Feb 29, 2016
Feb 28, 2016
Feb 24, 2016
Asian Stereotypes is a topic I would go on and on about if I started to talk. I completely despise how we Asians are stereotyped and portrayed in books and movies, concepts like " Asians are smart", "South Asians are uncultured", "Asians are too conservative etc.
But today, we have Alyssa from The Devil Orders Takeout who is here to give a different persepctive on them, asking the question whether they are 100% not okay.
Feb 20, 2016
It's time for this year's Love-A-Thon!!!
This event is such a special one to me as Love-A-Thon is the first ever event I joined last year when Chasing Faerytales was just a 2 month old baby. I had so much fun, and got to know a lot of bloggers, and I am so excited to join again in this year's edition!
This year, along with the lovely Alexa, we have three new hosts - Cee, Hazel and Mel, and thanks girls for putting together this wonderful event!
As a kick off, the hosts want us to introduce ourselves, so let's get to know the mastermind *ahem* behind Chasing Faerytales! :D
Feb 18, 2016
Book blogging is not a bed of roses. We book bloggers all have our moments, there's never a drought for dramas, tension and negativity, and it's certainly not easy to run a successful book blog while managing one's life priorities as well.
But to top it all off, we all have our personal demons when it comes to our blogs. Things that make us always doubt ourselves, make us feel as if we're not enough, and constantly make us compare ourselves with someone else. We all have our personal insecurities and fears when it comes to our blogging careers, and that's what I want to talk about today.
Feb 16, 2016
Well, to be honest, I would love to be a sharpshooter, but I am horribly clumsy and would probably shoot myself first.
Having said that, you might be wondering why I am suddenly talking about sharpshooting. Well, that is one of the major trademarks of the amazing heroine of the highly anticipated upcoming novel, Rebel of the Sands, and my mission for today is to make you all add the book to your TBR and preorder it ASAP!
Before we delve into more discussion, here's some details about the book!
Amani truly sounds terrific, doesn't she???
Amani's trademarks and reputation reminds us all that we too might have certain trademarks in the community we belong in. So as a promotion, Penguin Teen has come up with this wonderful idea of curating a list of things each of us are famous for! So today, let's take a look at yours truly's trademarks, both among my IRL friends and the blogging community!
Feb 14, 2016
How are you all spending the day of love??? I myself am following my usual tradition with a romance book, chocolate and baked goods, a rom com marathon and have planned a trip of window shopping with my besties so we can check out all the decor and the couples at night! :D
Also you guys need to excuse Jillian this week as well, as my darling co blogger and I are incredibly stressed with school lately! Hopefully, she can re-emerge in full glory soon! :)
Now let's take a look at the past two weeks!
Feb 12, 2016
One of the most common dilemmas we see in diverse contemporaries is the main character's struggle to fit in a society where he or she is an outsider, either because of their skin colour, facial structure, language or simply because they don't share the same heritage as those around them. While it's always a beautiful self discovery to read, it can be a bitter sweet journey in real life.
I myself, being born and bred in a South Asian country, have never had this struggle. So today, as part of our Diverse Reads 2016, I invite the lovely Aila @ One Way or an Author, who's here to share her personal journey of being "different" and how diversity in books played a part in it.
Feb 9, 2016
It isn't a surprise that I love villains to death! One thing I love more than the portrayal of nefarious and unsympathetically evil bad guys is their backstories. A look into their troubled, broken souls and an insight on their path to darkness.
Today, on the release day of Blackhearts, the backstory of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, I want to list out some of my favourite classic villains whose backstories I'd adore to read in YA fiction.
Before we get to the list, here's everything you need to know about Blackhearts!
Title : Blackhearts
Author : Nicole Castroman
Release Date : February 9th 2016
Publisher : Simon Pulse
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
Feb 4, 2016
An ARC was provided by Simon Teen via Edelweiss in exchange of a honest review
Blackhearts was a book that I was dying to read ever since I heard about it in twitter. The world knows that I love villains to death, and Blackbeard is one of those classic villains I've always admired, so when I heard we're getting a YA rendition of his backstory, I was immediately hooked, and was unbelievably excited when I got a chance to read the book!
Edward Drummond, nicknamed 'Teach', seeks adventure. Son of a merchant, and back from a year in sea, he wants an escape from his father's attempts to marry him into aristocracy so he could gain a title, he falls in love with a maid - Anne - who herself wants to run away from the judgemental and prejudiced England society. Their love is doomed from the beginning, and Blackhearts sets the back story of how Edward Teach became Blackbeard, from a wealthy heir to a notorious pirate.
Before I start with my review, I want to make something clear. Blackhearts isn't a pirate story. It is not the story about the deterioration of a good man or the start of a villain's nefarious journey. If you read this book expecting these elements, you'll probably be disappointed. If you ask me, Blackhearts isn't the book it was widely promoted to be. Blackhearts was different. But it was also glorious. Disappointing it might be for a reader who dive into the book expecting pirates, but, what it delivers in the end, is glorious and amazing in its own.
So what was the book if not a story of a villain and pirates? Blackhearts was a love story. A beautiful love story between two brave, passionate and wonderful characters. An unconventional love story between a merchant's son and an illegitimate daughter of a merchant and a slave, born of mixed heritage. A tragic love story of two individuals whose lives are controlled, limited, judged and wronged by the society and its prejudices. It was a story which kept me hooked, a story which- for the first time in my life - disregard the lack of nefariousness of a villain's backstory, but made me feel deeply for his fate.
What good is a promise to someone else when my heart belongs to you? What good is a promise when I might not live to see another day?
