Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fangirl, Vol 1: The Manga adapted by Sam Maggs from Rainbow Rowell & Illustrated by Gabi Nam - Book Review

 

Fangirl, Vol 1: The Manga adapted by Sam Maggs from Rainbow Rowell & Illustrated by Gabi Nam
Expected publication date: October 13, 2020
My rating: 2 stars

*Thank you Edelweiss & VIZ Media LLC for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own*


Cath was actually one of those first characters I read about that reminded me of myself. With her Social Anxiety, love for fantasy & writing, and issues/differences with her sister, I couldn’t help but relate.

To be honest, I rarely read contemporaries, which is the genre where I could usually find the most representation for Anxiety/Social Anxiety/OCD/Panic Attacks, all those things I struggle with, because my preferred genre is fantasy and though I do enjoy – and even sometimes love – contemporaries, I can’t say that they tend to win my heart over the way fantasy does.

But Fangirl was one of those books that used to be a favorite of mine as a teen. To say I would feel the same way about it now as I did back then? Probably not. If anything, to go by my lackluster response to the manga adaptation, I'll probably even find more things to dislike than like about it, but it doesn’t discount the happiness it gave me in the past.

Though I do have to admit… Simon & Baz were what totally won me over in Fangirl. I mean come on, mortal enemies to lovers, the Chosen One and The Villanous One falling in love trope? THE FEELS. Heck, 80% of the reason I wanted to read Fangirl the manga was just so I can see them illustrated. Or, more particularly, a certain scene with them in the book I still can’t seem to stop thinking of to this day – the one with them at the cliff is still one of my favorite scenes (unfortunately, it wasn't adapted to the manga *sob-sob* since they focus more on the scenes Cath writes and not the ones the fictional author wrote, if you understand what I'm saying).

ANYWAYS, I really liked the illustrations. Manga Cath was cute, Manga Reagan was beautiful, Manga Levi was quite handsome, and Manga Simon & Baz were both pretty.

Aside from that, the Manga seems to be very loyal to the source. I haven’t re-read Fangirl in a long time but it seems to be word for word from the book.

So yeah, overall it was okay but nothing too crazy or special. I would say it’s probably more suited to people who haven’t read the book or to people who want to re-read the book but in a different format (though this is only part 1, not the full adaptation). To me, it didn’t add a lot and was honestly kind of underwhelming.

I guess my love for Fangirl has dwindled over the years :(
Well at least I still love Simon & Baz though.


Street - True Axis


“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

 

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell (A book about Anxiety & romance) - Book Review

 

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell
Expected publication date: October 6, 2020
My rating: 3 stars

*Thank you Edelweiss & Scholastic for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own*

Spoilers are marked in purple


Aww, this was angsty! But sweet! Angstily sweet? Sweetly angsty? One of those for sure.

I should probably start by saying the I have Anxiety Disorder (more specifically Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and OCD), which was the main reason why I requested this book. I mean, I'm a hopeless romantic to boot so when I see a book dealing with Anxiety and romance it's like it's calling for me to read it.

And I did enjoy it!
Granted, it may have been a tad bit too angsty for my liking but hey the poor protagonist is dealing with severe Anxiety issues so it makes sense.

Though it did take me a while before I started to get into it. Before getting into it I was only mildly intrigued and might not have finished reading if it wasn't an ARC. I'm glad I pushed through though because it was a sweet story overall. I also liked how we never had to choose between the timelines, it was clever how they merged into the same epilogue, and I honestly enjoyed both timelines, though the one where Paige stayed with Fitz was a tad more romantic ;)).

I loved Fitz. Oh, Fitz made me emotional with how supportive and understanding of Paige he was. Fitz is the kind of guy every girl with Anxiety wants by her side. Whenever he helped her calm down from her anxiety/panic with "5 things you can see" I was part
๐Ÿ˜ญ part ๐Ÿฅบ. I need a Fitz in my life, Fitz made me hope that maybe, somehow, a boy can understand me just as much Fitz does Paige. 


Blackbear ft. FRND - anxiety

Anna Clendening - Anxiety


The amount of energy I expend to not look jealous or insecure when he talks about other girls could power an entire city. 

 

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
Publication date: May 20, 2008
My rating: 1 star

Nothing kills the romance faster than a guy planning on handing his girl over to an evil sorcerer who will rape her. Oh sure, let’s root for the hero who’ll throw away his mate. Sure, it’ll save his kingdom, and yeah he didn't plan to actually do it at the end, but it won’t make me root for this romance.

The only thing I liked about this book was Holly going from a sheltered human to an all time kickass warrior Valkyrie. But that’s it because everything else disturbed me.


NEFFEX - Badass


“One last question.”
“Very well, dearling.”
“Can I trust Cadeon?”
Nรฏx gave her a sunny smile with
blank golden eyes. “As far as you can throw him.”

 

 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole
Publication date: September 24, 2007
My rating: 2 stars

I loved the beginning of the book and I loved Mariketa (Bowen was an okay character, not here and nor there for me), but overall the rest of the book was kind of "meh" in my opinion.

