Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

The Golden Lily
(Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication: June 12, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating:

description

72603-add-to-goodreads-button

Synopsis new

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formorly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

my thoughts new

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Another successful buddyread with my sis Bea. You’ll see her beautiful review when you click her name. 🙂

One word to fully describe the awesomeness of this book: ADRIAN.

description

Holy craaap! This boy is one of the best, swoon-worthy fictional guys and it’s so unfair we could not see him in the flesh!

After reading this book, I was left utterly speechless and blown away. It was way too good! Most sequels in a series tend to give me some doubts with their potentials because oftentimes an author changes his or her tune and the end product sometimes disappoints me. But in this sweet, sweet sequel, I put all my faith and 100% belief that it will turn out good and I was right. It was one of the most amazing installments in a series. Because Richelle Mead apparently does not disappoint.

I loved how The Golden Lily lived up to the interesting plot and romance that made the first book Bloodlines an enjoyable read. In this book, Sydney Sage and Adrian Ivashkov‘s character was greatly developed as they continued to hide under the radar of the enemies of St. Vladimir Academy. There were lots of things that happened here and new characters were introduced, too.

I wasn’t disappointed with the way things had panned out in this book. The plotline was so good and the pacing was fast. No dull moments as well. It was also nice to see the (non-insta-love) romantic development between Sydney and Adrian. Their romance, in a way, was slow-burning and tension-fueled and I totally loved it!

What also basically got me hooked was how likable the characters were. Sydney is a female lead that I will love to befriend in real life because she is so smart, determined, and mature. I loved how she has this positive attitude that everything can be done– no matter how difficult that thing is. She especially encourages and inspires Adrian to be the best that he can be, and that is something. Adrian is also one great male lead. Since Vampire Academy, this guy already took my breath away because of his humor and romantic gestures. He didn’t change in this series. In fact, his character became even better!

I also loved the humor and the witty exchange of dialogues here. When you pair Sydney and Adrian together, everything collides so perfectly!!!

description

Apart from that, Richelle Mead also made this book even more interesting because of the side characters like Eddie, Jill,Angeline, Sonya, Trey, Dimitri, etc. The value of friendship and family love was so touching!

These are my favorite lines from Adrian that basically knocked me off my feet:

“I tried to be a better person for her (Rose)– but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I’m around you, I want to be better because… well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.”

*gasps

All in all, I had a great time with The Golden Lily. After reading it, all I wanted to do was read the next book which is The Indigo Spell. 🙂 It was just everything I wanted in a sequel!

Rating:

description

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

 

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched (Trylle, #1)

Switched
(Trylle #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Tor
Publication: January 5, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating:

three stars

72603-add-to-goodreads-button

What if your entire world was built on a lie?

Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in…

She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why…

When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. Förening, the home of the Trylle.

Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about.

The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever…

my thoughts

Switched by Amanda Hocking

First off, Switched is really gorgeous. Just look at the cover. Isn’t it so beautiful? I personally chose this edition because the cover has some work of magic in it. It’s like, it has an ability to suck me into its world. Beautiful!

Second, the premise is really, really good. I love fae stories, andtrolls are something new to me. I wanted to know more about trolls because I really find them interesting.

And of course, the fact that the female character Wendy Everly is a troll and a changeling, I knew I will really like this book.

So, was this book a yay or nay?

I must say, a little bit of both.

description

I love it because honestly, Amanda Hocking‘s writing style is so flawless and very easy to read. She uses words that are light and undemanding. She doesn’t complicate everything and she doesn’t give me trouble analyzing such things. Her character and world-building is also non-complex. What you read is what you get.

Now what made me become (a little) bit disappointed was theplot. It was neatly done, but it was weak. The progression was poorly established. I think there were scenes that weren’t really necessary but they were given emphasis (I guess to lengthen the whole book) but to be honest, the interesting things only happened at the last few chapters of the book.

Another thing that bothered me was the existence of theVittras. These are the creatures that act as antagonists. They are Trylle’s greatest enemies. In this book, their descriptions unfortunately didn’t make an exceptional appeal. Their physicality was so vague. I couldn’t really imagine how they look like. Do they look like human or something?

My expectation for this book was also different. Because this book talks about trolls, I really expected to see some unworldly mythical creatures here. Creatures that look like these:

description

description

description

Because we’re talking about trolls, right?

So why did I only see humans and no trolls at all? This is fantasy so I was looking for something different. Anyway, I understand it as I’ve read further, because the author eventually explained it through her characters that trolls don’t really look mystical but instead, they look human. So yeah, I couldn’t do anything about that. BUT STILL. I want to see REAL TROLLS. :-/

Nevertheless, the thing that absolutely lifted the whole story was Finn. This character is so amazing. I like him from the beginning up to the end. Even though he’s brooding and he was quite snobby in most parts of the book, the gentleness and protectiveness in him were so tangible.

I have nothing against Wendy, on the other hand. She’s an okay character and she doesn’t annoy me, but I think she needs some development. There were parts when she doesn’t know what to do and she’s very dependent to other people despite her extraordinary abilities. Hopefully her character will get better in the next books.

