1465 Padawans
91 Masters

Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

I expected more from Mead

Soundless - Richelle Mead

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Soundless by Richelle Mead was not exactly what I had hoped it would be. I went into the book expecting to be blown away but I wasn't. I liked the book and ended up devouring it but I couldn't help feeling that Richelle Mead could do 1000x times better.

When I first started the book, I was loving every single minute of it. I was so excited about all the ways in which Mead made the world come to life. The way she created this soundless world was fantastic because as I read the book, I could FEEL the soundlessness, I could feel it in the way the world made me anxious (I really do like my ability to hear.) I also loved the way it felt so much like a fairy tale. The world building was one of my favorite things about this book in the first 60 pages.

After that though, I slowly started to realize how even thoughthere were many wonderful details, the book could have benefited from a whole lot more.

Their climb down the mountain was wondrous but it barely covered any page space. You don’t just GET down a mountain. It’s HARD and I would have liked to see more of that climb instead of little snippets. I wanted to feel that climb instead of being told it took place.

Then when they got into town, things were pretty rushed too. They went from one place to another and everything happened so quickly. I didn’t like that. I felt like I was being rushed instead of being given time to just enjoy the world. I wanted to spend more time in the town and learn more about the outside world. I wanted to see more of the dynamics between the soundless ones and the 'regular' people.

There were also the mysterious dreams that were obviously a big deal but honestly, I barely remember anything about them. I think there should have been more emphasis on them too, there should have been more vibrant details.

And I don’t mean to be picky because if it were any other author, I probably would have given the book 4 stars since I really did like it, I am just disappointed because I expect more from Mead. Maybe even a little heartbroken since this is first YA I’ve read by her since I finished the Vampire Academy series, which just happens to be one of my all time favs.

The good news is that this book features many fantastic characters and a really cute romance.

Fei is a fantastic female lead and I loved reading about her. I love her courage and I love that she is hesitant to leave behind what she knows. This is the system she grew up in and it isn’t easy to break out of it. I also love her dedication to her sister (although I do think she could have given her more credit.) Fei is just great. She is no Rose Hathaway but she is an amazing character in her own right.

The romance between Fei and her romantic interest…. TO DIE FOR. So slow and so sweet. JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT, GODDAMNIT. So yeah, I had them shipper feels and I totally shipped my ship.

The ending did seem a little too clean for my tastes but I don’t think there could have been any other ending for this book so I really cannot complain too much about that.

In the long run, I did end up really liking this book and felt immense satisfaction from turning over the last page but I only wish there had been more depth to the book, to make it seem all the more real to me.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


Sex positive YA + romance with communication

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart - Jenn Bennett

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I've loved everything I've read by Jenn Bennett and she is on my autobuy/read list so this review might be slightly biased.... BUT THE BOOK WAS REALLY GOOD OKAY?

I went into this book expecting to fall in love and that's exactly what happened. NO SURPRISES THERE. Jenn writes the most amazing romances that won't fail to make you feel tingly on the inside and give you all the shipper feels. On top of that, she weaved in important issues and some diversity into the novel to make it an absolute winner. Her characters are complex and developed intricately so you cannot help but love them in spite of their imperfections.

The biggest issue I had with this book; however, was the slut-shaming. I will say that the main character kind of redeemed herself towards the end but there were some things she said and the people around her said that bothered me. The book aside from this one thing, is very sex positive (I *will* elaborate on that later) so I just wished the slut shamming didn't happen. I don't like it when characters are talked about in negative ways because of their sex lives. Let them live the way they WANT to.

The other issue I had--which wasn't nearly as big of a deal--was the way things wrapped up. There were some things I would have liked to see more of instead of just being told about it. I wanted to see Noah and Heath together a little more (and figure out the dynamics of their relationship); I wanted to find out more about Jack's family and some of those dynamics and I wanted to see more of Bex's relationship with her father.

Moving on...

Bex is an amazing character. I love how complex and imperfect she is. I love her struggle to find out who she is outside of her family. I love her determination. AND I LOVE HER WIT. I love watching her grow over the course of the book and become more comfortable within her own skin.

Jack is also equally amazing. He is also swoony. *melts into a puddle* No. I am not giving you more deets but I will let you know that his persistence is rather charming. *giggles*

The way sex is handled in this book is fucking amazing.It is the way sex should be handled not just in YA lit but also in adult lit. Jack and Bex sit down and actually talk about sex and what they like/don't like and then they ask each other to make sure they are okay with what is going to happen. Consent. *fist pumps* It's a magical thing that is so fucking important and hats off to Jenn for the way she handled it. *throws confetti in the air*

Which is why the romance works too. It's all about communication and we all know how important communication is. They aren't always amazing with their communication but the constant reminders that they are there for each other are fantastic and I love that. It's why you cannot help but ship them and that's what makes Jenn's romances some of the best I've ever read. She just knows. Perhaps magical powers? Who knows. WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR SECRETS, JENN.

