Book Love Review: A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab 🔴⚪⚫

Summary From Goodreads: 

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. 


There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.


Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.


Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. 


Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 


My Review:  🔴⚪⚫

4.8/5 ANTARI STARS!!!!!!!

I am in awe fellow readers. 

I am SHOOK! I am mad at myself. I am dumb-founded and most of all my heart is dang happy I finally decided to get into this series and hop along the Schwablin train. 

ADSOM is a book that I fell inlove with from the very first chapter, which seldom happens to me, it usually takes me longer. It DEFINATELY lived up to the hype and it was everything I had hope for and way, way more. 

There was simply no way I could put this book down but I was so busy I had to read it in 2 days instead of one. 
IT IS EVERYTHING YOU DANG NEED IN A FANTASY BOOK. 

This was my first Schwab book and oh, dear friends, most definitely not my last. Thank goodness for my brain that told me to buy A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of light before starting ADSOM. 

LIKES

 – WORLDBUILDING: Holy Fudge Balls can Schwab write an intense, intricate and carefully crafted magical world that sucked me write in to a point where I wanted to live in Red London and possibly rule next to Rhy… Shhh.. don’t tell him I said that. The four Londons still continue to facinate me and I think we dig deeper into them in books 2 and 3. 

– KELL AND RHY: Uhrrrmm YES PLEASE! At first I was worried about not having an emotional attachment to Kell and Rhy and Lila but NOW THEY ARE MY SMOL CINNAMON ROLLS SO DON’T EVEN TOUCH THEM!!!!! I adore Kell and Rhy’s bromance. It’s so heartwarming and beautiful *sobs*. Also Kell fighting internal darkness and possibly losing to it!!! ugh. 

– Lila: Oh Lila, sweet dear, mannerless Lila. How I adore you! Also HELLO QUEEN OF DEVELOPMENT/ CARING FOR KELL AND <b>FEELINGS</b> . When she starts to care about other characters other than herself… just… murder my heart why dont you! I can’t wait to see more of her in the following books. Because thats the thing with Schwablin characters, they feel so real and they have so many layers that have you just peeling and peeling and peeling for more! 

– The Dane Twins: I seriously love, love, love Astrid and Athos. Like SERIOUSLY. They were such amazing villians and bless my heart for finding fanart with them and holland together because I have emotions, DUH. I hate what they did to Holland but I still can’t help but think about how awesome they were! I kinda pictures them as those Team Rocket siblings from Pokemon. It’s weird but GAAAH!!!  

Needless to say, and I say again, never have I ever feel inlove so hard with a book as I have with this one. ADSOM has become an easy favourite book of mine and possibly series. I will not, ever, stop recommending this series to anyone!! Do yourself a favour, don’t be an idiot like me and jump on the train as late as can be and PICK UP THIS INCREDIBLE BOOK!!! 

Find  me on Bookstagram: @moonlight_books 


Book Love Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 


Summary From Goodreads: 

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. 

My Review (Posted in Goodreads in 2016🙈): 
CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR CROOKED KINGDOM!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED HUMANS!!!!!! 

NO.NOPE. I AM NOT READY TO SAY GOODBYE. NOPE. PLEASE.  WHY, THIS PAIN. NOPE!!!!!! 5/5 Ketterdam DREG STARS!!! I AM DEAD ON THE INSIDE! 
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This book has left me in pieces, in a mess of unwanted emotions, love, hate and every emotion you can honestly, possibly think of. Just WOW. I am in shock and left in awe at the is book and this magnificent author! I praise the day I picked up <i>Six of Crows</i> or else I would never have fell in love with such an amazing squad of characters! Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina & Matthias will always be with me wherever I go. I DONT CARE IF I SOUND CRAZY JUST LET.ME.BE!! I am not ready and will never be ready to say goodbye. N-E-V-E-R. 
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It was honestly so amazing to dive back into this world again in Ketterdam with these Dregs on <b>Kick-ass</b> mission to get their family back together and get their money. This time round, the stakes were higher and everything thing that they have worked for is now on the line. We get more backstory and heartache and just <i>aaaaaahhhhhh</i> I am tearing up just thinking about it. Its amazing how much we feel for fictional characters sometimes and thats the result of pure amazing work! Crooked kingdom just took this series to a new level and it blew my mind! 

