Sunday, October 27, 2019

Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon - Book Review

Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon
Publication date: June 12, 2016
My rating: 4 stars

“Why I’d never suggest otherwise.  I was merely thinking I could be your glamorous, occasionally sarcastic, sidekick.  Someone to bounce your brilliant ideas off of.”

This book was soooo wonderful.
I’m in love with Jamie. IN. LOVE.
Kyaaaaa! *Japanese fangirl moment over here*

This book really made me realize how much I love all of these tropes and how little I see them in books.

1) Time Travel. And I’m not talking about the sci-fi type of time travel, but the magical one created by magic, when the protagonist can travel through time.

2) Pirates as love interests because… PIRATES AS LOVE INTERESTS. Just pirates in general though, thank you. I wanna see more piracy!

3) Ghosts! And not the freaky horror kind. Especially if it’s a love story between a human and a ghost. Like… seriously, SO COOL.

4) Accents. Jamie as the best accent ever ahhh! I adore him! 

I’ve basically been binge reading Cassandra Gannon’s books. My favorite of hers so far was the A Kinda Fairy Tail series (especially the first book Wicked Ugly Bad! SO GOOD), but now this is also a fave, I just enjoyed it sooo much. 

He waved a hand around, like all she needed to do was whip out a Sherlock Holmes-sized magnifying glass and shout, “Elementary, my dear Watson!”

I loved Jamie! LOVED HIM. I loved Grace and her character development. I loved all the names the Rivera family has – so cool! I loved ghost Jamie, I loved real Jamie, I loved the time travel, the magic system, I just loved it all! And of course, the best part, the romance. Fantastically done.

I would absolutely love for more books in this world. Even though the author hasn’t indicated she has any plan for ones, I would still hope! There is still so much to tell about the Rivera family. I’m definitely very much intrigued by all the cousins Grace had mentioned in this book.

I also loved the author's note at the end. Listening to how Cassandra had come up with this idea, and the history behind it was fascinating.

This author is amazing with her story weaving skills, the romance, and banter in her books. I cannot wait to read more!

I highly recommend you give her other books a try, starting with A Kinda Fairytale and Not Another Vampire Book.
And if you read Ghost Walker and are looking for more fun books about magical time travel and ghosts (although ghosts aren't a main aspect), please also give Ruby Red by Kierstin Gier a try. 

“If a man is courting you, he should be calling upon your residence,” lectured the moral authority who knew the exact location of the town’s former brothel.

*Spoiler Alert* 

My favorite part had to be the ending, when Jamie could FINALLY beat Robert to death, as we all wanted him to do since the beginning. AHHH, his smile when he rose and did it. I was squealing with happiness like it was a love scene or something πŸ˜‚ 

*End of spoiler*

Now where can I find a Jamie? 

“No one will stop you if you seem confident.  They’ll be too afraid of looking a fool if they question you.  Always act as if you know exactly what you’re doing and you can get away with anything.  T’is the secret of life.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - Book Review

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahrin
Publication date: September 3, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

I shall write this review in the form of a list of the things I liked (and things I didn't like, which is literally only two things, and only my own personal opinion, really, because I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT).

Things I liked (no spoilers):
I rose and gestured to my small frame. “You really think I could knock two fully grown men unconscious?” My husband’s reply came instantaneously. “Yes.” Under different circumstances, I would’ve been flattered. Now, however, his unwavering faith in my abilities was damnably inconvenient.
  • Lou and Reid's dynamics!Despite the seriousness and craziness of the situation they both found themselves in, their dynamics was just so fun from the start. I couldn’t wait for those two complete opposites to finally fall in love. And when they did it was just... 🧑

“Why are you dressed like a man?” “Have you ever worn a corset?” I spun around to face him, reattaching my mustache with as much dignity as I could muster. “I doubt you’d ask such a question if you had. Trousers are infinitely more freeing.”
  • How Lou is just unapologetically herself. Granted, I was sympathizing with Reid when she was cursing because much like Reid I'm also a prude πŸ˜‚ but Lou just had such a vibrant personality and she never tried to make herself different for anyone's sake. I loved that about her. And I loved her.

  • Reid. I love Reid too. Aside from a very annoying thing he did, but we'll get to that in the things I didn't like. Aside from that though, I loved Reid! I related to his prudish personality a lot, and I think the author definitely managed to sell me on the whole "serious and stoic" love interest. Who needs a bad boy when you can have a Reid who will honor and protect you forever? 

  • STICKY BUNS 🧑 I am not usually the type to be taunted with foods in books (even though I LOVE food and especially sweets), BUT OMG was I taunted here! I want a sticky bun, the author found my weakness! 

