12

Top Ten Tuesday #15: How to Hook a Harpy

I almost skipped today’s TTT post. I know, blasphemy, but they are the only types of posts that I am doing lately… which kinda makes the blog look meh, and it also makes me feel like a cheater that only uses others’ ideas to talk about books. Which is stupid because 1) my TTT posts rock and 2) I have a list of ideas all jotted down and ready to fly. Some of them even were outlined on my brain BEFORE being noted down…which also means that I forgot around 80% of the outline, but I digress…

This week’s topic is “Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book, aka an impossible topic to skip by the Broke and the Bookish. Well done ladies, well done!

So… time to grab the popcorn and find out what makes me call books my precious before I even read them, or, as I like to put it, How to Hook a Harpy:

1. Steven Says ReadIt!

Because a deal is a deal, and I promised Steven I would read whatever he chose for me. And I’m totally planning to. Even if it doesn’t like it. Or it takes me a whole year (or a decade) to pick them up.

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2. Paper Fury’s Seal of Approval

I love all of Cait’s posts. Her pretty pictures, the way she writes, what she writes, her obsession with cake or other baked delicacies… I love baking, so I can relate, and I’m biased to all things chocolate so… But when she talks books, people listen (read(?) ), and her reviews usually have me checking online stores (and bank account). I don’t even check the book on goodreads… because she’s that good.

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3. Ilona Andrews

Read. Rea-read. Buy. Borrow. Trade internal organs for. Make an altar on bookshelves. Anything that duo writes has one (sometimes all) of the reactions.

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4. Drool worthy book

Yes, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And want another cliche? Size DOES matter. Sure, hardcovers have their qualities. Me? I love paperbacks. If they have the right feel. The right size. The right font. It makes me want to grab them and never let go. If they are unique.. I’m drawn to them and I’m lost. I have to have them. I have to read them. I have to love them… Want one example? UK’s paperback edition of Wintersong. It is perfect. And magic. (And I need to pass the 160 page mark soon). Another example is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (also UK’s paperback edition).. the books look so perfect on my hands that I have to read them and have them… even when I like the movie adaptation better, but it is okay… I’ll survive.

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5. Shapeshifters, vampires and magic

What can I say, I’m a sucker for urban fantasy books. And if it has an unique take on any of the above, I’m doomed.

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6. Kick-ass/sass/foul mouth

Rose Hathaway, Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, Ty Grady… you get the drill.

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7. Angst

And I mean, rip your heart out and make you cry so much that your soul feels sore for days angst… You better give me a hint of an HEA though… I don’t like my characters to suffer for no reason… I like their pain to be worth it. Think Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7) and you’ll know what I mean.

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8. Tease and Banter

I also like cheesy romances where main characters will tease each other, have hot banter, and moments so hilarious that make you laugh so hard that your cheeks hurt and you’ll need to wipe tears. Like with Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1).

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Anything on my list that strikes your fancy?
What’s your TTT?

 

19

Top Ten Tuesday #14: Weird reinvents by authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Readand I basically am going to interpret it a bit too freely and discuss WEIRD REINVENTS BY AUTHORS

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1. Sparkling Vampires

Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Vampires that walk in the sun are… rare.. but not unheard of. Bran Stoker’s Dracula was said to be able to be out during light time, although weaker. Also, Louie from Interview with the Vampire fed from animals to avoid losing his humanity. Now, Stephanie Meyer decided that combining the two wasn’t enough. Nope, she made them go into the sun, feed from animal blood, and then took their fangs out (word emasculate comes to mind) plus the worse insult of all: made them sparkle like diamonds in the sun. Why? How? I just…. have no words. It makes no sense to me… however… It helped the book. Because those who weren’t caught in the twilight fandom were bash trashing it… and one of the reasons was the sparkling skin.

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2. Zombie Reversing

Warm Bodies by saac Marion

I’m going to be completely biased here. First, I don’t like zombies, they creep me out. Unless they’re the voodoo kind, controlled by a necromancer or witch. And second, I DNFed Warm Bodies.  But I couldn’t.. it didn’t make any sense. I had to let it go. Okay, so… eating brains works on the I Zombie TV show or in the White Trash novels as a holy cure. In the Revivalist series, she had to take some shots, otherwise she would start to rot and liquefy… but in Warm Bodies… it was so… weird… because it wasn’t eating brains.. it was THAT particular brain… and it was contagious? The part that makes me sad is that I was enjoying the book, with the strange zombie base, and the marriage, and the zombie kids and school…. but then we had dry humping zombie sex and a human girl hiding in plain zombieland and then a brain that refuses to let go, so the zombie that ate it has weird memories and starts looking… less dead…. It was just too much for me.