We <i>finally</i> get to read from Wylan’s POV which I highly enjoyed because I am very attached to Wylan, so to delve deeper into his past was just as heartbreaking as it was exciting. Each of these characters have such strong voices that is filled with so much pain and hope and wanting for a better life and Wylan out of everyone, just wants acceptance from his father. He has the strongest character development which is just a magnificent aspect to observe! The relationship with Jesper and Wylan becomes more prominent and it was everything I have ever wanted since the first book. They are so romantically blunt with each other that it turns out to be so sweet and funny! Gosh I will miss them! We also get to delve into Jespers past which I also was intrigued by since the first book. We learn about his parents and what it meant growing up Grisha and were his loyalties lie. B-E to the A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!! 

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Kaz and Nina just, just take my severed soul now please. Literally right at the end they confess their feelings to <i>each other</i>. I have waited so, so long to hear them say those words from their mouths and it just was so worth it! Kaz continues to do sweet life-changing meaningful things for Inej and you can’t help but squeal with joy, I’m sorry, its just too irresistible. I was so, so scared for this ship as we know from book one, Inej gets kidnapped and Kaz and the Dregs has to come to her rescue in this book. But Inej is a strong survivor and she does what she has to do! Kaz as always, has multiple tricks up his sleeve which always drops like a time-bomb throughout this book so #SHOOK! They just melted my already melted heart! 

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So that leaves Nina and Matthias <b>heavy sigh, heavy breathing</b>. I adore Nina with all that is in me I fell in love with her since the first time we meet her in <i>Six of Crows</i> and I can’t wait to read more from her as Leigh Bardugo has more plans for her <b>***happy dance***</b>. Matthias has to be the character that has definitely grown on me. I wasn’t sure whether I liked him or not in the first book but I definitely do now. The love that her and Nina share is so forbidden yet so, so right.I WAS CRUSHED WHEN HE DIED!! OH MY GOODNESS! I sobbed like a baby and I never want to experience that again. And what’s even more saddening is that it was told from Nina’s POV and just!!!! My heart couldn’t handle so much pain!. I love these two so much and It was so heartbreaking seeing them go. 

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Overall, I was satisfied with the way the duology wrapped up. It was filled with hope and sadness and heartbreak so ultimately, it was bittersweet. I don’t know how many times I need to stress the fact that <b>EVERYONE</b> needs to read this series! It is action packed and filled with humour and kick-ass and you will find yourself so attached to these characters that you wouldn’t want to face real life (haha). So do yourself a favour and pick up this glorious book!! 

Thank you so, so much to Macmillan for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ❤

Book Love Review: The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon 


Summary From Goodreads: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? 
My Review (Posted on Goodread in 2016 🙈): 


Nicola Yoon has once again: 

a) Stolen my heart

b) Gave pain to that heart

c) Proved to remain one of my favourite contemporary authors ever! 
Just WOW. I <b>devoured</b> this book in one day in one sitting! I give this book a 4.8/5 magnificent stars!! I totally adored this book and I believe that this is a very important book. Everyone should indeed read this!  
I was once again, swept up by Yoons’ lyrical writing and cute-sy dialogue. Theres just something about her writing that is infectious and addicting. In this book especially, we get not two, but <b>multiple</b> point of views throughout this book which I was quite surprised by. I have come to understand that since this book is blurbed as <i>A girl. A boy. And the Universe</i>, these other pov’s prove to be the “universe”. I highly enjoyed the concept of a girl who’s believes in theory and science and laws falling in love with a boy who believes in destiny and faith and chance. 
Natasha and Daniel have such strong voices. They both come from backgrounds that ultimately leads to their detinies being <i>chosen</i> for them. They are completely different ut similar in so many ways. I loved Natashas puffy afro and hot-pink earphones, I adored Daniel’s ponytail and his suit that he wears all through the book! It’s so cute and romantic and my FEELS were everywhere! Usually, I don’t mind insta-love if it’s done right and with this book the insta-love is essentially <i>necessary</i>. The whole theme and idea of the book is falling in love at first sight and fate and destiny having to do with it. However, the love didn’t feel forced at all! it develops and blossoms into something so beautiful! 

