First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday (42)

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First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. Simply share the first paragraph of the first chapter of the book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

Now that I’ve finished my Harry Potter re-read, I am back into the swing of things, working through my TBR shelf/shelves. Two days ago on Sunday I started reading Jojo Moyes’ The Girl You Left Behind.

I was dreaming of food. Crisp baguettes, the flesh of teh bread a virginal white, still steaming from the oven, and ripe cheese, its borders creeping toward the edge of the plate. Grapes and plums, stacked high in bowls, dusky and fragrant, their scent filling the air. I was about to reach out and take one, when my sister stopped me. “Get off,” I murmured. “I’m hungry.”

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Details: 222pp, Feiwel & Friends hardcover
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book 0.5
Rating: 4/5
Buy: BN.comBooks-a-MillionBook Depository

Summary (from Goodreads): In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. Continue reading

#23

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Get ready for some awesome, y’all, because this past Wednesday was my birthday. These beauties were presents:

DSC_0598 DSC_0599The set was a last minute “OH MY GOODNESS I KNOW WHAT I WANT” type of thing because up until the week before my birthday, I hadn’t thought of anything I could put on a list. I’m one of those people who wants the best deal they can find (especially when it comes to books) and I feel like I can get much better deals if I buy things for myself. ANYWAY. This set was a total yes. And it’s so beautiful! The redesigns have definitely grown on me because I love how we can see some great scenery from the books. AND the spines make Hogwarts!

Then, there were these:

DSC_0600DSC_0601Red Queen and Dove Arising were surprises — thanks, mom! She went to Blue Willow Bookshop wanting to get me little things to wrap. Great surprises! Nowhere But Home and Me Before You were BookOutlet purchases about a week and half, maybe two weeks ago that just arrived Tuesday. A Darker Shade of Magic was a purchase while I was out shopping on birthday Wednesday! Ms Victoria Schwab is one of my favorites — how could I not??

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday (2): a day late!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Five Favorite Heroines from Books

I’m narrowing this down to top five because I think I’m getting pickier with my love of strong female characters in that I really want to see a character development arc. I don’t just want them to be strong through and through. That being said, these are my top five.

1. Celaena Sardothein: the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. Celaena is so badass yet she we continue to learn more and more about her. In the beginning she was the only female in a sea of male competitors to be Champion and we saw plenty of weak spots there. And again when she finds her true nature and her magical gift blossoms. Though she has two (maybe three?) men she may or may not have deeper feelings for, I also really love how she doesn’t concentrate on the romance. She knows there’s more to her life than that and WOW IS THAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

2. Hermione Granger: the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Among the blogs I follow both on bloglovin’ and tumblr, Hermione is almost always a given when it comes to female characters. To me, she is particularly well-rounded: brains, a bright personality, and cute looks underneath her big front teeth and frizzy hair. And she is a fierce, fierce friend. If I could have a posse of literary characters, Hermione would be the first on my list!

3. Lisbeth Salander: the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. With a horrid past and (quite often) present, Lisbeth is a fighter. She is a character to look up to in the case of overcoming obstacles, though she does use methods of which I do not approve on principle. It’s more of her pure survival instinct that I admire and I don’t think that trait is very common in heroines. Sure, everyone wants to survive, but so many heroines are not concerned with doing absolutely anything — including murder — to survive or get to the bottom of a dirty, ages-old mystery.

4. Scarlet: the Scarlet series by A. C. Gaughen. The historical Robin Hood story with this (almost) gender-bending twist had me drooling after Scarlet in both of the books. She has very strong morals and is also majorly loyal to her friends.

5. Mackenzie Bishop: the Archived series by Victoria Schwab. After arguing with her parents about what kind of future she wants, she goes against their wishes and chooses the path she thinks best for herself. In this case following in the footsteps of her grandfather — it’s independence that I see, not the parental disregard. Considering the help and training her grandfather ave her before he passed, she’s more than just capable at following his path as a Keeper.

While there are plenty more female heroines from books that make my favorites list in some manner, these are the ones that I love all-round. Read: ones that I root for in more than one capacity.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Details: 355pp, Putnam Books for Young Readers hardcover
Series: The Young Elites, book 1
Rating: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her. Continue reading

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Details: 368pp, Kindle edition
Series: The Maze Runner, book 2
Rating: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety… until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim… and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED? Continue reading

Speaking of….miscellaneous bookmarks!

Hi, my name is Devon and I am a bookmark-aholic.

About 99 percent of the time, I use a bookmark. School books were the only kind of books I would ever dog-ear because I didn’t particularly love them enough to keep them in pristine condition. Now, with all of my pleasure-reading books, I use bookmarks because I worry that if the dog-ears are reused enough, eventually the corners will tear off. Crazy, maybe a little OCD, I know. But I love my books. I respect them. So I use an amalgam of bookmarks and bookmark-shaped items as placeholders.

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(Apologies for the somewhat-blurry picture. My autofocus isn’t working particularly well, so I had to manually focus.)

These placeholders kind of serve as reminders to where I’ve traveled to and where I would like to go. Top left is from a store in Zürich where I bought one of my Harry Potters. I was in the middle of a series re-read and wanted to continue both reading and building my collection of different versions. The ticket on the top right is from my college when I was a guest at my friend’s dance performance. “The Strand”, from when I visited with another friend back in July 2013 — my first visit to that bookstore! And the yellow/sepia right next to it is from Shakespeare & Co. when my parents visited Paris this past September. I have not been to that store or to Paris, but both are on my bucket list! As for the others, I’ve just collected them along the way. Both the TARDIS and Wicked Witch were stocking stuffers; Doctor Who and Wizard of Oz are two of my favorite things!