How’s and Why’s

 

How does it feel?

To know that somewhere, someone thinks of you before they shut their eyes and go to dreamland.

How does it feel?

To be assured of being loved back.

How does it feel?

Being confident that true love is not a paracosm

How does it feel?

Knowing that after everything else, you are safe

How do you feel?

How did you feel?

How do I feel?

How is it?

That I have no idea

Why is it?

Too difficult for  me.

-Ms. P-

 

On taking a HIATUS

Lovely people!

Sooooo, I HAVE been gone for a looooong time. And normally, I would have an alibi for not being able to post for a while. But honestly, I do not have one. So instead, I just would like to share what happened to me for the past few months that led to this moment of writing a sort-of-explanation-sort-of-not about why I suddenly went quiet.

GOT A NEW JOB

Let’s go 9 months back. I was offered a teaching job at a nursing school here at my province. It is in the city which i a 45-hour bus ride from where I actually live but I figured I should really give it a shot. After all, it has been my dream to become a professor. So I started with 3 courses every week, which is not a lot by the way, but I enjoyed it a lot. I saw myself looking back and seeing how things all worked out to bring me to the four-walls of a classroom full of college students waiting for me to say something interesting they could use to prevent people from dying. By the way, if you lovely people do not know, I am a registered nurse, and now, a clinical instructor thank you very much!

WHERE TO GO NEXT

After that first semester, I knew I wasn’t guaranteed anything for the next one. I worked on a part-time basis and if the college did not need me, they just don’t hire my services. Simple, but painful too. I enjoyed teaching, and sharing what little I know of the world to bright young  minds. I enjoyed seeing them progress from a bunch of scared students to confident trainees ready to become professionals. I’ve always believed in the nobility and competence of the nursing profession. I love sharing that pride with them. But then as the weeks rolled by, I knew I needed a contingency so I sent out a bunch of my CVs and prayed for the best. Opportunities knocked, but then something just kept telling me to wait it out and see what is on the other side. So I did.

HOPES UP

I was re-hired as a part-time faculty, though I was still keeping back-up options just in case. I was already teaching, at peace with the current situation I am in, when I got a text message at 9 o’clock in the morning telling me I have an interview for a permanent teaching position in our university. I could not believe my eyes! I debated whether I should just take my chances, or wait it out like the last time. But I knew that if I didn’t go, I would forever regret it. Turns out, I was right. I did go, and things turned out better than what I had hoped they would.

GOT IT

I got the job! I would not have imagined being a permanent, tenured employee at this age, considering I am in the academe. I was so happy-for my family, and for myself as well. All I could think of was how my life is starting to make sense, and gain direction because of this. And of course, all the books I can buy! But then again, all the books I cannot read too!

THE DOWNSIDE

I did not have enough time, ever, to read. I was so occupied with preparing lectures, and exams, and evaluations, and researches, and adulting stuff that I did not realize how long it has been since I sat down and reviewed a book, or read one for that matter. I had to weigh things really well to understand that this, THIS LIFE, is what I need to focus on right now. I know I said before that this place is my safe place. It is my haven, and it still is. I missed this place, that is why now I am here, bearing my feelings once more.

But life has overtaken all of those days of vigorous reading and passionate writing. It has replaced those days of intellectual conversations with book lovers like I am. Now I clash minds with brilliant professionals as to how researches in the health care field may be improved. I hope you don’t misunderstand. It is not that I haven’t read anything at all. During the past few months I have been inactive on this blog, I have been reading, though considerably slower that my usual pace, because of the other things I have to do. I love reading, and I would never ever stop doing it. I just didn’t know it would take so much out of me that I can’t read or write as freely as I could back then.

In all honesty, I miss the community I got to meet because of my love for books. I miss talking with them, and sharing thoughts and feelings with these people who truly understand what it is to fall in love with a villain, or hate the guts of an angel. I miss interacting with you. But I guess in life, you have to make choices in order to grow, and realize that you are an adult.

I will not completely abandon this blog. I may just be lie-lowing for a bit. I know for sure that I cannot be as active as I was before but I sure will try to visit more often than I did the past few months. I have read a few books I want to get reviews up for. So maybe I can start with that again? Or maybe something original? I guess we’ll see!

Before I go, I just want to thank you dear reader for making it through the end of this potentially boring post. Thank you for following, and spending time reading the thoughts of a book lover. That one view that you contributed to my stats is very much appreciated, and I could not thank you enough for.

See you in my next post!

BOOK REVIEW: Rhodi’s Light by Megan Linski (Rhodi’s Saga Book 1)

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Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in an epic fantasy series by young adult author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.

You guys! What I have for you today is really exciting, well at least for me. I haven’t thought that in my age right now, a book like this would have affected me like this. But this book is, as early in this review as I can say, really worth your time. But of course, like all the other reviews I have made in the past, I will lay it all down for you. The good and the bad. So let’s start!

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The world building is “okay”. I wasn’t able to fully make out how similar, or different the world is to what we have now. I guess what I am looking for is the distinct difference, or the stark similarity other novels offer, especially in their scenery description. The world building, to me, is not as tight as others would have it. HOWEVER, I think it helped in the over-all effect of the story. The book had a dark, heavy backstory and it should not be undermined by any of the other factors.

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The characters are well-developed. Their personalities are so well-thought out, I could think of their reactions to certain situations. Their personalities are also well woven into the whole plot that they are integral parts of the decisions and the direction the story takes.

 The “power/magic system” in this novel is unique, and well-thought out. I haven’t read anything like it yet, and I really enjoyed its evolution as the story progressed. All throughout, I cannot stop myself from thinking of the Power Rangers while reading. Does anybody remember the multitude of Power Rangers seasons. Oh! And there will be a movie adaptation of that coming out!

It was a delight to me that the author used quite a relaxed, casual writing style compared to some authors who write for the same genre. I could feel the natural intensity of the events without heavy and thick language. I also loved how the small details mattered to the overall appeal of the characters, and the story itself.

I find that the speed as to how the story was told is perfect to the amount of information and events the author wants the reader to experience without compressing them too much. It was a well planned storytelling and I liked it a lot. The story, the plot, and the characters are all relatable. The emotions were raw, despite that it is a heavily fantasy read.

The underlying theme of the novel, though slightly touched in the actual events, had lasting effects.As I was thinking of the events that led to the “big reveal”, I saw the clever build up. It was a scene full of emotions that as a person, I could understand. They were also emotions not alien to most of us.

I honestly loved this book. Besides the fact that it is a power ranger-y novel, I liked how deep it is. The different kinds of love. The struggles of rising from suffocating emotions and ideas. It is full of action, literally and metaphorically.

4star

Have you read this book?

Do you like Power Rangers?

*** Book was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

BOOK REVIEW: Eerie by C.M. McCoy

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Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world’s premier supernatural university. It’s a school she’s never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that’s not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship…

Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid. When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds only one place offers her answers–a paranormal university in Alaska. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her otherworldly classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from the evil immortal who took her sister doesn’t decide to kill her himself.

Before anything else, I would like to say that this world right here, is my jam.

Hey wonderful people! Welcome back to my blog! Today I have another review for you about a book I finished quite a while back (because reasons), and have not been able to write a comment on.

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Getting into this book, the first thing that came to my mind was how similar it was to how the book Creatura began. There was a world of dreams, a girl who can walk in and cross it, an ethereal being who watches from afar, and impossibly handsome immortals suddenly messing with an innocent girl’s life. I really thought I wasn’t going to like it. But what I liked about all this is how unique the story turned out to be. The whole concept was given it’s own personality, and by the end of it all, it was a completely different story.

Like I’ve said earlier, this world is my jam. It’s set in a suburb where the paranormal isn’t exactly alien, which in my opinion, is love. I could read stories set in these areas on and on and on. The author was able to humanize (that a word?) or personify some of the “characters” in the story which was both amusing and comforting at the same time. The world building was fantastic I would say. There are freakin’ yetis and a banshee for a roommate! From the people to the places to the not-so-human characters, I think the details were thought out. The interactions were natural in a weird way.

Now if you have been reading this blog before, then you would know that this really sealed the deal for me. IT. WAS. GORY. Someone’s foot is cut not even halfway through! Souls get grabbed while the person writhes in pain and paranormal worms drink too much coffee and explode. Oh and the ending! The ending was quite a surprise. I welcome one I must say, but I should have known! And now this whole story takes a whole new spin.

The general vibe of this entire novel was, well, eerie. There was this constant strange feeling of the paranormal looming around. It was consistent all through out. Even in the lovey-dovey scenes, you would still feel that cold air swirling around.

Reading on, the writing style was good, okay even. It wasn’t something explosive, but it was clean, and I appreciate that.

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These are more of the “meh” things for me. I don’t think I completely disliked anything about the novel, but, there were some parts that were a bit lackluster.

The story’s pacing was okay. It was neither fast nor slow. However, there were pockets of time during the course of the story telling that weren’t as interesting as the others. Those were the times I think the story slowed down. Intentional? Maybe. But personally, I could have done without them and loved the book the same. There even wasn’t an explosive climax to the story. I was waiting for something more.

Sad to say, none of the male leads made me swoon. Not that it is a major factor for me as a reader. None of the characters really spoke to me strongly in fact. They weren’t bad. The interactions were good, the the characters were okay. Although, I would love to have her uncles as mine.

Now some of you might wonder if there is a romance side to this book. And the answer to that is a resounding yes. In fact, probably half of decisions in the book were solely based on the romantic aspect of the plot. However, and you can aim your spears all you want, a lot of you might know that it takes a lot for me to really, really appreciate love angles. Ooor maybe it is also because I got soooo caught up in this fantastic university of the paranormal that I forgot people (?) flirted in its halls.

SO, I guess the real question is: Will I read the next ones? Yes! Interestingly, I am really curious as to what happens next and I would love to see where this story goes.

3.5star

*** This book was sent to me through YABoundBookTours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anything or anyone.

*** Eerie has been released last December 2015. Oh! And there is a giveaway running on it’s Goodreads page! Click here if you want the chance to get this book plus some swag!

Till next time! Toodles!

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Fray Theory by Nelou Keramati

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Neve Knightly lives in an ordinary world. Where déjà vu is nothing more than a mind-trick. Where premonitions are dismissed as mere coincidence. Where no one thinks twice about the glitches in their reality.

Neve Knightly is living a lie.

But when her nightmare of a tragedy comes true the very next day, she can no longer seek solace in self-deception. The glossy enamel has been shattered, and she has caught a glimpse of what slithers just beneath the surface.

She now has the opportunity to decipher the enigma that’s been haunting her since childhood. But her quest soon becomes deeply entangled with the last two people she could have ever imagined: the love of her life, Dylan, who mysteriously vanished three years ago, and his estranged best friend, Romer, who seems to be guarding a secret of his own.

Romance, rancor, and redemption plummet as priorities, as their lives become riddled with peculiar happenings lying just outside the realm of science. And in search for salvation, they emerge at the brink of unveiling the best-kept secret in human history.

Hello everyone! We are back! Today I have a loooong overdue review I have been wanting to do. But because I felt like poop for quite some time, I haven’t been able to post it. But today is the day and I hope I do a good job haha!

So, a little background on how I got my hands on this book. I saw a post on Instagram regarding this book that is about to be released and the author is looking for some people who are willing to give it a read and maybe talk about it too at some point. Of course, being the book fanatic that I was, my hand went straight up and volunteered. Fast forward to today and it has been months since the promised review was due to be posted and I cannot but be thankful for the author being so nice about it. Also, this book has already released and is available for purchase on both print and digital copy.

Okay, so after I have rambled a bit, let us jump to the actual review.

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First of all, that cover just speaks to me. The more you look at it, the more mesmerizing it gets. Those eyes are haunting, like really.

Now, because I have decided that this will be a spoiler free review, I will not be spilling details. BUT, what I can tell you is that this book is bloody brilliant! The logic behind everything is just so good you kind of read through everything in awe. What struck me more is that, however impossible (or is it really?) the entire plot is, the author was able to tell so convincingly that as I read, it miraculously made sense!

The writing style was very mysterious, almost dark. From that first page, and throughout the book, I felt this sort of tension building up, and by Chapter 14, it just started to explode. Yep. You read it right. Started. The vibe can be likened to that of psychological-crime thrillers but with a supernatural flair to it. That make sense? The stark similarity of the characters and situation to reality is actually eerie. Made me rethink about my everyday conquests haha!

There was this precision to how the author tells her story that I like. Her command of the language and style of story-telling is very evident in her piece. This translates to how she built her world in the novel. The world is being described in the eyes of the characters, and not through an indirect third person reference. The world is experienced, in a crisp way, which an be scary.

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This isn’t necessarily something I DISLIKED about the book. But it is a fact that the idea of the existence of parallel worlds or a parallel universe is not something new. Think DC and Marvel. Ironically, though this isn’t an all-original idea, the way she put her own spin to it is one of the things I loved about it.

This one, is not at all the book’s fault. I own up to this one. I just kept on putting this book down for soooo many times I did not do this book justice. It is an amazing book. It’s one that I know I would have enjoyed more if I didn’t read it when I was in a rut. If I read it in a more positive time in my life, I would have flailed about this constantly, I know it. I guess, this points to the fact that this is a heavy book. It’s quite intense. It’s not for everybody, and definitely not for someone looking for a light read on a Tuesday night after a stressful workday.

Having said that, the pacing on this book is quite, uhm, erratic? The first part of this book confused the hell out of me. BUT, to be fair to the plot itself, I would not change the way the story was introduced, however confusing it was. But still, confused A LOT.

So… how should I rate it. Again, I blame myself for having read this at such an inopportune time. But I can tell you this early, I would DEFINITELY re-read this book.  And I can’t wait for the next installment! That’s how good it is.

4star

Would you read a book of this genre?

How excited are you for Christmas?

Why I’ve Been M.I.A.

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Hello everyone!

I missed doing this sooooo much! Today I have a rather chill post for y’all.

Let’s chat.

                If you have been reading my blog prior to my major hiatus, then you would know that my posting schedule became rather erratic before completely stopping. Previously, I have tried to schedule my posts every Tuesday and Saturday, and for quite some time, it really worked for me. I’m not gonna lie, I started this blog before I had a regular, everyday kind of job. In a way, reading and blogging about it became an escape route from my boredom and sadness (this is a whole different issue *wink*). Of course, it was also a way for me to reach out to others who, like me, are obsessed with books and talking about them. Months after my posts became regular, I received a call from a friend saying that I am being hired to become an instructor at a nursing school. Of course I became ecstatic. It was something I have been waiting for. It was something I really wanted to do and I know I would enjoy doing.

                For a while I thought that I could handle reading, blogging, and teaching like a boss. Well, I realized I cannot do it rather quickly haha! At first, I thought that I wasn’t writing or reading for that matter because I was busy with work and other stuff. BUT, thinking about it now, I had time. I knew I had time in my hands, and I could have managed my time more efficiently so I could squeeze everything I wanted to do in my 24 hours. I didn’t. That was when I realized I hit a major slump. I didn’t really want to read anything or write about anything for a long time, hence the hiatus from the blog. I felt like my reviews weren’t relevant enough, and there was a time it felt pointless doing it. I’ve always said that me reviewing books I have read was never about gaining a gazillion views or a hoard of followers. And it never really is. However, let’s be honest for a second and admit that seeing the views counter go up really does make us smile and giddy. It is some form of validation. Something every human being will want at some point in their life.

                And it’s not like no one ever reads my posts. No. I had readers and followers as well. Comments were few, but consistent. Do I seem too ungrateful? I was thankful, but not content. I always am I guess. At that point, I had no interest in reading, and I had the hardest time, finishing this one book that was ah-mazing. If I wasn’t in that stupid slump, I would have devoured that. Until a few weeks ago, all my books remained unloved. Shame on me, I know.  I just was disinterested and uninspired.

What changed?

                I suddenly missed reading one day. I missed being transported to different worlds. I longed to be in the shoes of different people, meeting characters, experiencing new emotions and embarking on journeys I would have never imagined. I missed the magic books had.  So I picked up my phone and chose one book in my Kindle app that intrigued me the most and started reading. The first few pages felt weird. It was like doing something for the first time. I hated the feeling honestly. I hated having lost that familiar feeling reading gave me every time. As I read on, as all of you might know, magic happened and the next thing I know I am in the forest with a dragon-boy-hybrid with blood dripping from his chest. How is that for a welcome right? This is what I missed. This is home to me.

What’s next then?

                As I am typing this, I have plans on the next few posts coming up on this wee little blog of mine. I have reviews loooong overdue that I want to do. And I have a multitude of books I want to read. I haven’t typed the first one though. Haha! Because I haven’t done it in months, I feel like a beginner and I am off to a rough re-start. I want to collect my thoughts first and wrap my head around how I want to be doing my reviews. Do I want to continue with my previous ways or should I try something new? Stuff like that. One thing is for sure though, and this is a promise I am making myself and my readers (if I have any). I will be posting a review on Tuesday, and will start with my regular posting schedule again this week.

A favour I want to ask

                This is where I need your help guys. I really want to succeed and push myself to managing my time better and overcome this dark shadow of procrastination surrounding me.  If for some reason, I wasn’t able to post twice in a week, call me out on it. I promise I don’t mind. We are all bookish friends here right?

That’s it. I really, really missed all of you and I hope we can talk about fun stuff like we used to. Also, can I just say I am sooooooo excited for Christmas? Because I am soooooo excited and I am not ashamed busting out my phone and playing Michael Buble’s Christmas album every single day.

Talk to you soon.. Love yah!

BOOK REVIEW: Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

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You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

Seriously, I have no idea where time goes because it feels like yesterday when I received an ARC of The Island and here I am, reviewing another series from S. Usher Evans. Whew! I received an email from the lovely author/ her own publisher as well, about a new series she has written and if I might be interested in reading it. Of course, seeing how The Island and The Chasm and Double Life (hey Razia girl!) worked out super well for me, I was in.

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The magic system, though not astoundingly unique, is well thought of. Now we all know about witches and the variety of things they can do. However, the world that the author created made for a unique system where the witches are categorized according to their talents, essentially complementing each other. The societal and institutional aspects of the magic system is well developed and I like that about it.

The suspense and mystery regarding the plot twist (twists? gotta read it if you wanna know *wink*) was were not dragged on for too long yet not given too soon. Now if you have read some of my previous reviews you might know that I hate, HATE, frustrating books that keep too much for too long that by the end you just don’t care anymore.

Ms. Evans, as usual, is able to give natural reactions to her characters. I mean, you could just relate to them, because they seem natural. They could just be the usual person you walk past along the streets. They are flawed, they try, they cope up and they learn. The development of the characters was very discreet, but relevant.

Now, I want you to pay attention to what I am going to say. EVERYBODY loves a bad ass grandma. Do you? I do. Come on, when you are inches away from dying and you find out you kept your precious life because your granny “claimed you”, you gotta bow to the queen bee that is your Nana. And just like that, I described my favorite scene in the book.

I am usually good at having hunches regarding twists and stuff but honestly, I think I was too busy about the other stuff going on that I only realized it about 3 pages before the big reveal. Still caught it though *wink* Well played Whitney, well played.

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Something about it just doesn’t settle with me completely. And I know this is stupid, but it didn’t just hit it with me like The Chasm or Double Life did. I know I shouldn’t compare them because they are TOTALLY different books, but I hope you get what I am saying.I think maybe it is because this book is for a younger crowd?  Maybe.

The synopsis fell flat for me. The first 2 lines that is.

The pacing was slow at first. And I understand why it had to be that way, explaining a lot of stuff and showing how Lexie will react to her newfound powers but personally, I would have wanted it to have picked up speed early on. It did pick up, about 1/3 into the book and all was well 🙂 Well not all well because she almost died but you get what I mean.

Despite these, I am really curious what comes next, and will definitely read the next book in this series. I also want to read it to see if it will be a better fit for me. I like that this book is not like anything I have read before, with witches having concrete limits to their powers. And I think people will enjoy it too.

3.5star

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for free in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

**Spells and Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1) releases on October 4, 2016.

BOOK REVIEW: Cinderella Theorem by Kristee Ravan

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Fairy tales are naturally non-mathematical. That is a fact, and fifteen-year-old Lily Sparrow loves factual, mathematical logic. So when her mother confesses that Lily’s deceased father is (a) not dead, (b) coming to dinner, and (c) the ruler of a fairy tale kingdom accessible through the upstairs bathtub, Lily clings to her math to help her make sense of this new double life (1 life in the real world + 1 secret life in the fairy tale world = a double life).

Even though it’s not mathematical, Lily finds herself being pulled into a mystery involving an unhappy Cinderella, a greasy sycophant called Levi, and a slew of vanishing fairy tale characters. Racing against the clock, with a sound mathematical plan, Lily attempts to save her fairy tale friends while proving that normality = happiness.

Hello guys! Today I have another review for you. This was a book I saw on YA Bound Book Tours that was open for review but at that time, I had a totally different idea of what it was about even after I read the synopsis of the book. So I requested it, and as soon as I was accepted and got the book, I read it and boy was I surprised.

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The world building was really unique and interesting. Now at first it might not be too obvious, but as you go along, you see that this is another spin to fairy tales. The stories and the characters in them are given personalities, more than what they are made to look like in the tales. Don’t get me wrong though, they retain their signature characteristics they are known for in the stories, but there is just more to them than what is told. This new spin to the usual re-telling is refreshing, kind of how Shrek has different fairy tales in one movie.

