Saturday, 5 August 2017

Cova Reviews | Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan | 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge

Hello, everybody! As you may know from my previous posts, I haven't been doing well about the 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge - I had a very detailed plan, but I haven't managed to follow it through so far, so I am a few months behind schedule. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan is the book I was meant to read in July, but because I swapped the book I planned to read for the month of June to a different one, and the topic was the same for both June and July, I ended up reading it for the month of June (although I read it in July). I am getting back on track, though. When this post goes live I will probably have read the book for the month of July as well (and maybe even August, who knows :P).

Anyway, Two Boys Kissing is a contemporary YA about homosexuality, about transsexualism, about finding oneself, about love, about friendship, about achieving one's goals, ... This book covers so many important topics it's hard not to tell people to read it just for that. But let's see what else it has to offer ;)

In case you haven't noticed, the topic for the month of June was:

Sexuality and Gender Identity
"New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other." (Goodreads)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Top 5 Wednesday 7 | Book Covers You'd Live In

Hello one Wednesday more! I am probably flying to Paris as you read this (or at least as this is posted), which is SO exciting! I am going to be there for six days with my sister :) We'll surely be doing a lot of touristic things, but I also plan to do some book-related stuff (aka book buying 😎). I'll keep you guys updated via Twitter

Anyway, let's get to the bookish stuff. Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads meme created by Lainy and now hosted by Sam in which we are given a topic every Wednesday for us to write out top 5 of :) This week's topic is:

Book covers you'd live in

Passenger - Alexandra Bracken

This cover is just too beautiful not to include it in this list! I'd love to live in that mini city inside the glass bottle that travels everywhere! I have not read Passenger, but I've heard it is about a girl who discovers that her bloodline (and thus herself) can travel through time. Apparently this book also follows the story of a boy, and both their lives intertwine somehow. As you can see, I don't really know much about this book, but I've been wanting to read it for a while now - and I am not gonna lie, the cover had a lot to do with me wanting to read it because I didn't even know what the book was about before writing this post! 

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Oh, Carlos Ruiz Zafón! I will not get tired of saying he is one of my all-time favourite authors. I read The Shadow of the Wind a long time ago, and I absolutely loved it. It is a historical fiction novel set in Barcelona in 1945 - just in the aftermath of the Spanish civil war, and it follows a boy named Daniel who is the son of an antiquarian book dealer. Daniel is therefore a huge fan of reading, and he particularly loves this book by Julian Carax called The Shadow of the Wind, but discovers something weird is going on with this author and his book. Honestly, I read it so long ago I didn't even remember what exactly it was about, but it is one of my favourite books, so I got a new copy just yesterday as the fourth and last book in the series was published last October. My plan is to read them all again in preparation, so I will be reading it pretty soon! 

I'd love to be inside this book cover because it reminds me of the great time I had reading it, and I love the time it represents and the story it contains. Also, I chose the Spanish edition of the book because I think it is pretty poetic how the boy and the father are the only two people represented in the picture, and their clothing pretty accurately represent Spain's past. I just love it :)

A Thousand Pieces of You -  Claudia Gray

This cover is just freaking beautiful! I love the design, how colourful it is, and the fact that it represents part of the story in it - because this book is all about dimension travelling. Wouldn't you want to live in a book cover that pictures two different places in one?! It's awesome! A Thousand Pieces of You is a fantasy YA about a girl named Marguerite whose parents, two renown scientists, invent a small machine that allows people to travel to different versions of the world. One day, her father is murdered by one of his trusted assistants, who escapes to a different dimension. I wrote a full review of this book, which you can find here :)

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

I love this book cover since I was in middle school, which is when I read this wonderful fantasy book by Neil Gaiman. I even drew a graphite copy of it which got printed in the school's magazine! It is about a boy whose parents were murdered by The Man Jack when he was just a baby, so the good people of the graveyard took him in as one of their own. I'd love to be in The Graveyard Book's cover because I love the story behind it, and would really like to talk to the ghosts living in that graveyard :)

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong is another book I have not read and don't know what it is about but it's still in my TBR just because of its absolutely beautiful cover. I guess this cover is not exactly a nice place to be - inside a snowball with a white rose? But it's just so beautiful! I'd love to be... around it? 😁 All I know is it is a historical fiction, YA, and I've read a lot of not-so-good reviews on it, so I guess it will stay in my TBR for quite some time until/if I decide to pick it up.

