Monday, 18 April 2016

This Week's Picks ~ 5 Books To Read & Love

I apologise whole-heartedly in advance for feeding your TBR pile.

Being an avid bookworm myself, I know just how terrible it is to see a post titled 'Books To Read & Love'. It might as well be called 'More Books For You To Love From Afar Because You Have TOO MANY BOOKS To Possibly Read In This Lifetime'.

But today I'm going to add five more brilliant books to your TBR pile. You've been warned!


Seven Black Diamonds (Untitled #1)
By Melissa Marr 

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy, romance

One sentence summary: A motley crew of seven Sleepers are sent undercover by the fae queen to the mortal world to wage a war against humanity.

Best part(s): The highlight of this book is the badass Black Diamonds squad that is Lilywhite, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy. These guys, together, are everything.

It's not just their abilities, or what they achieve. It's the how. The why. The way each of them is motivated by their pasts and their hopes (or lack thereof) for their futures. But my favourite thing is the way they view their group.

As Zephyr put it: We are a unit. For some reason, you weren’t raised knowing like we all were, but you’re here now."

I like how it doesn't matter where they came from, or what they've done - there is a strong sense of comradeship based on the simple fact that they're 'all in this together' forgive me for quoting HSM I couldn't resist! That's not to say that they always get along. However, there's a strong bond between them that never fades and it's this bond that makes the book so intriguing and a joy to read.

Oh, and I can't forget Creed! He's the reason I fangirled the entire time basically my new book boyfriend and one of the hottest parts of this book ;)

Least favourite part(s): It's Melissa I have very little to critique! But if I had to be picky, I guess there were a few descriptions or scenarios that felt a little staged or cliche at times. Such as the descriptions of good-looking males (who, of course, have the 'thickest eyelashes' our heroine has ever seen!).

But I can forgive all of these because CREED! Yep, I'm obsessed, I know!

Fave quote:
'She shivered. 
“Run, my deadly girl,” he sang. The words weren’t part of the song. They were only for her. “Run to a distant shore. Run from the monsters that lie in wait.” 
Creed’s words fell like a kiss on the base of her throat and slid lower, stopping at the top seam of her blouse. 
“Run before it’s too late.” 
Lily stepped backward. It wouldn’t change his ability to touch her with his voice, but it did give her the momentary illusion of control. “I’m not going to run from Endellion.”
“But you’ll run from me?” He gave her a sad smile. “Some would be flattered to be considered more terrifying than the Queen of Blood and Rage.” The lightness in his tone did nothing to hide the darkness in him as his voice once more made the air take form. He caught her chin and forced her to look at him; at the same time, his next words held her wrist like a vice. “I am not one of them.” 
“What do you want from me?” 
“Everything,” he said baldly. “But I’ll settle for honesty.'

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Seven Ways We Lie
By Riley Redgate

Rating4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA, contemporary, fiction, romance

One sentence summary: When scandalous rumours surface at Paloma High School, seven individuals' stories will come to light as they're brought together in unlikely ways.

Best part(s): I love, love LOVE the idea of a range of POVs each representing a different deadly sin: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth. Not only is this idea beautifully illustrated by the cover art (a round of applause to the genius who came up with that concept!) but it translates really well onto the page, as well.

Least favourite part(s): I loved this book, don't get me wrong. But I think reviewer Inge said it best in her Goodreads review of the book - there is a very Tumblr-ish feel to the novel that can sometimes be a little grating on readers' attention spans and can often detract from the depth developed by the main plot. 

I mean, there were some lines that I could directly identify from Tumblr (so either I'm too picky or I spend way too much time on there!).

Perhaps some of the ideas or lines adopted from popular memes, social trends, or posts could have been reworked to make them fit better into the overall style of the novel.

Fave quote:
'How have I measured these seven days alone?—in breaths, blinks, heartbeats?
With numbers, with questions?
with tweezers, I think,
plucking time out from sensitive skin.
Second after stinging second.'

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Lions in the Garden (The Uprising #1)
By Chelsea Luna

Rating4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance

One sentence summary: A girl flees the castle that has been her home for seventeen years to escape an unwanted marriage, befriends a commoner, and discovers hidden truths about her world and her life.

Best part(s): Learning more about Prague, especially during the 1600s, was so much fun! I'm a historical fiction nerd and this book made me so happy - especially since Prague isn't the go-to setting for historical fiction novels and it was nice to read a book that tried something new and deviated from the norm. 

Chelsea Luna does a winning job of transporting readers into her chosen place and time, weaving together factual information with vivid imagery and fictional details to support her colourful cast of characters.

Least favourite part(s): The love triangle/square/situation. I'm sure many others readers wouldn't be too bothered by it, but I've got a bit of a love-hate relationship with love triangles/squares in general. There needs to be something unique or complex about it for me to fully engage with it and enjoy it - otherwise it comes across as too forced, cliche, or irrelevant to the overall plot. 

Fave quote:
"I hated all of them. I hated what they stood for. The way they arrogantly led their lives. I hated myself because I was no better."

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) 
By Jennifer Estep

Rating4.8 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance

One sentence summary: A girl uses her skills as a thief to seek her revenge on the man responsible for her mother's murder.

Best part(s): It's so hard to pick just one! Especially with Jennifer Estep (a.k.a one of the Queens of Urban Fantasy). I wanted to bookmark every witty remark, every action/fighting sequence...basically I wanted to bookmark the entire book. 

I have so much love for these characters after following their journey for three books now, and each book is just as good (if not better!) than the one(s) before.

Also I can't forget every single mention of Devon Sinclair. And those too hot to handle kissy scenes! Because nothing is as swoon-worthy as a hot and genuinely nice guy. Devon's the total package!

Least favourite part(s): I have none. Nada. Zero. Zilch! Except for the fact that I wanted it to go on forever and it didn't ;) 

Fave quote:
'The rest of the world fell away, and I focused on moving from one roof to the next, my legs churning, my arms stretching, my fingers grasping, and my muscles burning as I climbed up and up and up. Even thought the Draconi guards were still shouting and chasing us, I couldn't help but smile the whole time. 
This - this was what I loved.'

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Dark Touch
By Aimee L. Salter

Rating4.5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance

One sentence summary: A girl's touch causes others to feel everything she feels - the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Best part(s): If Aimee L. Salter wrote a cookbook, I would read it!

She has a magical way of writing. Honestly, I have total writing envy every time I read anything she's written - her way with words, her work with deep and difficult concepts, and her ability to tap in to readers' emotions is phenomenal. Aimee deals with a range of difficult issues with respect, and portrays them in a way that honours those who have dealt with them or have to deal with them in real life.

I fell in love with this book from the very first chapter, so I may have to just end my gushing and fangirling here otherwise this post may go on forever! The raw, emotional journey this book took me on was an experience I won't forget anytime soon.

Least favourite part(s): I hated/disliked nothing about this book. This book was golden and if I could give it a gold medal, I would!

Fave quote:
'I do trust Chris. 
I trust him to be a nice guy. 
(...) I trust him to listen to his parents because that’s what people like him do. 
I trust him to walk away when we hit that wall. Whatever it is, it will change the way he sees me. 
I trust that.'

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Have you read any of the five books mentioned or do you plan to? Which books should I add to my TBR?

Let me know in the comments below!

Although I was provided with a review copy by the author and/or publisher, all opinions expressed in the this post are purely my own. To find out more, please visit my disclaimer page.

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