Friday, January 3, 2014

So Long, Farewell

Okay so I never really saw this coming. I mean . . . I did but then I didn’t.  Argh. I’m still questioning myself as to whether this is the right thing to do or not, especially as I’m writing this post, and I'm sure those of you who read my blog regularly (at least I hope some of you still do hehe) will probably think . . .

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but as most of you should know I started this blog around late 2009 and never could I imagine how much support I have received over the years with my blog and with my followers who thought my blog was a worthy read. Heck, I never even imagined publishers nor their very supportive publicists or even authors sending me (of all people) books to review and take part in giveaways and blog tours and such . . . it’s been quite a ride over these last few years and it was such a privilege and hella fun to be a part of it all. Be apart of this small but a very significant part of this amazing book blogging world. This whole other community I never even thought existed for readers like me. It’ll definitely be one experience that I will take away with me in the future. 

But here we go with my “official” announcement. Since I have recently been accepted into a new double degree at university (which includes my business degree that I'm almost finished with AND with my new, awesome degree of Fine Arts - Creative and Professional Writing, which is a course I've been dying to get into), as of today I will no longer be blogging at Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic.

That’s right folks it’s the end of the road for my blog (sadly) but it is also a new beginning for me as well. It's not because I have lost my passion in books or reading for that matter because it will always be a big part of my life, but in all honesty with you guys . .  I've just lost my passion in blogging and I just really miss being the reader, you know? And also being able to just focus on my own work at uni rather than have 'other' things that I need to take care of on my blog. Plus it doesn't help when I feel like my blog has done it's time and it isn't new and shiny anymore (and it also feels like a chore now), and where I also happen to find that people are just not into my blog as much as they used to be . . . so there comes a time where I must reflect on what’s more important in my life and that's what I'm doing today.

So, as of right now and with my many commitments including uni and with my own writing that I desperately want to get back into sometime soon (which kind of helps me right now considering my new course involves creative writing and so on) . . .  it’s just one of those times where you need to start over and for me this is how I’m going to go about it. A new year and a new beginning with so many possibilities in it. Yay for 2014! So yeah . . . I'm just really, really excited for this year!

So right now I'm going salute you all because it’s goodbye from here on out. While I do not have any plans (at all) to return to blogging, but I’m still going to be reading (lots and lots of reading in the future let me assure you of that) and I will still be active on my Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads accounts so be sure to check those out . . . that is if you really want to.

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No seriously if you really want to follow me you can (because I'm really lonely). Hehe.

But to finish up with my very last blog post – my absolute last of all last things on here – which is so sad to even think about it . . . 

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I just want to say a quick but an ENORMOUS thank you to everyone (you know who you are) for supporting me and my blog and for FOLLOWING and for READING and for FRIENDING and for WELCOMING me in this super awesome blogging community club where only the 'cool kids' can be apart of. Trust me, each and every one of you who have done all of the above, there are so many of you that are truly amazing, amazing people and one day I hope to meet some of you (or rather ALL OF YOU) some day and I hope to stay in contact with you after all of this. Anyway, you guys (again you know who you are) are truly awesome, awesome, awesome people!

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And of course, last but not least, I want to say a big thank you to all those amazing publishers, publicists and authors out there who have done so much for me over the years as I have done for them in return! It means so much to me that you took the time to send out books to me and thought my opinion somehow mattered to you all. Again, I will treasure these memories in years to come so thank you again and again and again for the opportunities you have given me over the many years of book blogging. I'm definitely going to miss blogging (there's no doubt about that) because of all of that support I've been given over the last few years, so again thank you all!

So anyway, best wishes and goodbye to everyone, and most importantly, goodbye to my beloved blog. I'm going to miss you heaps and - geez. I sounds like such a sap, don’t I? But hey, what can I say . . .

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 is HERE!

It's going to be great this year. ;)

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 End of Year Survey

I randomly came across this end of year survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner blog and I thought it was such a cool idea and I wanted to give a crack. If you want to be apart of the survey also, you can check out all of the details here. Anyway, here are my answers for the survey!

Best in Books 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist).

