Friday, January 10, 2014

Look At Her Go: Reviewin' Reviewin': The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of Stars

Kiersten White


As we should all know by now, if you're an author and you want me to read your book, put mythology in it. Any type, any variety, from around the world. Myths, folklore, even just a campfire story that's been passed down for generations, if its mythology, I'm there. So that's what first drew me to The Chaos of Stars. I've only ever read Rick Riordan's take on Egyptian mythology, and this drew me in immediately for that reason.

Plus the cover. LOOK AT IT. Those stupid covers with their beautiful script and prettiness, always dragging me in.

This book centers around a girl named Isadora, who grows up in a relatively normal childhood in Egypt... or so she thinks. But her perspective's pretty skewed since her mother is Isis and her father is Osiris, ancient Egyptian gods. So she grows up with them until she reaches that lovely stage in her teenage years where she decides she doesn't like them anymore, and begs to be sent to live with her brother in San Diego. However, as she settles into a new life, complete with a mysterious and beautiful guy on the horizon, Isadora is unaware of a growing danger back home in Egypt, and the fact that, when your mother is an immortal goddess, there is little escape.

I didn't expect to love this book. Honestly, I didn't. And in the interest of keeping this a non-spoilery review, I'm not going to say exactly what made my mind up that I loved it, but it had something to do with unexpected plot details and blue eyes. But I really did fall in love with the world, as well. The way that the gods and goddesses are portrayed- as busy people, working parents- was something that I truly enjoyed reading. I'd never seen the mythology set up that way, and that was something very refreshing to see.

I also fell in love with the characters. Now, you might have seen, as I did before I started this book, about the interwebs something about Isadora being a whiny main character. You know what, spoiler alert- SHE IS. But she's also an angry, frustrated teenager, acting out against her parents. Her annoying-ness is what makes her real. Look around, you'll find many Isadoras in your life. But, the main point is that she gets better. The characters that are placed around her redeem her in innumerable ways, and I was so deeply enthralled with Tyler and Scott and Deena and Sirius and even Isis and the other gods. They formed a perfect cast of characters. AND THEN THERE'S RY. BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL RY. I fell in love with him on the very first page that he was mentioned.

So yeah, I honestly just enjoyed the reading of this book. It was nice to just sit back and get lost in this story. I let myself be open to it, and I think that's why I loved it so much. I would definitely recommend it to lovers of mythology and lovers of sweet stories in general.

Quotes: (didn't write the pages for these... sorry!)

“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” 

“I will fill myself with the desert and the sky. I will be stone and stars, unchanging and strong and safe. The desert is complete; it is spare and alone, but perfect in its solitude. I will be the desert.” 

Hope you've enjoyed! 



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Hello and welcome back to These Stardust Words! Today, we're going to be attempting a booktube challenge, which I first saw on Christine and Katy's channels! The challenge was originally created by Sarah, and now its to be attempted by yours truly! The rules are simple- there is a clue given, and you must scour your bookshelf to find a book that fits the description. In the interest of being honest, I'm going to use all my own photos... crappy ones taken off my phone, but mine all the same.

First, here are my shelves.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December/Christmas Book Haul

As all booknerds know, the Christmas season isn't just a time for love and cheer, its also a time for pestering your relatives to give you ALL THE BOOKS. This year was no different, as I received many titles for Christmas and then ordered a ton of them just on my own. This haul includes 25 titles, I think. Which is so exciting but also super daunting as my TBR list just keeps on growing.

Let's get down to business. (to defeat the huns)

Top 13 Books of 2013

Well. 2013 is over, and 2014 is here! While I'm so excited about all the releases and books scheduled for 2014, I think its important to sit back and think about all the wonderful books we've hugged, thrown and cried on in 2013. And so, when I watched Katytastic's year end wrap up on YouTube, I was inspired.

The way Kat does it is that an author is only allowed to be on the list once, all books are allowed as long as they are new-to-you (aka: they don't have to have 2013 publishing dates), no rereads count, and finally, this list is not in order of favorites, but more chronological order. Let's get to it!

1) Dark Star- Bethany Frenette

This was one of the first books I read in 2013. I have always been a superhero buff, and I feel like YA just doesn't really touch on the subject that much. So I was so excited to read this. The world was well built up in this one, and there were a lot of questions left unanswered, so I will look forward to reading the sequel, "Burn Bright," which is out this year.

