Check It Out | Stacking the Shelves #14

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
Time spent at the library means that I tend to bring home books. Luckily, I can take them back when I don't get to them instead of them collecting dust on my shelves. I am already in the middle of one of these books and hopefully I will get to them all.

Finding Me by Michelle Knight
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Giant Days Vol 1 by  John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar 

Not too many this week. I am hoping to get to Falling Kingdoms, but we will see if I have the time. 
What did you pick up this week? Let me know. 

Review: The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Genre: Fantasy
Publication: 04/26/2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books
Series: The Wrath & The Dawn #2
Pages: 416 Pages
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

My Thoughts
Another stop in my summer of sequels, and this one is a series finale! I am very happy to add another book to my list of finished series. Now, how did I feel about this book? It was good, not great but good. The biggest issue I found with this story was the pacing in the beginning. Considering this was a sequel and a finale it was a very slow start. I found it took at least the first third of the book to pick up pace.

In addition, I found a new trope that I am really annoyed by. It's when the girl can't hold her liquor then a man has to come and carry her home. In real life, girls drink every day and can do it without needing a rescue. The girls I know can drink the guys under the table. It just always seems like when a girl drinks in a book they need to be carried home, I'm over it.

What I did really enjoy about this book was the same with the first one, Shazi and Khalid. They're relationship just makes me happy. I love how they lean on each other and respect each other. They have always been my favourite part of this series. I also really loved how the story came together in the end. There were some surprises that drew me in. I am happy with how it ended, it's wasn't mind blowing, but a solid series ending.

All in all, I do recommend this series. It's definitely a good series and worth the read. I wasn't blown away by this final book, but it was a good ending to a solid series. I just had an issue with the beginning that made it hard for me to speed through it. It's a high 3 star rating, also a 4 but just didn't make it there.

Midyear Book Freakout Tag {2016}

I love to talk about my reading progress and it's that time of year again to review the first half of the year. I did this tag last July, so I think it's time to bring it out again. This tag was created by Chami at ReadlikeWildFire on Youtube. Now let's see how 2016 is going so far...

 Best Book You've Read in 2016
This was just amazing and I haven't felt emotions like this in a book for a long time! 

 Best Sequel You've Read in 2016 
Since ACOMAF is already on the list, this is my second favourite sequel. I really think this book stepped it up from the first book. 

 Best Graphic Novel You've Read in 2016
I decided to add this as a topic because I have read a bunch of graphic novels this year and wanted to highlight my favourite. Seconds was the first book I read this year and it was amazing.

New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
This one came out in April and it's been on my list since then. My library has a copy, and I am going to pick it up soon.

Most Anticipated Release(s) for the Second Half of 2016
Apparently, I'm only excited for blue books. Or were all the sequels in 2016 blue? 

Biggest Disappointment
This has been a lot of people's favourites, unfortunately I didn't enjoy it myself. 

Biggest Surprise
Okay, this is kind of cheating. I knew I would love Bill Nye but I was surprised how funny and exciting he can make evolution. I wish he was my evolution professor!

Favourite New (or New to You) Author 
Victoria Schwab or V.E. Schwab.
I really loved A Darker Shade of Magic and it really makes me want to check out Schwab's other books.

Newest Fictional Crush
Like everyone else, I fell for him. 

Newest Favourite Character
Kell Maresh & Delilah Bard
I really loved the characters in the story and I find myself thinking about them even after month after reading it.

Book That Made You Cry
I haven't read any books that made me cry yet this year... 
I am heartless

A Book That Made You Happy
The colours are just so vibrant and the characters are just too cute. You can't help but smile when you read this book.

Favourite Post You Did This Year So Far
I really liked writing A Beginner's Guild to Comics. It didn't get a lot of love but I loved sharing my new found love of comics with my followers

 What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Genre: Fantasy
Publication: 07/07/2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Pages: 470 Pages
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny. 

My Thoughts:
This book brought some serious game. I enjoyed this much better than the first book. It didn't depend on the love triangle trope like the first one did. I am not going to lie it did play a part, but the whole plot wasn't revolved around it. This sequel took a very political turn which was refreshing and exciting in a different way than the fantasy I normally read. I find that now we are in the world and familiar with the characters this series can really shine.

