Tuesday, 18 November 2014

My Never Ending List of Unfinished Series - Let's Do This!

I've seen a post made by Mel @ The Daily Prophecy and I just had to do one like hers! She basically lists all the series she started and needs to finish and every couple of months updates with which she's finished, which she is still reading, and which she's DNF-ed. I quite like this idea because now I will be forced to go through my goodreads bookshelf and decide which series I still want to continue and which I don't.
LET'S GET STARTED! 

Series I finished in 2014:
1. Mara Dyer trilogy - (The Retribution of Mara Dyer)
2. Blood of Eden trilogy - (The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Forever Song)
3. Slammed trilogy - (This Girl)
4. Hex Hall trilogy - (Hex Hall, Demonglass, Spellbound)
5. The Grisha trilogy - (Shadow & Bone, Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising)
6. Pivot Point duology - (Split Second)
7. Shatter Me trilogy - (Ignite Me)
8. Article 5 trilogy - (Three)
9. The Embrace 5 book Series - (Empower)
10. Monument 14 trilogy - (Savage Drift)
Already reached my goal of 10 series per year!

Series I am currently in the middle of:
1. Starstruck trilogy by Rachel Shukert (Starstruck, Love Me)
2. Cruel Beauty Universe by Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite)
4. The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse)
5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass)
6. The Taking by Kimberly Derting (The Taking)
7. The Dispossessed trilogy by Page Morgan (The Beautiful and the Cursed, The Lovely and the Lost)
8. The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells (Partials)
9. The Legion trilogy by Kami Garcia (Unbreakable, Unmarked)
10. The Rephaim series by Paula Weston (Shadow, Haze)
11. Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers)
12. Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Nearly Gone)
13. Exile by Kevin Emerson (Exile)
14. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before)
15. Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (Red Rising)
16. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue)
17. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock (Hemlock, Thornhill)
18. Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam (Elusion)
Holy crap, 18 series?

Series that I started over a year ago but haven't had the chance to continue:
1. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (3/4)
2. Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (1/3)
3. His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers (1/3)
4. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davis (1/3)
5. Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (4/6)
6. Abandon Trilogy by Meg Cabot (1/3)
7. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (2/3)
8. Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (3/5)
9. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu (2/3)
10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (1/3)

Series I started in 2014 but not interested in continuing:
1. Silver Blackthorn by Kelly Wilkinson
2. Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
3. The Witch Hunter by Michelle Krys
4. The Murder Complex by Lindsey Cummings
5. Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz
yes I know… but I just don't have the patience in continuing series where I gave the book 3 stars or less. I know 3 stars is good but… It means a book has many flaws and I can't be bothered to read a second book that will most probably have the same rating.

??????????????????????

This is a very long and complicated list and post, I know. I didn't know whether to include all the series I'm currently reading or the ones I DNF-ed ages ago.. but I think this is good enough. So stats time!
Complete series in need of finishing: 13 series
Ongoing series: 15 series 
DNF-ed series: 5 series 

I guess I have a lot of reading ahead of me to try and improve my stats!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Chick Lit Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes


The Woman Who Stole My Life

Title: The Woman Who Stole My Life
Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher:
 Penguin Canada
Publication date: November 6, 2014
 
Genre(s): Chick Lit 
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 553
'Okay, I'll write my introduction. 'Name: Stella Sweeney. Height: average. Recent life events: dramatic.'

Stella Sweeney is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband Ryan and their two teenage kids in Dublin. She works with - or really for - her terrifyingly ambitious sister Karen in their beauty salon. Nothing to get excited about here. Nothing to make her particularly unhappy. Or happy...

No-one would be interested in stealing her life. But then things started to happen... One day, Stella, attempting a good deed, causes a little car accident and faces down a bad tempered, handsome stranger. She hardly gives it much of a thought. But karma is hovering, and is about to take over, swoop in and change Stella's life for ever. For better or worse.