  • At one point during all those revelations at the end, my heart was beating out of my chest and I literally had to put the book aside to compose myself. 

  • Lou and Reid together are just so precious and I want SO MUCH MORE of them in the next book. 

Things I liked (with spoilers):

  • The gang! I just loved our gang at the end, their dynamics was such fun. I'll be so sad if they part ways in the next book because I just love all of them together - Lou, Reid, Ansel, Coco, Madam Labelle, Beau (yep, Beau was a surprise because I didn't think I'll like him but now I really like him!)
  • Madam Labelle being Reid's mother - so cool! I liked that he started caring for her in the end, and I hope to see him come to care for her more. I know they have a long way to go, but I hope they do because it would be so precious. I was so scared at the end there when it looked like she died, and PHEW that she didn't!

  • Reid killing the Archbishop. Okay, so I didn't want the Archbishop to die at the end. Granted, I wanted to punch him in the face repeatedly in the beginning, but after we found out he was Lou's father it was just... O_O . But wow wow wow wow, Reid killing him to save Lou's life SO DARK and also HECK YES at the same time? I don't even know, but I'm just glad Reid is willing to do anything to save Lou. Love it.

  • Which brings us to, Reid is a witch! He wasn't just born to a witch, he can do actual magic!We still don't know how it works - can he really do it all the time? Was it just a one time thing because Lou almost died and so he almost died too? Is it something that awakened in him in those moments of darkness? I personally hope it's something he'll still be able to do in the next book and not just a one time thing!

And my wife—the fucking love of my life—was the daughter of La Dame des SorciΓ¨res. The heiress of Chateau le Blanc. The goddamned princess of the witches. 

  • Reid cursing like 3 times at the end of the book πŸ˜‚ Never thought I would be so delighted by a character cursing, but boy this was good.
Lou glared at him. “I like you, Ansel, but this had better be something good. Emilie and Alexandre just had a moment, and I swear if they don’t kiss soon, I will literally die.”
  • Lou reading that book about those two lovers from warring countries! Loved it! And how it was like a nod to us readers to our own fangirling situation with Reid and Lou. 

Things I didn't like (with spoilers): 

There are only really two things that I had personal issues with.

  • The whole "past love interest" trope. And yeah, I'm talking about Celie and Reid. I mean, it's not that I don't understand what Reid found in her. It makes sense that he would fall in love with someone like Celie, especially since they've known each other since they were children. But it just made the whole "falling in love with Lou" a bit less realistic when he was technically still in love with Celie in the beginning of the book. It is a bit jarring that he could just move from his so called love to Celie and right to Lou. Don't get me wrong, I'M SO HAPPY he fell for Lou, the love of his life, so I'm assuming when he said he loved Celie, he did love her, but he probably wasn't in love with her for some time now. But in general, yeah, I always had trouble with the past love interest trope, when one of the protagonists is still half in love with said past love.

I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don't know if she returned that love, and I didn't care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.
  • Reid rejecting Lou when he found out she was a witch. Haha... yep, that moment. I nearly threw the book aside when Lou was just about to tell him she's a witch in their room and they were interrupted in a classic interruption scene just when someone is about to reveal something really important πŸ˜‚ I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but I just knew then and there Reid was going to find out Lou is a witch in the wrong way. And yep, he did. And yep, he BROKE HER HEART. AND I WAS SO MAD. SO MAD I TELL YOU. I understand. I understand Reid was practically brainwashed since he was born. You can't just erase brainwashing of years and year, DOESN'T MEAN I STILL CAN'T BE MAD THOUGH.I am glad, however, that he apologized at the end. That he even cried and blamed himself. At the very least he's repenting about it. So I'm glad. 

In conclusion (with spoilers): 

What will happen now! Our gang is so not our of the woods yet. If anything, they're in even deeper woods. Madam Labelle and Beau are said to go talk to the king, persuade him not to act rashly. As for Lou, Reid, Aansel and Coco, they must seek sanctuary with Coco's aunt, now that they're all fugitives. Everyone would want Lou dead, especially her mother - who is still alive and probably the biggest threat - and everyone saw Reid kill the Archbishop, so he's wanted too. And Ansel, of course, who aided them both. Not to mention Coco, who also aided and is known as a witch. 

How will Reid deal with the PTSD he probably just got from killing the Archbishop, finding out the love of his life his a witch, he's the son of a witch and probably has magic too, and his wife is still threatened by practically everyone?

Now I really want to read Blood & Honey. 

