July 31, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Pages: 388
Published: May 12th 2015 by Putnam
Series: StandaloneBuy on the Book Depository
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
Hey guys!
Sorry for not posting in a month or so, but I've been busy on vacation and have had limited computer access. I found out the hard way that it's WAY difficult writing a blog post on a phone, so I decided to just wait it out. When I haven't been catching up on beauty sleep (school definitely takes that away from you) I've been happily guzzling up some new reads. Today I'm here to talk about a book I was really skeptical about reading but ended up falling in love with. The reason I was so skeptical about reading this book is because I've read a few retellings of A Thousand and One Nights, as well as the original, and I didn't enjoy them very much. However, this book has been crazy hyped up and a lot of people loved it, so I figured I might as well give it a try.

There were so many brilliant things about this book. The writing was BEAUTIFUL, I was lost in descriptions of gorgeous ethnic wear and on more than one occasion my stomach grumbled at the way the food was portrayed. But more than that, the romance was tastefully done. A lot of times, romance is given too much spotlight, and at other times there is too little of it, but in this story it was well balanced with themes of revenge, friendship and family, honor, etc. Another thing I really liked about this novel was that it portrayed themes of feminism. Shazi is a strong female character who holds her own with a man who is known for murdering his wives. She is realistically fearless and she doesn't give a damn about what Khalid thinks of her when she thinks little of him. She doesn't let him own her and she definitely does not give up on what she wants.It was also a lot of fun to get to read the story Shazi told, as it was immensely captivating.

As for things I didn't like, there were few. All I can say without spoiling the story is that I found a few things to be unrealistic. For instance, Shazi barely told any of her story before it became dawn. That doesn't seem possible even if she was talking at the pace a sloth moves. But other than that, five stars!

~ the SPOILERY bit~

One thing that bothered me about this book was that there was a bit too much of a typical love triangle, with the boy back home and then the boy the girl meets and ultimately likes better. How many series has that happened in? While I ship Khalid and Shazi, I do wish that the author had done something better with the love triangle. It lacked the oomph that the rest of the story had, but ultimately wasn't too big of a deal. Also, it seemed unrealistic that it would only take two nights to convince Khalid to keep Shazi alive. Overall, though, this book was fantastic.


Okay, that's it for this post! Definitely check out this book as it's a masterpiece, and let me know what you think down in the comments!
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July 28, 2015

Top Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Hi guys! Today I'm back with another Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish. Today's prompt is top ten characters who are fellow book nerds! One of my favorite things in books is when there are characters who love to read because it's something that I can relate to. So, without further ado, here are my favorite characters who are literature lovers.

1. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter 
Um duh. She always looks to books for help and spends as much time as possible in the library at Hogwarts. Hermione was one of the first characters who showed readers that readers could be heroes too.

2. Cath from Fangirl
Cath is pretty much the embodiment of Book Nerd. Her life revolves around Simon Snow (the equivalent of Harry Potter in Fangirl), she collects all the Simon Snow merch (from posters to figurines), and she also writes fanfiction.

3. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass
One thing I love about Celaena is that she loves to read. I would necessarily call her a nerd (she'd probably slit your throat), but she has a great love for literature. Although she is a notorious assassin, she stays up till dawn reading.

4. Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices
Tessa is most definitely a classical book nerd. She loves to read classics (especially a Tale of Two Cities). She always compares her life to that of those in stories, which is something I love about her.

5. William Herondale from the Infernal Devices
Okay, had to throw Will in here too. He and Tessa bond a lot over reading. I don't think I can say much us without spoiling, but books helped him though a dark time and if you read Clockwork Prince, you understand how much they mean to him.

6. Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson books
Annabeth, much like Hermione is a kick butt reader. Despite being dyslexic, she loves books and always references them. Quite fitting for a daughter of Athena, don't you think?

7. Chubs from The Darkest Minds
Chubs is infamous for his terrible eyesight from constantly reading books. Sad thing is, when it's the middle of the apocalypse, you don't have much time to read and you can only take a few precious books with you.

8. Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel represents the more civilized side of book nerdom. She reads and rereads her favorite book and analyzes it. But still, she as much a book nerd as us. She fangirls when her favorite author responds to her email, and even travels across the world to met him.

9. Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska
Alaska has a "Life Library". A collection of books she's found from all over the place, so she always has something to read. I'm pretty sure that's something all of us can relate to...

10. Okay, I actually got stuck on a tenth characters, so I'll leave this one to you guys. Can you think of some other characters who love to read?

Okay, that's it for this post! Thanks for reading and I'll try to have another post up soon.
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July 23, 2015

One Year Blogoversary + Giveaway

Hi guys! One year ago, during Summer vacation, a teenaged bibliophile with way too much time on her hands decided she wanted to start a blog. She loved to read and to go on the internet, so it was the logical thing to do. She spent months trying to create the right blog template and figuring who to co-blog with and coming up with the right name. Then finally, on July 23rd, the first post on When the Words End was posted and the adventure began.

IT'S BEEN ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING. Okay, we haven't been doing a very good job of blogging lately, but nevertheless, it's been a year since I wrote my first post on When the Words End.

