Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews! This meme showcases the books received, bought, or checked out from the library over the past week.

One day I got home from school, and all of these lovely books were waiting for my at my doorstep. No joke. All of them came on the same day. One package from B&N, one from Amazon, and one with a bunch of ARCs from Random House that I got from RandomBuzzers (pre-Figment). I was literally bursting from excitement! It was mostly because I preordered a couple books that had similar release dates, so their delivery dates kinda coincided. NOT because I ordered all of them at the same time.

But I did make that new rule about finishing three books before buying one more to get my TBR pile to go down. (I have around 50 books that are sitting in a stack, waiting for me to get crackin' on them. And then, there's that book buying addiction that I have, so I had to set a limit for myself.)

THE HAUL (It's a big one):


Friday, February 14, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

352 pages
Rating: 3/5
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

I know it's wrong to judge a book by its cover, but I mean, look at this thing. Could you help yourself? But I learned that I should rely less on the summary. From there, I gathered that she would be this kickass assassin chick, but she was far less skilled than someone who's been training her life should be. Her husband knew what she was up to the moment he saw her.

So, Nyx is this ridiculously selfish girl raised by ridiculously selfish people, all of whom have a singleminded goal that's more important than Nyx's own survival to them. If ever there was a main character I wasn't expecting to like, it would be this one, but she didn't make it easy. One second, I'd think "Wow, this girl is pretty awesome. KEEP IT UP!" and then the next I'd be screaming (out loud sometimes) "I HATE YOU. YOU MAKE STUPID DECISIONS AND MY HEART HURTS."

Ignifex was perfection. Throughout the book, I was just enthusiastically waiting for more scenes with him in it and from the very beginning, I knew he would probably end up being my favorite character. Truth be told, when I found out that he was demon lord, I knew there was no hope for me. But if you were expecting some hideous creature, then try no to be too alarmed when you're introduced a breathtakingly beautiful demigod, yeah? And then his personality. Oh man, he was funny, and snarky, and SO ENTERTAINING.

The plot was much darker than I had expected. It's not like Beastly, if that's what you think you'll get when you pick this up. There are demons and death and horrible bargains and myths. It makes you feel claustrophobic, though that might have been the intention of the author. At times, it felt like the book fell flat plot-wise, but on the other hand, there were times that I devoured happily. And then the ending... (highlight to read because the font is white) I'm happy, but not quite satisfied because it was a little abrupt. Not enough time for a proper happily ever after. 

I'd recommend this to people who like retellings, but don't come in thinking you're reading a Disney fairytale. And if you enjoy demons or slightly dark romances, have at it! It'll be perfect for you! Personally, I'd probably only recommend this to a certain type of person, because this definitely isn't going to be everyone's flavor.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unread Books

I know I seemed to have dropped off the face of the planet, but I have a reason for that. Since this blog started, the amount of books I buy on a monthly basis has become overwhelming. Not only do I have a new book haul every week, but I can't seem to make myself STOP. It's not the money I'm worried about (at least not yet, but at the rate I'm going...*guilty smile* MOVING ON), but there are a couple issues that I've thought of that I need to get a handle on before I start buying more.
Here it is. The pile. That's not even all of it, unfortunately.
  • Popular Books - When I see more than a couple people reading, reviewing, and recommending a single book, I think, "Wow, that's gotten really popular lately. Maybe I should jump on the bandwagon and see what the hype is about." And then I go buy it and cycle repeats itself. I know I should be giving into peer pressure, but I'm genuinely excited for it to! And then that leads to a whole new set of problems, but we'll get to that.
  • Book to Movie Adaptations - These little suckers... I CANNOT RESIST YOU. POR QUE? I have this belief that I ABSOLUTELY must read the book first and I end up getting the book long before the movie comes out, not watching the movie, and then finally getting to it months after everyone's done being excited about it!
    • My Favorite Store - Bookstores are my weakness. I really don't feel excitement going shopping anywhere else. I mean, clothes are always fun to buy, but they don't give me the kind of joy I do from the bookstores, so naturally, I go there more often. And that leads to buying. And that leads to more books on my TBR pile. And then I feel both ecstatic and depressed AT THE SAME TIME.
    • The Excitement Dies - When the book is on the TBR pile for too long, I'll admit that while I was once pumped to get started on it, eventually, I just. Don't. Care. Anymore. Apathy is literally the worst feeling ever, especially to someone with such a strong addiction to the feels. I NEED THE FEELS TO LIVE.
    • The Blogging Universe - Regardless of how much I love it, all these bloggers buying new books are giving me the mindset that it's okay for me to do it too, and while some people are fine with it, I think I need a new MO.
    There are definitely more, but that's all I can get into for now because really, this could just go on and on. I'm good at making excuses for my book buying sprees. HOWEVER, I am resolving to read at least three books before I buy anything again, just so I can knock some stuff off the pile. Maybe by the end of the year, I'll be able to have only a couple books in the pile and have a happy, healthy relationship with unread books. Do you have problems with this too? Just a leave a comment because I'd love to hear your opinions!
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