[Book Tags #8] The R.I.P. It or Ship It Book Tag

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Okay, so my good friend Salve from Cuckoo for Books tagged me to do the R.I.P. It or Ship It Book Tag. (Watch her entry here.) When I first saw this tag over at Christine’s Booktube Channel, I thought that this tag was only for booktubers. I mean, reactions would be a lot more legit if this was so, right? But it feels like a fun tag to do so I might as well join in on the fun. So, down below are the names of pairs that I got. By the way, I wrote 30 names, so I’m writing down 15 pairs. 🙂

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[Top Ten Tuesdays #2] Fan Casting of my Top Ten Book Boyfriends in YA Dystopia/Fantasy

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I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time now, but the courage to do so didn’t come to me until this weekend, seeing how many I have on my list. But now, I shall list down my most probable book boyfriends in Young Adult Dystopia/Fantasy plus my fan casting. Some of the GIFs I used are my choice for the specific character, while some are the real deal.

Book Boyfriend (n) – A male fictional character that a person wants to be in a relationship with.

#10: The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo – I really wasn’t a big fan of this series but The Darkling really appealed to me. He’s a very dark and mysterious character that compels the reader to get to know him more. Alone, he was a great character. But that does not change my opinion of The Grisha Trilogy.

My fan cast: Sean O’Pry. Dark hair. Mesmerizing eyes. Yes. Oh, just yes!

#9: Number Nine from The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore – Sometimes, a fangirl really need cocky boys to mess around with. And who would be more perfect for this than Number Nine? Right? He’s muscular, strong, and so manly. He might be a big ego maniac, but hey. He still has a heart! And with a heart as big as his, who knows what we have in store?

My fan cast: Colton Haynes. I’m basing it on his character from Teen Wolf, Jackson Whittemore. He’s one cocky human being, and I can’t imagine someone as perfect as he is for Number Nine.#8: Darrow au Andromedus from Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Darrow is one of the most passionate, most caring, and bravest characters I have ever came to read about. It is with these traits that I have fallen in love with him and his story. He’s driven, and he will go to different heights just to attain the dream that his wife, Eo, had for him. Who wouldn’t want him for a boyfriend?

My fan cast: Alexander Ludwig. If you’ve watched him on Vikings, or The Hunger Games, you would know just how much he has in common with Darrow. Believe me. He’s freakishly strong and quite a determined creature. Just give him a little darker complexion and we have ourselves a Darrow!#7: Dorian Havilliard from The Throne Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas – A peaceful, caring, and passionate Prince with a love for the printed word, Prince Dorian of Adarlan will surely swoon all types of women, whether a bibliophile or not. Also, he is a prince with a strong disposition. He will stand by his decisions. He’s the type of prince who won’t let you down. *sighs*

My fan cast: Douglas Booth. I don’t even know why. There’s just something about him that reminds me so much of the Crown Prince of Adarlan. Also, his bone structure is on fleek in this gif. You’re welcome, ladies.

#6: Minho from The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner – Minho is a brash yet dependable leader. He will never let you down, and he won’t leave you in your time of need, the same way he didn’t leave Thomas in the maze. I’m adding him to my list since every book boyfriend list needs at least one Asian. Haha!

The cast: Ki Hong Lee. Yep. Asian. Also, he’s a great runner. So, that seems sufficient. Right. And he’s cute!

#5: Tobias “Four” Eaton from The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth – A trained fighter, a born leader with a knack for epic action, Four is absolutely one of the best book boyfriends ever. He’s capable of loving someone as hard-headed as Tris, and for me, that seems enough reason. But also, he’s that kind of guy who would help you especially in times of great need. He’s perfectly capable of leading a nation, and with that said, I know he’s capable of leading a family. Hehehe.

The cast: Theo James. He portrayed Four rather well, if you ask me. He’s rugged, just as the character is defined in the best-selling books. He’s muscular, and everything in Theo is highly believable in reference to Four.

#4: Percy Jackson from The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan – They say that humor is, among many others, a trait that easily captures the heart of women (or men, whatever floats your boat). In that case, Percy Jackson is a shoe-in for this list. Filled with wit, sass, and comedy, our favorite demigod will not only swoon us with his jokes, but also with his healing abilities. Right? Also, those blue eyes? Dayum!

The cast: Logan Lerman. A lot of people might disagree with me on this but The Lightning Thief was one of my favorites at the time it was released. I can recall it vividly: I once handled an account dedicated to him on Tumblr. I used to open and post daily. But circumstances have changed and time constraints led me to leave it to a friend.

