The Young Elites – A dark Anti-hero Origin story

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Series: The Young Elites #1

Publication date : October 7th, 2014goodreads

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 355

Synopsis : I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt. 
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 4 stars

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Trigger warning: Parental abuse

(No Spoilers)

I’ve had this book on my TBR for the LONGEST time. Since it came out actually, I wasn’t even part of the community back then, I was just watching some random Youtuber when they talked about it and I thought it sounded interesting enough. But the thing is, I didn’t read fantasy back then so it naturally got burried under a humongous TBR pile until a friend literally screamed at me to read it on twitter (that’s the only way to get me to read a book if you haven’t noticed), I finally caved and picked it up. And oh boy! I regret not reading it sooner because HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK IS AWESOME.

In my honest opinion, the writing is powerful. Adelina, the main character has a whirlwind of emotions raging inside of her and that really shows in the narration, I could feel every struggle, every pain and every darkness and there are a lot of those. And the descriptions were breath-taking, vivid and beautiful even in their ugliness. What it was lacking, and this really is the only complaint I have, is POVS. This is one of those books that should be told in multiple perspectives, there’s a rich cast of character that wasn’t explored to its fullest potential because of the one point of view we got. Well, almost. There were some chapters here and there that weren’t from the MC’s POV but not nearly enough and not from the characters I was the most interested in. (1)

The story is unique, the kind that’s lacking in YA (AND THAT WE NEED MORE OF). As  you’ve guessed it from the title of the post AND the synopsis of the book, it’s a villaineous character origin story, and a well executed one at that. Marie Lu has built a very dark and heavy vibe around her story and it is shown rather than told and I. live. for. that. That being said, this is a slow fantasy and if that’s not your cup of tea, better skip it. I, for one, didn’t mind it because it made space for good world building and character developpement. And I like both of those things.

BUT the plot is very worth it, it went down some roads I did NOT expect and it took me by surprise and broke me because WE CAN’T HAVE HAPPY NICE THINGS. I particularly liked the opening scene because for one it’s really strong and gets the reader intrigued from the start and it reminded me of one of my favorite classics which is THE LAST DAY OF A CONDEMNED MAN by Victor Hugo, if you’ve read both I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the similarities.

The world is… kind of confusing at first, it took me a little while to get a hang of the city names and situate myself properly but once that was done I thoroughly enjoyed the settings. The Young Elites’ powers are based on energy and emotions which was really interesting to read about, how different people respond to different emotions and how that affects the kind of power they have as well as their strength. I liked how the author also weaved simple things that we experience and explained them by integrating them fully in this world she created.

Adelina is such a well fleshed character. I loved how conflicted and at war with her own feelings she was and the most fascinating was seeing her gradually give in to the darkness, to her “true” self, ambitious, power hungry and villaineous. One thing I particularly appreciated about her and how Marie Lu wrote her is that she wasn’t strong from the get go, not even close, it took her work and time to gain control over her power and that is a nice change from the mainstream MC who’s good at everything she sets her hands on. All of this mean that she’s a lot inside her head, battling with her emotions and demons, figuring out wha to do and who to trust. (2)

(1) and (2) made that I didn’t really know much about the other characters, which I would’ve liked, especially the Daggers, they were very interesting and had a lot of potential. This doesn’t mean that they were cardboard characters because they weren’t but ya know… I wanted more of them, but Adelina being “an outsider” didn’t make that possible. The little I knew of them I liked and I made this game out of it and tried to come up with an adjective  and only one to describe each one of them, and this is what I came up with: Enzo the mysterious, Raffaele the graceful, Gemma the delicate, Dante the ruthless, Michel the artist and Lucente the playful.

And that’s it for this review, friends. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel, which is actually happening in a couple of days (when I’m writing this, by the time it goes up I’ll have read it and a few books after it haha) because the way The Young Elites ended has me very curious and excited for the future events.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read The Young Elites? If so, what did you think?

What did you think of Adelina’s transformation?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Adorable boys, long emails and Oreos

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Publication date : April 7th, 2015goodreads

Publisher : HarperCollins Children’s Books

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 320

Synopsis : Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
 
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 5 stars

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(No Spoilers)

Don’t tell anyone but I might have shed a tear or two by the end of this book because it made me genuinely happy and giddy and just AHH!! All the fuzzy feelings were given to me by all the adorable characters, the adorable events and even more adorable romance. I don’t know what took me so long. To be completely honest, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to read this one until I joined the right crowd on Twitter and EVERYONE was raving about it, a couple of my friends even yelled at me to read it already but what finally made me take the jump -besides my rising excitement- is when my awesome friend Mariam @ Mariammy Books -who has read it multiple times- offered to buddy read it with me.