One of the best things about Blackhearts are the characters. This book is a character driven story, and the MCs, along with the few minor characters, had a lot of depth and went through quite a lot of character development. Teach was your typical misunderstood, charming, wealthy heir, but reading his story through his own voice - this book had a dual POV - made him more special than our regular historical fiction heroes, and made the reader relate and sympathize with his situation more.
Though Blackhearts was the story about Teach, to me, the book's true hero is Anne. She is so fierce, brave, head strong, compassionate and strong willed, and I loved her to pieces! She's certainly a new addition to my favourite female characters' list, and her story is one which earned her my admiration from the start. Another beautiful thing about Anne is that she was of mixed heritage. Her father is English while her mother was a slave from the West Indies. With a darker shade of skin tone and blue eyes, she stands out in the society, and the majority of her story deals with how she copes with the prejudice, sexism and racism that's thrown at her as a result of this. To be honest, this aspect was one of my favourite parts of the story, as it also becomes the main obstacle for Anne and Teach's doomed love.
People will forever look at me and see our differences, not our similarities.
People will forever look at me and see our differences, not our similarities.
Speaking of, the romance. As I mentioned before, this book presents a beautiful love story,and the chemistry between Anne and Teach was wonderful. It was a slow burn, and I loved the slow and steady pace of their relationship. I adored how Anne wasn't immediately attracted to Teach or spend ages describing his physical appearance. And how Teach wasn't bothered about her heritage at all, from the beginning, even before he fell for her. They had a good companionship before it developed into a romance, and I loved that!
Whether you acknowledge it or not, Anne, we belong together. We could be opposite sides of the world, but you would still be mine, as I am yours.
One thing I am sure will bother a lot of readers is the lack of action. This book is more about Blackbeard's backstory, and the reason he became who he was, instead of his adventures. Blackhearts just sets the starting point, it's up to the reader to ponder on the rest. I know that some might also complain about the ending, calling it abrupt. But to me, it's perfect! Blackbeard is supposed to be a villain, so there's no point in giving him a happy ending. And I also don't mind the lack of action, because that is not the point of the story at all.
Blackhearts leaves the ending open. There's no sign for a sequel, and I like it that way. It is definitely an ending that will leave you dumbstruck, especially with the intense and powerful last 10% of the book, leading up to the climax. As a huge lover of cliffhangers and open endings, I love the impact it left on me and will leave on all readers.
Overall, I'll recommend Blackhearts wholeheartedly. I'd just like to point out again that there would be no pirates, no action and no nefariousness. Instead it is a story which delivers what it was meant to deliver, and in a beautiful and satisfying way. It will make you feel, break you heart, and give you a new perspective of Blackbeard, the pirate.
Feb 2, 2016
Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt was all about either the past or the future. I chose the first, because I love history! I am a huge history geek, and historic fiction is one of my favourite genres, hands down! I love how we get to explore history through a fictional story set in that time period and location, and here are my top ten favourite historic fiction books!
P.S - Plus historical romances - especially those set in the highlands - have the hottest heroes ever! :P
1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Set in France, this book traces the story of a female assassin who finds herself dragged into a political game involving murders, betrayals and romance, Grave Mercy is a terrific fantasy with an awesome romance! I loved how the author gives us an insight of the political tension of the 1400s, and the MC was so fabulous!
2. Firelight by Kristen Callihan
This is an underrated, beautifully written, enthralling fantasy set in the 1880s, in London. Firelight was what Beauty and the Beast would have been like if it was set in Victorian Era England. Plus the romance in this book was terrific!
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief needs no introduction! :D I loved this beautiful story set in Germany during World War 2, and it is hands down one of my favourite books ever, with its heart breaking portrayal of life, death and hope.
4. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
Julia Quinn is my go to author when I need a fun historical fic. Despite being set in the regency era England, a period of etiquette and strict social norms, her books are hilarious with delightful main characters! This book is far by my favourite of hers, and it's as emotional as it's funny.
5. Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson
A western, set in Oregon during the 1890s, Annie's Song is a story of a deaf girl who is believed to be mad and is raped. It is a beautiful love story between Annie - the girl in question - and her rapist's brother - so unconventional, and powerful. This book is so emotional, and the romance will make you experience all the intense feels!!!
6. Any highland romance written by Maya Banks
I have a huge soft spot for highland romances, and Maya Banks writes some of the best! I love her McCabe brothers trilogy, her Montgomerys and Armstrongs series etc. She writes emotional and beautiful love stories with characters of a wide range of personalities. Her romances are also scorching hot and highly shippable!
7. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
I am slowly getting sucked into McNaught land, and so far, A Kingdom of Dreams is my favourite! A medieval romance set during the 1490s in England, this is a glorious love story of two strong willed and wonderful characters, and is a picture perfect emotional rollercoaster!
8. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
The story of Alexander the Great, this book traces back to Greece during his teen years. A thrilling and action packed epic fantasy, Legacy of Kings shows the story of a hero in the making, surrounded by betrayals, plotting, magic, revelations and battles.
9. Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'Connell
Another Western, this one set in Colorado during 1885, this book tells the story of a man who is an outcast because of his mixed heritage - his father is a white man while his mother is from a Native American tribe - and the woman who dared to love him. A raw and emotional romance, this story describes the prejudices and judgements that come with one's birth and actions.
10. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
Narnia is one of the first series I remember reading, and I loved it to death! The creative and magical story of 4 children who escape to a fantasical land from a war torn Europe, these books made me try jumping into wardrobes often when I was a child, and I am pretty sure that Edmund Pevensie was my first official fictional crush :D
Do you like historical fiction? What are your favourite books in the genre? Recs are welcomed!
Plus, feel feel to link back to your TTT list!