WHEN THE WORDS END IS ONE YEAR OLD. The year flew by... at the speed of light... on a horse... carried by a jet plane... Yeah I don't know where I'm going with this, BUT WHEN DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN?!?! *deep, rattling banshee breaths*

To celebrate the occasion, I'm going to talk a little about the process of creating the blog and what this past year has been like! Stay tuned till the end for a giveaway ;)

So I will admit that one of the hardest things about starting a blog is coming up with a name. You need to think of something that relates to your blog and it needs to be original and catchy, but not too long. I think I went through a few blog names including:
  • Books, Blogs, and Other Whimsical Things (Bet you can't guess what the blog was about)
  • Books and Whimsy (pretty sure this was taken)
  • The Side Effects of Reading (I actually kind of liked this one, but my friends disagreed)
And then we finally settled on When the Words End! The name of the blog refers to when you finish a book and "the words end". Which leads to all the crazy things we do for books, including our  rambling that happen on the blog. For a while we had a cute slogan in our header that said When the Words End, the World Ends. There's a few different ways to look at that, so I'll leave interpretation to you guys.

Next, onto the blog design. Also quite difficult to do, but for other reasons. I actually designed the blog's template, but it took quite a long time! Special thanks to Stephanie at These Paper Hearts, whose amazing coding tips and tutorials helped me so much with the design.

Here you can see how much the design of WTWE has developed, which kind of insane:

Okay, now things are going to get a bit cheesy, but thanks so much to everyone who follows our blog and comments and actually reads what we write. Books mean so much to us and the fact that there are humans out there who will actually read our blog about them blows my mind.

AND ONTO WHAT I KNOW YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. To celebrate this glorious day, I'm giving away two ARCs (advanced reader copies): A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnson (publishes October 6th) and Untwine by Edwidge Danticat (publishes September 29th). Unfortunately I don't have the money for international shipping, so this giveaway is U.S. only. The giveaway will run from the 23rd of July to 8/14/2015. The winning entry will be verified and the Winner must respond within 72 hours or the prize will go to another person.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to everyone who reads and visits our blog :)
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July 22, 2015

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Pages: 303
Published: April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Series: Standalone
Buy on the Book Depository
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Hi everyone! The other day I just finished Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AIlbertalli.When I first heard about this book, I wasn't very interested. However, people were saying AMAZING things about it. So when I saw it in ARC form at a local bookstore, I immediately picked it up and started reading. And despite my high expectations, I LOVED IT. I finished it in less than a day- which is saying something, as it usually takes me about three days to read a book. And yeah, I know, I'm kind of late to the Simon bandwagon, but I totally understand the hype now.

Where to begin? This book was so cute, funny, adorable, and realistic- I actually laughed out loud at some parts. Despite the fact that there is blackmail and lots of bad feelings between certain characters, it's a light- hearted, cute read. Simon was a great narrator/character - funny, relatable, honest, sweet, cynical, and awkward. Not to mention realistic. A lot of characters in YA contemporary nowadays are unrealistically profound and eloquent. While Simon had deep stuff to say, it wasn't to the point where he sounded wise beyond his years. Another thing I really liked was that it also explored Simon's other aspects of his life, besides the romance. Nowadays, most YA books make the main focus the romance, but Simon was not the case. While this book was mostly funny and cute, it could get deep and emotional, and I think Becky Albertalli did a great job of balancing it out so that it wasn't too sad (cough cough TFIOS).  

My only complaints would be that the beginning was a bit confusing for me. A lot of characters were introduced at once and I could barely keep them straight. But as the book continued on, it was easier to remember who was who. And yeah, I did kinda guess who Blue was, but it wasn't annoying me that Simon didn't figure him out sooner. Plus Simon and Blue are sososo adorable.

If you still need reasons to be loving this book already, here are some more:
1. TONS of Harry Potter references
2. Good music (Passion Pit for life)
4. Waffles
5. Reese's 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporaries- or anyone, really. Overall, a fantastic debut novel! Can't wait to read more of Becky Albertalli's books in the future.

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July 8, 2015

My First Owlcrate!

Hi guys! Last month I received my first Owlcrate box! For those of you who don't know, Owlcrate is a monthly subscription than sends you a new YA release and other bookish goodies! It costs $29.99 plus shipping each month, but you can also prepay for three or six months with a discount. Each month, there's a different theme and the theme for the June box was diversity!

Here's what was in the box:

  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera ($17.99)
  • More Happy Than Not Temporary Tattoo and Poster
  • "Dumbledore Supports Marriage Equality" Banner made by Appraising Pages
  • "Read More Diverse Books" Earrings made by Snark Factory ($10.00)
  • Pride Flag Shoe Wings from Shwings ($8.95)

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with this months' box. I think it was because it was centered more on diversity than bookishness. I don't plan on wearimg the shoe wings- they're cute but a little childish. I liked the earrings, but unfortunately I don't have pierced ears. However, I am excited to read More Happy Than Not because it's been getting pretty good reviews and who doesn't love some diversity in YA? I think my favorite thing from the box was the banner. It's super adorable and will be finding a place on my bookshelf or wall very soon.

I still plan to stick to my subscription for July (the theme is Friendship, so I'm excited!), but with the shipping every month, it's a little pricey and I may cancel soon.  But if you enjoy the surprise of something like this and you have the money, I highly recommend that you subscribe to Owlcrate. Spots fill up fast, so make sure to put your name on the waiting list and check out their website!

Have you joined any book subscriptions? I'd love to hear what you think of them or what other subscriptions you recommend.
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