Monday, April 2, 2018

Back on the Blog!

Wooooooow, it's been a long time, you guys.  I've missed blogging and this community so much. There's been a lot going on in my life recently and I haven't had all the time I wanted for blogging or reading. As much as I love Wonderland's Reader and writing posts for it, life often gets in the way.  But still, I've missed sharing books and bits of my life with you guys! 

1. School!
I've been SO. BUSY. with school these past few months. I graduate in June so a lot of the classes I was taking were required ones in order to graduate. Because of that, I was stressed about doing well with them and making sure I had everything in order to graduate. It was easily my hardest quarter so far in college and I had almost no time to read (or really do anything besides go to class, study, and sleep). Luckily, I'm on spring break right now and starting a new batch of classes which will, hopefully, be slightly less stressful than the ones from last quarter. 

2. Writing Articles! 
I have been writing a lot . . . just not on here.  I currently work for an online magazine affiliated with my university where I have to write weekly articles. This has been an incredible challenging and time consuming position but one that definitely had helped me grow professionally and as a writer. But, unfortunately, a lot of my energy goes into writing those articles and it keeps me from Wonderland's Reader. 

3. Bookstagram! 
While I've been away from the blog, I haven't been totally cut off from the book community! I've started posting daily pictures of books on my instagram. This has been a super fun and creative activity and had been a great way tp stay active in the community even thought I haven't had a ton of time to read and write reviews! Here's a sample of some of the photos I have on my page: 

 Here's a link to my page if you want to check it out or give it a follow! :) 

4. Preparing for Life After Graduation!
When I haven't been doing school work or writing articles, most of my energy has been taken up with planning for my life after graduation. This has been a particularly stressful activity because I really have no idea where I'll be come June. There's a lot of big decisions I've been having to make -- where I'll live, what jobs I'll apply for, how I'll pay for my living expenses. These are just a couple of the questions that have been hanging out in the forefront of my mind for the last few months. I don't have answers to all these questions but I'm still working on them. 

So, that's been my life the last few months. I know it might not seem like a lot but, trust me, it's kept me busy (and stressed out). Now that that quarter is behind me and I'm starting fresh with some new classes, I'll hopefully have more time on my hands to read and post on here. I've already planned out and scheduled a couple posts so look out for those! 

I've missed this and you guys a lot so I'm really excited to start being active on here again! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince 
Series: The Folk of the Air #1 
Author: Holly Black 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: January 2, 2018 
Source: Bought

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition features a special jacket and bonus story starring fan-favorites Kaye and Roiben of the bestselling Tithe series, allowing readers to witness the pivotal coronation scene from an alternate point of view.
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Find The Cruel Prince online! 
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018.  Not only did it sound super dark and interesting, it's about faeries.  And faeries are my jam.  Seriously, give me everything faeries.  That being said, I hyped this book like nothing else. Whenever that happens, I always worry that I'll ruin the experience of reading the book by holding my expectations too high.  That said, this was absolutely not the case with The Cruel PrinceI adored this book and was drawn into the world and the story in a way that I haven't been with a book in a long time.  This is the type of novel that would have ignited my love of reading and that continues to build my passion.

Ohhhh boy, was this a good one. I honestly don't really know where to start but I guess Jude, our main character, will do!  Jude was . . . so amazing. I loved how strong and morally gray Jude was -- she was so dynamic and complicated which I really appreciated.  I love it when books are full of morally ambiguous characters and The Cruel Prince had tons of them.  This made for a more complex and interesting reading experience!  Especially once we saw them all interacting with each other.  I was really interested in seeing the way Jude interacted with Prince Cardan, a faerie who is wicked and mean.  Characters like Cardan are my weakness and I honestly just couldn't help loving him.  I wanted to much more of him and Jude interacting and I'm hoping we see more of that in the books to come.  I also am really interested to explore the relationship between Jude and her adoptive faerie dad.  After what happened in this book . . . lets just say that their relationship is more complicated than ever and I LOVE IT.   