The “magic system”  is quite unique. I don’t know if I should call it a magic system even. Lily does not have magical powers, and what she does doesn’t exactly call for magic. However, there is looking deeper into the story of what “magic” really is in this story, I think that finding happiness, true happiness, is what it actually means. In essence, Lily has magic because she is able to see and understand what makes people happy, by looking into the root of their sadness. Yes she is a bit immature, but you see talent.

There were some parts of the storytelling that I was not comfortable about which I will discuss later. What I want to tell you now is that as I went farther into reading, I felt comfortable with the jargon (except the equations and math stuff), and the style of how the story was told. For me, the choice of telling it in a point-of-view style worked perfectly. It suit Lily’s personality well, which brings me to my next point.

I like how Lily is so rational, because I for one am. I like thinking about stuff, a lot. And seeing how this world confuses her, I could totally relate to Lily. I would have freaked out too if my dead father just appears in front of me standing in my tub. Oh and I just adore her nickname for her dad. “King Tub”. Gets me every time haha!

Although there were certain things that didn’t work out for me while I was reading, the last 50 pages or so were the ones that got me really interested. I was really intrigued and excited honestly. Honestly, I am looking forward to what is next, and I would definitely read the sequel if only to know what can take off evil Levi’s greasiness.

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Three things.

One. I am as irritated as I can get with Lily’s parents. I mean it people, IRRITATED. I cannot believe these people! You drop a truth bomb right in front of your teenage girls face and you expect her to be calm and okay about it with just a few words and ice cream with every flavor she wants? I mean, the ice cream sounds like a good idea but come on! Fairy tale parents are supposed to be loving and caring and overly explanatory!  Give her time people! Actually talk with her about it. That is what adults do. Or is that just me? Seriously, I am so glad Lily is rational because clearly, her parents have lost their minds.

Two. The math. MATH! Oh the bane of my existence. This part, I can only blame myself for. I hate math. I just do. And seeing how parts of the book is represented in letters corresponding to values and equations and whatnot seriously almost threw me off. I think I would have liked it better if it were told in paragraph form, explaining probabilities and limits and stuff.

Three. I am kind of not too sold on the Calo story. I get it, but I think I need more proof? I mean there is the circumstantial evidence but I needed something more. Although yes, it served the purpose of solving a mystery.

I kind of am sad about this rating. I know that if I hadn’t despised math I would have given it more. But oh well, it is still a good one right? It is a casual, easy to read type of book. If you want to read stress out, then I think this book can help you.

3star

Before I go, one more thing I have to say is that I do think this book will be enjoyed by those in the younger age bracket of YA. This book is cute and I think they will like it better. And I fully agree with how this book refers to Cinderella. Yes girl, Cinderella is not a fairy tale. Cinderella is THE fairy tale.

*** This Ebook was sent to me for free in excange of an honest review. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

*** Cinderella Theorem was released May 2016.

BOOK REVIEW: The Chasm by S. Usher Evans

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This is happening. This is really happening. It seems like a short time since I reviewed The Island in my blog and here I am, reviewing it’s sequel for you people of the bookland! Listen, when I read The Island, I have told you that I loved it. Loved it. But this book. THIS BOOK! Dare I say it? I love it even more! Honestly didn’t think it was possible, and after reading the first one, I wasn’t sure how the story would progress. But lo and behold, progress it did and beautifully at that! But because I always say that I will try to be a better blogger which spares you wonderful people of endless flailing and fangirling, I will try my best to point stuff out as clearly as I can haha!

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ALL OF IT! 

Well there is one teeny tiny detail I could do without but we could talk about that later and for now let us just bathe in this glory of a book. The premise of this book, in my opinion, was better than the first one. But then of course, I would admit that the first book and its premise is absolutely essential in building up what came about in this sequel. I think it also helped that I was really waiting for this book, so much that when I received the email asking if I will review this book I jumped with joy! And people, it DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

I think the dynamics in this book was better. Whether between the characters or the circumstances surrounding them, the movement in the story in relation to the general plot was better, smoother I would say. And the twists and turns in this book! I was on my toes! The book was so fast-paced I didn’t know I was near the end.Things were constantly happening and I wasn’t prepared to leave the world just yet when it ended!

I think that the character development on all the characters was significant. Especially on Galian. Oh that man! In this book, we see more of what kind of a man Galian really is. He finds his niche and his voice in the political battlefield and is becoming his own man so to speak. Theo has always been this strong, kick-ass girl but here her fears and insecurities were shown. She was shown as a regular girl like everybody else, afraid and in-love. But then you also see this sense of responsibility on both of them which endeared me to them even more. Frankly, they’ve got good heads on top of their necks.

And can we just talk about Kader? I always knew something was up with him! In a good way anyway. I knew from the start there was more to him than meets the eye and man was I right! Like Kader, other characters in the book were also brought to light fairly well. They were relevant, and I appreciate that. I mean, even the king was shown in a different light even just for a few lines.

In my previous review of The Island, I said that by the end of the first book, you tend to doubt the side you choose. Well, in this book, my point is explored and elaborated, and you wouldn’t know where your loyalties will lie. If I may say though, I am all for Queen Korina and all her glorious beauty. Just saying.

The political game, the conspiracies, the pressure, and just the intensity of the scenes was so good I could not stop flipping the pages. The political battlefield was very well laid out and executed perfectly. What I also like about the storyline is that it displays the complex of choices and their consequences.Often, books may tend to let the main characters go on a lot of things regarding their decisions whether they are genius or not because they are the hero/heroine of the story. I like how Galian and Theo are treated as who they are. Young and needing mentors.

Oh the feels and the action. THE ACTION. When a book reminds you of the movie “Executive Decision” by Steven Segal, you know it’s action-packed! Being filled with so much action, this might be weird to say but this book made me weep. Yes. Weep. How? By a death that is so unexpected and so unfair that it just devastated me that’s how!

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This is, like I said, a teeny tiny detail but that girl. That girl I could do without to be completely honest. I just think that the girl was useless, and the effect she had in the end was too insignificant for me to care.

Before I end this review, I think that one of the reasons this book just gripped me was it’s attachment to some form of reality. It was closer to how things are, and that adds to the charm of the whole story. By this second book, I just ship Galian and Theo really, really hard I can be in a fans club.

4.5star

Told you I loved it!

***The Chasm (Madion War Trilogy #2) releases today July 12th!!! If you want to know more, below is the synopsis of the book as well as buy links if you are interested in purchasing this book.

***I was provided an ARC by the Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

***There may or may not be a giveaway below from the lovely author. Plus a snippet from the book!

Would you date a doctor or a pilot?

 

thechasmebook_600x900They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?

Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he’s adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media’s glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it’s possible to make a difference.

Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave’s presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she’s not sure she can stomach the lies.

The Chasm is S. Usher Evans’ breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is “not to be missed.”

 

<a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Sneak Peek

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Theo

“Bayard won’t be back for at least two hours,” Emilie said, glancing at her watch. “We will probably need to tweak his talking points based on his discussions with the Jervan president. Wesson, take the lead on that.”

He nodded and scribbled in his book.

“Aruna,” Emilie said, nodding at a younger girl I’d seen in a few meetings. She paled at being called on, but held her pen ready. “Find Cannon and tail him. Make sure he stays on message and doesn’t dally in anything…embarrassing.” She paused, a disgusted look crossing her face. “And if he does, make sure nobody knows. Talk to Wesson for crowns if you need it.”

She nodded with a small smile. She might take that mission a little too seriously.

“And ‘neechai,” Emilie said, grabbing my attention. “You and I will spend the afternoon working on your speech. I trust that you’ve resolved whatever…issues you were having.”

I dipped my head, even as dread coiled in my stomach. Emilie moved on to someone else, so I pulled the speech out from the calf-pocket of my jumpsuit. I’d practiced it once or twice while sitting in the pool, reading quietly to myself and envisioning what it would be like to speak in front of the Madion nation leadership.

But even in my head, I still stumbled through the parts about Mael. Stumbling wouldn’t cut it for Emilie, so I prayed for a miracle.

“What’s going on out there?” Emilie said, squinting to her left. I followed her gaze and saw a crowd of people standing at the hotel’s entrance, craning over each other to get a look at whatever was outside.

I stood with the rest of the Ravens and walked into the lobby. The crowd grew more frenzied and then the front doors of the hotel opened.

The crowd pushed in then parted, and in strolled the last person I’d ever expected to see again.

“Amichai.”

He was beautiful, a wide smile on his face and his gait confident. His brown hair was clipped shorter and he no longer wore the beard I’d grown accustomed to seeing on our island. He paused in the middle of the lobby to talk to two journalists who’d approached him, then threw his head back and laughed.

Then his eyes locked with mine.

It was as if everything and everyone disappeared. The corners of his mouth turned up and I suddenly forgot how to breathe. Electricity crackled in the hundred steps that lay between us, and I could’ve sworn I knew exactly what he was thinking. If I’d had any doubt about his reason for arriving in this city, in this hotel, on this day, it vanished in that moment.

As desperately as I wanted to run to him, for some reason, my legs wouldn’t move. Something was keeping me from going to him, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was…

“What in the world is the princeling doing here?” Cannon’s voice pierced my bubble, and I wrenched my eyes away from Galian’s. Where I was, who I was with, and my purpose rushed back to me like waking from the best dream into a nightmare.

I found my voice. “I have no idea.”

“I doubt he’s meddling in the summit. He’d be stupid to disobey his father.” Cannon shrugged mightily. “Then again, the princeling’s never been too smart.”

“Right, he’s an idiot,” I said.

Stupid, stupid princeling. How could he be so irresponsible as to come to Jervan? Especially after his father had forbidden anyone from Kylae to attend, or so Emilie had told us in a meeting earlier that week. And he just walked through the front door, announcing to the entire world that he was there.

I realized I was still watching him when Cannon’s voice again interrupted my thoughts. “Come now, kallistrate, don’t be star struck. He’s just a prince.”

I nodded hastily and turned away from him so I wouldn’t be tempted to stare. “Just a prince, right.”

And my amichai.

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Galian

She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

I drank in the sight of her: the way her velvet lips parted, how her big brown eyes widened slightly. Her hair pulled back into a bun, her Raven uniform immaculate. The shape of her body. How her dark skin had grown pale. 

“If you’re trying to pretend you don’t know her, perhaps you shouldn’t stare,” Martin snickered beside me. “I’ll stare at her for you. She’s a lot cuter than I remembered.”

“Right,” I said, turning away. “So do you think it worked?”

I had just finished talking to a reporter, feigning ignorance about any sort of summit or why the leaders from three of the four Madion nations were in this city. I’d made sure to talk about my plans to drink heavily and meet some hot Jervanian girls, just to play the part.

I attempted to keep the giddy smile off of my face as I checked into the hotel. When I snuck another glance at her, she’d turned away from me, but the rest of the Ravens kept staring at me, pointing and discussing amongst themselves. I wondered what they were saying.

“I apologize, Your Highness,” the clerk said with all the sincerity of a wet mop. “All of our suites have been reserved by delegations to the summit. The only rooms I have are the basic rooms.”

“I doubt I’ll be sleeping in my own room anyway,” I said with an overly confident grin.

The clerk, predictably, rolled his eyes in disgust.

I caught Martin’s eye, and he snorted.

“Your keys, Your Highness,” he said, sliding over two access cards. “Please be advised that there is a two hundred crown cleaning fee for any…destruction.”

I winked at him then motioned for Martin to grab our bags. I would’ve carried my own, but it would’ve been contrary to the part I was playing.

“You sure faked that well,” Martin said, tossing my bag to me once we were safely in the elevator.

“I wish I could say I’ve never been that much of an asshole before,” I said with a small grimace.


About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

BOOK REVIEW: Inherited by Freedom Matthews

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If saying ‘I love you’ meant death, would you still say it?

The Wilted Rose, of faery-tale and folklore, is a pirate ship filled with unfortunate souls-each forbidden to love. One such soul is Valencia ‘Lennie’ Roux. Raised in a brothel and an heir to a curse; Lennie never expected to pique the interest of any man. Yet with the arrival of vivid-eyed Nathaniel, she is torn between wanting to know him better and fearing what that knowledge would mean.

With Nathaniel bringing the crew’s total to six, the Wilted Rose sets off in search of the remaining two heirs. They hope that in reuniting, they will convince the faery Sorceress responsible for the curse, to end it. However lurking beneath the water is a long standing enemy of the Wilted Rose; who is determined to thwart their quest and bring down its leaders.

Together the eight heirs fight for survival, friendship and love.

Hey guys! Today I have another review for you. From the synopsis and the cover above, you might think that this is yet another pirate novel. But nope, you are wrong… well not entirely. There are pirates in this novel, and there are ships and guns and sword fights, but the main characters aren’t EXACTLY pirates. But then again, reading into this novel, I got this Pirates of the Caribbean vibe to it which if I’m completely honest, I absolutely love (hey there Jack Sparrow). So I guess we can call it a pirate novel after all haha! Okay, so since this book is yet to be released, this is going to be a spoiler-free review because I am a good girl like that. Shall we dive into it then?

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The writing was good. It wasn’t mind blowing but it was clear and I appreciate that, a lot. Sometimes with fantasy novels, the way the story is written cloud the story itself. You get what I mean?  I like how the author keeps descriptions simple, and easy to understand. Which leads me to my second point.

I love, LOVE, how the places and situations were described by the author. Her descriptions are crisp and vivid, but not lacking in the entire feel of the scene. Reading, I could almost smell the salty sea air and feel the warm Caribbean sunsets.It was spot on. The pacing was good, there were moments when I felt could have gone a bit faster but it didn’t make me impatient enough to just skim through them.

There was enough character development for the characters. ALL OF THEM which was good. Surprisingly, these developments weren’t just thrown into the story. I could see that it was planned meticulously, and they were all woven into the plot so that you wouldn’t really notice it happening. Also, I am a fan of the back stories for all the characters. I love how there was one general back story from which all branched out, but then it reconnects beautifully to the present point of view. The flashbacks were poignant. They were gritty, but still appropriate for being categorized as Young Adult.

I would say that the greater plot twist comes at its ending. There were revelations throughout the story like I said and things that were a bit shocking but it is the few last pages that I felt intrigued. And speaking of shocking things, that death though! I mean, I was reading one moment and the next… what the!

Thinking about it, the curse and the mission was very simple, though vague. And I think ultimately, that was what gave the story’s impact. I think it was how it dealt with something so simple yet so powerful that it has so much impact on a person’s happiness and existence. It asks the question of are actions really enough? How much can words mean or change? The mystery, the fight scenes, the dynamics between the characters is well thought out. No two relationship/interaction was the same. Especially dealing with a lot of characters with varying intensities but almost equal importance, that is hard to do.

And can we just talk about our power girl? She just rocked. She went through a lot and bossed at life!

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The almost insta-love. I felt iffy about it honestly. Well, let’s be fair. It wasn’t really insta-love but still. Iffy about how things started out.

Remember I said that the ending was what gave me the twist? Well, as it is, I don’t really know how I feel about how it generally ended. I don’t exactly hate it, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better one, but I think it lacked mystery. There wasn’t much pull from the ending.

I also have this love-hate relationship with the Sorceress/— (not gonna spoil her ‘true’ identity). I just found her petty, you know, like a whiny tween who finally gets it and makes amends for her temper tantrum. At the same time, I wasn’t sold on the villain. Was she too soft? Maybe. Hardcore as it may sound, I kind of wanted her to be much more evil than what she was made to look/ feel like. Sinister people, that is the goal.

Finally, and I want to say that this is all due to me being a weird human, I just felt that it lacked something. And don’t even bother asking me to explain because I have tried countless times and I just can’t. I tried people. There was just this feeling of disconnect with me and this story and the characters. It’s not that this is a bad book, because it is not a terrible book. I think the best way I could explain it is it wasn’t able to just suck me in. It wasn’t able to pull me in and just envelope me and get a tight grip on me that I have to slap myself to reality. That.

So amidst all this banter. I would say give this book a go. This is my first pirate novel and I liked it.

3.5star

** This book releases on July 12, 2016. If you want to know more about the book and Freedom Matthews, click on the cover picture to go to it’s Goodreads page.

*** This ARC was provided by OfTomes Publishing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Do you think this is something you would want to read in the future? Why or why not?

BOOK REVIEW: The Island by S. Usher Evans + Giveaway!

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Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

Hello everyone! Today I have a really exciting post for you all in celebration of The Island’s release tomorrow, April 26. I have been bombarding you for sometime about how much I love a book which I am a street team member for and now, I can finally tell you guys everything about it, including my thoughts and the feels and more! This review is spoiler free so you are safe peeps! Also, if you an be a bit patient to read through the end of my review, there will be a giveaway in store for you! Yes!

Coming in to this book, I had really high hopes, and perhaps expectations for it since I have been OBSESSED with Double Life (Razia Series Book #1). And this early, I want to tell you, all of you, that I was not disappointed! I could go on and just mumble about how I liked this book, but of course, being the good (ahem) blogger that I am, I will discuss them further and try to be more helpful than my usual self.

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Honestly, a lot. I think the world building was on point. Now I may have some bias on this because my father was in the Air Force when he was still in the military service. And so, I was familiar with air crafts, maintenance, and mechanics, and hangars, and barracks, and the lot. So for that, I was able to relate early on. However, in retrospect, had I not been in my circumstance, I think I still would have been able to relate after some time. The situation surrounding Theo and why things were that way was told clearly. Of course, the situation with Galian had some relation with me as well because I too work in the medical field. The moral and professional sentiments he expressed were not entirely alien to me.

Also, I think that how the world’s situation was explained well, appealing to the hearts of those who value democracy and freedom (which is probably all of us). You tend to take sides 5 pages in. Clever if I may say so, because by the last 3 pages, you will question that loyalty you held throughout the book. You think you have weighed out everything and made a firm decision but nope! Things are just getting started my friend.

The entire premise of the book was great, of warring lands, with a much deeper and thought-provoking underlying cause to it. It is not entirely a story of love in a war torn country. Because if it is, you know I would have junked it. For me, it is a book of loyalty, and principles, and love, and politics, and choices, and the moral consequences of war. To believe and trust in someone you are raised and trained to hate, and the string of choices you have to make along with it is what makes this book beyond what it looks like.

The story’s pacing was perfect. Although there were a bunch of things needed to be explained and a lot of the conversations carried much information, there was enough pause for a lot of the scenes. What I mean is that, there are moments which needed just a teeny tiny bit more time, just a little drag on the time to let readers get immersed in those moments, before getting their hearts broken to pieces again. Those moments, were generously given to readers in this book. Looking back, I could say A LOT has happened to the characters in this book, BUT, it is surprising to say that it wasn’t a very thick, heavy read.

Now, for the one thing you know I look for in books. Both characters had interesting back stories to them, and I liked that there was not much mystery to where they came from or what they did in the past because that would have been too much. But, the character development both of them underwent during the course of the book was to me, exactly what was needed. You see them change perspective, and challenge their long-held beliefs, but they stay true to their nature, and true to their hearts. There were no dramatic change of loyalties, but internal conflicts that should be natural were present.

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The ending. Yup, I said it. What? No it was not a bad ending. It was just that it ended so soon! One minute I was furiously flipping the pages and then poof! I hit the back cover and my booknerd self cried. Why do this Whitney?

If you have read my review of Double Life (if not yet, click here), then I know you may be wondering if I liked this better. And the honest answer is no. In my review, I gave Double Life a much deserved 4.5/5 rating. For this one, it came really close.

4star

And now for my giveaway!

This Giveaway is for Philippine residents only (sorry international peeps!). I will try to include everyone in my next ones. This is the first giveaway I am hosting so I am still testing stuff out! Expect better ones to come. I designed the notepads myself and I have a thumbs up from the author (thanks Whitney!) for them. These prizes should not be sold.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS. Check out this blog again tomorrow for all the Release day post and all the links + another GIVEAWAY!

COVER REVEAL: Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova + Giveaway

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Hello everyone! I am so happy to bring you this post I am pretty sure you can hear me giggling from your side of the universe. So if you have been following me for a while, then you would know that I am a part of a wonderful family called the Tower Guard.  If you have not been following me yet, then it is never too late and hit that follow button on the right *wink* Here is a digital hug as a perk of you joining in!

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Anyway, back to the topic of this post, ever since I read Air Awakens which is the first book to the series, I have declared my love and loyalty for it. And now that I am about to share the cover reveal for the last installment in the series, the feels guys… the feels. I mean, how is it that we are in the LAST BOOK? How? How?!?!?! Elise, why do this to me?

If you haven’t read Air Awakens yet, I seriously suggest you do and you won’t be disappointed. If you need more talking into reading this series, give me a message and I will gladly do it. I promise I will lay low on the giggling and screaming and weeping and all the feels. So, are we ready for the reveal of (in my opinion) the best cover in the whole series?

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Let us all take a moment of silence for the beauty that is this cover. I mean look at that! Absolute perfection!

Crystal Crowned Synopsis

Long live Solaris.

One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

And to make this day even sweeter, Elise has a raffle for you all lovely humans!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Crowned Preorder Links

Previous Books Buy Links

Air Awakens

Fire Falling
Earth’s End

Water’s Wrath (Pre-order)

Goodreads Links

About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

Follow Elise Kova on Amazon

My Website: http://www.EliseKova.com

Follow her around!

So! While you bathe in the beauty of this cover, I suggest you go and pick up Air Awakens and see how a guy who pushed a girl from the top of a tower can be so damn attractive! Oh, and don’t forget to give Elise a huge hug for being such a good citizen of the world in giving us this series.

