Monday, December 18, 2017

[Review] The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy #2
Rating: 5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: December 5th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

I'd like to thank LibraryThing for providing me with an ARC of the book through their Early Reviewers giveaways.

Last year I was introduced to the wonderful storyteller of Russian fairytale retellings, Katherine Arden, and her debut, The Bear and the Nightingale. It was hauntingly beautiful. And its sequel, The Girl in the Tower, did not disappoint.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

[Review] American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 stars

Published: July 2001
Format: 10th Anniversary Edition Mass PB

Goodreads Synopsis:
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies...and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path.
I never read Gaiman before this. But he's the favorite author of so many of my friends, and Victoria Schwab (my favorite author), also draws from Gaiman's storyteller vibes, so of course I had to read his works!

This is also a good time to mention that I had to read The Graveyard Book for my seminar English class in the same week I was reading American Gods. But that is for another review. 

I'm also reading the expanded version, which was a thick chunk of text. It was so worth it, though, those 700ish pages. Every single page.

Monday, November 27, 2017

[Review] A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Rating: 4.5 stars 

Published: August 30th 2016
Format: HC

Goodreads Synopsis:
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
I read An Ember in the Ashes a little more than 2 years ago, so I was worried that I would have some problems remembering who was who, but luckily I had my old review on Goodreads!

We enter Torch in the midst of the action - Elias and Laia are running for their lives, trying to evade capture as they travel north to Kauf prison to rescue Laia's brother Darin. Helene is the newly titled Blood Shrike, with Marcus as Emperor. She's tasked with capturing her former best friend, but the Commandant is trying to put a hole in her plans, and assigns her her spy and torturer, Lieutenant Avitas Harper. 

It's just as bloody and brutal as Ember, but this time, I feel like the stakes were higher and everything was much more intense. No one is safe in this book, let me tell you. Sabaa Tahir knows how to draw you into this world and keep you there.

Monday, October 23, 2017

[Review] The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Rating: 2.5 stars

Published: July 18th 2017
Format: HC

Goodreads Synopsis:
Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
Welcome to a world where magic coexists in the modern world! In NYC nonetheless! Well, it's not really a peaceful coexistence, as the Mageus - those with magic, are confined to Manhattan with a barrier known as the Brink. Trying to leave is a certain death. In order to save her people from being trapped on the island with the maleficent Order who is hunting them and dwindling their numbers, Esta, a time-traveling Mageus thief, sets out for the year 1902, where she must steal an ancient book with the ability to break the barrier. But just everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and Esta finds herself trapped in 1902 working with some shady and mysterious characters to get the book she wants.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Raisa's Recap - New York Comic Con 2017

Wonderland Novels attended NYCC last week, Friday and Saturday. It was an amazing experience, and I definitely recommend that everyone should try to go.

First off, I cosplayed both days. Friday I went as a Follower of the Apocalypse from Fallout: New Vegas, and Saturday I was Mitsuha Miyamizu from Your Name. My cosplays weren't as complex and detailed as the others I saw, but still, a few people recognized me and asked for pics!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

[Blog Tour] Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Hey guys! I'll be reviewing Invictus as part of Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour! Without further ado, here's the review
About the Book:
Author: Ryan Graudin
Pub. Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

[Review] Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: April 5th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:

A burning vengeance.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
A blood-based curse.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Destiny’s fiery hand.
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. 
I absolutely adored the Seven Realms series, which came before Flamecaster. Action, romance, and a main heroine who shared the same name as me? Sign me up.

Flamecaster follows the generation after - Ash, or Adrian sul'Han, is the son of Queen Raisa and High Wizard Han. We enter the book with the family mourning the loss of the princess heir Hana. Alternating POVs reveal our heroine Jenna Bandelow, a rogue spy with an unknown past and a magemark hidden under her hair. The two of them come together in Arden, both seeking revenge on the cruel king Montaigne. We also have Lila Barrowhill and Destin Karn, whose shifty allegiances to the king make us wonder whom they really are.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

[Blog Tour] Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda - Q&A

Today we have Kaira Rouda, author of Best Day Ever, here answering some questions about herself and her new book!

About the Book:
In BEST DAY EVER, Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.
But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spark of tension begins to burn between them and doubts start to arise. How perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? How much do they trust each other? Is Paul the person he seems to be? And what are his real plans for their weekend at the cottage?