#3: Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare – I’m going to be honest. I’ve only read a little about Alec Lightwood. I’ve only read City of Bones, but I know just how brave Alec is. At first, he was afraid to tell the world about his sexuality. Since the Clave shuns those who are “different”, he kept it to himself, but eventually found the courage to come out. I admire bravery. Especially when it comes to homosexuality.

The cast: Matthew Daddario. I don’t know a lot about him either. All I know is he’s a great Alec, physically speaking. Also, he’s a great guy as well! Now, I really can’t wait to watch the Shadowhunters series! Oh! And he’s also playing a role in the Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List movie!

#2: Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – A fae living under a curse, Tamlin is a grungy character with a temper. He is nowhere near the likes of Percy Jackson or any other humorous male characters, but deep, deep, DEEP down, he has a heart bigger than his Spring Court. He’s capable of not only casting magic, but also loving with every fiber of his being. No one would ever turn down someone like Tamlin.

My fan cast: Tyler Hoechlin. For fans of the hit TV series Teen Wolf, I know that you know what I’m talking about right here. Derek Hale, the character he’s portraying on the show, is an immensely dark character. They have the exact same traits. Give him a different shade of hair color, and we’re good to go!

#1: Chaol Westfall from The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas – And of course, how could I forget my most favorite Captain of the Guard? Chaol Westfall is the bravest, most sensitive, most caring, and most passionate captain in literature that I have come to read about. He puts up a brave front, that’s why at first, you would think of him as a snob and immensely disinterested. But deep down, he has a love bigger than Adarlan, and it’s no secret that he’s good in many things, if you know what I mean. 😉

My fan cast: Chace Crawford. Well, to be honest, I had a hard time trying to find a perfect match for Chaol. I have never seen Chace in an intense action movie. His complexion, however, makes me agree with my decision, thus, making me unsure of my choice for this one.

There you have it, folks! A list of my favorite book boyfriends in the YA Dystopia/Fantasy genre! :Let me know if you agree, or disagree, on the comments below! And tell me who’s your number 1 book boyfriend! Add in a fan casting of your own!

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[Book Review #34] Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Book Specifications:

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. The Grisha Trilogy #2.

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

No. of Pages: 435 pages

Price: 865.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Russian, Adventure, Dystopian, Paranorma

Book Review:

The Cover: Just like the first book in the series, the cover of Siege and Storm features a silhouette of a Russian place with a dragon-like figure placed on the top. The cover would seem relevant specially to the fans and readers of this book, since an Ice Dragon was a part of the story. It was Alina’s second amplifier. With just the cover alone, a bibliophile would definitely categorize this book as a cover buy! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: Following the life of Ravka’s very own Sun Summoner, Alina Starkov, this sequel starts off as a continuation to Shadow and Bone, where Alina and Mal, the tracker, fended off for themselves after surviving the battle in the Shadow Fold. The story also focused on Alina and her quest to find her second and third amplifiers with the help of Mal and Nikolai, a prince of Ravka. Constantly, this was a book where Alina struggled to stay as far away as possible from The Darkling. Below are some of this book’s great (and weak) points.

  • The world building, just like in Shadow and Bone, was absolutely breathtaking. Ravka became a world where I wanted to linger in and every page was filled with wonderful facts about the Grisha world. With all this intense and mind boggling world development, a reader may not want to live outside of the setting.
  • I liked the addition of another amplifier for Alina. I liked how she grew stronger and less afraid of the Darkling each time she wakes. But what I fear to happen is for her to fully give in to the darkness. Her drive and urge to greedily search for and acquire her third amplifier is taking a toll on her which may or may not bring out not only the strength in her, but also the darkness that she’s been trying to contain for so long. Hopefully, she keeps it together.
  • One thing I disliked about Alina through out this sequel is her complaints. There wasn’t a chapter where she had no complaints. She was demanding as fudge and there were instances where she really got on my nerve with all her trying to outsmart the Darkling and all. I don’t know.
  • One more negative comment I have was that I don’t know if it’s just me or this book was incredibly slow paced. It took me two weeks to read this book and I actually squeezed in Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma while I was reading this. Maybe it’s just me. But I really don’t know. I’m having mixed feelings about this book. Hmm.

