Thursday, December 31

2015 End of the Year Book Survey - Part 1



Hello lovelies, it's me Ruzaika here today with my End of Year Book Survey. I'm really excited to be doing this because it's obviously going to make me feel very good about myself  2015 didn't bite me in the ass quite as much as 2014 2015 has been such an exciting year for me, what with getting to know our resident bookworm, Vera, and joining her as a co-blogger of The Regal Critiques. Yeah, so 2015- you go right under my microscope!

Wednesday, December 30

2015 Challenges Wrap Up A.K.A. I Smell Failure





Hello sweeties. If you've been following The Regal Critiques for a while, I bet you know that in 2015 I signed up for 5 reading challenges + the Goodreads challenge - with hopes of completing all of them.



 Let's see how I did in my challenges, starting from the ones I managed to complete.

As per usual, click on the covers for Goodreads. 

Tuesday, December 29

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016


Hello lovelies! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today's topic is the Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016 and WHAT A CRUEL TOPIC IS THIS! My heart is breaking for all the wonderful releases that I could not include on this list. 

Saturday, December 26

Friday, December 25

{Guest Post by Annie @ The Runaway Reader} 5 Sweet Treats I Love for the Holidays.



When Veronika asked me to write a holiday-themed post for her Christmas series, I immediately thought of food. Why? Well, for me at least, food is a huge part of what makes the holidays so special. There's nothing I love more than gathering around with family and friends and some good food. I mean, I love food all year round but sharing it with loved ones during the holidays just makes everything infinitely better and more festive. Here, I've come up with a list of some food items I look forward to indulging in every holiday season and since I have a massive sweet tooth, these are all seasonal sweets / desserts I love!

Thursday, December 24

Why Christmas at Hogwarts is the Best Thing Ever


Students at Hogwarts have about two weeks worth of holidays during Christmas, where they can either go home or stay on at school. I'd sign up to stay at Hogwarts in a heartbeat!! Read on to know why Christmas at Hogwarts is just the best thing ever.

Wednesday, December 23

Top 6 Favorite Christmas Albums


Hi sweeties! It just sank in that Christmas is in TWO DAYS TIME!!! I absolutely can't wait for it to FINALLY be here!!! Forgive all the exclamation marks but I CAN'T KEEP CALM!! It's so so SO exciting, ain't it? 

Alright, to the topic at hand now - Christmas music is something that catches up to you EVERY YEAR no matter how hard you're trying to avoid it. Seriously, why do supermarkets think that it is a good idea to play Let It Snow EVERY HOUR!? It'd be an understatement to say that the Christmas spirit can get a bit too much sometimes. 

However, I love the holidays way too much to banish ALL Christmas songs from the house, so, for today's post, I made it my mission to share with you my favorite Christmas songs and CDs. I truly hope you'll find some you like - and don't forget to share with me YOUR favorites!!

*I inserted youtube videos of the songs, because I know that Spotify is still not available in every country. However, the links to the albums -click on the titles for them- lead to Spotify*

Tuesday, December 22

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year


Hello lovies! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today's topic is the Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year. Oh dear, how can anyone be so cruel to ask me to choose only 10 books! 

As always, click on the covers' for Goodreads page. :)

Monday, December 21

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares


























“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”


So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?





Sunday, December 20

{Guest Post by Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales} Reasons Why Christmas Is My Favorite Season of the Year!



First of all, I want to thank Ronnie and Ruzi for inviting me over to their blog and let me ramble to their readers! Thank you, my lovely pumpkins!

And hi to the readers of Regal Critiques!



I love Christmas. Well, to be honest, not the day of Christmas, but rather the season. Undeniably it’s my favorite season of the year, despite being one of the busiest! So today, I am going to share you the reasons why I love the season so much, and don’t forget to let me know what you feel about the season in the comments!

Saturday, December 19

Christmas Movie Recs {Guest Post by Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway}



Once Upon a Christmas and Twice Upon a Christmas
 

This duology is my absolute favorite! It's about Santa Claus' daughter Kristen trying to teach this family about the true meaning of Christmas and who ends up falling in love with the husband and his kids. And then shit happens, and the second one finds them trying to save Christmas. And it's just ASDFJKL; I LOVE IT. I mean, the acting is pretty mediocre, and it's an older one, but it's SO good.

