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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Blog Tour + Giveaway] NICOLE'S REVIEW: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: May 5 2015
Publishing House:  Bloomsbury
ISBN: 1619634449
Source of Copy: Blog Tour


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin - one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled the world. 

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it...or doom Tamling  and his world - forever.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


A Court of Thorns and Roses took me by surprise. Truth be had, you guys, I wasn't Maas' biggest fan but thanks to this book I'm now a convert. I cannot wait to get my hands on an actual copy of this seriously rocking book. Seriously. Seriously.

It's winter and Feyre's family is running low on food. Times are hard so she heads deep into the forest to go hunting. She comes upon a wolf and, because she's totally desperate, she shoots it down with her arrows not knowing that the wolf was faerie. Soon this beast-like fae comes knocking on her door demanding restitution and sweeps her away to his castle in the woods. Okay maybe there was more of the threatening and the roaring as there was the sweeping and there wasn't much knocking either. Feyre soon realizes that an ancient evil is enroaching on fae territory and might, if not stopped, creep into human lands soon.

Can I just say that Feyre is the luckiest girl? I mean she has all these beautiful men to look at. There's Tamlin and Rhys and Lucien and ohmygosh how is a girl to choose? But hot men is not all this book has to offer, it's got Feyre who is a kickass heroine in her own right. She's fearless and bold and cares deeply. She's probably got a better heart than I do despite her rough exterior. 

I loved the relationships in the book. Feyre and her sisters, Tamlin and Lucien, and even Rhys. Maas has such interesting characters I just want to find out more about them, peel them back layer by layer so I can understand them and fall deeper into love with them. And the romance? It does not fail to titillate (it seemed appropriate) and I just want to smoosh Tamlin and Feyre together all the time. 

I do have a bone to pick with Amarantha, the villain, she seemed to be so textbook villainess for me. Doesn't mean she wasn't scary and slightly disturbing but she just felt a little one dimensional for me. Impossible challenges? A riddle to solve? I even felt a little cheated when Fayre had a little help with the tasks. But you know, I enjoyed myself so much so I'm not gonna complain. Much. And another thing, this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, yes? So why wasn't Tamlin more...beast-like? Oh sure he has a mask stuck to half of his face and he can shift into some sort of lupine creature but come on, I thought he would be more physically monstrous. 

ACOTAR is a retelling of beauty and the beast, a wonderful, fearless, fierce retelling of the classic with amazing imagery and world building. I might still be a little cautious of Maas' Throne of Glass series but this one is definitely on my favorites list. Definitely recommend this for people who're fans of fantasy. And NA! This is definitely NA I could get into. 


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

How pretty is the cover for A Court of Thorns and Roses? I couldn't resist doing nails. 

Not sure if you guys can tell but that's a wolf. On the middle finger. I had to make my own sheer black polish to tint my index and ring fingers. 

I think this is pretty obvious. Haha. 

You can check out more of my nail art over on instagram. Just search theunicolenicorn.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #25 : A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: August 26 2014
Publishing House:  Swoon Reads
ISBN: 97812500161454
Source of Copy: Gifted


Lea and Gabe are in the same writing class. They get the same culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.

But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and GAbe were meant to be together.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Seriously, guys, I have not read anything as cute as this book. It's told in fourteen different points of view, none of them in our lead characters' voices. You would think that it would be incredibly confusing, but it's not. This book was an absolute blessing, I was craving a light, fluffy contemporary to read -because it was almost Valentine's Day - when this fell into my lap. It had been collecting dust on my bookshelf for some time and I thought I'd save it from its misery. 

I find that I need to repeat that this book so disgustingly cute. We get to see Gabe and Lea's love story through the eyes of the different people they come across in their everyday life. Friends, teachers, the bus driver, the baristas at Starbucks and even a squirrel and a bench. How fun is that? Gabe in particular is crazy adorable, and so awkward it made my heart melt. I loved his conversations with his friends and the way he pined over Lea and got so flustered when they engaged in conversations. I just wanted to smush their faces together. 