Don't get me wrong, it was a good read, but I didn't like/love it as much as other books in the series.


Someone To You - Banners


“What’s your favorite place to visit?” He absently answered, “Wherever you are.”
“Bowen, five things about you can’t all be about me.”
But you’re the only good thing that I’ve got.”

 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole
Publication date: September 2, 2010
My rating: 3 stars

This was like a violent R18 version of Tarzan meets Jane ๐Ÿ˜‚

Overall, I quite liked it! As I'm saying this I realize Kersley Cole has brainwashed me into taking this series as a guilty pleasure. SO GUILTY.

In all honesty though, despite my issues with the author's ways of portraying romance, relying way too much on insta-lust, and making 80% of her main male characters start out as abusive towards the female main character, I do so love the action scenes. The author truly does an amazing job as making you shake with nerves as all hell breaks loose in her books and the characters are in dire situations. The action and drama is everything, honestly, and what makes her books so addictive.

Well then, If I made it this far, I now feel compelled to finish this series!


Alan Walker, Ava Max - Alone


“He'd swiftly collected those monsters' heads, tying them together with a piece of the rope she'd hoped never to see again, then strung them over his shoulder. Periodically, he offered his catch to her.
"No, no, I have a pair just like them at home," she'd said. "I would just regift them.”

 

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
Publication date: February 15, 2011
My rating: 4 stars

Damn if I didn’t fall in love with Declan. And Regin. Regin and Declan.

*squealing uncontrollably*

Dammit, this book made me fall in love with it.
It’s crazy to think that I started out disliking this series and am ending up falling in love with it.

I just… I loved this story. And those characters. And their torturous (literally) love story. GAH.

I’m so amazed they turned into such an adorable couple considering… well considering how MESSED UP they started out, but I honestly just threw all reason out the window along with them because those two set my heart aflutter.

Also, that epilogue made me emotional.

P.S: Regin & Aidan's first meeting? So good! 


Sandro Cavazza - Enemy


Because, gods help her, she wanted her scarred, surly, fucked up Irishman more than she'd wanted her perfect Viking.

 

Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole
Publication date: April 29, 2008
My rating: 4 stars


I knew it!

knew the author was capable of writing a great romance if only she leaves sex out of the equation!

This book just proved it to me and here I am squealing at how amazing it was! Kresley Cole, it’s such a shame you don’t do it more often, because now I finally know you have it in you.

I always knew she was a good author, her writing was always addictive and her world-building was always exciting, however it kept being constantly ruined for me by:

1) Abusive alpha males.

2) INSTA LUST INSTA LUST INSTA LUST INSTA LUST all around, the characters literally having sexual encounters the second they meet each other, and constantly are either having sex or thinking about having sex with each other or doing sexual things to each other from literally the SECOND they meet.

3) They never even have meaningful conversations to get to know each other and, oh, I don’t know, FALL IN LOVE? At the end of the day I always feel like her characters fell in lust but never believe it when they’re supposedly in love considering every time there was a problem between them they just had sex or really they only just found each other sexually in love and not emotionally/mentally so.

And of course, it is often made even worse by characters keeping secrets from each other for 90% of the book so they literally really never get to know each other until the last minute.

This book though? Not at all like that!
Why, you ask?
Well, because the hero and heroine couldn’t touch each other AT ALL! Heroine is a ghost so… all they could do was… talk to each other. Look at me fangirling about how sexy it is for characters to get to know each other/have meaningful conversations/fall in love with each other’s personality first.

I also absolutely adored both of our protagonists, especially Neomi. I loved how crazy Conard was and how Neomi was balancing him, I loved how he was more on the villainous/crazy side because I love seeing those type of characters falling in love and oh it was glorious!

Honestly, KresleyCole, why can’t all your books be like this one? :’)


Beth Crowley - Perfect Doesn't Last


“I’d planned to kill them, too.” When Nรฉomi glared up at him, he raised his chained hands.
“Past tense. See? Already I’m improving.”

 

Lothaire by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Lothaire by Kersley Cole
Publication date: January 10, 2012
My rating: 3 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple.

I, eh… don’t even know how to feel about this book ๐Ÿ˜‚

It’s like I both loved and hated it.

On one hand, I literally could not put it down, I was ADDICTED it was an all-consuming madness, I read it in one day nonstop. All of the events were just too exciting, I could not stop reading from start to finish. And of course, I adored Elizabeth - THAT GIRL ROCKS, she’s sooo freaking good. And I also loved the villain as a love interest trope.

On the other hand, I wanted to PUNCH the villain of a love interest in the face. He… wow… I can’t even. He’s a piece of work, that’s for sure.

I was also disappointed with the separation arc between them and that it was resolved too quickly and without us getting more time with them as a couple, I felt it was rather frustrating and that we needed more there.

