The Versatile Blogger Award

the-versatile-blogger-award

Hello lovelies! Happy Sunday! I hope you all are having a great day. Recently I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and I would like to thank the lovely Ellie over at Capitol Books for nominating me! I am so excited to share my answers!

To start off, here are the Rules:

THE RULES

  1. Show the award on your blog (image widget)
  2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
  3. Share 7 different facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice *ERMAGAWD*
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination(hyperlink)

7 DIFFERENT FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I have a Bachelors Degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a Masters in Business and Science.
  2. I am originally from Chennai, India and I came to the US when I was about 5 years old
  3. Besides hip hop and pop music, my other favorite type of music genre is Kpop; I really love the choreography, fashion and the infectious energy from the performances. Dancing is something that I love to do as well so when I see something with a good choreo, it automatically catches my attention 🙂
  4. The longest I have stayed up to finish a book in one sitting is 4AM and that book was An Ember in the Ashes. My mom woke up early that morning and walked into my room and was like “What the heck are you doing?” lol – If you guys enjoy a high intensity, action packed and suspenseful thrillers, you should definitely pick up this book since I absolutely loved it!
  5. My favorite Disney film of all time is The Lion King – which always makes me cry like a baby but I CAN’T HELP IT!!! *SOBS*
  6. I used to write so many fantasy stories with pirates, faeries, kings and queens back in the fourth grade. I even wrote a middle grade trilogy involving four kids, magic and solving mysteries around the world.
  7. I loved watching Anime when I was young. Some of my favorites were Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Digimon, etc I used to love Cardcaptors so much I used to pretend I was one lol

I nominate the following bloggers:

E.C. Orr 

BarefootAndPregnant

Rand0mbookgirl

Georgiana Darcy

Sammie@Bookshelves&Biros

Sam’s Little Corner

Sam’s Life In Books

Anna The Bibliophile

Miss Elizabeth

The Littlest Book Elf

Midori Reads

Bound To Be Me

IceBreaker694

Amanda@MyBookOpinionsSite

ALoveLornVirgo

If I nominated you and you’ve already been nominated, I am really sorry about that.

Please do give these blogs a follow, they are absolutely amazing 🙂

A Torch Against the Night Book Review (Spoiler Free)

ATorchAgainstTheNight

“Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.” – 387

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Published: August 30th 2016 by Razorbill

Pages: 452

GoodReads

Rating: 5/5

Usually when I go into sequels, I prepare myself for the second book slump, BUT THIS BOOK OMG! I absolutely devoured it in one setting. Just as the first book, it was addicting straight from the start and I could not put it down. It was hands down, one of the best sequels I have ever read! If you liked the first book, you will definitely love the second. Bravo Sabaa Tahir! 🙂

PLOT

A Torch Against the Night is a sequel to one of the best books of 2015, An Ember in the Ashes which was in my opinion, an explosive debut in the YA genre. This book picks up exactly where we left our characters – Laia and Elias – and both are on the run from the Marital Empire in order to free Laia’s brother, Darin, from the Prison cells of Kauf. Along the way, we are reunited with old characters and introduced to new ones as well.We also see Helene, one of the most painful and heartbreaking perspectives to read. As the Blood Shiike, she is faced with the gruesome task: capture her best friend, Elias, and kill him. The World continues to grow brutal and merciless with the dark forces involving the Commandant, the power hungry Emperor Marcus and the sadistic Warden of Kauf. All in all, Sabaa Tahir delivered a faced paced and heart pounding sequel which would have readers yearning for the third book.