Find it on goodreads

2) Ascend- Book 3 in the Trylle Trilogy- Amanda Hocking

This is the third book in a trilogy, and I marathoned all three books back in January. I must say, the conclusion was my favorite of the three. I loved the way the relationships developed, the ending of the conflict, and the growth of the characters, especially our main character, Wendy. Also, trolls are not a fantasy race that you often see written about, so I enjoyed getting that perspective.

Find it on goodreads

3) Clockwork Princess- Book 3 in the Infernal Devices Trilogy- Cassandra Clare

If I had to pick a favorite book of 2013, this would probably be it. The Infernal Devices is one of my favorite series- ever, and this conclusion was so stunningly beautiful and wonderful and heartbreaking, I don't think I'll ever get over it. I was so sad to say goodbye to Tessa, Will and Jem, but this book was so perfectly written, I daresay I wouldn't want any other books about them. I laughed, I cried (for more than a fair bit of it) and I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Find it on goodreads

4) Scarlet- Book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles Quarter- Marissa Meyer

Boy oh boy do I love this series. I read the first book, Cinder, in 2012, and I did like it a little better than Scarlet, but since they were in different years Scarlet definitely makes its way onto this list. I absolutely loved this futuristic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The new characters are just as amazing as the old ones that also feature in this story. I love the way Marissa Meyer writes- its quick paced and never drags, and the way she weaves the elements of the fairytales into these futuristic settings is phenomenal. The Lunar Chronicles is an amazing series, and I can't wait to read the next installment. (Cress, its out February 2014)

Find it on goodreads

5) The Host- Stephenie Meyer

I got this book for Christmas in 2011, and I never finished it, because that was when Twilight was really uncool and I didn't want to be seen with anything by Stephenie Meyer. But I picked it up this year out of curiosity and it turns out I absolutely loved it. It drags a bit in the beginning, but once you get into it, it is a truly amazing story. I haven't read much involving aliens, but this was a really well-written version of them. I love the characters most of all in this book, because at some points the plot does drag, but the characters redeem the story.

Find it on goodreads

6) The Evolution of Mara Dyer-  Michelle Hodkin

This is the second book in the Mara Dyer trilogy, and I think this book just built upon the amazing story that Michelle Hodkin set up in the first book. I love the idea of the unreliable narrator, and the fact that no one can tell what's real and not real. The whole element of psychological problems and insanity really edges out the book. Also, dat cliffhanger doe. So insane. I was reading this in ebook form and I didn't know the end was the end so... that was so scary. I can't wait for the third book, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, out in June.

Find it on goodreads

7) The Fifth Wave- Rick Yancey

Oh my god. This book was a thrill ride from start to finish. I read it on a plane from the east coast to Germany. Nine hours, the book was done. I loved every minute of it. Its got a kick-ass heroine, a quick-paced plot, and a cute boy. What's not to love? This book was also scary because- it could happen. Its not so far off from the truth that you can just discount it as fiction. It could happen. I am so looking forward to the second book in this series.

find it on goodreads

8) Siege and Storm- Book 2 in the Grisha trilogy- Leigh Bardugo

I love this world. This is one of my favorite worlds. In it exists a race of people who are gifted in one way or another, all pledged to the service of a king and a darkling. This is the second book in a planned trilogy, and I thought that book 2 had so many more twists and turns, which I found more enjoyable. The second installment also sets up for what is sure to be an unforgettable book three.

Find it on goodreads

9) Apollyon- Book 4 in the Covenant series- Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is one of my top five favorite series, and I am so glad I picked it up in 2013. I love all four books that I've read so far (the fifth and final was recently released, but I haven't picked it up yet) and the two novellas. To me, this is a grown up Percy Jackson crossed with Vampire Academy. I'm completely taken by this series. It is one of two series that has ever had me in the fetal position, sobbing. There are many feels involved. I love all the books the same, so picking one is arbitrary, but Apollyon is book four and so I picked it. I love love love this series.

Find it on goodreads

10) Fangirl- Rainbow Rowell

This book could fight Clockwork Princess for the top spot of 2013. I absolutely love everything Rainbow Rowell writes (her other YA book, Eleanor and Park, was also a contender for this list), but Fangirl just spoke to me in a way few other books have. I think its for every person who has ever fangirled over something. I saw myself in the main character and in the plot, and I was laughing and crying and enjoying every minute of it. I wish there was more about these characters, because I would read it in a heartbeat. I'm hard pressed to think of too many other books that I enjoyed more than this.

