Musical Connections #1

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Lately I’ve been neglecting everything on my blog apart from books. While TV Shows will certainly be back in force at the end of next month, I’ve been toying about the idea of how sometimes you make a musical association in your head, and then you simply can’t listen to that particular music without thinking of that other thing, whether it was a moment in your life, a game played, a video watched, show, movie, whatever something that was not the music original design.

Today, for my first time doing this, I bring to you “The Big Bang” by Rock Mafia, which is one of my all time favorite songs and honestly I think it’s because of the connection I always make with it. I love this music. I love it so much that it has been my ringtone for the last 5 years… yep, 5 years with the same ringtone!

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So, what do I connects with this music you might be asking by now. I’ll tell you! Lois & Clark,  from Smallville. And that’s because of this fanmade video I found on YouTube a few years ago. It just brings all the feelings and the music is so well coordinated with the images, that I couldn’t help but to fall in love with it. So each time my phone rings, I think of Lois and Clark! By the way, Erica Durance and Tom Welling will forever be my perfect Lois and Clark.

And the official music video for The Big Bang stars Miley Cyrus and Kevin Zegers (also known as Alec Lightwood from the City of Bones movie).

So each of the music videos do you prefer? I honestly will go for my Smallville pairing every single time 🙂 ! Does dis happen to you a lot? Associating a music with something that will always pop on your mind as soon as the music starts playing?

Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi)

>>>>  Nº32 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A Trilogy #1  <<<<

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


Even though everyone had already read this book but me, I still had no idea what the story was all about – yes, I did not read the blurb, on purpose, I trusted that it would be good!

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I am in love with the writing! So damn in love with it. So I’ll warn you right now that there will be a lot of quotes in this very short review, that’s how gorgeous the writing is. This month has been a treasure in terms of unique books, first The Wrath and the Dawn, and now this?! WOW!

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I’m so intrigued by Juliette! Truly, how sane would anyone be if you couldn’t touch anyone? I would go mental. Parents not wanting you… wow…I felt so sorry for her. Also, she’s just like Rogue from the X-Men, so I immediately loved her. Plus, her internal dialogue is amazingly beautiful.

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I mean, it’s just so poetic… I can’t get enough… Last night when I was trying to choose which quotes to put up here, I couldn’t make up my mind, because the writing is so gorgeous! (not to be repetitive or anything…)

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I just wanted to wrap Juliette is my arms and tell her that everything was going to be fine (too bad that would probably get me killed in the process…).

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Fair warning, I doubt that I will spoil anyone, because I bet that you’ve all read the books, but either way, be warned, I might say something SPOILERY!

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Now, before you kill me for what I’m about to say, keep in mind that so far I’ve ONLY READ SHATTER ME, I haven’t read the sequels yet. Are you keeping that in mind? Good! So, I really like Adam! He’s just so sweet and attentive to her, and their scenes together are hot and steamy (and not just the ones in the shower).

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I really like him. I like Adam with Juliette and I like Adam with James, and I wanted to punch James and Kenji a couple of times during the book, because come on! They have the worst timing ever! Couldn’t they just let Juliette and Adam advance their relationship… poor Juliette (and Adam, after the second time I bet that he was just about to explode).

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Also (again, don’t kill me), Warner is a bit of s psycho in this book. He has a very weird fixation on Juliette and that whole scene in the warehouse (or whatever), though undoubtedly kind of hot, was super disturbing. How can he be so obsessed with someone he just met? His happiness for being able to touch her and then proceeding to assume that she would want to be touched by him, was unnerving. I know that everyone loves Warner, and I’m pretty sure I will to, but so far, nop, the guy is shady and creepy, albeit hot and beautiful.

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I really liked the setting, I want to see more of it. The plot itself was nothing special, this book mainly introduced the characters and set up the world, and I’m betting that the next ones will have a deeper plot, so I’m excited for that.

Also, I really liked Juliette’s character development, and there’s no denying that this girl learns things fast. She goes from a broken little bird to someone who can hold her own (-ish) pretty fast. I can’t wait to dive in to the next one.