PS In totally unrelated stuff, my Top Ten Tuesdays Post will be up after this one. Toodles!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten (or six) Books Every Thriller Lover Should Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishGo and check them out because they have some amazing reviews for you!

Hey everyone! I am back at it with the Top Ten Tuesdays! For this week, I have chosen to to feature books I think thriller addicts should read. Now, before any of you start screaming at me for not having ten (as it is obviously TOP TEN TUESDAYS), I am aware of this glitch and I apologize in advance. I could have chosen a different genre and I would have probably completed the list or exceeded it even. However, I decided to go with this because I feel like I have not really talked much about my love for thrillers. I used to be so obsessed with them they were the only ones I would ever dare to pick up. As time passed, well, fantasy and other genres silently crept through. I will say though that as soon as I looked at the books I listed, they may not be the most popular choices but I really do think they deserve the shout out. All images are linked to their Goodreads pages.

Also, before anything else, I have not included any Stephen King book here because, well, it’s kind of a given right? 

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

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This book sent chills down my spine and made me look behind me sooo many times it’s not even funny. This book just scared the hell out of me, but kept me wanting more. Now maybe it is not technically a full on thriller, since it has more of the fantasy flavor to it, but this book will keep you on your toes the whole time. This made me so jumpy. And don’t even try reading this and then look out your window. I warned you.

Gone, But Not Forgotten by Philip Margolin

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I read this when I was  freshman in college and I never forgot it ever since. It was so gripping I could not put it down. I remember devouring it, only to find out that my first guess was right but then I dismissed it and blamed this other person who apparently is a good person and now the heroine is in grave danger and I could do nothing to help her. There was just the vibe of the mysterious lives of the affluent that gave it a certain charm.

She’s Not There by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

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I stumbled upon this book at a book sale and to be honest, I kind of struggled with the first part of the book. But as soon as it picked up with the pacing you cannot stop flipping the pages. This, I would say, would be my least favorite of this bunch, but it is still a good crime thriller. And you CANNOT guess who the real culprit is.

Past Mortem by Ben Elton

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This was a recommendation from my sister. Well, technically, she did not REALLY recommend it. What she actually did was rant about this book all day while she was reading it and I am pretty sure she talked me into reading this one by day 2. And I am telling you, my sister was absolutely right. It touches on a vital social issue and how it go all down south for the people involved. So if you are a mean girl/boy, I suggest you read this and get a life.

Death Rounds by Peter Clement

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This was my first ever medical thriller. I loaned it to a friend and now it is NOWHERE to be found. But, because it was such a good book, I could never forget how it kept me on the edge of my seat (or bed) all the time I was reading it. It was so gripping and riveting that it felt almost too real! I guess part of my fascination with it was because I was entering the health car field at that time and I could just relate to the jargon better. However, I think even those without medical knowledge can enjoy this book too! I mean, who doesn’t want a psychopath killing medical professionals (who should be taking care of infected patients by the way) with a superbug in their very own hospital like launching a biological war or something?

Never Never #1 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

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Admittedly, I haven’t finished this trilogy yet. But, I really did like this book. A LOT. I already did a more comprehensive review on this so if you would like to know why I so recommend this one, then click here to read the full post.

Confession: I still have one. But, I could not, for the life of me, remember the title or where the hell it is. It is another medical thriller (as you would expect) and I though it was good as well. IF I find it, I will update this post and let you guys know.

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this list and I really hope you click on the covers and check out their synopses and reviews.

Do you read thrillers? If yes, what are your favorites?

Lousiest Street Team Member EVER

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Totally have no idea how to start this blog post without you lovely people judging me. Believe me, if I were you I would probably do that too. And I see those owl eyes looking scornfully at me. I’m telling you, this owl kick isn’t going away anytime soon.

So! I am here to redeem myself as a street team member. And I admit, I have been (probably) the lousiest one an author could have for the past few days. Like really. But like I said in my previous post, I will be doing an update blogpost soon so make sure (if you want) to watch out for that. Anyway, in this post I will be updating you, my lovely readers, of the goings-on with the books and authors I am street member for. Again, being a street team member means that I help these authors promote their books using this blog and my social media accounts. I am not sponsored or being paid to do so. Are we ready?

Madion War Trilogy

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You guys, how can the days fly by so fast. One moment I am jumping around in happiness after receiving my ARC of The Island and the next we are just 3 weeks away from its release! Honestly, I am so happy for Whitney and cannot, cannot wait for all the peeps out their to have their hands on her newest trilogy. So now for the deets.

  • The Island (Madion War Trilogy Book 1) releases on April 26 and I am soooo excited! Can you tell?
  • In celebration for its release, I will be posting an early review of The Island a few days before the said release date.
  • There will be a wee bit of a giveaway on that post so stay tuned. I have to apologize in advance though, it will not be like the extravagant giveaways other bloggers are able to hook you guys up with. I am relatively new to this and still testing the waters. It will get better though, I promise!
  • If you are a blogger, first of all hello and welcome to my blog. Second, the Sush Street Team is still open for people to come and join. You will be such a great help to the team! If you ever to decide to join, please tell Whitney I sent you there and coerced  convinced you to join okay?
  • Even if you are not a blogger, you can still join street team and help spread word through your social media and talks over coffee or tea or milk.
  • There is a contest going on for some great swag over at her site for street team members, which I really need to get on. So if you want to win free stuff, go ahead and visit www.susherevans.com.
  • If you want to get a feel of what her other books are like, I have a review for one of her books Double Life (Razia Series Book 1) which you might want to check out. Just click here. I’m just gonna say, a lot of feels, and spirit animal status goin’ on in that review.
  • Seriously, go and read Double Life right now and you will not be sorry. How? click on the website and you will know *wink*

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Air Awakens Series

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This series is going so fast I can’t even catch up! We are only 3 months in this year and Elise has already released the third book Earth’s End, will be soon releasing the fourth installment Water’s Wrath, and just recently had the cover and synopsis of the fifth book Crystal Crown. That is insane! Now I have been so bad at following up and reading this books as they release, but I am preparing for a huge binge read on this series which will probably break my heart to pieces and make me jump with joy at the same time but I am totally okay with that. If you wanna know why I am this emotional about this book, click here for my review of the first book Air Awakens. Now that I am boring you, let’s go down to business.

  • Water’s Wrath (Air Awakens Book 4) releases on April 26.
  • Of course, I will be posting about the the release and all the amazing stuff that will happen along with other street team members so stay tuned.
  • Again, there will be a wee bit of a giveaway!
  • The street team is still welcoming anyone and everyone who are willing to help spread out the word about this amazing series. There are so many perks and amazing stuff happening in the street team and you don’t want to miss out!
  • There is a really, REALLY cool (and genius) raffle going on at elisekova.comSo if you want the chance to have your name, or any other name of your choosing immortalized in a book to be read by thousands, click that link I just gave you. You’re welcome.
  • She has also updated her tour schedules on her site so if you live in the US and would like to pop in one of her signing events, check her website.
  • I ship Prince Aldrik and Vhalla really really hard. If I didn’t love Vhalla like a sister I would have totally stolen Aldrik from him. Just sayin.

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You saw that? I know you saw that. Yes, they are releasing on the same date. When I saw it I was like d*mn. What am I supposed to do now? My Twitter and Instagram’s gonna be busy on the 26th that’s for sure! But seriously, I love these books and both authors too. They are really lovely ladies and great human beings as well. Give them some love for me alright?

If you or anyone you know need convincing on reading any of the books I just mentioned, just tell me and I will be MORE THAN HAPPY to talk you in!

Whew! THAT WAS A LOT!

Let’s chat.

So what is going on with your life right now?

Missed you heaps!

The Deal with ARCs

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Before I dive into this blog post, I just want to say hello. It’s been a while, I know, I know. And I am really bummed about it too. Are we still friends? We still are right? We all go through slumps right? I will make a post soon about where have I been and what have I been doing (or not doing) lately. I promise. Now onto the topic at hand.

As I was almost hopelessly trying to catch up on all the post I have missed out on all my favorite blogs, I came across this issue and I can’t help but give my piece of the cake to it as well. I have read the discussions by  Jess @ Princessica of Books and Claire @ Blankslaters Reads and if you want more thoughts on this, you can visit their posts here and here

First off, I just want to put it out there, I think ARCs are wonderful and are great ways to promote books which are yet to be released. They are ways to get reader feedback early on, so minor changes can be made if need be. They help create awareness about a certain book or author, and sort of create a buzz about new stuff. Indirectly, I also think that they become ways for readers, publishers, and authors connect and have intelligent discussions about books – after of course the natural flailing and/or helpless weeping.So in general, ARCs are good.

During the months that I have been involved in the book community here on the internet (wonderful people by the way) I saw how ARCs became a) a status symbol and b) a currency. Across all the social media platforms, it seems like ARCs just exploded out of nowhere and have rained on, as some would say, a privileged few. This statement may be contested, but it is a matter of discussion I am willing to engage into (so comment down below *wink*).

I am not gonna lie, I have been sent ARCs before, and I am very grateful for that. To be honest, I was surprised to be even contacted by an author. For a neophyte, that is a huge deal! They were indie books, but hey, no discrimination of any sorts. And like I have said before, some indie books and authors deserve much more credit and hype than they are getting. Now, some (or most) would say that if your get ARCs most people do not get their hands on, or if you have tons of ARCs being sent to you, then you are a HUGE DEAL as a book blogger. In my opinion, this is essentially true. The purpose of ARCs is for promotion like I’ve said earlier, so of course, the first ones on their list as to who gets ARCs sent to them would be the bloggers with a relatively larger following and readership. If you look at it with this point of view, then yes, I guess ARCs can be status symbols. HOWEVER, I do not think they should breed discrimination. Take me for example! I got ARCs and I am not even near 500 followers!

Also, I want to point out that the ‘larger’ book blogs have been around for quite some time, so they have built loyal readership (that a word? whatever). They’ve got time in. One thing I have learned in this journey is patience and hard work pays off.

Now, during the last few weeks, I have been seeing reactions about people selling ARCs or trading their ARCs. For the latter, I am all for it, but with the selling, I disagree. With the posts linked to this one, they have discussed a certain ‘special case’ where they ‘could probably justify’ selling the ARCs that a person owns. And though I disagree with selling something you got FOR FREE, maybe humane considerations get the best of me. Maybe offering them at a distinctly lower price? That is the only thing I would say about it as I still haven’t made a firm stand on that one.

Trading ARCs, I think, is a good way of spreading the word about books. That is the point after all right? The more people to talk about it the better. However, demanding for arm and leg in exchange for ARCs you own is not on my okay book. Advance Readers Copies are not meant to be used as currencies to obtain a certain amount of books. Nope.

If you started blogging, or want to start blogging just to get free books and ARCs. Stop. You are on the wrong track my friend.

And while we are on the topic of free books, discussion threads have dealt on the issue of some bloggers allegedly getting “paid” to post certain (5-star) reviews for books and authors. Well. This is a tough one to address. First of all, I believe in absolute transparency when it comes to reviewing books. Having said that, I think that receiving free books in exchange for only honest reviews is the way to go. After all, I write book reviews and posts about books because I want to share my opinions with others in the community as well. It is in my hope that my honest thoughts may be of help to others. But, I cannot say that the same is true for other bloggers. I am not naming anyone, or do I know someone who does, or am I saying that this really happens. All I can say is that as it is, I cannot condemn this activity. I am aware that people need to survive and doing that maybe one way of earning a living. What others do with their blogs is completely up to them, but personally, “selling” reviews in favor of the book is not something I will support or do. Absolutely not. Unless maybe you get paid to post your honest review.

So.. that is my  take on the ARC shenanigan.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s chat about it. I am planning to request ARCs soon. Do you have any advice or tips for me?

When I Decide to Walk Away

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credits to the owner of this painting

I guess what they say is true, about familiarity bringing comfort. There have been countless times when I questioned myself as to why I keep on doing it. Trying to converse when all the other wants is to talk. But then, who else is there? I have no one else really. Maybe it’s the anonymity and familiarity that makes a person so attractive and so seemingly worthwhile. Frightening thing, mediocrity – in life and love, and everything else in between.

I wonder when was the last time I have had a seriously good conversation, a really good laugh, a genuinely thought-provoking discourse. The kind which, when I look back to it, I smile at the thought of how fruitful and precious it was. When did people ever forget that we learn more from conversations than a mindless button with the thumb sticking out? These days, I find myself seriously deprived of such…. shall I say luxury? Again, when did sensible conversations become such a rare thing?

It is more frustrating to have to struggle with someone you want to know much more. It’s almost infuriating to have to settle to simple question-answer episodes. Like I said, maybe the reason I stay is because of the familiarity, to the person and the situation. It’s comforting, in an almost sad way.

I won’t settle for it. I know myself enough to know that much. There will come a time for it. When I get tired, and finally convince myself, my stubborn self, that all this is not healthy and just walk away. And at that point, away I walk for good.

We become no more than strangers, and familiarity becomes just a memory, and comfort becomes nothing but a wish.

To Cornelius, With Expectation

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Hello dear friend. How have you been? I was deep in thought earlier when I thought of writing to you to tell you where I am in my life right now. You would indulge me this one right?

I am at a point in my life when I have to decide what I want to do with it. It’s not always the easiest, but it must be done. Taking a step back, I look at where I am right now and I am nowhere near where I want to be. Maybe not even close to near. I do know that I have to step out sooner or later. And quite honestly, that is what scares me.

I’ve been out there, chasing, running, going after things, stopping at nothing. You know this Cornelius, I was as they say, haulin’ ass. Then I made the decision to lay low to prioritize something equally important, which I don’t regret at all. But ever since then, I became complacent, and haven’t found my groove back yet I don’t know why I am afraid to go out and face the world again; especially when I am starting to despise where I am right now.

I am at a crossroads. Torn between the choice of different paths, all equally promising and frightening at the same time. Despite my fears, I am sure of two things – I do not want to stay where I am today, and I have to make a choice. After all, one of my many fears is to get stuck here, unable to get away.

I feel better these days, and you know that is a huge deal for me. Lately, I don’t feel as stuffed in, and I am slowly regaining control. There are things I wish to change about my life and there are plans. But, what I have to work on is how to execute them and make them materialize.

Sometimes, I wish I am as strong as people see me to be. I wish I could see myself through their eyes. I am sure they see a better sight. I am not exactly my own best fan. Maybe that is why I am so scared. I am scared that I can’t. For whatever thing it is, I am terrified of failing. Somehow, if I am to describe how I am in words alone, maybe a few will suffice.

I am thankful but anxious, moving but scared, hopeful and fighting.

I will write to you again once I get settled here. I miss our long conversations over tea. How was your vacation? Have you found that rare recipe you have been telling me about? I hope (dearly hope) to hear from you soon.

Songs I Wish Were Books

So… this post should be a TTT post, but I have been soooo pre-occupied that I totally forgot to post it. I know, I am sorry. I don’t take credit for this idea obviously, because this is one of the themes given for Top Ten Tuesdays set for February 16.

Anyway, people have been asking me if I happen to listen to music while I read. Honestly, most of the time I do. I love music, and I tend to listen to music very often especially during idle time, like riding the, or waiting in line, or having coffee by myself. When I was in college, I used to listen to music even while reviewing for exams or doing homework. It does not distract me at all, in fact, I think it makes me focus more, plus the fact that it shuts out my surroundings. So naturally, I would do it while I read as well. When I saw this theme I thought, what a genius idea. Of course, songs tell stories as well, and there are songs I would love to be turned into stories, fantasy or not. This is in no particular order.

Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift.

I have to be honest, most of this has got to do with the music video. Not the love story between two actors bit, nooo, but the wild and the safari and the beautiful landscape. And the line from the song “Say you’ll remember me…” just sounds so sad but mysterious at the same time.

You and Me by Lifehouse

When I hear this song, I get all fuzzy and warm inside. I don’t know why. But when I thought about it a lot, well I think this would be a great song for a fantasy novel. Something to do with time travel or being able to be at multiple time frames at once. And this song is just feels…

My Sacrifice by Creed

This was a huge song back then. Well at least for me. For me, it tells the story of a person reconnecting with someone from the past whom he had to leave in exchange of his dreams. This person he had to sacrifice to find something better for himself. It’s a sad story of having to leave someone you feel absolutely free and carefree and happy when you are with to find yourself and chase your dreams. It’s a song of reminiscing happy memories, told from a heart which is longing, and sad, and probably regretful of having let go of something true.

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

And I don’t want the world to see me, coz’ I don’t think that they’d understand.When everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am.

First of all, I know you just sang to yourself. Second, tell me this doesn’t sound like a bad ass song to an epic high-fantasy novel about a sinister hero and his dame who happens to be a warrior torn between how she was raised and who she is and what she is coming to believe about the world. This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I always burst out singing when I hear this song.

See You Again by Wiz Khalifa

Now this song makes me want to cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Admittedly, I am a die-hard Fast and the Furious fan. Like really. From the moment I saw the first one, I have been a fan. When Paul Walker died and Fast 7 was released, I was teary eyed when it ended. Rightfully, this song was an ode to a friend lost too early, and a promise of friendship beyond death. It’s an emotional song, telling how friendship is family, and how you can find it in random places. I type this and I remember the movie ending and… excuse me while I ball my eyes out. Just make this into a book NOW.

Secrets by One Republic

Yes, this is that song from the movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and rightly so too. I feel like the intro to this song has magic, really. It’s a song about baring it all, and doing it in front of a person you are willing to bet your life on. It doesn’t have to be romantic. When I hear this song I think of rain soaked, bloodied from war, former allies turned against each other by lies and conspiracy, facing each other with the choice of fighting ’til death or defying the odds and facing the wrath of gods. Too much? I know.

Ghost by Jake Miller

I’ve recently been addicted to this song. It sends such a powerful message to issues the youth are facing today. It’s a song about empowerment, and belonging, and knowing that there is always someone for you. This would be such a good contemporary.

One Call Away by Charlie Puth

To me this is such a light-hearted song. I promise to stick around for the long haul. Simple. When I listen to this I think of an ending scene, when characters go separate ways yet promise to always come whenever the other needs help.

Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

When you lose someone that you idolize and respect and look up to from all the people you have known, you tend to deny, and bargain for more. This song is just like that. It is harder, especially, when you know that you are losing them and can’t do anything about it. Should you fight to keep them with you and let them suffer or let them go, free them of misery, and deal with the unbelievable grief? Sounds like a good book to me.

In The End by Linkin’ Park

I don’t even know why. I listen to this song and I seem to think about Assassins Creed or something. I just feel like it should be a book about warriors and kick ass females.

That’s it! What song would you like to be turned into a book?

 

Earth’s End Book Blitz + Giveaway!

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Hello everyone! I have for you today a very exciting post! As you may know, I absolutely love Air Awakens and because of that I have signed up to be on Elise Kova’s Street Team. Because of this, I also saw that YA Bound Book Tours (thank you girl!) was doing a Book Blitz Sign Up for the release of this book and what do you know, I jumped on the chance! Visit her blog if you want to know more about book releases and more fun stuff! *whispers* click the button!YA Bounk Tour Button

Earth’s End just released and as part of this wonderful event, not only is this book blitz happening, a snippet of the book has been graciously provided, a music playlist (for when you feel like being a proper booknerd, haha!), but also a giveaway too so make sure to read until the end okay? If you haven’t started on this series yet, I suggest you do now, because Elise has also discounted Air Awakens just for this release! Check out any of your preferred retail shops! Anyway, I am not gonna bore you with my ramblings.Let us get on with it!

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Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3)
by Elise Kova
Release Date: February 11th 2016

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Summary from Goodreads:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Book Three of the Air Awakens Series

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Air Awakens on Goodreads

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Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) on Goodreads

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Exclusive Excerpt From Earth’s End

Vhalla snapped the reins and dug her heels into Baston’s sides, forcing him into an all-out run. From above, she heard the shouts of her waking enemy.

Thick and melodic calls erupted in the night, a language completely foreign to Vhalla’s ears. She didn’t have to know the words to know they weren’t friendly, so Vhalla pushed harder, pressing herself to Baston. Vhalla took a breath as she heard arrows being knocked overhead.

The sound of bowstrings being drawn in mass made gooseflesh dot her arms. Another shout, a single word and arrows cut through the air, determined to rain death around her. Even if Vhalla was certain her chainmail would shield her, the horse was completely unarmored; if Baston died, she was as good as dead. Vhalla twisted in her saddle, sweeping a hand through the air. The curtain of wind sent the arrows scattering harmlessly.

They shouted in protest, angst-ridden that she continued on unscathed.

The second assault came faster and hastened Vhalla’s mounting frustration. She had to be out of their range soon. More lights began to blaze above and behind her, casting the ground below in a faint glow. The light illuminated the edge of the city, and Vhalla was forced to stake her life on the hope that once she was out they wouldn’t catch her.

The arrows soared through the air once more and Vhalla twisted, knocking them away in mass. She expected to hear a cry for a third assault, but instead what she heard was even more disheartening. Two words that someone said in a thick Southern Common.

“Wind Demon!”

She became their prey. The sound of thundering hooves came from the direction of where the city first began.

Vhalla crossed under the edge of the city, plunging into the welcoming darkness. Had it been a day ago, Vhalla would not have given those riders a moment’s worry. Baston would outrun any normal horse, plus with her wind he was faster than thunder across the sky. But Baston had been ridden hard with only a brief rest.

Vhalla shifted her vision and peered over her shoulder. In the distance she saw them, riding relentlessly after her.

