Friend Reviews: Empire of The Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Today I decided to spice things up and since Sarah J. Maas’ Empire of The Storms recently came out, I decided to ask one of my good friends, Sanya to read and review this highlight anticipated novel. Empire of The Storms has created a storm on social media and fans of the Throne of Glass series have fallen in love with this series. Anyway, here is one of my friend’s review of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.

dsc_0121_fotorTitle: Empire of The Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: October 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating:  9/10
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Adventure

Empire of Storms is an amazing fantasy young adult novel written by Sarah J. Mass. It is the fifth book in the throne of glass series and I have to say the most exciting yet. The previous books have built an amazing base for this book. They introduced all the main characters and in this book, everyone comes together. I just couldn’t put this book down. What I really liked was that there were three to four story lines going on and whenever one stopped another one continued. Sometimes some of the chapters can be boring because the anticipation for the other ones are too much but in this book they were all so interesting I wanted to read every word. At the end, it all came together and made a lot of sense. This book wasn’t only fantasy and adventure but also had some really cute romantic scenes. I won’t give too much away because it is worth reading and swooning over. Sarah J. Mass portrayed the characters and wrote the romance at the perfect time so it would be there when needed and wouldn’t clash with other parts. I was a little bit worried about this series because I thought the books were going to drag on but this book was spectacular. The author thought of many more ways to surprise the readers and throw in a few plot twists. After reading A Court of Mist and Fury earlier this year also by Sarah J. Mass, I knew this book was going to be something on a whole new level. Sarah J. mass thought of more ways to explore Aelin’s power and her relationships with her trusted ones. I loved the way the author brought in some new characters and explored further into not well-known characters. There was Elide, Lorcan, Fenrys and Gavriel to name a few. This book reveals more history and digs deeper into the mythology which gives us a better understanding of Erilea. Empire of Storms is perfect for someone who loves the genres fantasy, adventure or romance.  I am so excited for the next book and absolutely can’t wait!!

song + novel:

Thank you so much to Sanya for helping me read and review this novel! Are you a huge Throne of Glass lover? What did you think?

#lovebooks + Sanya 🙂

Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray Guest Post + Mini Reviews

caramel-hearts

Hello!!

I recently finished E.R. Murray’s Caramel Hearts and I have such an action packed post for this novel. E.R. Murray will be guest posting today and I’ll also be featuring a mini review. Have you read Caramel Hearts yet?

dsc_0331_fotorTitle: Caramel Hearts
Author: E.R. Murray
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating:  7/10
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance

E.R. Murray’s Caramel Hearts was exactly like salted caramel- sweet with a tinge of salt. This novel was such an adorable read but it was also filled with a roller coaster of an adventure. I’ll admit it took me a while to get through but upon finishing the book I realised that this book was actually a pretty fun read. The character development was one of the highlights of the book, I love seeing how Olivia “bloomed” from this young, immature 14-year-old to one who had become more mature and had a grip on reality.

However, something that did let me down was how annoying the main character was at times. I know that it was part of the plot to do so but at times I was really pulling my hair out. 🙂 Some of the actions and thought processes she went through reminded me of a spoilt little girl. Nevertheless, her development was really something I enjoyed reading.

I also love the idea of integrating sweet, desert recipes! I thought that was so cute and I loved reading about how Olivia bakes them and also reading the delicious recipes in general! I thought what made this novel so different was the fact that it dragged me into this life I have never explored before. The Bloom family had its issues and reading it from a younger perspective really made me realise the effects  addiction and bullying had on a child. Overall, I thought Caramel Hearts was an easy read filled with sweetness but had undertones of serious and important themes.

book + song:

guest post from the author of caramel hearts: e.r. murray

Favourite Caramel Recipe

I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I do love salted caramel – in ice cream or truffle form. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for either, so I’ll have to go with my Caramel Hearts recipe from my book. They’re spongy & gooey & tasty & versatile, so they can be made cupcake-style instead if you prefer! Scroll down for the recipe:

Advice for high school teens

Ooh, this is a tough one… I wrote Caramel Hearts because I wanted to explore certain issues; bullying, the effects of addiction on a family unit, sibling relationships, poverty and friendships. These are all issues that affect us throughout our lives, but what we experience as teens burns brighter, deeper, more destructively. I think one of the main reasons is that as a teenager, we’re ready for our voices to be heard, but very few people are willing to listen. And so, the advice I’m giving is what I wish someone told my teenage self …

You’re not alone: whatever you’re feeling – be it tired, stressed, embarrassed, angry, ugly, pressured, unloved, friendless, fake, mortified, helpless, horny, bullied, misunderstood, disgusted, crazed – trust me, there’s someone nearby that’s feeling the same. It’s just that no one will admit it, because they’re too busy trying to deal with whatever it is they’re going through.

