28 Dec 2016

Review: The Impostor Queen

PublicationMargaret K. McEldery Books
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
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Elli is destined to be Valtia, a Queen of the Kupari and the only person who can wield both fire and ice in service of her country. But when the previous Valtia dies, the magic does not enter Elli- doesn't seem to go anywhere. In disgrace, she flees for her life to the outlands, and a world she doesn't know. As she finds her footing, she learns more about the magic of her people, and grapples with her true purpose.

Joining a proud history of fantasy novels whose covers feel like they don't quite suit them is The Impostor Queen! (It technically suits the book... but it doesn't quite capture the feel for me?)

This was kind of a twist on the chosen one trope- girl raised to be the most powerful magic-user in history discovers that she's not exactly the chosen one.

Initially, this book felt very similar to a lot of YA fantasy, but rapidly deviates when Elli can't access the magic she was meant to wield. The world changes veers rather quickly away from what I was expecting, especially in terms of the priests have a great deal of power over the country- and the Valtia. It was refreshing to have a book go in a direction that was that different from my expectations. It got pretty dark and a bit creepy and quite interesting.

The storytelling took a little while to find it's footing... things really only pick up once Elli gets to the outlands, and she meets the outcasts living there. Watching her learn more about herself and form relationships with others. While Oskar didn't stun me as a love interest, I definitely didn't hate him either, and he definitely had his admirable qualities... it just took a while for his character to grow on me, I suppose. (Except his name. For some reason I didn't like his name. I just didn't work for me and I was weird and judgmental about it.) It nice to watch Elli grow from a person being groomed to be a leader in name, but without all that much practical power, into someone who could and would take on a real leadership role on the ground.

The magic of the world was interesting too. It did seem to have an awful lot of arbitrary-feeling rules, but once I got used to the system it worked for me. This did very much feel like the first book in a series and, while a lot of light has been shed on the magic since the beginning, I'm really hoping that it will be built on in the next book. While this one didn't end on a huge cliff-hanger, it was definitely a tense ending and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next!

15 Dec 2016

Review: The Sun is Also a Star

Publication  Delacorte Press
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
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Natasha believes in facts, not fate- she definitely doesn't believe that you can fall in love with someone in 12 hours- especially when those 12 hours are the last ones you have before your family is deported. Daniel meets her when he's on the way to a college interview that his parents want and he doesn't and immediately knows that they're going to be something

This was a bit off the beaten track for me, since contemporaries really aren't my thing. And, okay, at least 20% of the reason I picked it up was because I really like the cover and title.

This was a pretty interesting read! One of my favourite parts was getting to see how the lives of our two main characters touched effected the little stories about those around them, and the coincidences that ended up bringing different people together and pulling them apart.

(My other favourite part was Natasha mentioning how she had to prove to her teacher that favourite was spelled with a "U.")

In a way, this reminded me a lot of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and maybe a bit of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It's about two people who meet (through a series of random chances) and sort of... learn each other over the course of less than 24 hours, through a series of questions and misadventures. I also remember reading about the study they mentioned in passing a while ago. It's a little less fluffy than either of those books though, with the main characters both struggling with some tougher stuff, especially in Natasha's case. While the relationship did seem a little strange (possibly because of how fast it was), I felt that it kind of found it's footing more toward the end.

I've mentioned how my favourite parts of this book was how intertwined with Natasha and Daniel's lives were with other people's, and seeing the ripple effect that even the smallest actions had. These glimpses into everyone else's lives really gave the story a unique and almost whimsical feel. The word sonder, which means the realisation that the people surrounding you have lives as complex as your own, that comes mind. It was so fascinating to see some of those stories come full circle.

While this book is mostly a contemporary, the degree to which the universe seems to be invested in the meeting and relationships of the two main characters lends it a somewhat surreal and borderline magical quality. It wasn't something I disliked- it was definitely another thing that made this novel stand out, and almost pushed it outside of being a standard realistic fiction novel. It was so neat watching all the coincidences that let them find their way to each other.

Touching on the stories of other people was what made this book stand out for me. While the relationship between the two main characters felt... strange, probably because of how quickly it developed, I still enjoyed seeing them get to know each other. Though I'm not much of a contemporary reader, but I did quite enjoy this one!


