A Gathering of Shadows – Brace yourself for a Gathering of Feels and… a Hangover

Title : A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)A Gathering of Shadows Final

Author : V. E. Schwab

Publication date : February 23rd 2016

Publisher : Tor Books

Genre : Adult | Fantasy

Synopsis : It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

Rating: 5 stars

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“People survived by being cautious, but they got ahead by being bold”

(All Spoilers are hidden)

Remember how I said Schwab is Queen of Fantasy? I’m still standing by that statement and even more now after this. RIP ME. I’m dead, drowned in the feels, wrecked by the feels train, burned by the feels dragon. YOU GET IT ! I’M HANGOVER AND I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. If you follow me on Twitter you might already know this, I rambled endlessly about it all but I luckily wasn’t alone in dealing with all my feelings, I buddy-read this with the incredible, amazing Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books so I just ranted to her when I couldn’t take it anymore AND she did too. I might as well warn you now, this review is going to be a lot of Caps (aka screaming) and non-sense. So I don’t know if it’s going to be any coherent, nor constructive for that matter.

I can’t get over how beautiful the writing is. Seriously, GORGEOUS. It is so simple yet knitted so intricately that I just fell in love with it right away, but that you already know fromr my review of A Darker Shade of Magic. Just look at this, and I promise I’ll shut up about the writing:

“The memories rose like bile in his throat. The pain, the blood, the fear, and finally the quiet and the dark. The surrender of letting go, and being dragged back, the force of it like falling, a terrible, jarring pain when he hit the ground. Only he wasn’t falling down. He was falling up. Surging back to the surface of himself, and—”

I had one issue though. For one big chunk in the beginning, there’s nothing happening, just chapters upon chapters of Lila being badass in the sea, Rhy being reckless and Kell being well … Kell. Granted some characters were introduced as well as some more world building, but I feel like there were more chapters than needed. That being said I’VE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY THIS BOOK because even with the beginning being slow I just couldn’t bring myself to rating it less that 5 marvelous stars. Speaking of world-building, I loved how Schwab didn’t confine this sequel to Ames (the empire for which Red London is the capital), she introduced two more empires – Faro and Vesk – each with their separate culture as well as their own peculiar take on magic and its works, even though we don’t get to see the empires, she shows us the people and it is as good. The world is so intricate and yet very easy to keep up with and understand. What kind of sorcery is this?

Once again, when the pace picked up it was action on action on feels on screaming -on my part- which ultimately ended with a terrible hangover. Wanna know why? THIS BOOK HAS PIRATES AND PRINCES AND THIEVES AND MAGICIANS AND EVERYTHING BADASS AND AWESOME. So, there are kind of two plots. The first and main one for this book is the Essen Tasch (The element games) which is like the Olympic games for magic gladiator style, and let me just say, the way those magic battles are details is very impressive, I could imagine everything happening so effortlessly and it was SO thrilling, my heart was racing through it all especially when it was <Spoiler> Kell and Lila’s battle. I SQUEALED and started hysterically laughing because it was also their reunion AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER <End of Spoiler> . And the second one is THE REASON AGOS ENDED WITH A CLIFFHANGER AND I’M DEAD.  <Spoiler> HOLLAND IS BACK AND HE’S CRAZIER THAN EVER AND HE HAS OSARON (Like the God of magic or something) POSSESSING HIM AND HE’S GOING TO BRING WRATH ON RED LONDON. <End of Spoiler> Someone send help, I can’t deal with all the feelings. Rip me.

Characters wise, ships have sailed and others sunk and I have no regrets because everything is just perfect the way the author makes it to be. It’s just that they ALL have so much chemistry, okay? So I’m okay with whatever couples Schwab gives me.

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LILA IS THE MOST WONDERFUL BADASS POTATO EVER AND I LOVE HER AND I NEED HER TO BE MY BESTFRIEND. She’s just so reckless spontaneous, stubborn and does whatever the heck she wants to do no matter what people might think. Oh! And I NEED to know what she is !! <Spoiler> Is she Antari, is she MORE ? I feel like she’s more and she’ll turn out being the most powerful of them all and save the whole universe and its parallels too in ACOL. <End of Spoiler>  As for Kell, well, he’s all so weird honorable Kell and feels that everything that happened before is his fault which isn’t completely wrong but he fixed it. The upside to things is that this made him train like crazy and become even more kick-ass than before, and I’m more than thrilled about that. I SHIP THEM, I SHIP THEM SO HARD even though I know I said in one of my GR updates that I needed them as friends, I changed my mind. A GIRL CAN CHANGE HER MIND OKAY? <Spoiler> And that kiss outside made my life complete, I just need them to be together right now if not yesterday, they’re just perfect and their banter is so teasy <End of Spoiler>

I GOT MORE RHY !!!!! He’s the cutest thing ever as well as the best prince ever. He’s just so funny and his bromance with Kell is hands down one of the best ones I’ve read about. They’ll literally do anything for each other and their banter shows a real sibling relationship, they fight, get mad at each other and make up. They never stop loving each other. And it was really interesting to see the repercussions of that bond-thingy going on between them.

Last but not least, the new comer, Alucard, the pirate privateer who has this mysterious vibe about him and I really really liked him. He’s hella sarcastic and charismatic, just all around awesome. I also liked his friendship with Lila and the way they circled around each other, trying to know each other’s secrets. This is mostly the reason why I am okay with Lila and Kell eventually not being friend, I got another AWESOME UNCONVENTIONAL FRIENDSHIP. And let’s just talk about <Spoiler> Rhy and Alucard for a second. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM ? That steamy scene was so unexpected but I LOVED IT AND I SHIP THEM <End of Spoilers>

So, are you going to read it now, or do I need to throw the book at you? This review went on for WAY too long and got more rambly than necessary. More like out of control and crazy but it’s okay because that’s to be expected from me, right ? Now, can someone fast forward to 2017 because I CAN’T WAIT THIS LONG FOR A CONJURING OF LIGHT !!!!

P.s: Click on the fanart to be redirected to the source.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read A Gathering of Shadows ? If so, what did you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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My blog’s 6th monthaversary and the As to your Qs

Hello Guys !

CAN YOU BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR 6 MONTHS?

I know I can’t. When I started I really doubted I’d make it over 4 months, then 4 months came and went , then 5, then 6, and I’m still going strong and loving it more each day !

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I’ll be forever grateful to all of you for welcoming me in your midst and making me feel like I belong, you’ve honestly made this one of the best experiences of my life and I hope to maintain this blog for many many years to come. I’ve made wonderful friends from all around the world that I never would’ve met otherwise, I learnt things from them as well as from this whole experience, I grew as a person. And each one of you has played a small role in that.