Fun times ahead, people ;) 

Besides—didn’t all men share some sort of unspoken camaraderie? A mutual understanding of their own collective importance? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan - Book Review

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Publication date: May 1, 2018
My rating: 3 stars

NO. I refuse to share this part of my story. It was the lowest, most humiliating, most awful week in my four-thousand-plus years of life. Tragedy. Disaster. Heartbreak. I will not tell you about it. Why are you still here? Go away! 

It took me way too long to read The Burning Maze.

The reason? Back in the day when it came out, I read about 25% of it... when I was spoiled about something major happening. I was so shocked, I literally dropped the book and didn’t pick it up more than a year later.

I’m honestly a little ashamed of myself considering my fan status of Rick Riordan. I mean I literally grew up on these books.

Still, maybe it’s also actually a good thing I waited until the 4th book was out? That way I could binge read it.

But anyway, since this is the 3rd book in the series, there are obviously going to be MAJOR spoilers below. If you haven’t read these books yet, what are you doing, go read them.

And if you haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson books yet (although I highly doubt you would be here, reading this review, if you hadn't), I highly recommend you start with The Lightning Thief. Go now, shoo, let me freak out about this book.
Because, boy, am I going to freak out

*Spoilers from now on* 

I’m so sad right now people. SO SAD.

And yes, this is the thing I was spoiled about before I finished reading the book – well technically it’s two things if you think about it.

Piper and Jason breaking up, and Jason FREAKING DYING.

*sobbing into eternity* 

Jason and Piper were the kind of characters that I didn't immediately scream "omg, favorite!" Unlike with my instant love to characters like Percy, Leo, Nico... Piper and Jason took a bit more time to grow on me during their adventures in Heroes of Olympus. And that's okay! Because when we left them, Piper and Jason were in a good place, beginning their search for their lost friend, Leo. 

But then we pick up where we left them and Piper and Jason are not in a good place. Piper and Jason are broken up. But Piper and Jason are also so much more awesome than I remembered? They've grown up so much (mentally, if not physically), they're awesome, they're heroic, they're wonderful.
I didn't even realize it, stupidly, before... how much I love them. Together and apart. 

In the previous books, I was so busy being in love with the rest of the gang that I completely neglected Piper and Jason.
And now...
And NOW. 

Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.” 

I just about nearly sobbed when I read that.  


I really admired Piper in this one. She was just so freaking mentally strong. And I loved how she was acting like this big sister to Meg at times.

It was just so jarring to hear that she and Jason broke up considering, as Grover almost said, that we always thought they would be like like Percy and Annabeth. Thinking about these heroes, that got together when you yourself were 16, as you were reading about them excitedly, after purchasing the next book in the series from the bookstore, and now you’re 21 and they’re broken up… it just makes me sad.

It’s logical, I suppose, considering Piper and Jason's fake history, considering what Piper told Apollo about her wanting to find herself. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT LOGIC when all I wanted was for them to be happy together. 

But that’s not the saddest thing. Nope. I could still hold out to hope that these two will be happy – whether it’s together or apart – UNTIL JASON SACRIFICED HIMSELF AND WAS STABBED TWO TIMES THROUGH THE HEART. 

“I can’t even…” Jason sat heavily on his bed. “I don’t know whether to laugh or yell.” “Don’t limit yourself,” grumbled Piper. “Do both.” 

I mean, yeah... why limit myself when I can yell and cry 😭 

It’s like Rick Riordan thought “You know what, since I didn’t kill anyone major in The Blood of Olympus, let’s like, kill one of them now, right? RIGHT?” 


It’s even worse killing Jason now that it would have been in The Blood of Olympus because we spent 6 books with Jason, we got used to the idea of Jason, we thought Jason was SAFE, and now what? Now we cry. And wonder if Rick will kill anyone else. 

He probably won’t. Thinking about Rick Riordan’s style, he doesn’t go overboard with character kills, so I’m thinking most of them are probably safe, at least the other main ones. 

Now before I start sobbing again thinking about Piper's reaction when they... with Jason... *taking a deep breath*, I should talk a bit about the protagonist of this book, Apollo. 

“Let my friends go,” I said. “All of them. Then you can have me.” The emperor’s eyes gleamed like a strix’s. “And if I don’t?” I summoned my courage, and issued a threat I never could have imagined in my previous four thousand years of life. “I’ll kill myself.”

One of my favorite moments, was when Apollo and the gang were being held hostage by Caligula – right before… right before Jason… - and Apollo was SO ANGRY about his hurt friends, and then he realized that the only way to save them was to threaten his own life… It was just so beautiful?

Such an amazing character development. Apollo really is evolving. He’s not the same guy he was in book 1. After that, he literally risked himself 2 more times just to save his friends. And I honestly cannot wait to see what happens next. I mean, Apollo will quite probably return to godhood but… how will it change him? How would his promise to Jason… Jason Grace, will change him? 

