quarta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2015


I finally realized that blogger wasn’t the right blogging platform for me! So, I am now moving everything to tumblr…my home.
And in true Octavia Blake fashion: I’m back, bitches!

quinta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2014

Review: Antebellum Awakening - Katie Cross

Antebellum Awakening (Network Series, #2) by Katie Cross
Publication Date: October 15th, 2014
Pages: 300
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Got it from the author


Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch.

Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage.

Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos, endangering any witch around her. She has six months left to destroy the curse that will kill her and fulfill her contract with the most cunning enemy of all: her former teacher Miss Mabel. 

Bianca must make a choice: learn to control her restless powers, or let the powers control her.

Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the thrilling new fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a haunting tale about tragedy, loss, and the power of moving on.

And here I was, thinking that this series couldn't get any better after Miss Mabel's School For Girls. Well, I was utterly wrong!

I felt that this book dealt with some heavier topics. We have grieve, considering that it starts right after Bianca's mother's death, we have a war coming up and we have Bianca being afraid that her curse won't be lifted and that she will die in a short amount of months. So, perhaps because of this, I think that the first part of the book moves a bit slower giving time to Bianca (and the reader) to assimilate everything that is going on.

Nonetheless, the pacing is right for the story and eventually it does become faster and more action-packed - even more so than Miss Mabel's - with magic and what I believed to be amazingly described sword fights! 

On top of that, as Bianca starts accepting her fate, the story gets ever more gripping and enticing, stopping you from putting the book down until you've read it from cover to cover!

I thought that all the characters were wonderfully written and even the secondary ones had an important role in the story. Miss Mabel was as evil as ever. She is just the kind of villain that you love to hate. At the same time - and like I've said on my last review - I like the different kinds of strong women that Katie is able to portray.

This book is a great sequel to Miss Mabel's School For Girls and it leaves you wanting more!

P.S: This is actual footage of me after finishing Antebellum Awakening

domingo, 27 de julho de 2014

Stacking The Shelves #7

Stacking The Shelves was originally created by Tynga's Reviews. The idea is for everyone to show the books they are adding to their shelves (physical copies or virtual) 

Since the last time I did one of these I joined a book exchange website...so I have quite a few new beauties to parade! So, what I got was this:

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Ecstasy - Irvine Welsh
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (I'm going to try and read some more classic books from now on!)
Master of the Moor - Ruth Rendell
One-hit Wonder - Lisa Jewell
The Sea Sisters - Lucy Clarke
The White Queen - Philippa Gregory (I don't read much historical romance, but I'll give it a try!)
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #2) - Ransom Riggs (this one is a hard-back copy which was never read...it's in perfect conditions! Just as if I bought it from TBD, I'm so happy! :D)

I've also gotten two books for review:

Miss Mabel's School for Girls - Katie Cross    Biggest Flirts - Jennifer Echols
(review here)

And finally, I decided to give audiobooks a chance and I got two from Audible!

Winger - Andrew Smith
To All The Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

What did you get this week? :)

quarta-feira, 23 de julho de 2014

Review: Miss Mabel's School for Girls - Katie Cross

Miss Mabel's School for Girls (Network Series, #1) by Katie Cross
Publication Date: March 27th, 2014
Pages: 308
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Got it from the author


Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

If there was only one word I could use to describe this novel, it would be "WOW"!

This book is absolutely action packed from beginning to end! There are no dull moments and there are so many twists and turns that you just have to keep turning the pages. It's definitely one of those books that you only want to put down when you finish it. I have to say that I don't remember the last time a book surprised me, but this one sure did! When I thought I knew what was going to happen, there was some sort of twist...which made this story incredibly interesting.

I also loved how different all the female characters were. Usually when people talk about "strong female characters" they are talking about the heroine who fights everyone; I liked how Katie challenged that notion: we have Bianca who is indeed the heroine who fights back but we also have Miss Mabel, for example who is probably one of the smartest and most cunning women in fiction...and absolutely evil too! 
The secondary characters were very dynamic and were an important part of the plot of the story.

I don't know if there is coming on the next books or not but there was absolutely no romance in this novel, which, in a way, I thought was quite refreshing and different from everything that is out there at the moment.

Katie was able to create an original and magical world like no other I've ever read about. Plus, places were described beautifully and almost made it seem like we were there. 

This was a great beginning of a series and I'm sure to keep up with it! Definitely recommed it! 

