Friday, April 8, 2016

Goodbye to Blogger

Hey guys! So… I made the decision to leave Blogger and switch over to Wordpress. As much as I love this blog, Blogger posts are a struggle to format for me. Trying to do the simplest things takes me way too long and I don’t even have too much chaos going on in my posts. I will leave this blog up but just won’t be posting on here anymore. Sorry if this throws anyone off! Trust me, it’ll throw me off even more but I think Wordpress would be a better choice for me.

The wordpress link: I have transferred most of my blog posts. This was actually a good way to get rid of some of the really bad ones. It’s also not as colorful as this one, which I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing.

I guess that’s it. Goodbye Blogger.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

OTP Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while! And I love tags! The OTP Book Tag was created on YouTube by Kristin Reads. I wasn’t tagged by anyone but this seemed like fun!

1. Pick an unpopular OTP that you ship:

Not exactly unpopular but a couple a lot of people disagree with: Cassie and Evan from the 5th Wave. I think they’re great and they help each other get through a lot.

2. Pick an OTP that you didn’t ship at first but now you do:

Simon and Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments. I wasn’t sure about them at first, I was very against them actually. But they grew on me.

3. Pick your most hated OTP:

Eleanor and Park. I don’t understand the hype around this book. I wouldn’t say I necessarily hate their ship, I just don’t get the obsession.

4. Pick an OTP that took way too long to get together:


Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series. The first couple I ever shipped! I don’t remember completely but I believe it took them three books to get together.

5. Pick your favorite non-cannon OTP:

Draco Malfoy and Luna Lovegood! I know I’m in the very minority of Potterheads who ship these two, most people don’t even know Druna is an actual ship, but wouldn’t it be wonderful??!! Think about it!

6. Pick your favorite BROTP:

Heronstairs!! No bromance will ever beat Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices.

7. Pick an OTP you adored in the books but not in the show or TV adaptations:

Harry and Ginny in the movies were nowhere near the awesomeness they were in the book. Also Alec and Magnus in the show Shadowhunters. I LOVE them in the books but the show is destroying them! 

8. Pick a popular OTP that no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t ship:

Clary and Jace in the Mortal Instruments. I just can’t. Their relationship honestly makes me cringe sometimes.

9. Pick your favorite LGBT+ OTP:

SOLANGELO!! Yes, yes, I know. Technically Nico and Will aren’t actually together YET. But they will be! (I can’t wait until The Hidden Oracle comes out! I need to know what happens!) Book Malec is a close second though.

10. Pick your all time favorite OTP:

It’s really hard to pick one so I’ll go with a classic and say Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. They’re just wonderful and have the cutest love story!

I tag anyone reading this! What are some of your OTP’s?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: "The Scar Boys" by Len Vlahos



Goodreads Synopsis:

Playing in a punk rock band brings peace to a bullied teen in Len Vlahos's debut novel.

A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock 'n' roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world...even if you carry scars inside and out.
In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay--help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores--Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry's description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he's looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.


Don’t judge a book by its’ genre is a lesson I am starting to understand. I have only recently started reading more contemporary books and they’re actually not all that bad. I went into this book expecting it to be a two star, three at most. So when it ended up being four star worthy, I was joyous!

Harbinger (Harry) Jones went through a traumatic childhood experience in which he was tied to a tree during a lightening storm. On top of that being absolutely terrifying, he was literally and metaphorically scarred for life. His face was deformed and he was forever cast an outsider.

The Scar Boys is basically Harry’s story of how he became comfortable with himself. It’s about society and what being different really does to someone’s confidence. It’s about friendship and how much impact friends have on your identity. It’s a search for identity story told through a college admissions essay.

Short review, I know. Read it though!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review: "Cruel Crown" by Victoria Aveyard



Warning: This review contains spoilers for  the first book in the series Red Queen.

Goodreads Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.


After being horribly disappointed with the first book, I don’t know why I continued reading this series. Actually, I do know. I just can’t stay away from people with cool powers no matter how tiring the story is. The first book had potential so I guess I wanted this series to get better. Where did that leave me? Horribly disappointed again. I don’t understand why people are so obsessed with these books.