I felt sad when Piper was blaming Apollo, especially since they almost bonded at some point. I mean, I understand, I really do. Even though it’s not Apollo’s fault, it was his quest, he was the one who asked for their help. He’s not at fault,  especially considering Jason literally told everyone about the prophecy of either him or Piper dying if they try to go after Caligula, but I can see how Piper, in her situation, could blame him. It’s just so sad though. My heart. I can’t. 

As the former praetor and the emperor charged past each other, Jason met my eyes across the ruined throne room. His expression told me his plan with perfect clarity. Like me, he had decided that Piper McLean would not die tonight. For some reason, he had decided that I must live too. He yelled again, “GO! Remember!”

Jason sacrificed himself for this friends to get away, but… at the end of the day, he did it for Piper. He did it so Piper wouldn’t die, so Piper would get away, and this breaks my heart and I’m going to cry. 

His last words to Piper and Apollo "GO! Remember!" before he told his horse to get them to safety just about killed me. It also really threw me back to the 11th Doctor and Clara (Oswin) Oswald (Run, you clever boy. And remember). Which honestly just made me sadder. 

Piper shook him and sobbed, “JASON!” Her voice echoed from the cliffs. 

I literally had to hold my tears back when they found Jason on the shore and Piper was screaming his name and begging for Apollo, and when Piper's dad showed up and hugged his daughter... 😭 I would have probably sobbed if I was alone at the time, but since I wasn't I looked like I had something in my eye with how much blinking I was doing. It was hard enough to try to keep the tears at bay. 

And then later, when Leo came along, I had tears in my eyes and I'm just... when he asked where's Jason... and Piper broke down in his arms... someone please hold me.

“One good stab in the back deserves another.” Piper kissed Medea on the cheek. “I’d tell you to say hello to Jason for me, but he’ll be in Elysium. You…won’t.”  

Piper killing Medea was EPIC. So no maybe she didn’t get to kill Jason’s actual murderer yet, but killing the person who assisted in this, Piper’s nemesis, sure is retribution.

I also kind of felt Apollo wasn’t sad ENOUGH about Jason, though? I mean don’t get me wrong, he was obviously sad and guilty, but by the way he reacted to Crest’s death, whom he knew even for less time than Jason, it kind of felt his reaction to Jason’s death lacked? I dono. I mean, Apollo and Jason are technically half brothers, they’re bonded to a promise, I just thought Apollo would express… more. But that’s just me. 

Jason sighed miserably. “That’s supposed to be my job. I’m always the one who gets knocked in the head. Sorry, guys. Things didn’t exactly go as planned.”

(Because we also need to remember the fun times with Jason) 

We're definitely not done with this heartbreak though, huh?
Book 4 should pick right up where book 3 left, which means Meg and Apollo are delivering Jason to the Roman camp. Which means... which means breaking the hearts of the rest of the gang. 

We already know Annabeth's and Percy's reaction from the end of Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase) - although I do wish to see/hear Percy's actual reaction, as we only heard Annabeth, crying. 

We also know Piper and Leo's reaction... 

Now it's time to deliver the news to the rest of the people who care about Jason - Reyna (who was once in love with him), Frank (his comrade), Hazel (his comrade and friend), Thalia (his sister)... I can't even. 

Onto The Tyrant's Tomb now...
See you there. 

What I wanted Jason and Piper to end as:
Unstoppable - Alex Goot

What they actually sort of ended up us (hard to find an exact song these days):
The Meterial - I'd be Lying 

Also this one because why not, I'm feeling sad and musicy:
Deltarune - Legend (Tudd Chillwave Remix)

“I’m Jason Grace,” he said. “Former praetor of the Twelfth Legion. Son of Jupiter. Child of Rome. But I belong to both camps.” 

 I would be Apollo. I would remember. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare - Book Review

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
Publication date: June 4, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

 “Kit straightened up. “Nope, I’m good. Come on Brother Hauntingly Attractive.” “There’s no need to mention this to Tessa.” “And Yet,” said Kit, “I’m gonna.”  

The problem about reading a Cassandra Clare book... you immediately want another one.

While this was probably my least favorite of the short stories collection - The Bane Chronicles and Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy - it was still an epic read, and I could not put this book down after hitting the halfway mark.

I think the reason I liked it less was only due to a few of the short stories that just didn't really... appeal to me? But the short stories about Alec and Kit and Jace... AHH, my heart! And I also really appreciated all the background information we got on certain characters. It really adds depth and also really sets us up to The Wicked Powers trilogy (as well as for The Last Hours trilogy). 