1. Hi Kaira! Thank you for having us today. Why don't you start off with something about yourself?

Hi! Thank you for having me. Let’s see. Something about myself. I’m an author. Oh, you probably want something different. My life is crazy busy these days, which is interesting because my youngest just moved out to begin his career. But with BEST DAY EVER now out and my husband running for congress, I feel like we’re as busy as when the four kids were small. I’m not complaining, though. It’s wonderful.

2. What was your inspiration for Best Day Ever?

The character, Paul, was inspired by a series of bad bosses. I think. He popped into my subconscious one day just demanding his story be told. So I did.

3. Did you have to do a lot of research for this? What were some of your favorite research topics?

I didn’t do much research for this novel. I’ve been a reporter for a long time and have worked closely with charities serving victims of domestic violence. And I’ve known my fair share of narcissists (see bad boss answer above). I did visit a couple chat rooms dedicated to helping survivors who had escaped their narcissists, and it was chilling to encounter the narcissists themselves posting in defense of their type.
4. You have written many books in the past - was the writing process behind this one different? How? 

In many ways it was the same as my other novels. The primary difference was that he came along unexpectedly. I was working on the first book in a women’s fiction series, awaiting input from my agent, when Paul popped into my head. I dropped everything to write his story. And I’m glad I did!

5. So now that Best Day Ever has been released, what's next for you? :)

Another book! This is the career I love and it’s a dream to be doing it. I hope I get to keep writing novels for a very long time. I’m loving being a part of the crime fiction/thriller, psychological suspense community of authors. I’d like to stay a while.

About the Author:
Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, Here, Home, Hope, was the Winner of the Indie Excellence Book Award in Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Winner of the USA Book Awards in the Women’s Fiction category and received Honorable Mention in Mainstream/Literary Fiction for the Writer’s Digest Book Awards. Her novel, The Goodbye Year, which was released in May 2016, was Redbook Magazine’s “20 Best Books You Absolutely Must Read This Spring.”  Kaira’s latest novel, Best Day Ever, is one of the major launch titles for Harlequin’s new imprint Graydon House, and will be available on September 19, 2017.
Kaira is also the author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs and the creator of Real Living, one of the nation’s most successful real estate brands and the first national women-focused brand in real estate. She has given speeches to both women and men’s entrepreneurial conferences and programs across the country on the power of women as consumers and in the world. Kaira was named Best Entrepreneur from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and was also recognized in Entrepreneur magazine’s inaugural Top 50 fastest-growing, women-led companies list.
In addition to her many entrepreneurial and literary accomplishments, Kaira is very active in both her native Ohio community and in her community in Southern California, where she now resides. Her philanthropic pursuits began when she founded Central Ohio’s first homeless shelter for families when she was twenty-five years old, and Kaira has since received numerous awards for her civic service.
Kaira’s family includes her husband of 28 years, her four kids, and her two spoiled dogs. She lives in Southern California and is at work on her next novel. After living in Columbus, Ohio, for most of her life, she now enjoys the beach whenever possible.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

[Review] SST Review - Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

Cinderella Necromancer.png

Hey guys! I'll be reviewing this book as part of Nori's SST. So, I received this book in exchange for an honest review, which doesn't impact my review in any way.

Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Rating: 3.5 stars
Version: eARC
Published: September 5th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Cinderella, Necromancer is Chime meets Anna Dressed in Blood and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

Monday, August 21, 2017

[Review] Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: September 1st 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.
Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.
6th read for #ARCAugust

I have a lot of thoughts here, so bare with me.

I enjoyed how Truest touched down on a disorder that isn't really well-known, depersonalization disorder, or the feeling of living in a dream. It's part of the dissociative disorders in the DSM-5 (abnormal psychology was one of my favorite classes so recalling this is fun). This brought something different to the whole summer romance table.

Friday, August 18, 2017

[Review] All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher
Rating: 2.5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: July 11th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Lenny (short for Eleanor) feels like the world is about to end. Her best friend is moving to New York City to attend Julliard and her dad has terminal cancer. To cope with her stress Lenny is making a list of all the ways the world can end—designer pathogens, blood moon prophecies, alien invasion—and stockpiling supplies in a bunker in the backyard. Then she starts to develop feelings for her dad's very nice young doctor—and she thinks he may have feelings for her too. Spoiler alert: he doesn't. But a more age-appropriate love interest might. In a time of complete uncertainty, one thing's for sure: Lenny's about to see how everything is ending and beginning. All at the same time.