And that is my T5W for this week! Would love to know what you guys are talking about in your T5W posts, so you can definitely leave me a link to yours down below for me to check out :)

Happy reading!

Previous T5W post...

 Books without romance

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Sunday, 30 July 2017

Cova Reviews | Ronit & Jamil, by Pamela L. Laskin | 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge

Hello, everyone! And welcome to this review of lyrical narration Ronit and Jamil, by Pamela L. Laskin. I picked up this book for 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge for the month of May (it's July, I know - but I only managed to read it this month!). The topic for the month of May was:

Religious Diversity

and this book fits perfectly as it is a retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in a Palestinian-Israeli setting. 

"Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred. Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. Soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both." (Goodreads)

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Top 5 Wednesday 6 | Series that got worse with each book/season

Hello, guys! It's Wednesday again, which means a new T5W post must be written. Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads meme created by Lainey and now managed by Sam in which there is a different topic each Wednesday for us to write out top 5 about.

Last week I decided to write about a topic that I had missed because I wasn't able to write about the one I was supposed to write about. Well, it might be becoming somewhat a thing now? This week I'm going to do the same - I was meant to make a post about book series that got better with each book, series you had to push through the first few books to get to the good stuff, but, honestly, I can't think of that many because although I am kind of a masochist in the way I make myself finish books I don't really like that much in case they get better at the end (I am trying to quit, believe me), if I finish a book I haven't really enjoyed I won't get the next one. It's a fact. So I thought I'd look for the opposite topic in the group's archive, and I found it! It was the topic for the 14th December 2016 :) I'm a mastermind!

Therefore this week's topic is:

Series that got worse with each book/season

Let's dive right in!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Cova Reviews | All the Bright Places, Jeniffer Niven | 2017 Diverse Reads

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all doing as well as I was the morning after I finished reading this book. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven left my poor, fragile heart broken to pieces, but it was so freaking beautiful. As you may have notised, it is the read I was supposed to complete for the 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge for the month of April, but because of the number of ARCs I had to read and because I hadn't gotten around to reading the one for March, I only read it during the last half of June. I am going back on track now, though! I am so glad I chose this book for the challenge - I don't think I would have read it anytime soon otherwise. It is a YA contemporary about mental health (the topic for the month of April was mental health), love and moving forward. I loved it!

"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven." (Goodreads)

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Comment Challenge | August 2017

Hello, everyone! I just wanted to make a quick announcement today and say that I am participating in The Comment Challenge - summer edition, hosted by Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense and Lonna @ FLYLēF. This post is meant to be for my participation during the month of August, although I am truly ashamed to admit I am also participating in this month's challenge but I forgot to write a blog post about it! I'm so, so sorry, girls! D:

It's easy! You sign up for the challenge in either host's page and they pair you with another blogger according to the type of books you read more often and the number of posts you plan to write during the month. Once you are paired, you just have to comment on your partner's blog posts, and they will comment on yours! It's a win-win, and a great way to connect with fellow bookworms and bloggers.  

Hope you guys decide to join in on the fun!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Top 5 Wednesday 5 | Books Without Romance

Hello one Wednesday more! It's Top 5 Wednesday time and, although this week's topic is "Books That Aren't Set In/Inspired By The Western World", I am going to write a post about the topic of two Wednesdays ago because I've come to the astonishing realisation that I can only talk about three books that I've read that aren't set in the Western World - thus those would be my top 3, but also my least favourite 3! These are all the books I've ever read that are not set in or inspired by the Western World:

       The Wrath & the Dawn                         Arena Roja                              Ronit & Jamil

So while I put a solution to this literary whole of mine, I will write a blog post about the T5W topic of the 5th July, which I missed:

Books Without Romance

This post is going to be hard too because I do love books with at least a romantic side-story to spice them up... But let's do this!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Mini Review | Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo | 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge

Hello, everyone! I know I'm super, super, super late for this, but here's my mini review of the book I was supposed to read in March for the 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge! I hadn't had the chance to even read Six of Crows before last month because of the amount of ARCs I had to read (which, by the way, I was also late for). I had this challenge surprisingly well-planned, but I think it's pretty obvious I am not good at following my reading plans through! Anyway - it's summer now, and I do plan on getting back on track during the following months, so hopefully I'll be all set for September!

This will be a mini review because Six of Crows is the first book in a YA, fantasy duology - the second part of which I will be reading soon. I will post a full review for the two books once I finish the second part :)

This book falls within March's topic:


because its main character (Kaz) has a limp.  

"Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first." (Goodreads)

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Top 5 Wednesday 4 | Children's Books

Hello, everyone! I know it's been quite a long time since I last posted - I've been doing some studying and some traveling :D In the past two weeks I've been to Newcastle and London in the UK and to Pamplona in Spain (San Fermines party!). Now I am back home, and I plan to do a lot of reading and a lot of blogging, either of which I haven't really had the time to do whilst in my adventures. 

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads meme created by Lainey and now managed by Sam in which there is a different topic each Wednesday for us to write out top 5 about. This week's topic is 

Children's Books

I wrote a very similar post a few months back (5 Book Series of my Childhood), but I'll try to include different books this time around. 

All book covers are linked to their respective Goodreads page.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

2017 Audiobook Challenge Semi-Annual Update

Hello everyone! It's June already, which means it is time to look back at the reads you've completed so far in 2017 and be amazed by how well (of course 😎) you've done on all you bookish challenges! 

As you might know, I discovered audiobooks around two years ago now, and I've loved listening to them ever since. I listen to books when I do chores and when I go walking to places, mainly, and I think it's a great way to both read more and to use your time wisely. This year I've surpassed my expectations for the number of audiobooks I've listened to - in fact, more than 40% of the books I've read so far this year are in audiobook format. For the 2017 Audiobook Challenge (hosted by Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer), I chose to do the Weekend Warrior level (5-10 audiobooks, specifically setting myself the target of 6 audiobooks), and I've already listened to 5 audiobooks from January to June!

Here is my semi-annual update! 

Note: the cover pictures in this post are linked to their respective Goodreads page

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Cova Reviews ARCs | The Cardinal's Court, by Cora Harrison

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book via the publisher (The History Press). This does not affect the content of the following review in any way, which expresses my honest opinion on the book

Hello, everyone! Today I bring to you Cora Harrison's new novel, The Cardinal's Court, which will hit bookstores in just a couple of weeks - July 1st this year. It is a historical mystery set in the Tudor medieval time, with real historical characters like Anne Boleyn or Henri VIII, as well as fictional ones like our protagonist - lawyer Hugh Mac Egan. It is the first novel to what is going to be called the Hugh Mac Egan MysteriesUp until this book I hadn't read any fictional works set before the XX century, and I found it very informative. It gave me an itch to look for more historical fiction about this period!

I found Goodreads' synopsis to be quite confusing, to be honest, so I've written a much simpler one myself for you (you're welcome 😎):

Hugh Mac Egan - an Irish Brehon lawyer who works for the Earl of Northemberland in Ireland, travels to Hampton Court to legally arrange the marriage between the Earl's son, James Butler, and Anne Boleyn. However, when he gets there the Instructor of the Guards is murdered while the King himself is in the palace, and all clues point towards James as the suspected murderer. It is in Hugh's hand to find the real murderer to clear his employer's son of the harsh punishment implemented by the English law of the beginning of the 16th century. 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Cova Reviews | Caraval, by Stephanie Garber

Hello once more! This post will be a review of this year's release Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. It is a young adult, fantasy novel - the first in a series of books that are still to come. I listened to this book on Audiobook :)

"Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away." (Goodreads)

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Top 5 Wednesday 3 | Books for your Hogwarts House

In the Goodreads Group Top 5 Wednesday we're given a topic for each Wednesday of the month, and we are meant to say our top 5 related to the topic. It was created by Lainey, and you can find more information here :)

Books for your Hogwarts House

Hello everyone! This week's T5W is all about Hogwarts - the top 5 books that represent our Hogwarts house. Now, you might think you belong to a certain Hogwarts House because that's the one you like or the one you think you'd fit in best, but truth is you'll never really know unless you've taken Pottermore's House sorting test. Yes, my friends. This page, ran partly by J.K. Rowling herself, is the ultimate tool for you to navigate through the wonders of Harry Potter's magical world. You can get your hands on the one wand meant just for you, and you can even attempt to get into Hogwarts by getting your head under the famous Sorting Hat. Only then you'll know for sure what your Hogwarts House is. 

I have, of course, taken the test, and I was lucky enough for the Sorting Hat to place me in the House I'd always wanted to be in - Gryffindor, the House for the brave and the courageous and the chivalrous. It had to be that one! 😏

And thus the books I have chosen to include in this post will for the adventurous, the daring, and the brave. Beware!

Cover pictures are linked to their respective Goodreads page.