11 Dec 2016

17 Twenty-Seventeen Anticipated Reads

I am linking this post to my monthly Anticipated Reads - a monthly meme hosted by Mel at Reviews In A Pinch that will be occurring the first Wednesday of every month that showcases at least three books releasing each month; letting you know what new books are coming out that I'm excited about.

Click the book cover photo to redirect to Goodreads.


Series: Red Queen #3
Publication: February 7th 2017 by HarperTeen

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.


Publication: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #3
Publication: April 4th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?








Publication: April 11th 2017 by HarperCollins

Saying good-bye to Scotland is the hardest thing that Jenna MacDuff has had to do—until she meets Lord Pembroke. Jenna’s small clan has risked their lives traveling the countryside as masons, secretly drumming up support and arms for the exiled King James Stuart to retake the British throne. But their next job brings them into enemy territory: England.

Jenna’s father repeatedly warns her to trust no one, but when the Duke of Keswick hires the clan to build a garrison on his estate, it seems she cannot hide her capable mind from the duke’s inquisitive son, Lord Alex Pembroke—nor mask her growing attraction to him. But there’s a covert plan behind the building of the garrison, and soon Jenna must struggle not only to keep her newfound friendship with Alex from her father, but also to keep her father’s treason from Alex.

Will Jenna decide to keep her family’s mutinous secrets and assist her clan’s cause, or protect the life of the young noble she’s falling for?


Publication: April 25th 2017 by Balzer + Bray

Being a pretty girl is who Rosie is, but it’s the start of a new school year and she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to move on. Plus someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who recently garnered public attention after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never really experienced for a boy before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, Rosie suffers an assault that tears apart her life and friendship with Maddie. Forced to face uncomfortable truths about beauty, reputation, and what it really means to be a friend, Rosie realizes that change doesn’t always happen the way you want it to—every disaster has consequences. But with a lot of help and the right people around you, there might also be a way forward.


What are your most awaited books? Is one of them included in my anticipated reads?
Do you have upcoming releases that would like to share? I would love to add them on my growing reading list. Share them below!

15 Nov 2016

Review: Nemesis

Publication Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
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Princess Sepora of Serubel's world runs on spectorium- and, as the last known person who can create the precious substance, she is a highly valuable resource. When her father devises a way to weaponise spectorium and begins to eye neighbouring countries, threatening to plunge her nation into a war, Sepora disappears into the night. Presumed dead, she journeys to Theoria, hoping to live out the rest of her life as a civilian there, where her power will not be turned to destruction. When she is captured on the road by Theorian slavers, she finds herself in the Theorian royal palace, thrown back into the world of politics- this time in the court of her father's enemies.

Getting this out of the way right now: the cover is kind of weird and doesn't suit the novel very well, nor is the title really well suited to the story being told. Okay, now that the judging a book by it's cover is done, onward.

This book was... entertaining, but didn't function terribly well on any greater level of engagement. It's like... Kingdom Politics Lite. I don't entirely understand the means of governance of Theoria... despite the fact that the novel ostensibly focuses on politics of the country, it was mostly superficial glamour the grossly underestimates the complexity of managing a country. So that challenged my suspension of disbelief a bit. (Yes, inadequate governance systems stretch my ability to suspend my disbelief, but dragons don't. The human brain is weird.) Moving on.

I feel like I never quite got a handle on Sepora as a character... or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I didn't really connect with her. A lot of her decisions didn't make much sense to me.... and I found it really hard to believe that some of the things she suggested hadn't, you know, been suggested before...? She's impulsive in the extreme, but it seems to work for her, if only because of narrative convenience. I feel like I understood Tarik at the beginning of the book... but I actually lost any grasp I might have had on his character by the middle of the novel.

Something that was kind of interesting to me was the parallels with and references to Egyptian and Greek mythology. I'm not sure how much of that was intentional, but I assume at least some of it must have been.  Ones I caught:

  • Nemesis is the Greek goddess of revenge. I'm fairly sure they intended the more colloquial meaning of nemesis, though
  • Set(h) is the name of the Egyptian god who cut out Horus's (a.k.a. god-king/pharaoh, falcon-headed deity) eye. (Maybe. Depending on what version of the myth you listen to.) I'm not saying direct parallels, but there are... certain thematic similarities.
  • obviously the pyramids and some of the more basic characteristics of Theoria were inspired by ancient Egypt

The plot was a bit scattered... they often felt like they only happened because it was convenient. Also surely, surely there was a way for Sepora to secretly provide spectorium without telling everyone she was a Forger?