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This is a very important book. The diversity and the the pressure that is put on these characters from their parents because of them being a minority group in the US is quite raw, real and scary. I am thrilled that Yoon took part of her person life and added it to this book like colour to a story. #OwnVoices is definitely something we <b>need</b> to have more of, especially in YA when readers seek familiarity. I am so, so thrilled that this has also (just like <i>Everything,Everything</i>) picked up for movie! It would be very cinematic and even, quite empowering! 
The book does have a sad undertone because of the fact that Natasha might eventually be deported and, being the reader, we are aware of this but the chemistry and the love overshadows that fact until the very end. I was quite devastated as to what might happen. 
Me during the last 40pages: 

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Me during the epilogue: 

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Overall, Yoon blew it out of the water for me once again and I highly look forward to EVERYTHING else that she writes (haha, but no, <b>seriously</b>! If you did not enjoy <i>Everything, Everything</i>, do give this a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

Book Review: What Light by Jay Asher 


Summary From Goodreads: 

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.
What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable. 
 My Review (Officially posted on Goodreads in 2016, whoopsie!🙈) 


Has this book taken me by surprise or what?! After reading the first 30 pages i was unsure If I was going to infact enjoy this book or not but holy cow was this an absolute Christmas-<i>sy</i> read! I devoured this book on Chrstmas day as I deemed it appropriate and it had left me with heartache, hope and warmth. I give this gem an 4/5 magical stars! 

When we first meet Sierra, she is your typical pretty, stereotypical YA heroine who lives he life in California and Oregon, as she moves there for the Christmastime to help out her family on their pine-tree farm. I did not <i>dislike</i> Sierra I quite liked her in the beginning but as we delved deeper, I really quite enjoyed her character. Caleb was really, <i>really</i> good love interest. I enjoyed his character more than I did Sierra’s! He had personality and a very, very…. shall we say <i>interesting</i> background. I felt more of a connection to him than I did anyone else! 

When these two characters meet there is insta-love which I wasn’t sure If I was going to like but it eventually came with complications and little bit of unsureness, mainly from Sierra’s side. These two were just so  cute and fuzzy together and they just fit well! They have their own personal jokes and witty banter that felt so right. So the insta-love isn’t quite prominent as the growth of the relationship is evident. Calbe was a character that came with a lot of baggage and for Sierra to want to tackle that on was quite refreshing to see. She wanted to delve deeper into his demons and really make them work!  

There were a few aside characters, however I really enjoyed Heather the most. She was supportive for Sierra but quite cautionary when it came to Caleb, rightfully so. She didnt feel like a stereotypical side character that just walks onto the page to stroke the ego of the Heroine. She was fleshed-out and had her own problems and insecurities to overcome. The friendship with the romance contributed so much to the overall Christmas theme of the book! It was just so fuzzy and heart-warming that it just fills you with joy!  

The romance in this book was so magical and heartbreaking at the same time. Sierra is unsure whether she will infact be returning to Oregon. And since she has started this new romance…, do you see where the problem lies? So by the end if this book my heart was left sore but also at the same time filled with hope for these characters.  
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Overall this was a solid novel that achieved great heights taking into consideration that this is intact  a 250 page book! I would recommend to read it during this Christmastime as it adds to the atmosphere and it feels just right! 
Thank you to Macmillan for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 

Book Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin 

Summary From Goodreads: 

Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

My Review (Officially posted to Goodreads in 2016, whoops 🙈): 

Historical Fiction is certainly not a genre that I would personally get attached to, however this year I had wanted to try something different and this book definitely tickled my interested in reading further books under this genre! I give this book a historical 4/5 stars!! It was absolutely thrilling and filled with great, intense intrigued that left me wanting more! I devoured this book in a day!  