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My brains are overflowing with so many post ideas, and things I still want to share with you, as well as lame jokes I want to torture you with. Even with all of this, your opinions matter to me and I want your feedback on how I can improve the blog, any feedback is welcome but if you don’t know what to say (If you’re like me and your brain goes blank every few seconds) then here are some questions :

  • What kinds of posts do you prefer to see on here?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • Do you have any other post suggestions?
  • What do you think of my #FMTM feature? Should I continue on with it or stop?

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“Why are you so amazing? 😝Lauren @Wonderless Reviews

ISN’T THIS THE BEST QUESTION EVER? I seriously love you girl so much hahaha! I’m amazing because I have you obviously. And also because I’m like the funniest and most humble person on earth. Just saying.

“What’s your favorite book this year ?” Jillian @ Rant and Rave about Books

One? JUST ONE? Okay can I have one in each category, it’ll be three in total so that’s not too much right? I’ll give you a contemporary, a fantasy and a sequel and eeeeveryone has heard me going on and on, hundreds of times, but hey favorites are favorites, what can a girl do?

 


“Are there any hyped/popular books that you don’t plan on reading?” Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Mmm, do you seriously want to get me killed now ? I don’t plan on reading the Red Queen trilogy, nor the Throne of Glass series hihihiii ! Please people don’t come at me with pitchforks, the hype killed them for me.

“What is the blog post you are most proud of? there has to be one you are extra fond of.” Zena @ Cinderzena Blogs

Hmm, this one I’m really struggling with. I mean, I don’t know ??? I like all my discussion list type posts and I did many of those. But fond of? Let’s see what I can fish out … Oh, Oh I KNOW !!  My Diverse Reading – Or Lack there Of (click on that and you’ll be directed to the post) that’s a confession post, that really brought up interesting discussions, and I was really happy when it also encouraged other people to do the same and start reading more diverse. I must admit I haven’t made it very far in my quest but I’m looking to deflate my current TBR and read some of the books I already have before going and getting some of the ones I listed that I’m REALLY excited about.

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“Do you have a process when you write reviews? Do you take notes whilst reading or do you just wing it (like I do 😅)?”  Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Well YEP absolutely, I even wrote a whole post about that here. And also yes, this girl right here has no memory for things like that whatsoever so I gotta take notes or my review would be a bunch of screams and nonsense. I have a pretty yellow notebook for that where I have fun writing the titles in different fonts and colors.

“What’s your graphic process? How do you do it? What software do you use?” Sush @ Fervently Curious

For starters, I don’t use any complex, fancy software like Photoshop or Gimp (the free equivalent) although I do have it on my laptop, because this girl right here is a very lazy person and I’m quite frankly a bit intimidated by it all, though I plan to learn to use them in the future to make more intricate designs. What I use is an online website thingy called Canva that’s very handy, colorful (Let’s be honest, I’m a child, I need a little color thrown in there) and simple to use, I have several mock-ups already saved with the fonts, colors and most background pictures so I just go and change the titles and the job is done, and if necessary adjust things or/and change the background.

“How long did it take you to get your blog design how it is today?” Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction

5 months and a half probably? hahaha ! I am a chronically unsatisfied person so I just kept fiddling with it until recently. First of all, the colors and the layout have been here from Day1, I really loved both. But my blog was dull, no graphics, not a lot of color etc… The color things was quickly fixed, I started using blues and greens (which was completely wrong UGH !) but I just didn’t have time to do more. In May, two things happened. I discovered the awesomeness that is Adobe Color so I found the right color skim and I started playing around with graphics until I found the set-ups that worked for me and included them in my posts. Shortly after that I went on a graphics spree and made them for ALL of my previous post hehe. Perfectionist much? And Voila !

“If you could marry one author – dead or alive – who would it be?” Fatima @ Noteable Pad

Pierce Brown ? OKAY. OKAY. I’m shallow ! But who can resist those pretty blue eyes? And that smile? But that’s not the only reason, he’s witty and funny and although I admit I yet have to read his books, everyone’s raving about them ( Hey Kat ! hahaha) and I DO have the first one in the Red Rising Trilogy staring at me with a dirty eye waiting to be picked up. SO SOON FRIENDS ! And I know I’ll love them and have one more reason to marry him.

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“Are there any real-life places you want to visit because of a book?” Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction

TOOONS. Hmm , here are the ones that I could think of :

  • San Francisco – Lola and the Boy Next Door
  • Istanbul – The Strange Journey of Mr. Daldry
  • Greece – The Sisterhood of the traveling pants

I know there are a lot more but most places I want to go to are either fictional or in the past, so woups ?

“What advice would you give to 10 year-old Fadwa in your position now?” Fatima @ Noteable Pad

Mmm… This is a good one. To be honest, the only thing I remember about my tiny 10 year old self is that I had friends trouble and that I was scared of what people thought of me. So first of all, I want to tell her that real friends wouldn’t do to her what those girls did and that she shouldn’t be as affected as she was by all the crap they pulled and also to stop giving a shit about people’s opinions. The ones that matter are supportive and that’s the most important. And also, don’t give up on your dreams, I had a dream then that is long gone now, and though I don’t regret it per say I most definitely feel nostalgic about it, which raises What Ifs.

Well that is it for today’s post ! I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and got to know me a little better.


That’s it until next time.

Do you have some other questions for me? Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the post !

And also, leave your suggestions if you have any !

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Children of Icarus – Here we serve Morbidity and Psychopaths

Caighlan Smith - Children of Icarus.png

Title : Children of icarus

Author : Caighlan Smith

Publication date : August 1st 2016

Publisher : Switch Press

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Synopsis : It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end. (From Goodreads)

Rating : 3.5 stars

Children of icarus

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

(No Spoilers)

See that blurb, guys? It gives NOTHING away. It is intriguing sure, but I had no idea what to expect when diving into this. I just knew that it was Greek Mythology inspired and the huge lover in me just jumped at the occasion. Now, I wish there were some kind of warning, a big red marking all over the book for how graphic this book is. It has death, A LOT of it. Torture. Harassement. I’M SCARRED FOR LIFE. This is the most disturbing, morbid book I’ve ever read in my life and not expecting it made that impact even more striking. This book messed me up real bad, but not in a way that it breaks you and mends you. Nope. It breaks you and laughs at your crushed soul.

That writing though. I think if this were written any other way, it wouldn’t have had the effect it had, this is very crude, nothing is sugar coated, violent scenes (and believe me, there’s plenty of those) are not only written in but they’re very detailed, every wound, every drop of blood, which was sometimes too much to be honest. Other than that the writing is really fitting the story. The only complain I have is that there was an overuse of periods where comas would’ve been better, I know it was probably done for the dramatic effect but most of the time it just disturbed the reading flow.