Overall, I feel like the book had a fairly strong concept, but didn't deliver well on a lot of fronts for me. I am curious about how the story ends, however, and will likely be picking up the second half of the duology.


4 Nov 2016

Unparalleled, The Graces

Series: The Graces #1
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages
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Rating:
Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

There are lot of definitions a person could give you with truth. But mostly, his answer is not the whole truth, it’s just part of the truth.  That part is his experience to another person or the world not telling the truth to him. The other part is that, the truth on his self.

I was filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise on how Laure Eve exposed the truth of ourselves—on how we crave and crave for the entire truth yet we cannot give it back totally. On most chapters of The Graces, I have a lot of queries to what’s the point of this? What’s the point of that? Then what? There is no clear shot, yet, that my questions would be answered. I also thought that this would be a draggy read because of the rising number of my unanswered questions and I would end up DNF-ing it but it wasn’t, instead, those questions lead me to further to read The Graces.

This may spoil you a bit. You might want to skip it? But it’s good to know this first especially if you’re so into magic. Your expectations on The Graces magic might deadened and you would DNF it. The magic on this book was different but it was one of the reasons I have read it until the end. It’s a bit of a disappointment to those who have been fed up of breathtaking supernatural powers. So if you are interested to read The Graces, don’t expect much on its magic. Expect more on the magic of Laure Eve.


If you are finding the truth in yourself or of the world, The Graces is desirable for you. Just don’t let your anticipations get ahead of you. It’s a light read and it’s easy to adapt on its quality of being one of a kind. Resplendently written, The Graces would grant you coup de grâce.



Source: Publisher via Netgalley - Thank you! · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



29 Oct 2016

Joyride, Let's Just Call It A Ride

Publication: June 2nd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Format: ARC, 288 pages
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Rating:  
It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.
All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Feelings over some parts of Joyride? Disappointed. I expected it literally to be joyride. Like Perks of Being A Wallflower joyride. (I know that it’s wrong of me to think but I HAVE FALLEN FOR THAT MIDNIGHT PRANKING.) Also, betrayed. I have expected that they would do gratifying pranks but I was like, “That’s it?”.

What Bank’s gave me is a painful yet impressing and revealing read. Painful that racism never stops because it starts to the people who you expected to understand the most, the people who would see everyone as equal. Impressing that Carly found what it is to live life freely. And, revealing that Arden is wise and a worthy guy for a Latina like Carly.

Bonus point: The most enthralling character Bank’s have written was Arden’s uncle. His combining clever conception and facetious expression was delightful.

Joyride has the clarity and freshness of straightaway experience on racism, friendship, betrayal, suicide, and family that would last in your heart for a duration.



Source: Won from Dana - Thank you!· I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


5 Oct 2016

October Anticipated Reads

Anticipated Reads is a monthly meme hosted by Mel at Reviews In A Pinch that will be occurring the first Wednesday of every month that showcases at least three books releasing each month; letting you know what new books are coming out that I'm excited about.

Series: Magonia #2
Publication: October 4th 2016 by HarperCollins

Where is home when you were born in the stars?
       Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.
        As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.
      When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, The Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.
       In this stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed Magonia, one girl must make an impossible choice between two families, two homes—and two versions of herself.


Publication: October 6th 2016 by Penguin

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed 'America's Fattest Teen'. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
         Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.
         Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world - theirs and yours.

Publication: October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

         Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

         But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.








What are your October Anticipated Reads? Are you excited of the same books?


21 Sep 2016

September Anticipated Reads

Anticipated Reads is a monthly meme hosted by Mel at Reviews In A Pinch that will be occurring the first Wednesday of every month (but today is an exception for me because I want to share!) that showcases at least three books releasing each month; letting you know what new books are coming out that I'm excited about.

Series: Worldwalker #3
Publication: September 20th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.
Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian's side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Publication: September 27th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.
Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.
Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

Publication: September 27th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.
When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.


What are your September Anticipated Reads? Comment the link of your September Anticipated Reads post and I'll visit it then!