I was pleasantly surprised with the writing, I didn’t expect it to like it as much as I did, (like everything else in this book, oups). It’s fun and beautiful at the same times, a lot of it is quotable and I’m a sucker for good lines, this got to be one of my favorites:

“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat — soft and persistent, underlying everything.”

Simon vs. starts directly with the blackmail, it’s literally how we first meet Simon and from then on we get to know and love him, see him handle the blackmail, his crush and life, and sometimes fail at it, which is okay. The story is told in first person from Simon’s perspective and I have to say, he has a very likeable voice, one you get easily attached to, and it isn’t boring nor is it irritating which is really great because we all know how being inside a character’s thoughts can be.

Everyone and their mother knows what the story is by now, but what you don’t know and need to hear is how cute the email exchanges between Simon and Blue are, they’re the cutest things ever, some are deep, some are silly and most are random. The conversation flows very easily, there is no fear of judgement, because none of them know who the other one is. And I think that’s brilliant because by the time they got to meet they already knew each other, they knew things they probably wouldn’t have told each other in the “getting to know each other” stage if it were to happen face to face.

Simon is so freaking precious, he’s a sweet boy and I found it impossible to dislike him or even get annoyed at him which is VERY weird for me because I’m easily annoyed but he just genuinely loves people and taking care of them, HE COULDN’T EVEN HATE HIS BLACKMAILER for 80% of the book. He’s also super funny, the respectful kind of funny if that makes any sense, the kind where he doesn’t need to bring people down or be offensive to make a joke and I really liked that.

Blue is… yeah no, you’re not getting a name hehe, all I can say is that he isn’t anyone you’re expecting, although I must say that at one point I thought to myself what if it’s … and then forgot about it 2 seconds later. Sigh. Which means that the reveal managed to surprise me as much as anyone else. He’s such a soft boy and you all know by now, I have a weak spot for those, I swooned and flailed at how flirty and romantic he could get, how gentle he seemed -from the emails. I was scared when starting the book that it would end and I wouldn’t have had enough Simon and Blue IRL scenes, and even though I don’t think I can ever get enough of them, there were enough scenes to satiate me.

Special mention to Simon’s family and his group of friends. I LIVED for how tight knitted his family was, slightly humiliating, they have traditions, sometimes fight but none of it ever makes you doubt their love for each other. Nick and Abby are adorable and I rooted for them, as for Leah, she’s the badassest (it’s a word now, apparently) and my idol and I feel so blessed that Becky is releasing a book all about her because it’s going to be awesome.

Last but not least, I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT THE MOVIE !!!! Y’all can’t even imagine, I need it to be out in the world yesterday. I’m pretty sure I’m going to reread this one many times because it is a very quick, pick me up, happy read and it would lift anyone’s spirits instantly. If you’ve been hesitant to pick it up like yours truly, don’t be!! Just take the plunge.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? If so, what did you think?

Where you able to guess Blue’s identity?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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When Dimple Met Rishi – The Hilariously Cute Arranged Marriage rom-com

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Publication date : May 30th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Simon & Schuster

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count : 320

Synopsis : A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Rating : 4.5 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi Quote

*I received an eArc of this book from the publishers through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*

(No Spoilers)

You know what I did when I first heard of a “Modern day, contemporary YA arranged marriage story”? I SCREAMED. Yes, I screamed. Because that’s how bad I needed this positive representation in contrast with what we usually get about how it’s always “forced”. The blurb says : “A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy” and heck yes it is, I haven’t laughed this much reading a book in a very long time, and this was all around cute, fluffy and heartwarming so I couldn’t help but adore it.

As I was saying, When Dimple Met Rishi is a rom-com with beautiful, dreamy, quick witted writing that grips your attention and turns everything around you shiny and new. It is written in dual POV from both our main characters’ sides which was really refreshing as we got to see how feelings progressed on both sides at the same time, how they expressed them and how the other responded to them. And that’s something we don’t often get to see and I really loved it.

The only thing that made me decide not to give this book a full 5 stars (because I otherwise fell in love with the story, writing, characters, etc…) is how towards the end Dimple was very down and sad, which the author used the word “depressed” more than once to describe in dialogue, and that really didn’t sit well with me, as she wasn’t really depressed, she was just nursing a broken heart.

