Posted in blog, Books, Fantasy, geek

May Book Wrap-Up!

Hey everyone! Once again I am sorry that my wrap-up is a little late again but I just moved to another state so that took up a lot of my time. My boyfriend and I moved from Arizona to Washington State and I could not be more happy! It is absolutely beautiful up here and our dog, Wallaby, is loving the huge backyard. I am excited for this new chapter in my life and I have registered to classes at a college here in Washington so I am ready!

undefined Rating: 5/5

The book is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely which I absolutely loved so I was so excited to read this book! My favorite characters from the first book were back and the author showed us more of the world which just made me love this series even more. I was worried about the new characters that were introduced just because I loved the original characters so much but quickly, the main characters won me over. I highly recommend this series especially if you love retellings of Beauty and the Beast.

undefined Rating: 5/5

 We follow different timelines throughout this book, one during WWII times in England and then in present day. One timeline follows the grandmother of Gillian and the other one is Gillian’s present day. This story was heart wrenching and moving, filled with mystery, family drama and suspense. I was sucked into this world from the very beginning.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

In this book, we follow Ana who is Jesus’ wife. As someone who grew up Catholic and just love learning about religions in general, I was interested in this book even if it was historical fiction. Ana was a great character all around, who knew herself very well and knew that she didn’t want to follow the norm for women back then. When she meets Jesus, her life changes and soon, she needs to find out who she is again because she realizes she is not just Jesus’ wife. This was a very interesting read and I am excited to read more by this author in the future. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

During WWI, there were many spy networks and one of them was the Alice Network, run by women. We follow two different timelines, one by a spy from the Alice network during the war and another one set years after WWII, following a young woman looking for her cousin. These women end up crossing paths and working together to find out the truths and justice they have been seeking. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

My best friend Lauren has been recommending me this series for a long time and I am so happy I finally picked it up. We follow Sophie and Agatha who are taken from their normal life into a world full of magic and fairy tale characters. They end up going to the School for Good and Evil in a magical forest, but things are not as they expected. Even though this series is considered a middle grade, I think anyone who reads it will enjoy it.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

I have always been skeptical about the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare for no real reason honestly. I had only read the first book in the Mortal Instruments series so when Chain of Gold came out, I figured I wouldn’t read it. In the end, booktube won and I just could not resist! I am happy to say that I love this world now and I can’t wait to read more Shadowhunter books soon. I love that Cassandra Clare writes several LGBT characters in this story and the characters, besides one, were all fun to read. Excited for the next book in this series to come out. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

This is the second book in the School for Good and Evil series, and it was okay. Book 2 and 4 are probably my least character in this series only because a few of the characters act immature for quite a while. In the first book, the main conflict is between good and evil characters but in this one, it is between boy and girls. It was not as captivating as the first book, but it was a fun, easy read in the end. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

This story was a sweet and simple YA romance that added some political plot lines throughout it. It felt real and what I appreciated was how the romance was not the main point of the book, the friendship and political aspects were. Plus, there was a decent amount of diversity so that was a nice change. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

Book 3 of the School of Good and Evil and this one was probably my second favorite in the series so far! For a middle grade book, there are some dark subject matter throughout these books and the author is not afraid of killing or harming main characters. One of the best things about this book and the whole series is how often I am surprised by a plot twist. In this book, we meet some new characters that just add so much to the world like Merlin! Yes, the Merlin from the Arthur legends. He is just as whimsical as ever. If I wasn’t sold on this series before, I was after reading this one.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

I loved this book so much which I was not sure about because I am always iffy about romance books. In this story, we get a Cinderella retelling but set in the modern and geeky world. I loved that both main characters were such nerds about a science fiction TV show, just imagine Star Trek. I was rooting for these characters from the very beginning. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

I was excited for this book because I am currently studying towards my forensic science degree, but I was a little disappointed. I liked learning about his cases and how he used blood spatter analysis for the first time. His personal life was kind of boring though and I felt like the book lagged.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

This is the sequel to Geekerella where we follow a few different characters that we met originally in Geekerella. Still set in a fan convention, we follow a movie star that feels trapped in this sci-fi role and a girl who feels invisible that wants to make a difference in the world. The writing in these stories is simple but engaging and again, like with the first book, you will find yourself rooting for all the main characters. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