And another thing that kind of ruined the romance for me was how Lothaire basically couldn't accept Elizabeth fully as his Bride/Queen until he turned her into a vampire + couldn't fully accept her as an equal until she nearly decapitated him. For reference, just look back and Neomi and Conard's book and see what a TRUE immortal/mortal pairing is like, how it never seems Conard wants her as an immortal because he can't accept her as a human, how they BOTH want to be together forever. So yeah, I feel like the author could have done that part better because she's done it fantastically before.


Breaking Benjamin - Dance With the Devil


“Admit it, love, you like it when I'm a little bad....”

 

Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

Shadow's Seduction by Kersley Cole
Publication date: February 28, 2017
My rating: 2.5 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple

The way I see it, the reason this book flopped is because Kresley Cole didn’t seem to write it in her usual style. By which I mean there didn’t seem to be much thought to the characters background and everything just felt rushed.

The book isn’t as long as her usual books, it’s closer to a novella than a novel so that’s probably why it’s like that, but still it’s a shame because I think there was a lot of potential there with the characters, they just weren’t fleshed out.

I'm sad to rate this book 2 instead of 3 stars because overall it was a nice story and I thought it was very sweet at the end, it's just that it felt like there was something missing here.

I did realize two things as I was reading this book:

1) I'm excited for Kosmina's story!

2) Lothaire really does ONLY care about Elizabeth, doesn't he? What he did in this book made me gasp and realize yet again just what an evil psycho he is.




“Dacians consider Trehan the kingdom’s sword, Viktor its wrath, Stelian its sentinel, and Lothaire its cunning. Our people see Mina and me as the beating heart of Dacia.”

 

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole - Book Review

 

No Rest for the Wicked by Kersley Cole
Publication date: October 31, 2006
My rating: 3 stars


The last third of the book won me over!

After my dire experience with the previous book in the series - Oh, you know, the usual "I want to shove the "hero" off a cliff and get the heroine to safety" - I was hesitant to continue with this series.
Yet I decided to give it another try because I was intrigued with the world Kresley Cole has created and I can't deny her writing style is quite addictive.

Though I can't say I like this series yet, I was definitely more comfortable with the Hero this time around - finally, someone with some manners. Heck, compared to Lachlain, Sebastian is practically a saint. The Hero and Heroine still obviously frustrated me at times but at least their relationship felt waaay more realistic than that of the couple in the previous book. It just flowed more naturally from lust to love. I still don't like insta-lust though, it still bores the heck out of me so during those insta-lust moments I was dozing off. Welp.

The last third of the book, though! I loved the whole thing that went down! 


Alan Walker ft. Walkers - Unity


“Don't stop kissing me, vampire, or I will kill you.”

 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Hunger Like No Other by Kersley Cole - Book Review

 

A Hunger Like No Other by Kersley Cole
Publication date: March 28, 2006
My rating: 2 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple

Edit: The hero really is VERY problematic. Very, very much so. I'm aware that this type of... "hero" seems to have been pretty popular back when this book came out but it doesn't mean I can just shrug it off. This book's "romance" is abusive and the two stars are for the addictiveness and the heroine alone.


I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book.

On one hand, it has insta-lust in it and insta-lust makes me a) bored out of my mind and b) roll my eyes repeatedly. Insta-lust is why so many popular romance books were ruined for me.

Yet on the other hand… despite the insta-lust the heroine actually DIDN’T entirely give into the hero’s demands and sexual intentions immediately, and heck she's actually the only reasonable person in their relationship by literally being all “dude, I’ve only known you for a week, can you CALM DOWN?!” I applaud, though eh I did stop my applauding short since she did actually eventually give in to his crazy demands without him actually changing his ways or groveling enough at all, but hey she went FURTHER than 90% of the usual heroines so she gets my appreciation.

In general, I really liked Emmaline and found her to be a great heroine!

If anything, it was the hero who ruined it for me. And because I liked Emma I actually wanted her to end up with someone else.
Oh, I’M GLAD she stood up for him and reminded him how abusive and unreasonable he was being, but it did not atone for his abusing ways at all to me. He was way too forceful and sexually demanding on her even when he did try to tone it down and be “gentle” - yeah, that didn’t work except for maybe at the very end.

I honestly felt like the only reason Emma even “gave him a chance” was because the mating magic messed with her head and kicked all her well sounded reasons on why she should do things her way and not his way out of her head.
Poor Emma, that mating magic gave her Stockholm syndrome.

Well this book did come out in 2006 and back then I think abusive lunatics in romance were all the rage (?) I say think because I was 8 back then so I wouldn’t know, but it’s something I observed from reading the “older” romance books from back in the early 2000 - I didn’t finish a lot of them for that reason, I couldn’t stand the abuse from the so called hero!

At the very least here the heroine actually acknowledges it and stands up to herself much more than you usually see in those situations but it was still the reason why I didn’t love this book - the hero ruined it for me, simply put.

I loved the heroine, the plot/writing was fast paced and engaging, world building was great, so basically I blame the hero in my dislike.
So now I'll try to read more in this series hoping for heroes who are, eh, not Lachlain.