So, the story starts with the funniest scene I have ever read with Rishi creeping the hell out of Dimple who starts hating him right away. Rightfully. That being said, as the story progresses, she calms down and realizes how he isn’t a creep and that he is in fact nice and sweet (please, find me a 22 years old Rishi, thanks) they strike up an amazing friendship because of how comfortable they are with each other and how effortless their chemistry and banter are.

I really liked how there was a swap of “gender norms” (which is a bunch of nonsense but that’s a discussion for another day). Dimple is into coding and techy stuff I understand zero about, while Rishi is an artist at heart, loves drawing comics and is REALLY good at it. What made it extra special is that for the project, not one of them was useless, they combined both their passions to make an amazing app.

Dimple and Rishi could not be more different, but they somehow compliment each other and make for an amazingly adorable couple that I couldn’t stop rooting for. Dimple is very rational, down to earth and can come off as overly selfish and ambitious -which she feels like she has to do to break that stereotype of “you’re a girl so sit pretty”, so to get out of that mold she refuses to give romance a chance and isn’t interested in getting married. She’s very intense about everything but she’s also very funny and loving.

Rishi I could honestly write an essay about. That boy has my heart. He is so unapologetically himself while being very honorable and serious about the whole marriage deal. He’s a hopelessly romantic dork, very gentle and awkwardly cute. SO SO very cheesy and goofy, he did everything he could to make Dimple happy and comfortable and felt very protective of her.

One thing that I deeply appreciated is how through both perspectives, the author addressed different ways diaspora kids feel about their roots. While Dimple felt very fish out of water in India and detached from everything that has to do with customs and traditions because it “just isn’t her”, Rishi is so very attached to his relatives in India and is adamant on respecting his parents’ wishes by doing everything by the book and you could feel while reading from his perspective that it’s not only for his parents but it’s for him too.

All in all, as you may have noticed, I have a weak spot for romantic comedies and fell head over heels for this one because of its positive representation, wonderful writing and laugh out loud moments. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a fluffy read.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read When Dimple Met Rishi? If so, what did you think?

What was your favorite part?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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History is All you left me – Where I let the hype get to me. Again.

History is All you left me

Publication date : January 17th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Soho Teen

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 320

Synopsis : When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 3.5 stars

History is All you left me quote

(No Spoilers)

I’m sad, guys. I truly, deeply am sad every time I think of this book because I didn’t like it as much as I wanted, as much as I expected. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know More Happy than Not was one of my favorite book of last year so you can imagine how humongous my expectations were and that was wrong, I shouldn’t have done it. WHEN WILL I LEARN? Mind you, I still enjoyed reading this book, all the perspectives it brought but it just didn’t win me over completely. And Puput @ Sparkling Letters with whom I buddy read it agreed.

History is All you left me has one of the strongest openings I’ve ever read, emotionally speaking, it was so gripping and just loaded which I thought set a great path for the rest of the book. The writing is in typical Adam Silvera fashion which means breath-takingly beautiful, his prose is light but still meaningful, each sentence is well placed for full impact. The book is written from Griffin’s POV alternating between “Today” after Theo’s death and “History” which is his story from when they started dating until their last conversation and it was good, it was a change in tone, in the mental and emotional state of Griffin and it kept it interesting. Theoretically.

I say theoretically because in all honesty, I was bored for more than 2/3 of the novel, it just didn’t grasp my attention like Silvera’s other book did. You’re going to tell me it’s character driver and I know that, those are actually some of my favorite stories but something just didn’t click here, I can’t put my finger on it but there was just so much space taken up by unnecessary information, or to put it otherwise, things I personally didn’t care for. Then comes the last 80 pages or so and things start flowing much better, I loved that last part because the story stopped stagnating and something finally happened, a thing I didn’t see coming but that made ALL the sense in the world once it was revealed and that “twist” (it’s not really one) was my favorite part.

I really liked Griffin, he was caring, sweet, even though that didn’t really show through the “today” parts because grief messed him quite the bit, he started making some decisions that were very questionable and turned him a bit selfish because his pain was so strong -almost tangible- that he stopped seeing that people around him were hurting too, and that was okay (albeit frustrating) to be honest because it felt authentic. Griffin also has OCD which gets worse after Theo’s death and I thought that the portrayal was so spot on (it’s #ownvoices) for some forms of OCD and very realistic in how it was handled.