Wolf by Wolf, being an alternate history story really gripped me from the very first page. We are introduced to our Heroine Yael who has gone through many hardships in her life. She has a tattoo of five wolves that each represent a person that helped mould her into who she evidently is. And what more exciting is we get to see flashbacks of these characters and how they have impacted her. I found that aspect truly uniques as we get to see what <i>drives</i> Yael to get revenge and kill Hitler. She is avenging these people that her whole life is built around and that intact, made the novel more empowering and dare I say <b>kickass</b>!  

Yael is already such a hardcore character and even through this, she somehow still grows throughout the book. I really loved her determination and her spark to fight for what she really wants, being part of the resistence and such. She has the ability to shape shift into whoever she wants to and part of her plan is to take on the identity of Adele and take part in a motorcycle race across the globe to finally get a dance with Hitler so she max assasinate him. And with that come soo much drama! Felix, Adele’s brother wants to protect his sister so he shows up to partake in the race without Adele A.K.A Yael knowing. Plus Adele’s former love interest Luka also partakes and drama ensues! 

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I honestly thought that this book would have a love triangle but Yael does “make a choice” by the end of the book which is even more so heartbreaking now that he will come to know Adele is not who she says she is. I was really rotting for that particular ship and I hoped it will eventually lead somewhere.I really hope is does in the next book as I think it could really be the start of something really good! Luka was so cocky and dark and it was just perfect while Felix was just worried for his sister and even though she might have thumped him on the head, he still comes to her rescue (haha). I never thought that an alternate historical fiction book would be filled with drama and intense backstories and just pure entertainment! It definitely makes me want to read more of this genre which I hope to do in 2017!  

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Overall, the end left me in a state of shock I honestly wasn’t expecting such a huge twist! WOW! I can’t wait to see the next one turns out, since its a duology, I hope it wraps up really well and I am so excited to see where the story goes! I can feel that it is about to get more intense so sign me up! Pick up this series if you really want to give a go to this genre. It is a great start and will leave you wanting more!

 Thank you to Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 



A Contemporary Issue With Fandoms – A Penny For Your Thoughts

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Fandom:

(n.) the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something.

As we all know, being part of a fandom can be very empowering and motivating. We are meant to lift each other up, have discussions and to overall share our mutual love for something. We form friendships over these bonds and they stay with us forever. However, recently, the problem with fandoms is a topic that has been persisting me to write about it and ever since I have had that epiphany at 2am last night, I had to address this matter.

I think the main problem in fandoms is ultimately “who is to be the most biggest/loyal fan”. Now, this doesn’t happen in every fandom and not everyone in the fandom thinks this way. But there are people like this that are very evident and prominent in fandoms. Whether it be music, film or bookish fandoms, competition is perceptible. I personally don’t feel this way. Fandoms are meant to be families that lift each other up which allows the fandom to ultimately thrive. The ability to share my thoughts and feelings with another human being who feels the same is just an incredible experience. 

Now, to focus the lens on bookish fandoms is a tricky act to perform. Let me start off by saying:

EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT TASTES

We are all human and we are tailored with our own likes, dislikes & interests. Sometimes, and this happens often, we even find ourselves drawn to books that many other readers didn’t like/hype -up, also known as the “Unpopular opinion”. For this reason, readers of these kind of books are in the minority. They have no one to talk to or share their opinions to unless they find each other. They have no voice of reason and that is not what Fandoms are about. Please understand that we have different tastes. That, dear readers is the most conventional part of the reading experience.