I’m saying this again, because I feel like it will never be enough. Tahereh Mafi’s writing is gorgeous, and I have a feeling that as soon as her next book is out, I’ll be there to collect it.

Rating: 4.2 Stars

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One Lovely Blog Award

Hello, welcome to another Blog Award Post! This one is new to me 😀 !!! This time I have to thank @betwixt-these-pages for nominating me – THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!

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The Rules:

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  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you. (not really…)

7 Facts About Myself:

  • My favorites superheroes growing up were the X-Men, Jubilee and Rogue will always have a special place in my heart. I never really liked Spiderman until the movies came out.

  • 80’s and 90’s music are my favs.

  • Big part of my closet is composed of fandom related t-shirts and pajamas. I have 3 HP t-shirts, 1 Marvel, 1 Captain America, 1 Iron Man, 1 Flash, 1 Avengers tank top, 1 Doctor Who dress, 1 DW t-shirt, 2 HP sweatshirts, 4 HP pajamas, 3 marvel pajamas, etc… (I don’t remember everything…). I love them all, and I want more! Not even going to mention my Avengers day planner, HP and Avengers socks, …

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  • I’m a bit like Magnus Bane, guys with black hair and blue eyes are my weakness.

  • The only reality TV I can watch are the cooking/baking ones and the several ones of wedding dresses. My favorite Masterchef is still the Australian one. And my least favorite is probably the UK.

  • I’m a sucker for beautiful covers on books. I will add books to my TBR without even reading the blurb sometimes… ups!


By now I’ve done quite a few Award posts with random facts about me, so here’s the complete list:

I GOT NOMINATED FOR A CREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD!

  • My love for books is fairly recent. I’ve LOVED reading for a few years now, but my new found obsession has begun at the end of last year.
  • I hate waking up early and I love to fall asleep late… which doesn’t go so well when I have to be at the lab relatively early.
  • I think that everything sound better in English. Seriously, the conversations inside my head are in English, although I was born and raised in Portugal and nobody in my family and immediate friends is foreign.
  • I don’t think my meal is complete unless it has some kind of green salad.
  • My favorite drink is tea! Is one of the many reasons why I would be great living in the UK…

AND… I GOT NOMINATED FOR A VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

  • I love to travel! It’s a silly fact, because it’s quite obvious from what I write, but I do. If I could earn my live by travelling, I would do it.

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  • I would love to be able to bake, cook and sew every single day! Oh yeah! I would be a bloody good housewife from the days of future past… if only without the husband and kids at tow…

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  • I see dead people almost every single day! Don’t freak out, lol, my PhD is in Anthropology and we have a lot of skeletons in our closets – and in our lab we have a lot of loose teeth and bones from long dead people.

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  • Rainbow Rowell is my “spirit animal”!!!!
  • If I won the lottery (or something like that), my first stop would be a bookstore… outside Spain or Portugal, because our bookstores here suck!
  • I have two dog “nephews”, I even speak to one of them through Skype, whenever he’s at my mom’s house… he lives in Angola and I only get to see him once a year, but I absolutely adore my Snow.

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  • My goal in life is to move to London… and also finish my PhD and keep doing science, but really, the London thing…

LIEBSTER AWARDS #3 AND #4

  • My middle name is Alexandra, and all my family calls me Xana.
  • There is only one person in the world who calls me Alexandra, and she’s the only one allowed to do that.

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  • I hate the heat, seriously, hate it with all the power of my being.
  • I have one tattoo on my shoulder blade, which my brother paid for when I was 19.
  • I sometimes buy clothes at the men section, yep, pajamas, sweat pants, super heroes t-shirts… the works 🙂

  • Once when I was 16, I wanted blue highlights, so after the whole process, the color didn’t take, and I ended up with blonde highlights, which I hated. I vowed never to mess with my natural hair color ever again.
  • I have 2 older half-brothers and 1 older half-sister, I’m an only child from my dad’s side.
  • I hate discotheques and partying all night out… my sister hates this.