You know what's unfair though? That this did not happen to me in the four years I was in college. I bounced from clique to clique because I'm picky with my friends, met a lot of new people which was fun, but not once did I meet a guy who gave me the butterflies. Obviously, I was meant for greater things like fictional boys. 

Anyway, another thing that I like is that despite being awkwardly cute characters, Lea and Gabe don't fit into any pre-designed molds. Gabe is an athlete, a sort of jock, and he has his own issues - like the trauma he suffered from his car crash. Lea is not your average bookish, good girl type, she parties and has a penchant for stalking Gabe. (I feel for her, I used to do this in college too) They are the recipe for ultimate cuteness. It's insane! I couldn't put this book down mainly because I couldn't wait for them to get together and every time something got in their way it was just SO. FRUSTRATING. Just kiss already!

In a nutshell, this book is basically the epitome of CUTE. Really, the next time someone asks me to gift them something cutesy I am so giving them this book. Read this if you're looking for something light and fluffy and oh so very romantic with a different writing style. For an added bonus, it has the POVs of a bench and a squirrel.



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Here's a set inspired by this insanely adorable book. For more details and the materials used head on over to my nail art blog. Enjoy guys!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

[GIVEAWAY] NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #24: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Title: Falling into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: September 9 2014
Publishing House:  Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 978006236788
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


Inertia, force, mass, gravity, velocity, acceleration...cause and effect. Liz Emerson doesn't understand any of it. But I do. I understand how we fall. Where we fall. Why we fall. I understand her sadness and loneliness and silence, her shattered heart. It doesn't have to be this way, does it? It wasn't always this way was it?

Stay alive, Liz Emerson, stay alive.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I never really expected to like this book, I don’t really do well with books tackling suicide but I have to give credit where it’s due. Amy Zhang’s Falling into Place is an incredibly heartfelt and poignant story written in a nonlinear fashion that tells the story of one Liz Emerson’s life - the small seemingly inconsequential instances and the heartbreaking events that led to her decision to kill herself.

There is no doubt that I love this book despite the fact that I am not a fan of the main character. Which is surprising because Liz Emerson is NOT in the least bit likable. I get that she’s got her issues and she’s got a lot to deal with, depression is no laughing matter, but I never really understood her. I never really GOT her. I felt for her, I really did but she was just really unlikable and mean and a general b-word I just couldn’t! It was hard because she was a terrible person who was doing crappy things to people and ruining lives and bullying, bullying, and bullying. But she continued to do what she did despite the fact that she admitted to being a horrible human being and continued feeling sorry for herself. Rinse, lather repeat.

I may not like Liz Emerson but I have to admit that Amy Zhang crafts incredibly realistic characters. And Liz, despite all her negative points had the potential to be something more. Julia and Kennie were also very strong secondary characters and it was fascinating to see how they affected and influenced Liz and vice versa. Then there’s the boy who’s been crushing on Liz from afar, Liam. His story was quite surprising since he was a victim of Liz’s scheming and yet he managed to find it in himself to forgive her, to understand her.

There’s an air of suspense to this book, like as if at any given moment everything could come crashing down. Zhang’s book is a definite recommend although if you’re in the market for something light and fun this isn’t it. Falling into Place is like a slap to the face, a reminder of how the littlest of actions can cause a ripple that results in a tidal wave and because of this book I feel like I should be better. Could be better. Will be better.


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Here's a set inspired by the book. For more pictures and details on the mani visit my nail art blog HERE.


It's giveaway time! Good luck to everyone joining and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! Thank you also to the awesome people over at Fully Booked for making this happen. 

Terms and Conditions:

1. The contest is open to Philippine residents only and will be shipped by Nicole via Xend. Likewise, The Twins Read will not be held liable for any lost / damaged packages.

2. You must be 13 years old and above to join. Please ask your parent/guardian to join the giveaway for you, if you aren't.

3. If you only use ONE account to do all these tasks and enter under different names, they will still only constitute as ONE entry. 

4. If the winner does not respond to messages via Facebook, or e-mail within 48 hours, The Twins Read has the right to choose another legible winner.