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3. Lucrezia Borgia as Evil Queen

Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire

Nobody can accuse Gregory Maguire of lack of imagination. No sir. Think with me: Lucrezia Borgia as Snow White’s stepmom/guardian.. should I repeat? Yeah, probably not. Having it said once was too much already. BUT, if you think that is the weird thing we have on that book… think again. We have Snow White’s dad going into a holy graalish quest, the dwarfs are a mix between rocks/dogs/living beings that are hard to understand, and Snow White has to be taken away because Lucrezia’s brother was having a special interest for the child. Yes, child, she was TEN… I think. Maybe younger. And then she turns into sleeping beauty, because when she finds the dwarfs she falls into a sleep that makes them turn back into rock and mute life around them till she wakes up. I kid you not, this one gets the cup of Weird Reinvent.

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4. Zeus Talking Like a Teenager

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Well, the concept is interesting. It really is. The whole book is about the greek myths told by Percy Jackson. But the teen speech Is. Just. Overwhelming. First you may think is refreshing and new… after 100 pages you want to bash Percy’s head against a column till he starts talking like a normal person. Not to mention he messes with one of my favorite myths of all time. But again, I may be a little biased because the first Percy movie already had a go at it (And I will never forgive them… how dare they to make Hades look like a wimp and turn Persephone into a male eater?)

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5. Bi Curious Marines

Sidewinder Series by Abigail Roux

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some GFY novel, with lots of doubts and It can be rights, because angsty feelings and awesome banter and teaser. And I love my Cut&Run boys to pieces. But somehow, the spin-off doesn’t work as well as the original sounds. Maybe because we never saw the bi-curious side of Kelly… and so the easiness he goes into a catcher role without being a pitcher first… it sounds a bit… forced. I still buy them and devour them, of course… it’s Abi Roux.

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Of course, there are some crazy ideas that work. And they work perfectly. For example:

 

6. Is Not Killing If Life Doesn’t End

Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman

Neil Shusterman gives us a chilling and amazing story, that has as starting point the consequences of the second civil rights war. Abortion is a crime, and life is untouchable from the conception till the age of 13. Then, all bets are off and teenagers can be set to be unwound: the harvest of all organs and cells to be transplanted to those in need of donors… which technically means life never ens, hence no crime. The whole concept… the character’s mindset, the worlbuilding… as I said.. chilling and amazing. Not for everybody, though.

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7. Marilyn Monroe and Katrina

Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter

Vampires, Shapeshifters, Witches and more in this amazing Urban Fantasy series. Vampires come out of their coffin when Marilyn Monroe was staked on the oval room when caught trying to turn JFK. Witches are victims of prejudice since popular belief think that Katrina was either their fault, or the result of their failure. Those are just some samples of Faith Hunter popular series, and if you are an urban fantasy fan, make yourself a favor and pick it up. I know I have Steven to thank to make me read it, because those books are great!

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Any weird reinvents I should have here?
What’s your TTT?

9

Top Ten Tuesday #13: Bookish Obsessions Through the Years

Everybody that hangs out near me on goodreads, blog (or even real life) knows that sometimes I get really addicted to a book (or series). Actually, to be honest, I obsess to dangerously  close to intervention levels. Worry not.. mostly I read everything related to or re-read them to exhaustion and then move on… to the next book obsession. Of course, while it lasts, I also tend to make people read them. feather

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Fandom Freebie“.

 

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I bought this book as a Christmas present to my sister. Eventually we bought all the others and suffered terribly waiting for the next book in line till it ended. Now we’re (and by we I mean I) moving on to the next phase: Cursed Child, Movie script adaptation and some awesome merchandise the series has and I *must* have. But, that first book was my go to comfort reading for years. I must have read it at least 20 times.. and that was BEFORE the first movie came out. It was my first book obsession and will be always on my heart.