Home Alone 1 and 2
 

These movies will never NOT be funny as hell! I can watch them again and again, and still laugh even when I know what's going to happen. I love how this kid deals with the bad guys, and how creative the booby traps are. I always thought that was pretty cool as a kid! The New York one is my favorite, and we'll just pretend #4 didn't happen (or #3...).

Elf

I feel like this is probably the best Will Ferrell role. He is so PERFECT as Buddy, and this movie just makes me smile. I don't like to go FULL out like he does (and I haaaate Christmas music) and ew I would not eat candy on spaghetti, but I love his spirit and his energy and how positive he is about everything. Plus it's just so much fun to watch!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

While I do loooove the cartoon of this, I love this non-animation one! Especially Jim Carrey's role as the Grinch, it is A+. And no matter how many times I've watched it, I will still get excited when it comes on TV.

The Polar Express

Ahhh. I'm not a big fan of animation movies, but I LOVE this one! I love the story, and Tom Hanks, and the whole production. I've seen it so many times, I have almost the whole movie memorized. Haha.

Holiday In Handcuffs

This is like my FAVORITE cheesy holiday movie! It is HILARIOUS. Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez are great in their roles, and it still makes me laugh even though I've seen it a dozen times. And I adore the whole hate-to-love romance!


Hallmark and ABC Family always have such ridiculous Christmas and holiday movies, but I love watching them! Their storylines are so cheesy and simple and the acting is MEH and laughable, but they're just a lot of fun to watch anyway. A few good ones are 12 Dates of Christmas, The Mistletones, Snowglobe, and Christmas Cupid. 

As you can tell, I LOVE Christmas/holiday movies! I'm always so excited about ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas because there are usually some favorites playing, as well as a bunch of movies I haven't seen. (but let's pretend I've actually seen the lineup this year and didn't forget about it...). If you’re looking for some good ones to watch this season, I highly suggest checking out the lineup here: http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/25-Days-Christmas-Lineup-2015-38934070



So what about you? Do you have any favorite Christmas movies, or ones that you ALWAYS have to watch during the holidays? Let me know! I’m always up for watching new movies. 

Friday, December 18

Book Quotes About Christmas


Hello you beautiful, beautiful souls! Today I decided to share with you some lovely book quotes relating to Christmas that I chanced upon. I edited them onto pictures I found on Google Images and I think they came out pretty well, even if I do say so myself ^.^ 

Thursday, December 17

Cecelia Ahern - The Gift


“One thing of great importance can affect a small number of people. Equally so, a thing of little importance can affect a multitude. Either way, a happening big or small can affect an entire string of people.”

Step into the magical world of Cecelia Ahern.

If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?

Everyday Lou Suffern battled with the clock. He always had two places to be at the same time. He always had two things to do at once. When asleep he dreamed. In between dreams, he ran through the events of the day while making plans for the next. When at home with his wife and family, his mind was always someplace else.

On his way into work one early winter morning, Lou meets Gabe, a homeless man sitting outside the office building. Intrigued by him and on discovering that he could also be very useful to have around, Lou gets Gabe a job in the post room.

But soon Lou begins to regret helping Gabe. His very presence unsettles Lou and how does Gabe appear to be in two places at the same time?

As Christmas draws closer, Lou starts to understand the value of time. He sees what is truly important in life yet at the same time he learns the harshest lesson of all.

This is a story about people who not unlike parcels, hide secrets.They cover themselves in layers until the right person unwraps them and discovers what’s inside. Sometimes you have to be unravelled in order to find out who you really are. For Lou Suffern, that took time.

Wednesday, December 16

The Grinch Book Tag



Hello lovelies! I (Veronika) know that not everyone loves Christmas as much as we do *Roberta, I'm looking at you*, and I adore making negative posts, so I decided to bring you The Grinch Book Tag today! This tag was originally created by Thoughts of Tomes and looks like a lot of fun - meaning that I can rant about some of the books that I did not enjoy all that much - and I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, December 15

My Top 18 Favorite Books In 2015


Hi sweeties! Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is My Top Ten Favorite Books In 2015 but, as per usual, I cheated a bit. I'm going to share with you 6 of my favorite books, in three genres (Contemporary, Mystery and Fantasy), which is 18 books in total! Instead of gushing about why I love these novels, I added quotes to my post from half of these novels. 

Can't wait to see if we have any favorites in common! 