Most of Glass Sword was just plain boring. So many new characters were introduced but none of them were given any depth. The descriptions were heavy and there was a lot more telling than showing. Details in a book are generally good but huge information dumps are just confusing and… well, annoying. Even the action scenes seemed to drag on to the point where I would just start skipping paragraphs of unnecessary description.

And then comes my hatred for Mare. It’s not even a strong dislike anymore: I seriously hate this girl. She’s a whiny brat who thinks she is the only person in the world who understands pain. She treats all her friends like background characters, using them when needed and leaving them behind when she didn’t. She doesn’t trust anyone but expects everyone to trust her to make the “right” decisions. She just makes me angry!

Unless I’m completely out of books, I will definitely not be continuing this series.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: "An Ember in the Ashes" by Sabaa Tahir



Goodreads Synopsis:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


You are an ember in the ashes. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS BOOK! LOVED IT! Loved the characters. Loved the plot. Loved the setting. Basically, loved everything.

Okay, okay. How do people write all these well thought out book reviews on books they love? All I can think is giphy

Books like these are part of the reason why I love reading. It was absolutely fantastic! The synopsis might sound like just another YA Fantasy/romance but it was so much more!

I loved that through most of the first half of the book, Laia is shown as a frightened and cowardly girl. Unlike other YA heroines, she doesn’t just suddenly find a well of hidden bravery within her and start killing people as she pleases.  She doesn’t have extraordinary intelligence or strength; she’s more of just a victim of her circumstance. She starts by taking baby steps as she gets more used to what she must do.

Elias is the Martial Empire’s top soldier but he hates being one. He was forced to join when he was young and now he is eagerly awaiting graduation so he can leave the Empire’s rules once and for all. He was also fantastic! He grew up in a tribe with a foster mother and was taken by the Empire at five. Because he didn’t grow up with other Martials, he sympathizes with the lower classes. He wants things to be different but instead of wanting to change it, he wants to escape from it.

I think they were both awesome characters! Neither have a hero complex and would rather save themselves than the world. But both are loyal to their friends and would do anything for them.

My favorite character though was Helene. She is Elias’ best friend who is also training to be a soldier. (The Empire only takes one girl soldier per year so Helene is the only girl in their year). She is loyal to the Empire, she believes in their rules and regulations even though she wishes things could be a little better. Considering she grew up with Martials in their society, I thought she was kinder than people give her credit for. And I loved her relationship with Elias!

The book kind of has a love triangle/square but not really. The book isn’t that focused on the romantic aspect so if you hate love triangles, don’t worry. It’s more focused on their two individual lives and it feels natural whenever their paths connect.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: "A Thousand Nights" by E.K Johnson



Goodreads Synopsis: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.


I know, the synopsis sounds quite a bit like Arabian Nights (also known as One Thousand and One Nights) and the two concepts are similar but this story is nothing like Scheherazade’s.

To readers who are looking for typical YA books filled with action and romance: this is not for you. A Thousand Nights is a thought provoking, slightly eerie but beautiful book. It’s like an elegantly written folk tale. 

The story is set in a Fantasy world which takes a few traits from the early Islamic era in the Middle East. In this world, djinns (more commonly referred to as genies) roam the earth. Lo-Melkhiin is the ruler of a desert kingdom. Every girl he marries dies; everyone knows this but no one has tried to stop him from marrying because his rule has brought peace to the kingdom.

None of the characters except Lo-Melkhiin have names which, in my opinion, fits the story very well. The book starts off a little slow and full of details but the details were necessary for later chapters.

The two dynamics between the men and the women were also interesting to see. The men of-course believe they hold all the power, not realizing the strength and complexity of the women characters.

The main character is witty, determined, and fiercely loyal. She beautifies herself so Lo-Melkhiin will definitely pick her as his wife and spare her sister. I thought she was a great character. Growing up in the harsh desert land made her strong and confident in her abilities. She has rightfully earned her place as one of my favorite YA heroines.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review: "Fake ID" by Lamar Giles


Goodreads Synopsis: Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.
And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.


This is going to be a small review. Hmm… I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It’s been a while since I read a book with a sole male protagonist since most YA books tend to have female leads nowadays. Nick and his family are a part of the Witness Protection Program and they are accustomed to always changing their identity stay hidden. Stepton is their fourth change of location.