Sweating, panting, clutching the reins with white knuckles, Vhalla pushed all her energy into the wind at Baston’s and her back. More—they both had to give more. In her blind determination she almost missed the whiz of an arrow through the air.

Vhalla thrust out her arm and stopped the arrow midflight. She closed her fist and threw her arm backwards. The arrow turned and sped back at its original owner. Vhalla watched it soar straight into the Northerner’s eye, the one she pointed a finger at. The man slumped, and then fell off his saddle. She swallowed hard, looking away as the others’ cries grew louder.

Eyes, she would always go for the eyes. Whether someone was or wasn’t a Groundbreaker with stone-like skin was a risk she couldn’t take; she wouldn’t have many shots. Another archer held his bow, waiting for a different opportunity to take his chance.

Baston was already breathing heavy, and Vhalla knew she had to get them off her tail. The four riders behind her rode on fresh mounts and had the advantage of their night’s worth of sleep. Vhalla turned and pointed a finger. Sweeping her hand upward, an arrow freed itself from the other archer’s quiver. With a twist of her wrist, and the keen focus of a killer, Vhalla sent it into the unsuspecting Northerner’s eye.

One of the remaining two riders fell away as they swerved through the trees, his companion pushing forward. As the man swung wide, Vhalla realized they were trying to flank her. Vhalla grabbed for the dagger strapped to her wrist, sending it straight for his eye.

In the process, the woman rider had caught up with Baston, raising a wickedly curved blade toward his haunches. Vhalla threw out her other arm, sending the rider toppling head over heels. It wasn’t chance that the assailant’s blade slit her wielder’s throat in the fall.

Vhalla held out an expectant palm, her own dagger returning to it after a moment.

Wiping the blood on her thigh, she quickly sheathed it against her wrist before grabbing the reins once more. Vhalla swallowed a cry for speed; shouting at the horse would not make it go faster. It would only further compromise her position.

Vhalla pressed her lips together, forcing herself to keep her composure. It was not the first person she had killed. She had killed on the Night of Fire and Wind, she had killed the man who had murdered Larel, and she had killed with her bare hands at the Pass.
What had sunk deep into her bones was the acceptance of what she must do. It was knowing she had become a killer. It was how easy it was for her to slay her foes without even thinking of each of them as a whole person that showed Vhalla she’d gone far down a path she’d never wanted. They were entities, enemies, barriers, but they weren’t human.

Distracted by her inner conflict, Vhalla was caught completely off-guard by the first assault coming from the trees. A Groundbreaker swung down from the air, bringing his sword against the back of her head. Vhalla attempted to dodge at the last second, but it was too late. The blade slipped off her chainmail but it left her vision blurred and her ears ringing.

She blinked, trying to sort her senses as she pushed Baston onward, putting the assailant behind them. Groundbreakers jumped from limb to limb in the trees above her—free and fearless. Vines came to life to meet their extended hands, allowing them to soar through the air. With a twist or a tug, their lifeline shrunk back, curling around branches to pull them upward.

She wanted to feel amazed; perhaps she would have, if these people weren’t out to kill her. Another swung low, and Vhalla dropped off to the side of the saddle to dodge. Righting herself, Vhalla redrew her dagger in one quick motion as a third swung forward to attack. She sent the blade soaring through the vine the Groundbreaker held.

The man fell through the sky; Vhalla’s mind betrayed her, showing a different body plummeting through the air.

With a growl, she turned her blade to the next Northerner she saw, relying on the same tactic. She would show them why one did not hang above the head of the Windwalker. The other body fell with a sickening thud, and Vhalla left them behind her. With a twitch of her wrist, her blade returned to her hand.

Baston’s pace had slowed, and Vhalla snapped his reins again. This was the first time the beast did not heed her command, and she felt uneasiness settle across her.

Five Northerners still jumped from tree to tree overhead as dawn began to fade into early morning. Vhalla wondered if they were biding their time for rider and mount to tire. If she were they, she’d do the same thing. Baston’s sides heaved with exhaustion.

Their presence began to wear on Vhalla, and she watched them with bated breath, waiting for the next assault. Another hour passed and Baston slowed to a trot; she expected this to be the moment they attacked. But the Northerners held fast, following from welcoming branch to welcoming branch, each bent to meet their feet and hands.

They were toying with her, like cats with a mouse.

Playlist

For anyone who knows me, I MUST have music when I’m writing. In fact, it was the song Clarity, by Zedd, that was the initial inspiration for the entire Air Awakens series! Music helps me get “in the zone” and then find my groove again when I have to stop. Needless to say, I have full-on playlists devoted to every book. To get people excited, and to be used while reading, here is the full playlist for Earth’s End, in order, conveniently made in YouTube!

About the Author

elise kova

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!

Author Links:

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Giveaway Time!

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My Top Swoon-Worthy Fictional Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishGo and check them out because they have some amazing reviews for you!

For this week’s post, I decided to follow the Valentine’s Day theme going around and tell you, lovely people, my top swoon-worthy fictional characters. Now this by no means an absolute list, and may change depending on which books I read next or if I suddenly have a change of heart.

Lestat de Lioncourt

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Remember what I said earlier that this list might change? Yes. Forget that. I will forever love this vampire. I have talked about him loads of times in my blog and I feel like I am doing you service by not bombarding you with swooning and blushing remarks regarding this magnificent man.

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Prince Aldrik Solaris

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Where do I start? He is just so genuinely… ugh… I can’t. I CAN’T. Can I just say, Elise must be a genius by being able to create such a adorably fierce man? Ignore the extreme polarity of my word choices please.

Ron Weasley

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Okay. I see your eyebrow raising. You probably were wondering why I placed him here. Well, he is not exactly like “swoon-worthy” but I guess I just had this strong attraction to the character. You may probably say why not Harry? I am wondering the same thing too. But, there is just something about Ron that’s warm and homey and loyal and friendly and makes you want to be his friend for life.

Mr. Darcy

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

If the question why is in your head right now, go ahead and pick up Pride and Prejudice right now and read. Yes. Now. I’ll wait. Yep. But seriously, everybody could use a Mr. Darcy. EVERYBODY.

Vel (Vellexore Beuregard Peate)

Razia Series by S. Usher Evans
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I’ve used this GIF, I know…

This boy is sixteen years old, and is adorable and kind-hearted and witty and innocent. Discounting the fact that I am technically 8 years his senior, just the feels from this boy… I think it had something to do with how he handled everything happening around him and learning about the evils of the “perfect” world he used to believe in. Somehow, he handles himself in such a mature way it was just lovely.

Warden

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Going into the book, I didn’t really think that he would be the one I would root for. But, the air of mystery took over and I found myself swooning and rooting for him. I might have stalked him if he had social media accounts to be honest. Listen, when a guy so mysterious gushes metallic green blood, has battle scars all over, can enter your dreams, and is busting his ass fighting ugly creatures, you just gotta love him. No other choice.

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Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that this guy died a horrible and heart-wrenching death (for me at least) halfway into the book.

With the above being said, besides the fact that this guy’s charm and confidence and pick up game was just on point, I guess I fell for the ‘what if’ situation. I was trapped into that whole imagining scenario of what might have happened if he hadn’t died WHICH MADE ME ABSOLUTELY WANT TO RIP OUT ALL OF THE HAIR FROM THAT EVIL GIRL’S HEAD!!! I know. Relax. Inner peace…..

And that’s it! What? You counted seven? Well, yeah! That’s it!

Honestly, I tried to fill the other three spots but I just couldn’t seem to think of anyone off the top of my head so maybe this will do for now? I know you are kind and understanding beings. Anyway, thank you so much for reading and see you on my next post!

Let’s chat…

Who is your ULTIMATE book crush?

-Meyan Rose-

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: Double Life (Razia Series Book 1) by S. Usher Evans

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So, listen… This book has thrown all my prejudices about dystopian(ish) books out the window, into the deepest part of the oceans, never to be found again. Just saying.

As some of you might know, I am a part of S. Usher Evans’ Street Team which means that I help her promote and spread word out about her books. That being said, I felt like a complete loser not having a review of one of her books. Like what? Why? WHY??? So, let us correct that mistake and make one alright?

The cover was okay for me. Not that I have anything in mind to make it a better one as I am not a very artsy person, but, it wasn’t mind blowing to me personally. Although, I would say it does the story service. 

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Uhmm, pretty much everything? Well okay, okay.. let’s list them out..

The pacing of the story was perfect. Honestly, there was no dull moment. Now I am not saying that every single page is explosive, no. BUT, every single page leads you on to the next. You get what I’m saying? There was not one page you could getaway with not reading. Because I know (and you know) there are books I could skip a whole chapter of boring stuff and I would not miss a thing about the story at all.

Also, the character development which what I am ALWAYS looking for, was amazing. Obviously, most of it would fall on Lyssa/ Razia being that she is the lead character. What I loved about it was that the external and internal conflicts that she experienced just felt real and genuine. Father issues, crazy mother and family issues, identity issues, finding your own niche in the world, work… Everything. Once again, a kick-ass heroine who has her head perfectly placed on top of her neck. Seriously, she has her PhD (while this could be a total personal bias because I am working towards mine). She is brilliant AND stubborn at the same time. She pilots her own ship, excavates freaking PLANETS and catches pirates for a living. Amidst all the stuff that she is, you could just relate to her. Or maybe that is just me. Yup, spirit animal status

There were really great mysteries surrounding other characters as well. Like the kinds you want to know more about because you feel like there is something deep and dark but incredibly touching side to them. Enter Sage Teon and Harms. I seriously think Harms is protective of Razia, like a bad ass father-figure of some sorts.

BUT, I just want to take a moment, and explain through a GIF, about Vel. Ready?

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The feels from that boy…. Insert heart-eyed emoji… Damn you Whitney…

The world that she created is just amazing. Just the combination of faith, and science, and heaven, and hell, and just the clear yet vague representation of the difference in them is great. I mean, it poses a question of what would you do if you could go to that place inches away from Heaven? What would it look like? What would you do? Would you want to know how your soul weighs in on judgement? What could jealousy and the unknown really do to a family? Just these questions perfectly melded into a dystopian, sci-fi novel is unbelievable. All this and the completely different other side of the spectrum where there are pirates, and bounty hunters which are pirates as well, and bank accounts, and secrets, and mafias, and selling planets, and I know it sounds dizzying but I promise you it’s not.

Somehow, she is able to narrate all this clearly and in a way that you can follow through fluidly. You just end up flipping through the pages knowing exactly what is going on.

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Just the itty bitty fact that I was lost in the beginning because I am a poor technology user and sciences other than the ones that have to do with the human body are alien to me. So yeah, it took not a very long time but quite a few pages for me to ease in and get comfortable with the terms and the entire vibe of the story. But like I said, once I was in, I. WAS. IN.

When it ended I was actually surprised. I felt cheated, honestly. Like why would you do that? Why end it now? Anyway, I really, really like this book and for my first time plunging into this genre, it did a REALLY GREAT JOB. I recommend it to those of you who are trying out this genre or even to a well rounded reader as well. I don’t know if my words conveyed how much I loved this book, but here yah go!

4.5star

Let’s chat…

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Have you read this book? Can you recommend books of the same genre? Do you like owls? Do you? Do you?!

 

-Meyan Rose-

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

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It has been a while. But then I try to remember where all the days have gone and I have no idea whatsoever. Before anything else, how are you lovely people of the book community? I missed yah! Really! So when I was able to (finally) get hold of my laptop and check my notifications, I saw that I was tagged by @alwaysopinionatedgirl so thank you girl! Oh and go and click that link to check out her blog as well for her answers to these questions! And now on to the tag:

How long have you been a blogger?

Before this one, I have had a blog years ago which was pretty much neglected a lot. Then December of 2014 I decided to be more committed in blogging so technically, I have been “really blogging” for a little more than a year now.

At what point do you think you will stop?

Not anytime soon I can tell you that. So far, this book blogging journey has been sooo positive and SOOOOO much fun and I don’t see myself stopping for quite some time.

What is the best thing?

I wish I could say all the books I read, but then that is always a given. In reality, I honestly think that the best thing on this whole journey was all the people I have met, book bloggers, readers, and authors as well. I went into blogging and writing as an outlet for me to express things I would not have normally expressed in person. Also, I knew, and I have said it from the very beginning, that I wanted to meet new people, and make new friends because I decided that I should make an effort to reach out and explore the world.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

I had to think on this for a good while. Worst thing? There is nothing terribly bad about all this really, but, I guess the pressure that comes with the huge book blogging community. From hyped books to unpopular bookish opinions, I think there are certain pressure points that we have to go through as bloggers. Especially if you tend to feel insecure from “bigger” blogs you follow. But then, I always remind myself WHY I STARTED BLOGGING and it always makes me focus on blogging for me and just staying true to myself (cliches anyone?).

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

Usually, before I start typing, I already have an idea of what the main image/title image my post will have, so looking for backgrounds and patterns for those isn’t really difficult. Also, and this is a tip I can share, I always download or save all the images, GIFs, etc. that I will use for that post because I find that it saves me a lot of time and provides for a smoother construction of a blog post. This is especially because I handwrite my reviews before I type them.

Who’s your book crush?

I have had A LOT. If we are to talk about all of them, we would be here for a long, long time. How is anyone supposed to have only one? Like really. But, if you ask me for the ones at this very moment, I have two I can think off the top of my head. Lestat (my love forever) from The Vampire Chronicles, Prince Aldrik from the Air Awakens Series (swooning big time) and Vel from the Razia Series (the feels from this boy..just…).

Which author would you like to have on your blog?

Of course, J.K. Rowling is an obvious choice, like duh?!?! Anne Rice (THE queen), Elise Kova, S. Usher Evans, Philippa Gregory. Oh! Did it just ask for one? These tags always ask for the impossible!

What do you wear when you write your blog?

For some reason I found this question really weird, not to mention awkward haha! For me, it would be house clothes. I usually write at home on my desk so I am usually on my chill clothes.

How long does it take you to prepare?

It depends on the post I am making. If it requires more research and links and images, then it would probably take me more than one sitting (a.k.a. day) but usually it does not take me long. However, I tend to be one who writes last minute which I SERIOUSLY want to change will I will make sure especially now that I am into planning a lot!

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

Like I said, it has been such a positive experience. I find that this community is so open and welcoming to everyone even those who have differing opinions. I think this is a healthy community where people with a common passion discuss opinions and beliefs in a non-judgmental manner, respecting each other’s differences. The fellow readers, book bloggers, and even authors (who I previously thought were kind of snobs) have been nothing but kind to me and I love being a part of this community. Of course no system/ community is perfect and there are things we are sad about and we wish would change. But overall, it is one place I will not tire of being a part of.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

I don’t think there is an exact recipe to blogging success. However, I believe that staying true to yourself is the best way. I love to read blogs where the bloggers seem like they are talking to you and telling you a story about something. For one, my blog is not big at all, but I am very happy, and very proud as to where I am right now. What I can only do is to work harder on it.

Who do you tag?

Go and check (follow) their blogs. They are amazing bloggers!

Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

Aimee @ Redheaded Book Lover

Ava @ Bookishness and Tea

Sarah@ The YA Book Traveler

Vane, Evelyn, and Tash @ Books With Chemistry

Paul @ The Galaxial Word

Nori @ ReadWriteLove28

 

P.S. I know that the image up top has nothing to do with book blogging but I’ve told you right? Owl-kick/ obsession. It’s a thing.

-Meyan Rose-

Proud Member of the Tower Guard

 

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The Tower takes care of its own…

You might have seen the sigil on my blog suddenly appear, but, if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram (which by the way, why not?), you would have seen that I posted the same symbol announcing that I just recently became a member of Elise Kova’s Street Team, the Tower Guard. First of all, can we just take a moment, and marvel at that genius of a name and symbol. I mean come on.

Now before some of you wonder, I’ll address it now, yes, I am a member of two street teams. BUT, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. To me it just means I have two authors I wish to support.

I came across Elise’s first book, Air Awakens, through a giveaway I won on a twitter chat hosted by @thebooktraveler. Go follow her, she is amazing. So anyway, I have been hearing many things about this books even before I was able to get my hands on it. BUT, when I finished the book, OH MY GOODNESS! If you want to read my review of this book then click here. Now, I am yet to read Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) which is a shame, but when I saw that she had a street team and it was still open for people to join, I was up for it! Like before, I wasn’t sure if I would get accepted, but then I was! And guys, can I just say that Elise is really nice, and sweet. Follow her twitter account and you will know what I am talking about.

So now, for the deets. (Oh! and the pictures link to their Goodreads pages as well!)

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Elise just released Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) this year and will be releasing Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) on February 11, 2016.

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She also has set up a Thunderclap for the release of her new book. By opting into the Thunderclap you are giving it permission to automatically post on your behalf when the Thunderclap timer runs out (in this instance, that’s when Earth’s End is out). Think of it like a countdown on New Years, it’ll have everyone cheering all at once when the timer runs out, automatically. Click, and forget! Here is the link: http://thndr.me/u5f1bk

Also, Elise will be having her FIRST BOOKSTORE SIGNING along with other authors on February 13 at Barnes and Noble, San Mateo, CA. Click here for more detailsMan, I wish I could go to that.

If you wish to become a member of Elise’s Street Team, click here to visit her website and find out more about how to become one and help her spread word about her wonderful books (and Prince Aldrik).

If you want to grab a copy , or read the synopsis, or even just read reviews of these books, here are links where you can check them out, as well as for the pre-order of Earth’s End.

Air Awakens

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Fire Falling

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Earth’s End (Pre-order)

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The Tower takes care of its own…

Can I ask you a favor lovely people? IF you have read Air Awakens and/or Fire Falling, can you please leave me a link to your HONEST review about it/them? I want to know what others liked or disliked about these books and maybe we can have a chat about them.

-Meyan Rose-

Cover Reveal! The Island by S. Usher Evans

Today I am soooo excited to show you guys something that I have been excited for myself for weeks now! If you may remember, I posted on my blog that I have been a member of a street team for the Madion War Trilogy’s first installment, The Island by S. Usher Evans. There is also a preview for the novel on the later part of my post so keep on reading okay?

So here it is! Introducing the brand-spankin’ new cover for The Island, made by Anita over at Race-Point.com.

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About the Book

Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

The Island is the first in a new romance trilogy by S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series and Empath.

Preorder Today for Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover and more!

The Island (Madion War Series, #1)

Preview

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Galian

I landed with a soft thump on the sandy beach a little ways from my plane, and immediately dropped to my knees, releasing a loud breath. My hands shook and my heart pounded, but I thanked my lucky stars that I was alive and had practiced parachuting out of my plane a few extra times during my training.

Once my pulse returned to normal, I stood and released myself from the parachute straps, leaving the long trail of lines and white parachute laid out on the beach. I approached the wreckage of my plane. Pieces of it lay in a long trail as it had skidded across the sand. I picked up a metal piece that had a bullet hole in it and then tossed it aside.

Besides the nose and engine being smashed to smithereens, the back of the plane was fine. I cracked open the back hatch and pawed through my emergency supplies. I found everythingÑincluding the medical bag Dr. Maitland gave meÑto be intact. Again, I thanked whatever was up there looking out for me. Of all the outcomes that could’ve happened from the battle, crash-landing on an island with my supplies was better than most.

A burning smell reached my nose, and I stepped back, searching my plane for any sign of fire. Then I noticed the black column of smoke rising up from the treetops.

Despite everything, worry knotted in my chest. What had happened to the other pilot? I hadn’t seen another parachute. Was he even still alive? He was my enemy, but still a fellow human being. I couldn’t help but hear Dr. Maitland in my ear.

I don’t have the luxury of differentiating between Kylaen and Raven patients.

Guilt gnawed at me. I looked down at the medical bag and sighed. Dr. Maitland was rightÑI was a doctor first and a warrior second. Shouldering my bag, I stumbled off the sandy beach onto the firmer forest ground.

The trees were tall and thick and everything around me was green. It was late summer, but there was definitely a chill in the air since I was so far north. I was thankful for my extra layer under my jumpsuit.

I walked into a clearing, covering my nose from the smell. One of the two wings had been shorn off in the crash and was the source of the black smoke. The rest of the plane was mashed and mangled some ways away. I saw the pilot in the cockpit through the shattered glass, and his helmeted head hung motionless. I was sure that he was dead. I couldn’t see how anyone could have survived such a crash.

And then he moved.

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Theo

I woke slowly, the sound of unfamiliar animals coming to me first, followed by a cold breeze. As I tried to move, pain shot up from every corner of my body. I looked up at the blue sky, barely visible through a thick canopy of trees. I smelled leaking fuel, and wondered if my ship would explode or if I’d bleed to death first.

I relaxed into my seat and prepared for the inevitable. Even if the Raven government sent a search party for me (which they wouldn’t), I doubted they’d come in time to save my life. Still, I took some solace in the fact that I killed another son of that mass murdering king.

A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.

Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling with amusement?

I was dying and this guy was laughing at me.

“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.

“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.

“For what?”

“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”

“Go to hell.”

He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.

“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”

“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”

His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.

“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”

“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”

“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”

I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.

“Oh, you aren’t going to die today.”

3d_HRDcover_transparent_600Preorder today for Amazon Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Here is another link for you guys:

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Madion-War-Trilo…/…/0986298174/

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Check her out on the below social medias:

 

Or subscribe to her newsletter here.
I am really glad to be able to help and indie author get word out about her book, and like I said, I will do so gladly anytime because I think indie authors are just as talented! Also, Ms. Evans has suggested running a buddy read for those who will receive ARCs and those who will receive the finished copies first. What do you guys think? Should I try hosting a buddy read? If anybody else wants to, you can contact her through the links above or let me know and I will pass it on to her. I believe you will receive an ARC of The Island if you choose to run a buddy read for it!