What I want to delve deeper into is when a reader has an unpopular opinion about a book and other readers make it their job to disassociate themsselves with this bookworm. For example, “Empire of Storms” by Sarah J Maas was a book that I personally didn’t immediately give 5/5 stars to, instead I gave it a slightly lower rating than that as it was not my favourite and I knew the author is so much better than that.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

That is my own opinion. Nobody has to like it. Instead of thinking I am delusional for not giving a S J Maas book an immediate 5/5 stars, ASK ME WHY I DIDN’T. Let’s talk over it, go over what I find problematic. So maybe then you would see fault through my eyes. Don’t get me wrong I ADORE S J Maas but EoS wasn’t my favourite because she is so much better! So respect everyone’s opinion. Don’t pit against each other because suddenly someone didn’t enjoy the book as much as you do. Humble yourselves and lend a friendly ear to the unpopular opinion, who knows? maybe you can learn soemthing new!. Surprisingly, I had found many bloggers and booktubers that share the same opinion as I did in regards to EoS. We talked about it and acknowledged that yes there were faults, but that didn’t mean we were going to bash the book. We learnt from each other and theres nothing more conventional than that!

I am referring to all kind of bookish fandoms that are part of series. Learn to understand your fellow bookworm, understand why they feel this way about the book. Educate yourselves by sharing the good and bad aspects of a book with one another. That is not “bashing” a book. You are simply being honest and stating your opinion. I personally like reading the negative reviews on Goodreads of a book before I purchase it. I want to know what irked the reader so much that they had to give it 1 or 2 stars. If those aspects they didn’t like don’t affect me, I will buy the book. It’s that simple!

So my dear bookish fandoms, all I can say is SPREAD. THE. LOVE. Accept all kinds of readers, hear what they have to say and provide feedback. Yes, readers are going to differ from you, yes they may have dissimilar opinions. However, as a fellow fan and friend all you can do is understand where they are coming from and continue to so spread joy throught the fam! 😊

Let me know of any thoughts you have on this topic in the comments and feel free to rant!

Follow me on Bookstagram: @moonlight_books 💜

Book Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

My Review:

5/5 F—-NG STARS, CHUMS!!! OH MY GOSH I AM SO SHOOK!!!!!!!!!! DEFINATELY ONE OF THEEE BEST BOOKS OF 2016 HOLY CRAPP IM AM NOT OKAY!!

Hooo-llyy cow, this was so amazing!! I had read Illuminae back in January and instantly fell in love with the story, the characters, the formats and AIDAN!!!! Needless to say, the first book definitely left me shook to the core, however by the end of this one, I was left breathless, gasping, sweating and panting for my dear life. PREPARE YOURSELVES, YOU ARE IN FOR ONE HELL OF A RIDE, CHUMS. The stakes are higher in this book. Literally everything is on the line, the lives of thousands, spaceships and even universes. Yupp, you heard me write u-n-i-v-e-r-s-e-s!!!! And to think I almost didn’t want to buy this book this year because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the first one. Man, was I wrong! This was my first audiobook I eve listened to and trust me when I say YOU.NEED.TO.LISTEN.TO.IT!!! I regret not listening to the audiobook of the first one but damn, I had the time of my life hearing these characters come to life!

This time round, yet again I fell in love with all the freaking characters! And that my dear lovelies is the most dangerous thing you could do when it come to an Illuminae book! All the way through I was so very afraid for our main characters Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov! Because I knew, I just knew I couldn’t trust the authors!!! And I can’t believe I fell for it the second time around. I adored these two characters, Hanna mainly because she was such a diva and princess and reminded me so much of Lilac LaRoux from Amie Kaufman’s other series These Broken Stars. But boy was she a kickass fem! Even at times when her whole world is falling apart, she keeps going, she keeps fighting and that my dearies is the best kind of character development either. She wasn’t “stuck-up-annoying” if you know what I mean! 

Niklas Malikov, aaaahhhh, damn did you play on my heartstrings! You made me faint, then wake up and then faint and then wake up and then die and rise and then die again! You wouldn’t believe the things that he goes through! He is incredibly funny and charismatic and charming and gaaaaaaaaahhh. I love the banter between Hanna and Nik, he tries so hard to get her to fall for him and they are just oh, so cute! We find out a lot about Nik, his “criminal” past, the crime gang he belongs to and where his loyalties lie. And I am a sucker for a well-fleshed character with a troubled past! He definitely grew on him ever since her stepped onto the page! BUT THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO THESE CHARACTER IS JUST STONE-COLD CRUEL. I literally through this book across the room numerous times not believing what I was reading/listening to!