I've heard from a lot of people that the main problems they had with this book was that it was pretty slow, especially in the beginning.  Honestly, this wasn't something I even noticed or cared about when I was reading.  While the plot was maybe a little slower moving, I was completely entertained by the cool and complex world and the interesting characters.  There was clearly a lot of world building being done to set up for the next books in the series (which I'm pumped for!) But, like I said, this slow pace and set up didn't bother me in the slightest.  I just enjoyed spending time in this world that Holly Black has built and with these characters.  

As one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, The Cruel Prince lived up to and exceeded my expectations.  I'm completely taken with the world and the characters.  This is my first Holly Black book and I'm looking forward to reading more of her writing.  AND I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of this series goes!  

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop.” 

Five out of Five Teapots! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #127

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Stain 
Series: N/A
Author: A.G. Howard 
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
Publisher: Abrams/Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 15, 2019 

A high-fantasy gothic fairytale inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea.
Once upon a nightmare, her fairytale begins...
After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest ... disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra's rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

 Add Stain to your "Want To Read" list on Goodreads!

Why I'm waiting on Stain this Wednesday: I really enjoyed the first book in A.G. Howard's last series.  Even though my enthusiasm for the series kind of wore off with the last two books, I'm still really excited to see where she goes next with her writing!  Stain sounds so compelling and I love the idea for this retelling.  Plus, the cover is so haunting and gorgeous! 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Do you like retellings?  What are some of your favorites?  I really loved the Lunar Chronicles and the twist they were on classic fairytales!  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: The House Mate

Title: The House Mate 
Series: Roommates #3 
Author: Kendall Ryan 
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Self-Published 
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Source: Bought

What’s sexier than a bad boy? A bad ass man who’s got his shit together.
Max Alexander is nearing thirty-five. He’s built a successful company, and he’s conquered the professional world, but he’s never been lucky in love. Focusing so much time on his business and raising his daughter, adulting has come at the expense of his personal life.
His social skills are shit, his patience is shot, and at times, his temper runs hot.
The last thing he has time for is the recently single, too gorgeous for her own good young woman he hires to take care of his little girl. She’s a distraction he doesn’t need, and besides, there’s no way she’d be interested. But you know what they say about assumptions?
This is book 3 in the Roommates series, but each can be read as a complete standalone, as they feature new couples.

Find The House Mate online!
I'm just so . . . meh about this book.  While it wasn't bad, it just felt like it was a compilation of every other romance book I've ever read.  Nothing felt new or fresh, all of it was just pretty standard for the genre and I could guess everything that was gonna happen.  While I'm not against books that follow traditional plot lines and story arcs, I found that I was fairly bored throughout this one.  I can't say it wasn't well-written but my attention to it lagged throughout.  

 I'm a tentative fan of the single dad trope and tend to have fun when reading books like this!  The single dad in this novel, Max, was an okay guy but he felt very . . . one dimensional -- like a cardboard cut out of every other guy like him in novels that fall into this genre.  He was well written and he made me smile while reading at times, he just wasn't super rememberable.  The same is true for the heroine, Addison.  She was a well-written character but lacked the spark that made her stand out for me.  They had some chemistry but nothing mind blowing.  I did like the somewhat slow-burn of their relationship and that they were establishing a friendship before getting together romantically.  

Honestly, I don't have a whole lot more to say about this book.  It was pretty standard for the genre.  There was some unnecessary drama and angst which I wasn't a huge fan of but, for the most part, it was well-written and a decent read.  If you're looking for a quick and easy romance, this one would probably work out for you!  

"It was the most domestic evening of my life, and I was happier that a pig in shit." 

Three Teapots

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #126

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Sky in the Deep 
Series: N/A
Author: Adrienne Young 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
Publisher: Wednesday Books 
Publication Date: April 24, 2018

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating. 

Find Sky in the Deep online!

Why I'm waiting on Sky in the Deep this Wednesday: Holy cow, this book sounds amazing.  It's giving me series viking vibes and I love that.  Not only does the blurb make it sound awesome, the cover is so gorgeous, I just wanna look at it forever!  I'm so excited to get the chance to read this book in April.  

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Have you heard of this book before?  Do you love the cover like I do?!  I mean, come on, it's absolutely gorgeous!  Let me know in the comments below and leave links to your WoW posts! 

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns