Six of Crows

ALSO KNOWN AS THE BOOK THAT CONTAINS SO MANY FEELS THERE SHOULD BE A WARNING ON THE BACK.

FANGIRL MODE

Phew. I’m sorry. I just… I needed to get that out of the way.

*This review/rant/display of my feels contains much fangirling. Read at your own discretion*

Going into Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, I had expected amazingness. So many top reviewers had raved about it, and it had been on my TBR list for the longest time.

And all this hype was not without reason. THIS TRULY IS AN AMAZING BOOK.

sixofcrows

I guess I loved it so much because it managed to tug at my heartstings so many times throughout my reading experience, not just by rooting for this ramshackle team of thieves, convicts, spies, Heartrenders, gamblers, and runways to get away with their impossible heist, but for my ships to WORK OUT!

Because really, I think Bardugo was being a bit of a tease.

hermionesadbecausehershipisntworkingoutsamehermione.gif

Let me just begin to say that never have I fangirled so badly for two characters, shipping them with all my heart. Going onto Goodreads I scrolled through many proclaimations of the shipping of Nina and Matthias, but my ship was COMPLETELY FOR KAZ AND INEJ.

Disclaimer: I loved ALL of these characters. They were so determined and clever; each of them brought something to Six of Crows that made them all crucial to the novel.

But my heart was set on Kaz and Inej. YES YES ONE HUNDRED PERCENT YES.

They were just EVERYTHING to me. EVERYTHING!

 If you need more convincing to know how much I adored this book, here’s a collage I made personally with some of my favourite Six of Crow quotes. (Yes, most of them are Kaz and Inej related. No, of course I couldn’t help myself.)

IMG_4912

To fantasy lovers out there, or lovers of a novel that contains an always-twisting plot, READ THIS BOOK. It is 465 pages of beautiful writing, spectacular world-building, an impossible heist so crazy you can’t help but root for it, and an incredible cast of characters. (There’s also an ending that will just knock you off your feet, but… I digress.)

Advertisements

February

Before I begin this post, let me just start by apologizing. To my readers and followers, and also to my blog. It’s been nearly a month since I last updated, which just isn’t right! I vow to not let that happen again anytime soon, so expect some good things to come!

Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey

A Sense of the Infinite, by Hilary. T. Smith

Vengeance Road, by Erin Bowman

All the Rage, by Courtney Summers

The Story of Owen, by E.K Johnston

February was an odd sort of reading month for me. We began required reading in my English classroom, so what you see above is an assortment of my personal choices and necessary lit.

I began the month strong with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I took so much from this book, because when I put it down it was like someone had messed around with my heartstrings. If I honestly had to sum up this book in a few words, it would be SO. MANY. FEELS. Just…. so many. I don’t really think I’m going to say much more as I have a special review for it coming up, but all I have to say is this is a definite favourite of mine at the moment.

The next book I read was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, which was as good and addicting as other reviewers have said. I felt that at times it could be a bit ridiculous, but there was such a strong cast of characters, and a plotline that was so crazy it just worked. It was a novel that really made you THINK about the bigger picture, considering this was a book where aliens took over Earth and wiped out a huge chunk of our population. And come to think of it, the plot wasn’t so crazy as one would think. I mean there could be a chance that one day… Ah, nevermind. I told you this book made you think too much. (But really, I loved it!)

A Sense of the Infinite was the first of my school’s required reading. It was a contemporary novel about best friends, and how sometimes relationships don’t always work out, especially when one half of it is more controlling than the other. I liked the story enough that I continued to flip pages in anticipation, because it didn’t feel required to me. I believe I could’ve picked this book up on my own, and overall it made for a quick read.

Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road was one of the originals I had chosen at the beginning of the year that were put on my MUST READ list. And rightfully so. Who’d’ve thought I’d fall in love with the gritty plains of Arizona, 1877? Yes… that was my attempt at the dialect featured in the novel, which made the experience all the more amazing! This Western exceeded my expections and more. With such a strong-headed protagonist who is definitely a new heroine in YA literature, addictive writing that never failed to set the time and place perfectly in my mind, and a riveting conclusion that kept me turning the pages until the very end, following Kate down the road of vengeance was a thrilling journey for sure! More Westerns, please! 😀

All the Rage was also on the school’s list, but the thing was, I had heard of it before. In the end though, it didn’t matter how I ended up picking it up- on my own or because of class- because what mattered was that I got the chance to read it either way. This was a book that tells the story of a girl in a small town who got raped, and the aftermath of it all. Evident by the title, it was dark, serious, and made readers feel, just as I felt anger along with the protagonist. This was certainly a powerful novel that I believe everybody needs to read.

I finished off the month of February with E.K Johnston’s The Story of Owen, which I was conflicted about. For me, it started off really slow, and I wasn’t into it at all. (If you haven’t guessed it yet: This was also required reading). It picked up though towards the middle, and made for an interesting urban fantasy. Not something I would pick up in a store or library myself, though.

Well there you have it! As I promised at the beginning, I’m going to be better now. More updates, more news, and more reading!

Your fellow bookworm,

Zoie 😉

January

So begins another year of reading! With a vow to widen my ‘genre horizons’, I started off this month excited to see what was in store for me. And while I admit I did not venture far from realistic contemporaries in January, I have been making progress by adding more and more fantasy to my TBR list!

Without further ado, here were this month’s reads:

The Boy Next Door, by Katie Van Ark

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

Lost Stars, by Claudia Gray

Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli

My Heart and Other Black Holes, by Jasmine Warga

I’m not going to lie- I didn’t start this year off with the BANG! I had wanted. Because unfortunately for me, Katie Van Ark’s The Boy Next Door wasn’t at all what I had hoped for it to be. A Swoon Reads publish, I expected to be swept of my feet- but ended up falling in the dust. Maybe it could work for others, but most of the time I just found myself counting down the pages until The End.

Lost Stars, however, was not a disappointment! (It was also the only non-contemporary book I read this month, so bonus!) Author Claudia Gray brought the Star Wars world to light in this brand-new story. And the coolest thing of all- it was YA! Best friends Thane and Ciena have always dreamed of becoming pilots for the Empire, but when one of them joins the Rebellion, the two are forced apart on opposite sides of the war. It was a fairly long book, but with such an intriguing plot (not to mention how wonderfully written it is) it’s totally worth it!

Next we have Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss series! To me, it wasn’t so much a series as the last two being companion novels to Anna, but nonetheless I loved seeing familiar characters make cameos and contributing to these stories. The thing about Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After was that they all featured such relatable protagonists, all of whom seemed real. Her writing was absolutely addicting, with swoon-worthy stories to gush over. I recommend Perkins to all contemporary readers, especially those in need of a good romance!

One of my favourites of the month had to be Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by debut author Becky Albertalli! It was just wonderful, with great voice and an even greater heart. This was such a cute read about not-so-openly gay Simon, and how his sexual identity could be on the line when someone discovers his secret emails with the guy who may just be the most adorable person he’s never met. Friendship and family are so strong in this novel, and was just heartwarming all around. I loved it!!

The last book of January was a bit of a darker one- Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes. When physics nerd Aysel is in need of a Suicide Partner, she finds her perfect match, a boy named Roman. And as he becomes more intent to end his life, she begins to question whether she even wants to go through with it after all. This novel was so beautifully written and SO QUOTABLE, and really makes you aware of the fact that no matter how someone may seem on the outside, the inside could be a whole different story. It did make you feel a bit glum yourself, but in the end this was a story I believe many people should read. It was just dazzling.

So that’s it for this month! Stay tuned throughout the next few weeks- I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve. 😉

And until then, keep reading!

Zoie ❤

The Liebster Award

I started Zoie’s Bookshelf back in November 2014, over a year ago, not ever imagining how supportive and amazing the blogging community could be. The Liebster Award is just another example of how great this type of community truly is. And what is it, you may be wondering? The Liebster Award is given to bloggers who have under 200 followers that have been nominated by other bloggers to congratulate and promote them. Sounds cool, right? I was fortunate enough to recieve a nomination from Franciska at Life is Sweet in Books, a fellow book blogger. Thank you so much, Franciska, for this amazing opportunity! I love the idea of spreading the love of blogging, and I’m really grateful to be a part of it 🙂

Let’s get started, shall we?

Here are the rules, as follows:

Thank the nominator

Display the award

Answer the questions

Nominate ten more bloggers with ten new questions

Notify the Nominees

Here’s the award:

liebster-award1

Answer the questions:

Life is Sweet in Books asked her nominees ten (amazing!) questions, so read below to see them and my answers!

What is your favourite trilogy?

Whenever I hear the word trilogy, I immediately think of dystopian fiction, such as The Hunger Games, or Divergent. And while I loved both of those collections, my pick would have to be The Selection trilogy, by Kiera Cass. I realize that with her latest release The Heir, it is no longer a trilogy but a series. But I’m going to make an exception, especially when The Heir doesn’t focus on America Singer like the first three do. So we’ll just pretend that The Heir is more like a sequel to the series, since The Selection technically was a trilogy up until May of last year. 😉

What is your favourite genre?

This one is easy- Young Adult Fiction! Of course, by saying that I am also allowing many sub-genres, such as YA Romance, YA Dystopia, and YA Fantasy. Typically, I like reading realistic fiction, because as a teenager myself I find that many characters have stories that are worth telling, while also not so far away from the truth that I can also relate. But if you read my last post you’d know I’m getting back into other sub-genres, like fantasy!