Ryoshi - Strategy


“Was it just her, or did lovers look more adoringly at each other in this city? Especially in the springtime.
'Die, bastards.'

She sighed. It wasn't their fault that they were bastards who should die.”

 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - Book Review

 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Publication date: January 15, 2019
My rating: 2 stars


I guess it just wasn't for me.
Don't get me wrong, I can see what's to like about it, like the banter and characters, but overall it was just kind of underwhelming.

I did like how they were already a team and acting like a group of friends/family. Severin obviously cares dearly for them and that was sweet.

Zofia being Jewish was nice (Yeah, I'm saying that because I'm Jewish myself. I don't usually see Jewish characters in the books I read - literally the only one I can think of is Simon from TMI - so that was nice!).

Let's talk about Hypnos, shall we? a.k.a the only character I fell in love with in this book. Someone needs to protect Hypnos, THAT BOY IS SO PRECIOUS
๐Ÿ˜ญ
He's funny and lonely and enthusiastic and I love him, he's the best, he just wants friends and he's like a puppy whenever someone is nice to him and I LOVE HIM.


Fancy Toys - LBLVNC & THROVN feat. Riell


“What would friendship entail?
Well, on Wednesdays, we sacrifice a cat to Satan.

 

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall - Book Review

 

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Publication date: January 13, 2015
My rating: 2 stars

Well this was kind of a throwback to the olden days of YA ๐Ÿ˜‚
You know, when you got your average/ordinary YA girl protagonist who turns out to be some sort of Chosen One and also finds herself in a love triangle between Mr. Nice Guy and Bad Boy.

I'll be honest, this book was... not interesting.
The protagonist, Avery, was bland, Mr. Nice Guy, Jack, was boring, and even Bad Boy, Stellan, was disappointing.

And the plot?
The plot is… kind of ridiculous. It was this mix of secret societies and sort of fantasy that was somehow supposed to mix with conspiracies/treasure hunting in a contemporary setting with historical fiction background so… yeah, weird.

I also really did not appreciate the sexism in the secret society.

Usually, I try to find at least one thing to hang onto when I read a book, be it the romance, a certain character, the plot. Here... I got nothing. Welp.


World's Greatest Battle Music Ever: Orion


“The thing is, being lonely is like walking in the cold without a coat. It’s uncomfortable, but eventually you go numb. Once you get used to not being lonely, though, the shock of going back is like having your down comforter yanked off at six o’clock on a Minnesota December morning.”

 

Angel's Judgment (Guild Hunter #0.6) by Nalini Singh - (Short) Book Review

 

Angel's Judgment (Guild Hunter #0.6) by Nalini Singh
Publication date: September 1, 2009
My rating: 3 stars


I'll be honest, I was a little worried I wasn't going to like it considering my experience with the previous short stories that I've read by Nalini. Which is weird considering she's a favorite author and I absolutely love her books. For some reason her Guild Hunter short stories so far just seemed, to me at least, awkwardly written/boring.

Not this one though! Well... some parts were still like that, but the majority of the story was enjoyable. This story honestly just made me appreciate Sara/Deacon so much more. I honestly thought it was great, and I also loved seeing Ellie there.


Lost Sky - Dreams pt. II (feat. Sara Skinner)


“You do realize this makes your wings even more unique."              
"Are you saying you shot me as a cosmetic procedure?”

 

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes - (Short) Book Review

 

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes
Publication date: February 6, 2018
My rating: 2 stars


The only thing I really cared about was Magnus x Cleo but even they didn't manage to save the series from going downhill those last two books.

Crystal Storm and Immortal Reign were… not great. The plot that was so engaging up until then turned boring and sometimes ridiculous, and the characters that I liked suddenly turned annoying and frustrating. Honestly, it’s such a shame considering how engaged I was with first four books of the series. I liked the ending and Magnus will always have my heart though (I adore Magnus
๐Ÿงก
Tragic dark boys are the best).

I’ll still give this author’s future books a try, but I’m disappointed.



"Whatever happens - you and me are together forever. All right?"



Kelly Clarkson - I Dare You


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes - (Short) Book Review

 

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
Publication date: December 13, 2016
My rating: 2 stars


Hmm.

Well to be honest, this book annoyed me.
Especially Cleo, she was a favorite character up until now but all of a sudden she started acting so frustrating. *sigh*. I still love Magnus so much (my fave character, he's the best), though he should stop resorting to drinking his problems away :')

I still pretty much feel indifferent regarding Lucia (the only time I feel something for her is when she goes all high and mighty and then she just makes me dislike her), I've warmed up to Jonas over the last few books, and I totally ship Nic x Ashur.

Excited to read the last book. 


Lindsey Strigling (ft. Kiesza) - What You're Made Of


“Sometimes it doesn't take years to know someone. A handful of conversations can be more than enough to know someone's heart.”