What do you think about the cover?

I personally liked the seal 🙂

-Meyan Rose-

Top Ten Tuesdays: Contemporary/ Adult Fiction Books I Want to Read This Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishGo and check them out because they have some amazing reviews for you!

This week’s theme is a freebie. Basically, we get to choose whichever theme we felt like doing. So for this week, I decided to post my top ten (as of now) contemporary/ adult fiction books that I want to make sure to read this year, like I promised in my last TTT post. Now, my lovely booknerdy friends, I would like to declare that this is not an absolute, stone-engraved, blood-sworn promise. So… what I am saying is that the books in here may change as I go about this year, but I will try really hard.

Random: I am actually listening to In The End by Linkin Park while typing this. Weird, I know. Interestingly enough, Lose Yourself by Eminem played after it. Yeah people, I have that gal inside me too…Anyway, let us move on to the list shall we?

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Go Set A Watchman By Harper Lee

If I would have to choose what is my favorite book of all time, I would say it would be To Kill A Mockingbird. I cannot count how many times I have re-read that book. I just LOVE that book and will continue to for the rest of my life, so when I found out about this book I flipped out. It remains a mystery to me why I haven’t picked this up yet, but, I shall correct that blunder very soon.

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Ever since I saw a review of this book on YouTube, I became very interested in reading it. I could not, for the life of me, remember who the booktuber was so I guess I am not really helping you out eh? haha! I just heard that this book was really great and heart-wrenching. Sounds good to me.

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The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

There has been a lot, A LOT, of buzz around Gone Girl by the same author but, I got intimated by the hype and the size of that book so I wasn’t interested in checking that out despite hearing about how brilliant it was. Aimee of Redheaded Book Lover reviewed The Grown Up by the same author, and said that it was great so I thought this was a good way to read something from Flynn that is a bit shorter than the massive Gone Girl. Who knows, maybe after I read The Grownup I might have the resolve to pick it up as well!

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Everybody seems to be recommending this to me. My sister, friends, fellow booknerds, blogging friends, twitter friends, blogs, nymphs, fallen angels… everyone. So I figured it probably got something right to deserve such regard.

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Now this book I have heard for a long time now but I could not seem to find it ANYWHERE. I will try to look harder this year though. I am dying to see what all the great reviews are all about.

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Honestly, the only thing I know about this book is that it revolves around siblings and I am up for it immediately. I am really curious about sibling relationships in books and how they are going to be executed. I am looking forward to picking this up.

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Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

I have always been interested in reading novels that deal with altered mental states, illnesses, and disorders. I have read several blogs reviewing ARCs of this book and almost all have said good things about it. I do think it will be a great read.

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 The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

I have known about this book for quite a while now but I have not been able to find it here in my place. I am REALLY interested in reading this because of the story behind it. Reading how a brilliant young lady sees the things around her will definitely be inspiring, heartbreaking maybe because we all know that she has passed, but still inspiring.

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My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Unlike the other books, I haven’t seen this one a lot in blogs and in YouTube as well. However, I remember reading about it in a list somewhere and I became intrigued. The premise of this book is not very far off from what happens in real life to some people. It will be interesting to see a different perspective from my own.

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Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Listen, when someone is killed and a family member and stranger is involved, I’m all up for it. I have read good reviews about this book and I want to see what I think about it as well.

So that’s it! Those are my top ten contemporary/ adult fiction books I want to make sure to read this year!

Which contemporary books can you recommend? Have you read any of the books in my list? What did you think of them?

-Meyan Rose-

My First EVER Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishGo and check them out because they have some amazing reviews for you!

Can you even believe this? If you know me, then maybe you do, haha! Anyway, ever since starting my blog, I have been scared of doing memes simply because I don’t know if I am ready for the ‘commitment’ it seems to come with,not to mention the themes you have to follow every week and the constant scrambling for things to put on your top ten and the constant agony of reducing stuff you love to fit it to a ten-point list. Okay… breathe. Basically what I’m trying to say is I didn’t think I could do it.

BUT

Since the beginning of this month I have been using (and having fun decorating) my DIY planner and so my life is slowly untangling. And so I felt braver than usual and decided to dive into this huge meme going around the blogosphere. (<– this, my friends, should be a legit word and not be disturbed by a stupid squiggly red line). Anyway, I know I am rambling and I am so sorry, this week’s theme is “Books that I’ve recently added to my TBR” and I am going to follow suit, but I’m just gonna tweak it up a bit. I have recently made this list of the top ten books I will make sure to read this 2016, so obviously, they will be on my TBR, right? Some of them aren’t very recent I’ll tell yah that but let’s just roll with it. Oh by the way, all pictures are linked to their Goodreads pages.

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I mean people, if you haven’t read Air Awakens, what are you doing? Seriously, do it. I have been waiting for this book to arrive here where I live but I promise I will make sure I get this and the next one this year because Vhala and I have a lot to talk about.

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Listen, everybody, EVERYBODY, has been raving about this book and I feel like I am missing out big time. I am looking forward to reading this book and see what my thoughts on it will be.

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I enjoyed The Bone Season last year and I really wanted to know what happens next. And I just think Warden is worth all my time… Somehow this butterfly is beautiful but haunting at the same time.

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If you want my honest opinion, I would disregard the covers totally. I read this book this year and I will make sure, so sure, to complete this series. ‘Cos you know, girl’s got a demon inside her meant to kill creatures with fangs who stay true to their sinister selves.

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I have heard about Sarah J. Maas a lot and she has released a number of books and I wanted to start reading her creations this year and felt that ACOTAR would be the perfect start. I hear that it is a loose re-telling of Beauty and the Beast and I am so excited.

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Technically, the whole Lunar Chronicles because fairy tales… yep.

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Many people have recommended these books and Six of Crows by the same author. But all agreed that I should start with this trilogy first. This trilogy has received extremely polar review and so I am curious to know which side I will be on.

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Ever since it came out I wanted to read this but somehow I haven’t gotten to so this year I will make sure to. This book is a re-telling of One Thousand and One Nights just with a murderous monster of a king. Sounds fun…

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Look at that cover darlings, because that is how you do it. I have Cait of Paper Fury to blame for this. If you want to know what I am talking about, click that link and visit her blog. If you read her blog from here tell her I sent you! xo

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If you watch YouTube videos about books, you should definitely check out Lindsey Rey’s channel because she has such book choices and her reviews and discussions are always fun and refreshing to watch. If you watch her through this tell her I sent you there okay? She was the one who introduced me to Brandon Sanderson who (shamefully) I have never heard of until she mentioned him in her videos (yes, a lot of them too!). So yeah, very excited for this.

If you are still reading this, well, you are committed! If you are now scoffing and saying I cheated because obviously there aren’t ONLY ten books on this list, I AGREE. But you know, the more the merrier? I will also be making a separate list for more contemporary/NA books I want to read so stay tuned for that. Thanks for reading!

What books will you recommend me read? What do you think of some of the books I have on this list? Which did you love? Which did you hate?

Happy Tuesday!

What Makes Me DNF Books?

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Before I go on a full-rambling mode, I want to say that it takes a lot, A LOT, for me to finally put down a book and say goodbye to all chances of us reconciling. I tend to pack a smidgeon of extra patience every time I pick up a book so that you know, no regrets that I didn’t try enough. I’ve always felt like I needed to have a solid opinion on something, before it gets thrown into the darkness or brought to light you know what I mean?

If you have been one of the patient and lovely people who read my blog, you know that I always have conversations with myself and with characters when I read a book. I promise you I am a totally sane and in-touch-with-reality person. Really. Naturally, when I have to decide to not finish a book, it’s the same conversation type of situation.

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What I don’t like more than anything else are frustrating, hard-headed, stubborn, and senseless fools who magically happens to be lead characters on a book which could have had a better future if it weren’t for them. Seriously, the age of pathetic helpless characters are long gone. I mean come on! Something bad happens to you, you learn, not become more of an idiot than before! Everyone, EVERYONE, has strength and courage and talent. Can we accept that and move on? While I understand that not everything is about the lead character, the person we essentially follow, and the voice which tells us the story is vital to its success.

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You know when things go all over the place and halfway through you have absolutely no idea what you are reading about or why things were happening? Yah, those times. Sometimes it’s because it just drags on and on and on and on and on… At times it is also because of the writing style. Now to this I claim a bit of responsibility. You see this can be a preference thing if you really think about it. How the story is told, the word-play, the descriptions, clarity… Don’t you just love it when you could almost touch the sea and smell the grass just by reading? Plot twists, the storyline… the point of reading is understanding things, even if some things are confusing or a mystery. If you don’t, it’s not worth it.

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Sometimes, there is just too much. As a reader, I like a lot of information. I love learning tons about the world they have built, the way of life, the character differences, personalities, interests, weaknesses…. Even in mysteries where authors deliberately misguide your brain, a plethora of information is appealing to me. BUT, when it comes to a point when it all just gets lost, it’s over. There are books that somewhere along the way, I find myself saying “Wait what? But I thought… Oh this isn’t that?” Other times it was the way things are delivered to you. The voice and the overall surrounding circumstances. This is one of the reasons why I love straightforward people. What you see is what you get.

These are all the reasons I could think of right now. Maybe these will change as I read more. Now say hello to Mr. Owl and let’s chat!

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What makes you DNF books? Who are your favorite authors? If you could recommend just one, who would it be?

I Just Became a Street Team Member!

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Okay, so probably this is not a big thing to other bloggers more experienced than I am, but man, this is huge for me! So I decided to make a quick post about it okay?

I’ve been active in the book community of Twitter the past few months and during these chats I have met amazing bloggers and authors as well. Here was where I met S. Usher Evans who is the author of the Razia Series and a nice, nice lady. While browsing Twitter I saw that she was promoting another series that she was about to launch which intrigued me so I researched a bit and joined the discussions. Reading the synopsis and just the premise of the book made me just want to volunteer to be on her street team although honest to goodness, I was positive I wouldn’t get accepted.

Literally minutes later, I got a notification from Facebook that I was accepted to join the group of her Street Team. Imagine my excitement you guys! So here is how it will go (as far as I can tell you, this might change), I will be posting photos either on my blog or in my Twitter and Instagram accounts as soon as the cover arts are done. I will keep you guys up to date on the goings on about the launch of this new series. I mean girls flying planes as captains and prince doctors. Right?!?!

If you want to know more about her new Madion War Series or her other books, visit her website/blog www.susherevans.com. Also, you can follow her on her social media accounts and if you do, tell her I sent you okay?

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Oh and another thing, Ms. Evans has started a Kickstarter project which will end in a few hours so if you feel like backing up a worthwhile project, why not drop by hers? Pre-orders will be open by the end of the month, but those who back up the project will receive their books before everyone else does!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1082344262/the-island-0

 

The Island (Madison War Series #1) will be out April 26, 2016.

Well, I don’t know if I am going overboard with this or what. Honestly I am so happy that I can get to help an author spread the word about her book. I am all for indie authors getting the love they deserve and if I can do anything to help then why not! And Whitney, girl I promise I’ll calm down now.. haha! Thank you 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

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If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it.

That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth.

Alright, before anything else I just have to say that my DIY planner is so far working for me really, really well. I might just make a post about it when I am done. Now on to the review…

Listen, I am all about baking and baked stuff and baking supplies and cream cheese frosting. I bake a lot, and it has become one of those things I do to calm me down. Obviously, I love books (can’t you tell?). So when I find out that a book mixes chocolate cupcakes and witches, you know I am definitely up for that!

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The cover… ah… was fine. I mean, it has a chocolate cupcake and an almost macerated borderline bleeding cherry on it. Go figure.

Contrary to some of the reviews I saw prior to reading this book, I thought Jade wasn’t the all-too-perfect little-miss-sunshine kind of heroine which was amazing. If any, I think throughout the story you see how sheltered she is. You see her insecure and afraid and act impulsively. There is this warm charm to her, or maybe it is just because of the cupcakes she oh so lovingly describes. My mouth watered just reading what cupcakes she sold in that trinket-strewn-witch-protected bakeshop. Who wouldn’t want to go inside one?

Sienna just had that evil vibe to her.. I could just tell.

The vampire… stayed true to what a vampire is… not sparkly, just the way I like it. You know? Vampires have fangs and drink blood,supposedly irresistible, and can crush you at will. He was, say, cold? No pun intended. But him being so cold just worked perfectly. The other characters just mixed in really well. I thought there wasn’t one out of place.

But Hudson, that poor shapeshifter… I seriously felt sad.

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I wanted to grab Sienna’s hair when I knew.

The Magic/Witch/Creature system wasn’t original obviously, but it was different. There was bureaucracy which I found funny but witty at the same time. There was order, which was something new given that most books would feature blood thirsty vampires wreaking havoc, over-sized mutts constantly trying to rip their heads off, and witches cursing a beautiful girl to damnation. I think the way the author has created a different world on a rather boring and usual suburb was great. How it has existed alongside the ‘normal’ was played out pretty well.

The pacing was okay. It wasn’t to fast paced, but it didn’t drag on too long. The mystery slowly unfolded, but it wasn’t the frustrating kind (which you know I TOTALLY hate).

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The plot twist was kind of obvious a little less than halfway in. So when I got to that part, I was like “I knew it was you and I wish I could have grabbed your hair earlier!” BUT, surprisingly, it didn’t bug me that much. Somehow, it was the kind where, the mystery was not who, but how you would find out. Am I making sense to you right now?

Unfortunately, there was very minimal, if not no character development at all. For any of the characters. Now I would say that the whole storyline and premise kind of made up for it but still, I need that development. Although, I would say that Jade and her mom’s relationship really piqued my interest. I am guessing more of the conflicts I am looking for will be in the next books?

Although I must say the only character I truly loved in this book died probably a fourth in with the book, oh my poor self, over all I really enjoyed this book! I mean how can you not? Cupcakes and Witches?

I was really debating on what rating I should give this book, but honestly, I enjoyed it and well…

4star

So! Let’s chat….

What baked goods do you love? Are you more of a cake or a cupcake person? Do you like Banana bread?

 

BOOK REVIEW: Never Never #1 by Colleen Hooveer and Tarryn Fisher

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Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

I dived into this book on a whim actually. So for starters I kind of am not expecting much. I have done some research on it, but none of the reviews I have read were really helpful in finding out what it was entirely about. And after reading the book, I kind of understand why (in a good way).

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Honestly, not that much. Other than maybe the fact that I was ALMOST put off by the beginning of this book. Like really

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But you know, my persistence won and I got to the finish line which is a whole other story I will tell you in a minute. Just let me tell you, the beginning will make you grab your hair in frustration. Or you could grab a pillow and throw it on the other side of the room for peace loving people. There were very few parts that were like ‘meh’ to me. But that happens with most books but then being such a short one, I kind of wanted it to be hitting me every single page.

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Now let’s talk.

First, you know I will always talk about the covers. It was okay for me, I think it made sense, but it was nothing that was amazing. If I would buy something based solely on its cover, I would most probably pass by this one easily.

I like the characters. Mind you, I said liked meaning I neither hated them nor loved them. Often with books I tend to love a character. Although there wasn’t one character that I was especially drawn to, I still like all of the characters and the roles they played in the story. Honestly, I think they all made sense you know what I mean? I like how the authors made the side characters somehow relevant to how the lead characters moved within the story. You kind of understand what is going on by watching the other characters as well.

The characters developed really well considering that it is such a short story. Enough emphasis was given on both leads. Like there was just enough to feed your curiosity but keep you guessing and wanting more. That definitely sounded like an illegal substance which is definitely not what I am talking about here.

It was such a unique story and I loved it. It was really intriguing and new. Plus, they were not frustrating characters. Somehow, their actions felt natural in such an unnatural situation. Because of that I just found myself flipping through the pages and wanting to know more and more like the characters. As the story progresses you kind of get in sync with the characters’ views and so when the you reach the end, just when you thought you are piecing together stuff about their lives, things get messed up way bigger and you are back to square one. I am finally getting and then this?

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Nevertheless, I reached the end and I wanted the next one right then and there!

So, despite the rough beginning I had with this book, it ended up really great for me. I would recommend for people who like thrillers and guessing-game type books to read.

3.5star

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

Do you like coffee or tea?

Welcome 2016!

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Hello everyone! I know this is a tiny bit late but Happy New Year to all of you! First off can we just look at how adorable that white owl is? Channeling Hedwig somewhere there… I have been in an owl kick lately (it’s a thing, trust me) and I can’t seem to get over owls for some reason hence the one welcoming you to 2016 for my blog.

If I am being completely honest, I absolutely have no idea what to expect this year. I am obviously hoping that good things will come and that this year will teach me more life lessons and of course, more bookish adventures to come! I am so thankful for the last part of 2015 for introducing me to the wonderful book community both in blogs and in other social media platforms. I am soooooo happy for having met so many people sharing the same love that I have for books and reading. The online book community is really home to some of the nicest people. And you know what they say right? Don’t trust a person who doesn’t read. That may be a bit too intense but you get what I mean. And the authors, oh man… they are the best…

Despite coming into this year with no real expectations, I still do have things that I look forward to. One of them would be career opportunities and growth. I don’t know if I have said it before here in my blog but I love being a nurse, and I will always be one. I’ve always felt blessed being given the chance to be such.

Another would be growing in the book community. I have always had this passion for reading. And like most of you who read my blog, I spend hours on end reading and arguing with characters. Uh-huh. I do that too. I look forward to more books and I mean MORE BOOKS! Give them to me!! I also just set my Goodreads Reading Challenge and some of you might think it is a very small number but because I am such a bad blogger in updating my account on the books I have read, I thought this number would be a good start. Plus if I read more than that would be better right? Check out my Reading Challenge and the books I have read so far here and let us be Goodreads buddies!!!

Alright! I am really psyched about reading and writing and blogging and meeting and talking to more people (and authors) in the book community this year! If you are new to my blog, Welcome! I hope you enjoy! If you have been one of the 88 WordPress followers or the 182 amazing people who follow via email, thank you very much and I pray for more wonderful years for us with books, tea, blogposts, coffee, and fairy dust.

Again, thank you everyone for welcoming me into this community with such warmth and support. I look forward to a year of fun and flailing.

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What are you looking forward to this year? How did you find my blog? What do you think about it?

 

– Meyan Rose –

Top 5 Bookish Christmas Wishlist (Sort of)

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Alright! I am SOOOO EXCITED for Christmas this year! Well who am I kidding I am excited for it every single year! I just love the Christmas season and I look forward to it every year. But, I’m just going to put it out there, I am not looking forward to gifts. Hold your shock or judgments or violent reactions… I love gifts, I do, I just feel like gifts or not, I love Christmas all the same. Just sayin’

So to go with this Christmas train, I have listed some of the things I would love to receive or have or things that I am thinking of getting or obsessing over or just stuff I love. Buuuut… I’ll just call this a wishlist okay? Let’s get into it!

Shelves!!!

Literally, this was how it was written on my notepad, yup, with all the exclamation marks! I SERIOUSLY need to look around and just get one! (or two) If only my books could talk or run away… I used to have one but it was so old it gave up on dear life and I just let it go.

Harry Potter Boxed Set

You may (or may not) know this but I haven’t read the HP series except for the first one and I figured what best way to get on it than to get the whole thing and put it where I could always see it so that I’ll have no choice but to read and be done with it! No but seriously, I think this is such a great gift idea to anyone really. My sister would love you for the rest of your life if you gave this to her. Like I said before, Harry Potter and Christmas: perfect match.

Cappuccino + Hazelnut Syrup = LOVE.

Oh my goodness guys. This… Give me this! I know this time of the year EVERYBODY loves the pumpkin spiced or panettone or any other Chrismas-y flavored drinks from your favorite coffee places but hot or iced, the cappuccino plus hazelnut from Starbucks has been my go-to. I don’t know what it is! Perfect. I’m telling you. Perfect. The hazelnut just adds the perfect sweetness and slight warmth to the cappuccino’s straight up coffee. Try it.

Kindle?

See that question mark? YUP, you guessed it, I’m still thinking about it and honestly, still not sure. But, for readers (aka people who devour books) like me, any kind of reading device is a thing to consider. NOW. Under no circumstances would ever say that I like e-books better than the actual print books. However, e-books have their advantages too especially for people on-the-go or those who wish to read at various times of the day away from home. People who review books (like myself) can also benefit from these. For those venturing into e-books or are fans of digital copies, I think a Kindle device is a good gift option.

Book Shopping Spree!

Who doesn’t need one?

Bonus:

Alright, I cheated. I have six but it’s Christmas and we are generous people right? Okay.

Fire Falling, Earth’s End, and any other book by Elise Kova. Seriously everyone, this lady is talented and such a sweetheart. Go find her books and read them and tell her I sent you okay? Go.

What are you currently loving this season? DO you have a wishlist as well? Let us talk about them!

 

BOOK REVIEW: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

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She never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer. 

1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn’t survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense.

When she rescues Wendel, it isn’t because he’s devilishly handsome, but because he’s a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war.

A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel’s scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.

This post is WAAAAYYYY overdue. I can’t explain things too much but life got in the way and I had to take care of stuff so blogging was paused a bit for me. But now I am back! So, let us get on with this review of a really great book shall we?