One thing that confuses me about this story is the different religions in the world. I think that each different kingdom had a slightly different religion that did plan a part. I did get a bit confused and didn't really know what was important to remember. It does play an important part in the plot and I got a bit lost there.

What I did really like was the introduction of new characters and well as the setting in Venda. We meet the Komizar, who I can easily see as becoming a fan favourite villain. He's powerful, he's charming and he's very frightening. He was everything you want out of the king of a rival mysterious kingdom. You also meet a lot of other people in this kingdom, who really work their way into your heart. 

This was an awesome sequel. I think it was more enjoyable than the first one and if you weren't a fan of the 2 boys chasing one princess plot, you might enjoy the sequel more. Lia knows who she wants in this book and this book definitely goes in a different direction than the first. I can't wait to read the next book!

Top 10 Tuesday: 5 Books Set in Canada That I Need To Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
This weeks theme was 10 Top Books That Take Place Outside The United States, but I decided to talk about the books that are set in Canada that I need to read. I am Canadian and I don't read a lot of books that take place here. I thought I would take this week and find some awesome Canadian books that I need to read!

The Birth House
Ami McKay
This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in the province I live in. I am from Nova Scotia, which is one of the smallest provinces in Canada so it's pretty rare to find something that is set here. This story tells the story of midwife in a very isolated town, called Scots Bay. I was there last week! I definitely need to check this one out.

Station Eleven
Emily St. John Mandel
This book has been on my TBR for a long time now. This is a post apocalyptic book that takes place along the Great Lakes. This isn't exactly the most "Canadian" setting (pretty sure a lot of it is in the US too) but this is still a really popular book by a Canadian author so I definitely need to read it. 

We Stand On Guard
Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce
This is a graphic novel addition to the list! I heard about this story a little bit ago and was super excited by the concept. It takes place in the future where Canadian freedom fighters are trying to defend their land against the United States. I am down for this, and I can't wait to read it!

Scott Pilgram Series
Bryan Lee O'Malley
Another graphic novel. After reading Seconds, I needed to pick up O'Malley's other stories. I was excited to find out this takes place in Toronto, according to it's Goodreads page. I don't know if the movie did or not? I saw it but I don't remember.

 Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery
Now this is just shameful. I haven't read Anne yet and I lived in Prince Edward Island for 4 years! My boyfriend's cottage is minutes away from Cavendish where they have the Anne House but I still haven't read this book. Living in PEI you realize how big of an effect this book has on tourism there, it's pretty crazy. I should read it to understand what the fuss is about. 

Let me know if you know of any other books set in Canada. I love it here and I really want to read something closer to home. If you're not Canadian, let me know your favourite book set in your country.

Short and Sweet Reviews: Graphic Novel Edition #5

Lumberjanes Vol 1: Beware The Kitten Holy
Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen, Maarta Laiho

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. This book was quirky, funny and absolutely fantastic. I loved it from the first page to the last. It's humour fit perfectly with my sense of humour. And the art was fantastic, the colouring alone was gorgeous. I need to pick up the next volume ASAP! The story is a little jumpy, but there is so much adventure packed in that I couldn't put this book down.

5 out of 5 Stars
Star Wars Vol 1: Skywalker Strikes 
Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Laura Martin 

As we all know, I love Star Wars so this was just a fantastic time for me. This story takes place after the movie A New Hope. I loved seeing all my favourite characters back in action again. I absolutely adored the banter between Han and Leia. I always have and always will. This volume was action packed and I really enjoyed it.

4 out of 5 Stars
Deadly Class Vol 1: Reagan Youth 
Rick Remender, Wesley Craig , Lee Loughridge 
This was a surprising read for me. I didn't know what I to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked that this was a very dark story. The tone was necessary for this story about high school assassins. The art work isn't my favorite but I think it suited the story. I am definitely picking up the next volume.

4 out of 5 Stars 

Comic Series I Am Currently Reading

Over the past year I have gotten into reading graphic novels, so I have been trying a lot of different comic series. I honestly have lost track of some of the series I started. So here are all the comic book series that I am currently in the middle of reading and plan on continuing.