This book also features other great relationships.Namely between Bex and her family and Jack and his sister. The only I would have liked to see more of would be friendships. Friendships are some of the most important relationships out there and I think it would have been nice to see Bex interact with some of her friends (who were not there for the summer but hey, skype calls are great too!)

The book also deals with mental illness in a way that makes me want to high five Jenn (maybe I just really want an excuse to high five her. Is that too much to ask for?)

Anywayyyy, I would 100% encourage people to add this book to their enormous TBRS. This book is a fantastic contemporary romance that won't fail to charm you and make you swoon.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

7 2

Sad, creepy and amazing

Tell the Story to Its End - Simon P. Clark

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Tell the Story to Its End is a hauntingly creepy novel that will stay with you long after you have turned the last pages. The mesmerizing writing will keep you flipping pages and the way the story is structured will make you anxious to know more. Most of all though, the main character is going to make you want to curl up in a ball and cry because you want to protect him from all of his bad choices but you cannot. After all, he is just a boy looking for the truth. He is surrounded by adults who won't give it to him and is surrounded by strangers who know more about what is going on in his life than he does. So he befriends Eren. Eren who lives in the attic. Although lives is perhaps not the right word. And perhaps Eren isn't even a who so much as a thing. A thing that lives on stories.

Is Eren enough? Will Eren's truths draw Oli in beyond a point of no return? Will Oli turn into another story to be consumed by Eren? Is Oli destined to be doomed? You may need to read this book to find out.

I will let these quotes speak for the story and perhaps draw you in (WHICH IS WHY I CHOSE THEM.) I apologize in advance for the graphics not being amazing. I haven't messed around with Photoshop in years but thought I'd step outside of my comfort zone for this book! HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOLKS, maybe you'll choose this book to keep you company on this dark holiday. *cue evil laughter*

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


Fast paced, adventurous, thrilling.

Blue Voyage - Diana  Renn

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Immediate reaction after finishing book

(Look at that beautiful smile though. #brb #dying)

What I liked

1. The mystery. I love me a good mystery and that is exactly what this book offers. It is brain candy, food for my soul and so so soothing. Sometimes, a girl just need to lay back with a good mystery that will turn the wheels in her head and keep her guessing.

2. The setting. This book is set in Turkey and the author does a really good job of making that atmosphere come to life for a reader who has never been to Turkey. She also includes terminology and while I cannot say with certainty whether or not she represents the Turkish culture authentically, I didn't think she was offensive at any point and painted a very pretty picture (if one filled with a lot and lot of crime.)

3. The way she weaved in modern day issues. The mystery in this book revolves around an antiquities smuggling ring and the author really brings to light how horrible this issue is. It's not something you would normally think about but these are crimes against our history and its heartbreaking to think that there are so many important archaeological pieces that have been stolen from their countries and hiden in personal collections where the public cannot access them. Renn also asks a lot of important questions like to whom an artifact belongs.

4. The Relationships. The relationships in this book are a complicated mess but I love the way Renn develops them. Families are not perfect and sometimes it takes a while to realize that. Sometimes your mom might suck at listening to you but it doesn't mean she is secretly evil or out to get you (even if it might feel that way.)

What Didn't Work As Much

1. The main character. I don't necessarily want to include her here because I did like her, I just wasn't okay with some of the assumptions she made. For starters she isn't perfect which is cool. She is also diverse! She is part Jewish (although not really religious but hey, it still counts since she was raised that way) and she also suffers from vitiligo (I thought it was worth mentioning because that doesn't come up that often in books.) She also tends to have the kind of attitude that assumes that Americans are better than foreigners. I get wanting to trust people from your own country but she doesn't ever question the Americans she is surrounded by and chooses to not trust everybody else. It was kind of a major pain in the butt. At one point when someone does something questionable, her reaction was "but they're AMERICAN" and I was like NOPE.

2. The conveniences. As much as I adore the mystery and the fast paced nature of the plot (which is right up my alley) I also thought there were a lot of conveniences within the pages of the book. Especially in terms of ways the bad guys got things done and I found myself going ??? really??? can there be no other explanation?

Book in Three Words

Fast paced, thrilling, adventurous.