I forgot how I was able to get hold of this book so if you, my dear reader, gave me or recommended me this book I am deeply sorry. But I remember reading it after I read either Relentless or Air Awakens. I have heard good things about this and read really good reviews so I had good hopes about it and as expected, I was not disappointed.

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First off, I think the cover is really good, except for those two half-faces up top. I could do much much better without them thank you very much. Other than that, I think it was a good hint to the steampunk vibe of the book which I liked surprisingly.

Wendel was the perfect hero for this story. He was the mysterious gentleman in the wrong place at the wrong time. With all his mystery and gentlemanly behavior, you kind of sense something sinister in him but at the same time that is where his irresistible charm resides. I found myself drawn to him and his character. I am not sure, however, if there is much more to him than what was disclosed about his life and his past in this book but, I don’t care at all. I found myself wanting to know what goes on from now. His past crimes and life were less intriguing than what he would or would not do. The mean is a freaking necromancer if I haven’t told you that! I probably should have been terrified by what he could do but I wasn’t. Yep, so me.

Now, you know how much I love my bad-ass girlfriends right? So it will come as no surprise to you that I immediately liked Ardis as a heroine but then she was a sword-wielding mercenary and well… yah know. Her past and how the sword was linked to her mother and her life was a good addition to the story. I think it gave Ardis more depth, and made her character more complex yet whole. Plus she has Asian blood so you know I will root for her. She is a no nonsense yet passionate girl. She can definitely hold up her own.

This was my first time reading a novel with a steampunk kind of environment and I must say I really, really liked it. The world the author created was interesting, revolving around things we are familiar with yet twisting it in a way that we want to know more about them like we were strangers. It was an environment well-conceived. There was nothing wow about the character development in the story but at least there was some which is always a good thing. I think this is a case where the story and the plot and the world itself is sufficient to keep you reading. I think if too much was added it would have been a bore.

Also, the way magic was “mechanized” to jive with the steampunk vibe was genius. It probably doesn’t make clear sense, but I could totally imagine it.

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Not much really…

Let’s see, the twist about Ardis’ father, well… I just saw it coming. Like really. I think it was an obvious one and it didn’t surprise me when I came to that part. Sometimes we just don’t like knowing what is going to happen.

The ending. I was not really a fan. I just…. ugh… maybe something more? I don’t know. But then again it MIGHT be vital to the next books, who knows..

Like I said, I really like this book. And for a first steampunk-ish novel, I am a fan.

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Do you have steampunk novels you can recommend?

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: Mystical by Michael Weekly

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When Eliza Rose found out she was a witch, she thought she’d be casting spells…

However, it turns out Eliza is on her way to becoming a mystical assassin. But first she has to start college with her best friend Dawn Roberts and her feline familiar Jared. If you think college is stressful, try finding your best friend being seduced—nearly to death—by a venomous fairy. Something is horribly wrong, and Eliza must find out what it is.

Knowing who’s who in the Mystical world can be a burden—or save her life…

Murderous mermaids, seductive fairies, and manipulative elves are terrifying enough, but pure witches can become corrupt…and they’re the most dangerous creatures of all. Eliza struggles to discover the source of this chaos, but is repeatedly attacked—and saved by a shadowy figure. On a very personal note, Eliza must learn whether corruption is beginning to claim her mother.

Her strongest ally might be handsome, enigmatic Donovan—but he is hiding a shocking secret…

Donovan wants nothing to do with his old gang—not after the things they’d made him do. But when he meets Eliza, he’s both frustrated by her amateur skills and impressed by her emerging strength, and he feels compelled to help her grow into the assassin she’s meant to be.

Every answer has a price, and there are beings born to corrupt the pure.

Eliza fights to master her skills before it’s too late, while Donovan must determine whether Eliza can be saved…or if she must die to keep her out of the hands of those who would use her powers to reign over all of Mystical.

As some of you might know, I am slowly making my way through the amazing book community of the internet. And lately, I have been talking to other wonderful readers and bloggers and authors as well! All this is new and exciting for me so when an author contacts you to review a book, how can you say no?

Mystical is book #1 in the Mystical Series (I am not sure how many books there will be) and it follows our heroine Eliza (E-lee-zuh as she likes it pronounced) as she makes her way through an awkward phase of her life and school and friendship and boys, all of these besides the fact that she learns she is a witch.

Okay. Admittedly, this is not my favorite of books but I will tell you this early that it is not a bad book at all. Although, I must say it has a Mortal Instruments vibe to it. Shadowhunters anyone? For what its worth, I honestly believe that I personally would have enjoyed it better had I read it when I was younger. Disclaimer: I am not THAT old. But you get what I mean. Of course, I have those things that I really like about this book.

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Witches…

Need I say more? BUT, what actually made me really like it was how witches were so much different from the ugly hags or the wand waving, spell casting humans you normally see in books. They actually are bad-ass people who save people from dying in the hands (or claws, or flippers of whatever) of evil creatures roaming around. And the BROOMSTICK! I would want that broomstick for myself girl! If you want to know what I mean go and get this book! The difference and the general idea of what a witch is was perfectly played out. Honestly it suit the name witch pretty well.

The premise was good

The general premise of this book was great. I mean basically everybody knows about the stories about fairies and mermaids and elves. Weekly gives his own take on these stories we hear over and over again. If any, it is a refreshing, a bit dark yes, re-telling of what these creatures really are.

Fairies, mermaids, elves, and rave parties

The creatures (why does that word sound weird suddenly, anyway) were re-created in such a way that they aren’t too far off from what they are originally known for. You can still see hints of the common urban legends. and I think that’s what makes them more terrifying. Also, they are set to the mix with the modern day which I really like. No one will look at a beautiful girl the same way when they read this book. The book just captures what the life of a college freshman is.

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was a really nice girl. She wasn’t spiteful or depressed. Basically she wasn’t the pathetic damsel so we can become friends. Honestly in the end I don’t think she gave a damn about other people. She accepted that her mother was weird and that was it. She loved her just the same. And she could fight like a boss. I think Weekly was able to capture what the life of a normal teenager transitioning into young adulthood was like. College, independence, taking chances, boys, heartbreak, friendships. Even with all the crazy stuff, her life was described like any other. Her character was realistic in a way and I loved that.

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Are we ready? Here we go.

I didn’t think the flow of words and the richness of the story telling was very consistent. As I was reading there were moments when oh! that was really good and rich and magical and then the next few lines were just womp womp… They weren’t bad, I mean they did the job of saying what was needed, it just wasn’t enough to give the needed punch. You get me?

This is probably one of the most frustrating plots I have read. Just the suspense of what was really happening and why things were happening was just dragged on too long it was unnecessary in my opinion. Basically at the end of the book I didn’t understand half of what or why things were happening. But, it may just be me. Everyone around her just made Liza look stupid and vulnerable all the while claiming they want to protect her. Well tell the girl the damn thing and let her defend herself! Do girls not have any say to things anymore?

One thing that kind of ticked me off a teeny tiny bit was that she needed to look gorgeous to be a hero. I mean come on. Really?  And anyone should know better than to let your best friend tag along your adventures with vicious creatures when you very well know she is absolutely in danger and might just hold you up. Hello!?!?!?! She accepts you, I get it so save her the agony and leave her at home!

There wasn’t much character development for any of the characters. I was looking for a little more conflict internally and externally for Liza. But there were great, GREAT moments for her (and her mum *wink*). And those were real gems.

Again, this is a good book, really. So many good elements and a colorful plot. It may just be me. I think it really is just me. It just didn’t grip me real tight. Preference thing. Thinking about it, I believe the next books may be a lot better and I may like them more than this book since I assume things will unfold more clearly as the series goes on. That is IF I will pick them up. If you ask me now, uhmm, I may pass. BUT, if you are a fan of books like Mortal Instruments series then you might enjoy this as well.

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***This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Michael Weekly for sending me this ARC. This book releases on December 8, 2015 if it is not yet the 8th where you live, but otherwise it is up now! If you want to check it out here is the Goodreads and Amazon pages.

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

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WARNING: This post may (most probably) just contain flailing and over-the-top emotions regarding an amazing, AMAZING book I love and will shove to anyone’s book cart. You have been warned.

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

I have been seeing this book circulating around blogs for sometime and I was really curious to see what all the fuss was about. So I was on Twitter one day and was chatting with a few fellow book bloggers when suddenly it was announced that I won a giveaway and that I get to choose which e-book I get to keep. So when I saw this book on the choices I knew it was what I wanted. I had books to read prior to this so I probably started it, I’d say 3 days after I got it. Now that I think about it, it was such a stupid idea not diving into this this book immediately because when I did, I devoured it it one sitting (or lying down, whichever you prefer)!

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This book just gripped me and did not let go even after I finished reading it! Yes, that hardcore! I think I had reading hangover from it if that was even possible. And the cover just puts the cherry on top. I mean just look at that stunning work of art right there! I could not think of a better cover! Just wow.

Vhalla was such a great character. She was so relatable and believable. Her vulnerabilities as a girl of her age, and status, and her upbringing just melded perfectly with her personality and her strengths. And this girl has natural sass. She was not my usual bad ass heroine, but she has this strength and resolve that is so palpable you do not have to read it in words to feel. She dreams big, and wants to be really good at what she does. Her character’s development was gradual and not forced. You just see her slowly realize how she fits into the world she is in and accept that the world she has lived in all those years was totally different from what she was meant to be in. You see how she is a normal young lady in how she is caring, and protective, and determined. You see her infatuated and really fall in love.

And I mean let’s be honest, the girl works in a library, is a bit of a rebel, takes care of books, and loves reading. What more can a girl like me ask for right? I see you Elise.

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And ALDRIK…

Oh you weird, bad boy with a good heart. You know what they say, the good girl always falls for the bad guy. Well, pushing aside the fact that he seems okay with pushing a girl from the top of a tower which I kind of dig. Don’t ask, at the time I just thought, wow this guy has some balls and possibly strangely violent sorcerer. Then his character just unfold into this man who has inner conflicts of being a sorcerer, being shunned, being misunderstood, being a friend, being the crown prince. He suddenly becomes bare with his vulnerabilities in an almost natural manner not like the broken, bad ass, strong as a rock male protagonists on most books. It was as if their attraction just flowed naturally. It was beautiful to be honest. He almost made me tear up when he said ” I am not a good man.” From their context, it meant a lot. Tugging at the heartstrings eh?

Coming into this, I will say I may have a little bit of bias because I just absolutely love anything that has stuff to do with the elements. I just love them. I don’t know what it is, but they just fascinate me. Maybe it  is because I live so near them? In the mountainous regions you know, we cook with firewood, go to springs, climb to the mountain tops and feel the wind, work with dirt. You see? The world was created beautifully but is not too far from the society we know. Elise (first name basis, yup, that is how I roll) played with politics and war and territorial disputes. Much of which we see nowadays too. However, you see some mythology mixed in with court politics and intrigue in people worshiping the sun-goddess and justifying the war with spreading that belief.

There is the sibling love and sibling rivalry complex which I think was a clever touch to the story. People might think differently, but I believe the other prince plays an important role. Oh, and can we just talk about refusing to give in to the love triangle trap very early on? Clap clap!

I was so engrossed in reading that time just flew by, and when I reached the end I could not believe it. It is safe to say it broke my heart seeing the last page. WHY? WHY?

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I could not say enough good things about this book! That and the fact that Elise Kova is such a sweetheart! Follow her on Twitter and find out for yourself. Go and tell her I sent you there okay?

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READ. IT. NOW.

It is a wonderful series starter and I cannot wait to read the next ones! Fire falling is out now, and Earth’s End I believe is soon to be released. I don’t usually include shop links but since I just loooved this book, here they are:

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Fire Falling:

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*** Thanks to @thebooktraveler for the giveaway! You might have just changed my life! Check out her blog here.

Mara In Love

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Today was the day. If I am to be absolutely honest, I have been anticipating this day much longer than I would allow myself to admit. What was it that made me want to leave you ask? To say I have fallen out of love would be a lie, a travesty, because I. DID. NOT.

I think we both knew. And I think we both braced ourselves for when that time came. Up until now, it’s hard for me to think back and see life without him. He has always been with me for years. We were always a team. Always him and I. We were not perfect for each other. But man, God knows how many fights we have loved over the years. And yet, even if you ask us this very moment to talk about those moments, we would probably burst out laughing the whole day. Truth be told, up to now, he is the best person and man I know.

He is sweet, and gentle towards me. And yet he is fiercely protective and caring. He was the only person who made me feel safe. I saw how much he wanted me to just let go and let him take care of me. I look at his beautiful hazel beautiful hazel eyes and I see the sincere man I fell in love with years ago. He was funny beyond belief, and loyal beyond life itself. He loved his family like his life, and kissed his grandmother a lot. I’ve always wondered how this guy, tall, handsome, with that boyish smile just loved spending Saturday afternoons cuddled on the couch surrounded by pillows and blankets eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate.

I’d always fall asleep before the 2nd movie is finished, and I would always wake up with either a kiss on my forehead or the smell of pizza he ordered for dinner. He enjoyed moments like that, and I lived for them, because on work days, we hauled ass. We are similar like that, loving what we do, and working our hardest. I love him, more than anything, and I know he did too.

You might be wondering why then, how come I talk about him with so much admiration and yet I write alone in a table drinking coffee by myself.

You see, time went by and passed, and we remained who we were. People who were in love. We grew to be better people. I’m sure you would agree. But I guess through the years, we both realized we remained together for selfish reasons, more for ourselves than for each other.

Isn’t that what happiness is about you ask?

NO.

I don’t have the slightest idea how to explain it to you. But when I found true love, I realized being together wasn’t the ONLY option. It also meant being at peace at being apart. I didn’t think it was THAT LOVE when I agreed to be his girlfriend that sunny Sunday stroll at the park while eating coffee ice cream. However, everyday, I fell in love a little bit more, a little deeper. It consumed my being slowly, until one day, I woke up with the text message from the person who I know owns my heart forever.

I am not the least bit afraid of losing him. No. I know I won’t.

I did not let him go, I let him be. People said I did not love him and they could not have been more mistaken. I love him, if that is the last thing I ever do. But then love does not come in shackles but with freedom. Love, one that does not make sense, exists and is nevertheless true.

He hugged me tight and smiled warmly, that knowing smile. He was about to hop on a plane to see the Louvre…

Did you see the pictures I sent you? Oh my goodness the pizza here is absolutely delightful! The best I am telling you! I know you are guessing, betting, on how this will end for us. Should we really know immediately? Shall I date? Do you think he will? Am I driving you crazy now? Haha! I should go now. I’m about to head out and find a place to have dinner. See you soon.

Ciao!

Liebster Award: I’ve been nominated!

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I was checking through my emails and notifications about 2 days ago when I came across a comment from the lovely writer behind the blog The Blogger on the Mount that I have been nominated for this award. I’m not gonna lie, I had absolutely no idea what the Liebster Award meant or was. So I had to consult my wise friend Google to try and understand and as usual he was of some help.

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The Liebster Award is “given” by a blogger to a fellow blogger who he/she thinks deserves to be recognized more by the reading public. According to the explanations in my search, it used to be given to those who had less than 3,000 followers but now the number has been changed to less than 200 followers. A blogger may choose to accept or ignore the nomination, but if accepted, the rules of the award will be followed. I will be including the rules at the end of this post. The rules however, include that the blogger must answer 11 questions given by the one who nominated you so why don’t I answer them first and get to know me better!

How and where do you write?

Okay, if it’s like a place where I usually write for my blog I’d say my desk. My mom and I divided my room into two so that the inner half would be my ‘private’ space which is just technically where I sleep and the outer half would be my sort of an office where I have my desk and all my office stuff. Sometimes, though it’s a bit rare, I’d transfer to my sleeping area where I have a folding table and write there (which is what I am doing right now). In terms of like where I actually place the ink from my pen, well, it could be anywhere. Literally, I write anywhere I can (I don’t vandal), tissue paper, pamphlets, small notebooks, blank sheets of copy paper, labels, you name it. Then I keep them as much as possible.

I usually hand-write everything first before typing them. I’m old school like that and it’s what works best for me. Right now I have 2 notebooks and a notepad beside me. Just gotta have them. And believe me they all get used. I like collecting my thoughts first, and writing them down helps me. It also helps me edit and check.

What is your favorite color and why?

Ah, I’d have to say green and beige. I just think they are so pleasant to look at and are very much rooted to nature. I live near the mountains so..

Do you have a favorite qoute? If so, what is it?

The first thing that came to my mind is something I read from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank because after all, being thankful is all we can be.

I thank God for all that is good, and dear, and beautiful!

-Anne Frank

What’s the most inspiring book you have ever read?

I’m gonna have to cheat a bit and give two just because both of these stories gave me life lessons I will take to my grave. If you haven’t read them (WHY?) go and do so. They will change your life.

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

What music do you listen to if you need cheering?

I don’t give bias to a particular music genre and so I listen to a couple of different songs to boost my mood if need be. I just made a playlist on Spotify called ‘Boosters’ and if you want to check the songs out the do it here. I’d listen to it every morning (like now), kind of like a pick-me-up to start my day right!

What time of the year is your favorite and why?

Oh, Christmas season! I just looooooove this time of the year. Just feels like everybody is festive and happy and cheery. Plus all the food my family and I make is just the best.

Name the best place you have visited.

Outside of my country I’d have to say Macau. I just love the architecture in that area. The Portuguese influence and the modern Macau just blends beautifully. I hope to travel more soon so this may change. Here in the Philippines I’d have to say Intramuros (Walled City) in Manila especially the San Agustin Church. Gosh I just fell in love with that church. Love.

Has a particular experience shaped the way you think?

Just happened to me this week so yeah…All I can say is that sometimes we have to learn things the hard way so that they stick and you never forget.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Well for starters I read (obviously) hence my blog. I write, hence my blog again. I listen to music and I chat with either my mom or my grandma, two of the most brilliant women I have ever known.

In what way is this Christmas going to be special for you?

This is the year that I actually focused and gave proper time to writing and blogging which was how I have met some amazing people. I still have a long way to go, but I am sooo happy where everything in my bookish world is coming to place. Also, I have gained friends who I know I will have forever so it will be super meaningful to spend the holidays being loved.

My blog is about faith and learning more about God. What does faith mean to you?

I had to think really hard on this and I  don’t know if I can describe it. But, it is something I hold dearly. My faith has kept me strong, through unbelievable times, up until now. It has kept me together. I think faith is believing without actually seeing. Faith is not physical, but it is all the more valid and strong.

11 Random Facts

I became a registered nurse at 19 y/o

I am obsessed with notebooks and pens and paper and stationery stuff

I looooove Hello Kitty. Like really.

I haven’t read Harry Potter *sobs* *sobs some more*

I am a coffee addict who loves her coffee black (and strong)

I am a huge fan of Anne Rice and the Vampire Chronicles. She is the Queen.

I am a fast reader

I can cook pretty well

I love baking

I’m terrified of frogs

Can’t swim or ride a bicycle. Just can’t and totally gave up.

My nominees are:

  1. She Latitude
  2. katereadslit
  3. A Novel Haul
  4. Books With Chemistry
  5. Bookish Night

And here are my questions:

  1. Where do you usually write?
  2. What is your favorite dessert?
  3. If you only choose one book as your favorite, what would it be?
  4. What’s the most inspiring book you have ever read?
  5. Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what kind of music do you listen to?
  6. What do you look forward most about the Christmas season?
  7. Name the best place you have visited.
  8. Who is your favorite author?
  9. What time of the day do you usually read?
  10. What are your favorite and least favorite genres to read and why?
  11. My blog is about books, reading, and writing. How has reading shaped who you are as a person today?
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Credits to The Galaxial Word for this photo.

*** I would like to thank The Blogger on the Mount again for nominating me. She has been super wonderful and extremely supportive of my blog and my writing. Her posts have been sources of inspiration for me.***

Also, thank you for stopping by and reading my wee little book and life blog. You have no idea how much you make me happy and feel loved by just lending me you time. When I started out, I thought even just one person will be a huge thing to be thankful for. Now I have more than that and I enjoy writing more than ever. Thank you!

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BOOK REVIEW: Relentless by Karen Lynch

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Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

Oh gosh where do I start with this. Okay, so this book landed onto my Kindle app because Benjaminoftomes from YouTube and Instagram recommended it on one of his videos (watch it here) and I was so intrigued by it so I went to Amazon and downloaded it (the kindle version was free at that time and I think it still is). So, I read it right after I finished reading Minutes Before Sunset (read my review here) and to be honest I did not have really high hopes for this one. But I was so wrong…

This book you guys, is just AMAZING! I must say I was happily surprised. One page in and I. WAS. HOOKED. Excuse my ‘mild’ flailing and shrieking for the most part of this review and I will probably just make up for that with GIFs. I only have one complaint about this book, and it may sound really stupid but as some of you might know by now, I am a sucker for beautiful book covers but damn, look at this one!

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Honestly, the cover does not do it justice at all. I mean aside from the fact that the people on the cover are obviously gorgeous people. But let’s just go past that and marvel over this book shall we?

So I dived into the book thinking it might just be another promotional thing you know (because it was free) and then I read the first few pages and I thought this was what I was looking for! It made me smile thinking about it now, how surprised and happy I was that it delivered so well. You read it and you get this vivid picture on your head about the neighborhood, the situation, the context, the expressions, the creatures for crying out loud! Lynch writes in a way that will make you almost smell the molds in the house where Remy (the troll) helped a creature give birth. I know, TROLL! Remember the Harry Potter scene?