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer - Book Review

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Publication date: January 29, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

Spoilers are marked in purple

It's been a while since I felt this much hate and fury towards a villain before. Lilith was a MONSTER. She was terrifying and I wanted someone to rip her limb from limb.

I was surprised at how easy to read this book was! It flowed so beautifully. The dialogue was perfect and the descriptions were tasteful. It was really such a joy to read and I flew through it in record time.

My favorite of the boys has to be Rhen. Maybe I'm in the minority in saying so considering most of the reviews I've seen were praising Grey and hardly saying anything about Rhen, but I actually felt the opposite and I loved Rhen! Which is also why I'm worried about reading the next book because some of the reviews I've read said they hate Rhen now due to his actions in the second book. It's part of the reason why I decided to wait until the last books comes out before I continue, to see if it ends well for Rhen and Harper.

Harper was great! She made me realize that I absolutely love the strong yet yielding protagonists. Because being strong all the time without ever yielding (and the opposite) could only hurt yourself and others.
I also adored Jake x Noah, I'm so happy they're together with Harper in Emberfall and I really don't want that family to break up.

About the "I don't know if I love you" at the end, the realist in me understands what the author was doing, it's an interesting twist to the story that "beast" fell in love with the "beauty" but the "beauty" isn't yet sure she really loves the "beast", but the romantic in me is screaming because I'M A ROMANTIC and this was a "let's find out" and not an "I LOVE YOU TOO". Hopefully the next books would fix that.


Written by Wolves - Forever & Always


“It is possible to be strong and yielding at the same time.”

 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

One True King by Soman Chainani - Book Review

 

One True King by Soman Chainani
Publication date: June 2, 2020
My rating: 3 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple.


The End of Ends.
The work is done.

But personally, I feel like it's only the beginning for those characters, even if we aren't going to see their next adventures.

This was such a fun journey. I'm glad I decided to stick to reading those books and didn't give up even though they did frustrate me at times. Because at the end of the day, they were fun and magical and really absorbed me into this story and characters.

It's actually a shame I didn't read these books when I was a teen because I think they would have meant much more to me then. Still, it doesn't matter how old you are, you can always read and enjoy those stories.

This is the first book in the series where I actually wanted more Sophie and less Agatha.
Up until now, Agatha was my favorite character and POV alongside with Hort (And Nicola in later books – I love that clever girl, she deserves a happy ending!), but I kind of felt like this should have been more of Sophie’s time to shine than Agatha, to be honest. Especially since she and Hort were FINALLY sailing, it felt really abrupt not to let them more page time and it really upset me because Tedros x Agatha had page time from book 1 but not Hort x Sophie and I just wanted MORE of them.

(I seriously fangirled over the few Sophie x Hort scenes, especially the one at the end!)

There’s been SO MANY deaths in these books. So many beloved characters that I wish the author has kept alive – seriously, sometimes I felt like he was overdoing it like with killing one character after the other hardly leaving us with any adults left – but despite being sad about them none had made me tear up like when Merlin died at the very end
๐Ÿ˜ญ GAH, NOT MERLIN. I know it’s realistic, I understand it was always where this was going, BUT I LOVE MERLIN.

Also, though the ending was beautiful (yet sad, due to Merlin) I did feel like it was also kind of… abrupt? Maybe it’s just how I perceived it, others will probably say it’s satisfying, I guess it’s just personally it kind of felt like it was a bit sudden. 





"The work is done."

 

A Crystal of Time by Soman Chainani - Book Review

 

A Crystal of Time by Soman Chainani
Publication date: March 5, 2019
My rating: 3 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple

I actually don't know what to say.

I'm so excited to dive into the next book that all I can think about it "OMG, I have to know what happens next!"

To me, the first half of the book was the best. It had action, adventure, separated lovers in dire situations trying to reunite, a girl recruiting an army and being a queen, friends saving each other, people sacrificing themselves for others. It was so action-packed and I loved it!
The second half flopped, in my opinion, compared to the first half, but that's just my personal feelings on the matter. It's probably the reason why I didn't rate it higher to be honest.

A moment of silence to Andail’s rat (Andail loves her pets so much), PROFESSOR DOVEY
๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m so glad she reunited with lady Lesso but… ๐Ÿ˜ญ and Sheriff (Poor Dot, despite her difficult relationship with her father, she still loved him). A more tricky one would be Rihan because... on one hand it makes sense to hate him for everything he's done - even if he didn't pull the trigger, he was still the one to put the gun in his brother's hand the told him to shoot, so he's just as responsible, yet on the other hand I actually started feeling sorry for him towards the end... so, I'll mention him.


Get Up - All Good Things


Love is facing the world and its tests together, even if you fail them. 

 

Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani - Book Review

Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani
Publication date: September 19, 2017
My rating: 3 stars

Spoilers are marked in purple

Ohhh, things definitely got excitedly dire, didn't they?

I probably shouldn't be so excited considering the, eh, direness of the situation, but I can't help myself! One of the tropes at the end had me in love with this ending.

