Review: Sun Kissed by Jenny Mclachlan

Title: Sunkissed
Author: Jenny McLachlan
Series: Ladybirds (#3)
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: August 13, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Following on from Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb, Jenny McLachlan's next book is perfect summer holiday reading for fans of Geek Girl and Louise Rennison.

Kat can't believe her family are sending her to Sweden for the summer. But without her friends, or even a phone signal, can Kat make it on her own?

In a land of saunas, nudity and summer sun, Kat soon realises she has nowhere to hide. It's time to embrace who she really is, underneath what she's been thinking people want her to be. Especially if she's going to win the heart of mega fit Swede Leo! Can Kat find her inner strength and prove she's got what it takes?

Kat soon finds that when you're surrounded by phosphorescence and wonder it's easy to sparkle. Or maybe that's what happens when you fall in love . Or maybe you only shine when you're true to yourself.

What To Do With Old Posts

A while back, I had been scrolling through some old posts on the blog, and I was surprised to see how cringe-worthy some of my old posts were and went "how did I ever write this crap". We all have those posts from long ago that we're embarrassed about, and frankly, some that we'd rather not let readers see. So what should we do with them?

Keep written material as drafts.

If we're really uncomfortable about them, take them off the blog and keep them as drafts. Old posts are a great way to see how much you've improved since the beginning of blogging. Don't delete unique material you've written, such as reviews. Sometimes I love looking at old posts to see improvement and how far I've come. I remember looking through some old reviews of mine and just feeling mortified at every sentence I've written. I did get a pretty good laugh out of them, though. 

Delete the "copy paste" posts.

Over time, we will start having too many posts to keep track of. If we really want to keep our blog tidy with meaningful posts, delete those copied and pasted book blasts/blitzes and cover reveals. I usually skip these on blogs, because they're just things copied and pasted and it essentially just acts as an advertisement on blogs. We don't really get to know more and see the person behind the blog, we just see text about a book that we don't know if we'll be interested in because there aren't any thoughts or a review about it. 

Leave old posts on your blog.

Sometimes it's great to leave reminiscences of our writing style from the beginning! People who read your blog can go back to see the past self you were in resemblance to the person you are now. The more meaningful posts we have on our blogs, the better. We get to know so much more about the blogger and connect with them. 

What do you feel about old blog posts? What do you do with the old cringe-worthy posts on your blog?

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (#4)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past...

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Do you have to review the latest books to have a great blog?

It can be quite intimidating at first to become a book blogger, for starters you'll try to visit a lot of blogs and leave comments in the hopes of gaining some followers. Upon travelling from blog to blog you tend to see a lot of ARC reviews and all the latest book releases. It then becomes far too easy to compare these blogs to your own and leave you with the need to have every new book out there.

There seems to be some unspoken pressure that in order to be a 'good' book blogger you must constantly read and review upcoming titles and for most of us, this just isn't feasible. It's safe to assume the more recent the book is then the more views your review will get, but it's definitely more about the quality of the review which will keep people visiting your blog again and again.

Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Title: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mind
Author: Katie Finne
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Series: Broken Hearts and Revenge (#1)
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already.

Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour, Katie Finn's first novel in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series sizzles and delights.

Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Scorched
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Frigid (#2)
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Sometimes life leaves a mark… Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes.

Until now. Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.

Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…

Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kawaga
Series: Talon (#1)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Tips on Finding Time to Post and Maintaining Your Book Blog

My first attempts at taking artsy photos. Yes, that's me.

For most of us in the blogging community, blogging is a huge amount of work. It is definitely something that can only be accomplished with blood and sweat, and most importantly, commitment and dedication.  But we have lives (although for some of us, blogging is our life), school, work, and families.  So how do we manage what happens in our daily lives, in addition to blogging? With school starting, here are some tips for bloggers to maintain our blogs.

We're now obsessed - Fictionally and Literary-ly!

I've been searching for a co-blogger for a while now, and I'm thrilled to unveil the co-blogger that will be joining me on Fictionally Obsessed. Thank you to so much everyone who applied, there were definitely some remarkable applications.

Today, I'd love to give a warm welcome to Cody from Literary-ly Obsessed (anyone notice the similar blog names?)! We first met when she contacted me for a design, and we became fast friends. I love her stellar reviews and we are also both MASSIVE fangirls who fangirl over Rowan Whitethorn without shame.

