Author: ShaniceSingh

Book Review- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to reread this series before I tackle Hero at the Fall. I was in a reading slump when I read Rebel of the Sands AND Traitor to the Throne so I needed to renew my excitement for this series before it ends.
Amani dreams of leaving her deadbeat town and when she encounters Jin, she gets the opportunity to do so. But on their way out of the town, the two of them keep getting caught up in trouble, adventures and encountering mystical creatures (none of which I have EVER seen before). The only way I can describe this novel without spoiling anything is to say that it is totally unique. It was surprising and unpredictable and I loved every second of it. Since I read this so long ago and was in such an awful book slump , I also couldn’t remember lots of details about this book. Rereading was a great way to get back into this world and I can’t wait to binge-read the rest of this series. If you haven’t read this yet, now is the perfect time to binge the series.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cannot remember the last time I binge-read a book especially one that was over 300 pages. This was a wonderfully compelling read and I couldn’t go to bed until I finished it.
Winter Glass picks up immediately after Spindle Fire (so if you haven’t read that already, pick it up before you get this). Aurora’s engagement to William is planned while Isabelle plans to create an army to fight the upcoming war. However, much like the first book the sisters are soon separated and left to find their identity independent of each other.
I love how this is a story of two sisters who love each other so much that they would do anything to save the other.. This book was compelling, well written with great world-building. I kind of wish that the world was expanded on though because I loved the fae and their customs here. I also enjoyed how the cliche love triangle plot device was used in this novel. It is done very cleverly and very beautifully. (Again, for the first time in a long time, this was a love triange that DIDN’T make me roll my eyes.
I found the ending a bit lacking- after so much doom and terror, I had expected more. However I did love the way this book ended. It was beautiful. READ THIS BOOK NOW.
Four stars because this isn’t a book I would reread in a hurry (it is great but I feel like it is too heavy for a reread) but I did enjoy this book immensely. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or books about the fae.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett (The Wayward Wallflowers #3)

The Rogue Is Back in Town (The Wayward Wallflowers, #3)The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rogue Sam is given the task by his brother to empty a rundown house or be cut off. Sam agrees but is surprised when the occupant of the house, Miss Juliette Lacey refuses to leave. She believes the property belongs to her family while Sam and his brother are sure that it belongs to them. Determined not to fail in his task, Sam decides to move in to the ramshackle house. After all, the house belongs to his brother and it would not be a hardship to live under the same roof as the attractive Julie. What Sam doesn’t realise is that Julie has a past with his brother.
I was really intrigued by this whole storyline. Julie and Sam have a clear attraction to one another but she kissed his brother a while back. I found the whole “decent brother, scoundrel brother” part cliche at first but it played out wonderfully.
This was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m only sad that it took me so long to finish this book because I was in a book slump. Definitely give this a try if you enjoy historical romance fiction.

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April TBR

I AM NO LONGER IN A BOOK SLUMP!!!!

I would like to thank Audible, without who I would probably still be skipping through books like crazy. I would also like to thank Sophie Kinsella and her shopaholic series for reminding me that reading is supposed to be fun. For the first time in a while, I am actually pretty pumped about this month’s TBR. I CAN TAKE OVER  THE WORLD (okay, no but I can make a dent in my TBR though. Just watch me):

1) Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer: I love love LOVED the first book in this series and I am so glad I got a review copy of this. Don’t even wait for me to finish it, guys. Just go get Spindlefire and thank me later.

2) The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor: Another one  of my all-time favourite historical romances. I think this only comes out in May but I can’t wait so I started reading it already.

3) The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton: The title sounds like one of R. L Stine’s Fear Street novels and I AM ALL FOR IT! I don’t know this book but I love it (though that has been happening alot lately. I need to stop)

4) Wren Hunt by Mary Watson: This is a book about magic. That is all I need to know.

5) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: This is my current Audible listen and I am not impressed. I’m just holding on though because I also considered returning Six of Crows when I first listened and now I’m in love with that series and everyone in it.

My April TBR just looks like me gushing constantly and THAT IS WHAT IT SHOULD BE! Can you tell how thrilled I am to finally be interested in books again? I feel like I’ve come home after being away for ages!

What are you reading? Have you read any of these titles? I’d love to know!

