TOP TEN TUESDAY : COMPARING COVER DESIGNS

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m doing Top Ten Tuesday after a few weeks. Hope to not skip it again for a whole. Fingers Crossed. The topic for this week is ‘Cover redesigns I hated or loved.’

But the thing with me is I don’t really remember which design came first or later for a few of the books I discuss below. Anyways, I simply compare the book covers and the one on the right is the one I prefer.

 


          

Ember in the Ashes: Now, the first cover isn’t bad by any definition. But just compare it to the one on the right. That cover is simply stunning!

 

            

Vicious: I think the first cover has this 90s vibe to it. Whereas the neat and contemporary design of the second cover, in my opinion, perfectly goes with the story of Vicious.

 

           

Daughter of Smoke & Bone: The first cover is just too generic. On the other hand, look at that second cover. It is so detailed and mysterious! And this image depicts perhaps the most momentous part of the book.

            

The City of Brass: The intricate detailing and design of the second cover definitely tops the less impressive cover in the first one.

              

The Night Circus: Now, this is a tough one. While I don’t find either of the covers too stunning or too unimpressive, I think I like the second one more. Having said that, I’d prefer a different font and title design.

 

                                               

Throne of Glass: That first cover just doesn’t have anything to draw you. That second on the other hand depicts a badass heroine who you definitely would wanna read a book and a series about.

While we’re at it, will we ever have redesigned covers of The Court of Roses and Thorns Series? Please?

 

            

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: While I like the understated and graceful vibes that the first cover gives, I like the second one even more, because it’s unique and actually has a connection to the story itself.

 

              

Making Faces: The first cover simply doesn’t do justice to the compelling and beautiful story of the book. Compare it to the second one. There just is something undeniably hypnotic about the picture.

 

                

The Piper’s Son: The Piper’s Son is such an underrated book and I blame the first cover for it. The first cover gives a totally wrong idea about the book. And I fell for it. The second cover, while not mind-blowing, is more accurate for the book.

 

              

The Start of Me and You: What the hell is that first cover? I know that it’s beautiful and scenic. But it’s also generic and in no way has any resemblance to the two amazing main characters or the story itself. I like both the second and third cover but the third one is more relevant to the story, even though the colors in the second one makes you want to own it!

Top Ten Tuesday : Best Reads of 2018

Happy 2019, everyone!!! Here’s to a better and more amazing year to all of us. I was gonna do a separate post on my favorite reads of 2018. But I’m guess I’m gonna use the TTT topic this week for that, after all. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl for the unacquainted. Okay, here we go.


The Simple Wild

This was such a beautiful surprise of a book! I loved it for a lot of reasons. But mostly because of the setting that the author could portray so perfectly. I also loved the characters and the emphasis on the theme of family and self-growth.

You can read my full review here.

 

 

Sadie

Another book that totally took me by surprise! Sadie is probably the best crime-suspense I read this year. Highly recommended

You can check my review here.

 

 


Look The Part

This wasn’t an easy read by any means, nor was it the most perfect book. But it captivated me with its flawed characters and their flawed decisions. One of my favorite romances of the year.

 

 

 


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

This was released back in 2017 and became of my favorite reads of 2018. I loved it because it thwarted my expectations at every turn. I love Eleanor and this beautiful tale of her growth and an even more beautiful friendship.

You can check out my review here.

 

 


Vicious 

Another non-2018 release that I was a late to the party for. There are a lot of reasons I love this book. The main being Victor Vale.

Here’s my review.

 

 

 

 


The Cruel Prince

I’ve seen so many mixed reviews about this book! So I guess that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. But I loved it. I know that people had a lot of problems with the protagonist and the (anti)hero. But I love this about the book that these characters are all flawed and fucked up. Makes the ride all the more interesting. I find that this series holds a lot of promise and I can’t wait for The Wicket King to come out next week!

 


Transcend Duet

I am not a fan of reincarnation tropes. Only Jewel E. Ann could convince me to give this trope a shot and love it. There’s a this feeling of yearning and ache in this duet that I just can’t get over. I also love that the covers actually have a meaningful story behind them.

Find my review here.

