Friday, July 31, 2015

Novel Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny. For fans of bestselling authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected--particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy--who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

The Cover:

I absolutely love this cover. The interwoven rose petals and staircase is gorgeous, and very fitting. It shows the story very well--with it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, as well as the place that Ignifex lives, with all the exploring Nyx does. It fits the book so well, but it's beautiful on it's own. It caught my eye before I even knew what the book was about.


"If you desired someone, if he comforted you, if you thought he might leech the poison out of your heart, was that love? Or only desperation?” (Paperback, pg. 127)

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. I should have picked it up forever ago—I know I heard enough good things about it.
Nyx was chosen before birth to marry the ruler of her kingdom, the man who everyone hates and fears, who is the reason they are all stuck inside this bubble of a world. And she’s been trained to kill him, even if no one truly believes it’s possible.
There’s a lot of darkness in this book. Nyx has been harboring hard feelings for her twin sister, for her father and aunt, and for the dark king she is to marry. The dark king, likely, also harbors some hard feelings for his people, the people who command him, himself. They understand that in each other.
Nyx sneaks around a lot, trying to figure out the house, to figure out how to do what her sister wanted of her. There’s the shadow for her companionship, and sometimes during the day, the king, Ignifex. It’s interesting, the house he lives in, and the world outside it. The whole world that Hodge has created is beautiful and enchanting, and I’m so intrigued. There’s a lot of mythology interwoven in the story, some magic, and I loved it. I’m sure a lot of it flew over my head, but it made me intrigued, and I liked what I understood. Even though it was a little slow, it was never boring, and it was even a little surprising near the end.
There’s also a lot of swoon. I tried not to like Ignifex from the beginning, but he surprised me at the start. He’s fun, smart, very steamy. I really liked those scenes, but there was also a lot of chemistry. I’m pretty happy with the ending, even if I don’t quite think it made sense? Either way, I’m happy with how the story ended.
The writing was gorgeous, and the characters were so complex and believable. I loved this book, and am really looking forward to reading her others.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wishlist Thursday[118]: Maid-Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara

Maid-Sama! 1 & 2 by Hiro Fujiwara

Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)

Release Date: August 4, 2015

Volumes: 18.

Goodreads Synopsis:

As if being class president of a predominantly male high school wasn’t hard enough, Misaki Ayuzawa has a major secret—she works at a maid café after school! How is she supposed to keep her image of being ultra smart, strong and overachieving intact once school heartthrob Takumi Usui discovers her double life?!

Can Misaki trust Usui to keep her secret from the rest of the kids at school? And why the heck is he always showing up at the maid café? Maybe she should start taking him seriously when he says he likes her—especially when he throws in an unexpected kiss!


I read and collected this series when it was originally released from TokyoPop, and later watched the anime. I thought it was a very fun, cute series when it was first published, and was disappointed when they closed and it was left unfinished. Which means that I was super excited to hear that VIZ would be rescuing it.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be collecting all the volumes of the new release—though I’m extremely tempted, since I know they’re going to be better done and prettier than TokyoPop’s versions, but I still own the originals. I will be reading the first omnibus, though, and continuing to collect when they catch up with where TokyoPop left off. I’ve missed how fun this series is, and I love Takumi, so I’m excited to get back into it.

Is this on your list?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Manga Review: Say I Love You., Volume 7, by Kanae Hazuki

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: April 2015
Volumes: 14+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:


It’s been a full year since eccentric loner Mei Tachibana set out onto the seas of love with the self-assured Yamato Kurosawa, but there’s a storm ahead! Yamato’s friend Kai has confessed his feelings for Mei. Will it sow the seeds of doubt, or just deepen her affection for Yamato? Meanwhile, Megumi’s scheming forces her into greater and greater social isolation. With all this churning in the background, what’ll happen when Mei and Yamato leave for an overnight anniversary trip?


I have finally caught up to where I had previously read! Now it’s all completely new to me after this, and I’m so excited!
Mei and Yamato conclude their overnight date in this volume, and then we get to more Megumi drama. And then Megumi’s main plot finally ends! We see why she’s been acting this way, she finally realizes it herself. She decides not to care so much what other people think about her, and to finally appreciate her real friends. She matures a lot in this volume, and I’m happy to see it. I do think more will happen with her, possibly with Kai. Kai is a sweet guy, who’s now just a friend to everyone.
Mei and Yamato get a few more cute moments together, and we get to be inside Asami’s head for a bit. Asami is a sweet, good girl, who tries to help everyone and be nice and look out for her friends, even when other people are rude to her.
The group of characters is great in this series, and I’m so looking forward to the next book. I can’t wait for more!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesday[160]: Shrimp (Cyd Charisse, #2) by Rachel Cohn

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Shrimp (Cyd Charisse, #2) by Rachel Cohn

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release Date: 2005

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sassy Cyd Charisse returns in Shrimp, the “compelling…and light-hearted” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) sequel to the sharp and funny novel Gingerbread.

If Cyd Charisse knows one thing, it’s that Shrimp is her true love. Shrimp, the hottest pint-size surfer-artist in San Francisco. That boy (as her mother called him), who was the primary cause of Cyd being grounded to Alcatraz, formerly known as her room. The boy who dumped Cyd before she left home to spend the summer in New York City.

Now it’s the start of senior year. Cyd has changed, but maybe Shrimp has changed too—and maybe Cyd and Shrimp will need to get to know each other all over again to figure out if it’s for real. Can Cyd get back together with Shrimp and keep the peace with her mom? And can she get a life outside of her all-encompassing boy radar?

This sequel to Gingerbread has all the sharp humor and searing attitude of the original, which ELLEgirl praised as “not just Another Teen Novel” and Teen People called “unforgettable.” In Shrimp, Cyd might be a little older and a little wiser, but she’s still the same irrepressible free spirit determined to find her own way in the world, on her own terms.


“I protested, ‘But I cannot pay that debt back by letting you consume bad doughnuts. That would just make me a schmuck.’” (Paperback, pg. 78)

What are you reading right now?