Now to the good stuff *evil laugh* . I seriously was set on a 2 star rating or lower for the first half of the book , I was just too horrified to think clearly about how GOOD actually the story is. It is so clever and unlike anything I ever read. Nothing is fairytailed (I am making that a word for the purpose of this review), everything is SO REAL, I think that is the reason for me -and anyone- to be disgusted, this is everyone’s worst nightmare. It shows how people can go crazy, become inhumane when in harsh circumstances. It gives me chills just thinking about it. Maybe I got used to it. Maybe I crossed to the dark side. But this book completely won me over, the plot in itself is brilliant, gripping and the action had me sucked in from early on and the pace stays steady and fast through the whole thing which is really hard to maintain so I’d have to give credit to the author for that.

Something that kind of disappointed me though is that I expected the mythology to be more present, to feel and see it at every page turn but it wasn’t, sometimes I almost forgot about the whole thing, until there is some myth or story about the labyrinth’s not so human inhabitants and I got excited, I really loved those and learning more about all the tales and creatures.

The characters are all crazy. No joke ! Every one of them is deranged in a way or another, and all of them in different ways. Exception made of the Main Character. She annoyed me endless amounts of times. First of all the author doesn’t give her a name which really throws me off at first but I quickly get used to it, it is a very clever move to make anyone identify with her. But that’s it. Nothing is clever about her. First of all she’s mute throughout most of the book, she’s weak and has no personality. I realize that the author wanted to keep it real and not create an almighty know-it-all MC but this is too far on the other end of the spectrum. But by the end, things start to look up, when a certain someone forces her to confront the horror that her life became, to embrace it and to actually start working for her own survival. I can’t say I started liking her, but she was alright.

Elle seriously freaked me out, she was like a creeper straight out of a horror movie, the kind that befriends you and turns out totally mental and starts killing everyone that gets too close. And she lives in denial of everything.

The guys were the most frightening though. At least for Ryan I knew from the beginning that he was bad, and then he turned full psychopath but I at least expected it. But Collin, OH BOY! I thought he was the sane, the right-minded one out of the bunch, I had my suspicions about him but I didn’t expect THAT, what made it worse is how cool about his sadist behavior he was.

One character that I actually liked is The executioner. This one LOOKS and is named like a psychopath serial killer but is far from being one. She’s so kickass, very harsh and seems unlovable but it’s all in her actions, I am not going to go into detail because I don’t want to spoil for anyone who gathers the courage to read this book.

I was one of those people who immediately thought of the Maze Runner a couple chapters in, but as the book went on i forgot all about that book, because aside from being a bunch of teenagers inside a labyrinth with horrifying creatures, the two books have nothing in common. I would definitely see this being a series, and hope it will be considering how this book ended.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Children of Icarus ? If so, what did you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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12 Things No one tells you about Book Blogging (+ Q&A Announcement ??)

Hello guys !

If you follow me on Twitter, you may or may not know that this week (the 28th) my blog will be 6 months old. WHAT? I feel like I have been around for 2 months and forever at the same time. Is that weird? So this occasion sparked a post idea in my mind, why not share the little amount of knowledge I have with you?

You know when I first decided to embark on this adventure I had some expectations about what it would be like so imagine my surprise when 99.9% (made up number AGAIN) of these turned out to be false. And I’m sure this happened to most of you book bloggers too, if not all of you so I’m here to set the records straight and tell you what actually happens behind the scenes.

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Stay until the end for the little announcement and without further ado, here are the things No One tells about book blogging that I came up with (And that some other fellow bloggers helped with) :

1I thought I’d start with the most stricking one and in honor of ALL the time that blogging and books take, I decided to name them the “Low-key Invaders” the other day. And you seem to agree. Thinking up post ideas, writing them, scheduling them, graphics, comments, blog hopping etcetera etcetera. WHAT EVEN? When I first started I thought I’ll have to dedicate ONE hour a day, maybe even two if it is a lenghty post 3 or 4 days a week and it’ll be all good. HAHA, joke’s on me, and you if you’re a book blogger. It takes much much longer than that especially if you’re a neat freak like me and need everything to look clean and tidy. But I’m not saying this to discourage anyone who wants to join this crazy train, it is amazing and very rewarding.

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2Boredom? WHAT EVEN IS THAT? Between everyday life things, going out, reading and everything blog related, I don’t have any time left. And even when I have time on my hands I either use it to read or blog. Yep. That’s my life in a nutshell. And I love it so so much, this is the first summer ever that I don’t even think about boredom, I’m always up and running, which is a fantastic thing because I’m very easily bored person.

tumblr_ny213qYtni1tq4of6o1_500.gif3OH LORD ! I think this one point deserves a post of its own because shit goes down on crammed days. Just thinking about going back to school gives me chills because then there aren’t even enough hours in the day to adult (UGH!) and blog. I always forget that blogging shouldn’t be stressful because it IS a hobby and is supposed to stay that way (at least for me) but I’m just too passionate about it and I don’t want to let anyone down, especially not myself. Luckily that doesn’t happen a lot and since I discovered the wonder that scheduling ahead is, it had gotten a lot easier.

tumblr_loxrr74iaf1qjgyuwo1_500.gif4You know the saying “Fake it until you make it” right ? That has been my moto for the first few months (it still is sometimes, thankyouverymuch) but things become more manageable as time goes and you discover tricks that work for you. Writing posts will take less time, graphics too. The stress will be a little more under control though it will still rebel against you every so often and swallow you whole. Just warning you. Also, at first, I had a LOT of doubts, would I stick with it? Would I have post ideas? How am I supposed to write reviews? But that’s just it. DOUBTS. I CAN stick with it. I DO get post ideas. And most of all, I CAN voice my thoughts in a review and get my ideas across to you. Hopefully ?

Please_yes.gif5PREACH THE BALL OF AWESOMENESS THAT THE INTERNET IS TODAY !!! I really didn’t expect to get along with anyone as well as I do with the friends I made. I knew I’d interact and enjoy posts, the occasional tweets and things like that but never in a million years did I think I’d make friends that I’d have deep and silly conversations with, that I would share laughter with and I’d want to meet in real life. But that happened and it has been a blessing and one of the best experiences of my life.

giphyrgyt.gif6Here’s a list of places and times I get post ideas.

  • Whenever I’m driving. Let’s just say that driving around is a very reflective thing for me.
  • When I’m trying to find sleep. The ideas I get at night are most likely to disappear in the morning.
  • While writing another post.
  • In the shower.
  • During a workout.
  • While visiting other blogs.
  • And some other places I’d be more embarrassed to disclose.

It also has been brought to my attention by Darian @ Social Refuel that you can find inspiration while talking with other bloggers and it is so incredibly accurate, and don’t even know how I forgot about that. It happened to me numerous time, people I’ve been talking to say the right thing at the right time and it sparks an idea without them even realizing it.