 


The Start Of Me And You

I read this 2015 release beginning of the 2018. I went through a phase of a lot of YAs back in January and February. This one remained as my most favorite of them.

 

 

 


Josh & Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating

Probably my favorite romance of the year. Christina Lauren does the friends-to-lovers trope so well here! I absolutely love Josh and Hazel. This one’s for the keeps. !

Here’s my review.

 

 

 


Muse of Nightmares

This is arguably my best read of 2018. I guess that sums it up.
Here’s my review.

 

 

 


I enjoyed this trip down the memory lane! Honestly speaking, I’m not entirely happy with my reading for 2018. I feel that I stayed in the safe zone and didn’t experiment too much. I hope to change that in 2019! Happy New Year again, everyone! And Happy Reading!

TAG : Tropes Book Tag

I was tagged by the my favorite Sara @ Bibliophagist for this!

It’s funny that I was excited when I got tagged in the post, but then I’ve been slacking off so much this past month that I forgot about it and had to actually go back and search for this tag! Yeah, I gotta catch up fast. And I’ll start with this amazing tag! 😀


HOPELESSLY DEVOTED | NAME TWO CHARACTERS FROM SEPARTE SERIES THAT YOU SHIP

Shipping characters from the same series is hard enough without adding the difficulty of them belonging to different series! So, no. I’ve never shipped characters from different series.

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS | NAME A FEMALE MC WHO DIDN’T NEED A MAN TO COMPLETE HER

Lisbeth Salander.

 

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT | NAME YOUR OTP

Rhett Buttler and Scarlett O’ Hara. Gone With The Wind.

MENTAL ILLNESS AS A QUIRK | NAME A BOOK THAT REPRESENTED MENTAL ILLNESS WELL

Perks Of Being A Wallflower, maybe?

THE CHOSEN ONE | NAME A MAIN CHARACTER THAT DID (OR ALMOST DID) RUIN A SERIES FOR YOU

Unpopular Opinion – Feyre got on my nerves more often than not during The Court of Wings And Ruin. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more with a little less of her self-righteous attitude.

 

FRIENDS TO LOVERS | NAME A DUO THAT WENT FROM FRIENDSHIP GOALS TO RELATIONSHIP GOALS

Definitely, Josh and Hazel.

AMNESIA | NAME A BOOK YOU WOULD FORGET FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER

Harry Potter. So that I could read the whole series for the first time again. Heh!

BAD BOYS | NAME YOUR FAVORITE VILLAIN

To hate or love?
My favorite villain to hate is Dolores Umbridge.
My favorite villain to love is Victor Vale.

MISSING PARENTS OR ADULTS | NAME A BOOK THAT COULD’VE BENEFITED FROM A BIT OF PARENTAL GUIDANCE OR ADULT SUPERVISION

Umm… I know there are books I’ve read which could use some of parental guidance. But I can’t for the life of me think of any of them right now. Meh.

GIRL/GUY GANG | TAG SOME FRIENDS

DaisyGal | Rebecca | Melany


This was as fun as it was difficult! Of course, if you don’t feel like doing it, then that’s fine! But if I didn’t tag you and you still want to do it, please don’t let that stop you! ❤ 

             

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday : Villains

I skipped it last week because I didn’t really have any honest input to give on the topic. But this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is right up my alley! Top Ten villains (Favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc)? Here we go!

Btw, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Check her blog out!


Favorite Villain – Victor Vale

I love Victor Vale. In fact, in my reviews for Vicious and Vengeful, I spend half the time raving about how much I love Victor. Probably one of the best written characters in contemporary fiction.

Lovable Villain – Lothaire

What an anti-hero! He made me laugh, pull my hairs in frustration, feel sorry for him, swoon, all at the same time. He might not have been the villain of his own story but he sure made lives of everyone else hell.

Fascinating Villain – Amarantha

Court of Thorns And Roses was a generic story until Amarantha appeared. Of course, I give half the credit to Rhys, but Amarantha gave the story the edge it required. I found her quite fascinating and probably wouldn’t mind seeing more of her.

Misunderstood Villain – Severus Snape

He might have turned to be not quite the villain in the end. But that still doesn’t change what a bully he’d been. It was his own decisions that cost him his love. He was the maker of his own misery.