*Spoilers from now on (note the end of spoilers below)*

"A love the cannot be requited. I can think of nothing more painful than that."  

I felt really bad for Jace's biological mother, Celine. It's really so sad that Jace never got to know her, that she never got to love her son. The poor girl has been abused and ignored her whole life and it just made me to angry and sad to hear. I don't even think anyone, aside from Valentine, knew what her parents did to her. Maybe the ones from her institute, but they were as evil as her parents.
Celine just wanted to be loved, she wanted to belong. And it was so painful to read how she fell to Valentine's trap.

I'm also angry about Jace's biological father, though? He obviously had the Herondale charms, but it didn't impress me because if you think about it, he chose to leave Amatis for Celine, and yet he still yearned for Amatis, never really loving Celine fully. No one forced him to leave Amatis, no one charmed him to do to. It really just made me angry, because if he truly wanted to be with Amatis he would have found a way, and instead he threw her aside, went to Celine, and didn't even love her truly. 

"I'm basically twelve," continued Alec, who was totally eleven. 

I'm so sad for Thule Jace 😭 Can't get used to his new name yet. I know I know, Thule Jace is the villain, he will obviously eventually be killed, probably either by the "good guys" or him sacrificing himself, realizing it's his only way at peace and redemption.

But I'm just so sad for him. Because at the end of the day, he is Jace. Yes, not the Jace we all know and love. He's a dark Jace, who kills mercilessly and is honestly scary and evil, but... Jace :( He literally went through HELL and he just wants Clary and it's so sad.

I also just need Clary and Jace to get married though! Honestly, get married already! And have children! If it is as it usually is, there is a wedding at every ending of Cassandra's books, so we'll probably get the Jace and Clary wedding at the end of The Wicked Powers?

They trained together at the London Institute and took lessons together in various schoolrooms, and Lavinia Whitelaw had referred to them as “that notorious bunch of hooligan boys.” Matthew and James had called themselves Shadowhooligans for some time after that remark. 

Can we talk about Lily Chen for a second? My heart hurts for her. I love her, I love Raphael, I want them together. *sob-sob*. Part of me is screaming at her "What are you doing?! Don't trust Thule Jace!" While the other part of me is "Yes yes yes yes, bring the other Raphael here! We need our Raphael again!"

How precious is Kit, Jem, Tessa, and Mina though? THAT FAMILY. I just wanted to read so much more of them together. Mina is SO CUTE, and I want Kit to be even more cute with her. They're already so cute! I loved that scene when he went to her room and held her up trying to get her to sleep. Precious.

*End of spoilers* 

I do not have to be only one thing, Anna thought. I can choose what suits me when it suits me. The trousers and jacket do not make me a man, and the necklace does not make me a woman. They are only what makes me feel beautiful and powerful in this moment. I am exactly as I choose to be. I am a Shadowhunter who wears gorgeous suits and a legendary pendant. 

I realized something about myself as I was reading. Well, it was something I already knew about myself but realized it even more now, that I really don't enjoy descriptions. Of places, or people. The bare minimum is enough to satisfy me. I'm much more dialogue/thoughts oriented. And Cassandra Clare's writing could be very descriptive at times.

So yeah, while I did fell it was rather slow-paced due mainly to my lack of interest in some of the stories, I did think it was amazing and deep and just... I love everything Cassandra Clare writes, she's my queen of fantasy, and I love the Shadowhunter world. Thinking that we only have 8 more books honestly makes me HORRIFIED. I cannot wait for The Wicked Powers - but as long as we're going to have The Last Hours and The Eldest Curses I'm happy even if I have to wait forever until my Kit and Ty. 

"Anyone who says women are weak is afraid they're too strong." 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell - Book Review

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: September 24, 2019
My rating: 3.5 stars

I'll never have someone like Baz again. There is no one like Baz; it's like dating someone out of a legend. He's a heroic vampire, a gifted magician. He's dead handsome. 

By the angel! Wait no, wrong book-phrase... by crowly, the snakes, Morgana, and magic itself, WHAT THE HELL. 

I can't people. I cannot even.
I have so many... thoughts? Feelings? Frustrations? Questions?
I don't even know what to say.

I've made the mistake once, 4 years ago, thinking Carry On was the last book in this... series? Who knows if it's a trilogy, a series, or whatnot... but I'm getting ahead of myself. *ahem*. So we all thought Carry On was a standalone, right? But then, a couple of years later we got AWESOME news that we'll have a sequel! And I was like "omg, a sequel! All about Simon and Baz honeymoon phase to solve all the lingering problems and questions from Carry On and wrap this up nicely with Simon and Baz together at last."
HAHAHA... no. Nope.