I mean isn't the Princess/Queen on the run from the Evil ruler who just took over her castle and now it's up to her to save her friends/love from his clutches and reclaim their kingdom just so EPIC? You go, Agatha, raise a rebellion, SHOW HIM WHO IS QUEEN!

So yeah this was actually what made me rate it higher given that it took me a while to get into Quests of Glory. Not because the writing wasn't great - it was great! - but because this book mostly felt like it was building up for the next two books, much like how the first book in the series, The School for Good and Evil was.

Random things that I liked:

  •  Agatha & Sophie's reunion - so touching!
  • Nicola being super intuitive and clever Heck, I'm pretty sure she was the only one to first suspect something must be wrong with Rhian. Even Agatha, being also clever, took longer to start putting the pieces together.
  • Hort! I love that poor precious boy, my heart always goes out to him with his one sided love for Sophie because Sophie seems intent on not seeing he's the only boy whose love for her is pure and not based on wanting to manipulate her. It's why I couldn't be mad about Hort x Nicola because Hort really does deserve happiness even as much as I ship him and Sophie. And the Hort x Nicola moments were quite adorable, though endgame is definitely Hophie for me.
  • Merlin! I'm so glad Merlin is still there to save those children. Even though he's not as much of an MVP as he was in the previous book, considering most of his work is behind the scenes & I believe he's trying to teach those kids they have to step up and start taking charge instead of always relying on him, but I'm still just happy he's part of the story.

Okay, let's now talk about that Tagatha moment near the end, when Tedros was mad and Agatha was heartbroken. TEDROS WHAT ARE YOU DOING. I mean, yeah, I understand, it *was* your kill, Rhian definitely shouldn't have been allowed to make the final blow BUT don't blame this on Agatha. *sigh*. Those two lovebirds definitely need more character development.

And now, because the author seems convinced on making me do this is almost every book ๐Ÿ˜ข a moment of silence for: Chaddick (poor Chaddick who just wanted to be the best knight to his king, to make him proud ๐Ÿ˜ญ And he was killed for what, and so cold bloodedly), Millicent (poor girl, we didn't even get to know much about her, yet she died trying to save her friends), and... Lancelot... ๐Ÿ˜ญ Gosh the only thing I could think about at that moment was Guinevere, whose love of her life, the man she was willing to leave anything and everything for, just died.

Well then, time to see if Agatha fulfills the trope by being awesome and raising a rebellion!


NEFFEX - Let Me Down


Relationships are about taking off the mask you wear to make someone like you and letting them see the real you. The one you hid all the time. The one you never thought was good enough to find love in the first place.

 

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani - Book Review

 

The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani
Publication date: July 21, 2015
My rating: 3.5 stars

Spoilers are marked in purple

At this point, it doesn't even matter what I rate these books, I am well and truly addicted ๐Ÿ˜‚

Despite having a gripe with things in this series, I just can't stop reading. On one hand, I am often annoyed by some of the characters' traits like selfishness, manipulation, self doubt, self sacrifice, naivete, and of course that thing that frustrated me since book one about how characters seem to constantly change their feelings/motivations to the extremes.

Yet on the other hand, I love seeing the complex character development of flawed characters, I have fallen in love with this dark fairy tale world, and I ship the ships as a hopeless romantic.

Not to mention, so far each book is better than the last, so it only seems to improve. I can really see it in the author's writing too. Much like the characters, it's changing and evolving.

Now let's talk characters, shall we?

Agatha & Tedros

Those two. Whew.
For most of the book, I wanted to strangle them.

Agatha's self doubt and Tedros's stubbornness got them into a messy "love triangle" shenanigans with Sophie and the only reason I'm forgiving this is because I was just so happy when they finally got together again, sure in one another. But yeah I will not forget wanted to strangle them for the majority of this book.

I was grinning like an idiot during Agatha's unofficial coronation and when Tedros saw her in the crown and was enchanted by her
๐Ÿ˜

Suffice it to say, Tagatha is my favorite ship considering, well, they're the only major ship that shipped so far.
Though... I get the feeling from the next books that we are not over with their miscommunication drama OR character development (especially Tedros) so I'm definitely dreading me wanting to punch them in next book, I JUST WANT THEM LOVEY DOVEY OKAY?

So, do you think Aagatha outsmarted her mirror image for the last time? I love how she seems to be the only one able to trick the barrier between schools.

Sophie

Oh, Sophie, certainly one of the more complex and flawed characters in this book (not that she's the only one, it's just that her flaws are more on the surface than the rest).

To be honest, I never hated Sophie. Oh trust me, I wanted to punch her when she always tried to manipulate Agatha for "her own good" (first to switch schools, then to prevent her from being with her prince, then trying to take her prince for herself), but at the same time I also felt sad and pity towards her.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Sophie's character development in the future books, and I'm SO wanting to see her fall in love with Hort. Of course, I'm glad she finally feels at ease on her own, but the hopeless romantic in me can't help it.

The Witches

“What he doesn’t understand is that a coven is a coven and we protect each other to the death.”