  • A music that’s ALWAYS on my mp3 player: Joni Mitchel – Both Sides Now. I would go as far as saying that it’s my favorite music.
  • I played Volleyball for my school team when I was 12-13 years, I still miss it.
  • I just bought my plane ticket to go to South Korea and Japan in October (super excited!)

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CREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD #2

  • I procrastinate… a LOT, this month in general has been terrible… I know I have a lot of work, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t want to do it… it’s bad 😦

  • I hate living with people. Not even kidding! Roommates that aren’t your friends are the worst. I live with 2 guys and a girl that I’ve never seen, but man, one of those guys is messy and always puts things the wrong way in the kitchen and it drives me mad!

  • I look just like my dad! The only physical think I inherited from my mom is the curly hair (the crying at all movies and the same predisposition for diseases – it sucks!). I could have her blue eyes, but nop!!!

  • I have a degree in Biology (microbiology and genetics) and a Masters in Human Evolution. I’m currently in my last year of my PhD in Biodiversity and Anthropology. Working in Academia and doing research was always my dream!

  • My favorite movie when I was little was Gone With the Wind. I remember it was so large, that it was usually divided into 2 screenings on sequential days, and it would generally air after midnight. So I, with 9 years old, would go into the living room, curl up in a blanket and stay until 3 a.m. watching it, a lot – it aired a lot when I was younger, now not so much. I haven’t seen it in ages, but that movie always made me fell good! I was not a normal child, I had watched Gone With the Wind more times than I could count, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally saw The Sound of Music!


NOMINATIONS:

Book Traveling Thursdays: It is almost time to go back to school!

Hello, welcome back for the 4th week ok Book Traveling 168709Thursdays, which a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you can see at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite and least favorite.

This week’s theme is “It is almost time to go back to school. Choose a book that mostly occurs in a high school“. For this weeks theme I chose The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, that has been around for enough time to have a few diverse covers.


Original Over:

This is the original cover that came out in 1999 in the US. Do you like it? I do not, actually, I think it’s one of the worst covers ever…

COVER FROM MY COUNTRY (PORTUGAL) & COVER FROM THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN (SPAIN):

Again, don’t get overly excited, I could not find a cover for the Portuguese version (maybe it also doesn’t exists… is this even possible?).

So, I give you the cover for the Brazilian and Spanish adaptations, both of them came out after the movie.

FAVORITE COVER(s):

                       

I really love the movie tie-in covers for this book. I like the green one above well enough, but the blue UK is my favorite movie tie-in (it is also the one I own). Then the other UK one is way more recent and I think it’s my favorite out of all the covers of this book. The Dutch is unique and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

LEAST FAVORITE COVER(s):

                      

First off, this book has some horrible covers! That said, the original US, the pink Thai, and the blue German with a picture of a girl (why?!) are probably my least favorites. What do you think?

The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge #28

Welcome back for the 28th day of The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge! As you know by now, Leannaatc @Short Story Long had this idea of a month full of Harry Potter and you can find the prompt for each day here here.

the hp 30 days challenge

– Day 28: Do you listen to Wizard Wrock? What do you think about it? –

Each day that goes by I have less and less to say… which is sad! I only know 2 Wizard Wrock songs, and they are both from the short film I Ship It – which you should totally go watch, NOW!

I really like these songs (and now I’m actually listening to a few more on youtube), but before today I never really gave it much thought and had never listened to it before (apart from the movie ones). I actually think it’s great, and the lyrics, wow, some are hilarious.


– Day 1: Favorite Book? – 

– Day 2: Favorite Movie? –

– Day 3: Is there anything in the film adaptations that annoyed you? – 

– Day 4: Who’s your least favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 5: Who is your favourite male character and why? –

– Day 6: Which house would you want to be in? –

– Day 7: Who’s your favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 8: What’s your favourite lesson from the series? – 

– Day 9: Who’s your least favourite male character and why? – 

– Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows? – 

– Day 11: Which character would you say you are most like? – 

– Day 12: Favourite ship? –

– Day 13: Least favourite movie? – 

– Day 14: Team Voldemort or Team Harry? –

– Day 15: Pick three characters to be your best friends at Hogwarts? –

– Day 16: Expecto Patronum! What form does your Patronus take and why? –

– Day 17: Favourite Harry Potter Fan adaptation?