Jackson is Theo’s “other boyfriend” and I liked how thoughtful and honest he was, and the relationship that was gradually built between Griff and him was raw and beautiful, even though it started because of their common grief it developed into much more. Theo is a whole other story, he’s a jerk. There it is, I said it. I just didn’t get why Griffin kept pining when he deserved much better than a selfish, spoiled child. He wanted him to wait for him while he went off with his new boyfriend and I really hated that. Wade is THE SOFTEST CINNAMON ROLL THAT EVER LIVED, hands down my favorite character in the book. He was Griff and Theo’s bestfriend, everything I loved about the others plus he paid attention to the little details and was just adorable and very huggable, alright?

One thing I really appreciated is how through all the characters that were grieving, the author was able to show how there isn’t one proper way to do it, grief is personal and intimate and different for each person.

History is all you left me was a big disappointment to me which now I realize isn’t a very popular opinion because everyone seems to adore it but I… just… wasn’t won over. I see what the appeal of it is and I can see why all these people love it so much but I just can’t seem to join them. Don’t think from these words that I hated it, I actually really enjoyed it, but you know.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read History is All you left me? If so, what did you think?

Who was your favorite character?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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A Conjuring of Light – Where I died and was brought back to life

A conjuring of Light

Series: Shades of Magic #3

Publication date : February 21th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Tor Books

Genre : Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 624

Synopsis : Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.  (From Goodreads)

Rating: 4.5 stars

A conjuring of Light Quote

(May contain spoilers for the first books. All Spoilers for this book are hidden.)

RIP my heart and all the characters that died in this book. RIP my soul because I sold it to Schwab and this damned trilogy of hers. RIP my mind because it has been consumed with this series for the past year and now that it’s done I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. This book did all sorts of things to me and I know that reading this and knowing that this is one of my favorite series (My reviews for ADSOM and AGOS) you’re wondering why on earth I didn’t give it 5 stars, right? Well, because I’m mad at it and frustrated at the way a certain thing was handled but more on that later.

Oh by the way, I buddy read this with some of my favorite people and closest friends, Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books and Kat @ Life and Other Disasters and it was so much fun to have them to go to when this book got too much, which is more often than not.

I don’t even know why I still let the writing take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet, I should learn by now that Schwab is one heck of a talented writer. It flows nicely, the chapters are short and it has a lot of POVs. Seriously, A LOT. But the weird thing is that it wasn’t overwhelming, the transition between them -which often happened between one paragraph and the next- was very smartly and subtly done, so smooth that I didn’t even realize it was switching until I took a step back and thought about it. Besides the main four POVs, the others ones were like these outsider looks on what the MCs were doing which was a much needed perspective.

So… THIS WAS SUCH A FREAKING EMOTIONAL ROLLER COSTER. No one was safe. No one was okay and I was scared for 99% of it. Especially with the author promising death numerous times, I didn’t know who it would be. The action picks up from page 1 (literally) and never slows down until everything is resolved, the tension is palpable and the build up so damn good, I literally couldn’t put it down and had to read a few pages every free moment I had (just ask the girls, I finished it so freaking fast haha). The plot, like in the other books is intricate and unpredictable, besides the obvious Osaron, I couldn’t figure out if there were any other ennemies and who I could trust, it was a traumatizing experience, because friends turned out to be foes and vice versa.

Speaking of Osaron, that demon/egocentric jerk/smoke thingy made my skin crawl, he is so frightening and what made it worse is that some part are from his POV and they were terrifying and disturbing. The way he thinks, plots, his strength that seemed invincible had me really worried about my babies.

Onto my babies now, I think I’m running out of adjectives to describe them (see my reviews for the other 2 books) especially Kell and Lila because he is same caring, brave Kell and she is the same confident, sassy Delilah we know and love. I LIVED FOR THEIR ROMANCE, I never thought I could say “cute” about anything involving Lila but they were ADORABLE and kind of steamy as well. What I loved is that their relationship was a constant, there was no kind of doubt or drama whatsoever, like the natural course of things.

My other two children are Rhy and Alucard and I do have adjectives to describe these two especially Rhy because he went through great development. I don’t remember if I said this in my previous reviews but as much as I adore him, there was this childish and slightly selfish side of him that kind of annoyed me a little bit which wasn’t the case in this final installment, he stepped up when it was needed and showed his true potential as a person, a prince and a future king. Alucard too showed a new side of him, a softer, more vulnerable side that I cherished, his love for Rhy is so pure and amazing and it really showed in the way he was trying to redeem himself.