Pitiable Villain – Gollum

Jamie Beswarick

No villain in Lord of the Rings series creeped me out more than him. But he’s also one of the most pitiable villains of the series. I can’t think of any other character that I found equally pitiable and creepy.

 

Mysterious Villain – Roland

Roland was such an unpredictable villain. I didn’t know what to feel for him half the time. He was only a name for most of the series and when he does appear at the later half, he is mysterious enough to live up to his reputation.

Shady Villain – Mrs. Danvers

Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca made my hairs rise the moment we meet her. She was creepy as hell. She’s an iconic villain, really. Although, a lot of people might claim that Rebecca had a much more powerful presence in the book even in her absence. But it was Mrs. Danvers who helped Rebecca’s shadows stand out.

Creepiest Villain – Hannibal Lecter

No doubt about this one. Anthony Hopkins also deserves credit for this. His was one of the most creepiest portrayals of a villain in any movie. When I decided to read the books after the movie, I kept imagining Anthony Hopkins whenever Hannibal Lecter appeared. And that amplified the effect of the character for me.

Despicable Villain – Dolores Umbridge

Harry Potter had quite a large number of villains. But, Umbridge takes the cake for me! She had my skin crawling whenever she appeared. I found myself hating her a lot more than Voldemort, if that can be believed.

Most Evil Villain – Lord Voldemort

You know how people say that nobody is born evil? Lord Voldemort defies that theory. He was simply born evil. I couldn’t think of a more evil villain if I tried. He might even be the best/worst villain I’ve read. The Harry Potter series might as well be about Lord Voldemort as much as it’s about Harry Potter, that’s how powerful this villain was.


Three entries from Harry Potter. I probably need to read more books with villains. And I’m counting on the TTT entries by everyone else for recommendations of more great villains!

 

 

Best of September ’18

Happy October, everyone! I’ve already done a TBR list for Fall before. So I thought I’d make a post about the best reads of September. I’ve read a LOT of books this month. Almost 20. But I’m not gonna talk about the unimpressive ones. Life’s too short to spend more than enough time on things we didn’t like.

So, here are my best reads of September –


ARCs


The Bird King : The writing in this one was so rich, the world-building so outstanding that I feel unequipped to say anything else about this.

Read my review here.


Phoenix Unbound : Grace Draven yet again delivers a masterstroke with her newest release. It was a perfect combination of action, adventure, fantasy and romance.

Read my review here.


99 Percent Mine : I didn’t expect to read this January ’19 release this early but I did. Sally Thorne again weaves a romance that strikes the right chords. And in the process I got another book boyfriend – Tom Valeska.

Read my review here.

 


TBR Cleanup


Vicious :
It took me 5 years but I finally did it. This book introduced me to one of my most favorite characters in contemporary fiction – Victor Vale. It hasn’t even been a full day since I finished this book. But I can confidently say this about Victor Vale. That’s how good V. E. Schwab’s writing is.

Read my review here.



September Releases


VengefulThe sequel was even more of an emotional ride than Vicious. There are enough unexpected twists and curves to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Read my review here.


Sadie :
One of the best I read this year. The ending was realistic and does not give us the closure we expect fictions to give us. But nonetheless, this was a brilliant piece of story-telling.

Read my review here.


Josh & Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating :
It’s among the top 3 romances I read this year. Josh and Hazel are #CoupleGoals. This is the only book in the list that I rated 4-stars. But that’s only for the ending. The rest of the book was amazing!

Read my review here.



Rereads


Finnikin Of The Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) : I can never get over how wonderful this book is no matter how many times I read it. The world-building and character-growth is absolutely beautiful.

 


Froi Of The Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles #2) :
In terms of plot, character-development and storytelling, this book even surpasses its predecessor. No words can be enough to describe my love for Quintana, Froi, Finnikin, Isaboe, Phaedra and Lucian.

 





I’m really happy with my September reads. I hope October proves to be even better! What do you think about my list? I hope to see your opinions about the books in my list.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab

The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.


Such an emotionally taxing read. I read read both the books in the duology back-to-back. And I regret nothing. NOTHING. There’s no fun in doing anything half-ass anyways. Heh.