Suddenly Stella has a life. A thrilling glamorous one. A life that other people might start to covet...
I miss reading chick lits. They were such a big part of my reading life several years ago, very the young adult genre invaded m life. The Woman Who Stole My Life just made me realize how much I missed chick lits. This book is a whooping 550 pages but I breezed through them all. I have never read a book by Marian Keyes but I do own three of her books, Sushi for Beginners, Under the Duvet, and Rachel's Holiday. I am definitely bumping them higher on my TBR. 
The Woman Who Stole My Life was SO confusing in the beginning. Stick with it. It is told from two different timelines (actually the first chapter is told from an earlier timeline). I didn't know which came before what and whether at that specific chapter, the events of the previous chapter already happened. I was officially confused. However, once I got past the confusion and the author finally started clearing things up (70 pages into the book), I breezed through it. It took me a couple of days to reach page 70, but only 3 more days to read the other 480 pages. The main character, Stella, got diagnosed with a very rare disease that left her paralyzed (except for being able to blink) for almost a year. The storyline switches between the emergence of the disease, when she is 39-ish to the current state after something big happens that we don't know what, where she is 41-ish. We know Stella wrote a book, but then it flopped and now she's back in Ireland. There is an unspoken Mr. that no one ever mentions but we do meet during her stay at the hospital. That is as much as I can reveal without spoiling anything. 
 
Character wise, stella was the most frustrating and unliked character for me. She is the embodiment of every trait in a person I dislike. She is a push over.. literally everyone, including her son, pushes her and orders her around. Her son yells at her, her ex husband blames her for things, and all she does is agree and nod. GET MAD! GET PISSED! STICK UP FOR YOURSELF! I thought of this every single time she had an interaction with anyone. She got easily taken advantage of and I wanted to give her a wake up slap every time she backed down and let people stomp all over her. She got a book deal? her husband blamed her for stealing his life and ruining him. He kept on saying her book was crap and worth nothing, and what does she say? sorry… SORRY?! ugh. Just.. no. It was really hard sympathizing with her because I don't feel sorry for people who let other people step all over them. Ok the rant is over. 
Ignoring Stella's personality, I couldn't stop reading. Marian Keyes has a way of keeping you hooked even when only mundane things are going on in the book. I honestly always prefer British/Irish authors when it comes to chick lits because they seem to always have a way with words, of creating the most laughable situations and making the most annoying characters enduring. I really enjoyed The Woman Who Stole My Life and will be picking up more of Marian Keyes' books in the future. 


Monday, 10 November 2014

Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley


Title: Seconds
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication date: July 15, 2014 
Genre(s): Sequential Art (Graphic Novels)
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished Copy 
Pages: 336
Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.
Lots of people read comic books, but I'm a manga person. I have never read a comic book in my life, and although there might not be much difference between a comic book and japanese manga apart from the drawing style, I was just never a fan of superheroes and whatnot. When I first saw Seconds, the cover was what did it for me. It is one of the cutest covers I have ever seen, and better yet, the inside of the jacket is GORGEOUS. Everything about the book looked so pretty, even the paper felt so nice. Therefore, even if I didn't necessarily enjoyed the book, I would have still just liked to have that book up on my shelf.
Good thing is, I absolutely loved the book. I devoured it, and it was such a nice break from all of the university work and stress. The main protagonist, Katie, is a talented 29 year old chef who runs a very successful restaurant. Not only does she already run one, but Katie is also working towards opening up another one! Suddenly, things with the new restaurant goes wrong, her ex-boyfriend pops up out of nowhere, she starts noticing weird things, and everything just goes down the drain. One day, a mysterious girl appears in Katie's room, and comes with simple instructions that Katie can follow in order to get a second chance. I don't really want to spoil much about this book, although all of that can be found in the synopsis, I think it would be more fun to go into this book knowing little to nothing.
As the story progressed, it was very interesting to see what would happen. I also absolutely loved the characters. Katie was hilarious, and I just honestly fell in love with her personality. The whole book was just very well written (and with beautiful illustrations), and everything about it was just simply, perfect. I will definitely be checking Bryan's other comics, because I sure enjoyed Seconds very much. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Which Cover Is Calling For You (8) - typography madness



Hello lovely readers! Let me ask you a question. Have you ever picked up a book just by its cover? ok let me take it a little bit further; have you ever picked up said book, was mesmerized by the cover and, without looking at the synopsis, you bought it? if you've said yes to the first or both questions then this post is for you! From time to time we are going to show you guys some YA titles along with their gorgeous covers and you guys let us know which one you would buy based on its cover. Of course each post will have a different theme so you will be able to compare between them!