I think Nick is smart and resourceful. The romance didn’t win me over; it wasn’t necessary to the plot. But I liked Nick and Reya well enough not to be bothered by it.

It’s clear a lot of thought was put into the plot of the book. The connections of the characters were well planned. But… the characters seemed a little static. There’s nothing wrong with static characters of course but I felt that some of the secondary characters needed more… pizzazz?

It’s a good book though guys! Some parts are hilarious and the ending actually took me by surprise.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: "Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard


Goodreads Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart ...


“Words can lie. See beyond them.”

Like a lot of other people, I have very mixed feelings about this book. Standing alone, Red Queen isn’t a bad book, a pretty good one actually. But see, it doesn’t stand alone. Every new book I read, I automatically compare to every other book I have read because that’s how my mind judges books. And comparatively, this book seemed… unoriginal. Not because the plot wasn’t good but because so many books like this already exists. If you’ve read Pawn by Aimee Carter, Red Queen is basically that but with people with superpowers. Maybe mix a little of The Selection in there. It’s also being compared to Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which I haven’t read, but judging by the blurb it seems very similar to this book.

Red Queen combines a few popular tropes together. A Fantasy land with corrupt monarchs who don’t care about the lower classes. Lower class girl is somehow “special” and finds herself mingling with royalty and of-course falling in love with a guy from the upper class (in this case, the prince). And the inevitable rebellion in which, very conveniently, the girl becomes the face of.   

Mare as a whole seemed bratty and selfish. The type of selfish who doesn’t realize she is selfish nonetheless. Characters like Katniss know they are selfish. Characters like Mare have no idea and then get upset at the world for not liking her.

She’s also rash when it comes to big decisions, which isn’t unlike a lot of YA main characters, but it’s her reactions that bothered me. She takes a huge risk and when all doesn’t go according to her plans, she’s all “*gasp* what have I done?!” (This is not a direct quotation). What in all of HADES did she expect?!

And don’t even get me started on the love triangle/square. I disliked all three guys. None of them are appealing and I felt no connection whatsoever. The only guy I felt a bit of sympathy for was Lucas (the security guard).

However, there are pros to the book. The description of the world was well done. You could clearly see the contrast between the lifestyles of the Reds and the Silvers. And I liked the end scenes. The ending is why I’ll continue this series.

Give it a try, you might enjoy it.


Something that kept bothering me is the fact that Mare is supposed to be this powerful Red who makes electricity but she never had any inclination of it before. She can suddenly feel electricity buzzing wherever she goes but where was that sense when she lived in the Red village? She mentions once that she wasn’t around electricity much but that doesn’t mean she was completely without it. And since she had the ability to create electricity, wouldn’t that mean she could just create some? (I know she did that one time when the lights were off at her house but that was just once in what? Seventeen years?) Shouldn’t she have at least figured out she wasn’t completely normal? Just doesn’t make any sense.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo



Goodreads Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.


OH MY GOSH THIS WAS SO GOOD I CAN’T EVEN! I loved EVERYTHING about this book. The characters. The setting. The plot. The dialogue. The writing. EVERYTHING!

Six of Crows has been getting a lot of hype lately in the book community so I decided to take a risk and buy it (which isn’t something I usually do unless I really like an author). And if you can’t tell already I LOVED IT.

This book takes place in the Grisha world from the Grisha Trilogy also by Leigh Bardugo but you do not have to read the trilogy to read this book. I haven’t read the original series (I started to a while ago but didn’t get far) so I went into this world blind and not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.

Six of Crows has five different perspectives of five VERY different characters and every one of them was written wonderfully. Usually when you have more than two or three point of views, some of the characters start to seem flat and unnecessary but not here. I fell in love with all the characters in this team of misfits even though some of them are far off from being good people. Bardugo did a great job explaining their background and the events that brought them to Ketterdam.

The romance in this book is more teasing than anything else. It’s not a big part of the plot; it’s there but barely. The writing is great! One of the best I’ve seen in YA fiction. The setting is descriptive but never bores you. It’s action packed without any dull moments. Basically, it’s what they call “a page turner”.



Me, usually when reading books: *frustrating sigh* would you guys please quit kissing and go defeat the giant army out to get you?