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review


Realistic NA

What We Left Behind - Robin Talley

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I don't really read New Adult. It's not because I have something against New Adult, I mean I've read and loved several New Adult novels, my problem is that I never feel like I am being represented in New Adult. I go to college and here is a truth that people won't tell you: college is all about being angsty. The angst doesn't magically disappear once you get into college. You aren't magically transformed into an adult. There is angst, lots of it. And sometimes it's romantic but a lot of times, it isn't. A lot of times, it's just you trying to figure yourself out and that's what What We Left Behind is about. It is about angst, relationships but most of all, figuring life about.And no, there are no real answers at the end of the novel or in life, to be honest. For the first time, I feel actually represented in New Adult. I may not be dealing with the exact same problems as the main characters of the book (not even CLOSE) but there are so so many things that are reflective of MY college experience and I like that.

Also the diversity in this book. OFF THE FUCKING CHARTS. WE LOVE DIVERSITY. WE LOVE REPRESENTATION. Or I do... and if you don't... that's kind of just sad (SORRY. It had to be said.)

So is this book perfect? The answer to that is NO. Not at all. This book can be problematic, the characters can be really unlikeable sometimes and the romance is kind of a pain to read about but I also loved this book because it is REAL. It is so real I cannot even tell you (I'll try though because I love y'all.)

The first crack in Toni and Gretchen's relationship is when Gretchen doesn't tell Toni right away that she would rather go to NYU instead of be in the same city as Toni (paraphrazing here guys...) Over the course of the book, their relationship really suffers, because you know what, LOVE ISN'T EASY. Especially if you're an angsty teenager. Trust me (or don't because I literally do not know anything.)

So let's talk characters. Toni is selfish. Toni is a horrible significant other. Toni's first semester of college is all about Toni. And you know what, that's how most of us feel. College is that place where you come to find yourself. I crossed an entire ocean to do that! For a lot of people, that first term is about being around people who you think finally understand you and what you've gone through your entire life. So you want to be around them. You want to tell them your entire life story, You want to figure yourself out by using them as a lens. Another horrible truth: most college kids are actually pretty self-centred since we are all trying to figure ourselves and our  lives out. SORRY. ITS HARD. So even though Toni is kind of a jerk, Toni is realistic. Toni's experiences are very real. I've seen several of my friends experience them, I've experienced some of them myself! 

So where does Gretchen fit in? Is she the perfect girlfriend? NO! She is also a big mess. Gretchen has been in a relationship with Toni for the past two years so her first term of college is all about her trying to find out who Gretchen is. And she doesn't magically find out. She becomes friends with the most obnoxious kid in the world. Carroll was a major douchecanoe. HATED HIM. But people like him are out there. Who are obnoxious and fail to understand other people's experiences. I only wished the way he ways in which he was problematic was explored more. Going back to Gretchen though, she kind of sucks that first term too.She is clingy, self conscious and has a low self-esteem. She is so realistic though. It takes her a long time to find out who Gretchen is and when she does, it's beautiful. 

So would I recommend this book? Yes and No. This is clearly not a book for everybody and you know what, not everyone will love it. Not everyone will be able to deal with the angst (I usually hate angst too so I FEEL YOU), not everyone will want to look past all the bad, but at the end of the day, there will be people who will read this book and see themselves reflected in the experiences of these characters. Like I did.


Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review


Powerful and important

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

When Speak came out over a decade ago, it was ground breaking because of the way it dealt with teen sexuality. 16 years later, it is still relevant and continues to change lives because it isn’t afraid to tell the story of a teenager who had real problems and real reactions to them.

Melinda doesn’t have a whole cast of friends to rely on. She doesn’t have parents to rely on. When she called the police at the party at the end of the summer, she lost her friends and she is stuck all by herself not knowing how to deal with what happened.

In that way, Melinda’s character is heartbreakingly realistic. But, Melinda also has a certain wit that makes her more than just a character to which a ‘bad thing’ happened. It makes Melinda a character worth knowing and someone you want to cheer for.

This book also deals with rape in a way that I think is realistic. It doesn’t dramatize it (this may be the wrong word to use but I don't know how to better express myself) but rather approaches it in a way that shows the reality of it. There are some things that were a little iffy but I am not going to go into detail because SPOILERS.

This book wasn’t perfect, though. I did think there were things that happened towards the end that were perhaps too easy but at the same time, worked. I also wished that we weren’t cut off from one scene towards the end of the book because it was the most important in my opinion.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I finally read it after having it on my to-be-read list for ages.


Great follow up!

Dark Heart of Magic - Jennifer Estep

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I cannot believe it’s only been 6(ish) months since Cold Burn of Magic came out. It feels like I’ve been waiting for Dark Heart of Magic forever. Jennifer Estep’s books are the best brain candy ever. Diving back into any of her worlds is like munching on your favorite chocolate. Her books are comforting, gooey, easy to chew and make you feel all warm inside (can you tell I am craving chocolate?) On top of that, they happen to be quick reads.