Here’s the thing though, and the reason behind my 4.5 stars which I ranted about for hours (yep) with my friend Mariam ( @ Mariammy Books, check her out, she’s pretty rad). I didn’t like the way their romance was handled. I thought that it needed way more page space to develop the right way compared to Lila and Kell (who got plenty… not that I’m complaining) while they were the ones with unresolved issues and whatnot, I’m really bitter about this because although we got some flashbacks from their past relationship, I needed more, like how they met, a little more of their angst and cuteness, etc… Plus, the way it was wrapped up was pretty iffy as well.  Considering how long it took Rhy to forgive or even listen to what Alucard had to say, I expected that moment to make my heart explode with joy but the fact that it was so public and IT DIDN’T END WITH A KISS was very underwhelming (I wanted that freaking kiss so bad) . Add to that the fact that I couldn’t understand why Alucard had to have a demotion from Privateer to guard to be with Rhy, like, couldn’t he be something else? A counselor? Head of the guard? Or I don’t know??? Something that doesn’t feel like he’s giving up a part of himself?

I have one more character to add to my children’s list that I would give a kidney for. Holland. I KNOW, I KNOW but I love me a tortured soul, I just wanted him to be safe and happy, that’s not too much to ask, right? He deserved a bit of peace after all the bad luck that’s been thrown his way. Learning about his past was absolutely shattering, and eye opening to be quite honest, we got to see why he turned out the way he did and I’m telling you, HE DESERVED BETTER.

I just want to close this review by saying that this doesn’t mean that Shades of Magic isn’t one of my favorite series anymore because it still is. The cast of characters is one of the best I’ve ever read and I’ll love them forever, it is fantastic, with a mind blowing plot and brilliant world building, it’s just that… you know, in my opinion, Rhy and Alucard were done dirty.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read A Conjuring of Light? If so, what did you think?

Who was you favorite character? What did you think about both romances? 

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Girl out of Water – A story of Self-Discovery, Family and a Dimple

Girl out of Water

Publication date : May 2nd, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Sourcebooks Fire

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 320

Synopsis : Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.
Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 4.5 stars

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*I received an Arc of this book from the author and publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

(No Spoilers)

This book made me SO HAPPY? I can’t even form coherent thoughts right now because my brain is taken up by all the feels. Seriously, it is such a quiet beautiful book that I’m sure everyone would love. So I’d encourage you to run and pre-order it right now *waits for you to come back* Now that you have done that we can go one with the rest of the review. Oh, what made my reading experience all the more awesome is reading the book with my best friend  Sara @ Freadom Library which made it our first -of many- buddy-read. And don’t ask, I don’t know what took us so long.

The writing is both exquisite and very simple. It also feels personal, very unique to Anise -the MC-‘s voice. It naturally is written from her POV, she has a very honest and spontaneous voice that reminded me of myself. I actually saw a lot of me in her, and that alone has made Anise a huge win for me.

This is the story of how Anise was taken away from what she expected to be the summer of her life, from everything she knew and loved to help her aunt take care of her home and kids after she was in a bad accident. And how she adjusted to all the changes in her life and how she dealt with them. Which made this a very character driven story with a lot of growth, family and friendship.

Anise’s mom is absent, she comes and goes like the wind, has never been and never will be a pilar in her life and I loved how that was kept that way until the end, there was no reunion, no closure, no understanding her mom’s behavior. She was just this presence -or rather absence- that affected Anise’s life more than she liked to admit. Because of her absence, Anise is very much afraid of being like her so she doesn’t like leaving home, not to go to her aunt’s, not to go to college, not ever. She’s so afraid of abandoning the people who matter to her that that’s exactly what she ends up doing to her friends back home.

As you may have gathered, Anise is a very flawed character, which made her all the more loveable. She’s a very well written, three-dimensional character with strengths and weaknesses. She’s very caring and sweet. What I particularly loved about her is how responsible and mature she was about the whole situation. She wasn’t resentful, she understood why she had to do what she had to do even though she was really disappointed which showed in the writing, but never in the way she behaved around her dad, her aunt, or any of her cousins, her conversations with them were warm and natural. One thing that’s hilarious about her (and that annoyed Sara while I was enjoying it immensely) is how big of a sore loser she was. THAT IS SO ME! I hate losing and I behave the exact same way she does when that happens.

The character development she went through was remarkable. Through her time away from home, she realized that change wasn’t such a bad thing and that home wouldn’t disappear just because she leaves for a few months because her people will always be there when she gets back and that rings so true. Slowly but surely, she frees herself from her mom’s hold and is able to see things differently.