April Book Haul

We are almost to my birthday! Okay, no. My birthday is in three months but whatever. April is my mother’s birthday month and it makes me incredibly happy because once this month is over I can finally start discussing my birthday plans. Here are the books I got for April so far (I have to say so far because recently I feel like I have  been magically finding books everywhere I go despite my supposed book ban):

 

1) SPCA and Bargain Books Book Haul:

Please take a minute to observe and be astounded by the small size of my haul. Also, YAY boxsets. I was working on the day of the SPCA booksale so by the time I got there, there were not many books that I found interesting. However I did find Matilda which I’ve always wanted to read. When I first started work and my co-workers found out about my love of reading, they called me the real-life Matilda (this quickly came to an end when I told them I had  no idea who that was).

I also managed to get a copy of “Seed” from Bargain Books. If you follow me on social media, you know that I have wanted this book for a really long time. I’ve seen it in the bookstore during my last two visits but I left it behind because I already read it and I had other (unread) books that I was buying (but still haven’t read any of those books). Anyway, when I got to Bargain Books, I looked around the entire store twice and was unable to find the book.I very reluctantly asked the saleslady to look it up and within a few minutes, the staff located a copy for me. I was overjoyed. “Seed” was one of the first Netgalley books I ever read and I enjoyed it immensely. The story is captivating and the writing is incredible. I feel like I have come so far as a person and as a book reviewer since then and I NEEDED this book to remind me of the girl I was back then. I don’t even know if I’m making sense right now but words cannot express how much it meant to me that I finally got this book.

 

2)  Review Copies from Jonathan Ball Publishers:

I requested “The Perfect Girlfriend” by Karen Hamilton because I recently read “The Woman in The Window”” and I LOVED IT. I very rarely enjoy mysteries but that was a book that made me rethink my opinion on the entire genre. I’m hoping that “The Perfect Girlfriend” will be something along those lines. “The Wren Hunt” has been all over my social media and I’m both excited and scared to read it. Excited because it seems interesting but scared because what if it doesn’t live up to the hype (that is the eternal book question, if you ask me).

What books did you buy recently? Feel free to send me weblinks, pictures, comments, etc. If it’s book-related, I want to know.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic #2)

Shopaholic Abroad (Shopaholic, #2)Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Becky is back to her old shopaholic ways and for some reason, she STILL doesn’t see anything wrong with it. When Luke moves to New York, he takes Becky with him and it is like she has discovered heaven. Fifth Avenue shopping, sample sales, etc. Every day brings with it a new shopping spree. However when Rebecca doesn’t realise is while she’s piling on her credit card debt, someone is following her and her little habit. This was a predictable book but I enjoyed it immensely. Luke finally develops a bit more of a personality and Becky is as hilarious as always. It is a bit annoying how she is so absent-minded and didn’t find it odd that someone kept asking questions a bout her. Especially since by the end of the book, she redeems herself by discovering something that saves a business. This was a wonderful feel-good book and I can’t wait to read the next one.

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7 Sources for Cheap Books

Most people assume that my beautiful book collection is expensive. And considering the way that I buy books, it sometimes tends to look like I spend too much money on books. Firstly that’s not a thing. Secondly, I hardly ever buy books at full price. I might pay full price for Sarah J Maas or a signed book but that is it. Here are my seven sources for discounted books.

 

 

Print Books:

If you’re a print reader, these stores below are going to become your best friend. I know this because I am already obsessed with them and spend most of my time on their sites.

1) Reader’s Warehouse: My personal equivalent of Bookstore Heaven. Reader’s Warehouse has tons of discounted reads and I love them for it. Their stores are only in Cape Town and Johannesburg but they deliver all over South Africa. Deliveries over R250 are free and that is usually how I shop from them. If you’re ever near a physical store  though, I definitely suggest you check them out.

2) Raru: Raru is an online site selling items from video games and toys to books and movies. They are also the cheapest 99% of the time. If I need a new book and I am willing to pay full price, I usually compare between Raru and Reader’s Warehouse before making a decision.

3) Bargain Books: My Durban version of  Bookstore Heaven. Personally I am not a fan of all their stores but their Galleria and Umhlanga stores have great deals ALL THE TIME. Some of my greatest finds were Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas for R89, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer for R70 and their wonderful 3 YA novels for  R150 deals. I get butterflies just thinking about it. They also have a factory store in Cape Town (why is all the great bookish things in Cape Town though?).