Dare to dream: seriously – dream big. If you love art, think about where it can lead. If sport is your thing, go for it. Want to write a book? Do it! I was a grade A student in a rough area and I remember being told I could aspire to working in a supermarket! I’ve travelled the world (there’s still more to see) and now I write books! So dream big – then make it happen. The path might not be easy, but it’ll be your own.

Hope is your weapon. If you have hope, you have a way out. Hope gives you wings – it means you can see another way, something to reach for, something to strive for – and when you get there, you’ll enjoy it all the more because you and you alone managed to get there.

Help others: in any small way you can and you’ll find you’re probably helping yourself too. We all know what it feels like to be on the periphery, or even too much in the centre of attention at times – if you see someone struggling, go help. Just a kind word or a smile or helping them move away from an uncomfortable situation can be enough.

Do it your way: adults think they have all the answers, but inside, they’re still just as uncertain and messy. If you have an idea, you go for it. It’s called progress. You’re the future.

These days will end: If you’re having an awful time, school is not the rest of your life. It is a part of your life for a small(ish) period of time, though it may not feel that way right now. Once school is over, you never have to see those people or think about it again – it can only follow you afterwards if you let it.

To learn more about E.R. Murray visit her website www.ermurray.com or connect with her on twitter @ERMurray or instagram elizabethrosemurray.

Caramel Hearts Recipe

No matter how spiky people seem, they’re always softer on the inside than you expect. Melt even the coldest of hearts with these golden, caramel treats and wipe your tears away.

Ingredients:

125 g/41⁄2 oz golden butter

125 g/41⁄2 oz light brown sugar

150 g/51⁄2 oz self-raising flour

2 eggs

1⁄2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sweet vanilla extract

70 g/2 1⁄2 oz of your favourite nuts (pecans, almonds or hazelnuts are best), finely chopped

For the ‘Salty Tears’ Caramel Sauce

200 g/7 oz caster sugar

70 ml/2 1⁄2 fl oz water

50 g/2 oz butter

150 ml/5 1⁄2 fl oz double cream

tsp chunky sea salt

 

How to Make the Magic Happen

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 oC/350 oF/Gas mark 4. Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat rapidly until well combined and creamy (plenty of elbow grease required).
  2. Line a baking tray with silicone heart-shaped cases and split the mixture equally between them. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  3. Now make the caramel sauce and wash those tears away. Add the sugar, salt and water to a small pan and place over a gentle heat. Stir occasionally until all of the sugar and salt has melted.
  4. Turn up the heat and keep watch as the mixture boils – stir constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. After 8–10 minutes, the mixture will thicken and turn a pale almond brown.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully add the butter and cream. Return to the heat, stir, and as soon as the sauce thickens, pour lashings of it over the heart-shaped cake and serve to whichever prickly person you need to soothe.

Thank you so much to E.R. Murray for guest posting on my blog today! I really enjoyed her novel and if you haven’t read it yet, you have to give it a try!

#lovebooks

 

 

“Spring Is In The Air” Spring Reads

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Hello!!

I haven’t talked to you guys in what feels like ages. I guess you could say I was taking a little bit of a break. These past few months have been quite busy and the next few months will be busy as well but I’m going to try my best to read as much as I can. I was also in a reading slump which didn’t help much with my motivation but I’m starting to gain it back!

Although it may be Fall in many other places in the world, it is spring where I am and because of that, I decided that it would be a good idea to share with you three books I’m going to read this spring as well as recommend two books that remind me of spring. For me, spring is one of those beautiful and blissful months, I feel love and romance in the air as well as something blooming like flowers. Contemporaries are a perfect fit for spring reads because they are filled with romance, highlight the blooming of something new and are usually beautifully written. Many of the books I’m going to mention today are contemporaries for this very reason.

what i want to read this spring:

I want to read so many adorable, romance contemporaries this spring because they always fill me with so much happiness and positivity. There is just something so satisfying about the wistful and heart fluttering feeling after you finish a contemporary. Here are three books I want to read this spring:

Have you read these books? What do you want to read this month?

my two spring read recommendations

I have so many spring recommendations and it would take me an eternity to list all of my recommendations. Here are two recommendations for a good spring read:

dsc_0035_fotorTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before | Jenny Han

There is no way I would have skipped this novel because this novel literally screams spring. It’s adorable and fills my heart with joy. I love the storyline and the characters are so relatable. It is the perfect spring read!