12 Sep 2016

Review: My Lady Jane

Publication: HarperTeen, June 27, 2016
Genre: Alternate history, comedy
Format: Hardcover, 481 pages
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England is a bit of a mess, and Lady Jane Grey's impending nuptials dragging her away from her books isn't even the biggest problem. The king is dying, his advisors are conspiring, and there's a conspiracy afoot. Also, her husband-to-be is a horse half the time. 

Here's the thing about this book: it is patently and utterly ridiculous... but it's a self aware kind of ridiculous. It's set in the mid-16th century, but the speech is almost entirely modern. People turn into animals. Lady Jane Grey's story doesn't end in a beheading after her nine-day queenship. The narrators make comments on the goings on, rather than just telling the story. Everything is lot more humorous than the situation really would have been, historically speaking.

All that makes this a very interesting exercise in storytelling. My knowledge of English history is far from perfect, but you don't really need a grasp of history to read this one, as it veers so far away from what actually happened. Most of the story exists in active defiance of history, but, for the most part, the narrators make it clear that that's kind of the point. The wackiness did make it a fun read...

While it was silly, and had very little to do with history this novel still had some fairly well defined characters that fitted the light tone of the novel. Jane was willful and compassionate, and more concerned with her books than the politics of England. The titles of her books amused me a lot! I'm a science student, so way they had lengthy and detailed titles of the academic texts was quite familiar (though the books themselves definitely weren't), and I quite enjoyed how Jane seemed to have picked up some pretty random bits of information from her reading (again, familiar). Especially the bit with the bear- I too often find myself in situations where I know a fair bit about something... but not anything of much use.  While I didn't enjoy the other characters quite as much as Jane, they suited the story well.

The only real gripe I have about this book was the Shakespeare bit. It just felt rather stilted being stuck in as it was... I think I might have preferred original poetry to that. It almost should have fit; there are parts of the story that do feel a bit Shakespearean- people turning into animals, the narrators interrupting the goings on with an intermission to comment, the RANDOM BEAR- but the poetry just didn't work for me.

Overall this was a silly alternate history that required a quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to get into. It's light, fun, and a bit random. It has less to do with history than most novels set on Mars, and it is definitely worth a read if you like something quick and quirky.

4 Sep 2016

Blood for Blood - A Series Not To Be Missed


Series: Blood for Blood, #1
Publication: February 24th 2015 by Chicken House Ltd
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
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Rating:
When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.
When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.
I can’t believe that it took me a year to finally read this. It’s been just staying in my shelf for a long time. I let my mate borrow my copy though I still have not read it, and when she returned it to me and told me it’s really good and if I have the second book, I got interested and it’s like the book is calling out to me READ ME READ ME READ ME I HAVE BOYS TO FANGIRL AND A PROTAGONIST THAT YOU WILL NEVER GET ANNOYED. Yes, FIVE BOYS AND A NON-ANNOYING PROTAGONIST.

Vendetta constitutes to full extent suspense, a bit of romance, AND SWOON WORTHY BOYS. I am also really in love with how this book was written. I was never expecting to read such young adult. It was really, really, really good. I know that I’m a fantasy fan but this? This series made me realize that I love kick-ass young adult even more. I love the twists and turns and the realizations… EVERYTHING! I love it.

I did not expect to meet such characters. Sophie, the main protagonist, was never annoying. I was expecting her to be devoid of good sense or judgment or just like any other characters on other books that cause you irritation. Though she doesn’t think right sometimes, she is so brave and amiable. I was looking forward to Nic and Sophie’s relationship but I think Nic was “something”, there’s this feeling you won’t understand on him but he’s good at Sophie though and he cares for her but… And, Luca, Nic’s older brother. Gosh, Luca, I can’t get him out of my mind. His character may want Sophie to throw rock at him but I know something is up on his sleeve. And he’s irresistible!

I recommend EVERYONE to read Vendetta! It deserves more praises than it already has.
Trust me; you won’t forget every single scene.

Series: Blood for Blood, #2
Publication: January 7th 2016 by Chicken House
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
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Rating:
Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather in the second installment of Catherine Doyle's Blood for Blood series.
Sophie's life has been turned upside-down, and she's determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she's trying to forget, won't give up on their love - and it's Luca's knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace - and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie's in deeper than ever.

I have not stopped myself from buying a copy of the second book. I want to know what happens next to Sophie and the Falcones, especially my Luca. I read it in the midst of a school-hellish-works and so here it is.