This book has a big focus on family and I loved how close and genuine the family bonds were. I adored how open and honest her relationship with her father was, he was everything to her from a dad to a bestfriend and that’s amazing to read about. Her aunt -her mom’s sister- was as close to a real mother figure as she could ever have, she loves her like her own children and that love is reciprocated. Her little cousins are the definition of adorable, the twins so sweet and endearing but what I liked more is how she behaved with her cousin, Emery. She was like a big sister to her and did everything to make her comfortable and get her to trust her and see her as a friend.

Her group of friends back home, although only physically in the book in the beginning and the very end of the book played a big part in it, through Anise’s descriptions and thought process, I felt like I knew them as much as if they were there. Their little group is so tight-knitted that it felt really realistic. I loved Tessa -her bestfriend-‘s strong personality and how she called her out on her shitty behavior during her time away.

Last but not least, LINCOLN. That beautiful boy is one giant dimple (I’m not obsessed, what are you talking about?). He’s so charismatic and precious, he also does everything to make Anise comfortable while pulling her away from her comfort zone. I loved him, he has a very laidback, go with the flow type of personality and he’s also very teasy. Through their romance, the author was able to picture the bitter-sweetness of a summer fling perfectly, they were so good for each other and their chemistry was effortless.

Although the ending felt a bit rushed and like it didn’t have all the attention I thought it deserved, I really loved the open ending tying some loose ends while leaving room for questions, like what’s next for Lincoln and Anise? What is she going to decide for college? etc…. That also makes me secretly hope for a companion novella or book. Shhh. Let a girl dream.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Girl our of Water? If so, what did you think?

What did you think of Anise’s character? Did you love the romance as much as I did?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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The Seafarer’s Kiss – The Little Mermaid retelling of my Dreams

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Publication date : May 4th, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Interlude Press

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 230

Synopsis : Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.
Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.
 
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Seafarer's Kiss quote

*I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review*

(No Spoilers)

Thinking about The Seafarer’s Kiss makes my heart swell, swell, swell, that’s how much I loved it. IT IS SO AMAZING, GUYS. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint, not at all. In fact, it was different in more ways than one and better than what I expected. I think it is scientifically proven (ok maybe not) that it’s impossible not to be excited about this gem. Little Mermaid retelling? Bisexual MC? Norse Mythology? My answer was automatically GIMME.

The writing is absolutely stunning. It is soft and lyrical, and I didn’t expect anything short of that coming from Julia, she’s a word whisperer, she wields them to her will and does beautiful things with them. My favorite part about it has to be the descriptions, they were mesmerizing and set a whimsical tone to the story, the magic seeps through them especially when it comes to the mermaids, I was all heart eyes. 

The world building is seamless, it’s so well weaved into the story that i didn’t realize how much I knew about the world the author created until I knew it all, it wasn’t overwhelming in any way. This being a retelling, I was afraid it would be predictable in some way but the author was inspired by the original tale only lightly, she took “staple” pieces from it, twisted them and put them to a different use to be able to bring in the Norse mythology element. And it was a very successful mix.

Now, this was darker than I expected. It started off slow (not the bad kind) and things escalated progressively until the pace picked up and kept me on my toes for the rest of the novel, it even managed to surprise me with some minor twists a few times. You know how I have a soft spot for morally grey characters, right? Well this one hit all the marks with me in that area. I absolutely adored how the lines between evil and good were blurred and everything and -almost- everyone was in the middle, much more complex than the black and white default settings.

The Seafarer’s Kiss is written in first person from Ersel‘s POV and she has my heart. Like most characters in this book, she’s flawed and selfish. But also gorgeous, clever and resourceful. She doesn’t give up on her goals no matter what challenges are thrown at her. Although she did some questionnable things for questionnable reasons, the fact that she tried to make it all right made me love her even more. Special mention to her mom who is a total badass, super supportive and loving.

Next comes Ragna, the human girl and love interest. She’s confident and absolutely stabtastic but I also felt like I had to protect her at all costs even though I was fully aware that of the two of us, I’m the one in need of protection heh. Here comes a confession and the reason for no giving this book a full 5 stars, a completely selfish reason but you know. I WANTED MORE ERSEL/RAGNA PAGE SPACE. I shipped them so hard that I just wanted way more of them than I got (which wasn’t a lot to be honest).