So was Dark Heart of Magic as good as Cold Burn of Magic? That’s a hard question. I prefer book 1 but Dark Heart of Magicwas by no means a sequel that suffered from second book syndrome (SBS.) Just like in the first book, there is a mystery that will grab your attention and make you want to figure out what is happening. There is a main character that continues to be awesome (seriously, Lila rocks), a love interest that is swoony (but I still think he is no Logan) and great secondary characters. Also there are secrets. THE GOOD KIND THOUGH. Who doesn’t like to find out secrets about other people?

In my review for Cold Burn of Magic, I talked about how the world of this book was set aside from the one of Mythos Academy but I also mentioned parallels. The parallels became more evident in this book and I also starting seeing parallels to Estep’s adult series. Sometimes, I wish I wouldn’t notice things because once I started making all these connections, it disheartened me a little.

That and the fact that there wasn’t enough diversity were pretty much my only issues with the book.

Moving on… Lila continues to shine as a character (not surprising given how awesome Estep’s female leads tend to be.) The one issue some readers might have with her is her struggle to get into a relationship with Devon. I understand her hesitation though because it’s a decision she needs to make herself. She has been on her own for so long and it’s not like she’s just going to change overnight. She needs time. She also happens to be a clever young lady who can kick ass and as an ex thief, can sneak into places and get out of them without getting caught (and without requiring someone to rescue her!)

Devon on the other hand still hasn’t completely won me over. I like him, I DO, but I keep thinking of Logan and then I think of all the potential Devon has and I cannot help but want more. I think this could partially be because Devon is not sharing the spotlight with Lila. I am not sure I would want that to happen anyway but if there were more scenes with him in it, it would make me happier ;)

Does the ship sail in the book though? That is a question that you will have to find an answer to yourself. I will say though that even though Lila isn’t ready to be in a relationship yet, I love that Devon respects that instead of pushing her and telling her what he thinks she needs.

Things get very interesting in this book because we finally find out what Victor Draconi has up his sleeve and trust me when I say it isn’t pleasant.  We also find out a bunch of family secrets and I am REALLY excited to see how those will play out in Bright Blaze of Magic.

Overall, this book was a really fun read and a great follow up toCold Burn to Magic. I am excited to see what awaits us in the finale AND READY FOR IT TO BE HERE. Can Devon and Lila GET ON IT ALREADY?

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Loved but would have liked a little bit more world building

Dreamstrider - Lindsay  Smith

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Espionage, Dreamstriding, Political Intrigue, PRETTY COVER.

Those are very tempting things to this reader. They made this reader's heart flutter with anticipation and made her very excited. So what does this reader think about the book? Does she think it was amazeballs or meh? Or somewhere in between perhaps?

This book was great but I also wanted a little bit more.It's harder to explain that in terms of this book because I finished the book feeling great and felt a lot of love for it but there are also things I wish there was more focus on.

Like the world building and the romance. I also wanted more tension. I wanted a book that would make me nervous as I read it because I would be trying to figure out what these characters next move would be. I wanted higher stakes (although it is funny I should say that given how high the stakes were already.)

So let me start with these things I wish were developed a little bit more. World building is crucial to all books (even contemporaries in some ways!) And the world building in this book was good, it just wasn't great. I loved the idea of Dreamstriders, and priests and the dreamers but there is also so much more that I would have liked to know. I wanted to know more about the world of Oneiros and Nightmare thing. I wanted to know about the experiments and the shards and so many things. This book is so unique and unlike anything I've heard of so when I went into this world, I expected to be blown away. I expected there to be drool coming out of my mouth as a gaped in awe but that didn't happen. Don't get me wrong, the details that were disclosed to us readers made me so excited but I also cannot help imagining what this book would have been like if we got more details.

I also adored the romance, but I also wanted more development in that area. The relationship between Livia and Brandt is fantastic and it is so clear to us that they both have feelings for each other but I would have liked more 'spark' moments. I LOVE LOVE LOVE slow burn but at the same time even with slow burn romances, there is an underlying, bubbling tension and I didn't feel that as much in the case of this book. Or maybe I focus on romance too much *shrugs* Don't take my need for more romance as a negative aspect of the book because it really isn't. These two characters are GREAT together and I shipped 'em like crazy and was waiting dying for them to get together. 

Livia, one half of this awesome sauce ship, is a fantastic female lead. I am not even sure what makes her great except that she is someone that is so easy to relate to for me.She is awkward, often times unsure of herself but also smart and capable. She is realistic given where she came from and I love the way she develops over the course of the book and the realizations she has.

The secondary characters in the book are also fantastic and there is some diversity SO YAY (because diversity is fantastic IMO.)  Lindsay develops so many of these characters. They may be minor but they sure as hell aren't bland.