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2. Breaking Dawn

I’m kinda ashamed to have this one here (which means we’re going to have a full post about it one of these days) but, truth to be told, I spent quite a while re-reading (or re-listening) to this one. So much that I discovered my audio version had a fluke so I manually changed the track numbers to have them play in the correct order. Curious part is that my reaction reading book #1 was not that good. Or book #2… by book #3 I just wanted to get over with it to know how the story ended… BUT Breaking Dawn… there’s something about that book that hooked me to a point I could recreate the scenes with the exact intonation of the book’s narrator (which made a hell of a job, if you asked me)

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3. Vampire Academy

I have a confession to make. I only read book #1 of the Bloodlines spinoff. Hence, my love for Rose is still going on. I simple adored her. She had everything a young and rebel warrior needed. Plus she was adept of the hit first, ask questions later, and who doesn’t love that philosophy? I read all books in a row – had a breakdown with the end of book #3, but I have a good excuse, no matter how much I liked Adrian I was Team Dimitri to the core – I read the series. I listened to it. I made people read it. I added it to the Feature Series Folder. I got the graphic novels. I even watched the movie and *glup* accepted what they did to my precious.

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4. Mercy Thompson

I saw the cover of Moon Called on my favorite bookstore and promptly took a picture, so I wouldn’t forget. Of course vampires were the masters of my reading at the time, so I needed some force to fight them for dominance. And dang, Mercy does fight. She is a force to be recon with. She is also the one that made me love werewolves, because till then, they were just monsters without a rational thinking, therefore, a must terminate on sight. From first book I got sucked in, and only stopped after there wasn’t a single mercyverse published word unread. A re-reading is also in order… maybe in the summer 🙂

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5. Kate Daniels

The reason I created the Feature Series Folder and my favorite series of all time. And it was a gradual love. After reading Magic Bites I boldly stated that I had found a contestant to Dresden. I was wrong. After Magic Burns I was pretty sure Dresden would never grab my heart as Kate did. And by Magic Strikes I couldn’t stop. If there is a published word on the Kateverse that I haven’t read.. is because it’s hidden or somehow hell has frozen over and I missed it. A few years ago, in a recommendation post my pair said that she was giving me something to fill the Kate shaped void I would have. She had a point… there will be a Kate shaped void in May 2018, and I have no clue if anything will have what it takes to fill it.

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6. Cut & Run

Last but not the least, we have the Cut & Run series. This obsession was the WORSE I EVER HAD. It took me more than a year to stop re-reading those books. I was seriously damaged. Had a bad day at work? Read some Ty&Zane. In a sore mood? Read Ty&Zane. Need to kill some time and want something that you can interrupt at anytime? Read some Ty&Zane. It was my go to comfort reading. Actually, it was my only reading. I got it so bad that I was really worried I would have a meltdown when final book was out. Turns out, I needed that final book to move on. It wrapped the story nicely, Ty&Zane had their HEA, and there are also the tiny Brick & Mortar snippets on the Sidewinders spin-off. So do I miss the boys? Yes, I do. Would I be happy with more? Of course, their interaction is awesome. Am I satisfied how it turned out? Totally. And I can always get back to them without being stuck into a loop. Which is a good thing, since Riptide has announced new covers and re-editions and that series has a hardcover spot reserved on my bookshelf. Which also means a Ty&Zane re-read in the future.

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Are you a re-reader?
What’s your TTT?

11

I’ll read it tomorrow… next week…year? A list of 2016 unread titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)“.

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Last year was… complicated, to keep it short and simple. It was also the year that 1) I bought more physical books than usual and 2) the year I manage to read less since joining goodreads back in 2011.Thus, a lot of new releases were left behind. Some were eARCs and need to be read in a rush, some were even started. Some were added to the list because of those that were started. Not to mention the book ordering gone wrong which caused precious books to be lost and arrived long due their needed date.

New year, New reading goals. So here’s this week’s TTT, by release order (Click image to go to goodreads page)

  • Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
  • Spencer Cohen by N.R. Walker
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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  • Origins by Ilona Andrews
  • Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley
  • Wolfsong by TJ Klune

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  • This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Did you reach your 2016 book goals?
What’s your TTT?

 

8

Simba’s Amusement Park: the Fallen TBR of Doom

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately“.

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Well, due to my lack of reading mood, my TBR pile simply tumbled to the floor on despair.. A fact that my cat really enjoys because of its amusement park and snuggling niches qualities.