GAH, I loved the friendship between the witches and Agatha. A coven is always three but they made an exception for Agatha and I… *tearing up*. It’s the enemies to friends who’ll risk their lives of each other trope that I love to see.

I wanted to see more scenes with them together, though!

Hort

“I’ve already killed you and kissed you more times in my head than you deserve.”

THAT BOY. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.
That poor lonely boy, someone just love him please! (more specifically, SOPHIE love him please!) He also delivered the swooniest line in the series and I was in awe! If Agatha is my favorite female character in the series, then Hort is my favorite male character. As much as I ship Tagatha, I love Hort more than Tedros (though I heard that Tedros is going to go through a lot of character development in the next books so I’m super looking forward to that).

But seriously, Hort ๐Ÿงก

Merlin

Merlin was hands down the MVP of this book.
Like seriously, Merlin was like this eccentric funny loveable powerful leader father figure to this group and I loved him so much! He was exactly how I would imagine Merlin to be.
He 1) always fed everyone. 2) saved them from Evil every second, making sure nobody dies. 3) saved them from themselves.
I just want Merlin around forever, please.

No one would have won anything in this book without Merlin.

I don't know if he's going to feature in the next books but I'm honestly just SO GLAD he didn't die or anything.

I also want to hurray the other characters for coming to everyone's rescue
๐Ÿ™Œ
And, of course, a moment of silence for Cinderella for never getting to see Aagatha's happy ending
๐Ÿ˜ญ And for Lady Lesso (I accidentally spoiled myself she was going to die but I still choked up ๐Ÿ˜ญ
), and all the other characters we didn't even know who died (except for the zombies, the School Master, and Aric).

I'm excited to read the next books! 


Savior - Beth Crowly
(This song kind of reminds me of Agatha & Sophie's relationship, but it's honestly just an amazing song)


“I’ve already killed you and kissed you more times in my head than you deserve.” 

 

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno) - Book Review

 

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno)
Publication date: April 15, 2014
My rating: 3 stars


Spoilers are marked in purple.

More enjoyable than the first book!
I would probably have even rated it higher if there weren't a few things that frustrated me.

For one thing, it was interesting how Agatha and Sophie's rules were reversed in this one.
Now it was Agatha who wanted "more" (a prince, a happy ending) and Sophie who wanted same old same old (living together with her best friend in their village).
Sophie even commented on that at the beginning of the book.

I loved Agatha and the witches. I was happy to see that friendship of theirs, it was both fun and heartwarming, especially when they kept on hanging out (well yeah, to plot, but still) and saving Agatha, I loved that. I always thought the friendship was going to be between Sophie and the witches but in an interesting twist it was the princess and the witches that bonded and it was lovely.

Agatha giving that long speech to Tedros about why she had to choose Sophie at the end of the first book and about her life in Gavaldon (did I spell that right?), I was clapping thinking FINALLY some honest communication right there, I loved that part! 

Despite wanting to slap the characters so many times, I still understood where everybody was coming from. It’s probably one of the first times I wasn’t enraged over misunderstandings/sabotaging with relationships because those kids are truly just traumatized teens trying to survive/be happy.

I mean Agatha was going back and forth between her friend and her prince because she, naturally, wanted both.
But Sophie wouldn’t let her because: 1) Sophie only has Agatha on her side, and Sophie is traumatized by people leaving her and she refuses to let Agatha leave her too and 2) Agatha is the only thing keeping Sophie’s witch as bay (though it’s a double edged sword and Agatha could also be the thing to drive the witch mad).

And of course, poor Tedros who keeps making mistakes because he’s been hurt so much by the women in his past – his mother, and of course Sophie who kept manipulating him in the first book, so it’s natural to imagine he would be so paranoid and confused.

And can someone please hug Hort? That poor boy. I would hug him and be his friend, he’s precious and lonely and just wants to be loved. I really want him to be happy, but everyone keeps ignoring the boy!

On that note, Tristan. He actually quite reminded me of Hort, just trying to belong, but... :( (Like I said, those poor kids).

One of the things that I really didn’t like in this book though was Sophie’s and Tedros getting intimately closer when Sophie was in disguise. Why? UM, AGATHA! I mean yeah yeah I understand that Tedros was the first boy Sophie truly tried to love and Tedros was in a vulnerable place thinking Agatha betrayed him and such BUT STILL, it kind of makes him seem fickle-minded reacting to Sophie/Filip that way, I mean we didn’t see Agatha reacting to any boys – or girls – this way in this book, have we? SHE’S YOUR TRUE LOVE DUDE, I know you “hated” her then, but whew isn’t it too fast to start “flirting” with others? To be honest I’m not surprised by Sophie reacting to him considering their history but it did hurt my Tagatha feelings when Tedros also reacted to her. And poor boy when he was fooled again and asked "why is everything a lie" I felt for him.