While some blog readers of mine have already seen my favourite top 10 books of 2013 post from yesterday, I'm still going to repeat it again and say that the best book I read for this year was The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness - including its two other sequels. It was such a brilliant book series . . . let me tell you that!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Honestly, I thought after all the hype the book has been receiving lately that I too would enjoy the book. Sadly, that was not the case.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Every Breath by Ellie Marney. It really surprised me this one. Didn't think I would love it as much as I did. But damn it was SO GOOD!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Considering how much I enjoyed it, it would have to be Night Film by Marisha Pessl. It wasn't my 'usual' read but it was a very exciting read!
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. This series definitely has a lot potential!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? 

Shannon Messenger. I'm really looking forward to more of her books in the future - both in her YA and middle grade genres.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. I don't normally read books based on real people but this book . . . it had just really hit me with a lot of emotions and I think it's because I've always been interested in Zelda herself and her author-of-a-husband.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. It was a real treat!

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Of course!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013? 
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Hands down!

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I love him to death as many of you already know. Sorry Will, but Jem will always beat you despite your love of books.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Again, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I mean, that ending was such a  little heart-breaker.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Again, I have to mention the brilliant book Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. It might be fiction but the ending was still so very sad because the main character was based on the real Zelda Fitzgerald, which makes the story even more sadder to read about.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Definitely The Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness. I mean, what was I thinking? Why did I wait so long to read this series? Seriously . . . I should have read this series a long, long time ago.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

I have a lot of favourites with this particular question. But, if I had to choose between them all, it would be this particular quote:

“Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you . . . I think you’ll have a hard time finding single happiness, let alone that double portion. -- Just One Year by Gayle Forman.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

I'm not exactly sure with this one . . . but from what I can recall the shortest book for me was The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace (which was not a favourite book of mine sadly). As for the longest read for this year, it would have to be A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (for obvious reasons because his books will always be longer than most of my usual reads hehe).

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead. It had a lot of crazy moments in it - including its 'sort of' cliffhanger of an ending.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc). 

The relationship between Rachel Watts and James Mycroft from Ellie Marney's Every Breath book. I had great admiration for that relationship right from the very beginning of the book because it was a very cute friendship that they shared at first . . . then it became very sweet and romantic towards the end which was really sweet as well. It's my favourite types of romances!

Another mention would have to be the friendship between Todd and Viola from Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy series. While it was hinted at a small romance between these two characters (at least that's how I saw it by book 3), but what I really admired about these two was how much respect Todd and Viola had for each other and they were just so damn adorable together, especially when they had each other backs (like always). I just really loved those two crazy kids.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I may not have liked the first book, but I quite enjoyed this sequel. More than I thought I would.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
A couple of readers suggested for me to read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and the rest of that series. Turns out I was missing out on something that was really extra special! ;)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Seems to be more in the fantasy genre. Yet again. Though I have been reading a few more contemporary books than I usually do in a year of reading, which is good because I'm quite enjoying the genre once again.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
This is a strange one . . . but it would be Victor from This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. He isn't the most stable guy around but I loved him regardless. I also kind of fell for Korbyn from Sarah Beth Durst's standalone novel Vessel. I definitely had a soft spot for that guy (or rather that god of a guy).

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman. Of course!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Not too sure on this one. But I did quite enjoy the world of The Elites by Natasha Ngan.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013? 

Probably Allegiant by Veronica Roth since it's the last book of the trilogy and all, and it was also the book that have everyone talking this year. You know? With the ending? Another couple of fun reads were also For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund and Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

I'm going to cheat here. It would have to be between four books that I read this year: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, Catherine by April Lindner and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger. I haven't heard a terrible lot from readers about this book (or maybe that's just me thinking that). But seriously this book is just insanely awesome! I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Book Blogging/Reading Life 2013

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I know I followed a few new blogs this year but I don't think I can choose between let alone name them all on here. So I'll get back to you with that question.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?

Probably my review of Clockwork Princess. There was a lot of rambling in it . . .

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Can't really remember. At least not right now.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I quite liked this post titled  'The Bullies of Goodreads'. It was definitely a topic that needed to be addressed as some people can be really terrible on Goodreads. There's not liking book to really not liking that book. There is a difference between the two and voicing your opinions in a favourable manner (you know, without being too nasty).

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Due to university studies, I haven't had much time for well . . . anything event and author related. Plus a lot of events don't usually take place in Brisbane, Australia. Sadly. This is why I need to move to the likes of Sydney and Melbourne or even overseas.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Is it wrong to say just being really committed to blogging and reviewing this year? I really tried my hardest this year to write a lot of reviews and read a lot of books for all of you guys, and I think I succeeded on that one. I 'think'.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Not entirely sure on this one (there were A LOT of views on my blog for this year), but from what I can see at the moment, my review for The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain seems to be very popular with the blog readers.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? 