– Day 18: Least favourite book? –

– Day 19: Do you prefer the books or films? –

– Day 20: If you got to meet one member of the cast, who would it be? –

 Day 21: Pick one character to bring back from the dead –

– Day 22: Would you rather read only Harry Potter for the rest of your life, or never know it existed? –

– Day 23: Which scene (book or movie) made you cry the hardest 

– Day 24: Which scene did wish was filmed, but wasn’t –

– Day 25: Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different? –

– Day 26: If you could be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be? –

– Day 27: If you had to take a PIECE of your soul and place it in an inanimate object, which do you choose? –

Real Neat Blog Award #2

Welcome back to another blog award post (August Edition) – I really want to get through these posts during this month, while I still have free reign at work 😉 . This time I have to thank to two amazing bloggers: Nicole @NymphadoraWinterfell and Anjie @Love Thy Shelf, thank you so much for nominating me girls 😀 !!! This is my second Real Neat Blog Award, you can check out the first one HERE.

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Real Neat Blog AwardTHE RULES:

1. Thank and link the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 7 questions the nomination has provided.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees.


Nicole’s questions

1. What book would you recommend for others?

It really depends on who the others are, for instance, to my best friend, I would recommend something like The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde. Even though I didn’t like the book that much (review here), I know that this is right up her alley.

I could for the life of me recommend her the greatness that is The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Fangirl, Throne of Glass, etc…, but she wouldn’t like it (I doubt that she would even try it).

2. What made you start blogging?

I’ll redirect that question to here. There’s the story.

3. Do you have an inspirational person that has inspired you? Who?

Not really… I really look up to my older brother, but I wouldn’t say that he inspired me. There are people I look up to work-wise, but they’re not really inspirational either…

4. If you were to eat the same thing for a month, what would you eat?

Hmmmmm, full mediterranean salad (with feta or fresh mozzarella cheese). Is this weird?

5. Where do you purchase your books from?

Two main places: Amazon.es and Come In, a specialized English Bookstore in Barcelona.

6. Apart from books, do you have other interests and what are they?

SO MANY!!! I love TV Shows, Movies, I love to cook, bake, knit, sew… honestly, I would have been a damn good old-style housewives, as long as I didn’t have to clean or actually have children.

7. What is your all time favourite tv show?

This is a hard one. TV Shows preferences varyie highly on a lot of things. Sherlock, Doctor Who, Gilmore Girls, Charmed, Marvel’s Daredevil, …, are amongst my favorites ever. But the one thing that I was obsessed through many years and that I still watch and makes me feel at home, is Sailor Moon. Yeah, I know that’s an anime, but either way it’s awesome and I’m picking it.


Anjie’s Questions

1. What was your favorite read in July?

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

2. Which book release are you anticipating the most?

Is this a Sarah J. Maas directed question? That would have to be Queen of Shadows!!

3. Other than reading, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Answer above!

4. What’s your favorite TV show?

Answer above as well 😉 !

5. Which book character do you relate to the most?

Something between Cath from Fangirl and Lincoln from Attachments. That’s why I fell that Rainbow Rowell really gets me 😛 !

6. Pick your book boyfriend … just one! (No cheating like having a fantasy boyfriend and a contemporary boyfriend haha)

Just one? Wow, you’re mean! So it would have to be Jem Carstairs. I don’t even have a good explanation for it other than “he’s awesome”. It’s not the music or anything, it’s just that he’s so sweet and passionate and kind and gorgeous and …let’s not even mention that he can rip apart a corset with his bare hands… (After the Bridge made me see him in a whole new light).

7. Are you currently crushing on anyone (not a book character)? Tell me about them. (Sorry I’m in a lovey-dovey mood!)

Like real life people in my real life? Not actors or anything?

Gosh, this is sad… but no! Wow, I haven’t had a crush in ages, I think the last time I had a real crush on a man (that was in my life) was 5 years ago.

Jesus, that’s depressing! And it’s not because of high standards or anything, it just hasn’t happened in a while. 😦 WOW, now I’m a bit depressed! There are no crushable men in my life!