John Layman, Rob Guillory
Next to Read:  Vol 6: Space Cakes

This is one of my all time favourite series! It is awesome, hilarious, gross and just generally awesome. I have read the first 5 volumes of this series, which is about half way through. There are currently 11 volumes out and I am dying to read more. This series follows Tony Chew, who is a cibopath which means that he gets psychic impressions of everything he eats. If you are looking to get into a good comic series, I highly recommend this one.

Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Next to Read: Volume 2

This is a really popular series among comic readers. I enjoyed the first volume but wasn't super blown away. I am definitely going to pick up the next volume and see where it goes. This was one of the first comics I picked up so it's special in that way. This series follows 2 people who are on opposite sides of a war who fell in love and had a baby. It's different than other stories I have read and I want to see what happens next.

Gotham Academy
Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Next to Read: Volume 2: Calamity

I really loved this first book! It takes place in Gotham City, at a special school. If you are a Batman fan, this is an interesting story since you get to see another side of Gotham. I have the trade out from the library and will be reading it soon. Especially since there was recently a crossover book with Lumberjanes that recently just came out.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 
 Ryan North, Erica Henderson
Next to Read: Vol 2: Squirrel You Know It's True

This is hilarious! It's about a superhero who is part squirrel. She has the powers of a squirrel but in a humans body. If you want to get into a superhero book, but are scared of other Marvel titles this one is a good place to start. I laughed my butt off and I have the second one out from the library! I would really like to see Squirrel Girl added to the Avengers Cinematic universe but I somehow don't see that happening.

Star Wars
Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Laura Martin
Next to Read: Vol 2: Showdown on the Smuggler's Moon

I am a Star Wars fan so I definitely wanted to try out the graphic novels that were in canon. I love seeing more stories of the characters I love. This series is so far taking place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. I am definitely going to continue with this series soon and pick up the Darth Vader series as well.

Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen
Next to Read: Vol 2: Friendship to the Max

This is a beautiful comic. The colours are vibrant and the characters are hilarious. I love the ridiculous adventures that these girls go on. It is a series that takes place at summer camp, and the girls at camp go on crazy adventures. I loved the first volume of this series and I have the second one from the library right now. I also highly recommend this book to new comic readers.

Deadly Class
Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, Lee Loughridge
Next to Read: Vol 2: Kids of the Black Hole

I just recently finished the first volume and this is a very interesting series. It follows a high school where they train assassins. It's a very dark story but that is different from the other comics I read which are mostly bright and fun. I am planning on picking up the next book pretty soon and catch up with some series.

That's all my series I am in the middle of at the moment. I am also reading Ms. Marvel but I am not sure if that series is finished or not. I also read a few series in singles but I'll mention them later. Do you read comics? Let me know what series you are currently into!

Sunday Post #12: Adventures & Hikes

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reader. This is a place where you can talk about news from your week, what you've been reading and what you expect to come up on your blog. To join in, check out the rules here.

I have been busy getting my coach on this week. My boyfriend also came to visit me this weekend and we went on a really long hike. I have been busy a lot lately and haven't been reading or blogging as much as I anticipated. Next week however, is a new week. I also have been playing a lot of The Sims 4, I have a problem....

Comic Series That I'm Currently Reading
Short & Sweet Reviews: Graphic Novel Edition #5

This summer is becoming the summer of sequels for me. I haven't had much time to read this weekend but I read about 70 pages during my first sitting. The plan is to finish it this week. I kind of forgot I was listening to Mini Shopaholic, I better get back into it.

I felt like I was reading this book for a long time! I really enjoyed it and my review will be up soon.

The Blogger Summer Reading Program is hosted by Reading With A Vengeance and Pretty Deadly Reviews. It's like the reading programs hosted by local libraries but instead we get to set out own goals. The BSRP runs through the whole month of July and I'll be updating every Sunday!

Week 1 Progress:
Read 4 Novels:
1) The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Read 2 Graphic Novels:

So far, so good. I read one full novel, my goal essentially plays down to one book a week which at this moment is very doable. Wish me luck.

Let me know how your reading week went! See y'all next week.