My book reviews in general. Haha. There was more viewing than commenting on my blog for 2013 but I'm totally cool with that. :)

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Better World Books. They are pretty cool and I would recommend them if you're looking for 'sometimes' cheap and  secondhand books.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I did! I manage to complete my reading challenge on Goodreads. 228 books right on the dot. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can beat that reading goal next year . . . though I probably won't due to uni studies next year. Hehe. I'm surprised I read as much as I did for this year considering how busy I was with assignments and exams.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

I want to read A LOT OF BOOKS next year. But come to think of it, I would like to eventually read the book Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh since I really enjoyed the first book of that series. Like very much.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)? 

Gosh, how do I choose between them all? But I am definitely looking forward to reading Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (as it's the last book of one of my favourite series), Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen (as I adored the first book so, so much), and Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (because hey it's another Mead book to read).

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 

Probably The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. Sounds good that one! And I'm totally digging its blood red book cover.

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014? 

Some book series endings have really disappointed me in the past (including this year) . . . but I am looking forward to seeing what will happen in the last book in The Mortal Instrument series - City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Mostly because that series should have ended a long, long time ago . . . though I am still hoping for the best with this last book (even though Clare herself hinted a few characters are going to be killed off) so fingers crossed on that one.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Read more of course! But I would also like to read more books outside my usual genre. Maybe some more contemporary books or adult fiction in the mystery/thriller side of things instead of it always being in the young adult and/or fantasy genre which is always on my to-read and wishlist pile of books.

Well, there you have it with my End of Year Survey.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 10 Favourite Books of 2013

Each year I always like to look back on it and find my top 10 favourite books of the year. For 2013, even though I'd found some books - particularly sequels to series - have disappointed me this year (blame it on the book reading slump I have been having now and then) but there has still been many other books out there that have become favourites of mine as well, so it's been rather hard to choose between them all but here we go with my Top 10 favourite books of 2013!

10. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

I really wanted this book to be in my number 1 spot, but I had so many other favourites to fill those spots . . . still . . . this book had to make this favourites list this year. It was freaking brilliant. I rarely read books that are - somewhat - inspired by events of real life people, but let me tell you this book was more than I thought it would be. I cried a little in this book and because I've always been fascinated by Zelda herself . . . this book definitely earned this spot! It was a perfect read for me.

9. Every Breath by Ellie Marney

I have to admit - this book was uber-cool. I think out of every book I have read this year, this particular one surprised me the most. At first, I didn't think it was my kind of read but I was so wrong about that because this book was SO MUCH FUN to read! Everything from the Australian setting to the quirky and quick-witted characters is what made this book fun and I can't wait to read more from this author and from this new series of hers! Plus it's inspired by Sherlock Holmes which is another bonus in my books! ;)

8. The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

This book was another surprise to me as well. Not only does it have an interesting tale to tell, but it also happens to be a book that has so much GIRL POWER in it that it inspires me every time I think back on the book. So it's no wonder why this book made it on my top 10 list . . . because it's such a perfect read and very cleverly told!

7. Ink by Amanda Sun

This book was just super creative! So cool and dangerous and everything in-between. It not only contains some of my favourite things about the Japan setting (which seemed very realistic in the book), but it has a concept that surrounds ink and drawing . . . which come alive mind you. So Japan and drawings (two of my favourite things) pretty much guarantees a spot on my favourite book list! But seriously . . . I REALLY need the sequel asap because this book is just . . . well . . . cool.

6. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

What can I say? This book made me feel SO MANY emotions. Whether I cried or smiled over the ending that was still so sad and yet so happy and yet was filled with so many feels at one time, this book is definitely one of my favourites coming from Cassandra Clare (it's probably her best so far) and I'm definitely going to be missing this series . . . like A LOT! I'm talking about you Jem because you were so brilliant in this book. So brilliant. And Will of course.

5. Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry rocks with her contemporary books. She is not only brilliant at writing a good old romance, but she has also become one of my favourite authors, especially when it comes to this book. The main characters, Beth and Ryan, had the perfect chemistry between them, so of course I had to put this book in at least my top 5 favourites. Definitely looking out for great things from this author in the future!

