The Winner’s Crime inspired outfit!

Please forgive the picture, I’m working on another one 🙂

I just can’t believe how long it’s been since I last did a Trendy Thursdays post…

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

I would have done the Aussie cover but I much prefer the US edition…

Goodreads synopsis:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

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The dress:Appliques Navy Blue Ball Gown Taffeta Quinceanera Gown (source)

Hairstyle:  (source)

Makeup: permanent makeup, clean, pure, pretty make up (source)

Nails: Dark blue glitter nails (source)

Shoes: dark blue high-heeled shoes with brilliant stones (source)

Review: The Winner’s Curse

I wasn’t originally going to post my review of The Winner’s Curse but since I will be posting a review of the sequel soon, I thought that I ought to. You see, I read The Winner’s Curse on holiday and reviews written then were rushed as I was, well, on holiday.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

Publication date: March 4th 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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Review:

This is an unbelievably difficult review to write. All my thoughts seem to have blurred into one. ButAlasIWillWriteThisAnyway.

The first and foremost thing I loved about The Winner’s Curse was the main theme: the winner’s curse. I haven’t ever really heard that theme/saying before, but maybe something similar. I loved how it was referred to at a fairly constant rate throughout the novel.

The second thing that I really liked was Kestrel herself. She was super smart and certainly knew how to strategise. And for once it was nice to read about some teen prodigy/kick-butt heroine who fought with brains rather than brawn. She knew what she wanted and figured out how to get there.

I also loved the way that the whole story was like a game the characters were playing. You don’t know what the characters (and funnily enough, Kestrel) are planning to do and what their alterior motives are.

And it is ridiculously cool that this is based on the ‘dynamic between the Romans and the Greeks’. I love that history period and I especially appreciate the way that the author tackled it. She did a brilliant job.

However, I was not a total fan of Arin. I understand why he was so grumpy all the time but it really got to me. I can’t really say that I ‘ship’ him and Kestel. I liked him more towards the end a lot more though. I did (weirdly) like how his relationship with Kestrel complicated the story.

I definitely would love to read a sequel. I have. I have this prediction that Kestrel will be wearing a blue dress on the next cover.

**EDIT** – Totally called it!

I would definitely recommend it!

4.5/5 comets

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent (one little flaw).

Add The Winner’s Curse to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier…

Holiday Pics + I’m Back!

If you haven’t guessed already, I’M BACK BABY!

Okay, granted I should have done this as my first post when I came back, but there was a tag I was dying to do. Then I decided to wait until today so that I could include my Counting the Stars post. Really, I’ve been back for just over a week.

So where did I go?

ITALY!!!!! AND ENGLAND!!!!

Rome:

First off we flew into Rome, where we stayed for a total of 5 nights, 4 days.

On the first day, getting lost numerous times throughout the day (or the whole holiday, rather), we went to Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum and a church with Michelangelo’s Moses.

Colosseum1

Then on the second day we went to a Renaissance house (the name escapes me), did a tour of the Vatican, which took most of the day, before going to the Pantheon after lunch. On the third day, however, we had a day trip to Florence! Unfortunately, this was the day I got sick. I ended up sick for quite a large chunk of the holiday – I just couldn’t get better (or at least not fast enough).

Florence Duomo1

Then on our last day in Rome, we went to Castel Sant’Angelo which is actually the Mausoleum of Hadrian. I can’t remember what we did after that, but then we went to Pizza Navona (one of my favourite places in Rome) and Campo de Fiori where we looked around the markets. I REMEMBER WHAT WE DID NOW! We went to the Spanish Steps and some Roman ruins we accidetally stumbled across.

Here’s a view of Rome from Castel Sant’Angelo:

Rome from Castelle1

Vico Equense:

6 nights, 5 days

Super sad and not ready to leave Rome, we went to our next stop, by train through Naples and all the way to Vico Equense, which is very close to Sorrento.