Me, during this book: Guys, I don’t care who comes to kill you next, WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST GET TOGETHER. Are you seriously going to make me wait until SEPTEMBER to find out what happens?!

Can I just say that Nina and Matthias are SO CUTE! And Inej and Kaz! And Wylan and Jesper!

Inej had better come back in one piece. And Nina better not go crazy. And Wylan better get his face back. Well… I guess I’ll hibernate until September.

Friday, February 12, 2016

~o~ Disney Princess Tag ~o~

I came across this tag over at The Little Book Nerd’s Life and it looked fun. I love Disney princesses so this is perfect! My favorite, of course, is Mulan. This tag was created by Soudha at Of Stacks and Books. Alright then, onwards!

1. Snow White - Name your favorite classic:

The one and only The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It took me two reads to love this book and I think it fully deserves its place as a classic must-read.

2. Cinderella - A book that kept you reading way past your bedtime:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. It was a great ending to the trilogy.

3. Aurora - Name your favorite classic romance:

 Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy, in my opinion, is the wittiest classical female character and Mr. Darcy is… well, Mr. Darcy. Need there be another explanation?

4. Ariel - Name a book that’s all about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams:

I think most YA books are about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams. Because I can’t help myself and not include Harry Potter in something, I’ll go with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They are all fighting for a greater future for the next generation so their children could live the dreams that they couldn’t

5. Belle – Name a book with a smart and independent female character:

June Iparis from the Legend series by Marie Lu. June is smart, independent, strategic and one of the bravest protagonists I’ve read about.

6. Jasmine – Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions in his or her world:

Naila in Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. Naila is a Pakistani-American teenager with strict, traditional parents. When her parents find out she’s been dating someone, they take her back to Pakistan under the ruse of a vacation and forces her into an arranged marriage. Naila is a very strong and willful character who doesn’t let her world’s society define her.

7. Pocahontas – Name a book whose ending was a roller coaster of emotions:

In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken: the last book to The Darkest Minds series. You know when you’re reading a really good book and you want it to end to know what happens but at the same time you never want it to end? This book was definitely that.

8. Mulan – Name a book with a kick-ass female character:

Katsa from Graceling by Kristen Cashore. Katsa is good at everything! Bow and Arrows? No problem. Sword fight? She can fight you with her eyes closed. Brawling? You better pray she only knocks you unconscious with no permanent damage.

9. Tiana – Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character:

Artemis Fowl from the infamous Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Artemis made his own reputation as the criminal mastermind that he is at age ten. His reputation wasn’t a very good one but there’s no doubt he worked pretty hard to get there. His extraordinary intelligence doesn’t hurt either.

10. Rapunzel – Name a book that features an artist:

Both main characters, twins Noah and Jude, in I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson are phenomenal artists. They’re prodigies: Noah in painting and Jude in sculpting and designing.

11. Merida – Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship:

I had to think about this one for so long because YA books so rarely have mothers who are present in the characters’ lives. The award goes to Hazel and her mom from the one and only The Fault In Our Stars by the great John Green. Hazel loves and respects her mom and actually listens to her. And her mom does the same.

12. Anna and Elsa – Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings:

Penryn and Paige from Angelfall by Susan Ee. Penryn would go to the ends of the Earth to protect her little sister. I mean, she infiltrated a den of evil angels of the Apocalypse for the small chance of finding her alive.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: "Passenger" by Alexandra Bracken


Goodreads synopsis:

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever


“The only way out is through.”

My expectation for this book was very high. I mean, I have declared Alex Bracken as my favorite YA author because the Darkest Minds books. So when I started reading this book and didn’t have that gripping feeling of finishing it as soon as I could, I was slightly disappointed. But as I said, my expectations were unnaturally high and that doesn’t in any way mean Passenger was a bad book. It’s a good book. It just isn’t the masterpiece I was expecting it to be. Which, again, isn’t very fair to expect anyway.

It took me a while to get into the book. The first half of the book is mostly world-building and character development, which is great don’t get me wrong, but it’s also dull. I was left confused for the first hundred pages or so and kept wondering what was going on. Now, even though I did have to sludge on through a few chapters because of the heavy description, it’s a known fact that Alex Bracken is a fantastic writer. (Well…known to me at-least). Once I got past the first few chapters, it got A LOT better. I loved reading about the different time periods they traveled to.