As a whole, this book is good. I just think it needs more elements to make it really sensational. My friends who have already read this series told me that it’s going to get better in the next installments, so we’ll see. Good luck to me! (oh, it rhymes! ha!)

Rating: 3 Stars

Buy this book at

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

signature ok

Interview with Michelle Johnson, Author of Oleah Chronicles

Oleah Chronicles: Truth

Synopsis new

What would you do if everything you thought to be true in your life was a lie?

Sixteen-year-old Angel Seriki must face overwhelming truths about her family when she meets Zander Black, a new student to her high school who is smart, charming and devastatingly beautiful. The revelations he uncovers to her about her family’s past changes everything, and as her relationship and feelings for Zander deepen, so do the risks involved. She must now accept her fate and face the true reality of who and what she is. Even if that means giving up everything, including being human.

72603-add-to-goodreads-button

Check my review of Oleah Chronicles: Truth here.

autho interview new new

Hi, Michelle! Welcome to my blog. Thanks for taking time to do this interview with me. What inspired you to write? 

Thank you so much for allowing me to do this! Your support is greatly appreciated and definitely valued! I suppose I’ve always written from since I can remember. I used to constantly write stories as a kid that I still have to this day about vampires, werewolves and all types of craziness HAHAHA! I’ve also always kept a diary throughout the years so writing is something that has always been a part of me. I can’t say anything in particular inspired me per se, when I began writing Oleah Chronicles: Truth, I had no intention to share it with anyone. I just started writing the crazy thoughts that were in my head one day, and before I knew it I had written three chapters. From there it kinda took on a life of its own.

Can you tell us something interesting about your book Oleah Chronicles that everyone should expect before reading it?

I would say to expect to be taken a journey through the eyes of a shy teen who’s life gets derailed from secrets that resurface from a past she never knew was her own. The story has many elements of fantasy in it along with creatures you’ve never heard of before.

What was the most difficult part of writing Oleah Chronicles? 

Honestly, the most difficult part of the story was describing the Oleahs. In my head it’s so clear, but when applying it to paper I became frustrated one too many times because it didn’t sound right. I’m still not a hundred percent satisfied with the end result of my descriptions, which is why I decided that a visual was definitely needed on the front cover. Some things you just have to see, you know? I also put up a section on my website called “What is an Oleah” for anyone else that needed to see what it is I was trying to describe.

Apart from writing, what are your other interests in life?

I love to draw! Once upon a time I wanted to have my own comic book, but about ten or twelve years ago, my computer crashed and I lost all my files. After that, I was never inspired enough to start over. I do however, keep a sketch book that I like to draw in occasionally.

Aw… That is so sad. I hope you can get back to doing your hobby again. Do you have a technological device that you find hard to live without?

My phone! HAHAHA! I rely so much on my phone it’s scary! Its always on me and I am always on it checking my Instagram, emails, Goodreads, everything! So bad, but true!

Story of my life. Haha! When will the next book of the series be released? And what can we look forward?

The next book will be called Oleah Chronicles: Justice, and the goal is to get it out early next year. It’s much darker than the first book and will definitely take readers on an emotional ride that will be jam packed with action. When readers meet Angel in Truth, she’s just an insecure, naive and scared kid. In Justice, she has to face her fear and confront her own weaknesses which will transform her into who she’s meant to be.

Wow. Now I’m more excited for Angel’s character development! Now for some fun facts:
Favorite food? My background is Jamaican, so I love west indian food. But as of late, I’ve become really obsessed with Mediterranean food. Shwarma has become my weakness. 🙂
Ultimate book boyfriend? Ugh!! It’s soooo hard to choose! I have three of them, Edward from Twilight, Bones from The Night Huntress Series and Gideon Cross from the Crossfire Series. Now, if I could merge them all together to have Edward’s sensitivity, Bone’s personality and possessiveness with Gideon’s looks, that would be the ULTIMATE BOOK BOYFRIEND!! Gah!!!
Favorite TV show? For the longest time it was Spartacus and True Blood, but now it’s all about Scandal! Team Fitz!
Dream destination? Rome, Italy! I went there when I was sixteen and fell in love with it.
Thanks again for dropping by the blog, Ms. Michelle! It is such a pleasure!

You can purchase Oleah Chronicles: Truth in:

Michelle Johnson

about the author new

(Bio taken from Goodreads)

Throughout my childhood I was always told I had a very creative imagination. I was drawn to stories of mythical creatures and all things that would usually give my peers the heebie geebies. Shows like Tales from the Crypt Keeper and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were among some of my favourites.

I developed a strong passion for design and illustration, drawing the ideas that arose in my head and finding great excitement in bringing them to life. This led me to pursue a career in graphic design and marketing so that I could always use my creativity to the fullest.

I have always loved reading and the way a compelling story would allow my mind to absorb its detailed imagery. I began to use writing as a tool to bring my creative thoughts to fruition one day, which has brought me to this moment.

