Posted in Must read

4 books I loved in 2018

Hey, lovelies. How are you? Have you read anything good this year? I hope so. 2018 was a good reading year for me. My challenge was to read 50 books because I didn’t want to be pressured to read what I wasn’t comfortable with. But looks like instead of just 50 books, I’ve read 72 books so far and I plan to read at least 5 more till the end of 2018. But 4 books keep coming up in my mind every time when I get asked what was the best book I’ve read this year.

Are you ready?

The simple wild by K.A Tucker

This book was everything! It had one of my fave places in the world- Alaska. I’ve never been there, but since I was a kid I was fascinated by beautiful Alaska and I couldn’t believe it when the story was set in Alaska. And the characters. I love them! Even if it made me cry at 9 a.m, at work because I had to finish it. I really want you to pick this book up and give it a try. You’re welcome.

Arrogant devil by R.S Grey

The first thing that got me reading this book was the title. How can you not want to read a book with such a title? I really liked it. It gives me that Sandra Brown vibes from the ’90s and I loved it because I so love SB books and this book was perfect.

Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews

This time I had to pick a series because I loved the first 2 volumes of this series and I couldn’t pick just one. This was my first urban fantasy/ paranormal romance series I’ve read because one of my friends recommended and really enjoyed. Mad Rogan was everything! Like seriously. I can’t believe I’ve postponed this series for that long. I still have to read volume 3 and the novella, but I’ll probably read it till the end of the year.

Warcross series by Marie Lu

Warcross was the first book I’ve read this year and this series has one of my fave characters -Hideo Tanaka. I so love Hideo! I included Warcross too in this because both books were absolutely amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. The world that Marie Lu build was fascinating. I won’t be surprised that in, let’s say, 50 years will have elements from Warcross world in real life. And for my army family, Wildcard has BTS and Jimin between the pages.



These are my top 4 best books of 2018 and I hope you will give them a try. Enjoy!

Posted in Must read, Recenzie, review

Review Fire and blood by George R.R Martin / Harper Voyager

Fire & Blood

By George R.R. Martin,

Doug Wheatley

 

REVIEW

 

Synopsis: With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros. 

 

Fire & Blood quenches the thirst of any ASOIAF fan seeking to know more about the history of the glorious Targaryens, along with their dragons and wars. Covering all the kings from Aegon I to the end of the regency of Aegon III, this book adds much more detail about the lives of the Targaryen kings than TWOIAF did, providing more insight into their characters and actions. The Dance of Dragons is especially well covered, which is in my opinion the most intriguing conflict in Westerosi history. Although it is only a „dry history book“ I did not find it dry at all and greatly enjoyed reading it. 

 

I’ve always wanted to know about the other continents of this world- Essos, Sothoryos, and Ulthos. FAB has given me more information than watching the TV series or reading the first 3 books of ASOIAF or the tale of Dunk and Egg did. FAB, however, is far from sating my hunger of knowledge, instead it made me want more and yes, I am contemplating in getting myself The World of Ice and Fire, for what better way to learn this world’s history from East to West than the book that tells about the First Men and The Andals of Andalos from Pentos?

 

This isn’t some book that only contains informations you already know, we learn so much. This is like reading an amazing, highly informative and greatly written History book, except in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. It is written like related by a learned master of the Citadel, Archmaester Gyldayn like the title says, and delivers all you could possibly want to know about the Targaryen House, from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III as the title says. So much characters and important events, like Maegor the Cruel and Aegon’s conquest like Bookdragon Sean mentions in his great review, but also more informations about his reign, about Jaeherys and Alysanne, about the Dance of the Dragons…

How much you enjoy Fire and Blood will depend on several factors. The first is your pre-existing investment in the ASoIaF/Game of Thrones setting. If you really enjoy reading about fictional backstory, about the socio-economic underpinnings on why certain things happened, and if you like treating fantasy like real history, with the more lore and detail the better, then absolutely Fire and Blood is worth picking up. Although the broad strokes of the story are familiar from the main series, there’s an absolute plethora of new information here, and dramatisations of key moments from the history of the Seven Kingdoms (when the high and somewhat remote style of much of the book gives way to almost novelistic out-takes of key scenes). There’s also lots of completely new material, minor episodes, even small wars and skirmishes which have gone unmentioned so far in the main series.

 

Reading this book is a labor of love. There are parts that are tedious. I found my attention flagging and doing a lot of re-reading. Martin likes to be detail oriented and I appreciate that but I don’t think this book needed THAT much detail with random names and stories. Thus, finishing this book left me with the same feeling finishing other Martin books does: received that it’s done, exhilarated from what I read, missing it and wishing I was reading the next in the series.

A big big THANK YOU to Harper Voyager for sending me this beauty. I loved it!

