Exploring My Bookshelves: October

Exploring My Bookshelves October-2Hello everyone! I hope you all have been doing well. As promised in my tweet on Twitter earlier this month, I had a couple of blog posts scheduled throughout October. So I stayed logged out of my social media accounts related to Xingsings and was quite absent around the blogosphere the majority of the time. I did do some blog hopping sporadically here and there, but honestly, those moments were just bouts of procrastination away from my studying. I still missed a lot; hopefully I’ll catch up to comments and replies tonight. Anyway, I’ve missed everyone and it’s time for a real, non-schedule post! Today is the last Friday of October so I’m back with an Exploring My Bookshelves post!

But let’s get onto this post, shall we? Oh and for those of you that aren’t as familiar with this lovely meme created by Victoria at Addlepates and Book Nerds and co-hosted with Shannon at For the Love of Words, it’s a weekly one (but adapted as a monthly here at Xingsings) where readers can share what’s on their shelves and/or discover a book collecting dust on their bookcase. Join in the fun if you want to add a Friday bookish meme to your blog!

Part of the meme asks the blogger to share a recent photo of their bookshelf, so here’s mine. Honestly, my shelves haven’t changed in any orientation since the previous month when I shared three months worth of this meme. However, I noticed that I need to start double shelfing (as in having two layers of books per shelf) soon.


If you want to take a closer look, click the photo to enlarge it! (Haha, the top is so yellow because I had to turn on the lights; the natural lighting wasn’t really working out today. 😅)

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1 (1/3)
Published by Tor on February 24, 2015
Genres: [Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buddy Read With: Carolyn at A Hundred Thousand Stories

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

4 Stars, Completed August 18, 2015

– read the bold text to avoid SPOILERS –

Okay. I’m not sure why it took me two months to gather my thoughts to write this book review, but it did. With a lot of time to contemplate on how I should appropriately start this, I can now easily say that this book is

For the ones that dream of stranger worlds.

A Darker Shade of Magic opens up a world where readers learn of four Londons, where Kell, an Antari and one of the last Travelers, is a rare magician that is able to travel across these parallel universes. He’s also the adopted Prince of Red London and an ambassador that helps the rulers of each London keep in contact. The people from each kingdom admire but also fear Kell for the rarity and power of his race. What his royal family does not know is that he’s also a smuggler off the clock. But then his dangerous hobby leads him to an accidental treason and he flees to Grey London, where he meets Delilah “Lila” Bard, a stealthy and sharp-tongued thief and wannabe pirate that is addicted to risk and adventure. At first she steals from him but ends up later saving his life, and they decide to embark on a dangerous journey to save the Londons but first they must stay alive.

So Kell-inspired by the lost city known to all as Black London-had given each remaining capital a color.
Grey for the magic-less city.
Red, for the healthy empire.
White, for the starving world.

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The Burrito Bowl Book Tag


Hi! So I was tagged by Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Victoria at Addlepates and Book Nerds to complete the Burrito Bowl Book Tag! This tag was a collaboration between Joey and Cristina at Girl in the Pages. Awesome (and yummy) tag, you guys! And as Joey has said in his original post, this tag “is inspired by Chipotle’s burrito bowl, long lineups, euphoric food comas, and The Great Carnitas Shortage of 2015.” Oh. Oh. I think I’m finally understanding why Joey likes corn so much. Burrito bowls have a lot of corn, lol.

And I finally went to Chipotle! (I literally was pronouncing that place Cheh-pot-lee for the longest time. facepalm) Well I’m a vegetarian so I’ve learned that I don’t really like burrito bowls. They’re more like interesting bowls of salad and beans for me, haha. I now know there’s a tofu option, but southwestern tofu make me a little hesitant to try it. It can’t be prepared the same way Asian food is, right? I don’t know, maybe I should just try it one day. But enough of my food habits. Let’s devour this tag?

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Unspoken by C.C. Hunter

Unspoken_revised-1Unspoken by C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark Book #3 (3/4)
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on October 27, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 401
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

Rerated: 4 Stars
4.5 Stars, Completed October 7, 2015

– read bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

It’s been almost a year since I’ve last read and reviewed the previous books in this trilogy. Even though Unspoken is fresh in my mind after having just read it, the other two weren’t. When I went back to read my reviews for them, I couldn’t help but cringe-and smile. Reborn was one of my first reviews on this blog and was one I was proud of publishing but, now after reading it nearly a year later, I’ve found myself quite dissatisfied. Looking back on those reviews and having the chance to compose this one, I feel like I’ve grown as a reviewer since then. And I feel the same way about this series. Della sure has grown as a character and this trilogy has evolved into something I have really loved following. I’m certainly going to miss Shadow Falls now that it’s come to an end*. In a way, because my journey with this trilogy and blogging was around the same time, it’s going to remain dear to my heart-as cheesy as that sounds.