The premise is perhaps what had me most excited about this book because I was curious to see how Lindsay would blend dreams and espionage together and boy did she deliver. The dream world was used in interesting ways to gather information and it didn't feel amateur. The people knew what they were doing. I do wish though that we got a little bit more of the political side of things. I wanted to know how the nobles interacted, I wanted to be shown all the ways they got their hands dirty rather than be told that they engaged in fishy stuff. I wanted more tension.

This book is very much about Livia's journey to self-acceptance and finally coming to peace with her abilities so other things kind of faded into the background. Overall though, this book is such a great read. It's SO MUCH fun and I cannot think of a reason why you shouldn't read this (unless espionage or dreams aren't really your thing.)

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review


I really do NOT like the messages this book/series sends about sex...

Sweet Temptation (Sweet Evil) - Wendy Higgins

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I sadly, did not like Sweet Temptation as much as I hoped I would. I did like being with these characters again but over the past year, I have changed as a reader. Things I might not have noticed a year ago, stick out to me and that’s exactly what happened with this book. Before I go any further, I would like to warn you that the review will be filled with some spoilers for the Sweet Trilogy but I will refrain from mentioning anything major.

My main issue with this series is the way sex is dealt with in this book. Teen sexuality is dealt in a weird way in this series. Characters have sex, which is great but the main couple has to get married before they can have sex because otherwise Anna wouldn’t be pure. That sends so many horrible messages about sex. I appreciate that the two don’t dance around the idea of sex and know what they want, I’d rather that sex not be painted as impure if had before marriage.

That wasn’t it though. One couple who did have sex before getting married… they suffered consequences that affected their happily ever afters. What kind of messages do all of those things send about sex? Moreover, have I frightened you by mentioning sex a bazillion times?

I have never had too much of a problem with the way Anna was characterized. She annoyed me but I was always able to get past that and focus on all the cooler things that were going on. This time though, I felt like Anna was being painted as an ideal in a way that made me feel comfortable. Anna was considered pure so if you aren’t like Anna does that make you impure? Does that make you someone God wouldn’t love? Idk.

This book deal with religion and while I am not a religious person I wasn’t really disturbed by the things that were happening in this book until now. I think a lot of my issues just come down to the concept of purity put forward by this series.

Do I sound like a Lit Major? Maybe all the analyzing stuff in classes has gone to my head. Or maybe there are some real issues here that need to be discussed.

The real question here is that was Kaidan just as swoonworthy in his own book as he was from Anna’s point of view? I DON’T KNOW. I am glad that Kaidan didn’t sound exactly like Anna and had his own distinct voice but he was also cheesy sometimes.

I seem to have said so much off putting stuff that it might make you wonder, why do I even like this series? Why was this good brain candy?

It’s because Wendy has done such a good job in creating a world that is set apart from all the other clichés of Angels/Nephilim in YA. There is world building done beyond just someone mentioning the Lucifer fell and a bunch of angels fell with him. It is unique and that’s what drew me to this world.

On top of that, the way Wendy develops her plot arcs is just great. Romance does play a huge role in the books but there is also so much more going on. Friendships are forged, relationships are explored, etc. So even though I have a lot of issues and found bits of the books to be too cheesy, I still managed to enjoy the books.

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review



Nimona -  Noelle Stevenson

I only really started hearing about Nimona a couple months before its release. I didn’t even know about the webcomics so when I dove into Nimona, all I knew was that it was a very hyped book and had even been nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. That is HIGH praise but I was more curious than scared. And really, I had no need to be scared because Nimona was just as amazing as everyone said it was.

Nimona is the new sidekick for an infamous supervillain Ballister Blackheart, and she decides she wants to take it upon herself to come up with evil schemes to destroy the world. Unfortunately, her ideas tend to mess with Ballister Blackheart’s plans.

There is more to both the characters than you would think and this short graphic novel turns into so much more. It is so heartwarming and makes you want to curl up in a ball and munch on brownies. (why brownies you ask? Because this mini-review is brought to you by brownies)

I love that even though this is a graphic novel, Stevenson manages to develop a very thorough plot arc and develops relationships so beautifully.

The only thing that bothered me was that all the people of color in this graphic novel were very minor (like they showed up in one scene, had no lines and didn’t really affect the story in any major way.) I had hoped that given the hype, the graphic novel wouldn’t be so whitewashed but alas.

Don’t let that turn you off though, there is some diversity in the novel and the book is so adorable and so worth the read. I mean, it is one of my favorites of the year...


LOVED it but thought it could be a little shorter

Illuminae - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I would like to start this review by thanking Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman for ruining my life. Thank you guys, I appreciate it. I am pretty sure they drink their readers’ tears to sustain themselves.  MOVING ON.  I am going to attempt to do the impossible and write a review for this book. No guarantees that it will be completely coherent. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. There will be censored swearing (although apparently not that much since I don't plan these things out...)