If you guys couldn’t tell, I love historical fiction books especially those based on WWII era. We follow a woman named Hedy whose intelligent and very beautiful, who ends up married to a powerful man assisted with the Nazis. After hearing the Nazis’ plans in 1937, she flees to America to continue acting. The story follows her life as she works to help the US fight against the Nazis. It was a decent book, not my favorite but I was glad to have read it.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

So, The Bride Test is typically a sequel to The Kiss Quotient, but I did not know that when I picked it up. Luckily, you don’t have to read the first one in order to understand what is happening with the second book. We follow Khai, Vietnamese and autistic, whose mother decides the only way that he can find a woman to marry is to arrange a marriage with someone from Vietnam. Esme goes to America in hopes of finding a better life for herself, her daughter, and her mother. Slowly we see Khai and Esme grow close but Khai needs to find out whether, he can accept love.  

undefined Rating: 5/5

It is safe to say that The Black Witch was the best book I read in the month of May. I didn’t know anything about it, but the synopsis caught my attention, so I decided to pick it up. We follow a naive, sheltered young woman named Elloren, who’s grandmother was the most powerful witch that “saved” her people from the evil ones. At university, Elloren finds out slowly that everything she thought was true was a lie and she joins the resistance to try and protect everyone she loves. I have already read the second book in this series during the first couple of days in June and it just got better. I can’t wait for June 9th when the third book in the series comes out!  

undefined Rating: 4/5

In this book, we follow Stella, a brilliant mathematician with Asperger’s, looking to learn how to have sex and be in a relationship. To teach her these skills, she hires a male escort named Michael. Extremely sexy, lovable romance, and great characters. The author, Helen Hoang knows how to write romance books that I want to read.  

undefined Rating: 3/5

On to the fourth book in the School for Good and Evil series and unfortunately, it was my least favorite of these books. I loved the new villain that was introduced but the other original characters were frustrating me honestly. I felt that it was too long for the plot that we got but the last 100 pages almost made up for the rest of the book.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

Trigger warning for this book, there is a lot of psychological and physical abuse of children by a parent. They were several parts of this story that were hard to read because of the gaslighting and manipulation but it was a great read in the end. One of the best lines in this book was, “I loved my mother because I didn’t know I had a choice. I had to love her.” It was just so powerful and moving. Highly recommend!  

Posted in Books, Fantasy

April Book Wrap-up and Review!

Damsel by Elana K Arnold 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Overall, this book was decent. I was expecting a fairy tale retelling story but I got the opposite of that. The author used this book to write about male domination of women and the ugliness that can happen when a woman fights that domination. This book is a dark allegory and I think it achieved its goal of making the reader angry and disgusted by the male characters within the story. Be advised if you pick up this book, there is some explicit sexual content and abusive relationships. 

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Autobiography 
  • Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses and when I found out that she had a memoir out, I knew I had to read it. This memoir was clever and hilarious. I loved learning about her life before she became famous. 

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This was a surprising favorite in the month of April. This book is considered grimdark fantasy and even though I am a fantasy fan, there are some grimdark books that just were not for me. The Blade Itself was definitely a book for me! I loved all the characters and I loved seeing how flawed they are and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the First Law trilogy goes! 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fiction, Thriller
  • I don’t know even what to say about My Dark Vanessa. Really quickly, a brief summary: This book follows two timelines; first: where Vanessa, 15-year old girl, goes to a board school and ends up in a relationship with her English teacher, the second: Years later, Vanessa is an adult and allegations about this teacher are coming out about how he has been abusing several girls over the years. Vanessa as an adult has a hard time accepting that these allegations are true because she remembers her relationship with him being mutual, consensual, and about love, not abuse. This book is so powerful with an important subject matter that needs to be talked about. Warning: There are several difficult scenes to read in this book. A lot of sexual abuse and gaslighting. Take your time reading this novel, it is worth the read. 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance, Contemporary
  • This month was apparently the Rainbow Rowell month because I ended up reading 3 of her books. Her stories have always been enjoyable and this one was just as great as I was hoping. After reading My Dark Vanessa, I needed a light, sweet love story and this book was perfect for that. 