My Life Next Door | Huntley Fitzpatrick

This romantic contemporary also reminds me of the romance filled atmosphere that spring brings. This story is a whirlwind of an adventure. I love reading about the romance between the two characters and there is just something about this contemporary that makes it one of my favourites.

These are some of my favourite spring reads and some books I’m planning to read this month! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

#lovebooks xx

 

 

 

The Girl From Everywhere: Time Travelling Destinations + Mini Review

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Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating:  7/10
Genre: Time Travel, Adventure, Romance

Today, I decided to spice up my normal reviews by giving you a mini review of Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere, whilst telling you two of the destinations I would love to go to if I had a chance to time-travel. One of the main features about this book is the unique time-travelling elements they have incorporated into the novel. I’ll begin with my mini-review! 🙂

The Girl From Everywhere was a really enjoyable and light read. I loved the story line because Heilig takes the overused time travelling plot and puts it into a new light. I love how the main character time travels to Hawaii because Hawaii is such a tropical and beautiful place. Furthermore, Heilig writing makes you want to turn the page over and over again.

However what disappointed me in this novel was that I thought there were too many elements. I didn’t think the romance was developed very well as there were too many issues and complications happening at the same time. It was hard for me to follow the love triangle which wasn’t really much of a love triangle. Nevertheless, Heidi Heilig’s character development of Nix was really well done. I thought Nix’s personality and morals really transformed from the beginning to the end. I can’t wait for the next book because I’ll definitely be following Nix’s story. Hopefully, in the next novel the relationship development will improve!

the two time-travel destinations i want to visit

If you didn’t guess already a lot of the book revolves around the concept of time travel. I’ve always wanted to time travel- go back in time and fast forward to the future. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have the chance to time travel. Here are the two destinations I would love to visit if I had the ability to time travel!

Late 1800s London

A weird choice you may say but I would love to visit the London in the late 1800s. Maybe it’s because I love The Infernal Devices so much but I’ve always thought this time period would be so much fun to visit. Imagine being thrown into this  new world where everyone wore suits or nice dresses, the Big Ben overlooking the whole entire town and the cities with bustling people. It probably wasn’t this majestical in reality but I can dream. I’ve always been a city girl and 1800s London is a mix of contemporary with vintage. The perfect match. This would definitely be one of my first destinations. (PS: I also get to see Will Herondale and who wouldn’t want that 🙂 )

My Younger Days…

I know I’m still young and I probably can’t really talk with much experience but something I’ve learnt very recently is to take in the moment because when you are older and you look back on it, you regret the days you didn’t relish the memories and moments. I would love to go back in time and to experience some of the best days, weeks, months and years of my life but at the same time I want to be able to know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t want time to fly and that’s why lately I’ve been trying to take up lots of new opportunities and experiences because you never know where they are going to lead you!

I hope you guys loved this post! Tell me if you have read Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere! Did you like it? Where would you travel to if you had the ability to time travel?

#lovebooks

“Caramels + an contemporary” Teaser Tuesdays | August 16th

jij'

HIYA!!

How is everyone? Today I am finally back with a Teaser Tuesday as I know I haven’t done one in ages. I love updating you guys with my last finds and my current read. As I mentioned a while ago, I have fallen into a reading slump but I’m trying to curb that this week as I haven’t really received much homework. What have you guys been reading lately? Anyway, I’m currently reading:

caramel hearts by e. r. murray

DSC_0315_Fotor

I’m currently reading this adorable contemporary titled, Caramel Hearts, which is by E.R. Murray. I haven’t really gotten into the book yet as I only just started it but based on the blurb it sounds adorable. I am hoping that it won’t be too immature because I’m getting “Everything, Everything” vibes! However, it is a romance and I need a good break from fantasy:

“I spin on my head and head down the corridors towards Science, pretending I can’t hear Sarah when she calls my name,”
– Caramel Hearts, E.R. Murray

what do you think? have you read caramel hearts? don’t forget to let me know about your current read down below!

#lovebooks

One extremely long #tbr list…

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HELLO!!!