CHARACTERS

  1. Laia – Laia is one the characters who undergoes tremendous character development. To see her transform from the first book to how she is by the end of the second was an absolute delight. She isn’t perfect. She does make mistakes which she is not afraid to admit and I do admire that quality about her. From a resolute survivor she becomes a bold and goal oriented fighter.
  2. Elias – Elias is just . . . /fans self. I think I might love him even more than I did the first book. I have to add him to my book boyfriend list lol He is just beyond amazing. He goes through serious turmoil and anguish in this book and my heart just couldn’t take it at certain times. Despite all that, he is still strong, compassionate and courageous and that is something worth praising 🙂 Moreover, I also enjoyed reading those sly and sarcastic comments he had in his head every now and then. lol it did bring a bit of comic relief hahafang
  3. Helene – One of the best additions to the book was Helene’s perspective. I have to admit, I did not quite love her character in the first book, but I did enjoy reading about her in this one. Since she goes through so many heartbreaking and internal struggles,  I couldn’t help but feel for her but her character development was spectacular! She was the perfect blend of strength and vulnerability – something that made her seem more human.

Besides the character development, writing and world building, the actual plot within this book delivered twist after twist to the point where it was just mind blowing. Nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger and it was nearly impossible to put the book down. Her writing style works so well with the fast paced plot since it never once slows down or gets tiresome to read. Moreover, the amount of subtext, inspiring quotes, and dialogue between the characters are the devices which actually shed a light and a glint of hope in this brutal world and maybe even in every day life. That is what defines a 5 star book for me: when a book, regardless of genre, becomes relevant to your own life.

approval-reaction-gif

Now onto my my emotions which were pretty much all over the place with this book! Irritation, anger (maybe even rage at a few characters lol), fangirling over Elias lol, fear, heartache, depression. God, the list can go on haha

em

Overall, I was satisfied with the ending of this book but I definitely want to know more about the upcoming plot lines. With that being said, I will definitely keep a look out for the third book. It has already become one of my most anticipated reads!

Have any of you read the Torch Against the Night yet? Let me know your thoughts below!

 

The MakeUp Book Tag

makeupedit

And centuries later, Ash decides to do this tag . . . LOL First of all, I would like to thank Sam @ RiverMooseReads for creating this tag. Her blog is awesome so please go check it out!

Primer
Pick a book that left a lasting impression on you

An Ember in the AshesSix of Crows

This is a close tie with an Ember in the Ashes and Six of Crows. After reading both of these books I had to take a few days to recover from the epic awesomeness 🙂

fistjlaw

Foundation
Favorite first book in a series

the darkest minds

The Darkest Minds is one of the most intriguing and explosive first books I have ever read in a series. The characters were brilliantly developed, the themes and plot lines were just so brilliantly woven together it was just an amazing read altogether!

Concealer
Pick some characters you wish didn’t exist.

ShatterMe

“Didn’t exist” seems kind of harsh lol Maybe a character who I wasn’t too fond of? In that case probably Adam from The Shatter Me trilogy and I won’t say much because of spoilers hehe

zootopia

Powder
Pick your favorite last book in a series.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows_(US_cover)

AKA my childhood and my all time favorite series (though the Lunar Chronicles is a close second). The wait for this book seemed like forever! But I immediately devoured it as soon as I got my hand on that marvelous masterpiece! That was how intrigued I was with the world and the characters and I am pretty sure every other kid reading the book felt as well.

Eyebrows
Pick a book you think everyone should read

Hunger_games_trilogy

I would probably say The Hunger Games Trilogy because of how AWESOME it is. Plus, Katniss Everdeen is a BOSS 🙂

Eyeshadow
Pick a book with your favorite colors on the cover

these broken stars

I absolutely adore the cover for These Broken Stars. It’s just so gorgeous with our two main characters and the stars in the background. Plus, it’s also reflective of the story as well 🙂

Eyeliner
Pick a dark and mysterious book

172 hours

I would probably day 172 Hours on the Moon. This book is beyond mysterious and dark (and not to mention seriously creepy). I made a bad mistake of reading it at night. I swear, there were moments when I couldn’t sleep. I would definitely recommend it if you are into those thriller/dark type books. I would say the second half is more intriguing than the first but it’s still a good read!