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • This was an easy and simple read that I enjoyed quite a bit. Definitely wasn’t my favorite of the month but for a basic YA story, it was good. The reader follows this girl, who comes from a line of witches connected to the woods next to her house. When walking through the woods one day, she finds a boy that had been missing for a couple of weeks and he should have been dead by now. It was a decent fantasy mystery with a cute love story. 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Retellings of Beauty and Beast are very popular in TV, movies, and books so I was nervous about reading another one but wow! This book is PHENOMENAL! I absolutely loved the world, the characters, the pacing. Probably the best Beauty and the Beast retelling I have ever read. I plan on reading the sequel in May and I am so excited! 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • I had been considering reading this book for so long and I am so glad I finally did! This story is set in Auschwitz and we follow a man who “volunteered” to go with the Nazis so that his family didn’t have to. Once he arrived at the concentration camp, he got sick and since he survived that sickness, the tattooist took him under his wing to help protect him. Eventually the main character becomes the main tattooist and the story follows him for years as he meets the love of his life, tries to survive, and save as many people as he can. Highly recommend if you enjoy reading historical fiction and stories about survival, specifically from the Holocaust.  

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Romance, Contemporary
  • I am usually not a fan of contemporary books but this one was really fun and an adorable read. These characters felt real to me and the world was believable. Sometimes the main characters were a bit judgy and prickly but overall, I understood why they were acting like that. Not to mention, I did like how anxiety was described within this book. Quick and fun read.

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapakowski 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This is the first book in the Witcher series after the two short story books. I watched the Witcher series on netflix before reading this book and played a bit of the Witcher games. I really enjoyed this world where we follow a witcher called Geralt of Rivia and a special girl named Ciri. There are sorcerers, magic, elves, dwarfs, and monsters everywhere in this series and I think it’s amazing. I’m excited to continue on with the Witcher books. 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Psychology
  • I connected with most of the ideas in this book about introverts and I found myself nodding awhile with several points. If someone asked me if this is worth a read, I would say yes but I would need to add that there weren’t many eye-opening revelations so don’t go in expecting that. 

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
  • Permanent Record was probably the most disappointing reading from this month. I was expecting to like this book because I enjoyed Emergency Contact  by the same author but wow, was I wrong. I just could not connect with the main character at all or his love interest. I didn’t like the slang and dialogue within this story either. If you want to read Mary H.K. Choi’s book, read Emergency Contact,  not this one. 

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
  • I read the original Thrawn trilogy years ago and it became my favorite Star Wars trilogy of all time. When I heard that it was no longer canon and the author was rewriting the Thrawn storyline, I was upset at first. But this book exceeded my expectations! Thrawn’s political rise within the Empire was insane because of how brilliant he is. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series! 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance
  • This was another good book by Rainbow Rowell but I will say, it was probably my least favorite book by her. This story follows a married couple from meeting in college, to starting a relationship, marriage, having children, to where they are in the present day. They are having some problems because the wife, at first, is very focused on her career. We follow her journey during a week without her family, where she discovers her mistakes and realizes what she needs to be happy. It was a sweet story overall. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Where do I begin with this book?! I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Not only is it my favorite Rainbow Rowell book ever, but it was a fan fiction type story besides on the world from the Harry Potter books. I haven’t really talked about my love and obsession with Harry Potter on my blog yet but when I heard what this book was about, I knew it was for. I read it almost all in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. Best way to finish the month of April. 
Posted in blog, Books, Fantasy

February Book Wrap-up!

This is EXTREMELY late but school and work have been keeping me busy. Luckily, I have a bit of free time now because of spring break, so I can finally post February’s wrap up! If you any recommendations for books I should try out or want to start a discuss about the books I have read, feel free to leave a comment!

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Juvie/Middle Grade Fantasy
  • This is the second book in the Percy Jackson series. When I was younger, I had read the first three books in this series but I honestly didn’t remember much except what happened in the first book. I really enjoyed this second book because it was showing me more of this world and explored more Greek mythology creatures and gods.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • This is the second novel in the Red Queen series. I really enjoyed the first book and was curious where this one would go. I enjoyed learning more about the organizations working to overthrow the government but the reason I gave this book only four stars was because of the main character. I didn’t feel like she grew very much at all and I had hoped she would change a little bit at least.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • I was really excited to read Steelheart because it is the first book in the Reckoners series by my favorite author, Sanderson. I have read several books by him and have never been disappointed. This book continued that streak. It was a very interesting concept where this “calamity” event happened on Earth which led to many people developing super powers but what makes it different from other superhero books, is that these people ended up being corrupt and evil. I can’t wait to pick up the next two books in this series.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
  • Now this one was probably my favorite read in the month of February! I am a huge history and mythology nerd so when I heard that the world in this book revolves around Greek gods and World War I and II, I was hooked!