I’m a romantic at heart and a sucker for stories about true love which is reflected in my writing and helped bring the Oleah Chronicles to life. I hope you enjoy my first book and through it you experience the eccentric vision that began in my mind so long ago.

Follower her on twitter: https://twitter.com/OleahChronicles

and on her website: http://www.oleahchronicles.com

xo pearl

REVIEW: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

Shadow and Bone
(The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Square Fish
Published: June 17, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

fourstars

Darkness never dies.


Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

MY THOUGHTS…

“We are alike, as no one else is, as no one else will ever be.”

This book only describes one thing– INTENSE! From the very beginning, I already enjoyed it because there was already some action going on. It got me feeling exhilarated and thrilled.

What I love about this second installment of The Grisha series is that Leigh Bardugo never fails to execute a kind of sequel that responds well to the first book. She also made a challenging deal by introducing new characters who eventually became remarkable in this book. Speaking of new characters, I was sooo fascinated with Nikolai Lantsov! Ladies, brace yourselves because it’s time for you to meet a royal blood hotness incarnate!

This book is really damn good, though I was honestly looking for more scenes that involves the Darkling. However, the ending left me feeling more and more curious of what’s about to happen in the third and final installment of the series. Looking forward for more intensifying scenes!

Rating: 4 Stars

signature

REVIEW: After the Bridge by Cassandra Clare

After the Bridge (The Infernal Devices #3.1)

Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices #3.1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Published: March 19, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating:

4 Stars

Short Story about Tessa, Jem and what happened after that meeting at Blackfriar’s Bridge at the Epilogue of Clockwork Princess.

MY THOUGHTS…

Thank you Carol and Sandy for introducing this to me! xoxoxo

I won’t be making this review long because it will spoil those who haven’t yet read the final book of The Infernal Devices.

So here’s my opinion…

This short story is somewhat a continuation to what happened during the epilogue of the Clockwork Princess. I have to say that  this one is satisfying, though it’s not at all necessary (for me) because I am quite satisfied with the Clockwork Princess’ ending. But because I was still hangover with the book, I didn’t hesitate to read this short story because I was too curious and I think I can’t sit still without finding out more about the characters.

The short story did not disappoint me as it entertained me and well, made me feel in love all over again. Still, I don’t know how to move on with this series. Ugh. It’s hard, you know.

So if you guys have already read the Clockwork Princess, you might as well proceed with this short story after reading the book, to extend the feels. 😀

(NOTE: Don’t read this short story if you haven’t completed The Infernal Devices series yet. Okay?) 😀

Rating: 4 Stars

signature

REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone
(The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Published: June 5, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

five-stars

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

MY THOUGHTS…

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world.”

Why didn’t I read this earlier? Why wait for December when actually, this book was with me like three or four months ago and I’ve just kept it in my shelf without even thinking that this book could probably be my next favorite YA.

OMG, the feels I have with this book. It’s no wonder why there are lots of positive remarks about this and it even gains high ratings on goodreads. Whoa!

I love everything in this book. The world building is damn fascinating and Leigh Bardugo is one helluvah talented writer. She creates a world that is beyond your imagination– a world so beautiful yet chaotically doomed at the same time.

Another thing I like about this book is that it has a pretty nice concept and beautiful characters. I like the witty dialogues and the fun those things brought to me while I was reading it.

The romance is also extraordinary, though I was entirely confused as to whom Alina’s heart was really meant to in the first place. Do you smell a love triangle? Not to spoil you (because it’s actually obvious in the blurb), but yes it’s a love triangle thingy. I found myself okay with it though. 🙂

The one thing you could also not miss in this book is the intense action. This thing is really brilliantly done! It’s like watching a high-grossing epic fantasy film.

Shadow and Bone– I’ll tell you guys, is really awesome and worth a read. It’s unbelievably well-written and it’s a kind of YA-Fantasy that has all the elements to really make you feel obsessed. Right now, all I know is that I’m fangirling. 🙂

My Rating for this book: 5 Stars

signature

REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
(Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: October 23, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
My Rating:

five-stars

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

MY THOUGHTS…

I was a poison, and Noah was the drug that would make me forget it.

Holy smokes! What was that??! This book is absolutely surreal! The intrigue can really draw a reader in, as what Cassandra Clare testified in the cover. I love it! I love Noah Shaw and Mara Dyer and the mystery that this book is exuding.

I did have fun reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It’s a kind of a paranormal thriller that makes you feel shaky inside. It’s absolutely creepy and suspenseful. What I really thought about this book is that it’s a certified page-turner! The way it intrigues you all throughout is outstanding. I even found myself raising a lot of questions as I read it because there are a lot of unclear things that just need to be answered.

The plot is irresistibly amazing. (Not  to mention that Noah Shaw is so damn hot. Yay!) No dull moments in this book to be honest. I love Michelle Hodkin’s writing style. She has that ability to convince you not to put the book down! Aaaah what more can I say? This book is really interesting and I highly recommend you guys to start reading this if you haven’t yet. 😀

My Rating for this Book: 5 Stars

signature