Winter has struck here, where I live and it has been frigid cold every day. I’m hoping every day that I won’t catch a cold and every day consists of warm blankets and toasty heaters. However, another important thing that warms me up on a winter day is a good book. I haven’t been reading as much as I would like. (Blame it on Gossip Girl) This means that my TBR list is piling and piling with books. Today I decided to show you some of the many books on my TBR:

romance contemporaries

Contemporaries are vital to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside because the romance in them fills my heart with joy. I’ve been craving contemporaries for a very long time and I can’t wait to fall in love with the characters in these books!

series and trilogies

I need to find a good series ASAP because I’ve been in a mini reading slump for ages. I miss jumping into exciting new worlds and having my heart wrenched from various plot twists. Which series do you think I should read next?

plus more:

I don’t just have contemporaries and series on my TBR I also have other stand-alones and upcoming releases that have been sitting on my TBR for ages!

So that is my tbr!!! Hopefully, I’ll get around to some of these books soon! Collecting and reading the synopses of all these novels have just gotten me so so excited to read them!

What is are some novels on your TBR? 🙂

#lovebooks

“Time Traveling + Hyped Releases” Teaser Tuesdays

jij'

Hiya!!!

I have not done a single Teaser Tuesdays in a hundred years and so today I decided to due a Teaser Tuesday!!! It is the second week of school and everything is actually going great. Well…except for a few things here and there but overall everything has been pretty cruisy! What have you guys been up to recently? I’m currently reading:

the girl from everywhere by heidi heilig

I recently got this novel and although I am not that far into the book, I have been loving it! The main character is so likeable and I love the concept of the novel. I haven’t read many time travel novels and I am sure this book will be a time-travel that I will be recommending. However, I can not jump to conclusions yet! I do know that this novel has been hyped up since its release and so far I think it has been living up to my expectations. Here is a little teaser of the novel:

“My thoughts scattered like chipped ice, and my vision blackened at the edges, as though I was staring through a spyglass,”
– The Girl From Everywhere, Heidi Heilig

what are you reading this week? have you read the girl from everywhere?

#lovebooks

June Obsessions and July Excitement

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Yes, I am writing this on the fifteenth of July even though this post should have been scheduled on the first of July. Sorry 🙂

sayonara june

June has been a very ordinary, yet exciting month. I was greatly disappointed due to the fact that I hadn’t read much at all in the month of June but I was also super excited for the holidays. Despite the fact that school was dragging along slowly when the holidays finally arrived I couldn’t contain my excitement, especially because we were going away. I visited many different places and it felt like such a relief to have the pressure of school lifted off of my shoulders. However, school has started again and I am so not ready but nevertheless, I am going to try to make this term a good one. Also, last month I took a few breaks with blogging and it felt nice to take a break but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that I love blogging and instagraming, which is why I’ll be posting lots more soon! Here are some of my favourites from last month:

Obsessions:

Here are some of my recent obsessions!

Music :

I have been obsessed with Often by Kygo and of course, Shawn Mendes’ new song Treat You Better! I have literally been playing them on repeat and I can not get enough! I have been really loving I Heart Radio recently. Instead of playing my spotify playlist, sometimes I’ll put on a hit music station from the website. I’ve been loving the LA I Heart Radio Hits Station the most.

 

Gossip Girl:

I only just started this show, so no spoilers, please! I watch TV shows awfully slow and although I started this show two months ago I’m only on season two. I try to watch it when I have spare time but the drama and gossip in this TV show is so so good. It may sound weird that I enjoy watching people gossip about others but this TV show is honestly one big web of interlocking events that has kept me so entertained!

Shopping

Well…I’ve always had an obsession with shopping but because I have been shopping a lot lately, I thought why not add it to my obsessions list? I’m more of a summer girl and so lately I have been lots buying of summer dresses, some sweatshirts and bags. I recently visited this mall, which was huge! I spent nearly two days there shopping and I still haven’t visited every store in the mall. I bought heaps of stuff there and I can’t wait to wear and use them .

june reads + book hauls

As I mentioned earlier June was a disappointing reading month. I only read a few books, which include Rebel Of The Sands, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Last Star and The Leaving. Hopefully, July will be much more exciting in terms of books and I can’t wait to dive into some good books. Here are some of the books I got this month:

DSC_0313_FotorThe Last Star by Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave #3)
Blood In The Beginning by Kim Falconer (Ava Sykes Series)
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
The Girl From Everywhere by Heide Heilig
Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Caramel Hearts by E. R. Murray

july goals

Here are some of goals for this month:
– To workout more intensively and for more periods of time, as well as eating a proper healthy diet.
– To actually work on my blog and Instagram more seriously and with a proper effort and attitude. (*cough* as you can see that didn’t really happen for the first half of the month but there are still 16 more days)
– Write some more lifestyle posts!
– To balance most things in my life, especially the reading facet of my life. This brings me to my next point my July TBR.

july tbr:

Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray
The Blood In The Beginning by Kim Falconer
The Girl From Everywhere by Heide Heilig
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Yay! So this is my June + July wrap-up and TBR! List some books you want to read this month, so I can add it to my own TBR! What have been your recent obsessions?