4. The Program by Suzanne Young

While this book contains a lot of depression (which should make yourself feel depressed and such), but I can't deny by how much I enjoyed this book and I think every teenager should read this one. It maybe fiction but I think many teens and even adults can relate to this book.

3. Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Mythology and Korea and a kickass heroine? Yeah this book has all of that in this one book. So why shouldn't it be in my favourite books list? I have also read the sequel to this series which is out now this month and it definitely doesn't disappoint!

2. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

This book ROCKED. Simple as that. No really . . . this book was one of the most imaginative books I have come across and talk about the book having one of the most beautiful covers I have seen this year . . . so I can't wait to read more from this author and of this series. Seriously, this book should be a movie or something. Reminded me of Beautiful Creatives in fact. Only it was much more brilliant. ;)

1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Even though this book and its two sequels didn't technically come out this year, but I finally read all of this series this year and I was left mentally kicking myself that I didn't read this series sooner than I did. But it just rocked and now I'm left wishing there were more books in this series because I'm missing all of the characters and the world already! Le sigh. It was just too perfect these books.

Some other honorable 2013 book mentions also go straight to The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Crash Into You by Katie McGarry, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, The Cloud Hunters by Alex Shearer, Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent and Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza.

Well, there you have it folks . . .

My favourite Top 10 Favourite Books of 2013!

So what do you think of my Top 10 2013?

What are your favourites from this year?

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 450pgs

The Story

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after . . .

The Review

While I didn't have a lot of high praise for Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, however, I must say that - well, this time at least - I actually came to really love this second instalment of the series.

Even though there are certain parts of the book that can become a little confusing at times for the reader (which also happened to me when I read the very first book because the story was a little confusing for me) and while this book is much more focused on another certain character, that being Ronan, rather than the focus being on our other main leading characters - including Blue and Gansey, but on a whole, it was much more enjoyable to read compared to the first book which I'm really happy (not to mention very surprised) about since I have loved every single other book Stiefvater has ever written.

And another thing to mention and without giving away spoilers, while Ronan's character was interesting and all, but I also came to enjoy Blue and Gansey's characters. Blue was a pretty good character from the first book, but with Gansey I was a little unsure about him. But in saying that, both Gansey and Blue have surprised me in this sequel and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more about them, especially with Blue and finding out more about her 'true love' and quite possibly more about her fate with this certain special someone. Another worthy mention is Adam as well, whom was also interesting in this book though I'm kind of rooting for Gansey and Blue despite her whole 'true love' dilemma which, for those who have read the book, readers should know what I'm talking about.

Overall, THE DREAM THIEVES was a delightful book and I can't wait to find out what more the author has install for her characters in the next book.

The Rating
4 1/2 / 5 stars

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my dear readers!

I hope you're all having a great Christmas wherever you are in the world (I certainly am right at this moment) and I also hope that you've had a great year in 2013! I can't wait until we bring in the new year because I know it's going to be a good one! Anyway, I wish you all a happy Christmas and I'll see you guys in 2014!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 317pgs

The Story

Deuce’s whole world has changed.

Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn't fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

The Review

Don't get me wrong here. I really, really loved the first book in the series, but there was just something missing in this sequel. Something strong and something captivating. Or rather, I have no clue what changed in this sequel for me. But it's just unlike the first book that was packed with so much action, adventure, and so much character progression and development, I just felt as if the sequel just lost all of what made the first book, Enclave, so special and unique in its own genre, which is a real shame really because I was starting to really love this series.

OUTPOST was still interesting I suppose and left me with many questions with what is going to happen in the third and final book, but the characters and the storyline itself - at least for me - just fell completely flat. If anything, I probably blame it all on the teenage angst that constantly surrounded the characters which seemed rather unnecessary (especially between Deuce and her moody hunting partner/love interest Fade) and on the suppose 'love triangle' the main character has between two boys, even though it's quite obvious she has feelings more for one particular boy than the other. But yeah, I'm still uncertain to what I feel for this particular book, only that the storyline dragged on too many accounts and the characters in the end just didn't appeal to me this time round.

Overall, while OUTPOST was a major letdown, but I'm still hoping for the best in the third and final book and I'll be crossing my fingers that something changes my mind about this series, especially when I thought the first book had such a promising start.

The Rating
2/5 stars
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