We spent the first afternoon there thoroughly dehydrated. Arriving in a local Italian town on a Sunday afternoon means everything will be shut. Including water stores. Lesson learned.

The next day we went to Pompeii and Poppaea’s Villa in Oplontis. DEFINITELY GO TO THE VILLA SHOULD YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF IN THE AREA. Amazing. So well preserved. Then we spent the next day relaxing and enjoying this lovely view from our villa and the ever present view of Vesuvius:

Vico Equense Terrace View1vesuvius1

The day after we went to Herculaneum and the museum nearby (well worth it BTW). It rained and I of course managed to look like a drowned rat. Then we spent the next day relaxing again and popping down to the beach. It sounds easy to pop down to the beach and all but we had to climb 400 Roman steps that were over thousand years old. Tiring stuff.  On our last day, we took a day trip to Positano. We wanted to go to Capris, Ravello and the Amalfi Coast, but it was a little hard to get there from where we were staying. We could only manage Positano.

Positano1

Venice

4 nights, 3 days

Then we had to go all the way from Vico Equense to Naples airport to fly to Venice. It was only an itty bitty flight though, and I got some good reading done.

Venice was amazing. Easily my favourite place. But we were so lucky with our timing, because while there were still stacks of tourists, we missed the great Summer hoards and we missed the floods. Seriously, wegot therein flooding season and there were already tables in piles everywhere ready to be set out for tourists to walk across. 

On the first day we did a free walking tour, which was fantastic FYI. Really amazing. Our tour guide was fantastic and she told us soooo much useful information. The tour went for about 4 hours in total, which was a long time, but well worth it. On that tour, she actually took us to a bookshop. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with this bookshop. BECAUSE BOOKS. But since Venice frequently floods, the books get bady damaged. So what they’ve done is put the boks in good condition in gondolas so that they float in a flood and made stairs out of the damaged ones.

gondolabooks1bookstairs1

It feels wrong to walk on books. But I guess it’s great they have made use of them. The other cool thing about this bookstore is that you buy ad sell books by weight. Like tourists can bring in a kilogram of books and get a kilogram in return!

Then we went in a gondola, because, Venice. The next day we did a private tour of the canals and went under buildings like an old church, which is only accessable during low tide. Here’s a photo taken from the boat:

venice building1

On our last day in Venice and Italy, we went to Murano and Burano. The glass wares in Murano are beautiful, but super expensive. And Burano would have made for some amazing photographs, but I couldn’t post them because there were people in them.

England

5 nights, 4 days

This isn’t my first trip to England. Being half English myself, I have family there that we stayed with in Kent. On our first day in Kent, we went to Dover Castle. Dover Castle is easily the best castle I’ve ever been to, and I have had my fair share of castles. There are war-time tunnels, hospital tunnels (also converted in WW1), the medieval tunnels, the actual caste and LOTS of other things. While I loved the medieval tunnels, the castle was the highlight for me. It had been reconstucted as it had been in medieval times and it was just amazing. Here’s a very broad view:

dover castle1

The next day we went to Cantebury, probably my favourite place in England we went to this holiday. AND I WANTED TO BUY BOOKS THERE BUT ARGH SOMETHING WENT WRONG. The cathedral was once again, the best I’ve been to, Notre Dame included.

Cantebury1

Then on our last day in Kent, we went to Dicken’s World. Brilliant. It was entirely reconstructed to look like it was Victorian London. The tour was so interesting and yeah, it was great.

Dicken's World1

Then we went to London, ready to catch our flights the next day. We went out to lunch, then to the Globe Theatre and a couple of shops like Harrods. The next morning we went to the Science Museum before the airport, when we flew allllll the way back to Australia. Sniff, sniff.

Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had an amazing time and I wish I could live it again. I think I’m going to do my Counting the Stars in another  post actually, looking at the length of this one.

I hope you guys get the opportunity to go to both Italy and England one day. I’m always happy to recommend to you places to go 🙂