Passenger is written in two perspectives: Etta and Nicholas. Etta is a violin prodigy with an eccentric mother who has a very strange ways of showing affection. She has no other family, her mother never talks about Etta’s father. The only other present person in her life beside her mother is her violin instructor: an elderly woman named Alice. Etta is your typical YA female protagonist: smart, stubborn, doesn’t take no for an answer, determined, doesn’t listen to authority figures, prideful and thinks she can do anything alone, etc. But as far as protagonists go, she’s actually pretty cool. She’s confident but isn’t ashamed of accepting help when she needs it.

Nicholas is a black man (or boy, I guess. He’s about 20ish) living in the very racist society of the 1770s. The two perspectives actually sounded like two different people which is a rarity in YA fiction. Nicholas grew up as a slave and his freedom was later bought by a captain of a ship. Coming from a society that judged him openly for his skin color, all Nicholas wanted was complete independence and a ship that he could own.

Their relationship is gradual and doesn’t overpower the plot which is a huge bonus for Bracken. And sadly, Nicholas is one of the only African-American main love interests I’ve encountered in YA so far.

It might seem boring at first, but it does get better. Read it! And if you haven’t already, pick up The Darkest Minds books which are also by Alexandra Bracken.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien


Goodreads Summary: They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. Since its first publication, The Things They Carried has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.


They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.

No review that I write will, in any way, justify what this book is. In an interview, Tim O’Brien said that a true war story should capture “your heart and stomach and the back of the throat”. And it did.

I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.

Tim O’Brien is a veteran from the Vietnam war. The Things They Carried reads like a memoir, it even has a character named Tim O’Brien in the book, but it is categorized as fiction because the author has stated that most of the stories in the novel are not true. That said, the stories are so real it’ll take you to Vietnam with this group of drafted soldiers who are fighting in a war they don’t want to be in.

The novel is written in a series of short stories that seem unrelated at first but intertwine as the book continues. Some of the lines O’Brien writes are so incredible that you want to put the book down and just process his words.

It took him twenty years after the war to write this book and it’s clear how much he still thinks about those days. This is an excerpt taken from his interview:

I think young people, in particular, need to understand the complications and the ambiguities of these things, and to hear it from someone who has not only gone to a war, but devoted a lifetime to suffering from it.

This is a horrible review for a wonderful book. Take my word for it if you will and read it.

Here’s a link to the interview I keep bringing up if anyone cares to watch:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review: "Lies We Tell Ourselves" by Robin Talley



Goodreads Synopsis: In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.


Colored people aren’t the same as whites. They aren’t as smart. They haven’t accomplished the things we have. They aren’t as good as we are.”

I’ve been reading too many sad books back to back. This can’t be healthy.

This book was horrifying in the sense that everything that happens in the book no doubt had also happened to someone in real life during this time period. Lies We Tell Ourselves takes place in a Virginia city where schools were ruled to be integrated for the first time. We learn in school how chaotic this time period was, and we celebrate in class when we learn about the end of segregation. But we rarely focus on the huge emotional toll it took for those few black kids who first went to attend a former all-white school. They had to dodge taunts every minute of every day; it was physical and emotional torture. The teachers were just as racist as the students even if they were less direct about it.

This book brings to light two big issues: racism and prejudice against LGBT+ groups. As if being black wasn’t bad enough during this time, Sarah Dunbar also had very “unnatural” and “sinful” feelings for girls. Sarah’s strength is inspiring, especially her ability to keep her head high when her world is falling apart.

Linda’s story is also a heartbreaking one. She struggles with forming her own opinions of black people with an abusive father who is very set against racial integration.

I wanted to jump into the book and give both girls a big bear hug. Read it!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: “The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” by Leslye Walton


Goodreads Synopsis: Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.


“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost.”

Wow. Just wow. I don’t know how to describe this book. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is just as the title suggests: it’s a strange and beautiful book. And filled with the sorrows spanning three generations starting with Ava’s grandmother. I loved it!

The writing is wonderful. Every character was given a thoughtful back story. Every single one. Though the title only mention Ava, the book is mostly third person because the story also follows everyone who is around Ava. To understand her story, you’d first have to understand the stories of her ancestors and neighbors.