 

I absolutely loved Ella Malikova, Nik’s cousin, who is just as sarcastic and humorous and badass as Nik! Yet again, I was so afraid for her but around page 614 I was so relieved because I was afraid of where the authors might take her character! We also get to see Kady and Ezra and Kady’s dad as well as the beloved AIDAN and let me just tell you he is still CREEPY AF but I have now grown to love him! I was so, so afraid for all these characters, what might happen them and my heart was literally in my throat by the end of this! The members from the Beitech fleet that invades Heimdall were so evil and ruthless and they were just so, so entertaining. But when the major, major plot twist of the book was revealed (which corresponds with the title of this book), I.WAS.SHOOK!! I would never have imagined something like that would happen, and by the time this was revealed I was so emotionally DONE WITH THE BOOK that I didn’t even know what to do with myself.

All in all this book does not disappoint AT ALL, full of twists and turns and reveals and fear for these characters and JUST SIMPLY AMAZEBALLS and trust me when I say that YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS SERIES. If I can read and understand sci-fi, anyone can (cause honestly, I suck at spacey-stuff) but this was so, so easy to comprehend! This was my first audiobook that I have listened too because I had been recommended so, so many times by people I trust ti listen to the audiobook, especially when a story is told in this format. And a alas I did, and dammmn, did it make there entire experience even more exciting, hearing the narrators and sound effects, it just brought everything to life! Definitely, definitely, do yourself a favour and listen to the audiobook while you are reading the physical book. You will not be disappointed! (Also, super proud of myself for listening to a full-length audiobook, I really dislike them, but for this series I will always listen to an audiobook!) I absolutely cannot wait to read the third and final book, I am prepared to be MINDBLOWN once again! 

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The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

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Synopsis From Goodreads:

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

My Review:

4.5/5 MAJESTIC STARS!!!

This book has honestly blown me away! I went into this quite hesitant as I haven’t heard the best of things about it. I have read The Wrath & The Dawn last year and it didn’t quite live up to the hype but I found it magical in it’s own ways! I also gave that  4.5/5 for reasons different to its’s sequel . I found this book to be WAAY better than the first one!

Filled with magic carpet rides, sea serpents, betrayal, unexpected turns and a romance so sweet it’s almost sickening, this book encapsulates the Arabian atmosphere that it promises. This book has an actual quest that I though book one would ultimately have. And boy, oh boy did this quest have many unexpected turns! I was so thrilled by how everything seemed to weave in together so perfectly and many of the ending events in book one seemed to make sense in this book!

As always, Sharzadh, as I always say, is THE QUEEN of character development. From the very first page I fell in love with her and her strength and determination. I also quite enjoyed the guilt that she faces in this book, especially once she makes contact with Reza, Shiva’s father and Tariq of have fallen in love with Khalid. Also Tariq learns the art of letting Sharzi go. Both these characters had to calm the feelings of their past in order to move on, which I found quite fitting to the book since all the magic might snatch away from the humanistic traits of their characters.

Khalid, ahh, Khaaliiidd. He is just the epitome of a male lead. His love for Sharzi does intact conquer all because, after all, she was the one that thought him how to love. The theme of love most certainly burns bright throughout this entire series which is smouldering and fierce! The passion and trust that Sharzi and Khalid share is so overwhelming and makes my internal screaming more profound! Sharzi stops at no ends to help Khalid find a way to break his curse and ultimately, love prevails!

It’s no secret that this book made me cry and gasp several times. I have grown to love secondary characters more fiercely and when I truly understood them, I never wanted to let them go! The bond Rahim and Irsa shared was so cute and delicate and so very, very, heartbreaking.