Havamal. is. a. mess. He acts out on impulse and regrets it afterwards but he is so endearing and I’m total trash for him. There it is, I said it. I ADORED Havamal no matter how much I wanted to smack him because of his choices, it just is what it is. Last but not least is Loki, they took the gold for my favorite villainous characters of all times, THEY WERE AMAZING, smart, sneaky, ruthless and quite funny. I love the original Loki but the way Julia wrote them here is just fantastic. That being said the fact that Loki is the only non binary character and them being a villain has gotten very mixed responses from NB folks, some loved it and felt empowered, some hated it and were hurt because of the deceiving aspect and both are valid. So I would be very cautious about recommending this one to non-cis readers who I think should be made aware of this fact prior to reading.

I think this will be it for this review. Oh, nope, one last thing, IT HAS THE CUTEST BELUGAS EEEEEVER. So if all of this doesn’t make you want to pick The Seafarer’s Kiss as soon as it is out, I don’t know what will. Seriously though, preorder it NOW, you don’t want to miss out.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read The Seafarer’s Kiss? If so, what did you think?

Who was you favorite character? Because I can’t decide. 

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Noteworthy – Where I went for Fluff and got a Punch of Real

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Publication date : May 2nd, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Amulet Books

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 400

Synopsis : It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.
Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for. (From Goodreads)

Rating: 5 stars

Noteworthy Quote.png

*I received an Arc of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

(No Spoilers)

You know how sometimes you go into a book expecting a lot of fun, heart eyes and fluff but you’re surprised, completely swiped off your feet because in addition to that, you get a story of self-growth that has a settle way of dealing with important social issues, creating discussion around important topics through conversations, thoughts and reflections. I buddy-read this one with one of dearest blogging friends, Puput @ Sparkling Letters and we expected to love it but I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that Noteworthy exceeded our expectations and it is safe to say now that will be one of my favorite reads of the year.

The writing is gorgeous while still being easy to follow. I absolutely loved Riley Redgate’s style which takes turns being serious and funny depending on what the scene at hand demanded which can seem simple but is delicate when you want the book to flow nicely without any glitches or weird changes in the pace. The narration is from Jordan’s point of view and she has such a genuine, witty voice that I couldn’t help falling in love with her.

The story is one of a girl who finds herself by loosing it in a character that she makes up named Julian. In order to join the A-cappella group, Jordan had to cross-dress as a boy named Julian and to be completely honest I was very apprehensive going in because crossdressing isn’t something to take lightly and it can be handled very badly. And I think that the author did a great job in addressing the fact that it isn’t something that should be taken lightly, dedicating a small section of the book to Jordan doing research about the implications of what she was doing.

Back to the self-discovery. I felt like this book at its heart is a beautiful coming of age story. Jordan, who never felt very comfortable in her own skin, how she dressed and presented herself found a happy middle when after being Julian for the majority of her time, she discovered that in him she set free parts of her that were vital and that she kept repressed because she thought they clashed with who she needed to be. And that is such an important story to tell.

As I said, I loved Jordan‘s character. She’s a Chinese-American, bisexual girl and was in more ways than one relatable to me, to the lost teenager I once was and I’m sure a lot of people will relate even more to her and realize that it’s okay to not know who you are. She’s very sarcastic and quick-witted which spoke to my soul, her humor was right up my alley and I found myself laughing in multiple occasions. She also grew up poor, her parents always struggling to meet ends each month which is something so important to acknowledge in books, especially YA, because not every kid has the means to have a car, go to fancy schools or have fancy clothes but it also showed how she wasn’t miserable and she managed to make it work. I’m grateful for that.

When she joined the Sharpshooters, Jordan found herself in a little family, an amazing group of boys who were there for each other, stood up for each other even while having their own disagreements. Seeing the competition and rivalry with the other groups made my life, because it kept me on my toes and made the book read like a movie. Which makes me think: Can someone make a *good* movie adaptation of this? Please, and thank you!

The boys’ friendships were ADORABLE. The group is friendship goals. An other thing I loved about them is how amazingly and deeply diverse they were, there was so much work put into the side-characters to make them whole and not just stereotypes of what they’re identities are perceived to be. Isaac who is the second most important character is a Japanese-American boy with whom she creates an amazing tight bond that is so genuine and endearing, it gave me ALL the feels. There’s also Nihal who is a Sikh gay kid and through him she discussed how it can be tricky for religious kids to find a happy balance between their religion and their sexuality. Jordan finds a bestfriend in him, he confides in her and she in him. There are other characters, but these two stood out the most to me.