5th read for #ARCAugust

I'm a bit conflicted on the rating of this book, to be honest.

I understood it well enough. Eleanor, who is better known as Lenny, and her family are trying to cope with her dad's metastatic rectal cancer that he's slowly dying from. Her mom, who is nicknamed Sergeant Nutbags, tries her hardest to find a cure, and that often comes in the form of some insane diet or health video. Her older sister is away at college and seem to escape the stressors that come from her family to enjoy her college party life. Lenny is the frustrated one, and her method of venting is through anger. She also has a crush on her father's stand-in resident doctor, Dr. Ganesh.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

[Review] Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity #2
Rating: 4 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: September 10th 2013

Goodreads Synopsis: 
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

4th read for #ARCAugust

Another moving and evocative fictional account of the horrors of World War II by Elizabeth Wein. It's one of those books you just feel sad after because it's a really sad book.

I'm being monosyllabic instead of descriptive, so time for me to break down Rose Under Fire.

This isn't really a sequel to Code Name Verity - it's more like a spinoff. We have Maddie in the beginning and the end getting married to Julie's cousin. Julie is mentioned in passing. Anna Engel (and her name sounded so familiar even though it's been years since reading CNV) has a more prominent role. Different setting, different cast of characters, same emotions captured.

Rose Justice is an American pilot who is part of the British ATA - essentially a air taxicab service. Just as progress is being made in the war, Rose lands herself and her plane on enemy lines, and is forced to spend time in Ravensbruck, a concentration camp. There she meets and befriends the Rabbits, women who were operated on inhumanly to test on various war injuries and diseases.

She recounts her days in the camp following her escape back into Allied territory, and you can tell how broken she is by the way she writes.

And I have been able to sleep a little longer each night. I don't jerk awake at four a.m. expecting the Screamer anymore. But I still have the dream about the cold wind in the empty bunks. Funny how my Ravensbruck nightmare is about the bunks being empty, because by the end they were never empty. The whole Camp was so overcrowded we had to sleep in shifts, even during the day.
I have to keep writing. I can't talk about it at all, not to Mother or Aunt Edie over the telephone, not to Fernande in broken French. It would break her heart, I think, if I told her about it. I keep wishing I could talk to Nick, but how could I explain any of it to Nick? How could I possibly make Nick understand?  

It's just so sad.

Rose is so different from Julie, but in a good way. I related to Rose a lot - in the end, she starts medical school! And she loves to write.  She specifically writes poetry to keep the moral of Block 32 high.

Her relationships with her fellow prisoners were strong and so heartbreaking at times. Roza, who laughed when she was afraid. Irina, her Russian pilot-in-crime. Anna, the angel of death. No matter where they came from, they were all victims of the war.

And suddenly it became like so many decisions I'd made during the war; I didn't have a choice. I had to do it whether or not I wanted to. Not just for Karolina, who was dead, but also for Anna, who was still alive and had no one to defend her.
You only fly straight and level in balance.
Anna and Roza are the opposing forces that perfectly balance each other to keep me in the air. 

And I find out that there's a prequel to Code Name Verity? Ugh, Elizabeth Wein, you can take all my money. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

[Review] Breaking by Danielle Rollins

Breaking by Danielle Rollins
Series: Burning companion novel
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: June 6th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Monsters lurk where you least expect…
Charlotte has always felt ordinary compared to her two best friends at the prestigious Weston Preparatory Institute. Not enigmatic and daring like Ariel or beautiful and brilliant like Devon, Charlotte has never quite met the standards of the school—or those of her demanding mother. But with Ariel and Devon by her side, none of that mattered. They became the family she never had.
Until the unthinkable happens—Ariel commits suicide. And less than a month later, so does Devon.
Everyone accepts the suicides as tragic coincidences, but Charlotte refuses to believe that. And when she finds mysterious clues left behind by Ariel, Charlotte is thrust down a path that leads to a dangerous secret about Weston Prep. There’s a reason Weston students are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth… 

Third #ARCAugust read.

I keep on reading suspenseful books.