Hardcover or paperback?

This was actually a difficult decision for me, because as a bookworm I know the pros and cons of both. In the end, though, I had to decide on hardcover, as it means less of a chance of ruining the cover. Paperback covers can so easily get scratched and bent, and there’s nothing more heartbreaking to a reader than seeing a mistreated cover!

Why did you start a blog?

I started Zoie’s Bookshelf to let my voice be heard, and to have my opinions out there for others to see and think about. I like how I’m able to share my book recommendations to fellow readers, because spreading the love of books is truly a magical thing! If I am able to make an impact on a reader’s life by bringing them yet another wonderful read, then I have done my job as a blogger and book advisor!

What book would you recommend to everyone?

There are so many novels out there that it was hard to choose just one, but I’ve decided to say Anne of Green Gables, by L.M Montgomery. While not YA Fiction, it is a literary classic, one that I feel everyone should get the chance to read. It’s not only a book for girls Anne Shirley’s age, but for people of all ages and sexes. It’s such a sweet and beautifully-written novel, and I cherished it. Despite it being published nearly a century ago, it’s a story that is still known today, and doesn’t that mean it should be worth your time to go check it out? I loved it, and I’m sure many others will as well.

If you could visit a book world, what world would that be?

Um, I don’t even need to think twice for this one! Without a doubt, I would visit Hogwarts. The Harry Potter series were the books that first got me into reading, and for that I am thankful. It had been a dream of mine to recieve my acceptance letter into Hogwarts, get sorted into a house, and learn plenty of magical spells and charms. Who knows- I could’ve befriended Harry, Ron, and Hermione and played a vital part in the stories. Since that didn’t happen, I’d jump at the chance to visit, if only for a moment. I’d give anything to glimpse into the magical world that had sparked manys an imagination out of me as a child.

What is your favourite quote?

I love quotes, I really do. This is why this question really excites me! I’m going to go above and beyond and offer my readers two of my favourite quotes instead of the requested one, just because I’d love to share them. The first one is anonymous, and is as follows: “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.” I love this one! It sends the clear and true message that in order to shoot for the stars, you’re going to have to work for your success, as it cannot just be gained in a snap.

My second quote is a book one, which I feel is fitting for a book blog! This is from Anne of Green Gables, where Anne tells Marilla “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Message it’s sending: Tomorrow is a clean slate. Whatever may have gone wrong today can be fixed tomorrow, because you have the chance to change things. Things can get better, and tomorrow is a new day to begin.

If you could meet a character from a book, what character would that be?

Hard question to answer! But again I’m going to say Anne- Anne of Green Gables that is. There’s something so quirky and loveable about her that I know we’d hit it off right away. She’s a kindred spirit, and I hope I am one too. She’d help me find out. Either way, she’d be a great person to be acquainted with for the day, because I know she’d keep me entertained the entire time! She’s the best type of person to become friends with- the type that brings out the best in you.

Who is your favourite superhero?

I’m going to be honest here- I’m not really into superheros. I know, I know! Does Harry Potter count as a superhero though? I mean, he has powers and everything, and he’s a hero to boot. I’m going to choose him anyway, even though officially he isn’t a superhero. Well, in the fiction world he is!

Have you got any secret abilities???

Hmm… let’s think. I’m pretty sure reading and writing are the extent of my secret abilities, and they’re not so secret after all. But hey, those are pretty cool super powers, right?

And now for the bloggers that I nominate. (Drum roll, please!)

Don’t Bug Me I’m Reading

“History Will Be Kind to Me, For I Intend to Write it”

Reviewing Central

Confessions of the Undefinable

An Everyday Adventurer’s Journey

Dear Author

La Toya M. Sutton

Kristina Van Hoose

Head2Toe

Inky Books

Here are my ten questions!

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
  2. How do you spend your time on a rainy day?
  3. Are you a coffee or tea person?
  4. What inspires you?
  5. What are your favourite things to blog about- any favourite features?
  6. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. What are your favourite books?
  8. What is a movie or televison series you find yourself always going back to watch?

And because I loved Franciska’s questions, I’m going to use two of hers!

9. Who is your favourite superhero?

10. Do you have any secret abilities?

So that’s all! Thank you so much Franciska for the wonderful questions and of course for nominating me! Sorry it took me some time to get around to, but it was really fun and I love the idea of speading some love among others in the blogging community.

Also, make sure to check out Franciska’s blog, Life is Sweet in Books. It’s the perfect getaway for bookworms, trust me!

Keep on blogging, everybody!

Zoie ❤

 

 

 

YA: A Genre on its Own?