Monday, December 14

{Guest Post by Ranu @ The Araliya Bookshelf} Christmas Cracker Book Tag


Hi, lovelies!! I may not know all of you, and you may not know me, so for the sake of introduction, I'm Ranu from The Araliya Bookshelf! The lovely Ruzi asked me to guest post for The Regal Critiques, so many hugs to her for having me! (And not getting angry at me for not sending this in on time!)

Sunday, December 13

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett {Guest Review by Amy @ Pages of Starlight}






















'Tis the season when the Hogfather himself dons his red suit and climbs in his sleigh pulled by eight hogs and brings gifts to all the boys and girls of Discworld.

But this year, there's a problem. A stranger has taken the place of the Hogfather. Well, not exactly a stranger. He's actually pretty well known. But either way it's not right to find Death creeping down chimneys. (Even the laugh is wrong!)

The switch has been arranged by the Auditors, mysterious superbeings who want our universe to be a collection of rocks swinging in curves through space. Life is messy. Why not get rid of it? And who better than you know who?

Somebody has to rescue the real Hogfather before this morbid impostor tracks soot on the world's carpets. It's up to Ankh-Morpork's intellectual elite, the assembled wizards of Unseen University - with the help of a monster-bashing nanny, the world's worst inventor, plus a bona-fide, honest-to-god god (the oh god of hangovers, to be precise) - to sort everything out by morning, otherwise there won't be a morning. Ever again...



Saturday, December 12

{Guest Post by Jillian @ Jillian's Books} How Do You Feel About Books Portraying Mental Illness?


Before I begin this, I want to massively thank Ruzi and Veronika for featuring me in this blog today as I am more than grateful to write for you all. This is a privilege!

Friday, December 11

{Guest Post by Sabrina's Stories} The 12 Days of Christmas Bookish Gift Guide



Hi everyone!  Before I get into it, I would like to say a big thank you to Ruzaika and Veronika for having me on The Regal Critiques!

For my post, I decided to make a gift guide based off of the Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.  I’ve tried to include a range of prices and interests in each category, and I have twisted some descriptions slightly so I could stick to the rhythm of the carol.  Also…some items may not be up for purchase (it’ll make sense soon enough).

Let’s get into it!

Thursday, December 10

{Mini Reviews} The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich & Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

“They think I don't exist . . . they think I'm like a disease. I'm infecting Carly.” 


Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.




When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries. 



When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

Wednesday, December 9

A Christmas Story - Opening Post


Hi lovelies! Today Ruzaika and I are here with fantastic news - we're hosting a Christmas themed, two weeks long event - much like Spooky October - with guest posts from some of our favorite book bloggers. 

We decided against sharing their names in advance since we'd like to keep you in suspense, BUT rest assured - they're all super-amazing, and created equally great posts for us. Don't you worry, Ruzaika and I will still be very much present, because, admit it, you wouldn't be able to keep going without our collective awesomeness ^.^

Among other things, you'll be able to find decoration ideas, delicious recipes, movie recs and OF COURSE book reviews!

Our Christmas countdown will start on the 11th, and from then on, you'll find a new Christmas post every single day on The Regal Critiques - with the exception of Tuesdays, when my usual Top Ten Tuesday posts will air.

We truly hope that we can not only make those who're already eagerly awaiting Christmas happy, but also give some holiday cheer to those who are not really in Christmas mood yet. Or ever. 

Get ready, because starting from the 11th, we're

Tuesday, December 8

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015


Hello sweeties! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today's topic is the Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015. I absolutely can't wait to share with you my list, so without further ado, here are my top picks!

Saturday, December 5

{Mini Reviews} Gone Girl & The Girl on the Train

“Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial - you'd think all women do is clean and bleed.”

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife?   And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?







“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”



Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?






Thursday, December 3

Sophie Kinsella - Shopaholic to the Rescue (Shopaholic #8)


Becky Bloomwood and a hilarious cast of beloved family and friends (plus one enemy!) set off in a van to find her missing father, last heard from in Las Vegas.

Becky’s father Graham and her best friend’s husband, Tarquin, have disappeared from Los Angeles saying simply they have “something to take care of.”

But Tarquin’s wife Suze who is Becky’s best friend, and Becky’s mother Jane, are convinced the two men are hiding something and are in danger—their imaginations run wild. They must track them down!

Hijinks ensue as husband Luke drives Becky, daughter Minnie, Jane, Suze and other favorite Kinsella characters across country from LA to Las Vegas in search of the missing men.

Becky feels deeply guilty about ignoring her father while he was in LA, in addition Becky feels her enemy Alicia is threatening her friendship with Suze.