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7When I asked on Twitter, Kirsty @ Kirsty’s Book Reviews said that she didn’t expect people to be as tolerant as they are and I cannot agree more. I know it’s going to be hard to believe knowing how opinionated and strong headed I am, but when I was just starting it, stating an unpopular opinion scared the crap out of me. I didn’t want to be insulted or judged for it, but most of all I didn’t want to offend anyone. One day, I just went for it and everyone’s responses were amazing and I felt silly for being so scared at first. Because YOU ROCK ! And our community is a welcoming and loving one.

giphyfgh.gif8I can’t tell you in what way it will, it depends on the person you are and a number of other factors, but if you are committed to this it is bound to have an effect on you, a positive one for sure. Nuzaifa @ Word Contessa told me it helped her erase some prejudices she had and I must admit that it did the same for me too. As well as helping me acquire more vocabulary, developing my discussion and debate skills and more importantly making me realize that no matter how little it is, my voice deserves to be heard too.

oh-yeah-gif-buffy-the-vampire.gif9AH GRAPHICS ! If you’ve been following me from the beginning you’d know that I had no graphics and banners whatsoever and I was so intimidated by the whole concept, plus I was very busy and had no time to learn how to make them because I thought it was this complicated mystical creature. But it is not. Well, if you want the more intricate graphics, those are but it is easy to learn the basics and then push further if you want to. Casey @ Adopt a Book AUS and I both agree that making graphics is way WAY more fun than we expected it to be.

giphyhjklmù.gif10The accuracy of this one made me giggle when YasminRead Books and Drink Coffee brought it up. I hate leaving spelling mistakes behind even though I know sometimes I do, so I just keep reading and rereading my posts fishing for them until I end up hating the whole thing because of how much my brain has had to process it.

no-other-choice.gif11If before book blogging your excitement levels were at Dog getting a treat, now they are at Mother of Dragons when her eggs hatch. WE ARE CRAZY WHEN EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING (most likely a book) and don’t you dare deny it because I know that you know it. We swooned, now we fangirl too. We squealed, now we scream too. We got sad, now we sob and lay down in a puddle of our own tears. We got hangovers, NOW WE NEED REHAB.

lot-of-feelings.gif12Do I really need to explain this one? Whether you like it or hate it (You love it, your wallet despises it) you’re going to get drowned under a gazillion recommendations, from reading book reviews and book lists and tags and all those good things, your bound to add A LOT of books to your -I suspect- already big TBR. Now, it’s huge. A mountain. And it’s going to fall on you and crush you, because we all know that we buy more than we read. *hides in shame*

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Now that I’m done with this massive list, I want to celebrate my blogaversary with you guys so I thought why not do a Q & A on the 29th (If you’re interested of course) so shoot me your questions (personal, reading, blogging, whatever you want) and I’ll make sure to make a post to answer them. If I get any, that is.


That’s it until next time.

Did you expect any of these things? What are some things that YOU didn’t expect to encounter on your Book Blogging Journey?

Don’t Forget to shoot me your questions in the comments to make this Q&A happen

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Lola and the Boy Next Door – Life is too short to be the same everyday

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Title : Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

Author : Stephanie Perkins

Publication date : September 29th 2011

Publisher : Dutton Books

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Synopsis : Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. (From Goodreads)

Rating : 3.5 stars

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“I’m surprised with how obvious it is. Of course I want him back in my life. He’s always been a part of my life. Even when he was gone, some fragment of his spirit lingered behind. I felt it in the space between our windows.”

(No Spoilers)

I’m finding this book SO hard to review. I mean I liked it, but not enough to rave about it and not too little to rant about it. Send help, I’m struggling. Let’s do this !

So, as much as I was rooting for Anna’s love story in Anna and the French Kiss, this one didn’t have me as invested. Not until I finished it and I went scrolling through GR reviews that I realized I wasn’t the only one, everyone seems to agree that out of the three companion novels this is the least enjoyable one. But don’t get me wrong, I still liked it, I still swooned a bit but … things are what they are.

As the first installment, this is a very quick book that can be read in one sitting – which I didn’t do because… life. What I noticed and very much liked is that Perkins makes each one of her characters passionate about something widely different, may it be science or design or movies or snails for all I care, whatever it is, it is important and it sends a great message to the young readers. To never give up on their dreams and always follow their hearts’ desires. Her characters having such a wide range of passions also means that everyone can find little bits of themselves in the books.

Throughout the whole book I drifted between “Aaaw” and “UGH !!, no in between. It’s just that Lola and Cricket are SO cute together, the chemistry is there and very noticeable, but there was so much unnecessary drama between the two of them. Then again, there would be no book without that drama. So let’s go over it together. Lola was in love with Cricket but he broke her heart and went away. When he shows up again she tries to convince herself that she hates him but turns out she can’t because let’s face it, it’s Cricket. When the guy comes back he is almost begging for her to love him and all she does is drag him through the mud and lead him on because SHE CAN’T MAKE A DECISION IF HER LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. And oh my God !! Her indecisiveness killed me. The choice is simple. Either it is Cricket or Max -her current boyfriend, but no, she can’t let neither of them go while to me, the choice was obvious.

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Let’s talk about Lola for a bit. THAT GIRL IS ANNOYING AS HELL. I’ve read everywhere how likeable she is but I just don’t see it. When it comes to matters of the heart, she is very selfish and doesn’t think about what her action’s consequences may be on other people, she just does whatever makes her suffer the least. The one thing that I thought was very well done about here was her originality, she has this “You do you, I do me” attitude that I really liked about her, she doesn’t conform to the society’s “standards” and doesn’t fit into the “normal” box which is amazing if you ask me and again a really great message is sent.

Cricket on the other hand is this really sweet thoughtful boy, but what’s up with the obsession with tight pants? I get that he wears them but why do I have to hear about it a gazillion times ? Aside from that I salute the guy for his patience, if I were him, I would’ve given up on Lola a while back because she just disregarded his feelings and kept leading him on while all he did was love her and wait for her to come around while using some oh-so-charming tricks on her that would’ve definitely worked on me *swoons*

Now to the horrible terrible boyfriend Max. I honestly think that the only thing Lola loved about him is that he made her feel grown-up considering the age difference. He’s not a good person. He’s rude, jealous and vicious and most of all, he is awful to her friends. And what does she do? She definitely DOES NOT stand up to him and goes running after him *facepalm*

And another significant thing that made this book enjoyable is how involved her dads are made to be. YES FINALLY ! WORTHY PARENTS !! Police level questioning . Curfew . Support . Love . Grounding . It is all there, and I so very much appreciated it.