4) Secondhand stalls: Secondhand stalls are the reason I don’t order books online as much as I used to. I am close to having a pile of books fall on me. Two of my favourite secondhand stalls are the SPCA booksale and the Last Chance books stall at the Stables market. The quality of the books range from excellent to shabby but I have found some great reads so I am definitely not giving this habit up anytime soon.

eBooks:

5) BookBub: I don’t use BookBub that much (although now that I’ve seen their website on my PC, I really should) but they have been great for finding new and cheap reads. I signed up with them and every day I get an email with a list of discounted titles. It’s great because all you have to do is see if you’re interested in the book and then just click on wherever you wish to purchase it from.

6) Amazon Kindle: My absolute favourite for all of my eBooks. I think this stemmed from my time on Netgalley but I am in love with my Kindle app and sometimes just browse the Kindle store for fun. If you haven’t joined yet, DO IT!

7) Author newsletters: Subscribe to your favourite author’s newsletters so you know when they have a book going on sale. This is my favourite way to catch up on previous books in a series that I might have missed.

 

What are your tips on saving money when it comes to books? Did you try any of the tips I mentioned? Have you visited any of those stores? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an unusual dystopian world, society is distracted by it’s troubles by the Selection, which is a combination of The Hunger Games and the Bachelor. America doesn’t want to be Selected- she is already in love with someone else- but she realises that it is what is best for her family. When America finally meets Prince Maxon, the two of them begin a tentative friendship. Maxon knows that America is not interested in him but he finds her honesty refreshing.
This was the first audiobook I ever listened to and I found it just okay. The story was cliche and pretty easy to predict. However I did find this book pretty fun (and then I came home and read spoilers for the rest of the series and ruined any chances of me finishing the rest of the books). This was a great light read and it took me out of my reading slump. Definitely read this book if you’re looking for something fun and cheerful.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- I’ll Give You The Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back in 2014, everyone seemed to be talking about this book. I got myself a Kindle copy and I was unimpressed. Noah’s tone annoyed me and the whole story seemed to drag.
I recently bought it on Audible during a sale and I’m glad I did. This was a wonderful, moving read and I am so happy I gave it another try.
This book is told in two parts in two different time frames by both Noah and Jude. Noah and Jude were once inseparably but then something tore them apart. Now they can barely stand to be around each other and it’s like the two of them have switched personalities. What neither Noah or Jude know is that each of them has a secret that could finally help to restore their shattered family. I started listening to this book on Audible but eventually reverted back to the eBook whenever it became impossible for me to listen. I could not stay away from this story. I NEEDED to know what was going to happen and how. I actually wanted to crawl into this book and scream at the characters- something that has not happened since I was a kid.
This book had me crying at times but I loved it nonetheless. This was an emotional read but so worth it. If you’re looking for something a bit different, definitely give this a try. This book deserves it’s hype.

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5 FREE Sources for Pictures for Your Blog

5 Free Sources for  Pictures for your blog

When I first started blogging I had no pictures in my blog posts. I didn’t think I needed them- I cared more about my words than the way they looked. I also had no idea where to get photos from. If you’ve had issues finding pictures for your blog posts this is for you.

1) Take Your Own- It’s your blog and no one know better than you what pictures you need. The easiest way to get pictures that you need is to take your own. However, keep in mind that you need great lighting and a good quality picture. I know nothing about photography so I always rely on websites instead. Also I really don’t trust my photo skills.

2) Death to the Stock Photo- Death to the Stock photo provides you with monthly photo collections based on a theme. Most of my pictures are from their site.

3) Picjumbo- Picjumbo provides you with new photos every few days and they occasionally allow you access to their premium packs. Their photos are of a high-quality and always have a theme depending on the time of the year. Need a Christmas or Easter-themed photo? They have you covered!

4) Canva- There is no end to what you can do with Canva. Use it to create social media banners, blog posts, infographs or printables. I especially like using Canva to add text to my pictures from Picjumbo or Death to the Stock Photo.

5) Pexels- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pexels. Simply type in what you’re looking for in the search(e.g, a picture of a laptop) and pick from one of their many choices.

How do you get pictures for your blog? Have you tried any of the above sites? I’d love to know below.

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