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Nope. It’s not like that. Remy (the troll) is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE if you can believe that.

The story follow Sara who lives with her uncle since her mom left and her dad passed away. Sara knows she is different in that she can heal things, and she is aware that there are other creatures that exist alongside humans in this world. She loves animals, and though reserved and keeps to herself, has an upright character and doesn’t tolerate injustice. Basically she is bad ass. So you know I love her. But, being the good blogger *snort* I shall list the reasons why I love it for yah!

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Oh Nikolas…

Nicolas is just as bad ass as he is kind. He has a good heart inside nerves of steel and beautiful eyes. There is this charm to him, not the kind that most would swoon over. Maybe it is his protective instincts which is more because of Sara and not because she is an orphan Mohiri. Maybe it is that she is Mohiri but not entirely? I just think how the hero in this story is perfectly created, to stand out and to complement the heroine. I love his character, his amazing sword skills, and his relentless character. I’m not even gonna apologize for that pun.

TROLLS!!!

Let’s look past her last name people. Sara has a troll for a friend, trades troll bile, has imps for pets in her house, takes home abandoned animals, and talks to elementals. If that doesn’t make you like her then I don’t know what will. I mean just the troll would do it for me. She had this sense of justice which is kind of stubborn but not misplaced. She can hold up her own. She was awkward but equally loved by her friends.

Christian my love…

Now I know he isn’t the main hero and I have no idea if he will still be in the next book but girl… that man is goals. I would marry him of I could. Just oh!

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*deep breaths*

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*clears throat*

Moving on, admittedly, there is just a sh*t load of information about lots of different creatures in this book, but I DON’T MIND. It was just written beautifully that you wouldn’t get lost in the way. The pacing was just right and all the hints to the succeeding events were really cleverly done. Like, you wouldn’t have guessed it! There was good character development for both Nikolas and Sara, although of course Sara is the focus of this book for now. You could see how she grew as a school girl, as a friend, as a daughter, as a niece, and someone who isn’t human.

And the vampires…

Were not treated as sparkly creatures who would go to earths ends to save humanity. Although being good (even for vampires) is admirable, except the sparkly parts of course. They were portrayed as VAMPIRES. You know the blood sucking, feral, primal creatures, ruled by instinct to feed?  Yes, that.You don’t see that around too often. It’s actually refreshing if you can imagine that.

Anyway, I just can’t wait to read the next two books in the trilogy. I hope I can find it here. If not you know I will find ways to get my chubby hands on those books!

You knew this was coming:

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Have you read this book? Do you like urban fantasy book? Let me know what you think and let’s chat!

To Cornelius, With Hope

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Cornelius,

I write to you while I am on a trip to try and find myself amidst everything I think myself to be. I know, don’t panic, I’m fine. There have been many things these past few months which have given me the chance to reflect and see what mess I have made, both in my mind and in my life. Control is one thing I pride myself in, but now, I’m afraid it has betrayed me. I am all over the place, and it has left my heart and my spirit in shambles. I find myself wanting to cry more these days, do you know? I don’t cry. I just don’t. It’s not that I can’t. Believe me I could have cried the whole day for something I don’t even know if I could. It is that I won’t. I refuse to. More and more, I find myself wanting to escape, find solace elsewhere. As days pass, I’m afraid I want to be more and more alone.

I talk to myself. I do that often. Even as a young girl I would give myself pep talks to muster up courage to do stuff. I tried. I really did. Much more than I realize, it has been a constant conversation with myself about just bouncing back into the world. Again with this, I am starting to realize, I might just be failing. Do I sound pathetic? Maybe. Helpless? I don’t think so. Ah, how I wish I had a book with me right now. Maybe I’ll buy later after this. Don’t you just love books Cornelius? They take you places, teach you things, introduce you to new people, make you feel sad or thrilled or …happy. When was the last time you have been truly happy Cornelius? When I am with my family or when I do the things I say I love, I am happy, but I am not. Am I going crazy? Merely ambivalent? To say I am confused is an utter misconception of what I am going through right now.

I am nowhere.

Where do I start dear friend? Where does someone like me begin when I have absolutely no Idea of what I am about to embark on. What am I to do? Eat pints of strawberry ice cream? Although that might be a rather pressing and satisfying thing to do, I don’t think it will suffice this time. I think of the word joy, and words to define it seem to escape me altogether. How did I define joy then Cornelius? Why can’t I do it now? Is something wrong with me? Has the world finally caught up with me? Have I really evaded reality before that it seemed to rush all over me now? Have I been dreaming all this time of who and what I am? Do I indulge myself too much? Does reality ever really bring satisfaction and wisdom? Am I drifting away? Am I?

I am sorry to burden you old friend, but it seems like of all those who had come and go, you are the one who would judge me fairly. We all judge, right Cornelius? People say we shouldn’t. Well isn’t that judging in itself? We always judge, otherwise how do we go on with living with other humans who judge as well. It’s hypocrisy to say we don’t. But then it’s what we do about it that becomes morally right or wrong or better yet humanely right or wrong. Do I burden you? Or confuse you in some way? Maybe I do, but like I said, I know you will judge me fairly and with love.

Maybe love did this. But then, what is love? Can it heal me, if this is an illness at all? Peculiar, my thoughts flow like a constant stream right now. This is the best it has functioned in weeks. Maybe I’m going back. I stare at my window and it’s pitch black. Utter darkness… absolute and resolute. A blank canvass for my thoughts, maybe I can fancy a story?

Noisy.

My head is noisy but blank at the same time. I used to have such an organized pattern of thought. What happened you ask? You asked the wrong person. It’s all so vague, so constant yet so fickle. Such contradictions make my head hurt, and yet my heart wants to be found Cornelius. I honestly, sincerely want to be found.

I am sorry for such random outpour of nonsense. It’s just that I haven’t felt as eloquent in a very long time. Anyway, if you find all this rubbish, then just scrap it, I won’t mind, and I would not know either way, would I? Maybe I will write to you again, this felt good, for once. Thank you…

– P –

Eight Letters to a Young Writer by Teju Cole

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Eight Letters to a Young Writer is a fictional exercise of letters addressed to a fictional young Nigerian writer. The letters contained advice or as the author said ‘suggestions’ as to how the young writer should go on pursuing his passion for writing stories.

I came about this (magnificent) piece of work because of an article by The Daily Post. It intrigued me because 1. it said recommended reading and 2. it said letters. Not many of you may know but I enjoy reading and making letters. In fact I recently posted a fictional letter here in my blog entitled A Letter from Casandra. I love writing letters and little notes. I make them for people, leave them at restaurants or coffee places or book shops, just everywhere! With all these crazy technology of how people communicate, I still find that a heartfelt letter or a sweet note still does the job like no other.

I write a lot, about a lot of things. I write more than I talk to be honest. It has been like that for me all my 24 glorious years.

When I saw that this letter was addressed to a young writer, I knew I had to read it. It was not because I plan on becoming a novelist. No. It was simply because I write.

Looking at my notebook right now, the first thing I wrote was WOW. Just wow. I couldn’t describe it with any other word except BEAUTIFUL. The eloquence and the sincerity and just how fluid the writing spoke to me. You know it came from a place of truth despite being addressed to a fictional writer. The passion in writing is palpable. I planned to review and give my thoughts on each of the eight letters, but thinking through it, I figured it would be useless. The letters were created to complement each other, and commence from where the previous one ended.

Read more than you write… Your originality will mean nothing unless you can understand the originality of others.

During the course of reading the letters, I found myself nodding, and feeling enlightened with so many things, just like how my love for Garcia Marquez as an author is grounded on reflecting reality as it is, poignant and raw. It is a good read for authors and reviewers (readers) alike. For one, it gave me better insight on how authors think, and the risks they take in telling their stories. In a way, it has helped me categorize authors, not by the genre for which they write, but by their voice they choose to be heard and writing style. Reading on, I came to the conclusion that authors don’t really choose a very narrow and specific audience when writing, but a certain set of reactions like Cole said. Reactions which are not so vague, yet not so eccentric to the point of being unrelatable at all. This has definitely given me new insight on how I read books, and how I try to interpret them to my point of view.

It is a concept that can be expanded infinitely, for what we call originality is little more than the fine blending of influences. No one is going to lay claim to having discovered the use of colour to show elation, or expressing sorrow by means of pacing, or the peculiar thrill of unfolding a thematic element and varying it.

The letters spoke to me more towards the end when he talked about writing, and writing, and writing some more. He spoke of how authors should write every single day, just like how musicians live to play. Keeping a journal and daring to bore readers. Those words stuck to me the most together with reading more than you write. I could have just highlighted the whole thing to be quite honest. It felt like every piece of word placed beside each other has been thought of meticulously. Plus he had this slight bias over ‘heavy reads’ so I felt like he was my BFF. Reaching the final letter, I got the sense that though it was addressed toward another, the author was reflecting on himself, and the words were directed more to himself than any other. How he talked about fearlessness, and refusing to bend to the weight of the more famous, common plots.

The answer is simple: keep a journal. It amazes me how often people call themselves writers and yet fail to write. Runners run everyday, and they know that not every run is a race. Musicians play music perpetually, but not every time they pick up the guitar is a concert.

It’s weird, but I felt a comforting, warm feeling reading the letters. I didn’t read them all at once, but when I did read a letter or two, it felt like a treat. I will keep this for the rest of my life that is for sure, and probably re-read it many times. I suggest that everyone read it, authors and readers. It is a gem. This isn’t a book, but just to show how much I want everyone to read it.

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Plus all my love…

Do yourself a favor. READ. IT. You’re welcome.

Here is the link to the PDF form.

To Paris With Love

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            I am supposed to finish reading Eight Letters to a Young Writer by Teju Cole this afternoon but I just can’t seem to concentrate on it. I was watching the news 2 days ago and was absolutely heartbroken by what I saw. It has been on my mind constantly and now as I type I feel like I’m about to cry. Just a few weeks ago I was crying watching the news and reading articles about the Syrian refugees just dying from escaping their own country. Being chased out of their homes from fear of death, I felt really sorry for them. I was both sad and angry when I saw the children freezing, starving, walking for miles, dying because of people who claim to do stupid things for a higher purpose. I mean come on, murdering? Higher purpose? Haven’t we learned anything from our past mistakes as humans and believers of varying faiths? Haven’t we killed enough good lives to say we are done? Has history not taught us anything? These kids are forced to grow up and protect themselves beyond their physical and mental capacities. They should be playing, not running for their lives for crying out loud. At that time I thought “Wow, what have we come to?”

          Then came the attack on you and for a while I. AM. SPEECHLESS. Just why? WHY? What on earth could they have been thinking? I believe that nothing, NOTHING, gives anybody the right to do such barbaric and senseless act. Nothing, in the same way, can justify what they did to you. I can’t understand. It’s that time for me when I suddenly check my morals and beliefs. Tell me, have I been living and believing in a perfect world? Let’s see, I live in a country miles away from where you are where the people are mostly poor, crime is everywhere, and politics is crap just like the rest of the world. So no, I am not disillusioned by a perfect world. In my line of work I’ve seen births and deaths, both peaceful and traumatic. I’ve seen harsh realities with my eyes open, but I can’t say I am unfazed. But this is just… I could only imagine what the survivors feel, or their families, or the families of the victims. The questions, the anger, the sorrow they feel may just be inconsolable. All for what?

       I guess I understand a bit, of how people defend their faith with their lives. But being a person who would rather respect differences than argue, I disagree (with every inch of my being) with what is happening to you and to the rest of the world right now. It’s astounding as to how proud these people are claiming what they have done.

        I don’t believe in that one true higher religion. No. I’m sorry if some do and don’t like what they see here. I am as you might know, was raised, and happy to be a member of the Roman Catholic church. It’s not perfect, but I am happy to believe in it. Having said that, I believe that every other belief/religion/faith on this planet believes in equality of every human being, in mutual respect, and upholding the sanctity of human life none of which I have seen in these terror attacks.

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             It’s a sad reality, that we can do this to our own. It’s a disgusting reality to be honest. BUT, the way people everywhere responded was amazing. I think I’ve said it before, but I believe love is enough to restore everything we hold dear as people. It’s sad that we are the ones who caused them to disappear. I saw how you gave the world a show of strength, and courage, and love, despite these tragic attacks. We said “Pray for Paris” or “Pray for the World” without the stereotype of how or where or who, just pray. See? We can do it right? Ridding ourselves of the stereotype? But do we have to wait for terrifying things like this to happen?

           I believe in love and peace and the kindness of human hearts. Just like how countries and their people welcomed the Syrian refugees in their homes, I know we could all hold you and the rest of the world in our hearts and lend you our strengths. Love and Compassion. Yes? After all, we are all neighbors aren’t we?

        Despite every bit of terror, I think we must be thankful, for the lives spared and for the love that has overflowed. People will never forget what has happened, and neither should we. But we must be thankful, of our lives, each other, and how we all stand together.

*My prayers (and apparently tears) go out to the people of Paris. Oh Paris, I shall visit you one day and weep for those you lost, and marvel at your beauty and strength.

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I Haven’t Read Harry Potter *sobs*

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I can feel you judging me right there. Like really. It looked to me like you were almost about to swear. And no, you are not hallucinating. But, I understand your possibly extreme shock and confused sentiments considering I have this blog that talks about books and reading a lot. Thinking about it now, it’s really bizarre that I haven’t read them right? Well, of course except the fact that I read the first one before the film was released, I still find it weird considering how much I LOVED Harry Potter and Hogwarts and Ron Weasley.

These past few months, I have been re-watching the HP movies and I just re-read the book about three weeks ago. My mom and I were talking about how my sister wants the boxed full hardbound set of the Harry Potter series, you know the one that looks like a chest or luggage or whatever, for her graduation present. My sister has read all the books, and she is ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED. I mean, she cried watching the last movie.

Now, I have watched all of the movies in theaters when they came out and I LOOOOVE them to death. And I am sure that the other books are great too judging from how the first book astounded me. So, I tried to get to bottom of this issue and well…

I have read Philosopher’s Stone and I loved it. LOVED.IT.  Then I watched the movie and BAM! Lost it. The only thing I could think about it when will the next movie be and will school be out by that time and what will we be doin’ after the movie and will my dad be off-duty by then. Basically what I am trying to say is that the movies overwhelmed (in the best way possible) so much that I didn’t think I need the books.

Like what I’ve said, every year, it has become a family tradition for us to watch the latest Harry Potter movie when I was growing up. So, HP movies meant more than just the wands and owls to me. It meant bonding with the fam and spending lots of time with my parents who both work, especially for my dad who works away from us. With that being said, I think that the anticipation for the next movie and bonding moments overpowered the bookworm in me (didn’t think that was even possible). Plus the fact that my sister and I watch the movies over and over and OVER again that my parents think we are maniacs reciting EVERY.SINGLE.LINE in the movie. Although of course I realize that parts from the books were cut so now I am panicking and feeling left out and wanting to be in on the secret.

Brace yourselves for this is… they are hefty books. Shocked? No? I know that this is such a stupid reason but I remember wanting to grab the book from the bookstore and seeing how humongous the thing is! Not gonna lie, it intimidated me. But I guess, it was because I was still in school back then. I was a very diligent student to be honest and I liked to maintain my grades high and I figured I could not for the life of me devour this book and not sacrifice a few (or a lot) good hours of studying. I was that hardcore before, so I stuck to the movies which wasn’t a bad alternative at all, just sayin’.

Needless to say, I am going to read the rest of the HP books. Why this late? Well why not? I truly believe Harry Potter books are here to stay for a very, very long time. I think kids from my time on forward should be introduced to them, and experience the magic Harry and the gang wields with their wands.

And now please excuse me as I watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the 23,896th time.

Do you watch movies over and over again? Which movies have you re-watched the most?

Why I Don’t Read Romance

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This is bad. Sadly, I am developing the habit of writing in very unholy hours like 2:13 AM. And in case you are wondering, yes, that is the current time here where I live. It’s a problem I know.

I believe I said in my last post that I finally picked up The Covenant by Beverly Lewis and I also said that I hope to finish it this week. Well, this was what happened. I finished it in LESS THAN A DAY. I’ve already decided not to make a review about it just because I feel like everybody has made one and the reviews on Goodreads about the whole series are very detailed as well. Now that I have rambled about things unrelated to the title of this post, LET’S MOVE ON…

I think I have more than hinted about my let’s say, unpleasant relationship with romance novels. In fact the ONLY romance novel I have really ever liked, and by 372154saying that I mean love and hold dear is Love Story by Erich Segal. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy with me here but I totally plan on buying one for myself just because I would re-read the living lights out of that book. Critiques on this book have been extremely bipolar and honestly it’s the kind of book you either hate or love.

No grey areas I’m afraid. Well, I love it and to those people saying it’s…

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Anyway, since I read this what, maybe 10 years ago? Maybe more, I have never, ever found one that came close to how I adored it. Yup, not even Fault in Our Stars. Shocking, I know. I have tried, several times, to try and read romance novels. The ones which really tackle love as its main theme and I have been disappointed or just felt ‘meh’ EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. So, I have tried to narrow it down on a few points. Disclaimer: Love Story is an exception to rule. Okay.

They will NEVER happen in real life.

Every time I get past the introductory chapters I’m just like “Girl that doesn’t even happen on planet Earth!” It gets so frustrating. I guess I like the realistic take on things like love on books. It just tugs at heartstrings much more effectively and sincerely. Why can’t they just capture street-love rather than TV-love.. you know what I’m sayin’?

They are too freakin’ dramatic!

Everything feels like an emergency. Like chill people, he bought flowers, so? Did he kiss and makeout? Did I miss that part? No? Then stop glaring, shut up and be a lady! Don’t even start being overly melodramatic on me. I’m not even kidding.

Why do they ALWAYS play dumb?

People are probably hating on me right now, but hey, to each is his own right? You know when you read something which is as clear as daylight a sign that the characters are so into each other and one suddenly decides to be oblivious and not know anything? Yep, that moment when you say ‘What the f—” Yes, those ones.

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This is apparently a trend and a measure of how good a book is. I DISAGREE. I didn’t shed one bit of tear for FIOS but I thought it was a good book, although I would have to say it wasn’t a romance novel in essence. It’s more like a novel about life. A good tearjerker I feel comes naturally. And some authors do that beautifully. Sometimes it becomes evident that they try too hard. Sad is okay.. let’s not make everything about tears and sobs.

I’ve seen that before haven’t I?

Sometimes they can get cliche. Like same story and plot and you guess what was going to be the ending by the first 50-75 pages. Don’t they think people are jaded with girls or boys falling in love and one dies or one is poor or one is sick or one is sinfully hot and gets the girl because he is not who he seems he is.

Please don’t get me wrong, I really like a good love story when it is skillfully crafted within a book whose focus is not romance. I root for couples in books. I just feel like character development is so important in writing good love angles and focusing too much on “the love story” takes away the simple element of personality for each character to be effective love interests.

Do you like romance novels? Which books can you recommend? I will try some time to dabble in romance reading but for now I think I’m good. 🙂

That Dark Realm of the UNREAD + Ben Elton and The Covenant

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My mom recently cleaned out an area in our house where piles of books are taller than I am. Well, let’s face it a lot of things are taller than me but you get my point. After what I thought was an explosion of paper and books of all sorts, I am now facing the glaring fact that I NEED A PROPER BOOKSHELF. I mean if only my books could talk. Anyway, as I was scanning through the inventory (ooh, fancy) I thought

  1. Wow, I have a lot.. From all sorts of genres…
  2. I should probably refrain from buying until I have a proper shelf for them to live in and be safe and warm
  3. Psshhhh WHO CARES… Christmas is coming and we should be merry right? Well MERRY = BOOKS.
  4. That’s funny, I haven’t actually read some of these.

Yup. I never thought I’d say it. But I bought books only to condemn them into the dark realm of the UNREAD. I’m sorry okay? But I’m sure I’m not alone in this, you know, buying books only to shove them at the back of the pile never to be seen again for like 5 centuries. And now, they are back to haunt me. TO be honest, I feel bad when that happens. I feel like I wasted something. And in a sense that might be true.

I can’t even remember picking these up. BUT, I have this kind of rule where I will try my best to read and finish a book. I think the only book I have really given up on and tossed in the  DNF land was Tess of the D’Urbervilles which is creepily in the table beside me right now.

I picked up The Covenant by Beverly Lewis from the lot and I made it a mission to start reading it tonight and finish it this week. I don’t have the slightest idea what it is about which is probably a stupid thing since from what I have heard this is a pretty famous book. All I know is that it was published in 2002, not a fantasy novel, and is a part of a series of books by the author.

Also, on a slightly related note (what?), my sister is a big fan of Ben Elton and she has a lot of his books some of which she has left here since she can only have so much in her dorm room. I skimmed through one of them with her and I have been delighted with what I have read so far. Are any of you fans of Elton as well? Which if his books will you recommend for me to read first?

Musings on a Rainy Day + Harry Potter

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It’s a lovely day. And I know you might be thinking that I am nuts because apparently it is a rainy aka “gloomy” day. I am a self-confessed pluviophile which means that I just love the rain. Not the stormy, destructive kind though, just rain. I love how it feels when it is about to rain, the dimming of the clear skies, and the sudden cool breeze, the scattered raindrops, its show of strength, its magical ambiance where you just want to cuddle in your sofa holding a huge mug of coffee with a good book on hand. What I’ve found myself doing every time it rains is go out onto the porch or stay beside a window and just watch the downpour. It’s fascinating to me, calming actually. As noisy as the clatter of droplets hitting roofs and trees and streets, I find a sense of peace when it rains. To an extent I think it forces us to stay put and reflect. As it pours, and as I stay longer inside during the rain, sounds just blur into the background. You have no idea how comforting reading or just sitting inside is during a cold, rainy day. Simple things, we are moved to appreciate the simple but huge comforts of home, and family, and even of solitary living.