Is it bad that my favorite parts of the books were the ones that involved Anna and St Clair? Yeah, I thought so ! I squealed a little the first time they were mentioned. They are adorable, even through someone else’s eyes. When I finished the first installment, I wanted to keep reading about them forever but the reasonable side of me knew that another book would’ve been too much. I still wanted my update on their lives !! And those little glimpses in this book made me tremendously happy.

All in all, this book was an okay but still enjoyable read. I’m definitely going to be picking up Isla and the Happily Ever After Soon and I hope it’ll be as cute and fluffy as it’s predecessors.

P.s: Click on the fanart to be sent to the artist’s page


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Lola and the Boy Next Door ? If so, what did you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Award #9 : It’s sunny ! So let’s answer a Gazillion Questions

Hello Guys !

I’ll never cease to say it, I am THE WORST at keeping up with tags and awards ! It’s gotten so bad just when I thought I was doing better at managing them but hey it’s okay, there will be a very far time when I’ll have done all of them, maybe later than I’m supposed to, but at least I’ll do them all ! For today, it’s going to be The Sunshine Blogger Award and it is quite fitting to be honest, it has been SO HOT these past couple days in Morocco, my brain is melting and I can’t think straight, so excuse me in advance if I ramble. I’ve been tagged for this one by some lovely ladies: Giovannard @ Bookcoma Blog , Felicia @ Fell for Books and Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros. Thank you so much !

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The rules :

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer.

Giovannard’s questions :

1. What is your favorite movie?

HOW? Just HOW am I supposed to know this with a billion movies out there. I genuinely don’t have a favorite movie *gasps*. I watch a lot of movies, and love a lot of movies but never thought of one of them as “YES! This one is my favorite.”

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2. What is your dream job?

Umm.. The one I’m studying my ass off for right now? haha I hope to not blow some fuses in my brain before getting to be a decent doctor some day in the future, which I’m very pumped but also might-pee-my-pants nervous about.

3. What is your favorite color?

Blue no doubt ! All kinds and shades. Well, almost, there is one I don’t like but let’s forget about it.

4. What is your favorite food/restaurant?

What food is NOT my favorite you mean ? haha I’m just kidding, my favorite food has to be sushis, I’m always craving it and can’t get enough of it. Proof: I just ate it yesterday and want some more right now.

5. Favorite Band or Musical Artist?

This one is fairly easy … I think. My favorite band is probably The Script. I just love them so much and keep listening to their songs over and over again without ever getting fed up. So that answers it, right?

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6. Hardback or Paperback Books?

Theoretically, Hardbacks. They just look so pretty on shelves and I’m admirative of anyone who manages to get ALL of their books in hardback. But really, I prefer Paperbacks, they’re just easier to manage and are cheaper.

7. What book was the last book you read, and gave 5 Stars?

A Gathering of Shadows Final

A Gathering of Shadows by QUEEN V. E. SCHWAB. I’m still not over how amazing that book is. I could rave on and on and on about it -which I did in my review that’s going up next week- and I wouldn’t do it justice. ALL OF YOU PEOPLE SHOULD READ IT NOW.

8. Have you ever given a book 1 Star, and if so, what book was it?

Alwyn Hamilton - Rebel of the Sands

Yep, just recently actually. It was Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton and just the thought of it gets me all worked up again. I won’t go into the detail about all the problems I had with it here, because all of probably know all about it from my review.

9. What is your favorite book genre?

It is a tie between Fantasy and Contemporary, please don’t make me choose, I CAN’T. Yes, they are at different ends of the spectrum but I loved both genres more than words can express and the amount of both I read this year is actually pretty similar, so that says it all.

10. Who is your favorite author?

Just this year, I added SO many new favorite authors to my list. And since I already brought up Schwab’s awesomeness in another question, I’ll say Jandy Nelson. HER CONTEMPORARIES THOUGH. Realest, most genuine portrayals I’ve ever read.

11. Have you ever traveled outside of your country? If so, where to?

Yes, I did once like 6 years ago (WOW WAS IT THAT LONG ?) and I went to both Spain and France on a kind of road trip with my aunt. It was SO good.

Felicia’s questions :

1. A book you want to read but haven’t yet because of it’s size?

This can either be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. They’re MASSIVE BOOKS, especially the latter. But I’ll eventually end up reading them.

2. Your favorite tv-series?

What’s with you people and favorite? *faints* I’m a VERY indecisive person, I’m sure you have noticed so I just can’t deal with picking, there are way too many great things in the world. But to narrow it down, it’s between Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill. (The Gif for GA made me sob a little, no biggy, I’m just broken here)

3. If you were a mythical creature, what would you be?

Medusa ? hahaha. Okay no, probably a centaur, they always fascinated me and they’re some of my all time favorite mythical creatures, so beautiful and strong but also very protective of their own.

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4. What’s your dream job?

See the answer for Giovannard’s Q2.

5. Name 3 things you’re really good at.

Do eating, sleeping and reading count ? Okay probably not. So, I’m a great listener, I’m pretty decent at drawing and a good dancer.

6. Your ultimate OTP?

DECISIONS AGAIN ! This Award is going to be the death of me. I just have so many ships. But the first one that I truly shipped and that has a special place in my heart is Cather and Levi from Fangirl. kfhehk lsphvnb *-*

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7. A new release you’re excited for?

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HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. YAAAS !! I can’t wait to get my hands on it and just dive right back in that wonderful, fantastical, magical world.

8. What color are your eyes?

Very, very dark brown.

9. A fictional world you want to live in?

Red London from the Shades of Magic trilogy. But can we please close off White London or something, that place gives me the creeps.

10. A book character you’d like to meet?

Everyone that I love maybe ? I’ll go with Yael from Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. She’s just so badass and amazing, plus who wouldn’t want to meet and befriend a shapeshifter. I know you do too !

11. What’s the best book you’ve read this year so far?

All of you already know about this one ! It’s I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson, duh !! That book has been SO hard to top. But there’s also Wolf by Wolf AND A Gathering of Shadows. I DON’T KNOW OKAY ? I CAN’T CHOOSE.

Sammie’s questions :

1. What’s your happiest memory?

Wow ! This is a deep one. Um.. Let me think about this for a bit ! It was probably when I knew I got into Med School. It was not only a dream come true but also the look of pride on my mom’s face meant the world to me. It reduced me to tears.

2. Which OTP (one true pairing) makes you the happiest?

Probably Oscar and Jude from I’ll Give you the Sun. Their interactions were so awkward and funny and I just rooted for them so much that thinking about them always makes me happy.

3. How do you like to relax and unwind?

Tv-shows. Anyone who answers books is a big fat liar. BOOKS STRESS ME OUT PEOPLE! Tv-shows or YouTube videos on the other hand don’t strangle my feelings so yeah ! Definitely those.