Crowly, we're bad at this. I can't even tell what Simon wants. Does that tag mean "I like you" Or is it "take care"? Or "Give me back my hand"? 

Because you see, Wayward Son made all of my post book craziness from Carry On SO MUCH more intense. And by the love of magic itself, I hope we don't have to wait 4 more years for the next book because that ending... that ending...
It literally solved nothing AT ALL. And I'm not even talking about the ending, I'm talking about the whole book.

I loved the book! But I'm also frustrated with it! I don't even know how to feel. Because I'm obviously a fan of these books but am also being a harsh critique here? 
I think I need some tea right about now. A calm cup of tea.
"A vampire, two mages, and a bleeder." Lamb sights and stands up. Every one of us flinches. "I'm going to need a cup of tea." "Oh, thank magic," Penelope says at the same time Simon says, "Tea?" and Baz says "Crowly below, please let us have some." 

So where was I?
Oh yes.

The book could have been so much better if Simon and Baz were actually talking to each other. I mean, they were talking, but not talking-talking. 

Maybe it was my mistake to think of this book as the “happily ever after” sequel. Especially considering this is by no means the last book (!). At least it better not be. It kind of felt like all the progress we made to get Simon and Baz together in Carry On went to waste here with them literally having to tiptoe around each other the entire book.

Sure, they’re officially together but they also aren’t? Crowley, I don’t even understand what I’m saying.

Like they don’t talk about how they feel, they don’t express themselves, they’re constantly scared of accidentally saying or doing something to make the other one run off. So they have no real talks. At all. And even the real talk they were *starting* to have at the very end was cut off. *crying into the abyss*. 

"Look here, son. We don't want any of your trouble. They might put up with you deviants wherever you come from, but this is Nebraska." (He could mean literally anything by "deviants". Magicians, vampires, bird boys, queers...) 

And yeah, I could understand this for a bit, but it's literally the situation THE ENTIRE BOOK. I’m serious, the entire book. 

We’ve done this, we’ve been there before with Carry On. I didn’t want another Carry On on my hands, I wanted the Baz and Simon ACTUALLY together having adventures being lovey-dovey, not “is he still my boyfriend” “can I kiss him?”.

I guess this could all be made more tolerable if I actually knew there was going to be a third book? But even if I knew, who would want two characters who are together to act like they don't even know if they're together for an entire book? With not even one single conversation between them I could count as deep.

I'm probably being too harsh here, I'm just filled with so many emotions right now.  

So let's get on to the good stuff, shall we?
I mean I did love this book! It's actually because I love this book and these characters that I get so deeply frustrated about these things. 

"I think it was light brown," Baz says. "This light brown," I say, pointing at a house, "or that light-light brown?" I point to another. "That's not light brown, that's a warm grey." "They're all sort of warm grey," I say, "even that green one." "I don't see a green one." "That one over there." "Surely, that's a tan." 

I’m in love with Rainbow’s writing style. It’s just so addictive! And funny! and quotable! I think I wouldn’t have minded quoting the whole book! I quoted the hell out of it anyway.

And the characters! Well we already know Penny and Simon and Baz (Baz is still my favorite although he’s done some stupid things towards the end there), but the newest character, Shepard, was awesomely fun! I nominate the guy as the official peace-maker of magic kind.

Everyone was telling him to shut up and he always wanted to learn more about magic, but he seriously seemed to be the only one who knows more than anyone in the room. I really liked the guy. He’s a bit crazy to go into danger like that, being Normal, but he’s also totally awesome for it. 

“Right,” I say. “We’ll need a candle.”“There’s one in the bathroom.”“And I’ll need your help.”“Me? I’m not even a lay-witch.”“As long as you have a soul, we’re fine.” He looks a bit worried. “Shepard, it’s fine—this isn’t dangerous.”
He smiles. “My soul is at your disposal.”
*spoilers from now on* 

I was actually really shipping him and Penny together but unfortunately, he wasn’t introduced all that early in the story and it didn’t seem like they had the time to develop a relationship in all those crazy magical adventures and almost dying multiple times. You know how it is. However! I definitely saw some sparks there towards the end, and I'm thinking that we're definitely hinted to a pairing of them in the third book. There is a third book, right? RIGHT? 

Agatha, yes—you brilliant girl. You’ve saved the day in the end.

As for Agatha, I didn’t like her at first. Well, I wasn’t liking her since Carry On, and I really just didn’t want to read her chapters in the very beginning. But then when she was in trouble I suddenly felt that overwhelming need for everyone to save her.