Nominations:

You know the drill, feel free to ignore if you’ve already done it or if you simply are not in the mood… it’s totally fine 😀


My Questions:

I’m gonna recycle my question from the other time I did this award 😀

  1. Where would you rather spend a vacation? Beach? Mountain? City? Why?
  2. If you got stranded in a desert island, which 3 items would you like to have with you?
  3. What’s your biggest celebrity crush? Why?
  4. Coke or Pepsi? Or “what are you talking about, there’s no difference”?
  5. Favorite time of the year? Why?
  6. Name a music that reminds you of your childhood?
  7. You can only pick ONE book to read (forever), what would it be?

The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge #27

Welcome back for the 27th day of The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge! As you know by now, Leannaatc @Short Story Long had this idea of a month full of Harry Potter and you can find the prompt for each day here here.

the hp 30 days challenge

– Day 27: If you had to take a PIECE of your soul and place it in an inanimate object, which do you choose? –

Wow… this is a weird question…

First off, let me say, I wouldn’t do it. Like ever. No matter what. The whole idea of splitting your soul is horrifying to me, and not only because of the means to do it. So, I don’t think I’ll have a good answer for this one.

Technically it would have to be something important and hard to destroy, so naturally my first thought goes to a piece of jewelry. Maybe it has to do with my 2 favorite Voldemort’s Horcruxes: the ring and the locket. I guess that would be my answer, a locket – because the effect it had was pretty terrifying and cool.


– Day 1: Favorite Book? – 

– Day 2: Favorite Movie? –

– Day 3: Is there anything in the film adaptations that annoyed you? – 

– Day 4: Who’s your least favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 5: Who is your favourite male character and why? –

– Day 6: Which house would you want to be in? –

– Day 7: Who’s your favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 8: What’s your favourite lesson from the series? – 

– Day 9: Who’s your least favourite male character and why? – 

– Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows? – 

– Day 11: Which character would you say you are most like? – 

– Day 12: Favourite ship? –

– Day 13: Least favourite movie? – 

– Day 14: Team Voldemort or Team Harry? –

– Day 15: Pick three characters to be your best friends at Hogwarts? –

– Day 16: Expecto Patronum! What form does your Patronus take and why? –

– Day 17: Favourite Harry Potter Fan adaptation?

– Day 18: Least favourite book? –

– Day 19: Do you prefer the books or films? –

– Day 20: If you got to meet one member of the cast, who would it be? –

 Day 21: Pick one character to bring back from the dead –

– Day 22: Would you rather read only Harry Potter for the rest of your life, or never know it existed? –

– Day 23: Which scene (book or movie) made you cry the hardest 

– Day 24: Which scene did wish was filmed, but wasn’t –

– Day 25: Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different? –

– Day 26: If you could be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be? –

The Summer Book Tag

Hey, welcome back to another book tag! This time it’s the Summer Book Tag, and I was tagged by Ashley @Dreaming Through Literature (thank you so much). This is probably the last chance to do this one, given how the summer is ending and all, so let’s do this!

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  1. Lemonade: Pick a book that started off bitter but then got better

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I wouldn’t say that it started off bitter exactly, it was more “ok, not really seeing what the big deal is”, but then… WOW!

  1. Golden Sun: Pick a book that made you smile beyond compare

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, this book had me smiling like crazy! Oh, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, obviously!

  1. Tropical Flowers: Pick a book set in a different country

Almost every book ever is set in a different country from my own… but OK, I’ll go for the book I’m currently reading: Armada by Ernest Cline.

  1. Tree Shade: Pick a book where a mysterious or shady character is introduced

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I know there’s a lot of love for Warner – really a lot, it’s scary – but I just finished the first book a couple of days ago, and so far Warner is crazy… he’s bonkers, and definitely shady.