FullSizeRender(2)

Recently here on Zoie’s Bookshelf I wrote a post about my reading resolutions for 2016, and how my number one goal for the year was to be more diverse in my book selections- more specifically, widen my genre horizons. (Do ‘genre horizons’ even exist? Let’s just go with it, okay?)

In 2015, I was introduced into the wonderful world of Young Adult Fiction, discovering some of my new favourite books, and of course authors, such as Rainbow Rowell and Sarah Dessen. But if you recognize these authors, you’d know that they write for YA Contemporary, or realistic if you will, for the exception of Rowell’s Carry On, which was a fantasy. And it wasn’t that I didn’t love all these stories, but I felt like as a true reader, I couldn’t limit myself to only one genre.

Which brings me to my bigger point: can YA be considered a genre on its own?

There are multiple types of Young Adult Fiction- Realistic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal… you name it, they’re all there. And I am under the strong belief that YA Literature is a genre on its own; that all of these side ones are more sub-genres than anything.

So it wouldn’t be cheating if I continued to read YA, because these sub-genres would make up for diversity among my bookshelf. One sub-genre I’m particularily excited to get back into would be of fantasy, as I used to be a big reader of it, immersing myself in the newly-constructed worlds authors has mastermindfully created. Because while realistic fiction is relatable, in fantasy there are these whole other rules to live by, complete different ways of life that can have magical realism in them. I can read worlds that I could only hope to one day write. It’s incredible.

Some YA books that I am looking forward to reading this year (that are not contemporary) include Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, and of course Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Also, I am currently reading Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, a YA Star Wars novel.

If this list doesn’t prove how I’m trying to be the type of reader that will read any type of genre (or, fine, sub-genre), I don’t know what will. Because even though there are multiple sub-genres out there, I will slowly make (or READ) my way across them all.

a court of thorns and roses Cinder Lost-Stars Vengeance-Road sixofcrows    glass-sword the5thwave throne-of-glass-cover

So fellow bookworms, what do you say? Want to expand your genre horizons along with me? 😉

Keep on reading!

Zoie 🙂

 

Blogging: Why I Love It

As it’s the beginning of a new year, I’ve decided to write a quick post again just about why I love to blog! Because when I started Zoie’s Bookshelf more than a year ago, I didn’t expect there to be this whole blogging community out there, full of supportive people who simply love to blog. Their energy is so contagious too- if I read a post of someone’s that seems so full of passion and excitement, it just makes me want to write a post of the same enthusiasm!

But besides that, I love blogging because it’s a chance for me to chat to all my readers about my latest reads, share my thoughts with a book review, and yes, even fangirl over other YA novels *insert me raising my hand guility here* 😉

Zoie’s Bookshelf is not just a base I use to do all these things, but a place where I can also connect with other readers, or just people interested in what I have to say.

Blogging gives me a chance to do this, to connect with all these people, all the while writing about something I love.

It’s truly an amazing thing.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support and check out Zoie’s Bookshelf. You are all the people I am here to write for! ❤

And, just because this is a book blog, I’ll sign out with a book quote, one that is definitely true:

Between the pages of a book is a wonderful place to be.

2016 Reading Resolutions

This year, for my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I set my goal for 60 books. And while that’s my ultimate goal, there are some reading resolutions I’d like to make, and (hopefully) keep. It is the start of a new year, right? It’s the perfect time to make new resolutions.

So, here they are:

  1. To read from different genres.

I admit that I am guilty of not making a huge effort to read a more diverse variety of genres, mostly because I am so in love with YA Contemporary. But I’ve set this as my number one book resolution since as a bookworm I want to widen my horizons and be able to read anything. So this year it is my hope that I try different genres besides realistic, such as more fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, mystery, or even horror…

2. To read more classics. 

Yes. I understand this somewhat ties in with number one, but I decided that this needed to be a resolution on its own, because classics are called classics for a reason. So far I’ve read Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice, but there are many on my shelf I have yet to open, and 2016 is the perfect opportunity to get working on that!

3. Re-read the Harry Potter series.

Every year since I first read this beloved series, I’ve re-read it annually. But (insert horror/shocked gasps here) 2015 was the only expection. So I’m intent on making this year different, because I miss Hogwarts and the wonderful world that J.K Rowling created, and the series that made me fall in love with reading.

As odd as it sounds, it was actually hard coming up with these resolutions, minimal as they were! All I knew was that I wanted to expand my book selections, and I’ve been thinking of different books I’d like to pick up. (A Court of Thorns and Roses and Six of Crows, anyone?)

Unlike those who make resolutions the way they make empty promises, I fully intend to keep and shoot for these goals. After all, I have at least sixty books to explore, or re-explore!

Have a great 2016,

Zoie 😉