"Fear is an ally. It tells you something is wrong, like pain." is definitely one of my favourite quotes ever!

Buy it from Amazon

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2014

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Pages: 418
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought it

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

After seeing many great reviews for this book, I finally decided to pick it up. The blurb sounded really interesting but there was so much hype around this series that I was a bit scared that I wasn't going to enjoy it as much as others...luckily that wasn't the case!

I think that one of my favourite things about this book was the way places were described, especially Prague...I've never been there but it sounded almost magical (and I would be lying if I said I didn't look up flights to Prague while reading the book!). 

As for characters, Karou is an amazing main character. She is this really unique, artistic blue-haired girl who lives in Prague and has a group of chimaera as a sort of adoptive family. I found it really easy to connect with Karou and to understand her actions. Plus, I liked how she cared about the other characters and always tried to do the right thing (even if they didn't fully deserve it). Zuzana, Karou's tiny, "rabid" best friend was absolutely hillarious and deffinitely someone I would want to be friends with. Her sarcastic nature truly brought a great energy to the book.
Akiva, the seraph was also quite intriguing. Even though he was brought up in a world consumed by war, he finds it in himself to try to be better. I hope we get more from him in the next book.

Even though I deeply enjoyed this book, I have to say that for me, the last third/quarter of this story was what I least enjoyed. One the one hand I liked the description we got of the other worlds and how the seraph and chimaera societies were organized. It was also interesting to get a bit of backstory on the war and on Brimstone's magic and what exactly he did with the teeth...that part was very imaginative. On the other hand, I didn't care very much for Madrigal's whole story even though I realize why it was necessary to be told.

All in all it was a great book that I deffinitely recommed. And I can't wait to start the sequel!

Buy this book at The Book Depository

domingo, 4 de maio de 2014

Discussion Sunday (#1): To co-blog or not to co-blog...

...That is the question! And it's a question that has been a lot on my mind lately since I know that time will always be a issue with me (except maybe in the summer!).

  • Being able to share the fun!
  • Sharing the work (God knows I need it!)
  •   This blog is like my baby, it has my name and everything;
  •       Affiliate links are associated with my personal email;
      So, I really don't know what to do...if on one hand I would love to have a blogging friend with whom I could share everything, on the other hand I don't want to part with Joana In The Sky With Books (which, unless my co-blogger was also called Joana, would be really unfair).  I signed up to receive bloging tips from Brent Riggs, the guy from Linky Tools and on one of his latest emails he talked about how he was giving away free Wordpress blogs already set-up and I started thinking that maybe I could get a second blog and get a co-blogger on that one! And then I reminded myself that the whole reason why co-blogging was so much in my mind lately was my LACK OF TIME...did I really want to run two blogs?? Am I crazy?

      Considering I was having this conversation out loud with myself the answer may very well be "yes".

       What do you guys think of my dilemma? Have you ever gone through the same thing?

sábado, 3 de maio de 2014

Review: Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garde, #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Publication Date: February 16th, 2012
Pages: 358
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought it


Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home - before her time runs out forever. What if you knew you exactly when you would die? In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it. 16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage - and Linden's cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.

This is one of those books that I had seen in so many blogs that when I finally got my hands on it I just couldn't wait to read it! And I was not disappointed!

The plot in the beggining is already interesting enough to keep you intrigued and to get your attention but as soon as the story starts to unfold there are so many secrets and so many new questions (some of them which I guess are answered in the next books).
The world-building was quite amazing and it managed to create a believable futuristic society with elements from our time and elements from the future (things like holograms, for example). On top of that the descriptions of everything, from the gowns to the gardens were beautiful and realistic.

I think the pacing was good, not too fast and not too slow, with enough setback's on the main character's plans without dragging the story too long. Although I was really excited to see what would happen so at the time I might have wanted things to move quicker...looking back, I realize they happened at the right speed to be believable!

Now, my favourite part: the characters! I think they were wonderfully constructed and even the secondary characters had depth and different back stories that explained their actions (somewhat). I loved Rhine as a main character but sometimes I had to keep in mind that she was only 16, so making rash decisions was normal. She wasn't, by all means, the girl in the horror movie who runs upstairs or anything like that but she did get herself in some tricky situations because she didn't stopt to THINK first (in her place I would probably act the same way, but still, to an outside observant...)

Basically, this was a wonderful way to start my reading pile this year (yes, this is the first book I've read, school sucks!) and I can't wait to read Fever!

Get this book from The Book Depository!