This book has a ton of hype surrounding. Like a S███ ton. And yet, I gave zero f████ because I knew this book and I were meant to be. Less than 10 pages in and I was laughing my a██ off and of course, I was proven right in my knowledge that this book was for me.

There are so many things that make this book the amazing thing that it is but I do warn you, if you are the kind of reader who doesn’t like books that aren’t written in a traditional format, this book is probably not for you. It’s told in IMs, diary entries, videos (or more appropriately, commentaries on the videos) and lots of other fun things that enhance the book and give it character and make you fall over laughing but also make you gasp and cower under covers.

One of my favorite things about this book was the IM messages. For starters, they seem very REAL. What I love most about them is the occasional spelling mistakes. I know I don’t always spell things correctly when IMing so when that happened in the book, it made me happy and made it even easier to relate to these fantastic characters.

And fantastic these characters are (WTF am I saying? Do I even make sense?) They are so ridiculously realistic even though they live centuries in the future. Both Erza and Kady are hilarious to read about but they aren’t just here for the jokes. They are smart, badass but also just great teenagers. I love that they aren’t immature or really mature. They are in-between those things. Like most of us. They make inappropriate jokes, are silly but also know how to take charge and make important decisions. I loved reading about them and hopefully you guys will too.

This book isn’t all about the funny things either. It can be very light hearted but there are some scary moments. Especially with the AI called Aidan.

Aidan is one of the most interesting/terrifying characters I’ve come across in a while (I mean, he is on my supervillain squad); however, I did have trouble getting behind its more human characteristics. I’ve read books that feature humanistic AI so it’s not that I have trouble with the idea. It’s just some of its ‘thoughts’ seemed too sentimental for me given its actions. Perhaps it’s just because I felt as though we were supposed to pity Aidan and I couldn’t do that because Aidan was a d███. Then why is it such an interesting character? I think it’s because its thoughts can sometimes be terrifying. I think Aidan's character is a good reflection of human fears about AI and the question of whether AI will someday take control of the world.

As you might have already gathered. This book is sci fic and it’s one of the better ones I’ve read. The authors make these fleet of ships come to life by use of terminology and also with diagrams! YAY DIAGRAMS. We are painted with a lovely (or not so lovely) picture of life aboard these ships and I really loved that.

The entire book is a recount of the tragedy that befell this fleet and hot damn do things get intense. The authors do not hold out on the punches (as I am sure you gathered from my earlier ramblings) and they aren’t afraid to make you sad. But the point of this book isn’t to basically kill you from emotional overload (although that may be a side effect.) This book is so very rich in its plot development and I LOVED it, but there were times when I wondered if I needed 600 pages of it.Don’t get me wrong, the book is a pretty quick read but I do think there are some things that could have been cut down.

Given everything that was revealed at the end of the book though, I KNOW book 2 will actually blow me away. You guys might never see me again. I MIGHT JUST CRUMBLE INTO DUST.

Also, you might wonder why I haven’t mentioned a single thing about a romance in the book and for those curious (and haven’t already found out), there is one. That is all I will say. This is the ship you gotta experience on your own and form your opinions about. Just beware of page 422, my friends. It will forever be known as the page that stole lives.

So, should you read this book? Should you listen to the incredible amount of hype surrounding this book? Yeah, WHY NOT? What have you got to lose? Only your soul, your heart and very since of being. You didn’t need those things anyway. Am I not merciful?

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review


Too vague at times

The Accident Season - Moïra Fowley-Doyle

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

The Accident Season is a book I cannot completely make my mind about. I liked some things but other things didn’t work for me. There were also some things I liked in theory but ended up not loving.

One of the biggest issues I had was that even though I liked the characters, I didn’t feel like I could relate to them. There were so many things written between the lines about what was up with these characters and I am not sure if that worked for me. It’s not that reading between the lines was hard but because I spend so much time doing that, it was hard to really form a meaningful connection to these readers. I felt for them, I REALLY did but I felt for them the way a stranger might sympathize with a bad situation.

I DID love the way the relationships were done in this book though. There are great friendships, great relationships between parents and children and parents that aren’t portrayed as the bad guys. Relationships are so important in books and I like that there were so many positive ones in this book. It doesn’t mean that everything was happy but then again, no relationship is perfect.

I also loved the way the author brought diversity into the book. It’s done in a way that doesn’t really put much emphasis on it but rather normalizes diversity. It’s just there and readers can do whatever they want with it.

I expected a creepy element to this book and there really wasn’t one. I mean there was Elsie but she wasn’t creepy, she was just odd. This book had a certain dream like quality to it that was definitely charming and drew me in but I also just wanted to know more.