Mascara
Pick a long book

game of thrones

A long book of my shelf would probably be The Game of Thrones which I still haven’t picked up yet . . . haha

Blush
Pick a book with a cringe worthy romance

orange.jpg

Hmm . . . I don’t think I have ever read any books with a cringe worthy romance. I noticed a lot of answers for this question came from contemporary books which I normally do not pick up 😦 But if I can choose one, I would probably say Orange: The Complete Collection. I mean this is technically a manga but it fits this question. The romance is just so sweet but it never gets super uncomfortable. Plus, I loved the concept of this series, it was such a great, meaningful read. Highly recommend it!

Highlighter
Pick a book that brightens your day

doon

Doon is one of those books which is a such a light read but entertaining as well. Everything about it from the Scottish setting, the magical elements, dual modern-fantasy worlds, and awesome characters made me adore this book. It isn’t anything too serious or too fluffy but it was right in the middle and it was one of those books which pulled me out of a reading slump and it definitely did make my reading experience a lot more brighter 🙂

demi

Lipstick
Your favorite book kiss

Winter_Cover-318x480

My favorite would have to be Thorne and Cress in Winter . . . OMG everything about it was completely swoon-worthy!

vanessa

I tag

@GeorgianaDarcy

Sam@Sam’sLittleCorner

@BoundtobeMe

Sammie@Bookshelves&Biros

SquishyMaru@Barefoot&Pregnant . . . NOT

Please check these bloggers out! They are amazing 🙂 Sorry if you have already been tagged. You do not have to do it twice of course! Have fun and let me know when you are done, I would love to check it out!

Until Next Time, Keep Reading ❤

 

Top 5 Books of 2016 so far

Hello everyone! Hope your week is going well! We are more than half way through the year already! Can you believe that? My July reading was not so great but I am hoping to catch up this month haha  So far, I seem to be on schedule with my Good reads goal – completed 27 out of 40 books. So without further ado, lets get to the list:

5. Orange: The Complete Collection by Ichigo Takano

orange-manga

 

– The most cutest and heart wrenching thing I have ever read; I was recommended this manga through a few reviews and I absolutely loved it. It does have that comedic humor we see in these types of literature but there was a deeper message behind it and it was so refreshing to read. I will have a review on this soon! 🙂

4. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Braken

thedarkestminds

 – This was just an amazing start to a fabulous series. I absolutely loved everything from the plot line, the setting, and the characters! If you are looking for a great dystopian read, I definitely think you should give this one a try. If you would like a more in depth, spoiler free review, check it out HERE

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six-of-Crows-Cover

 – One word to describe this would be BRILLIANT. This was just beautifully written and even though the characters are flawed, the writer does a fabulous job of making you feel for them. The premise of this book was so intriguing it automatically captured my attention: Outlaws trying to pull of an impossible heist. Who wouldn’t want to read that? Check out my review HERE 🙂

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an-ember-in-the-ashes-by-sabaa-tahir

 

 – This book kept me up until 4AM. Yes, 4AM. I read this in one sitting. That was how dangerously addictive this book was. As soon as I started reading, the story just takes off and there is never one dull moment. There is just so much action mixed with a thrilling and captivating story, it’s just too much of an awesome read! You can read a more in-depth review on my blog HERE

1. The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer

lunar-chronicles-by-marissa-meyer

– It’s official. This has become one of my favorite series of all time (after Harry Potter of course). I just loved how Marissa Meyer crafted this story as a fairy tale re-telling but with a scifi twist. How cool is that? All the characters in the stories were amazing in their unique way. Brave Cinder, Fiery Scarlet, Sweet Cress, and Crazy Winter lol I adore each and everyone of them. Plus, Cress and Thorne are relationship goals! 🙂 Definitely check out my blog for their individual reviews!

How about you guys? Do you have a top 5 of the year so far? Let me know in the comments below?

Most Anticipated YA Releases 2016

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a great week. The weekend is finally coming yayyyy! I’m planning on seeing Captain America: Civil War

ERMAGAWD I get to see BAE ❤ 

jlaw

Ahem . . anyways, I just wanted to share a quick blog post with you all about my most anticipated releases this year. It’s already MAY and we have seen fabulous YA books so far but there are some upcoming releases which I am super excited for. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.

TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Fury Rising by Jeyn Roberts (May 16th 2016 – tentative) 

GoodReads

This is actually the final book of the Dark Inside series and I am so surprised that no one on Booktube had ever mentioned it. This series is definitely one of those underrated books which deserves the recognition. It takes and interesting twist on dystopian/apocalyptic genre questioning human values, strength and courage and I would recommend you all to try it out for yourselves.

furyrising

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (August 30th 2016) 

GoodReads

If you have been following me, then you pretty much know how much I adored the first book of this series: An Ember in the Ashes. It is such a brutal world and you can’t help but connect and feel so much for the characters. I certainly hope the second book will be just as good or even better.

torch

Fever Code by James Dashner (September 27th 2016)

GoodReads

I absolutely love The MazeRunner series as well as the movie line. The characters are just so awesome and they are equally well portrayed in the film. The Death Cure is going to be released next year and I don’t know if I will be able to handle it. THE FEELS MAN!

feel

Also, I hope Dylan O’ Brian recovers from his injuries.It’s just really heartbreaking since he is a pretty chill, down to earth guy that something like this would happen to him. But nevertheless, you have to stay positive so I wish him the very best.

emma

The Fever Code is basically  a prequel to the entire MazeRunner series which details everything that happened before Thomas first arrives in the glade. I feel like we are going to get more stories on our favorite characters (Newt, Minho hehe) and I can’t wait for this one. James Dashner also gave us a sneak peek into the book with the release of prologue in Newt’s POV. You can it check out HERE (Hope you Newt lovers are able to handle it)

fevercode

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (September 27th 2016)

GoodReads

I loved Six of Crows and I know I will definitely love the sequel, Crooked Kingdom. How awesome is the premise though? A group of criminals trying to pull off an impossible heist. It was so captivating and the world was so different from anything else I read that I was automatically drawn to it. I can’t wait to see where the plot goes from the ending of the first book. I NEED TO KNOW!!

crookedkingdom

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 8th 2016)

GoodReads

After reading the Lunar Chronicles, I have officially become a fan of Marissa Meyer and her writing. Her creativity and writing style is just so mind blowing that I am sure I will pretty much read every book that she releases from this day forward. As soon as I found out that she is writing another fairy tale re-telling/prequel, I was super excited. Heartless is going to be a prequel to the Queen of Hearts and I have a feeling that this is going to be awesome!

heartless

Those are the books which I am looking forward to this year. How about you guys?

An Ember in the Ashes – Book Review Spoiler Free

an-ember-in-the-ashes-by-sabaa-tahir

“Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive. But don’t let it control you. Don’t let it sow doubts within you. When fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible to fight it: your spirit. You heart.” 

Book Details

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Published on April 28,2016 by Razorbill

446 Pages

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

To start off, this book was receiving serious hype on booktube/ book blogging and I have to say that it exceeded my expectations. It is a dark and brutal setting but that is what made you feel for these characters so much. I never worried so much for the characters in any other book before and this is what kept me on the edge the whole time. I honestly couldn’t stop reading and I ended up finishing this at 4AM. This has got to be my favorite book of the year! GOD the amount of FEELS! It was a clear 5/5 for me with just one minor flaw which I overlooked because of an awesome plotline.

 

PLOT

This novel follows the POV of two different characters, Laia and Elias. Laia is part of the scholar community which is a group that the Martial Empire had conquered and now they are living under their leadership. Elias is a top soldier in training in Blackcliff Academy which is run by a brutal leader called the Commandant and through her leadership it becomes such a cruel and ruthless training facility to be a part of. Through a sequence of events, Laia’s brother Darin is captured by the Masks – soldiers of the Empire – and that is when she decides to try to get him back. By seeking help from the resistance, she agrees to be a spy for them at Blackcliff Academy and in return, they would help find her brother. So Laia poses as a slave to enter the Academy and that is where she meets Elias and they soon discover that their future goals might be intertwined.