Irsa, surprisingly played such a huge role in this book which I absolutely adored! She grew and grew within each chapter which was empowering to see. The love and loyalty she has for her sister is beautiful. Her first time finding love with Rahim was so raw to witness something magical blooming between the two! Irsa stopped at no lengths in helping her sister, coming to care for Khlaid as a brother and finding love for the very first time. Jahander, their father, also played a major role in this book, as we get POV’s from him. We get to see he has good intentions and he wants the best for his daughters, but the manner in which he goes about doing things and taking aid from very, very,cruel people ultimately leads to much chaos!

Now, I removed .5 out of the rating because of the pacing and the magic system. At time the pacing was too slow (first 120pgs) and too fast (last 100 pgs). It did bother me a little bit especially when the author had so much space to expand the plot so everything wouldn’t be rushed at the end, since this is a duology but I loved every second of it. And the other factor was that, especially towards the end, everything got solved way too quickly. A character would do something/make a mistake and within the next two pages it would be solved. Just.Like.That. But I get it,this is a duology so everything needs to be wrapped up.

That epilogue was truly beautiful and everything I wanted in an epilogue for this book!. It’s so heartwarming fills you with so much happiness! This book is truly amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you weren’t a fan of the first one. These characters will always stay with me and their journey will always be one for history! I cannot wait to read more from Renee Ahdieh! She has become one of my auto-buy authors!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Thank you so much to Macmillan Books for sending me and ARC of this book for my honest review. This has in no way affected my thoughts or feelings about this book! Super thankful

My Review:

I have had the absolute pleasure of buddy- reading this book with one of my bookstagram friends, Nihaad from @read_and_seek! It was so comforting to have someone to freak out with and share thoughts over the ending of this book! I really do hope to buddy-read more books with her! All her links will be down below, do check her out!

Heartbreaking, Gut-wrenching & Inevitable

These are the three words I can use to sum up this book. 

By the end of this book I was left in a state of understanding, heartache and of amazement. Marissa Meyer pulled this off so beautifully, so intricate and carefully plotted. I was amazed by the way in which she made up this familiar yet new world, with many beloved faces and locations. Never have I ever read an origin story so well-crafted and the best part was the atmosphere. Aaaaaahhh, the atmosphere felt just like wonderland! The same feeling one would get watching or reading Alice in Wonderland, you would find it very prominent in this book!

While reading this, not one, but numerous times, I have found myself forgetting that Cath, our protagonist, ends up ruling as the Queen of Hearts. It was as if I were reading about another main character that was so smart, witty & passionate about people and her insanely wicked skill for baking!. Throughout this book, my favourite trait about Cath was her determination to start her own bakery. She fought for her dream and once that was snatched away from her, wickedness was inevitable. My heart was in pieces by the end of this book. Cath is so calculating and tries to break conformity throughout this book which was so kick-ass and fresh. And for her to lose these abilities, left with nothing, lead to the reign of a tyrant

Jest,literally, stole the show from the time we meet him. He is so funny and charming & I snorted quite a lot at the banter that existed between Jest & Cath. They were destined to be together and I found myself shipping them from the very beginning. It was almost… electric! The connection between them was magnetising and had me turning the pages faster than ever. I often thought I knew where Jest’s character was destined to go but I had it quite wrong. I found myself sympathising with their relationship because they just want to make it work. They face many barriers: different castes, Jest continuously forcing the King to court Cath, Cath fighting her feelings. Hmphh, it’s all one big mess. But once Cath can’t deny what she feels for Jest, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!!!

We meet many familiar, beloved faces with secrets of their own: Hatta (spelt that way), The White Rabbit, The Haigh (The Hare), The JABBERWOCKY, The Dormouse and many new faces that definitely added to the tone of the story. We learn more about the Jabberwocky, how it came to be and the overall story behind it. As I said, you will be AMAZED at how well-put-together everything is! It’s if I dare say, quite insane and mind-boggling!. And don’t get me started on the description of cakes and tarts and custards and YUMMMMMM!!! 

