Wednesday, 15 January 2014

[REVIEW] The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
Published: May 2012
Age Group: YA
Series: The Vicious Deep #1
I found this book a while ago and added it to my TBR list on GR only for it to be buried underneath all the adds I do daily.  So lately, I've been in a reading slump and not really enjoying any book long enough to read the entire thing so I figured I'd dig up one of my old YA-TBR and give it a shot. That's how I re-found The Vicious Deep and I'm glad I did. It's definitely cured my reading slump since I finished reading it with a gusto.

The Vicious Deep follows the story of Tristan and his discovery that he's actually a prince of the merfolk. Then he's told that he has to participate in a championship for the throne and the story starts. The story takes the tale of the God Poseidon and gives a future to the myths and legends where a kingdom is born from the once divine God of the seas. It's a tale of someone finding out what they're destined to become and how far they're willing to go to fulfill their destiny.

Tristan is probably the typical hot guy that flirts with girls and breaks their hearts without any consciousness. He's a typical stock character. Although it is evident that as the story progresses he starts to change. He becomes more caring, compassionate and in a way displaying the characteristics needed in a good ruler.

The main female protagonist is Layla. Tristan's best friend, which if you've read enough romance novels or New Adult novels it is evident that Layla and Tristan are meant to develop some romantic attraction. At first I didn't mind Layla. She was a strong woman who held her own on a swim team full of boys. She also didn't put up with all of Tristan's s**t and isn't afraid to speak her mind and tell him that he's an idiot. Then she figures out his secret and it all goes down hill from there. The woman who isn't afraid of speaking her mind turns from being strong-willed to annoying and stubborn in my eyes. The girl who stands up for herself turns from being brave and courageous to being reckless and foolish. I found myself disliking Layla more and more as the story progressed. I can't relate to her and her personality is absolutely horrible in my opinion. Tristan can do much better.

The story is an intriguing one, and sort of a jump for me. I decided, many many years ago, that I wouldn't read any stories about mermaids, sirens and water creatures like that due to a bad experience I had with a book that had these supernatural creatures as the main attraction. In hindsight, I probably should have known that this book was about merpeople from the blurb, but I didn't. My fault. But luckily, because of my mistake, I found this lovely book. The mermaids and mermen in this book aren't that bad.  They're just like regular humans...with fins and gills. The author does a really good job describing them in clear detail down to the sparkle of the scales and the movements of the gills in water and out that it's very clear to visualize what these creatures would look like even though these are mythical creatures. I always enjoy being able to visualize the characters and the story because I think it adds so much more dimension to the tale when you are able to follow along in your head and see the action unfold while you're reading it. I also enjoy the use of other sea creatures, whether they be real or fiction. Like I said, I haven't read a story with these paranormal creatures in a long time so this is a welcome change for me. Perhaps that's why I got hooked on to this story so fast. That and the good plot and charismatic characters.

The ending is a cliff hanger. In fact the main plot encompasses the entire series. I believe there are sub plots in each book, or main events that the characters deal with, but it is very evident that the story continues in the next installment and that there is a build up towards the end.

Overall an excellent YA novel. Although following the standard storyline of a YA book, the characters and detailed description is enough to overlook the clich├ęs.


If you like this check these other tea loving books out:

Thursday, 9 January 2014

[2013 Tea End Review] Tea Worthy Books of the Month! - July and August

Half way there!

2 again this month.

1. Paradise by Judith McNaught.
This was a good romance story of two people who met each other at an early age but because of their social class difference, were forced to separate (because of underhand methods mind you) and then find themselves in the future as rivals and with complete misunderstandings of what happened. It's an endearing story and I'm glad I found it and had the chance to read it in July.

2. Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins.
This was a debut novel from an indie author and it's one of my favourite books of the year. The depth of the story and character development is astonishing. There's a large cult following behind this series and I'm definitely included in it. I've loved this book since it was first released. Paranormal + erotica = a recipe for a good book. Amelia Hutchins just has a way of drawing you into the story and keeping you hooked during the entire book, which isn't short, but I was completely enamoured by the characters, story line and I just had to finish reading it when I started. Since my first read, I've re-read Fighting Destiny many, many times and each one is as good as the previous.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

[2013 Tea End Review] Tea Worthy Books of the Month! - May and June

2 books this month. Both different genres.

1. Connected by Kim Karr.
This was an interesting story of self sacrifice. What am I saying. It was more of a elongated love triangle where the girl has to choose between her new rock star boyfriend or stay loyal to her child hood, somewhat deceased sweetheart. I think we all know which she would choose. It was the twist ending that left a lasting impact and made me reach for the sequel. And for that it deserves the title of Tea Worthy Book of the Month.

2. Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to find this genres. I mean you think I would jump at the adult paranormal romances right away since I love the YA ones. Well it took me to May and I found a good one. Feral Sins had everything I love. A lot of arguments and romantic moments but a well written and developed plot that kept me hooked with the story. The captivating main characters also helped with that.

This month's book turned a different angle.

Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan is much darker, in content, then other adult/erotica books.
You really have to overlook the characters and the topics and focus mainly on the storyline. It's a very interesting story that has a lot of connecting back stories and very strong characters that drew me to them and subsequently the book.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

[2013 Tea End Review] Tea Worthy Books of the Month! - March and April

One of the worst months to be reading due to the obscene workload that is thrown at University students right before exams. One book though stood out from everyone else and has become of the most recommended books by me (probably behind Divergent).

The Selection by Kiera Cass takes the title for this month.
I had my doubts reading this book. There was a lot of drama surrounding this debut online and whether or not the author and her publisher acted appropriately. That's what put me off but the combination of the gorgeous covers and the compelling blurb drew me in each time until I finally gave in a read it. Wow. The Selection blew me away. Kiera Cass has a way of subtly including signs of distress and dystopia woes into teenage angst and romance drama so that readers aren't overwhelmed by either and don't find themselves confused when one of the genres becomes dominant in the plot. Also the two main guys vying for the one girl is a dream story that always captivates readers.

a.k.a exam month for me. But I made sure to get my dose of reading in everyday.

The winner for this month is the Elite by Kiera Cass.
The sequel to the Selection and equally if not more captivating than the first. The Elite has more of the dark secrets of the dystopia world and the romance gets better too.  Once again readers are left to choose sides between the two boys but also the prospect that perhaps America, the main character, won't be the winner of this competition and then what happens after that? I cried, laughed, screamed and just about did every dramatic action and emotion while reading this book. It made me really start to think about certain topics and truly evaluate what is happening. An excellent sophomore book that didn't fall to the deathly sophomore curse.

Fun Fact: the finale, and third book, of the series is due to be released May 6, 2014.  It's a vision in white...if you get my hint.

Monday, 6 January 2014

[2013 Tea End Review] Tea Worthy Books of the Month! - January and February

To start of the [2013 Tea End Review] segment, I'm posting my Tea Worthy Books of the Month for January and February. By the end of the month I'll post a complete list of them but for now, enjoy bits and pieces!

January was the month that started reading off with a bang for me.  I had 3! 3 Tea Worthy Books of the month, each one of them leaving a different feeling in me.

1. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton.
I'm not sure how many times I've advertised this book or talked about how amazing it is. Wallbanger introduced me to Alice Clayton and I finished reading it having found a new favourite author. The book was funny and romantic, a hard combination to do with romance novels these days when the story line can get quite intense and dramatic. Wallbanger was an excellent way to start the new year of 2013 and a worthy book for the title of 'Tea Worthy Book of the Month'.

Fun Fact: Alice Clayton recently announced that Wallbanger is now a part of a series. When it was first released it was a stand alone but now it's the first installment of the Cocktail series. Book 2, "Rusty Nailed" is to be released June 24, 2014. Book 3. "Screwdrived" is being released September 2, 2014 (Happy Back to School Present!) and the last volume,  "Mai Tai'd Up" is scheduled for December 2014. Check her website for more updates!