Because at the end of the day, Agatha is still part of their family. She might not be the most likable one, but she’s family nonetheless. And you can always count on family.
I think there might even be a chance of me actually liking the girl in the third book if she keeps this up. Maybe. We'll see.

Agatha is also a surprisingly talented magician? Probably even more so than Baz and Penelope, if she even bothered to learn, since she can actually cast spells without her wand. And with her lips sealed! Like seriously, Agatha, this is totally kickass! She really made us understand the whole “magic is inside of you, it’s part of who you are”. 

"You were amazing," he says, taking a breath. "You didn't even need a wand." I hold on to his shoulders. "I'm a little disturbed that you find slaying vampires this exciting." 
*end of spoilers* 

For the love of magic, I hope we get news of the third book soon.
I think I'll go calm myself down now.
Every time I finish a book about Simon and Baz I feel like I've been through a tornado. Which is actually not a bad feeling at all. I mean hey, every book that makes your heart go pounding is a book that got you to care about it, deeply. 

“I’m not a magician anymore, Penelope.” “You’re still a magician, Simon. Aeroplanes don’t stop being aeroplanes when they’re on the ground.”

Saturday, September 14, 2019

14 Books That Are Totally Underrated (and I wish people would read because they're awesome)

Rush by Eve Silver

I glance at Jackson. "This is not good. There are civilians nearby." "Civilians?" Luka asks, his brows shooting up. "What are we? Special forces?" 

I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. 
When I first picked it up I had no expectations of it whatsoever. The cover, the summary, nothing really entranced me about it. I honestly just bought it because I couldn't find anything else I didn't already read in the store. 

But then. Then I read the first page. And I couldn't stop reading for hours.
It's so fast-paced and addictive. I love the romance. And I honestly can't recommend this enough. 

 The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

But sometimes the best defense was letting yourself seem defenseless. 

This duology was the first one that actually convinced me that yes, I could love a YA thriller mystery just as much as a fantasy. 

The first book sets things up nicely but the second one is an absolute mindblowing ride of thrilling awesomeness. I could not rest for a second, my heart was beating out of my chest. The side romance was also great, although it was not a main plot of the story.
For my review of the second book in the series. 

And if you love this one, you should also give a try to this author's other series called The Naturals, another underrated YA thriller series I very much enjoyed. 

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier  

"If we were in a film, the villain would turn out to be the least expected person. But as we aren't in a film, I'd go for the character who tried to strangle you." 

I'm actually not sure if this trilogy is underrated or not, but I can't say that I heard many people talking about it. And anyway, it's one fun time traveling ride, so I honestly highly recommend it.

If you're looking for a fun time traveling book to read with wonderful hate to love romance, this is definitely for you.
I would also recommend Dream a Little Dream by the same author. 

Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith 

"Could I come with you at least?" "No." "Sorry, my mistake, I said that wrong. What I meant to say was, I'm coming with you." 

Okay so this one is very much adult and also dark, so beware if you're only YA readers.
It was absolutely a crazy ride for me, and I loved it so much.
I literally wrote this in my review: "My god. It's been so long since a book made me this crazy mess of sitting for hours upon hours until my eyes got blurry and I forgot to eat." 

For the review click here

This is a fantasy romance horror dystopian book with adult themes. I would say beauty and the beast in a zombie apocalypse. Please please read it, if you love such themes. I would only say that the first chapter may be a bit confusing at first but things quickly get crazy and interesting from there. And I do mean crazy in the best way. 

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning 

"The single greatest advantage anyone can take into battle is hope." 

Okay, I'm cheating because this series has a lot of ratings on Goodreads, but yet I still feel like not nearly enough people know about it, and they should because this is freaking amazing.

Not only did I completely fall in love with Ireland in the process, I also fell in love with the protagonist, the love interest, the fantasy world, the banter, the fun moments, the scary moments, basically everything. 

This is also adult, but less dark than the previous one I mentioned. Still, adult themes.

 Infinity by Just Accardo 

Hi! I'm Kori, your almost cousin, and these two guys are from alternate reality where, apparently, we're both dead. If you kindly come with us, you could help stop a multiverse hopping lunatic, who has a serious hard on for you, from killing a lot of people. 

As I said in my review: "best parallel universe book I have ever read (and trust me, I tried a few). My heart was pounding. My mind was all the way in. The risks were high and I was constantly scared for the characters. It was fantastic."
For my review of Infinity click here

It's definitely not what I was expecting from the summary. I would highly recommend you give it a try. I'm honestly sad it has a rating of 3.64 on Goodreads (even though it's only from 601 ratings). It might not be the most complex or deep book in the world but it was a great read that I enjoyed a lot. 