The author should really REALLY work on realistically portraying characters' motives over time though. I mean characters in this series go WAY WAY WAY WAY too quickly from loving someone to hating them back to loving them again, to wanting to save them, to murder them, to kissing them, to despising them, to… like whew, it’s crazy and makes characters' relationships way too fickle and untrustworthy.

As long as you don’t take the relationships too seriously, and try to ignore how some of them only just met each other but declare their love, then their hate, then their love again, it’s super easy to root for/ship for the relationships. It’s like a guilty pleasure, you know it’s ridiculous but for some reason you’re addicted and can’t stop reading! That’s me with these books. 


Magnetised - Tom Odell


“No one likes boys! Even girls who like boys can’t stand boys! They smell, they talk too much, they mess up everything, and they always have their hands in their pants, but that doesn’t mean we can go to school without them! It’s like stymphs without bones! It’s like witches without warts! Without boys, LIFE HAS NO POINT!” 

 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno) - Book Review

 

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainano (Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno)
Publication date: May 14, 2013
My rating: 2 stars

*spoilers are marked in purple*

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to rate this book.
On one hand, it took me 130 pages (yeah, I counted) before I actually started being invested in the story (before then I was only mildly intrigued and pushed myself through because I wanted to like it, but I was actually really close to DNF it). After 130 pages I finally started to get more engaged and like it more, but then it lost my attention again towards the middle only to regain it again towards the end. So… yeah it was kind of up and down? Not that anything I read was boring, otherwise I would have totally DNF it, it was actually quite compelling me to read until the end, I just wanted things to happen faster I guess.

My main pet peeve is overly descriptive books and one of my favorite things is fast paced/easy to read dialogue, and this book was literally a combination of those two so you see how confused I was at partly liking partly disliking it.

By the way, it seems the author is a film director and I could actually see this through the book at times, as some of the scenes seemed very movie like.

A thing that confused me at first was the narration as sometimes it seemed to describe things from a bunch of people POVs in the same breath, until I realized it was an Ominiscent Narrator (had to google that one, I almost never see that type of narration in the books I read).

Agatha & Sophie

I enjoyed both characters!
I’m actually glad I knew some things about the characters before going into this book because I could then see it through a broader perspective of it being a character development story that takes place through the whole series, which is why Sophie, to me, was a very entertaining character even though her traits seem annoying and terrible. I mean she was obviously meant to be just that but this is why I liked reading about her, knowing a character development is underway.

Agatha was my favorite of the two, and I loved seeing her starting to come into herself eventually, only I actually wanted more Agatha POV than Sophie POV since it seemed to be the other way around, but the ending actually made me realize why that was so it’s all good!

My favorite moments in the book were:

When Agatha learned that she was beautiful all along, that beauty was on the inside. It was just so heartwarming to watch her come into herself.

When Tedros rescued Agatha and was all "A princess that and a princess this" and Agatha was "I'm not a princess!" and then she saw her own blood, fainted, and Tedros smirked saying "Definitely a princess" ๐Ÿ˜‚ 


As for Tedros, I’m definitely looking forward to more exploration of his character, as well as more depth to his and Agatha’s romance considering how cringy it is at the moment.


Sit Still Look Pretty - Daya


“My behavior last night was poor."
"Poor?" Agatha coughed. "You pushed me through a window!”

 

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson - (Please Read This Book IT'S SO GOOD) Book Review

 

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson
Publication date: June 30, 2020
My rating: 4.5 stars


What are words?
How does one form them?

I'm pretty sure I had a review ready for this book but then the last 30% blew it away.
It was SO GOOD I was literally sweating from excitement, it nearly gave me anxiety.

I mean how can I even be coherent right now? Just... go read it! And if you have read it, you probably know why I'm not capable of speech at the moment.

The whole book was amazing, how everything came together, the mystery, the characters, the world-building, the author even invented how the English language might look like in the future! It's a whole experience I tell you, and I loved every second of it. 

Here is a random list of why you should read it:

  • Cunning and manipulative boy (who is also flirty and easy-going)! (who doesn't love them, am I right?)
  • Smart, determined, and compassionate girl.
  • Oh trust me, you're going to ship them so hard.
  • Did I mention the new English language she created? At first, I was confused but then I was in love with it, it was so clever!
  • THE PLOT TWISTS (it was like a cascade of plot twists, I tell you).
  • "Good" characters doing morally gray things. 
  • When I finished the book the only thought in my head was "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH".
  • READ IT! I can't recommend this enough!

I guess now I need to calm down and find something to occupy my racing mind as I await the next book.

P.S: If you loved Goddess in the Machine then allow me to recommend Cowboy fromthe Future by Cassandra Gannon & Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (and vice versa), both books with similar concepts that I loved. And you might also like Lifelike by Jay Kristoff. 


Genius - Written by Wolves


“I’m, um, Andromeda Yue Watts . . .” Silence. She swallowed. “Daughter of Auric Lim and Isla Watts . . .” More silence. An awkward cough. “Reader of books, keeper of . . . secrets, and goddess of . . . you know, just general goddess . . . things.”