We are finally bringing back this feature! I have no idea why we stopped because I really like it! So I will try doing this once every two weeks to one month. 


TYPOGRAPHY MADNESS
This post centers around book covers that are mostly all about the typography of the title with minimum add ons. 
The Walled CityKiss of Broken GlassTease
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kudrick
Tease by Amanda Maciel

Even When You Lie to MeStarry NightEmpty
Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott
Starry Night by Isabel Gillies
Empty by K.M. Walton

 ------------------------ 
What do YOU guys think? Which one of these books would you zoom in on from far away and just rush over to stare at its beautiful cover and then buy? Vote below and let me know what you think in the comments section! 
Which typography cover is calling for you?
The Walled City
Kiss of Broken Glass
Tease
Even When You Lie To Me
Starry Night
Empty
Poll Maker
------------------------ 

The Last edition was the "Glasses" Edition, and below are the results! 
Life After Theft won with almost 50% of the votes! 



Monday, 3 November 2014

Review: {Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, And More}


Title: Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, And More
Author: Editors Of Food Network Magazine 

Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: August 19, 2014
Genre(s): Food and Drink
Source: Publisher 
Format: Finished Copy
Pages: 336
TAKE ALL THE GUESSWORK OUT OF DESSERT!

 Food Network Magazine editors have picked their all-time favourite treats and put them into one amazing book. In Sweet, you’ll find over-the-top brownies, super fun cupcakes, show-off layer cakes, one-of-a-kind cookies and so much more. 


This great collection includes recipes for any occasion, with step-by-step instructions and full-page colour photographs to help you along. You don’t need to be an experienced baker to get started. Every dessert in this book is easy to follow—and totally foolproof. Each recipe has been triple-tested, so you know it’ll come out just right. Flip through and you’ll find some fun surprises, too: a bowl made of chocolate, a spectrum of frosting colours and a cake that looks like a giant caramel apple.
Helloooo! It's Lobna here! I've been in some of Maji Bookshelf's videos before so I thought I'd help out and review some books for them! so for this book, I've written my full review but during the next little while, I'll be randomly posting some pictures of the new recipes that I try out! I'm hoping to post them about once a month but we'll see how it turns out! For now, here's what I think. 
When I first got my hands on this book, I was really excited to see how it was and to try some of the recipes out. The book is divided into chapters that include different types of sweets such as pies, cookies, fake cakes, show-off cakes and so on. There were some recipes that stood out right away and I knew I had to try them, but there were also some recipes mostly from the "fake cakes" section that I knew were a little extravagant. The fake cakes were simply a plain cake that was shaped to be an object other than a typical cake, so some were fries and steak, a pencil, or even a hamburger! I think this will probably the section I would skip out on only because I would rather spend time on the flavour of the cake, rather than the shape. Looking through the rest of the book, I've tabbed a couple that I'll be sure to try out in the future.
To see how well I enjoyed this book, I decided to try a couple of recipes myself. Although I would've loved to make one of the crazy fake cakes, I knew I couldn't eat the whole thing by myself and wasn't sure how big it would turn out to be. Finally I decided to make a simple red velvet cake. 
I was able to gather all of the ingredients easily as it didn't involve some crazy random item that nobody has heard of like in some recipes you'll find.  
Making the cake itself was pretty easy. The instructions were simple and easy to follow along. The tricky part came in layering the cake but nevertheless I finally finished it! 
Here's what the cake should look like according to the book:

And here's my version:

As for the taste. Everyone who's tried it has loved it! I know I'll definitely be making it again!
This book has really given me inspiration to try out some new desserts that I haven't before. I was contemplating for a while on how well I should rate it. Although I loved all the crazy ideas, I do wish that there was more simpler recipes included. I would recommend having some baking experience before going out to grab the book as some of the recipes are quite difficult to put together. I also wanted to mention that the majority, if not all, of the recipes can actually be found on the Food Network website. The books is as its name suggests, a collection of their best recipes. Overall, I did enjoy this book and would recommend to flip through it if you can find in store!