That smell after the rain has passed is incomparable. I live near the mountains so just the smell of wet grass and the cool wind is pure joy. You go out and it feels like looking at brand new mirror. Everything around just seems more vivid, clear, crisp…clean. Like starting anew. Then well, you go back inside and read again because Harry needs your help in finding the stone. *wink* Am I making sense to you? Maybe not.. haha.. Told you I can be weird.

Do you love the rain? Do you love reading on rainy days?

BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

I planned on doing this last night but I got sucked in the magical world of book blogs I totally lost track of time and fell asleep. Also, I feel a bit chatty today, so excuse me if I tend to ramble on a bit in this review with completely unrelated stuff.

I posted on my Instagram account (hit that cute button on the right upper side of this wee little blog if you like to see and be friends with me *wink*) a picture of this book when I snagged it for a crazy good price from BookSale. I’ve heard good things, actually great things, about this book and its sequel The Mime Order so I was really excited going into it. It actually has quite a following and people I have asked for opinions on it said that they loved it. And I was not disappointed.

Honestly, the first time I heard about it I got intrigued because of its title. I thought it was some type of  fantasy/horror novel about witches and bones and dark creatures and human bones being used for some sick demented way to control dark powers and rule over the living by an evil woman with a tortured soul. Whew! That was a lot of speculating right there! While I was a bit close with the powers and creatures, I couldn’t have guessed that it was kind of a dystopian novel. Happily surprised though, it was well played.

I’ve mentioned in my last post that I have this thing for book covers, and so when I saw this book I immediately knew I had to get it. It wasn’t over the top, but it was intriguing, and the vivid colors were perfect in giving it that mysterious feel. I removed the dust jacket and what do I see? A book that looked like it can be borrowed from the library of Hogwarts. The book spine was really nice! Yep. Did I say this book had a beautiful cover? No? Well it had. Just something about it looks beautiful to me.

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One of the things I noticed while reading was the character development both the lead characters went through. Often, development focuses on only one, usually the main hero/heroine. However the characters were introduced and melded into the story seamlessly with their own stories woven-in to their situations and the perspective of the narrator.

Paige was a great heroine. She was strong-willed and bad-ass which I personally root for. Like I said, pathetic lead roles are not my thing. I found myself cheering on her to just make people bleed. Violent tendencies? Please excuse my need for bloody scenes. However, there were times I just wanted to sit down with her with some cake and tea and say how extremely stubborn almost to the point of stupidity she is. Like c’mon! This guy has treated you beyond graciously than the other masters! But then there was this side of me trying to understand her and actually relate to her with her trust issues. I feel you girl. Paige’s transformation was slow and gruesome, but incomplete, which is why I look forward to reading what’s next for her.

Now, let’s just take a while to appreciate this wonderful being called Arcturus of Mesarthim. I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to call him Warden. Just no! I am inlove with his name, and his character, and him. Can I just swoon over him and let you figure out the rest of my thoughts? NO? His intensity is just EVERYTHING. Okay I’ll stop now.

I was a bit sold with the love story. I say a bit because I felt like it lacked intensity the whole time and there was only one actual intense scene which was interrupted (goodness gracious!) by that evil girl. BUT, that was what made me want to see what happens next. It was a good amount of suspense, but like I said, Paige could have easily been turned to stone by her stubborn and cold attitude.

The plot movement was good, and the timing was nicely executed for me. It wasn’t too slow or too fast. The world Shannon created was very interesting and edgy. When I saw clairvoyance I knew I wanted to give this book a go, and I was right to have done so!

The author writes simply and clearly. I like how she dealt with dreams, and being able to access it to see the real person. It’s kind of mystic but realistic at the same time. I think it’s what keeps it connected to the real world which makes it more reader friendly. It’s one of those books that you will enjoy reading because of it’s story and not because of its play with words.

Overall I really enjoyed the world of clairvoyants. The Mime Order received a slightly higher Goodreads rating so I’m expecting more from it. Although I’m not sure when I’ll get my hands on it, it is sure to be on my TBR list. The third book A Song Rising is to be released so be on the lookout if you are a fan!

I give this book 4/5 stars! (or cherry blossoms if you may)

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See you in the next review!

BOOK REVIEW: Vampire’s Massage by C. King Grey

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I absolutely have no idea how the post I created disappeared in my wordpress account. I mean all this time I thought I had a new blogpost! Anyway, I am just going to calm myself, take deep breaths, and try to do this one more time.

Probably a few days ago I received a comment on one of my book reviews from an author saying that he would like me to read and review his work. And of course I got so excited with the idea. I had to tell him that I try to be very objective about my reviews and if he was still up for it then why not! So he sent me the book (kindle version), and went ahead and read it and here are my thoughts.

Now I know this might be pretty petty but I have a thing for book covers. I just really, really dislike covers that look like the ones you see on the old romance novels. You know the ones with faces of just people standing there or in an awkward position for the camera or whatnot. I don’t know how to describe it. Basically those covers that contain nothing but a face or  people in a non-artsy way. There must be tens of books I refused to read solely because their covers were awful to me. I’m not saying that the cover is horrible, no. In fact, in my honest opinion it is appropriate for the title really. All I am saying is they could have done better. I just think it’s too literal, cliche if you may. A vampire novel and a pretty girl’s neck, get what I’m saying? People say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but admit it, we do.

As I was exchanging messages with the author, the title of the book didn’t pop up in the conversations, so I have no clue what it was. I only knew that it was a vampire short story, and it was offered to me. So when I saw the title, I found my face break into a smile which could have been translated into “what the —” Then it continued on to “Well that was straightforward.” It actually did make me stop and think if I really want to go on and read it. What happened to the mysterious, catchy, thought provoking titles? No? I understand that this works for certain areas of the reading public, which is after all the point. And as I read on I realized it really did go with the story. I’m just a freak and continued feeling queasy about the title, so moving on…

As a self-confessed reading addict, I was naturally looking for several things when I read a book which are staples like character development, plot movement, writing style, among others. But when we deal with short stories it is quite different since there is not much space for entire spectra of events and characters. I liked how the author was able to introduce and create this character without much dragging with words. Of course not much is given about the lead character and his background since this is part one of a series and his origins will most probably explained in the later installments. But, you kind of build this idea of who he is as a person and his job which he interestingly continued to do.

The girl was also introduced cleverly I think. And I was sooooooo glad when I saw that she didn’t end up being the love-that-will-beat-all-odds kind of girl or that would have really turned me off.

What I liked about this story was how the carnal desires of the vampire was described. Towards the end of the story, the details and how the sensations were placed into words were rich and clear. I remember looking at my notebook and seeing what I wrote. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL was how I described it. It’s as if you want to rip that girl’s throat yourself. Gory? I know.

This story was entirely about a new vampire explaining who he is. Yeah, that’s about it and for a starter story to a series that is pretty natural but it didn’t really weigh on me very much. I was glad though, that this wasn’t yet another vampire love story. But then you don’t know that until the very end… clever.

I have read short stories before, ones that are parts of a series so I have an idea of what I like and dislike about them. What I found out while flipping through this was that I didn’t dread coming to the end page. I didn’t not want it to end. To put it bluntly, I didn’t mind it ending, and didn’t yearn for more. I thought, there’s a hot (supposedly) new vampire on the loose giving in to his vampire instincts which is new for a main character. Most would have been able to control their “thirst” and be awesome and noble and stuff. But then, someone’s got to be realistic about things right? I could just imagine the last scene where he has blood red eyes looking out the window, grinning with the pleasure and sick satisfaction of his first kill.

I didn’t dislike this short story. If anything, it was refreshing after very heavy reads I got through before this one. It wasn’t bombarded with too much drama or emotions or conflicts. But I wouldn’t say I look forward to reading the rest.

I  debated on how I am going to rate this, but for the sake of the last third part of the story where everything gets gory and natural and blood and where there is good mixture of intensity and desire… 3/5 where short stories are concerned.

*** Thank you to C. King Grey for letting me read his work. His works are available at Amazon if any of you are interested in some blood action.

Typhoon + Earthquake and Life

I cannot think of a more valid excuse for me not being able to post than life got in the way. Lame. I know.

I finished, very quickly, a short story sent to me by a very kind author who saw one of my reviews and I will definitely be letting everyone know about it as soon as I get a hold of my desk which will maybe be in 2 days tops?

There has been a typhoon and internet has been crap so I can’t really upload anything. Also, I am busy worrying about relatives who live in the places which were hit severely by the storm. Plus an earthquake just hit our town. Thank God it wasn’t massive!

I really really hope to talk to all of you soon!

Toodles..

Creating a Better World 17 Goals at a Time

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This is a slightly different type of post for me (for this blog at least) but one that is really close to my heart. The world today faces a ton of problems, most of which, though it hurts to admit, are man-made. It is also worth saying that some of these concerns are denied of their existence and therefore denied of solutions as well. I believe that humans have advanced in all aspects of our existence except one, and that is caring for our own. The world is in decline, slowly, gradually, but it is happening unless we make an effort to stop it. These problems like poverty, war, inequality, starvation, and many others have been steadily increasing and raising concerns for all throughout the decades. It is heartbreaking to watch the news nowadays. And people need to make a stand, now.

I have always been vocal about supporting the right to quality education for everyone, just as much as I advocate (almost violently) the habit of reading to EVERYONE especially young people. And so when I saw this video by Tanya Burr , and this video telling people about an amazing project, I vowed to help spread the word and help make a change.

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The Global Goals is a project where world leaders have committed to 17 goals to end extreme poverty, fight injustice and inequality, and fix climate change. This is a 15 year project wherein the Global Goals can achieve sustainable development for all people. And so, in order for these goals to be achieved, EVERYONE has to know about them and support them. So let us help spread the word and be parts of this wonderful movement. In a world where communication is at the push of a button, and worldwide awareness can be achieved in seconds, let us use this power for the greater good, help those in need, and save this place we call home.

THE GOALS:

1 – No Poverty
2 – Zero Hunger
3 – Good Health and Well-Being
4 – Quality Education
5 – Gender Equality
6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10 – Reduced Inequalities
11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
13 – Climate Action
14 – Life Below Water
15 – Life On Land
16 – Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
17 – Partnerships for the Goals

Of these 17 goals, I have chosen 5 which are very close to my heart.

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I am assuming that all of you are new to this little speck of internet I call my blog, so I know that none of you know that I am a registered nurse (unless of course you read my About page). Since I was young, I knew that my calling as a professional would be in health care, and I was not wrong. I learned to love being a nurse more and more as I practiced my craft. I cannot tell you how many heartbreaking moments I have witnessed, from families losing a loved one, to an individual losing the fight to an illness. Even more heartbreaking was witnessing, and hearing stories of people unable to avail of quality medical services, of treatments to ailments, and of humanitarian health care. I live in a developing country, and though we are not a super power, the health care policy of our government covers everyone and I am thankful for that. However, that is not the case for other countries in similar or worse situations. A lot of people do not have access to even basic health care. Let us all help spread the word to help stop people from dying of accidents, of preventable diseases, of sexually transmitted diseases, or women and children dying of childbirth.

E_SDG_Icons-04I don’t think there are words to describe how strongly I feel about this. The right to education is universal, that is a fact, and deliberately denying a person from availing it is a crime against humanity. The capacity to progress and bring forth positive change to the status quo can never be achieved without proper education being afforded to everyone, even to those who live in the most desolate areas. The right to education does not stop at your gender or your ethnic background. Children across the globe deserve to learn about the endless possibilities the world can offer them. Honing talents, even at a young age, to help in nation-building. I have been very lucky, luckier than most, to have had the kind of education I’ve received. I went to good schools, outstanding schools, and was even afforded the chance to pursue graduate studies. Realizing how fortunate I was about my life and my education is not a recent thing. I’ve always believed that if only everyone is given the chance to quality education, then the world’s problems will be resolved. There will be no discrimination, or violence, or injustice or war. No one will take advantage of anyone. The world will be such a wonderful place to live in.

E_SDG_Icons-05Why? WHY? I could not for the life of me think of a solid, acceptable reason why someone is treated less of a human as another. Male or female, no one deserves to be treated as less than what he or she deserves. No one, NO ONE, deserves to be maligned, judged, mistreated, or stereotyped based on gender. A person is a person, what is so difficult with that? Have we become too intelligent for this simple idea? A woman must not be judged weak or incapable, just because she IS a woman. Just as much as a man should not be branded as brute, or careless, or unfeeling, just because he is a man. How many times has a woman led an organization to huge success? How many men have raised kids with gentle care and love, and respect? The beautiful Emma Watson talked about this, together with the HeforShe Movement. Do yourself a favor and read her speech. You’re welcome. No woman should ever be subjected to violence or be seen as sexual objects for sale. Women deserve equal economic and political rights because they are humans as well, not some special kind of species. Let us help empower women, and make them realize how independent and talented women can help shape future.

E_SDG_Icons-10The issue of inequality, I think, is a global concern and we see proofs of it everyday. Life as we know it has been a constant struggle with economic stifles, and unsafe job environments, and forced labor, and racism to only name a few. The gaps between economic growths of countries have never been bigger, and the distance between the poor and affluent is constantly growing wider. Inside this issue are vast domestic and international concerns that we are all facing as citizens. We must all fight for equal rights, and the social, and economic inclusion of all people regardless of age, sex, race, economic status, ethnic background, etc.

E_SDG_Icons-13Earth is a beautiful place to live in. Let’s protect it. It has provided everything man needed to sustain life comfortably. However, as we progress as a race, the planet has received huge blows and we have not given it enough time to replenish and recover. We are taking too much, too fast. We started, as a matter of fact, taking our home for granted, and now, it has started to make us pay. Disaster after disaster, we see how our actions has affected nature and how it rebounds on our daily lives. Climate change exists, and we should all take accountability for it. Our daily lives are consumed with bright ideas of ensuring maximum comfort but at what cost. I know I will not be able to make a big impact on how we can address climate change. But every little thing helps. Small steps. Let’s talk about it, discuss it, see where we stand and what we can do to help. That’s all it takes really. Let’s not wait for more to perish before we act.

” If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. It’s the same wherever you are in the world.”

I hope that you guys join this cause and let me know down in the comments which of these goals you are passionate about, closest to your heart, or wish to support. You know what let’s make this a tag shall we?

I tag all of you…

to write about, or post a picture, or create an artwork, or however you want to express your support on this awesome project.

Please, please, please link your creations in the comments below, or in the my social media accounts. I am sooooo curious to see all your works! Also, I urge everyone to tell everyone you know about this movement. It’s not really that hard you know 🙂

Here are some of the links to help you decide 🙂

http://www.globalgoals.org/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

http://www.heforshe.org/

Instagram – @globalgoals

Twitter – @TheGlobalGoals / @GlobalGoalsUN

#globalgoals

BOOK REVIEW: Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

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I think I’ve said it in some posts how much I loooove the works of Anne Rice. I remember vividly reading The Witching Hour, feeling the strange need to check my windows, and scaring the hell out of myself but I just. can’t. stop. reading. I felt the same with every single book and I have since started collecting the Vampire Chronicles series with a very few missing links which I intend to fill soonest.

Prince Lestat follows well, of course, the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, the most famous and most swoon-worthy of the Blood Drinkers in the Vampire Chronicles. If I remember correctly, there is only one installment from the whole series where Lestat wasn’t the narrator. This was a long awaited novel, having been released 11 years after the Blood Canticle which was thought to be the last. I almost fainted when I saw the news about the release of PL and wanted to just grab it as soon as it was released, but then life got in the way, and so I was able to grab a copy during the first quarter of this year. I devoured this book let me tell you. I am now flailing about this, because, you guessed it, I looooved it! Now, no book is absolutely perfect, so let me get into the nitty-gritty.

I remember writing in my goodreads review that it was the culmination you knew was coming but one from which you still want more. And I think I saw something on the internet that had my hopes up for another book coming.

There were a lot of characters. I mean A LOT. I mean I wouldn’t mind that, except you have to memorize all their weirdly beautiful names and every now and then you’d have to stop and think, who was he again? There is a sort of index on all the characters at the end of the book which was really helpful, but then it was a lot of going back to that index for me.

BUT, they were introduced, explained, and immersed into story beautifully. I couldn’t think of one that didn’t make any sense. They had their plays to part, and they played them well. Rice is a wonderful story-teller, being able to describe emotions, and power, and things beyond the physical world like a dream. You get sucked into this world of wonderful human emotions told in the eyes of those who call themselves damned.

Now this novel is long, which usually I don’t mind. I appreciate a good long read any time. BUT I think some of the chapters were a little bit of a drag.  There were whole chapters about certain characters I honestly couldn’t care less about. I saw how they made sense to the story, but really? a whole chapter? At some points I wanted to just skip them altogether, but I am a bit patient about these things so I carried on.  

In my opinion, it could be a stand-alone novel. With each character or event, there are bit and pieces of references to the other novels, keeping the reader somehow knowledgeable about what was going on and why was it happening.  Also, I loved how the characters developed throughout the book. But like I said, so much characters! The character development of Lestat has been apparent through all the books of the series, and that may be the reason why it has a cult following. He was a vampire, but he was emotionally vulnerable like the rest of us.

With this book, you kind of have an idea what the ending will be, but you are so looking forward to how that will happen. And that, was what really shocked me. There are gory details here so if you are not a fan of blood and skulls being turned to mush then look away and just keep distance.

A wee bit of a disclaimer, this is my cup of tea people. I love this genre and I would pick it up any time of the year. I have adored Anne Rice for years. But, I try to be as objective as I can manage. So, if you didn’t like this book, or this is not the genre for you, then I can’t see why you would want to pick it up. But if you want a really good, rich, epic vampire story, then Anne Rice is your queen.  I personally think she writes the best vampire stories period.

4 and a half stars plus all my love.

Let’s chat 🙂

Do you like vampire stories? NO? Why not?  If yes, which ones? Recommendations? Have you read Prince Lestat? Share your thoughts and let’s be friends!

BOOK REVIEW: Tainted by Alexandra Moody

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The ARC: the world’s last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.

At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways and community comes first. Everyone lives in fear of failing their annual testing and those that do are deemed tainted—taken away without any warning or a word of goodbye.

No one has been taken in over six months and the remaining citizens of the ARC have slowly begun to forget the danger. Elle remains wary, but even she is beginning to wonder if it’s finally safe to succumb to her feelings towards her closest friend, Sebastian.

But, no one is ever truly safe in the ARC. Elle is about to experience her own personal apocalypse and with nothing left to lose, she will finally attempt to uncover the truth about the tainted.

Will she find what she’s looking for or are some secrets better left buried deep underground?

I am feeling super productive and I didn’t want to waste my creative juices so I just typed this as a word document and will be posting this as soon as I get home. I read this book even before I read the ones in my 3 previous posts so this is a long overdue review in all honesty. I really wanted to review this book as well, because I think it had an interesting premise. Initially, I thought that it wasn’t compelling enough of a story. However, with some time in, I realized that it was an interesting story, though if I may say so, the idea of having the entire population contained into a dome/space/refuge/whatever you might want to call it because the world has been destroyed is not new in the world of science fiction. Also, I swear I read a synopsis of another book which sounds eerily similar to this, but I can’t remember the title of the book to save myself.

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Her struggles seem to be real. At some point, her emotions feels like they come from a genuine place. I guess, in technical terms, you can say that the emotions that the characters were assigned to represent were cleverly melded into the story, and you tend to feel for the characters as well.

What struck me the most were Elle’s relationships with the people around her. Although she may not notice it, or may not want it, it is evident that she has formed lasting bonds. They were relationships that felt natural to her, so avoiding forming relationships only applied to other people outside her circle. She had a special relationship with the boy’s father, which was platonic of course, but nevertheless true.

The writing was fine. It didn’t make me swoon, but it didn’t turn me off as well. It did a good job of carrying the story and that is what’s important right? Also, the character development was slow but sure. I think the author ensured first that the characters were introduced as to who they are now, and then they are introduced to a new light every so often, developing the characters as they go. The pacing, was a little slow for me. I would have wanted more action but hey, I didn’t fall asleep.

I think out of the entire book, the part where I was most excited was during the last few pages.  It was one of those I-thought-I-knew moments for the characters but then nothing was what it seems.

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The ending was not a giveaway, but I kind of guessed it 2/3 into the book. It was not an ending where I was just waiting for the book to blurt it out. BUT, I wasn’t surprised, AT ALL, about how it ended. You get what I’m saying?

I am not sure if I connected to the Elle that much. Look, I get that she has issues, and that she has lived a terrible fate but managed to survive it all but I just can’t get myself to love her as much I want to. For what it’s worth though, I like her bad ass roommate. And although I feel detached, I know that if I were somebody else reading, it would have been heartbreaking to me.

Overall, I guess what I was looking for was intensity, and richness, especially with a book playing on post-apocalyptic world and betrayal. I wanted it to keep me on my toes. Especially since this was a first book to a series/trilogy, I would have preferred that it pack a solid punch.

2.5star

I don’t think this is a horrible book. It just isn’t for me. I think people who are really into this genre will find this a delight to read. Unfortunately, I will not be reading further into this trilogy.

Have you read this book?

What did you think about it?