Posted in Must read, Musthave, Recenzie, review

Recenzie Ready Player One de Ernest Cline /Editura Nemira

Ready player one

De Ernest Cline

 

Sinopsis: In 2045, lumea noastra nu este locul in care ai vrea sa traiesti. Singurele momente cand Wade Watts se simte in viata sunt cand evadeaza in OASIS, o utopie virtuala vasta, unde aproape toti oamenii isi petrec zilele.

Cand excentricul creator al OASIS-ului moare, lasa in urma o multime de enigme bazate pe obsesia lui pentru cultura pop din deceniile trecute. Iar cine le va rezolva primul va mosteni imensa lui avere si controlul total asupra OASIS.

Wade reuseste primul sa rezolve puzzle-ul cu care incepe jocul. Deodata intra in joc cu rivali care sunt gata sa ucida pentru premiul cel mare. Cursa pe viata si pe moarte a inceput si nu poate supravietui decat daca o castiga.

Ready player one este o calatorie aventuroasa intr-un concurs virtual unde castigatorul are sansa de a detine cea mai importanta franciza de jocuri din lume si de a deveni  mai bogat decat Jeff Bezon! Actiunea devine 

interesanta atunci cand elementele realitatii se imbina cu 

cele virtuale cum ar fi: moartea, iubirea si aliantele nu doar 

virtuale.

 

Apreciez cartea deoarece pentru mine a fost ca o oda in cinstea evolutiei calculatoarelor si a 

jocurilor video. 
Pentru cineva care a trăit călătoria, într-adevăr apreciez transformarea magică a tehnologiei care a crescut de nicăieri pentru a crea o lume nouă, cu o serie de noi probleme și oportunități pe care le avem astăzi. Doar mai puține informatii legate de istoria lor, de dragul firului narativ, ar fi funcționat mai bine pentru mine. Insa, daca sunteti pasionati de asa ceva, aceste detalii sigur nu va vor deranja.

 

In roman este vorba de o gasca de copii care trebuie să lupte împotriva bătrânilor răi (în viața reală) care conduc o corporație la fel de insidioasă, care intenționează să câștige premiile jocului OASIS și să le folosească pentru a exploata lumea. Deci, sunt adolescenți împotriva adulților, băieți buni împotriva băieților răi semnificativ mai puternici … și speram sa castige echipa potrivită.

 

OASIS este o utopie virtuală, în care utilizatorii se pot conecta și pot fi într-o lume, similară celei reale, o realitate virtuală pe scurt. Sincer, OASIS este jocul meu de vis de când eram copil, așa că am fost foarte entuziasmata înainte de a citi aceasta carte. Am avut așteptări înalte cat un munte și am fost șocatcă am ramas nu numai mulțumita, ci și uimita după ce am citit acest roman. Mi-am luat timp sa citesc asta, mi-a luat in jur de 3-5 zile pentru a citi, si singurul motiv pentru care am stat atat de mult la el este pentru ce mi-am dorit sa ma bucur de roman. Fiind un standalone, trebuia să mă bucur de fiecare clipă.

 

Voi citi cu siguranță acest roman din nou în curând. Nevoia de a ma scufunda intr-un roman superb este o necesitate, iar Ready Player One este alegerea mea pentru asta. O plimbare plină de distracție, cu referire ocazional la unul dintre jocurile / filmele mele preferate din toate timpurile. Acest roman este o nevoie, nu o dorință.

Posted in Must read, Musthave, New

Fire and blood by George R.R Martin /Harper voyager

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From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones – one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series – comes a definitive history of Westeros’s past as told by Archmaester Gyldayn.

Unravelling events that led to A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Revealing long-buried secrets and untold lasting enmity, it sets the scene for the heart-stopping series conclusion, The Winds of Winter.

300 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, long before the schism that set the houses of Westeros at each other’s throats, one house ruled supreme and indomitable. House Targaryen, the house of the last remaining dragonlords.

After surviving the Doom of Valyria the Targaryen’s established themselves on Dragonstone. This volume traces their legendary lineage from Aegon the Conqueror to the bloody Dance of Dragons; a civil war that pitted Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra in a bitter conflict for the throne of their father, nearly wiping out the Targaryen dynasty forever.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate guide to Westeros’s past. Featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley this is an essential volume for any Game of Thrones fan’s library. For the first time the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed

Posted in Must read, Recenzie, review

Review The other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn /Piatkus Books

The Other Miss Bridgerton

by Julia Quinn

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (20 Nov. 2018)
  • Language: English

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Synopsis: She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

 

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The thing with Julia Quinn’s books (at least the Rokesby books) is that nothing really happens, there’s really no great action or drama, it’s just two people really getting to know each other, and it’s lighthearted pure entertainment. It’s so much fun! This entire series, the characters are so good and intelligent and just pure fun, you just have to love them!