 

If Vendetta was really, really, really good, then INFERNO TOPS VENDETTA. Yes, you have read that right. It is moooooooore intense and thrilling, and has moooooooooore twists and LIES AND TRUTHS. Oh, I love the truths though it hurts. The secrets that have been unraveled of Sophie’s identity were frustrating and led to upside downs and deaths.

 

Blood for blood.

Oh, I wish that I could share the whole book to you (I hate to spoil) but all I can say is that Inferno is astounding and breathtaking. I am out of words of how a great read it is.

 

If you have not read this series, pick it as your next read. And, while we wait for the third book, let’s fangirl together and get excited!


18 Aug 2016

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

Publication: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Action, Romance
Format: eBook
Add this on: Goodreads

Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, is not your ordinary private school, as Cammie Morgan can attest. All of it's attendies are trained in martial arts, fourteen languages, hacking, and covert operations- in short, they're trained to be spies. But when she meets an ordinary boy while on a training excerise, she has no idea what to do.

With the ten-year anniversery of publication of this one, I've been hearing really good things about these books. Now, having read it, I have to admit that I'm... kind of disappointed. I feel like I missed something.

I think part of the problem is that this felt too juvenile for me. I don't generally have a problem with books targetted toward younger audiences... but this time it got to me. It limited me ability to relate to the characters, and the simple writing style didn't appeal to me.

The most frustrating part was the boy Cammie liked. It seemed like a disproportionate amount of trouble to go to for someone she'd met once and had one pretty boring conversation with. Again, I feel like I missed what was interesting about him? Maybe it's because I didn't really get crushes in high school, so I was unable to relate...

I think because of that everything else fell apart. It seemed like trained spies (or even half-trained ones) would just... include meeting a person  in their report? And not make some truly ridiculous mistakes. I also would have liked to see more of their training... what we did see left something to be desired. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but it just fell a bit flat for me... I didn't connect to any of the characters, and the plot failed to grab my attention.

The overall verdict, I think is "this one just wasn't for me." It wasn't what I was hoping for from a spy school, and I think the plot was a little to juvenile and/or unrelatable for me. I can see it being fun for a younger audience, even the writing, characters, and humour where not to my taste. I might give the sequel a try... but I kind of suspect that this series just isn't something I'll enjoy.

10 Aug 2016

Hot Books To Add On Your Growing TBR Pile

This post is included in my Stacking The Shelves category since the books that I'm about to share are the newest on my to-be read shelf. Anyway, it's been a long time since I recommended books for everyone to get interested in. Some may have been read it already but I hope most would love to come back on my blog someday because of my recommendations.


The Graces (The Graces #1)
by Laure Eve
In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.
This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1)
by Deanna Raybourn
London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.
But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2)
by Deanna Raybourn
"London, 1887." Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman s noose in a week s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.
But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed...."

The Girls
by Emma Cline
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Girl in Pieces
by Kathleen Glasgow
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.




Ink and Bone
by Lisa Unger
Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.
Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.
As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

Thank you publishers: ABRAMS Kids, Amulet Books, Berkley Books, Random House, Delacorte Press and Touchstone, and Netgalley.

Have you read any of these books? What have you thought of these titles? What books would you highly recommend for me to read next? Any other hot titles you want me to add on my shelf?




24 Jul 2016

Science Fiction Gone Wrong


Publication: May 30th 2014 by Perfect Edge Books
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy
Format: Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Source: Publisher through NG (Thank you!)
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

Set in a world where every men, women and child are bald, this book failed to meet my hopes. I was really expecting this to be exciting. I wondered and still wondered how it ended. Honestly, I just skimmed everything. Lucky for me I was half through it but still there’s nothing agitating to read it further. I will not recommend this—NO, NEVER.






Series: Themis Files #1
Publication: April 26th 2016 by Del Rey
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Source: Publisher through NG (Thank you!)
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

This reminds me of Illuminae (though I have not read it, I know what’s inside and what it is about) but then… a big disappoint occurred on how things turned out on the three-fifth book—it made me stop reading it for a while. I want to enjoy the book, the idea is interesting but the writing doesn’t pursue you to read more.