#lovebooks

 

 

Blog Tour + Book Review When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel- Fattah

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Title: When Michael Met MinaDSC_0291_Fotor
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Release Date: June 2016
Retail Price: $18.99
Overall Rating:  7/10
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Reading the first few chapters of Randa Abdel-Fattah’s When Michael Met Mina, brought a wave of familiarity. I soon began to beileve that this book would be a cute contemporary simillar to Tale of Two Cities. However, as I progressed through the novel I realised that this book isn’t a simple young adult romance- no. In fact, it dove deeper than that and together the novel brought a parcel of cuteness, reality and depth. If you ever need a quality contemporary novel this book is definitely for you. Mina, one of the main characters in the story, is a refugee from Afghanistan but Michael’s family has always wanted to stop the refugee boats from coming into Australia. When Mina moves into town, Michael is torn between supporting his family and Mina. This novel tells the story of how these completely two different people fall in love and discover what they really stand for.

Before reading this novel, I was slightly hesitant. I had read Abdel-Fattah’s previous novel, Does My Head Look Big In This and I didn’t really enjoy the book at all. However, I read When Michael Met Mina in two days. It was a fresh and unique novel that dealt with what feels like an untouched topic in books: Refugees. It was really interesting to see both sides of the story and I loved how this was in two perspectives. After reading this, I have developed a more personal understanding of the issue and it was really enjoyable to read how Abdel-Fattah has woven this story and issue together. Furthermore, the overall main message of the story was very apparent and I liked how it was dealt with because the novel didn’t seem overly educational and political but rather it felt heart-warming and overall really enjoyable.

Michael and Mina’s character development was perfect. Due to the little amount of characters and the main focus on the two main characters, you can really see how well executed the development of the two characters were in the novel, especially Michael. Michael grew from a passive follower and a boy who wouldn’t fight for what he stood for to a more mature and strong-willed boy. It was interesting to see how he dealt with going against his father’s point of view about the refugees, as well as how he broke the news that he no longer wanted to be an architect. Mina’s character was admirable and not annoying at all, in fact at times her voice was easy to click with and I enjoyed reading from her point of view.

The little motifs throughout the novel, such as the slam poetry definitely help tie the knots together in the novel. I really enjoyed the analogies throughout the book because they all felt weirdly correct. Overall, the important issues and themes were discussed so so well in this novel, which is one of my reasons for why I enjoyed this book. Might I add, the romance was adorably cute! 🙂 What brought down this novel for me was the fact that it didn’t exactly suit my cup of tea but I definitely enjoyed reading this and I will be recommending it to many people!

if you liked these books, you’ll love when michael met mina:

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song + novel:

have you read when michael met mina? p.s: don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!
tomorrow’s post will be on: Bookss101
yesterday’s post was on: Loony Literate

That’s all for my review! I hope you guys enjoyed it and now I am off to read! I have some good posts coming up so stay tuned. P.S: Sorry for not posting last week, I was away and I didn’t have internet connection.

#lovebooks

Reading Slumps…Teaser Tuesdays 22/06/16

jij'

Hello Guys!!

I AM FINALLY BACK. I know, I know. I have taken a very long break from this blog because I’ve been lacking a bit of motivation due to a reading slump. I guess I really had an overdrive of motivation at the start of the year, which has now died down. However, I am determined to find that motivation again. I will definitely have some exciting posts coming up in the near future because it’s the holidays and I can’t wait to write some exciting posts. Anyway, let’s get back to the subject…Teaser Tuesdays. I have a very exciting current read:

rebel of the sands by alwyn hamilton

DSC_0287_FotorWords can not express how excited I am to read this novel. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I can’t wait to jump straight into it. I have heard many comparisons of this novel to The Wraith and The Dawn, which is one of my favourites. Have any of you guys read this novel? I only just started so I’m on chapter five. I love it already! Here is a little teaser:

“I looked and a bullet was embedded  in the wall a hair to the left of my skull. Only then did I start to shake,”

what are you reading this week?

#lovebooks