Find it on goodreads

11) The House of Hades- Book 4 in the Heroes of Olympus Series- Rick Riordan

I've loved Rick Riordan since I was in middle school. I passed through those years on Percy Jackson, and when Heroes of Olympus came along, I just loved him all the more. House of Hades is just the next, best, installment in the series. There's not much more to say except that after this book, I can honestly say I love each and every character for a different reason. Even the ones I didn't really like before, I love them now. These books are 100% amazing.

Find it on goodreads

12) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown- Holly Black

I don't normally read a lot of vampire novels, but this one I read and loved. There was something creepy about it, but that creep-factor grabbed my attention and I was held rapt until the end of the story. I just posted a full review here, so go check it out and you can see all my thoughts on this book.

Find it on goodreads

13) These Broken Stars- Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Last but not least, here comes These Broken Stars. At first, it reminded me of Titanic in space, but it grew to be so much more than that. I love things that take place in space, and I'm fascinated by space and space travel, so I already loved the premise of this book before I even started it. I loved the survival aspect of it, the character growth, and the way the relationship moved from page one to the end. It was an extremely worthwhile read.

Find it on goodreads

So, that was really difficult. I read so many wonderful books in 2013, and narrowing it down was hard, man. But, there you have it, my top 13 of 2013. May 2014 be filled with just as many amazing reads.


Spotlight On: A Prequel- Poison Dance

Hello and Happy New Year!!! 

I decided to start a new series for These Stardust Words! Every month, I will choose a different thing to spotlight. Whether it be a genre, a series, a book, a cover, anything I want. This month, the spotlight is on an amazing prequel that I recently read.

Poison Dance

Livia Blackburne

A prequel novella to the 2014 release "Midnight Thief" 


So, a few weeks ago, I found Midnight Thief on goodreads, and I was really excited to add it to my TBR pile, as well as my "I seriously can't wait for these releases" list in my head. So when the author, Livia Blackburne, offered to send a copy of the previously unheard of (to me) prequel, I jumped at the chance to start to get to know this world. And I was not disappointed.

Basically, in Midnight Thief, James is the leader of an assassins guild, and this is his backstory. Poison Dance takes place in a high-fantasy world, somewhat reminiscent of the Graceling world or the Eragon world, and in Poison Dance, James and his two friends- Bacchus and Rand- are lowly teenage assassins, hanging out in the lowest social rung of the guild.

The premise of the story is that the leader of the guild has just died, and so someone else must take initiative and kill their way to the top. Meanwhile, James has stumbled into the acquaintance of a lovely and mysterious girl names Thalia, who has a strange request for him- help her kill a nobleman.

I was highly satisfied with this prequel. It only took me an hour or so to get through, as it is only 50 printed pages, but I loved the glimpse into the character of James, and the opportunity to see the world that Midnight Thief will take place in. I give it 4.5 stars, only because I wanted more!

Find the Book on Goodreads 



Look at Her Go; Reviewin' Reviewin': The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Holly Black 


I don't normally read a lot of vampire books, mostly because Twilight kind of ruined that whole venture for me. I just tend to shy away from them because either they're done very right or they're done very very wrong. But I'd heard oodles about Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, especially from Katytastic on youtube and Violet, so I knew I had to try it. 

And I wasn't disappionted. Holly Black crafts an amazingly well-developed world in the space of 400 pages, and I was hooked on the way she presented vampirism; as something glamorous but also something so utterly unpredictable. The book is disturbing in the best way, and I found myself equally repulsed and attracted by the world.

Basically, Tana is a normal girl living in a normal, present-day United States. Except that in her normal United States, the whole world knows that vampires exist, and the creatures and those who have been infected by vampires are quarantined within walled cities called Coldtowns. Coldtowns are places that, once you go in, you don't come out. One morning, Tana wakes up after a party to find that every other partygoer is dead. Except for two other people. One: her charming, infuriating ex-boyfriend and one mysterious, unknown vampire. Both of which are chained up in a bedroom. Tana must decide what to do with this vampire and her infected ex, all the while dealing with memories of vampirism from her past. The only way she can save all three of them is by heading directly into the nearest Coldtown- where a whole host of other dangers await.

If you like vampires,  or if you don't usually like vampires, but enjoy thrillers and some spook factor- I would definitely recommend this book to you.

Full, spoilery review under the cut!

Find this book on Goodreads

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