Series: Sweet #1
Publication: June 2nd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: ARC, 272 pages
Source: Won from Publisher (Thank you!)
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

The romance of Sweet is cute. I did not expect for the protagonist to get such relationship and in such horrifying cruise. I intensely love how the book went from their innocence of the food the sweetener they are taking to the gruesome reality of the sweetener. I was marked by uncontrolled emotion on reading Sweet. I love the pace that it made me feel like I am part of the book.


Have you read any of these books? Are you a fan of science fiction books? What SCIFI books would you recommend for me to read next?

P.S. I apologize for my June hiatus. I did not expect that my fourth year in uni would be that hella crazy busy.



2 Jul 2016

Review: Starflight

Publication: February 2, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Fantasy
Format: Hardcover 
Add this on: Goodreads

All Solara Brooks wants is a one-way ticket to the outer realm. Even struggling for her existence on a barely terraformed planet would be better than living in a place where she's defined by the felony tattoos on her knuckles. She's desperate enough to sign on as an indentured servant to Doran Spaulding, a privileged former classmate who made her high school life miserable, in exchange for passage. They quickly find themselves on The Banshee, on the run from the law, after Doran is framed for conspiracy- making Solara a wanted accomplice. In an effort to clear both of their names, the head for Planet X, where Doran was meant to make an information pick-up, only to find that what waits there may change their world forever.

I have been away for six million years because I am the worst. That's all I will say on the subject.

So. This book. I only really heard about it well after it came out, but was immediately intrigued by the fact that it takes place in outer space, because, well, outer space. I love outer space. I'm always ready to read a novel set on a spaceship... (Illuminae, anyone?) I suspect seeing Star Wars in the fifth grade may have shaped me as a person.

And this one was a fun read. I wasn't thrilled with every part of it, but overall quite enjoyed it. It was almost like an introduction to a lot of tropes, but it was done in a way that wasn't completely irritating. While I didn't initially love the characters, Solara had traits that I could respect and I enjoyed watching Doran grow into a person I didn't hate.

Watching the characters grow was probably the most interesting part of the book. For the most part, they're trapped on a ship together, at close quarters with each other and the rest of the crew- a ragtag group, some of whom are keeping dangerous secrets. It was fun learning about the rest of the crew, and watching Solara and Doran figure each other out. I wasn't totally engaged in either of them all the time (especially at the beginning), but I still enjoyed reading their journey.

The plot was fairly fast-paced and featured running from the police, space pirates, and sneaking. This was a plot that basically started quickly and didn't really abate until the last chapter or so, though some of the events felt a bit disconnected or not entirely necessary to the plot. The ship is a pretty well-constructed setting (though I would have really liked a blueprint, just because I really like maps, okay?)

Overall this was an enjoyable read- I wasn't blown away, but it contained enough elements that I liked that it was still worth picking up, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book!

28 May 2016

Cruel, Cruel Crown

Series: Red Queen 0.1-0.2 • Publication: Published January 5th 2016 by HarperTeen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult • Format: Paperback, 208 pages
Add this on: Goodreads • Rating:

Two women on either side of the Silver and Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

Queen Song
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

Cruel Crown consists of two prequels, Queen Song and Steel Scars. Both are available as digital novellas. Queen Song is in the voice of Queen Coriane, as we all know fans of Red Queen as first wife of King Tiberias and mother of Cal, while Steel Scars is Captain Farley’s. These characters are not much the attention of the first book but they hold much the secrets of Norta, in both sides’ silvers and reds. In Red Queen, we hold them much dear that we want to know who these people are and what they mean to Norta and the rest.

Unfortunately, Cruel Crown did not give justice for our eagerness to know. I want to know more. Cruel Crown is not enough. But, maybe, there’s another novella coming before the third book? I hope in that, I’ll have the answers.

However, there are still interesting parts that made me rate Cruel Crown higher. Like knowing Mare’s brother, Shade Barrow, and the feels on Coriane and the crown prince’s courtship. There are more but that would spoil you more.

Though Cruel Crown did not totally quench my thirst, it was remarkable.



23 May 2016

The World Distinguished Enthralling, Magonia

Series: Magonia, #1
Publication: April 28th 2015 by HarperCollins
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating: 

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


Before Magonia was released, it is quite hype on both Twitter and Instagram. I heard it’s a good read. Also, you can’t blame a person to fall in love in an instant just seeing its beautiful cover. I did fall in love with it. I was lucky that I saw a copy of it in our local bookstore. I think we were meant to be, we were really meant to be. I was meant to be introduced to Aza Ray’s world.