So, to minimize the READ ME NOW pressure, I decided on a list of books to read in the near future. You can call it The Harpie’s Novemberlicious Reading Plan or something equally cool. Ahem. Here goes nothing:

1. NetGalley eARCs:

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2. Because reading books out of order although possible awakes my inner OCD and I have #2 on my NetGalley list too:

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3. Recommended (and hoping that a NR Walker reading brings my mood back)

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4. To read when the bookdepository mess (**) is solved

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(**) There was a glitch/problem with setting my address so now my books are travelling across Europe back to the UK to be reshipped home. And I need to wait at least TEN WEEKS aka forever to have them on my grabby paws – a situation that killed what was left of my reading mood.

The Harpie Wants To Know

Even had a book order missing?
Does your TBR allows you to go up the moon and back?
What’s your TTT?

7

Harpie’s Halloweenish Fears

Growing up on a no-Halloween-celebration country always made me a little sad this time of the year. Sure, we have Carnival, where we dress up, and do pranks and have parades… but it’s not the same thing. There’s something about Halloween that Carnival lacks. Maybe it’s the candy or the Trick or Treating… who knows.

The past years we started to borrow Halloween.. now we have the parties, and candy – trick or treat is not yet truly established, but, for us, costumes are… scary… or gross… or gruesome… or any of the previous ones. No naughty nuns unless they are splattered with blood, bitten by vampires or the zombie variety.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Halloween related freebie“:ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.

My favorite genre is Urban Fantasy. When I was a kid I wanted to be a witch – courtesy of TV Shows and movies and books. So, Werewolves, Vampires, Necromancers, Witches… we have plenty of those on my TBR.

However, there are a few things that still give me the creeps and I shy away from them. Gothic horror, zombies, crawly bugs (or bugs that crawl inside our skin), hard core vampire books were people get torn into pieces – yes Stephen King, I’m looking at you and your short stories – psychological thrillers involving children and evil ghosts/spirits dripping blood and with hunger for human flesh. I think I can add more to the list, but those are the main ones.

So, for TTT, I present you, scary books that somehow made into my list:

Nightmares and Dreamscapes (I & II) by Stephen King: This duology one makes top of my list. I read it 15 years ago and I still have nightmares with some of the short stories. The man is a master writer. His imagination reaches sky high. And, I also swore off his books forever. I don’t care about the context they were read or that I was still easily scared at the time. Stephen King movie adaptations? I’m game – providing lights are on and I can watch some silly cartoons after. Books? No thanks.

Feed by Mira Grant: A zombie book, First on a trilogy that goes in and out of my TBR for the past years – Basically since I joined goodreads – I read one of the prequels and loved the writing style. And the disease spreading. And it’s about bloggers, so I have to read it, right? Too bad it has zombies.

The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish: Another zombie book, but this time, from the right kind of zombies. You know, those who are risen by necromancers or voodoo practitioners. The original ones. The real ones. The ones I shall read without regret.

nna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: Dripping blood murdering ghosts… check! Scary setting, check! So why is this one on my possible reading list? Because everybody read it but me and loved it! So maybe some day I’ll read it and love it too.

Parasite by Mira GrantPills that cure everything that are basically a worm you swallow and start turning you into a host without will. Yep, a lot of boxes ticked. But It’s Mira Grant aka Seanan Macguire and she’s all kinds of awesome.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: Why is a Holly Black on the scary list you may ask? Easy peasy. I started it when it was a NBRC BOM. Life got in the way, even if the book was hooking me. However, the scene where the main character wakes up at the party and the escaping scene? It had me on the edge of my seat. It was nerve breaking. Plus I’m slightly claustrophobic so it rang true to the core

Grim (anthology): Grab an assortment of popular YA authors like Julie Kagawa or Rachel Hawkins and have them write a dark and sinister twist to classic fairy tales. Just looking at the gorgeous cover you have that Gothic Horror feeling…

The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke: A mental illness psychological thriller featuring a 10 year old boy. Is Alex really schizophrenic or can he really see demons? I’ll figure it out if I ever get the courage to read it.

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Do you have Halloween no-nos?
Hidden Fears?
What’s your TTT?

8

Catching the Hogwarts Express: Harpie’s list of boarding school books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Back To School Freebie. Sooooo, after much consideration I decided to go with boarding school books. Either read, reading or to be read by yours truly.