This is the general overview of the plot but there is so much more depth and intrigue to the story. Sabaa Tahir also adds plenty of action into the plotline with the Trials for a New Emperor and I have to say the setup and the concept behind it was so interesting. This was because she did add a bit of fantasy/paranormal element to it since each test was different (Courage, Cleverness/Cunning, Strength, Loyalty). She also introduces the Augurs who are beings that can predict the future who provide an interesting arc to the story. This book does have a bit more darker themes as opposed to the other books I have read but Sabaa Tahir weaves them into the story so flawlessly that you actually believe that this world is real.

CHARACTERS:

  1. Laia – Innocent, Fearful, yet Spirited and Determined. Laia is honestly a breath of fresh air for me because so many leads from other YA novels have the same qualities of “Katniss,” “Celena” or “Princess Lia” but I truly do appreciate Sabaa for not taking that route with this novel. Despite her weaknesses, Laia goes through a great transformation which I loved. Her drive for facing any hardships is due to her love for her brother and that was truly heartwarming which made her character seem so real and believable.
  2. Elias – Strong, Broken from the Past, Hesitant about expressing views. Elias is an interesting character and Sabaa did a great job portraying him as a soldier but also as a regular boy who does question his beliefs, borders on friendship and ability to trust in himself and figure himself out. Like Laia, he undergoes a remarkable transformation as well. For those of you who have read the book, can we please take a moment to appreciate the amount of sass he has at the end of the book? OMG, I LOVED IT!
  3. Helene – Strong, Brave, Fighter. Helene is a fighter/soldier in this novel and I honestly had mixed feelings about her. She is a good friend to Elias, which was great but I didn’t like that she was supportive of the empire despite their actions. I feel like I would need to know more about her to have a proper understanding to her character since she does jump back and forth. I think the second book may help in this since we are probably going to have chapters written in her perspective.
  4. Kennan – Second-in-Command of the Resistance, Strong, Blunt but Softhearted. Kennan initially didn’t believe that Laia could complete her mission successfully but he does become attached to her and helps her realize that despite everything that she has been through, she is a survivor.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This book was hands down amazing. I loved everything from the plot, the characters and the wonderful subtext in not giving into fear, believing in oneself and sticking up for what is right. Laia grows from a fearful girl to a survivor while Elias grows from being a robot/puppet soldier to a person who is not afraid to stand by his own opinions. There were so many quotes in the book which I absolutely loved. One would be the following:

“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged, but its there. Don’t let them take it from you.” 

The only thing that bothered me was the weird love square between the four main characters since I didn’t really think a few love lines between some characters were that necessary. This was just one minor flow which I overlooked since the plot was amazing. My favorite scene would probably have to be the Moon Festival – this was probably the only time I actually smiled in the book lol, omg it was too cute! I am looking forward for the sequel. Hopefully, it will continue to be awesome!

If you guys like a Dystopian/Fantasy read which takes place in a world inspired from the Roman Empire, I highly suggest that you all pick this one up. I LOVED IT ❤

April Wrap Up

wrapup

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! 🙂

I wanted to share with you all the fabulous books I read in April! I finally started the Lunar Chronicles! Yayyyy! OMG I feel like everyone in the book community already finished the series and I just started! I am currently only up to the third book and I am planning on reading the last book, Winter, in May. I am so excited!! Marissa Meyer is a fabulous writer.

All the books I read in April I did end up giving a 4-5 stars out of 5 stars so it was a pretty awesome reading month. I will also have an in depth review of all these books in the future so please keep a look out!

  1. An Ember in the Ashes – 5/5; How is this a debut novel? This was super fast paced and the story is so addicting! LOVED
  2. Cinder – 5/5; A fairy-tale with a science fiction twist, how awesome is that? AMAZING
  3. Scarlet – 4.5/5; Captain Thorne is hilarious, I loved the comic relief he brings to the story
  4. Cress – 5/5; I love how we explore a different character and setting/country every time. The plot line just gets better and better, by far my favorite book is the series.
  5. Stolen Songbird – 4/5; This book exceeded my expectations. I was so intrigued by the characters, the plot, the mystery and the convoluted politics. A great start to a trilogy!

Happy Reading Everyone! 

For more bookish photos, follow my Instagram