I don’t like the way things were wrapped up and was left wanting more. There seemed to be something missing. I hate that so many things were kept from readers (although it really isn’t hard to connect the dots… it’s just annoying that everything seems vague.) I like vagueness but I don’t like it when it’s done to such a degree that important issues that come up cannot even be discussed.

Overall, I don’t really regret reading The Accident Season but I sure would have liked it if some of the issues were discussed and not everything was shrouded under a layer of mystery.

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


A little slower than I would have liked

A Thousand Nights - E.K. Johnston

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to love this book and how disappointed I am that it didn’t sweep me away. There are SO many things I love about this book but the slowness of it became a big issue for me.

Slow books can be a hit or miss for me. A Thousand Nightswas neither a hit nor a miss. I loved the beautiful lyrical writing, I loved the characters and I loved the world building. What I didn’t love was the lack of action. By now, you might know that one of my favorite things ever is action. This is partially because I am an impatient human (wait am I a human? WHAT?) but also because I become more invested in a story if there is something happening.

There isn’t a lot happening in A Thousand Nights. In fact, the most exciting stuff happens in the last 15% of the book. Do you think you can wait that long for the good stuff? Do you think that absolutely stunning writing, fantastic characters and breathtaking world building is enough to get you through almost 85% of nothing? I still don’t know the answer to this question and I already finished the book. I think what got me through those lulls was just the way Johnston built tension. There would be a slow simmer of tension and then suddenly everything would be boiling and then it would go back to a simmer.

Johnston does a fantastic job with setting up the world of this story. I felt myself transported across the centuries to this middle-eastern land. I could imagine the heat of the desert and the beauty of the palace. I could see Lo-Melkhien amongst this world suffering. The way Johnston weaves the story and brings the world to life makes it feel like you’re reading a folk tale. It makes everything seem so magical and compelling.

Overall, my main issue was that I just wanted the book to move a little more faster so that I could have been a little more invested in the story and what was happening to these characters. Also I totally wouldn’t have minded if there had been a little bit more romance.

Note that I received an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review


Kelley Armstrong NAILS IT

The Masked Truth - Kelley Armstrong

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I am a major Kelley Armstrong fangirl so I knew I would love this book but I still ended up being surprised by it. The Masked Truth is so different from Kelley Armstrong's YA novels in that it’s more mature and also happens to be a thriller (her YA books so far have been Urban Fantasy/Fantasy.)

One thing Kelley Armstrong has been good about is incorporating diversity in her novels and she does it again with a Hispanic female lead and also by discussing mental illnesses in a way that is heartbreaking but REALLY realistic and enlightening. I also appreciated that therapy was portrayed positively in the book (even with some of the things that happened.) The main character isn’t always on board with some of the things her therapist asks but getting help is NEVER mocked and I loved that.

Riley is suffering from PTSD after witnessing a couple she babysat for get murdered. She saved their daughter, but in her mind, because she hid under a bed, she is a coward and the fact that everyone considers her a hero makes it worse. When she and a bunch of other kids are held hostage, Riley really steps up her game to keep everyone together but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have flashbacks or panics. I think her entire character is so fantastically developed. It’s realistic and makes it so easy to believe in Riley.

My favorite character is obviously Max who is unlike any love interest I’ve met so far. He is schizophrenic. And it’s really his struggle that makes this book stand out to me. When we first meet him, he seems like a classic case of bad boy and I was like *shrug* but the more I read and the more Kelley developed him, the more I fell in love.

Through Max, Kelley really looks at the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and specifically schizophrenia. Before reading this book, I didn’t know much about the illness but The Masked Truth really put into perspective the kind of prejudice people have and how hard it can be to deal with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. In my limited knowledge of the illness, I’d say that Kelley did a fantastic job with dealing with the illness and never undermined its seriousness in any way.

As one can imagine, the romance between Riley and Max would be all kinds of interesting and it was. Given the situation they are in, being held hostage and all, the time frame within which their romance develops might make some readers see it as instalove but I was okay with it because Kelley really makes me root for these two. Their romance is built on understanding and team work rather than attraction (although there is that too) and I really liked that.

The thriller aspects, unsurprisingly, were amazing too. This book does get twisty but in a way that works and I enjoyed it. Of course, that could just be my bias since I adore Kelley Armstrong but I also think she just did a great job with the twists. She never throws unnecessary red herrings and nothing is predictable. Her twists also aren’t bizarre or unbelievable. They just make sense within the context of the story. It’s like watching pieces of a puzzle click rather than experiencing sheer surprise or shock.

The book does start off slow, and it wasn’t until the second half that I was really sucked in but Kelley has a way of writing stories that work for me and many other readers. I loved this book and hope that Kelley will write many more like it.