In addition to the topics mentioned above, the author discusses through her characters’ experiences a hip of other subjects like equality, feminism and what it means to be an ally. Which makes this book such an incredibly important read that I think everyone -whether you like A-capella or not- should read because at the end of the day it’s about the things that really matter.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Noteworthy? If so, what did you think?

How did you think the nuanced discussions were handled?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Out on Good Behavior – The Cute Book that got me Back into New Adult

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Series: Radleigh University #3

Publication date : June 14th, 2016goodreads

Publisher : Self-published

Genre : New Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 290

Synopsis : Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.
But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.
Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.
(From Goodreads)

Rating : 3.5 stars

Out On Good Behavior Quote

No New Adult in a year and then two in a month, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? It means that I got back into it and freaking loving it. This is another companion series I’m reading out of order. When will I ever learn? This is also the book that showed me just how much I missed reading about people my age which means that you’ll be seeing more NA on the blog (YA will still be predominant, fret not). This is another one I’ve been hearing a lot about when asking about F/F NA romances and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s real, cute and just very down to earth.

The writing is witty and funny from our main character, Frankie’s POV and guess what she is? Yes, you’re right, she’s witty and funny. One problem I had with the writing itself was how redundant some sentences are, especially “turns me to liquid”, I like the imagery, I get it, but once it’s used every other page I just start rolling my eyes because it starts feeling cliché and out of place. Other than that the writing was good and easy on the eye.

Frankie is a pansexual artist, which I loved reading about because if I have a soft spot for a type of characters, it’s artists. She’s smart, witty and very scared of commitment (relatable af) and it was really cute and funny to see someone like that slowly turn soft and mushy as she started developing feelings for Samara. Samara is everyone of us in our twenties reading YA books, she loves getting lost in books and I appreciated that very much. She’s sweet, gentle and very caring. From first glance she’s very shy and conservative but she isn’t (not as much as she seems to be at least), she’s just scared of an accidental outing especially with her parents being bigots.

Speaking of which, one of the few problems I had with the book is that considering how big the part her parents played in the book was, I expected them to make an appearance, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s more of a me thing because I was convinced it would happen. To get all problems out of the way, I have one last one to talk about, which is the bar scene towards the end, it is very important for the development of the story so I was kind of disappointed when it was a bit rushed. I would’ve wanted it to be explored a bit more.

Now for the romance. You know how in M/F romances, there is this common overused trope where the guy doesn’t want to get “tied down” while the girl is ready for commitment. Well, I LOVED seeing a spin of that in an F/F romance, and in this case, I didn’t mind it at all, mainly because it wasn’t used dry. Frankie realizes she’s developing feelings for Samara early on and I absolutely adored how she wanted to take time and make sure that everything is right. Their relationship is absolutely adorable and heartwarming, I liked the way it progressed and how they spent most their days doing casual things, being cosy and comfortable.

This is another one with amazing friendships (God, how I love this type of books). Frankie’s friends – Lizzie and Cait (whom book 1 & 2 are about) are the best and their group banter is very funny but get real quickly when necessary. They rooted for her and Samara so much and did everything to make her comfortable and include her in their little group.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a cute, fast to read F/F to lift their spirits up with awesome girl power and witty banter.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Out on Good Behavior? If so, what did you think?

Do you think the bar scene was satisfying?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Semi-Hiatus Announcement

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Hello guys!

Today is discussion day, right? But I’m sorry to say that there won’t be any of those for a little while, there won’t be much of me at all for a little while and here’s why.

At the end of last week I got my exam schedule for the semester and it seriously freaked me out, I was so stressed (and still am, but 1% less) because I simply won’t pass if I don’t give up pretty much everything else in my life for the next couple of months. I started with deleting the twitter app because that’s so damn distracting, it becomes the most appealing thing in a mile’s radius when I’m trying to study. But as I made my study schedule I realized that something else would have to go.

Until yesterday, I was still in denial about having to give up my blog for two months but while I tried to find time to write this week’s posts I simply couldn’t. So yeah, blogging has to go too.

I have my exams starting April 26th until the very end of May, BUT I have to start hard core studying from now (I actually started a week ago) so I will officially be on hiatus starting today April 10th until May 31st. That being said, review are STILL going up because all of April’s are already scheduled and I can get away with writing one post a week. Otherwise, the backlog will get unmanageable. Other than that, no discussions, no tags, no any other posts. I’m bummed but I can’t add the stress of trying to squeeze in some blogging to the already immense stress of exams.

See you on the other side ❤

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