4. What do you find most satisfying about blogging?

The interactions with no doubt in mind. I just love seeing all of your comments, responding to them, discussing. And also just talking on Twitter and making new friendships that I’ll cherish forever. I love you guys ! You’re awesome !

5. What’s your spirit animal?

We’re talking about actual animals here right? In that case, it’s the wolf. Don’t ask why, I have no clue ! I just have always said the wolf hehe and recent books I read have only intensified that certainty.

6. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pizza probably? I LOVE Pizza and I can play with the toppings however I want to make sure I never get tired of it, because this girl right here can eat anything on a pizza … except maybe pineapples, I hate those as a topping.

7. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t care so much about what people might or might not think of you. That’s the biggest issue I had growing up. People’s opinions affected and scared me so much that it got to a point (around 15) when I dreaded going out of the house, especially to go to school. If people didn’t like me? There was something wrong with me. If people criticized something I loved? I started hiding it. If people criticized something I was doing? I stopped it altogether. It was really bad and I only stopped giving a shit my senior year of High School and I’ve never been happier.

8. Tell us about one fictional character that makes you smile!

Cress from The Lunar Chronicles. She’s so shy, naïve (not the annoying kind) and endearing. She’s like a little baby that I want to cover in hugs and marshmallows and protect at all costs. But at the same time, for someone who doesn’t know her way around earth -and life- she’s not completely helpless and quite resourceful.

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9. If you could go back in time and live in any era, what would it be?

Ancient Greece. I love it so so much ! And it is a time period that fascinated me since I was a kid. I just love the history and all the mythology surrounding it.

10. Do you have any secret talents or party tricks?

Mmm… I don’t know about a secret talent but I’m quite flexible which always surprises people haha. And also, my fingers are double jointed so I can do all kind of crazy things with them.

11. Give me a quote that makes you happy!

Guess where this quote is from. I’ll Give you the Sun obviously ! Almost all the quotes from that book make me happy, because the book in itself is my ray of sunshine (okay I’m turning into a fluffball here, I’ll stop) But this one makes me happy AND is about happiness.

“I watch him throw his head back in supreme happiness, like he’s hearing that he gets to choose the colors for all the sunsets from now on.”

My questions :

  1. What has been the highlight of the year for you ?
  2. Besides reading, what are your passions ?
  3. Only from the books you’ve read this year, what characters would help you break out of prison ?
  4. What’s a fictional world you wouldn’t survive in ?
  5. What are 3 things you love about yourself ?
  6. What’s a superpower you’d want to have
  7. If you could exchange lives with one character for 24h, which one would it be ?
  8. Do you have any pets ? If not, would you want to ?
  9. Beach or Mountains ?
  10. Who are the bloggers that inspire you?
  11. Where do you go to spend some time alone ? (Aside from your room)

My Nominees :

My Book File –  Puput @ Sparkling Letters – Beth @ Reading Every Night – Melissa @ Book Nerd Momo – Kevin @ Bookevin – Paige @ The Wild Readers – Emma @ Llady Literary – Jess @ JBelks Books – Reg @ She Latitude – Kendra @ Reads and Treats – Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secret

If you’ve already done it, or don’t want to do it, it’s okay, ignore silly me haha.

P.s: Click on the Fanart to be directed to the original site.


That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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#FMTM : Beaches, Caftans and my favorite Pastillas

Hello guys !

Guess what today is? (Okay, you know already because of the title and all) It is time for our next stop on our Moroccan tour. You seemed to really enjoy getting to know my country a little better on my first post for #FMTM where I talked all about our capital, Jellabas and Tagines. This time, it’s for you all beach lovers. Going to the beach is seriously one of my favorite things to do of all times and if you’re like me, I hope you’ll enjoy discovering a city known for its surrounding beaches which we’ll hopefully have you running -more like flying, but whatever- to visit.

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Random Fact: In Arabic Morocco is called “Maghreb” which translates to West. And Morocco is the most western North African country.

1Agadir is one of Morocco’s most famous costal cities, it peers on the Atlantic Ocean and is at the foot of the Atlas mountains, so the whole region makes for a really peculiar mix of beaches and mountains. I’ve known this city almost my whole life and have been going every summer for over 10 years now. Most people there speak a kind of Berber that’s called Tashelhit which happens to be the kind that I speak (There are 3 kinds if you want to know). I will not only be talking to you about the city but also its surrounding beaches and a little piece of paradise.

Souk El Had

Yes, you’ve guessed it ! Almost every major city in Morocco has its big Souk. Souk El Had translates to “Sunday Market” This one isn’t located inside of the Old Medina, in the midst of houses, like in Rabat. It is a structure of its own, surrounded by a huge wall and you can access it from a gazillion doors, okay it’s more like 13 and each door leads to a part of the market that’s designed for a “craft” of some sort, so it’s really practical when you’re looking for something in particular. Some can take right into the fruit and veggie section, to the fish one, others to clothes, electronics (yep), spice shops (we have a lot of those), to sum it up, anything that you could need you can find in there. What I love about this is that almost every part of it is shielded from the sun, so you can wander around without being afraid of sunburns and dehydration.

Kasbah Agadir Oufella

I love love LOVE this place ! The view is absolutely breathtaking, water as far as  the eye can see, it is even more gorgeous . Agadir Oufella in Tashelhit translates to Agadir from Above and it is pretty self explanatory. It stands high above Agadir (236m) and from there you can see the whole city as well as the ocean. The hill it stands on, has inscribed on it in Arabic “God, the Homeland, the King” which is kind of our moroccan moto and is said at the end of our anthem. So, what it actually holds are the ruins of a citadel that was pit out there by the Saîdie dynasty to protect the city against the portuguese attacks.

Since you know me so well and I love you guys, here’s yours truly making a fool out of herself there a couple of weeks back hehe, don’t thank me, thank the friend who took this picture while I was expressing myself.

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The beaches

  • Aghroud Beach

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Which is 35km from Agadir and one of the only two, I’ve been too – sad I know. It is really pretty and quite calm, what’s cool about it is that you can buy your fish right there and then, right out of the ocean from the fishermen’s small boats, so you know that it is fresh.

  • Imsouane Beach

This one is around 80km away from Agadir and is the other one I’ve been too. SO. PRETTY. Windy too, but still, really beautiful. The wind makes for great surfing waves -from what I’ve heard. Imsouane is actually a tiny town, 100% touristic that has small hotels and inns so you can stay there for a few days if that’s what you want. And I suggest you do ! I was there last year and had a direct view on the ocean. I seriously fell in love.

  • Legzira Beach

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I NEED TO GO OKAY ? This place is so freaking gorgeous, can you believe I’ve never been there ? It’s around 170 km away from Agadir so it’s not even that far away. It is closest to a little town called Mirleft and that’s where you can lodge if you happen to never want to leave this place. If you love hikes and/or are a surfer, this is the place for you.

