Saturday, September 17, 2016

And I Darken

Title: And I Darken

Author: Kiersten White

First Published: June 28th 2016

Series: The Conqueror's Saga #1

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 457

My Copy: Physical Copy

My Overall Rating: 8/10

Goodreads Summary
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Merchant Of Venice

This week, I had the great opportunity to watch The Merchant of Venice as performed by the Globe. No, I wasn't in London, but I watched them when they were on tour. I had to study The Merchant of Venice for school, and our English teacher thought it would be a good idea to bring us to watch the play live. I felt a bit skeptical at first, but once it began, I really enjoyed it!

I apologise for the Chinese :)

What I liked

  • The interpretation. In this performance, they took the sympathetic path towards Shylock, so we would feel really bad for him. When I first read the play, I already felt pity for Shylock. As a class, we had also watched the 2004 movie version, but they portrayed Shylock as a cold bully in that one, so there was less sympathy for him. I liked the Globe's portrayal a lot more.
  • The interaction. I haven't seen many plays in my life, but this is the first time where there was actor to audience interaction! It was very funny when the actors would call some of the audience up on stage and I thought this was a really good way to keep the audience interested.
  • The humour. In words, the humour Shakespeare was trying to put through got lost during the decades. Shakespearian humour and 21st century humour is pretty different. However, they still kept the original humour and managed to pull it off!
  • The ending. It was so powerful. They added a little bit more after the last line of the play, which showed Shylock's conversion to Christianity as part of his punishment. This wasn't in the original script, but I thought it was really powerful to add it in. You can clearly see the anguish in Shylock and it just reinforces the sympathy we feel for him. It is quite dramatic though :)
I'd put another title with "what I disliked", but I really can't think of anything! It was really good! So, if you ever get the chance to watch it performed by the Globe this year, do so! You won't regret it :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Greek Mythology Tag

Hi everyone! Here's another tag for you: the Greek Mythology Tag a while back, but finally, I've gotten round to doing it! Before beginning, I just want to thank Tasya @ The Literary Huntress for tagging me - THANKS TASYA :D You can check out her answers here. So, let's begin! :)

Zeus (Jupiter) : God of the sky and thunder / King of the gods

Favourite book (choose your own category!)

How do I even choose? Well, I know my favourite category is Fantasy, but which book from it? Ah, I know! I adore A Court of Mist and Fury, which I thought was so good. It was packed with action, world building, plot twists... Everything I need! :)

Hera (Juno) : Goddess of marriage and fertility

Cutest book couple

How can I choose? I have so many OTPs, but I think the one that rises above the rest is Percabeth. No arguments there. All the sass and banter is so fun to read about. Oh yes, and Solangelo ;)

Poseidon (Neptune) : God of the seas and earthquakes

Book that drowned you in feels

I think we can all agree that Clockwork Princess was filled to the rim with feels and angst. The love triangle, JEM, WILL, basically everything. UGH :(

Athena (Minerva) : Goddess of wisdom, handicraft and strategic warfare

Series with the best world building

The Grisha series. One of the best world building I've read. Would you want to live there? I'd like to be a Grisha, it seems so cool. Who hasn't dreamed of having special powers?

Hades (Pluto) : God of the Underworld

Favourite book with dark/ominous plot

Asylum by Madeleine Roux, which kind of reminds me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, especially because it also has many creepy photos inside. I always love books with mental asylums in it, so that was a bonus as well.  

Aphrodite (Venus) : Goddess of love and beauty

Most beautiful cover on a 2016 release

Ares (Mars) : God of war and bloodshed

Most violent book you've ever read

I don't think I've read a book with as much violence as As I Darken by Kiersten White. It is a retelling of Vlad the Impaler, so no surprises there about the amount of bloodshed. 

Hephaestus (Vulcan) : God of blacksmiths and fire

Scorching hot swoon worthy character

Can I choose Will Herondale? He's so sarcastic and sassy all the time. ;) 

Artemis (Diana) : Goddess of the hunt and virginity

Favourite kick-ass heroine

My favourite heroine is and will always be Katniss Everdeen. She's strong, ruthless when needs to be but also isn't afraid to show her emotions. 

Phoebus Apollo (Apollo) : God of light and healing

Sequel that redeemed the series

I think this will fall to Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd. I did enjoy The Madman's Daughter, but I thought the second book really did push the series even further, so that it was even more intriguing. 

Hermes (Mercury) : Messenger god of thieves and commerce

Book with best message

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lane is one of the best contemporary-mystery books I've ever read. The plot, the style, the character development, everything. I recommend you to read it right now.

Hestia (Vesta) : Goddess of the hearth and home

Book with most relatable story

Book with the most relatable story? I think this would fall into the Contemporary book category, therefore: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr. I find it relatable because it's all about classical music and piano, another one of my interest! ;D

Demeter (Ceres) : Goddess of fertility and agriculture

Favourite bookish setting

The Londons in A Darker Shade of Magic. Who doesn't like the idea of different Londons? As I've said before, Red London seems to be the best to live in. 

Dionysus (Bacchus) : God of wine and celebration

2016 release you are most anticipating

So, that's the end of the tag! I hope you enjoyed reading it! :) 

I tag:

And anyone else! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Since You've Been Gone

Title: Since You've Been Gone

Author: Morgan Matson

First Published: May 6th, 2014

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 449

My Copy: Physical Copy

My Overall Rating: 8/10

Goodreads Summary
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?