Showcase Sunday #16: I Give Up, I Wanted These Books Anyway.

Showcase sundayHello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. SS is a weekly blog hop hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits and Tea where we showcase what books and bookish things we have received in the past week.

Book buying bans suck and so does a bad schedule at school. These books, however, don’t. Here is what I got this week!

Bought: 

Oops, I did it again. My hand slipped! Been wanting these for a while so it’s justified! :) #themagisterium #cassandraclare #hollyblack #michalgrant #messengeroffear

Magisterium: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Review:

Got a copy of Us by David Nicholls signed and a week before release date! :) #books #lit #allaboutus #oneday #davidnicholls thanks @bookbridgr !! :)

Us by David Nicholls

Gifted:

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Land by Alex Campbell

I got some great books this week! Looking forward to The Iron Trial the most! I requested Us for review and I ended up getting and winning one of the signed ones. So happy! Alex Campbell was lovely enough to send me a copy of her new novel Land. You can check here twitter out here. The funny thing about this is that we are both called Alex so it looks like I signed this to myself.

Here all the books I got this week! Have you heard of any of these or read them? Let me know in the comments! Leave linkies to your hauls so I can stop by. Have a great week!

Here is something that happened this week. I bought some people clothes for my dogs… Enjoy.

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Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant #1)

22908923Half-Blood | Jennifer L. Armentrout | Hodder and Stoughton Half-Blood #1 | 5 Stars | Source: Review (Bookbridgr) | 400 pages Young Adult | Fantasy
Release Date: August 14th, 2014 (Original publishing: 09/2011)
ISBN13: 9781444797992
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi – pure-bloods – have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals – well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem – staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.”

Review:

Yet another JLA book finished in one sitting. I am on a roll. Well, JLA is.

Half-Blood follows the story of 17 year old Alex. A half-blood herself, she has chosen the path of a Sentinel. There is a small problem of graduating first, but there is a lot more to worry about. From leaving the Covenant for no reason to being hunted by daimons (pronounced dee-mons) you can tell from the start that this is going to be a journey for her.

I think it is going to be a given that I love a JLA book from now on. As I said before, I finished this in one sitting and I could not put it down. This book just kept on giving whether it be character development, mythology or both at the same time.

I loved all of our characters in this novel. Alex (she has a pretty cool name right ;D) although annoying at times was a perfect heroine. She was stubborn and strong in equal measure. Sometimes characters aren’t there to be liked or agreed with. You develop a certain level of empathy and understanding with her that makes her actions justified.

Half-Blood has some brilliant mythology. I found the whole concept of the Half-Bloods and Hematoi’s so intriguing. I loved finding out about the gifts that  they had  and following the politics between them. I think this is a subject that has a lot more to give and I can’t wait to see it develop more.

This is a very strong start to a series. It struck the perfect balance between establishing the foundations of a series and being a worthwhile read in itself. I will definitely be continuing the series!

Goodreads Average: 4.19/5 (out of 35,306 ratings)

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Cursed | Jennifer L. Armentrout | Hodder and Stoughton | Stand Alone | 5 Stars| Source: Review (Bookbridgr) | 305 pages | Young Adult | Fantasy 
Release Date: September 18th, 2012 
ISBN13: 978-1937053123
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Dying sucks–and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows. Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time”

Review:

A standalone young adult fantasy tickles my fancy and leaves me sceptical in equal measure. I think striking the balance between having the right amount of character development, world building and plot in a standalone can be difficult. With young adult being saturated with series and trilogies, I was happy to find something different in Cursed.

Cursed follows the story of Ember. Her baby sister, Olivia, brought her back with her touch after a car accident and now she has a death touch. Anything she so much as grazes with her thumbs will die within seconds. This makes daily life difficult and with her flesh toned gloves in tow, makes her high school life a living hell.

This is probably one of my favourite standalone novels of all time. It provides all of the above with the perfect balance and I finished it in one sitting!

We don’t learn too much about how people with certain gifts came to be or how they are policed. All we know is there is “The Facility” and a gentleman named Cromwell makes it his duty to look after other children like this. This was enough for me considering it was more about the characters and their development rather than the fantasy.

I definitely have a soft spot for our main character. Ember is easy to empathize with, strong willed and level headed. At points in the novel she is taken out of her comfort zone and introduced to new things. Her reactions to these are so plausible! Recently I have found main characters to be quite limp and Ember definitely breaks that streak for me.

The mystery aspect of this novel is so gripping! Following Ember on her journey to finding how and why the car crash with her family happened kept me guessing and the twist at the end was so well done!

This was my first taste of JLA and it definitely won’t be my last! Half-Blood here I come!

Goodreads Average: 3.87/5 (out of 6.199 ratings)