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This is the thirteenth book in the Wheel of Time series and shit is happening! I read this in like a week which is fast when you consider that this book is over 1200 pages long. Luckily, it didn’t feel that long at all. I am currently reading the next and final book in this series and oh man, am I excited to see what happens.  

The Truth About Magic by Atticus

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Poetry
  • This is the first book by this author I have ever read but it will definitely not be the last. Their poems were beautiful and full of emotion and thought. The artwork and photography in this book helped put me in the perfect mood.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • This was a recommendation and present from my best friend Lauren! She was so sweet and got it signed by the author for me! I really loved this book that connected fairy tales, magic, love, and beautiful writing into one incredible story. Highly recommend!

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • This is the third book in the Red Queen series and like the last one, it would have received five stars, if it wasn’t for the main character’s behavior at the end of the book. For three-fourths of the book, I was loving it and the development of all the characters who are dealing with a lot of torture and PTSD. But one of the last decisions made by the main character at the end just made me angry honestly. I understood why she made that choice but still, I did not agree. Still an amazing series though.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance
  • This selection was definitely outside my comfort zone. As many of you can tell, I read A LOT of fantasy books, it’s my favorite genre. I have never really enjoyed any previous romance books I have read until this book! The characters were charming and weirdly relatable even though one of them is a prince and the other is the son of the president of the United States. The romance was written beautifully and in a way, that made you also fall in love with the characters; it just felt real. If you have been scared of trying out a romance book before, I think this would be a good one to try.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Juvie/Middle Grade Fantasy
  • I started and ended the month with a Percy Jackson book and I was not disappointed at all! In the third book of the series, we meet some key players in this series like Artemis’ Hunters and wow, was that entertaining! This book was so good that I read the next one immediately after.

Posted in blog, Books, Fantasy, geek

January 2020 Book Review

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • I enjoyed the world that was created in this story and the characters were decent. I gave it a 3 out of 5 because it was just average to me.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Horror Fiction
  • I had high hopes for this book and it lived up to those hopes. I loved the symbolism throughout the story and all the horror elements.  

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction
  • This was a brilliant book full of characters that you could connect with and relate to. By the end of this book, I wanted to be in this world and I can’t wait for the sequel.

No Judgement by Meg Cabot 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance 
  • I usually don’t like Romance books because I personally feel that they are all very similar but I decided to give this one a chance since I had enjoyed previous books by Cabot. I do not regret picking up this book, it was truly enjoyable and simple

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Historical Fiction 
  • I knew I would love this book even before I started reading it. I love history and learning more about the Tudors. This was a great book to see more of the relationships that we have heard so much about

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This is book 12 of the Wheel of Time series and the first book where Brandon Sanderson took up the challenge to finish the series for Robert Jordan. The middle books in the series were a slow and difficult read for me but this one held my attention from the start. Can’t wait to read the last two books in the series 

The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fiction 
  • This was an audible book and I liked how it was performed and the way the author made it easy to relate with the main character 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Juv Young Reader Fantasy
  • I think most people already know about the Percy Jackson books so all I will say is if you haven’t read this series, go read it. It is worth it especially if you like mythology and Greek mythology specifically

Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction
  • I had watched the movie based on this book before reading it so I knew the general story. I definitely enjoyed the book more than the movie because several changes were made in the movie that I don’t think should have been changed. 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
  • This will probably be my most controversial review and rating. So many people love this book but I just did not like it. I hated the writing style, way too flowery. I felt like there was no true plot and no conflict. The characters were bland with no direction or true reason to do anything  

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction
  • This book has changed many people’s lives, so I was curious about it. I did like several of her suggestions and have started implementing them into my life. The main point that I completely disagree with was in regards to what books to keep and how many you should keep. I love having a ton of books at home even if I never reread most of them. I won’t get rid of them, that is for sure!