There are a lot more beautiful beaches that I could talk to you about but this post would get incredibly long.

Paradise Valley

Yes, that’s what it really is called and it truly deserves the name. It is a valley (duh !) full of greenery whichever way you look and in the middle of it a hidden gem : Waterfalls and cold turquoise clear water that’s absolutely delicious to swim in. It is around 60km away from Agadir. One advice I have though, if you have the possibility to go during Spring go for it because it is way more crowded in the Summer.

To get to the waters you have to hike through gorgeous forests and amazing sceneries for around an hour that I swear you wouldn’t even feel, because it is so very enjoyable. Once you get there, you either relax by the water or, if you’re an adrenaline junky like myself, jump off of cliffs. BEST FEELING EVER.

2Here’s the thing. Saturday I was at a wedding until Sunday at dawn (that’s how we roll in Morocco, but that’s to discuss another time) I was wearing a billion inches heals and danced until my feet hurt, took them off and danced some more. But that’s besides the point haha. I brought up the wedding because the outfit I’ll talk about is the one that we get out of the closet for weddings: Caftans, and more specifically the 2 pieces one. There are also one piece ones but those are rarely worn in weddings, they’re more for baptêmes, engagement parties and other occasions. Again, like most of our traditional wear, they are handmade and usually tailored to the wearer’s style and wants. Here are some :

Oh, here’s the one I wore to the wedding :

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Side note: I was wearing my hair down but with the heat and the dancing… Yeah, it didn’t work out so well and it had to get out of the way.

3Pastillas are some of our big occasion meals. And I also had it at the wedding, so there’s that. I honestly don’t know how to explain it haha. It’s this crunchy “shell” of circle shaped dough made of water and flour that’s cooked kind of like crêpes (even thinner than those to be honest) and filled with ALL them delicious things.

So, what do we know now? That I suck at explaining things. And also that it is delicious and you should try it. The most common ones are: The salty one made with fish and sea food (my favorite) – squeeze lemon juice on top of it, you’re welcome- and the sweet one made of chicken and almonds often served with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

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So, none of you had any questions to ask me *sad face* I’ll go ahead and answer some of the most asked questions that I received or heard of at some point in my life.

  • Where are the camels?

This is a question someone asked on Twitter after my first #FMTM post last month. To be honest, it is quite offending (Do your research people) but let’s role with it. The camels are in the Sahara desert, which is in the South of the country, or you can find them in some beaches for touristic purposes.

  • How do you greet each other?

Moroccan are big into kissing, like REAL BIG. But not people of the opposite sex, then a handshake will do (Note that some hijabi women prefer not to shake hands with men).

  • How do I dress? (Asked by girls)

All in all, you should avoid to show too much skin, just to be respectful of the people around. In the big cities, tank tops are fine, a little above the knee is too (to the beach though, you can wear whatever floats you boat). In the small towns and villages, it is better to stick to a t-shirt and pants though.

Those are the ones I could think of haha. If you guys don’t have any questions to ask, I think I’ll get rid of this section. If you do, please live them in the comments below and I’ll make sure to answer them.

And I wanted to ask, if any of my Moroccan readers want me to showcase their city and would like to help with the post just send me an email and I would be happy to do it.


That’s it until next time.

Did you ever visit Morocco ? If so, what cities ? And what was your favorite part of your holiday here ?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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A Darker shade of Magic -First born child of Awesomeness and Uniqueness

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Title : A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

Author : V. E. Schwab

Publication date : February 24th 2015

Publisher : Tor Books

Genre : Adult | Fantasy

Synopsis : Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.
Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.
  
(Goodreads)

Rating : 4.5 stars

Copy of Word Wonders

“He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time those points were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila still felt like a pin in Kell’s world. One he was sure to snag on.”

(No spoilers)

This book played with my head and my feelings. It left me shaking, wondering why I hadn’t picked it up sooner. IT IS AWESOME YOU GUYS !! WHY DIDN’T ANYONE MAKE ME READ IT BEFORE? It was my introduction to V.E Schwab’s work and what an introduction indeed. I had heard so many great things about it, so while I had high expectations for it -that it managed to meet- I also was afraid to let the hype get to me.

First and foremost, the writing is elegant in a way, with words chosen carefully and woven into beautiful beautiful sentences, and it also has a sarcastic undertone to it aka EVERYTHING I WANT IN MY LIFE !! Following the author on Twitter, I think how can it NOT be sarcastic, she’s hilarious ! Don’t even get me started on the descriptions, they’re so well done, very detailed without falling into the so-boring-I-want-to-claw-my-eyes-out category and this book couldn’t do other wise, it needed the details because the world is very intricate.

The originality of the world Schwab created is beyond what words can express, you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean. Here’s how it goes: There are 4 parallel universe, each with different geography but with one same constant in them: London. In the following order, there’s Grey London -the one without magic, Red London -the thriving one, White London- the one where violence is a normalcy, and finally Black London- the Fallen one. Or as Lila puts it : “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London and Dead London” and while each one of them is described on its own and its connection to the other, everything still manages to be clear and to avoid confusion.

There’s also the magic system. I. LOVE. IT. The thing about Fantasy is that it opens a door to a world with endless possibilities and I just now proclaimed Schwab Queen of that world. NO. DOUBT. She masters the ropes of creation a takes already set elements, makes them her own and gets something new out of them. Hard to follow? Let me explain! We’ve all read about Elements magic and Blood magic before right? So nothing new here. BUT the thing that makes it what it is, is the way the magic works especially what she calls Antari magic (Blood magic) which is the most powerful and also the rarest form that exists in those worlds. The concept of it is what’s unique. And also,  Black Magic “Vitari” is alive, and it spreads like a plague eating on people’s souls, it has a mind and a will of its own and that is SO COOL. Everytime I think I’ve fully grasped the works of the magic system, new elements are introduced and I’m like “Nope, better luck figuring it out next time! “

Obviously, this complicated of a world has to have solid foundations to thrive and to do so, it has to do extensive world-building. Which happened throughout the first 100 pages or so of the book. In that first chunk, the pacing was so very slow but even then I was so fascinated by everything that I didn’t get bored *Applauds* but that first part is the one that took me the longest to get through.  And once it picked up, OH LORD ! I flew through it and it messed me up, this book seriously broke me. It is SO FAST PACED, I died and came back to life with every new chapter. I think those Dane twins -the villains- were to blame fully for that, each time they were there, I wanted to crawl under my own skin and hide there forever, THEY WERE TERRIFIYNG. (Look at them uuh !!)

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The characters being kick-ass helped a lot in the process of resurrecting me. Thanks guys !First of all they’re incredibly well written, all three dimensional, with depth and quirks of their own.