“Love, as most know, follows its own timeline. Disregarding our intentions or well rehearsed plans.”

This book is categorized as Magical Realism. Ava is born with wings. But despite all the magical elements, the characters’ stories feel very real. The love stories were heart breaking and not at all like a typical Young Adult novel. Some parts of the book was actually painful to read because of how well Lesley Walton describes the sadness that comes with love and losing loved ones.

“And that might just be the root of the problem: we're all afraid of each other, wings or no wings.”

It’s also a tale about what it means to be different. And the Roux-Lavender family was very strange indeed.

This book is magical. Stunning. And all the synonyms of “wonderful” in the dictionary. Go read it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

This is the Unpopular Opinion Book Tag. It’s been floating around for a while now so I decided  to try it. First tag of the year! This tag was created by TheBookArcher on YouTube.

A popular book or series you didn’t like:

There are actually a LOT of books I dislike that most people seem to love.


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell; Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas; The Selection by Kiera Cass. For a classic, I’ll say The Lord of the Rings. I just can’t get through those books.

A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate but you loved:

I cannot think of one. Usually, the books people have problems with are the ones I also don’t like. Skip.

A love triangle where the character ended up with the character you didn’t like/ an OTP you didn’t care for:


Matched series by Allie Condie. I won’t give a spoiler in case someone doesn’t know who she ends up with but I was not a fan of the ending.

A popular book genre you hardly reach for:

Paranormal Romance. I have never read a paranormal romance I loved. 

A popular character you didn’t like: 

Tris from the Divergent series, especially after Allegiant.

A popular author you can’t seem to get into:

I’ll go with a classic: Charles Dickens. His books bore to me death.

A popular book trope you’re tired of seeing:

An obvious one would be love triangles; I am so tired of those. Another would be absent parents; majority of main characters’ parents in YA literature are absent either physically or emotionally. I rarely read books where the protagonist's parents are actually a major force in their life.

A popular book or series you have no interest in reading:

The Selection series; Hush Hush series; Shatter Me trilogy. I tried reading all of these and failed miserably.

The saying goes, “The book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you liked better than the book?

Image result for Ella Enchanted

There are times when I love the movie as much as I love the book but rarely do I love a movie better than the book. The only one I can think of is Ella Enchanted.

This was a fun tag! I tag Stellah @ The Little Book Nerd’s Life, Cindy Sanders @ Stranger Things Have Happened and anyone else who wants to do it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: "I'll Give You The Sun" by Jandy Nelson



Goodreads Synopsis: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.


“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”

I read this book a while ago and I’m ashamed I didn’t read it sooner. It’s easily the most beautiful contemporary novel I have read in a while, second only to A Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

This was actually my second attempt to read it, the first time I put it down because I didn’t think I would like Nelson’s writing style. I was horribly wrong. I loved the way Nelson writes her characters. And her imagery is going to be one of those things where you either love it or hate it. For me, it was the former.

Let’s start with the format. The book alternates between the past and the present which is something I thought would bother me at first, but I ended up loving it.The chapters from Noah’s point of view are in the past while Jude’s chapters are in the present.

Both twins’ stories are compelling. At thirteen years old, Noah wants three things: his mother’s attention, a spot at a very prestigious art institute, and the boy next door. Noah is the odd one out; while his sister is cliff diving and dating, he is drawing and painting. But the twins are best friends, no one understands Noah better than Jude does and vice versa.

“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.”

Then at sixteen years old, Jude is completely different from the girl we see in Noah’s chapters. Jude is now the odd one out, she is superstitious and a little deluded. The twins are barely speaking to each other. And Jude is the one attending the art institute. After reading the first two chapters and witnessing this horrible shift in their relationship, I had to find out what happens.

These two have made a lot of mistakes. Normally, when a book character does something stupid, I hate them. But the way their every decision was described was very realistic and understandable. Noah and Jude are clearly flawed but that only made me love them more.

“When people fall in love, they burst into flames.”

This was more a story of family than romance but I really enjoyed the romantic aspects too. Noah’s relationship with Brian was one of the best parts of the book (this was also one of the only YA books I’ve read with a LGBTQ+ main character). And though I didn’t like Jude’s love story as much, I thought it was done wonderfully.

This is a great story of family and love and loss. Read it!