  1. Beach Sand: Pick a book that was grainy and the plot barely developed

I honestly can’t think of one… even the books I haven’t liked it’s not that the plot didn’t developed…

  1. Green Grass: Pick a character(s) that was full of life, making you smile

Magnus Bane of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Magnus just always makes me smile 🙂 ! Especially if he’s with Alec…

  1. Watermelon: Pick a book that had some juicy secrets

Hmmmm, I’m gonna be really repetitive here, but Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas it is! Chaol has secrets, Dorian has secrets, the King has secrets, Rowan, Aelin, Maeve, …, everyone has secrets in this book!

  1. Sun Hat: Pick a book with a vast, big universe/setting

Throne of Glass, I can’t wait to see more of it in Queen of Shadows.

  1. BBQ: Pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk

Tamlin in ACOTAR, I mean, right?! Or Rowan from Heir of Fire. (I feel like I’m picking these 2 a lot lately)

  1. Summer Fun: Pass the tag on

The Wrath and The Dawn (Renée Ahdieh)

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.


This book will be stuck in my head for quite sometime, and it should, because it’s beautiful and wonderful.

First off, Renée Ahdieh has such a way of writing that it is almost poetic… the way she uses words… wow, I fell in love with the writing before I even fell in love with the story. I will, from now on, buy and read everything that she writes!

The first few pages were a bit of a torture to get through though and it had to do with the terms I was not familiar with, and those weird long names (some, I still don’t know how to pronounce… I’m looking at you Shazi!). But then I decided to stop pretending that I could enunciate the names anyway, and the rest of the book just flew by. On that note, be aware that there’s a glossary at the end of the book, so you don’t have to wonder for 90% of the book (like I did) what effendi, delam, jan, jonnam, mankalah, qamis, rida’, sayyidi, shamla, …, means. Most of the word’s meanings I got pretty fast due to context, but others are harder, so check that glossary.

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Now onto the characters… Shahrzad is now one of my favorite female characters ever! She’s so fierce and determined, brash, stubborn… she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t play, she wins!

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From the epilogue we know that what happens to the Caliph’s wives is not really because he’s a monster, so when Khalid is actually there, it’s impossible to hate him. More, the more the book advances and we get more glimpses into his real self, the more I loved him. But I think that what I love most about him is the fact that he sees an equal in Shahrzad and he doesn’t underestimate her, not even for a moment. He knows what she’s capable off, he respects her for it, and loves her even more.

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Let’s just say that that scene in the room, with the dagger and the kneeling, almost killed me…

I loved Despina, seriously, she’s amazing. I loved that she called Shazi “Brat-Calipha”, this girl has balls! I also loved Jalal, Khalid’s cousin, the way he protects both his cousin and Shazi, and the relationship he develops with her… amazing, when he calls her delam (my heart) towards the end, I was smiling at myself, because he loves her just like he loves his cousin, she’s family.

Right at the beginning I was really enjoying Tariq and Rahim, I liked their banter and they both seemed like fun. But then Tariq started to get a bit on my nerves, he’s not a bad person, but he needs a reality check… NOW!

I thought the plot was well constructed and I didn’t find it slow at all. The romance itself, yes, slow, deliberate, they truly fall for each other, step by step, and honestly it’s magnificent. I need them together, always, because they are better together!

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There will be SPOILERS now…

Now some final considerations. That ending broke me, it left me completely heartbroken… I just wanted and needed one more chapter, a few lines from Shazi to know that she wants and is trying to get back to him. I can’t wait a year to know that, it’s torture.

I have a feeling that Shazi’s father will be the greatest villain in the upcoming books, his callous use of magic will bring all sort of problems, considering that he’s already seeing himself as a king. Ultimately I think he’ll have to die, and the only way that I can see it happen is if Shazi does it – because Khalid would never forgive himself if he has to do it.

People, I need Despina and Jalal and their baby together and happy. Like, now! Seriously, I ship them HARD! Jalal and Despina are great alone, but I need them together, it can only be more greatness.

Tariq’s uncle… WTF?! I knew he would use Tariq’s information about Shazi and Khalid, but I didn’t think he would be willing to kill his daughter’s best friend.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book…

One last thing… all those descriptions of food left me so hungry! I wanted to jump into the book and start eating everything that Shazi was describing.

Rating: 4.7 Stars

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