hate for separating my couple!), Scarlet never backs down to saving the rights she thinks women deserve according to that time period. No one will control this girl, not even Robin Hood. 

Seeing my glorious thieving bunch in pain in this book was heartbreaking but, very much appreciated in this book. One thing that I notice in epic series is that the sequel always display the aftermath from the events of predecessor. But, usually their pain does not outweigh their story and Lady Thief contradicts this statement. Robin suffers greatly from his dreams that seem to overrule him. This problem fits accordingly to the events of the previous book and purposely shows that our characters were extremely hurt. So basically what I'm trying to say is: I liked seeing how pain really does leave a mark in characters. And Lady Thief did just that!

My heart definitely will not come back to life after the events of Lady Thief. (Warning: Be ready my fragile fangirls.) Robin Hood and Scarlet work really hard for their relationship to stay and they really do deserve that despite all the things that force them to separate from each other. Their love for each other has formed from their current care for the other and that's what makes me ship them so hard. Love is what keeps them together even if Robin suffers from his dreams which physically hurts Scarlet. But, she takes the hits because that is what love does to people, showing one that love will survive if it is truly real. 

Once again, Ms. Gaughen has stole my heart and mental stability with the miserable outcome to Scarlet and Robin's romance because of a certain someone that I will certainly end up killing if Robin doesn't first. Now, I am eagerly anticipating and dreading the last Scarlet novel, Lionheart. I'm at the stage that I don't want it to end but, I gotta know what happens. Yeah, the Scarlet series has gotten me hooked...

Twinkling Quote: 
Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Big Dippin' Thursday ~ Tether by Anna Jarzab

Welcome twinklers! I would like to welcome you to a new meme on this blog, Big Dippin' Thursdays. Big Dippin' Thursdays are focused on the hooklines that cover designers put on the cover of books to catch your interest or the taglines that are put in the synopsis to get you to read the book. Basically, sentences that catch your eye and say, "Oooo! I want that book."


Author: Anna Jarzab
Publication Date: March 10th 2015

I've read the first book to The Many-Worlds Trilogy already and am hooked. The parallel universe topic is always cool to read about. Hearing the theories and possibilities are endless. Judging by the tagline, many questions arise from me. Who is waiting for her on the other side of the tandem? Why must she go over the tandem again? What is her destiny?

Which tagline/hookline of a book makes you want to read it now? Comment below!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Starring... The Iron King by Julie Kagawa {Review}

6644117Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Book Rating: 1/2
Fangirling Scale: Gazing at the Stars!

The magic of our world materializes and exists around us but, our problem is that we don't open our eyes since our belief runs strong. A magical realm we didn't know existed that only few can see and that few includes Meghan Chase. Always thought to be a normal girl in this world when in the faery realm of the Summer kingdom, she is crown princess of Midsummer Night's Dream's King Oberon. The Iron King shows that one's world is not what one expects.

Surprisingly, I don't have much to say about this book. I didn't hate or love it. The Iron King stayed on the level of where I can say that the book was "fine". I know that The Iron King is a well loved series by fans of Julie Kagawa (And I am a fan of hers too!) but, this book did not have anything about it that surprised me. I did fairly enjoy it though!

One thing (Actually two!) I wished publishers didn't print in this book was that in the synopsis, they shouldn't have revealed that Meghan was a daughter to a faery king, a princess. I felt that this revelation could have been well executed to the point that readers may be surprised. As well, the storyline for The Iron King was so girl-finds-out-she-is-something typical for me. Most of the time, I predicted what would happen and most of the time I was right. No surprises in this front.

Meghan's voice in The Iron King felt genuine like the girl-next-door voice I always like reading in. Ms. Kagawa accurately writes a teenage girl's voice in The Iron King which made me like Meghan as a character. Her loyalty to others amazes me because even when all is thought to be given up on, Meghan will always fulfill her promises. On the other case of the other characters, I love how Ms. Kagawa has gotten her inspiration of her characters from the cast of Midsummer Night's Dream. This relation adds on to the aspect of magic surrounding the story. But, I felt that some of the characters could have had more important roles in the story. 

The "forbidden romance" in this story is actually forbidden from my criteria. I don't actually like it when characters instantly, from the first time they see each other, fall in love. That happened in this book. Meghan instantly is attracted and falls for Ash. Also, a love triangle was pushed forward in this book with Meghan, Ash, and Puck. It was OK. Not swoonworthy as I wanted it to be.I am not taking a side on who Meghan will end up with because I am not really rooting for anyone but, I do have a notion that I know who she will end up with. I think it's obvious.

The Iron King met my fangirling scale of: Gazing at the Stars barely. (Maybe I wasn't feeling to reading The Iron King at the time.) High fantasy is what I dub this series as and if that's what you want to read next, then I recommend this book for you. The magical aspect is rich in this book and I hope to continue reading the next book in this series.

Twinkling Quote:
Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~

Monday, December 22, 2014

Starring... The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson {Review}

The champion must not waver.
The champion must not fear.
The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy's kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.

But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.

Even of those who hate her most.
Book Rating:
Fangirling Scale: Reaching for the Stars! (More than ever did I swoon!)

The ice surrounding my bookish heart melted once again for the last installment in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. The Bitter Kingdom lost me from time to time because of endless swooning, uber-happiness, and fangirling at its finest. What can I say, I can't say goodbye to a beloved series (and Hector+Elisa)!

With a clear transition of the events ending the previous book, The Crown of Embers, this book continues following Elisa and her journey to becoming the queen she aspires to be. Being the last book, the reader never jumps into a slowing dead end and ventures into action immediately. The order of how the events are played out is consistent, leading to a happy ending I loved. This is one of the first times I have ever read such a happy ending to a series because usually authors try to end the series with a BANG! (Which sometimes gets me annoyed...) Ms. Carson ends the series with closure and the reader left sad to say a final farewell to the series.

Our young Queen Elisa is still her relatable self and I would say: stronger than ever in The Bitter Kingdom. Elisa clearly has gone through a lot of character development since the beginning of the series where she was an insecure, scared girl and now to a clever, brave young queen I have admired and consider one of my favorite book characters this year.She doesn't lose that girly aspect to her when she is with Hector or her non-subtlety which makes me very thankful to Ms. Carson for creating Elisa. I will never say goodbye to Elisa since I consider one of those characters you will never forget.

I know what you are all waiting for: What about the ROMANCE, Jamie? I will get there twinklers, hold on. First of all, may I ask, Does Hector and Elisa have a ship name? (Yes, my shipping for their relationship has gotten to that level. I will go down with this ship.) I'll call them, Helisa. Away from that, if the events of the last book left you heartbroken, I assure you, The Bitter Kingdom will keep your shipper heart warm and toasty. Their love for each other stays strong to the point where they bring the best in each other. Words cannot express how much their relationship is truly a gift from Ms. Carson. (A new OTP was made.)

I am very sad to say goodbye to this series. The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy has become one of the best YA fantasy series I have read of all time. I am thankful for picking up this series blindly.(I never do this because somehow I spoil myself! A bad habit, I know...) On to the bigger picture, The GIrl of Fire and Thorns trilogy has touched a special star in my heart and I hope it does the same to you.

Twinkling Quote:
Always looking for the star,

peach sundress ~