Riders by Veronica Rossi 

My team - an actor, a drunk, and a sociopath - didn't exactly inspire confidence. 

You may have heard of Veronica Rossi from her very popular book series Under the Never Sky. However, for some reason, the Riders Doulogy by her only has 4,389 ratings on Goodreads. And it's such a shame because it was so good.

Right from the start, we get sucked into the mystery of it all as it gets told from both future and past POV of the protagonist. In the future, they're in trouble, being interrogated, and in the past is where we see how it all went down. Best squad right there. Seriously awesome, please read! 

The Call by Peader O' Guilin 

"Do you like farms?" She whispers. "Farms? Why... I don't know. I've-" "Say yes." "Yes. Um. I... love farms?" "Good. And Donegals?" 

Another book that made me believe I could actually enjoy a YA horror story. Who knew! Certainly not me, the "I can't deal with horror, just give me regular fantasy!" reader.

To say this book was thrilling would be an underestimate. It was gripping. I was completely horrified all the way and yet I still found the time to worry and root for our characters, and even enjoy the little bit of romance in that horrifying mix. 

For my review of The Call click here

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige 

I had enough problems of my own back in Kansas. Why couldn't I have been swept away to an imaginary kingdom where nothing was wrong at all - where I could just kick my legs up and enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation? I racked my brain, trying to remember if there were any books or movies like that, and realized there weren't any. 

This is another cheating on my part since it does have quite a lot of ratings on Goodreads, but I still feel the urge to recommend it further. 

I'm still amazed at how fun, wonderful, and amazing this series was. Not to mention how original. Good is evil, evil is good, magic, mayhem, romance... if you still haven't read this one, please do, I urge you! 

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen 

Just stay calm. Think of your brain as a machine. It'll do what you want it to do if you operate it correctly. I'd told myself that plenty of times before. But the problem I always came back to was this: if my brain was a machine, half its buttons didn't seem to work. And the other half didn't have labels. And I'd lost the instruction book. 

One of the best YA sci-fi LGBTQ romance books I have read.
There just aren't enough of those around, huh?

It was just so wonderful, and those two boys are just so precious, and I highly highly recommend. I don't want to say anything more or I'll spoil so please just read it! 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faziel 

"Do you ever not provide your opinion?" Kifah asked, picking up a scorpion's molt and studying it. Altair bowed. "I like to think I'm lightening the mood, shifting focus away from our impending dooms. You're welcome." "I never thanked you." "I know. I'm saving you the extra breath. You're welcome for that, too." 

Under normal circumstances, I may have had trouble with this book taking so long for two of the protagonists to meet. But it was just the book I needed to read to get me back into reading fantasy after a long time away. And aside from the whole "taking a while to meet" thing, It was really good! Engaging writing style, kickass characters, funny companions, a romance to root for, a magical quest... how could one resist? 

For my book review click here

The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram 

"I can't accept that." "Denial isn't good for you." "It isn't denial." "Now you're denying your denial." 

There aren't many books that are both funny and representing mental health issues (social anxiety, depression).
This, however, is one of them!

I was totally engaged in it both for my connection with Avery over social anxiety, and for my love for romance comedies. It was just wonderful, and I highly recommend it to all! 

Wicked Ugly Bad by Cassandra Gannon 

Being part of the Tuesday share circle was like being part of a screwed up, criminally inclined family. Even when they didn't like you, they were still there to help you blow shit up. 

Fun, fun, fun. This was just FUN.
Another original fairy tale retelling series that makes you all confused about who the bad guys really are. 

A prison break. A group of misfits. Magic. Mayhem. Vengeance. All set up in a world of twisted fairy tales where Good is Bad and Bad just may be Better.
For my review click here

P.S: This is also not YA 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 

"On their honeymoon?" I ask incredulously. He nods. "Together?" He nods again. "Are you high?" "Not presently." 

Okay, so I know this book is pretty popular. I just want it to be even more popular because it's so freaking hilarious I can't even. 

I don't usually easily laugh, let alone like a crazy person, but I've done both of those while reading this book, repeatedly.
Just... just read it. Trust me. 

Honorable mentions: The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen, Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson, The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke, Equal Parts by Emma Winters, How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahren, The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane and Well Met by Jen DeLuca :) 

And that's it for now! Did you read any of these books? Do you want to read them? Are there any you know that you think I should read? Let me know ^_^ 
Until next time... 

"I wanted you to be sociopath charming," I say. "Too charming, so that afterward people look back and think, "You know, I didn't get it at the time, but he was always too perfect.' That sort of charming. Not, like, self deprecating and cute."  
-- The Unhoneymoonets, Christina Lauren