Overall, I felt like something was missing from this sequel. I wanted to love this book but something about it just seemed off to me. But then again, maybe it’s just me. (2 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.* The last few pages of this book was absolutely action-packed! I didn’t know what to expect because every page will really have a reader on the edge of their seats, waiting in anticipation as to what will happen next. And the part where Alina Starkov has finally come face to face with the Darkling was such an intense scene. I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I loved that about the ending! And as for the wait for the next book, I have to say that I need to read the conclusion to this series soon. (3 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Being the second book of this trilogy, I was expecting quite a lot from it since most of my favorite books in a trilogy  are usually the second book (Prodigy, Catching Fire, Insurgent), but with this one, I really don’t know. I have mixed feelings about this because I felt like it was so slow I actually had to read a different book to get me out of a slump. Hopefully, the third book in the series redeems it for me. (3.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.”

“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”

“Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”

“I have loved you all my life, Mal. There is no end to our story.”

“Oh, and the easiest way to make someone furious is to tell her to calm down.”

“Sturmhond had a way of talking that made me want to shoot someone. Preferably him.”

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[Book Review #30] Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

Book Specifications:

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. The Grisha Trilogy #1.

Release Date: June 5, 2012

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

No. of Pages: 368 pages

Price: 865.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Russian, Adventure, Dystopian, Paranormal

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover features a Russian type of infrastructure with abstract designs on both sides of the book. The color patterns are attractive and so is the font. The font might be one of my favorites, used in a book cover. I absolutely loved it! And just by looking at the cover, you could guess that it’s of Russian inspiration. Russian culture happens to be one I am most interested in. So, I’m giving this a good rating. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The story is focused on a girl named Alina Starkov, whose self discovery of her powers, and her being the Sun Summoner got the best of her all through out the book, her best friend, Malyen Oretsev, and The Darkling, the mysterious and dark force who leads the Grisha. The Grisha, on the other hand, are an elite force of humans that have varying “magical” talents, who the country of Ravka relies on for their safety against their enemies. Just like in most of my reviews, some important details of the story are listed down below:

  • I loved how the story was focused on or was based on Russian culture. I haven’t read any books that were written with a different inspiration. I found this fact interesting, and it drove me more to read about the story behind Alina, Mal, and the rest of the characters.
  • At first, I really didn’t like how whiny our Sun Summoner was. She had complaints all the time, and at first, as she was trying to cope up with her newly discovered powers, and duties as the sun summoner, it was understandable. But she wouldn’t move on from the fact that there was nothing she can do but to deal with it and man up. She just started embracing what she really was when I was like about to put the book down, which lead me to read it some more.
  • After reading quite a number of contemporaries and romance novels: (Confess, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, The Heir), I decided to take a break and start reading this book to relieve me of those feels. And, to be honest, this book worked like a charm. Shadow and Bone was filled with action, tension, and adventure which took me out of my contemporary streak. It’s a good action novel, thanks to the story.
  • I absolutely adore the beginning of Alina and Mal’s love story. They are best friends. Practically like brothers and sisters, and although they started growing separately before, faith and destiny do have a knack of messing things up just to make sure that the right people end up with the right people. And with that said, I would like to point out that the relationship of our two protagonists, wasn’t the perfect one. But I certainly want to know more as to where it might go.
  •  Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously felt like this book was absolutely slow-paced. It took me a week to read it, when, usually, it would only take me 3 days. Especially with the fact that it’s an action and fantasy type of novel. But, I don’t know. There was something about it that slowed me down. Maybe it’s Alina’s bucket of complaints.

Overall, I liked the story. It stayed true to it’s genre, it’s theme, and the Russian references, to me, were sufficient. I’m looking forward to read the two remaining books in the trilogy, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. Hopefully, it still lives up to it’s hype. (4 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  I totally fret for Mal’s sake!!! I was afraid he’ll die in the hands of The Darkling, but thankfully, Alina was able to summon the power of her amplifier, the antlers of the Morozova’s stag, and be the badass female she was ought to become! She flew out of the Shadow Fold and was able to free both her and Malyen from the evil clutches of The Darkling. For an ending to a beginning of a trilogy, I say that’s pretty impressive! (4 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: As I have stated above, Shadow and Bone was a great beginning to the Grisha Trilogy. This novel just set a standard that needs to either be maintained or surpassed by the next two novels in the series. Hopefully, just like this one, they don’t disappoint. (4.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” – Malyen Oretsev

“The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak.” – The Darkling

“I don’t care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him.” – Malyen Oretsev

“I hate hiding how much the stupid things he did hurt me, but I hated the idea of him finding out even more.” – Alina Starkov

“I had spared the stag’s life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it.” – Alina Starkov

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