Unspoken is the third and final installment to the Shadow Falls: After Dark spinoff series and takes place after book two, Eternal. By the end of Eternal, Della is finally adapting to her new powers as a reborn vampire. Right when she also begins to come to terms with having Chase as her bondmate, she learns that he’s been lying to her all along about knowing her uncle. Even worse, after digging up her aunt and uncle’s files, a murder case surfaces and her father is convicted for her aunt’s death twenty years ago. Feeling betrayed, Della wants nothing to do with Chase, but now that he’s become an official FRU agent and she’s an elite paranormal investigator in training, it looks like she can’t avoid having to work together to prove her father’s innocence. With solving this case, Della and Chase are going to have to explore the darkest parts of town. Della, fearless as she always is, isn’t too afraid of the challenge, instead she fears the deepest emotions in her heart. She worries about the bond she and Chase share and is even more scared of letting Chase near her heart and falling in love.

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Summer Says: All Things About ARCs (Well Sort Of)

All About ARCs

As you guys have probably noticed, the only books I’ve been reading and reviewing lately have been ARCs. It’s kind of due to how I went a little request crazy a couple of months ago, so yup, now I’m frantically trying to read all these books for their release dates, but I’ll get onto that later.

Also, it’s been so embarrassingly long since my first Summer Says post. From what I remember, I never made any promises about how often this blog series would appear since I tend to be flaky with original stuff like this, but I want to thank you all for the patience and I’m so thankful for the encouragement towards this feature!

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about ARCs. In no way am I a pro about this subject, but I thought I’d share what I did know and my experiences with requesting ARCs since some people have expressed inquiries about this topic. And I recently had a few conversations with some other fellow bloggers, and I felt inspired to talk about this. Plus, obtaining ARCs and review copies was something I was curious about as a newbie blogger and even before I started blogging. Technically, I’m still a baby blogger compared to the strong voices, older and more professional, and popular blogs out there in the blogosphere, but I still think this post would be of some help!

To simplify this whole process let’s go with the kindergarten basics and use the Five Ws system-WHAT, WHO, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY-and a bonus, HOW.

Also, all text in this color are some things I’ve learned on my own and are my personal tips.

And here is a full list of the review copies I’ve been offered, have requested, or have received in the past. This list doesn’t even include the titles that I’ve requested myself but have been denied. If I included that it would be twice as long. I promise you I’ve been rejected many times. But you know what? That’s okay! All this (and blogging) is a learning experience. The key is to not worry about rejections and just move on. Don’t be discouraged!

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Real Neat Blog Award

Hello! It sure has been a long time since I’ve done an award post, and today I’m back with the Real Neat Blog Award. I was nominated by MuhammadAssia, Suganiya, Trisha, Wesaun, Joey, and Raven. I feel really honored to have receive these nominations from such amazing bloggers. It really means a lot! Thank you guys again!

And as you guys could probably tell, this post will be on the longer side of the spectrum since this is one of those “make up your own questions and pass it on” type of posts, so I’m so sorry about that. I was first nominated back in early May but I just never got around to doing it (I usually do my tags/awards posts in chronological order of when I was first tag; yup, silly OCD-like me is like that).

With that being said, let’s not make this post any longer than it has to be and just dive into it!


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Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 11.12.15 AMRomancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 6, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 271
Format: Hardcover, ARC
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

4 Stars, Completed October 4, 2015

– SPOILER free  –

Surprisingly, this was an appropriate book to start off the month of October. Unlike what the cover suggests, this book isn’t quite a light, contemporary romance. With the heavy rain and serious flooding on the east coast of the United States right now, which is where I live (I actually still cannot believe we’re experiencing a hurricane), and starting this book late one night, I got serious chills while reading.

In Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, Summer Barnes moves to Paris and is repeating her high school senior year. She’s been kicked out and expelled from several schools for alcohol and substance abuse. Summer must graduate this semester to earn her inheritance from her wealthy grandfather’s will. However, she’s having trouble feeling anchored to this world, so academics and this opportunity isn’t a big priority of hers. Instead, Summer is preoccupied with the belief that finding a special someone to hold hands with in the City of Light will help her find meaning to life. She meets two polar opposite guys: Moony, a once handsome and healthy boy now disabled because of a serious car accident that cares for her, and Kurt, a hot, mysterious, older man that lurks the underbellies of grimy France that  makes all the nerves in Summer’s body hypersensitive. Then Summer hits an all time low after coming to terms with how her father died and all signs seem to point her to just giving up.

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Book Haul: September 2015 (The Real Last One)

September Book HaulHappy October, everyone!

I’m back with another book haul post! My last one, from a few weeks ago, was a compilation of my buys from July, August, and (part of) September. In that post, I explained that I decided to include September purchases and publish that post mid September because I wasn’t planning to buy any more books for the rest of the month. Gosh, was I wrong. Thanks to Joey, I ended up having a late night/early morning shopping spree on BookOutlet. Basically, I was battling the online crowds to snag my bargain copy of A Darker Shade of Magic. And guys, let me tell you. Between being bleary eyed because it was so late and having some troubleshooting with my PayPal account… it was a struggle. But a worthwhile one.

Also I ended up with a few more ARCs this month that I wasn’t expecting to come in so soon. And I did buy 3 books for full price, which you’ll see later as square Instagram photos (I plan to post these exact photos on my Bookstagram in the coming week; no shame, I’m totally guilty of crossposting, lol) in this post. Also, underneath all photos, Goodreads links will be available!

Okay, so let’s get to it, shall we?


A Darker Shade of Magic | Complicit | Of Metal and Wishes Evertrue The 5th Wave

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