After finishing Vicious, I didn’t think Schwab could possibly outdo herself with Vengeful. But she did. The intensity and rawness she delivers with her storytelling is simply incredible.

The stakes are higher this time with even more players in the game. We get introduced to a number of new characters in this book. All of them dangerous and unpredictable. And it is commendable that we get to see the depth of each of these characters. No wonder this was such a long read. But the length was worth it as Schwab explores the complex arcs of the diverse cast of characters.

We also see a lot of growth for our old cast of characters. Sydney, especially, is no longer the sweet and acquiescent girl we knew her as. But her bonding with Vic, Dom and Mitch is still as endearing. They’re a family that shares no blood but are loyal to the bones. A big shout-out to Mitch for having no super-power and yet having the strength to stand out.

Schwab humanizes Victor and Eli in Vengeful. They’re no longer as invincible as they were before. It was great to see Eli’s back-story. I could appreciate him a lot more now that I could see his origins. These two are one of the most complexly written characters I’ve read in contemporary fiction.

The standout of the book was still Victor for me. His tenacity and determination to never give up made me fall even more in love with him.

Victor Vale has carved his name as one of the best-written fictional characters I’ve read.

I have the feeling that more’s to come from this universe. And I’m equally nervous and excited for it.


My Rating: ★★★★★


Have any of you read the book yet? What did you think? Were you as mindblown by it as I was? Or was it underwhelming (I doubt it but still…)? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review : Vicious (Villains #1) by V. E. Schwab

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.


Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


I finally did it! Vicious is no longer on my TBR list and it feels so much lighter already!

There’s a reason it took me this long to start Vicious, even before the sequel was announced, despite seeing all the raving reviews about the book. The reason was my experience with The Monsters of Verity duology. It was an amazing series, no doubt. And it made me discover what a brilliant writer Schwab is. But that ending? It had brought me over the fence about reading anything else by her. I didn’t doubt Schwab’s masterful storytelling but I was wary of its impact on me. But I’m glad I finally took the jump and finished Vicious!



Vicious
was a roller-coaster ride and I enjoyed every moment of it. At the beginning, I was almost scared to proceed with the book when I was reading the Before parts. I knew that it was the calm before the storm. But I kinda wanted these two friends to not change despite feeling the undercurrents of more beneath the seemingly normalcy of their lives.

Having constant flash-forwards and flash-backwards can be a tricky thing to execute. It doesn’t always make for an effective method of story-telling. But Schwab makes it work. I don’t think the story would have been as intriguing if it was told in a linear timeline. It’s the anticipation of the cause and aftermath that makes Vicious so gripping right from the start.

The first half of the book has a simmering feel to it. I was engrossed but at the same time, kept wanting more. It was not until the dive into Serena’s psyche that I felt utterly captivated. Serena, to me, was the most chilling character, even among an ensemble of a crazy bunch of characters.

Almost all the characters in this book are substantial in not only the power they wield, but also in the way they are fleshed out. It is easy for some characters to lose their significance when you have so many things happening at once. But Schwab fleshed out each and every character with an unique voice that ensures none of them are dwarfed by another.

Victor, despite his eerie line of thinking, was endearing. The way he collects his strays, and cares for them without showing it, is just adorable. Even at the beginning, he seems to be the one giving more value to his friendship with Eli than the latter. Their enmity also feels to hold more magnitude for Vic than Eli.

I think, at the end, what differentiates Victor and Eli is Vic’s self-awareness. His awareness of his own faults and the darkness inside him makes him a much more logical character than Eli who lets his delusions rule him.

I don’t know who I wanted to hug more throughout the story – Vic or Sydney. The best part of the book for me was their bonding. And let’s not forget Mitch. He was the perfect addition to the duo of candy and spice that’s Sydney and Vic. Heh…

Do I regret waiting this long to start Vicious? No. I get to devour the sequel immediately now. How lucky is that? But I kinda almost wish there was no sequel? After the experience with that first series by Schwab, I’m feeling very nervous about what direction the sequel will take.

Whatever it be, Vicious was a piece of masterful storytelling with beautiful character development that everyone needs to read!



My Rating: ★★★★★