Breaking was alright. Its supposed to be a companion novel to Burning, but you don't really need to read the first one to read this one. Except I think the ending of this book would make a whole lot more sense with it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Sign Up Post

Hello everyone! In addition to #ARCAugust, I'm signing up for Aentee's #TheReadingQuest, which can be found here. I'm so excited for this challenge because I have been a gamer for ages. Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Fallout, Bayonetta - I've played many games over the years. RPGs in particular. Favorite character class was always rogues, or dual-wielders, so what better way to pay homage to my gaming ways then by being a rogue?

All artwork in this post is from CW of Read Think Ponder!

Somehow made this without photoshop. Pretty good, no? 

Friday, August 11, 2017

[Review] The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: August 25th 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 
In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…
Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.
But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.
And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.
Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.
But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.
From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.

My second book for #ARCAugust!

I don't normally read horror. I don't normally watch horror either - I would think them too silly or not scary enough for me.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall surpassed my expectations on the horror genre. Coincidentally, I was also watching a Supernatural episode on an asylum the day before I picked up this book, so I guess I had some idea of what I was walking into.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

[Review] The Possible by Tara Altebrando

The Possible by Tara Altebrando
Rating: 2 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: June 7th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Some storms rage from within.
What if…a teenage girl could move objects with her mind?
What if…someone turns up at her door asking questions she doesn’t want to answer?
Kaylee lives a normal life with her adoptive parents, and almost never thinks of her birth mother, Crystal, who is serving a life sentence in prison. But the woman at the front door is producing a podcast about Crystal that is about to blow Kaylee’s forgotten past wide open.
What if strange things have been happening Kaylee’s entire life, things she could not explain? What if she’s more like her mother than she ever imagined?
What if the podcast is about to put her on a collision course with Crystal—and her darkest self?
My first #ARCAugust read!

I can't really say much about it, because the book itself was very bland. The entire time we are dealt suspense around the main character, Kaylee, and whether or not she inherited telekinetic powers from her estranged, psychopathic mom, Crystal, who is currently in jail for killing Kaylee's little brother. There's a lot of buildup and not much spark for the reveals. The characters weren't that interesting - Kaylee more or less annoyed me at times. I found myself just trying to finish this book.

#ARCAugust Week 1 Update

Hello everyone!

I started off the first week of #ARCAugust pretty strong, finishing 4 books. Their reviews will come up in the next few days. My reads were mostly suspenseful ones. I ended up really liking two of my reads - Rose Under Fire and The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. Here are my ratings for my read ARCs.

My next read for #ARCAugust will be - 

What's next on your TBR? 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

[Review] The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley 
Series: The Checquy Files #1
Rating: 4 stars

Published: October 16th 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:
Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization and this person wants her dead.
As Myfanwy battles to save herself, she encounters a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and an unimaginably vast conspiracy. Suspenseful and hilarious, THE ROOK is an outrageously inventive debut for readers who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime.
What I noticed recently becoming a big thing in books (at least, the books I'm reading), is the presence of people with supernatural/otherwordly powers co-existing with people who don't have such abilities. Or maybe co-existing is too light a term.

Therein lies problems - overly done cliches, special snowflakes, and unnecessary romances.

But luckily for me, The Rook bypassed these and fulfilled all my fantasy expectations.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

#ARCAugust TBR

Hello everyone! It's been a long time since I've posted something, and this is mostly because college took over my life and I did lose interest in reading my books up until recently. But I'm back! And I'm hoping on staying.

I'll be doing two reading challenges for August, and this is the first. I'm also behind my Goodreads challenge by 39 books so I gotta catch up somehow, right? 

Without further ado, here are my arcs for this year's challenge. 18 books is going to be a doozy. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

[Review] Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu
Version: ARC Paperback
Rating: 3 stars

Release Date: May 2nd 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
They're more than their problems
Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay.
Andrew wants to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous.
Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality.
Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an idiot.
And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.
As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.
I received this ARC from Miss Print's (Emma) ARC Adoption over here! Thank you Emma!

This will be a hard review to tackle, so please bear with me.

Four Weeks, Five People is told in alternating 5-POVs from the characters attending a wilderness therapy camp for the summer for their respective disorders. Stella has an anger-based depression and it's her second time coming to the camp. Clarisa has OCD and has a mother who is never satisfied with anything she does. Ben has a dissociative disorder and makes everything in his life into a movie. Mason has narcissist personality disorder and he thinks everyone at the camp is below him. Andrew has an eating disorder and he yearns to return back to his band and make them famous. 

The five of them are stuck together for four weeks and learn much about themselves and the people surrounding them.