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review


Probably even better than Legend was

The Young Elites - Marie Lu

The Young Elites is a hyped book. Hype is scary. This book is scary! What isn’t scary? IDK. But let’s get back to the book.

When I first heard about The Young Elites, I was excited like so many other people. I loved the sound of it and I wanted to know more about this group of people who possessed special powers. But like with many other new releases, this book got lost somewhere on my to be read shelf and I didn’t really think about it until the promos for The Rose Society began.

I am ridiculously glad I read this book. It was a terrifyingly awesome read and might have even been better than Legend.

Adelina is unlike any other female lead I’ve met before. Anti-heroines are not that common (from what I've seen) and usually what seems to happen is that they might start off as bad and then slowly morph into a good character. This was not the case for Adelina. Adelina starts of as someone who is essentially good but we get glimpses of the darkness hidden inside her. Little by little though, that darkness begins to bloom. The further we get into the book, the more Adelina embraces that darkness and it’s SCARY to watch. Like, YELLING AT THE BOOK scary.

Adelina’s downspiral is a result of many things but primarily the abuse she suffered growing up. Not just from her father but from everyone around her. Her need for revenge seems like a believable reaction to all the abuse she has suffered. A little bit of love and friendship isn’t going to fix her. In fact, who knows what can. For most of her life, she was neglected, told she was evil and was also physically abused. It’s heartbreaking to hear what she has gone through in her rather short life time. It’s heartbreaking to see her give into that darkness and it’s even more heartbreaking to wonder whether or not she will ever get back from it. SO, the point of all my rambling is that I basically love Adelina (even though she is probably going to go over to the dark side) because she is such a complex character. She is well written, well developed, SHE IS EVERYTHING.

Fangirling over Adelina aside, there are also a lot of other fantastic side characters in the book. Some of them actually get their own POVs once in a while and it was interesting being inside their heads. I do wish that we spent a little more time with some of the other Young Elites because I wanted to get to know them more.

The world building within the book is also fantastic. Marie Lu brought this world to life for me. I loved the details we got. I loved what we learned about the fever that gave powers to some of the malfetto. I loved the way the tensions were developed between the people of Kenettra. This world is set up so well AND WE GET A MAP. All I can hope for is that in the future novels we’ll get to see some of the other lands in this world.

The plot is well paced and the book was a surprisingly quick read. There are times when you will yell at the book though, especially towards the end (for a variety of reasons.) There are so many things that scare me about reading The Rose Society and I worry for my sanity.

One thing I will say is that this book did have some very frustrating moments. Most of them were a direct result of Adelina’s downspiral. The Young Elites may have been a quick read for me but it was not easy to read. I had to step aside for little moments to gather myself and then dive back in.

This is a fantastically written book with complex characters and a world that will draw you right in. After all, who doesn’t like a good book about superheroes (or people who claim to be heroes and might not be...)



The Perfect Match: A Fairy-Tale Matchmaker Book - E.D. Baker

When former tooth-fairy-in-training Cory Feathering was stripped of her fairy skills, she discovered that, as the descendent of a cupid, she was born to be a matchmaker, and now her latest job is to find the perfect match for Goldilocks--the only trouble is that he is getting married to someone else.
The last time I read a book by E.D. Baker, I was in middle school. I had loved the book and when I found out about this series, I was excited. I started this book enthusiastic but after reading a little bit of it, I realized this was a sequel and not actually the first book *shakes fist at Goodreads for not being helpful*

That may be one of the reasons why I didn’t absolutely enjoy this book but to be honest, I am not sure reading the first book would have made much of a difference. There are certain things I would have been more aware of (in terms of world building) but the author still does a good job catching readers up so that even if it’s been a while since you read book 1 (or if you somehow missed the fact that there was a book 1 and read the sequel first), you won’t feel lost.

A lot of my issues with the book stem down to the fact I didn’t really relate to the characters. That could be because I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t know them as well but that’s probably not it. I’ve accidentally read sequels before first books several times and managed to love the characters (I seem to do this more often than I should.) I think my inability to relate to the characters was because I was so thrown off by the fact that the characters’ behaviors did not match up to their ages. The characters seemed pretty old (maybe even older than 18?!) yet their voices were very middle grade. It isn’t surprising given the book is a middle grade novel but it just didn’t work for me as a reader.

I was drawn in by the premise but was sad when the main focus of this book was not in fact figuring out a way to make a guy who is going to get married end up with his one true love. That bit was wrapped up REALLY quickly. The main conflict of the novel seemed to be Cory’s fight against the various fairy counsels and the abuse she was facing at their hands.

Overall, the book wasn’t a bad one per-say but I did find myself wanting more. Still, I am intrigued by Cory and her crew and I want to see Cory kick the fairy counsel’s butt!

Note that I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review