The story of well-born Poppy being kidnapped by a handsome, aristocratic, charming, privateer/spy, with a heart of gold and a French chef to cook all of his meals was, of course, utterly unrealistic. However, I don’t mind (and even) like improbable romance plots as long as the writing and chemistry are there and spoiler alert, they definitely were. Poppy and Andrew were incredibly well-matched and their verbal sparring was great fun to read.

The romance was fun, the adventure was well-played, and the Bridgerton name carries on as one of the best literary families to read. But I think that what I loved most about this book was that I can really see the changing tide of the romance novel inside of this historical romance’s pages. At the beginning of romance novels, it was 100% female submission (the “bodice rippers,” if you will). Then it became strong women, but stronger men (the woman who had to learn to accept that she did not always know best because, actually, the “alpha” hero did). But now, there’s a tide towards true feminism – equality.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and it’s a great read for you all out there who want an easy and fluffy time.

The other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn will be released on November 20 by Piatkus Books and you can buy your copy with a click HERE  

Posted in Must read, Musthave, New, Recenzie, review

Review The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby / Harper360 UK

The Other Side of Lost
By Jessi Kirby
Synopsis: Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.
 
With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.
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I really enjoyed this, plus I am now desperate to go on a decent hike somewhere gorgeous.
It is a lighthearted and easy read, even while touching on grief and feelings of inadequacy. Mari is not always 100% likable, but she is trying which I liked. And I like that we see her doubts about her life before, and see her grow through the book in an effort to change how she thinks and reprioritize. I was a little let down at the end as we don’t really get to see that change take effect, but I liked the journey.
I really loved the progression of the story and the way in which Mari learned to carry her grief and figure out whom she really was, what kind of person she wanted to be, and what she wanted to contribute to society. She also meets some really fun trail friends along the way who are immediately accepting of her and in the end help her work out her issues. Everyone has something different they’re going through, but together, they are one giant support group learning to face their problems and push through them effectively.
But with this story, in particular, there were so many little anecdotes and life lessons almost that stuck with me and I think will stick with me for a long time. The aspect of loss and grief with Bri’s death and Mari (who I have decided to pronounce Mar-E vs. Mary) honoring her legacy really drew me in and made me shed more than a few tears. I also liked the aspect of being a social media influencer, as I work in media and know a bit about that side of things. For one, it seems absolutely exhausting, having to live every moment of your life thinking about what the next picture or video or caption is going to be.
I can’t think of any aspect of the book that I didn’t enjoy, as I stayed up late into the night reading until forcing myself to set it down and finish the next day. I definitely don’t think it’s a question whether or not I’ll be rereading it. It’s more of a matter or not if but when, as well as if I can stop myself from rereading it in less than a week from finishing it the first time.
A big Thank You to Harper360UK for sending me a copy.
Posted in Must read, Musthave, New, Recenzie

Review The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by  Mackenzi Lee / Harper360 UK

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
by  Mackenzi Lee
Synopsis: A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
 
But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.
 
In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.
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I don’t want to be overdramatic but this book might be the most extraordinary, realistic, inspirational young adult book I’ve ever read. I really felt every character’s emotions and loved basically everything about the book.
The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my best reads of 2017 but this-this is something that we need more in YA literature.
Felicity is the newest addition to my all time favorite heroines list. She felt so real; she had goals, flaws, doubts, struggles, resolve, friendship, growth, and ingenuity that made her whole. I enjoyed her adventure, both her internal and actual continent-crossing seafaring ones. Felicity Montague is sick and tired of having to fight for her right to simply exist.  As a young lady intent on becoming a physician, every door open to education is slammed in her face simply because she isn’t a man.  Men either refuse to listen to her or worse, mock her dreams. Without a penny to her name, Felicity has no hope of making it to Germany until the mysterious Sim offers to pay if she can travel with her disguised as Felicity’s maid.  Suspicious of the pirate’s intentions, Felicity still agrees because she believes her only hope of becoming a doctor is by learning from Dr. Platt. One thing I really admired about Felicity’s character is her recurring mantra — “You deserve to be here.” She gives herself pep talks throughout the book, and it might be beneficial for me to take a page from her self-care book. It’s a good tool for dealing with being “raised in a world where you’re taught to always believe what men say” and “doubting yourself at every step.” Misogyny aside, she’s also dealing with a medical community that wants to treat people instead of preventing disease, because treating people makes more money. Another theme sadly still relevant today.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is such a wild ride of a novel. Starting it, I didn’t much know where it would go, but as the story developed, I was beaming the whole way through. In between the growing friendship between the girls, the cameos from Monty and Percy, and the fierce intersectional feminist message, I was completely in my element. Read this book when it comes out! You won’t regret it!
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A big thank you to Harper360 UK for sending me a copy.