2. Love Left Behind by S.H. Kolee.
Equally as good as the other two books but not as memorable. Love Left Behind was a sad story of what the world of Hollywood could do to a couple. It was short and sweet and had everything that made me a happy reader.

3. Beneath this Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas.
Probably one of my favourite adult/erotica stories. In my opinion one of the best and leagues ahead of the others. This Man set the story up and Beneath this Man came in a blew everything away. It had the romance, the drama, the intense moments, the sweet moments, the arguments, and two endearing characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading over and over again. Beneath this Man has found a permanent place on my Kobo.

The month of love. Also the month where none of the books really stood out to me. The closest book I could think of giving the title to would be Beauty from Pain by Georgia Cates. An excellent 2013 debut with an equally stunning cover and story. Perhaps after the amazingness of January, February just wasn't comparable.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Scarlet Paperback Release!

So today I checked my email and I saw this...

That's right! Awhile ago I submitted my review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer in for a chance to be featured in the paperback edition when it releases! And I'm happy to say that my blog "Tea.Books.Love" is in it. Along with a bunch of other great reviews.

If you happen to pick up a copy of Scarlet in paperback, try to see if you can find my blog name.

The paperback edition of Scarlet releases February 4.
The next instalment of the Lunar Chronicles series, Cress, also releases February 4.

I'm definitely heading to the bookstore to pick up my copy of Cress.

What a great way to start the New Year!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

[UPDATE] 2013 Tea End Review

For the next week, every day I'm going to post something as part of my [2013 Tea End Review] segment. I'll have posts about the Tea Worthy Books of the Month and my favs.

Check out the 2013 Year End tag and my 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge that I posted already!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

[2013 Year End Review] 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

It's 2014! That means another year has gone by and it's time to set my reading goal for the new year. Last time I found, and participated, in the Book Vixen's "Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge" challenging myself to read 100 books. I far exceeded that challenge so this year I'm going to challenge myself to 120 books ('I'm on Fire!' level) . Hopefully I can make it!

Here are the challenge details if you want to participate:

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2014 than you did in 2013. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Books can be any genre (fiction, nonfiction, romance, mystery, etc.).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • To join the challenge, grab the 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, Libib, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.
 Levels:      Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
     Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
     Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
     I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

Books I've read this year

Feel free to sign up as well, in fact I definitely encourage it. Have fun with this reading challenge and if you do join, comment below so I can follow along with your challenge.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

[2013 Year End Review] 2013 End of Year Tag!

I found this survey while browsing the internet one day. I believe the original source comes from The Perpetual Page Turner. So thank you for coming up with this end of year tag.

NOTE: I've only answered the questions related to books.
1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
Adult Fiction
Beneath this Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas.

Paranormal Fiction (YA and Adult)
Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins

The Elite by Kiera Cass

New Adult
Fallen Crest High by Tijan

For a month to month list: Check my post on the Tea Worthy Books of the Year

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth, The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton. Yea, I know these are some of my fav authors but seriously, it wasn't as good as I expected.
Oh and the Maze Runner by James Dashner, that was a total flop in my opinion in terms of going in with a lot of hype.
Check out my reviews for more comments:
  • Allegiant
  • The Redhead Plays Her Hand
  • The Maze Runner 
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters. I'll admit I went into this with low expectations and just needing a book to read in between releases and boredom. Many people were recommending this online so I figured why not give it a shot. The Monsters in the Dark series soon became one of my fav books and I immediately had to read the sequel (thank goodness it just released when I finished reading Tears of Tess.) I'm now one of those readers anxiously waiting for the third book to be released and to continue the journey of two lost souls, Tess and Q, who found each other and attempt to stay together.
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
The Selection by Keira Cass.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Selection and Fighting Destiny series.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Amelia Hutchins of the Fighting Destiny series and Alice Clayton.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright introduced me to the world of adult paranormal erotica. Yes Kelley Armstrong is sort of that but the main focus is on the paranormal aspect rather than the adult content. Feral Sins is more focused on the adult content while using the parnormal aspect as a genre to share the story. Feral Sins is amazing and definitely led me on the path of adult werewolf romances.
The Too Far/Rosmary Beach series by Abbi Glines were the first to truly introduce me to the world of new adult. Now, I appreciate what a good read New Adult fiction can be and it's all because of this series. Definitely go read it if you haven't already!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Any of the books from the Fighting Destiny series.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Black City by Elizabeth Richards takes this one for me. There is just so much symbolism in this cover. It's even more beautiful after reading the story just because I understand what each effect in the picture represents now. I read the book mainly because of the cover, and I'm glad I did because Black City was an amazing read and let me think about some interesting topics that I normally wouldn't think about.
 11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Syn and Ryder from the Fighting Destiny series.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins. An excellent debut novel filled with everything I enjoy to find in a book. Conflict, heated romance and a really good plot line with tons of action.
13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 
Black City and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone. As well as The Grisha series. What was I thinking starting that series so late... Crazy was what I was.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
"I don't demand to see her eyes anymore. I don't need to check she's real. As long as my heart keeps beating. I'll know that she is. End of" - This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas
"Think before you speak, because words can really hurt, and you can't take back what you said, because the damage is already done" - Something Great by M. Clarke
"My needs are my downfall. I'm a monster in human skin" - Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
"The snow on the crosses had turned pink as it soaks up the dried blood stained into the wood. It's chilling watching students play beside the crosses, but that's life in Black City. Everywhere you turn you're reminded of death, but you have to block it out, otherwise you couldn't carry on living" & "A strong breeze stirs the ash on the charred buildings surrounding us, scattering black flakes into the air. I feel like I'm inside a giant snow globe. It's really quite beautiful; why had I never noticed it before?" - Black City by Elizabeth Richards
14. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The ending of Allegiant and probably tons of scenes from various books.
15. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Syn and Ryder because they're honestly amazing.
16. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler. Kepler's one of my fav crime/mystery authors. The Fire Witness was different from the other two in the Jonna Linna series in that it's main purpose (in my opinion) was to set up the story for the fourth book in the series. It did a good job though because I can't wait for the next novel!
17. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardogo
18. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Most definitely New Adult/border-line Adult or Erotica. Sorry dystopia lit.
19. Best 2013 debut you read?
Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins. Absolutely amazing. I'm so glad it's getting the attention it deserves.
20. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by . I'm not sure how she comes up with this world but it's a weird place and it works. Really well.
Close Second is Black City although I feel like it's more of the atmosphere of that world that I enjoy rather than the imagination of creating a whole new land.
21. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. I still think about all the good laughs I got out of reading that book.
22. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Oh boy. Read my review if you want more details.
23. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas. It's definitely picked up pace now and is highly recommended but when I first started reading it, no one really knew it. It was all about 50 shades or the Crossfire series. This Man was in the shadows until people started to realize how amazing it truly is.

Fighting Destiny also started up slow. At first not many knew of it. In fact I happened to stumble upon it by accident one day. I'm really glad I did though because it's most definitely one of my favourite books of the year and was added to my 'favourite' shelf.

24. One book you didn’t get to in 2013 but will be your Number 1 priority in 2014?
Anything Tijan. There are so many other books by the author I have yet to read and I really do want to read them!

25. Book you are most anticipating for 2014 (non-debut)?
The One by Keira Cass.
Close Second is Seducing Destiny by Amelia Hutchins.
26. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014?
Hands down The One, the last book in the Selection series. May can't come fast enough!!!

27. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2014?

Actually post something once a week! It's been hard with university and all the work that comes with it but I'm determined to commit to my blog in 2014! It'll be my reading new years resolution.

Let me know in the comments some of your most anticipated 2014 reads and what you're 2013 favourite picks are!

Happy New Year!