And now finally, THAT. ENDING. We all knew it was coming but still!! It hurt so freaking bad!! Cath went from sweet to evil on a real fast level. Needless to say I. WAS. SHOOK!! But as the book came to a close, I understood. I completely, utterly, understood as to why she is who she is, why she is so evil and well, Heartless. Siiighhh, was it wrong of me to want an alternative ending?. *Ugly cries* It’s just not fair, I LOVE these people!!!  My ship!

I give this glorious book 4.8/5 stars! It was wildly entertaining, gripping and so nostalgic of my favourite tale Alice in Wonderland Marissa Meyer does an incredible job and proves, once again that she is the Queen Of Retellings Get a tray full of delicacies ready with a side of tissues and revenge! This book will consume you and will have you worrying about these characters while you are away from it’s pages! Say hello to your new favourite retelling!!

Nihaad’s Links:

Blog – http://www.readandseek.co.za

Check her out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/read_and_seek/

Follow her on Twitter: @Read_and_seek

Like her on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ReadandSeekSA/

Add her on Goodreads: Nihaad Gamieldien

Pinterest: za.pinterest.com/readandseek

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Summary From Goodreads:

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

My Review: 

Okay, so you know when a book makes you feel warm and bubbly and happy inside?? Mhmm, you know that feeling??

THIS IS THAT BOOK!!!

Morgan Matson has truly outdone herself with this one. I have read “Since You’ve Been Gone” a while back but I felt that it was moving way too slow, but I nonetheless enjoyed that one. So needless to say, I was quite skeptical going into this one. But boy, oh boy was I wrong. From the very first page I was hooked and I could. not. put. this. down. I have come across some reviews that said that the fist 100 pages were paced slowly or nothing really happens. I for one, totally disagree. I immediately fell in love with Andie’s voice and I could not get enough of it!

Okay so, THE SQUAD. Aahaahhh, the beautiful, complete squad. I love each and every one of them! Palmer, Toby (my fave), Bri, Tom, Andie & Clark!! All of them hold a special place within me. Never have I felt so connected to fictional characters in a 520 page contemporary book before. I loved embarking with them on their pool parties, scavenger hunts & diner adventures! And towards the last 100 pages ANGST went from 0 to a 100 level real quick. I found myself sympathising with each character, feeling their emotions, understanding their thought processes and even at times, embody the same struggles they felt. 

 

I cannot even begin to describe my love for this book. When I tell you I was legit yearning to pick this book up the next day, I was LEGIT thinking about it every minute. Not only did I identify with Andie but, surprisingly, with multiple characters of this book. This book focuses a lot on friendships and I think that everybody, in some way will be able to relate to some aspect of it either way. I loved the concept of not planning your entire summer and just taking a leap of faith for a change. Andie, who likes to have everything planned leaves the summer to dictate her life, from dog-walking as a job to falling in love with a boy (which is like a BIG NO-NO for her). I also enjoyed the somewhat broken, dynamic relationship she has with her father- not being there for her and refusing to talk about her deceased mother. It was interesting to see the impact that had on her ability to fall in love and truly trust someone (Clark) for a change.

CLARK!!! aaahhh ! Clark and Andie fit so well together. They are different and similar at the same time. I loved Clark’s determination to get to know Andie and to not give up on them. At first I honestly wasn’t such a huge fan of Clark, it took some time for me to fully wrap my head around him, but once I did, I couldn’t help but keep rooting for both of them. During the last 100 pages my heart was in my throat, praying that everything will be okay again. But, knowing a Morgan Matson book, a lot of aspects are left to complete themselves, long after the book is complete. And sometimes i hate that and sometimes I like it. With this book, it seemed right and fit the theme of the “unexpected”. So say hello to your new favourite contemporary novel!

So please do yourself a favour and pick up this magnificent book! You will feel a sense of identity and belonging in each of these characters and they will stay with you long after it’s finished! I honestly cannot wait for Morgan Matson’s next book. I will definitely, from now on read anything she writes! An unexpected 5/5 summery stars from me!! (Haha, see what I did there?)

If whole galaxies could change, so could I