Vampire Academy and Bloodline by Richelle Mead – No surprise there. This one has to be my favorite Young Adult series where MCs were already at high school. Rose’s sass and kick-ass skills are forever branded on my heart. Good thing too since lately, Richelle is letting me a bit down.I guess after the 20+ books written mark all with great quality, an author can experiment new things and fail… it doesn’t take away the sting and sadness though.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Yeah, yeah, expected. I don’t care. I love this series. It was this one that introduced me to the amazing world of urban fantasy… and it was a hell of a first trip. Rowling’s world captivated both children and adults (and anything in between) and nothing was the same again. It was also the book that made reading and searching English written books popular in Portugal. We can even say books have a Before  and After Harry Potter, because things changed, A LOT, and in a very good way.

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And then, the search for the next boarding school favorites begun. Of course, nothing compares to VA or HP in the slightest, but one can always hope, and keep searching.

House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast – Humans that are marked and become vampire fledglings, elemental magic & affinities, prophecies, saving the world.. oh and cats. The promises were plenty. The execution not so much. Some things annoyed me till no end: teen speech and angst, so many love interests that I started having a very hard time picturing the geometric figure – I have a math degree, so this bothered me a LOT – and the fact that Zoe was so powerful and whatnot grated a little. Then there was book #6, and the ending and the road the series was taken and I just gave up. There are plenty of people that love the books, me? I’m spoiled by greatness, and for me, those are not even close.

The Dark Elite by Chloe Neill – After trying the Chicagoland Vampires series, and grumbling over the shinning beacon of vampire powers that is Merit, so, instead of trying to fall in love with that series, I tried her YA series instead. Yes, it could be more solid and wordbuilding or plot wise is not worthy of a Pulitzer. But in all honestly, if it were, I wouldn’t be reading it, since I tend to prefer less brain food and more brain candy. And truth is, the book does its part. It has secret passages and secrets and powers to be discovered. Also students sneaking out to fight evil. It also has food, and dances and mean girls, the usual. Curious enough, is a light series, and since is not that dark, the publisher didn’t continued it. I guess no pain & suffering & angst = no sales.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – Sophie has magic powers. She really tries to use them for good, but the consequences are a bit over the top. So, her magical father decides no more human world for her, time to be shipped for a reform school… with witches and werewolves and fairies – true fairies, not fae, with wings and whatnots. And also ghosts and murders and mysterious happenings that nobody can see or explain, except for her. It’s fluffy and a quick read and with enough twists to keep us reading. Is it VA material? No. But it’s a fun read and I will eventually finish the trilogy.

Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep – I really enjoy Jennifer Estep’s writing style. And this one has myths! And Spartans! And Valkyries, and Loki *dreamy eyes* well… maybe not Loki, Loki… but Loki’s myths and followers, and murder and mayhem, and blood, and gypsy gifts.

Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Considered by many as a VA rip-off, the covenant series is shunned and underrated. I only read book one and let me tell you, I can see why people could think is VA based, but I disagree. For starters, the mythology is different. And it has a prophecy involved. And some cool powers. And lots of power plays, and politics. If you ask me, then it has Percy Jackson elements, and VA elements and Harry Potter elements, and I’m pretty sure I can think of a few more. It’s YA and UF and elitists. You know how hard is to make something completely new and original? Pretty much impossible.

The Alexa Montgomery Saga by H.D. Gordon – Contrarily to the previous one, with this book, I struggled. It reminded me so freaking much of the VA series and issues that I couldn’t let go and enjoyed. Which is ridiculous because some elements were new, and I stayed till 3 AM reading it. BUT, I couldn’t help it. The action, although different, it was too similar to some VA events for me to let it go. Maybe second book improves. No idea. I’m stalling. Maybe if enough time passes since I last read Rose’s journey, I can focus on Alexa and give her the attention she deserves.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani – So, this one is part of my want-it-to-wait-for-a-reading-spot list for so long that is starting to get old. First, the book is beautiful – I only had the Portuguese version on my hands – hence the reason why I don’t have it yet – and I’m totally in love with the hardcover. Second, it has evil lessons. Third, it has good vs evil. And fourth, it has a shallow girl that is convinced she’ll be learning to be a good girl but she’s in truth evil. Like most cheerleader cliches around there. So yeah, I want to read it. Why am I stalling? Because I have so many hopes for this one and I’m terrified that is just an assortment of cliches one after the other. Maybe after I brave the last book buy spree I try a sample.

The Harpie Wants To Know

Do you have any boarding book favorites that I missed?
Tell me your TTT!