I have mix tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling on Magonia.

Let’s first say something about the negatives. The first three chapters were displeasing to read. It’s exceptionally bad to read all the rants of Aza, the protagonist. She’s all that and all this. It made me stop to read it for a while but tried to push further for the reason that I want to know the world Magonia, not what Aza thinks on those chapters. It was part of the book and Aza’s character, yeah, but I think that was not necessary. Aza portrays that she is a hard-headed person and she has many benefits because her health is not normal. There are characters that I have known that are “hard-headed” but they are cool to be with. Aza’s different. How she was written wasn’t magical, she’s almost on the brink of your annoyance meter. But all of these that are characterized by habitual scepticism and a disagreeable tendency tardily went away when Aza was in her real world… Magonia.

Magonia is characterized by romantic imagery. Both idealistic and unrealistic. The world is distinguished delighting and/or enthralling. Aza was troublesome at first by this world but then have accepted it and who she is. The transition of her character was overwhelming. You would notice the change a bit late but it was fine. It means that those parts were good enough that you don’t notice small details. The other characters were delicately written and suitable enough for their characteristic. The rest of Magonia was genuinely admirable to read.

Surely I’ll read the sequel, Aerie, for I am eager to read what happened to Aza and the rest. I am hoping that it would be much better to Magonia.

Be magical and read Magonia. It’s worth the push.



Have you read Magonia? What have you thought about it? Do we think of it the same or the opposite?


20 May 2016

I've Got A Playlist For Ya'll


I am both happy and sad at the same right now. Happy that I have successfully brought this book tour to everyone and sad that this tour ends today. I am forever thankful to Ms. Karen Hattrup for supporting me with this tour and for her never ending replies on my inquiries, and to my tour participants: JM, Carmel, Karla, Raphael, Inah and Jeddidiah, for helping me spread the love for Frannie and Tru.

On this last day of the tour, I'm ending it with a playlist post. Half of the playlist's songs are mentioned in the book and the rest is what I have listened to when I was reading Frannie and Tru.

Note: You may get spoiled by the songs and what's behind them but where's the fun in not getting spoiled, right? I guarantee you that if you'll get spoiled, at least, by these songs, it's totally worth it. Especially if it's your jam!


You Can't Always Get What You Want by Rolling Stones • I'm on Fire by Bruce Springsteen • Bad by U2

These are the songs Frannie and Tru listened to in the car. Wherever they go, it's either Rolling Stones, U2 or Bruce Springsteen. As I remember, when Frannie's parents is with them, Tru always chose Bruce. Maybe because it's his mother's favorite. But if I were on their car? I'd choose U2, of course.

Lola by The Kinks • Heatwave by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas

I don't remember what the boys (in the story) played during their battle of the bands and didn't listened to either of these songs but! When Ms. Karen told me these were the songs they played that time, I re-read that part and OH GOD. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THIS PART? Well, it sucks to be me.
Young and Free by Sucre • Is This How You Feel by The Preatures • You Know Me by Air Traffic Controller • Won't You Come Over by Devendra Banhart • All Those Friendly People by Funeral Suits
The rest of the songs, as I mentioned, were my picks when I was reading Frannie and Tru. The titles may be a little objective to you but it is subjective to me during that time. All Those Friendly People fits to the last two chapters of the book, it explains a lot especially coming from Frannie's new friends through Tru, and since the book portrays race, class and gender. I admit that not all readers fall for Frannie and Tru, well, that's true to most books, pretty subjective. But if you'll read more or read between the lines, it's really poetic. I'm sticking to that, as I've said on my review.

When I listened to Is This How You Feel, I imagined it's Frannie with the boys. The song conforms to them and to their friendship and feelings.

Of course, I would not leave you with all the burden searching for those songs, it's all in here! I made a Spotify playlist just for you. 💛



And that's it! The end of Frannie and Tru book tour but it's not yet the end for everyone! Frannie and Tru comes out on May 31st, 2016 and I encourage everyone to grab a copy.

You can purchase Frannie and Tru at
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and Local Bookseller.

I hope you relish listening the playlist and I wish you a cheerful summer!




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