Lila is by far my favorite one. Remember how in a previous post I said I love morally ambiguous characters? Well, she is exactly that. BEST. THIEF. EVER. She’s so smart and her mischief is very funny to read about. Having to rely on herself for most of her life made her to have a very suspicious nature as well as excellent instincts which has come handy quite a number of times.

Kell is a witty, tortured soul kind of character, with this really weird sense of honor . He balances all of Lila’s craziness and sometimes impulsivity. I really loved him for his bravery and his will to do anything to protect everyone, even if he’s running towards certain death, he just goes for it and hopes for the best. The duo that they have come to form is amazing! Their friendship -which started with Lila stealing from Kell the object of all their troubles, duh!! – is the most unconventional one I’ve read about in my life. They bonded and cared for each other without wanting to admit it, risking their lives for one another and sticking together no matter what the outcome was.

Rhy is the one I wished there were more. The little glimpses of him I got, I really loved. He seemed funny, caring and very honorable and his relationship with Kell was endearing and there wasn’t nearly enough of it to stop my craving it. I just hope there will be more of them in the next books.

Also, one other thing I need to be explored is BLACK LONDON ! GIMME !!! But I feel it in my bones that we’re going to get a lot of it in the next books. I need A Gathering of Shadows now*.

*By the time this review went up, I read AGOS and DROWNED UNDER THE FEELS. The hangover is real you guys. I’m obsessed. (Even though I didn’t get Black London)

P.s: I couldn’t find the source of the Fanart, so tell me if you know


That’s it until next time.

Did you read A Darker Shade of Magic ? If so, what did you think of it?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Top 5 Wednesday #16 : Gimme More Now !

Hello guys !T5W

So today is Wednesday, this means that it is time for me to do another T5W.  It is a weekly feature created By Lainey @ Gingerreadslainey with a different theme each week. It is hosted now by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. For more information, you can check the Goodreads group.

This week’s theme is: BOOKS THAT I WANT SEQUELS FOR

SO MANY BOOKS THAT I WANT MORE FROM. They’re mostly favorites so they’re going to be books I nagged you about over and over again because I can’t shut up about them, they’re just too good. I actually had a hard time narrowing it down to just these 5 but I’m quite satisfied with it now. I obviously skipped Harry Potter because that one is a given ! So, here we go :

5- NEVERWHERE – NEIL GAIMAN

Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere

This is the only exception to the list because it is not a story because in my review I gave it 3.5 stars just because the world building was very confusing. But I  loved the story and the characters even more, so I’m really curious to see what adventure they go on next and I’m convinced that if there were sequels it wouldn’t be as confusing. (Review)

4- I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN – JANDY NELSON

Jandy Nelson - I'll Give You the Sun

I’m sure you’ve seen this one coming. I’m also sure that if i keep bringing it up in every post someone will come and stab me in my sleep just to shut me up. But I’m willing to risk it because I NEED MORE NOAH AND JUDE !! Pretty please ? I just love them so much and someone talk to Nelson and tell her to write more about them. (Review)

3- THE BOOK THIEF – MARKUS SUZAK

Markus Suzak - The Book Thief

Favorite book. Favorite author. Pretty obvious right ? This is another one that’ll make me the target of daggers. I love it and want an infinity of this story in my life. So beautiful, wonderful and very tear-inducing but still, 200% worth it.

2- THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME – JESS ROTHENBERG

Jess Rothenberg - The Catastrophic History of You and Me

My Oh My ! This is one of my best reads this year and it completely took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, but went it happened I couldn’t get enough and I needed more. I am in Patrick and Brie withdrawal. (Review)

1- FANGIRL – RAINBOW ROWELL

Rainbow Rowell - Fangirl 2

AAAAH CATHER AND LEVI !!!! One of the first couples I truly shipped just because they’re beyond cute and I have a humongous crush on Levi, he’s perfectly imperfect. So I want to see how their relationship evolves and also how Cath comes out of her shell. (Review)

Click on the cover to be sent to the Goodreads page


That’s it until next time.

What stories do YOU need more of ? I’d love to know.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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2016 Challenges Mid-year Update

Hello guys !

I’m back with my challenges update which let’s face it, won’t be much of an update because aside from my Goodreads one, I didn’t do much, (oups ?) . I should really get to it and start working more on my challenges because after all, I chose the books for it which means that I want to read them but I just didn’t get around to it, but now with my Diverse Reading pledge and reading a big chunk of the popular books i really wanted to get too, it should be doable… Right?

Unpopular

12016-07-11.pngThis one is going wonderfully good. I’ve read 40 books (One I couldn’t find on GR) and I’m 13 books ahead of schedule. I was thinking about upping it but I think I won’t. Once I reach 50 books I’ll have reached my goad and I’ll increase the amount for next year. Here are all the books I read.

2

Which I’ve found 17/26 for, and I’m quite proud of myself for it. I picked one characters per book (Those are the rules friends!) and to make it harder, one character per series.

A : Abel from The Storyteller.
B : Brie from The Catastrophic History of You and Me.
C : Charlie from Never, Never
D : Deanna from The Girl in 6E.
E : Eadlyn from The Heir.
F : Felix from Wolf By Wolf.
G :
H :
I :
J : Jace from City of Bones.
K : Kaito from Cinder.
L : Levi from Fangirl.
M : Miles from Looking for Alaska.
N : Nathan from Me Before You.
O : Oscar from I’ll Give You the Sun
P :
Q :
R : Richard from Neverwhere
S : St Clair from Anna and the French Kiss
T : Tessa from Clockwork Angel
U :
V :
W : Watney from The Martian
X :
Y : Youssef from Les Dunes Vives
Z :

The titles will lead you to the reviews

3

In more than 2 months I managed to add only 2 books which makes it now 9/20. Pathetic I know.

1996 : Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
1997 : Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Reread)
1998 : Harry potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (Reread)
1999 : Stardust by Neil Gaiman
2000 : Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
2001 : One Day by David Nicholls
2002 : I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
2003 : The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
2004 : Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
2005 : Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
2006 : It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
2007 : City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
2008 : Graceling by Kristin Cashore
2009 : City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
2010 : Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
2011 : The Martian by Andy Weir
2012 : Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2013 : Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
2014 : All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2015 : Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
2016 : A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab  

4

Still sucking at this one, which I am not really proud of, I only added one for which makes fot 6/15. I intend to remedy to this problem with the help of my list of diverse reads I want to tackle before the end of the year.

1- The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis German

2- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare United States

3- Les Dunes Vives by Khireddine Mourad Morocco

4- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes United Kingdom

5- I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai Pakistan

6- The Messenger by Markus ZusakAustralia

And finally, here are the books and series I want to tackle this year.

 


That’s it until next time.

What challenges are you taking part in this year? And do you have any recommendations to help me complete mine?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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