Review: Every Last Breath by J.L. Armentrout

Title: Every Last Breath
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements (#3)
Genre(s): Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Harlequinn Teen

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
Genre(s): Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA/NA
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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 about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their 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 Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down.

Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Title: Golden Son
Author: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising (#2)
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation.

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

Giveaway: The Dark Elements Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I have been waiting for Every Last Breath to come out SINCE FOREVER. The Dark Elements series is the first series I've read by JLA and dang, I'm loving her books so far. The romance in this series adds so much tension, and right now, I'm waiting for my copy to ship and arrive while reading it at the bookstore ^-^ Since I haven't hosted a giveaway for a while, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to share this amazing series :) I'm going to be giving away one book of your choice from the series.

Midnight Thoughts: The Love Triangle

The love triangle is obviously absolutely necessary in every YA book out there. It has us biting our nails, wiping the anxious sweat away, and longing for the next books and the series to end. For me, "WHICH CHARACTER DOES OUR MAIN CHARACTER CHOOSE??" is what's going on in my mind all the time when I'm reading a book with a love triangle. At one point, I stop reading the book for the plot, but for the triangle to end. It's the oldest trick in the book to keep us wanting to read the next instalments of a series and I have yet to come across a young adult book that doesn't have one. First, let's break down the types of love triangles.


Hey guys!! Remember me? :D

Execpt...I don't think I can say that so casually... *hangs head in shame* For those of you who've wondered where I've mysteriously disappeared to for the past three months, let me start off by saying sorry for taking off so suddenly, committing random acts of disappearance for the past six months, then coming back from the dead one day as if I was here all along...I had said earlier in February that I'd return a few weeks later with my current blog design. And I did, except I committed the disappearing act yet again.

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy (#3)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Adventure, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Page Count: 442

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

March Break - TBRs and TBRRs

Hey guys!

It's finally March break for us in Toronto. Exciting! And so, this week, I'll be going on a road trip to Chicago today :D I believe it takes about 8 hours to get there from Toronto, so of course, I'll be all booked up before we go. Here's what's in my bag and sitting on my bookshelf so far...

To Be Read

Midnight Thoughts: Praise

I needah rant, gurl.

A few days ago, I was reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It was pretty good. But I won't be reviewing it, for this reason: when I finished it, I was feeling distinctly disappointed. I guess I could say I felt cheated. The problem wasn't the book - it was the praise.

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha (#1)
Page Count: 358
Publication Date; June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

New Blog Design and New Beginnings

Hi guys!

You might have noticed that Fictionally Obsessed has a new look (That's here to stay! At least for a while until I break my promise haha, I'll try not to make that happen. ) and I'm finally back, from what I wouldn't call a hiatus, but time taken to make a "permanent design" for the blog. I'm glad that I finally got that out of the way so I can catch up on writing posts, hopefully at least twice a week!

Aside from my blog designs, I've also been thinking about perhaps making some changes on the blog and the things I post. Currently, I post:

  • Reviews
  • Giveaways
  • Cover Reveals
  • Book Blitzes
  • Author Interviews 
  • Guest Posts
  • Excerpts
  • Blog Tours
  • Book Memes (Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, Feature and Follow Friday, Stacking the Shelves, and Midnight Thoughts)

Reviews, Interviews, Blog Tours, Giveaways, and Midnight Thoughts and discussion posts are going to be features staying on the blog, but I'm not entirely sure about Cover Reveals, Blitzes, Guest Posts, Excerpts, and the other book memes. 

Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Title: Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Series: The Ender Quartet (#1)
Page Count: 324
Publication Date: July 15th 1994
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Discussion: Blog Designs

Lately I've been spending a lot of time with my blog design, and I realized that it's become a problem. I feel like the quality of my posts aren't as good as they can be because of the time I've committed into making my blog look pretty, but I just can't seem to make up my mind about what I want. If you've stuck with me for a while, I'm pretty sure that you know what I'm talking about. I've been through a total of 5 designs but I don't feel like I'm still content with the way my blog looks. Unfortunately I don't have screenshots of all my designs since I keep on changing them so rapidly.