Review: Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil by Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta is a literary goddess!

Reading a Marchetta book should be a must for all readers. Seriously. This woman can write like no other and it’s not just about her writing but her characters and how real they are and how the heart of all her stories(be it fantasy or contemporary or adult fiction), is always about families ; the ones you’re born into and the ones you become a part of throughout your life and belonging. It’s about courage and loss and love.

I don’t read many thrillers but the ones I do read are pretty forgettable. Not this one. I finished this a few hours back but I want to read it again.
On the surface, this is a book about a bombing in France that seems linked to a terror attack in London years ago.

“Five dead. More injured. Some badly. It’s what happened when you were the son of Louise Sarraf: you became obsessed with victims and numbers and how many people were affected. One dead man meant kids and a wife and parents and brothers and sisters and in-laws and nieces and nephews. Injured kids meant the same. A mother. Father. Two sets of grandparents. Approximately seven aunts and uncles and at least fourteen cousins. Not to mention friends … Jamal had become a mathematician after his father blew up their lives. The figured tallied based on twenty-three fatalities fucked with his head every time. “

But like all of Marchetta’s books, this is really about the people. It’s about broken, yet whole families. It’s about home.
And I loved how Marchetta weaved in the brutal reality of the world. The prejudice that some have against others, the hatred, all this is something I see, having lived in India all my life. I see how people (and of neighboring countries) of certain ethnicity are perceived and I feel so ashamed for the human race. *sigh*

“It was a twelve-seater bus today. Twelve kids. Twenty-four parents. Thirty or so siblings. Forty-eight grandparents. All those people, and I haven’t even counted friends. Tonight, be a mathematician for the living and not the dead.”

I highly recommend this book or any of Marchetta’s books really.

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Review: Love And Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Australian literature. I read as much of it as I can even though they’re hard to come by and it annoys me to no end that it doesn’t get the exposure it deserves. Anyway, going into this book, I was a little wary because of the blurb but really, all that worrying was for nothing. I should know by now that I can always count on the Aussies to deliver.

You know those rare contemporary books that you come across sometimes that resonates deep within you? This is one of those books for me. It was beautifully written, the characterization was on point, Buzo made them feel just as real as you and me and it was hilarious at times but also grounded with this sense of nostalgia (for me). Because if you’ve lived through adolescence and early adulthood, then you’ll identify yourself with our main characters, Amelia and Chris.

15 year old Amelia works at ‘The Land of Dreams’, also known as Woolworth’s where she quickly becomes good friends with her trainer Chris who is 6 years older, he chats with her about books, society and everything else while the rest of their workmates just gossip. It’s not long before Amelia finds herself head over heels in love with Chris, the only way a young teen can. She obsesses and fantasizes about him, he’s the centre of her world. More importantly, Chris doesn’t treat her like a kid. He listens to her and values her input. They have amazing conversations about things she doesn’t talk to anyone else about. Not to her parents, her friends and certainly not to boys of her age.And for Chris, of all the people he works with, Amelia is his favourite one to talk to. Basically, she’s the ideal woman he’s looking for. If only she was a few years older.

“You’re pretty passionate about your unhappiness, aren’t you, Chris?”

I looked right back at her and said, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

I could relate so much to Amelia. Some of her pages were hard to read because her voice was so real and bursting with the passion, anxiety and frustration of a 15 year old. It felt so achingly familiar and I just wanted to reach through the pages and assure her that everything would change, that things would settle down and you’ll eventually fit into your own skin. She reminded me a lot of myself at that age, both too mature and too naïve to really fit in with my own peers.  And because of this, I was drawn to her from the beginning and the fact that she’s strong, independent, funny and “even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally” made her an easy character to love.  There’s this one particular quote of Amelia’s that really struck me and that’s this:

“I am getting nostalgic about this night and it hasn’t even finished yet.”

I do that all the time. I’m always fantasizing and scripting my own life as it’s happening. I’m someone who prefers to still live inside her own head.

Chris is one of the most realistic 21 year old male characters I’ve seen in a YA or NA novel, completely charming in this self-absorbed, slacker kind of way. He’s at a vulnerable time in life, standing on the threshold of real adulthood, about to finish college but not sure what to do after, living with his parents due to financial issues, fixated on a broken relationship and on a quest to find the Perfect Woman, feeling inadequate and insecure and envious of those who seem to have life all figured out when he’s stuck in this rut.  He parties with his friends, works and studies enough to get by and is lately prone to moping around waiting for something ‘life-changing’ to happen. And I believed every word of his messed up, self-loathing voice. All this might make him seem like an unlike-able character but no, Laura Buzo writes him so well that his kindness, humour and intelligence still shines through and you can’t help but like him. He’s one of those people who fills the room with their presence. Loud, very intelligent, extroverted and fun. Chris is a guy worth swooning over 😉

“Bottom line is — I can’t run my own race. I’m constantly checking what’s happening in the other lanes.”

Even though the age difference between them is massive, Buzo makes you wish they could work it out somehow (even though you know that’s unrealistic and gross). I guarantee you will find yourself rooting for them even though you know you shouldn’t because despite their shared interests, at the end of the day, Amelia is a kid and Chris is… not.

I’ve been that 15 year old girl crushing fiercely on an older guy and right now, I am that college kid staring down my semester and fast approaching graduation and thinking to myself “what in the world am I going to do next?”. So I both smiled and cringed at some of the things Amelia said or did. And I sighed and shook my head sadly at some of the things Chris said and did.

“The yawning six-year chasm between my age and Chris’s is not the only fly in the proverbial ointment of this “loving Chris” business. I’m not even sure what “getting” Chris would involve; all I know is I want him. I want to be enfolded by him somehow, and to possess him. To have unfettered and exclusive access to him all the time. To feel how I feel around him all the time. To know that he loves being around me too. To feel more of his skin on my skin.”

I loved this book for its realistic approach, for its sadness and nerdy coolness and how easily Laura Buzo touched on some deeper issues. Written smartly, the story talks not only about love and life but also about feminism, literature and society. I did not expect this to be a thought provoking book but it is.

Another reason I loved this book was because of its ending, which is really the only possible ending that was right. It’s one of those books where you wish for completely different circumstances for the characters and yet, you wouldn’t want to change thing. It showed that sometimes, not getting what you deeply desire can be good for you and it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.

I could go on and on about how perfect this book is but I’ll wrap it up for now. Bottom line is I simple loved the book and I highly recommend it. I promise you won’t regret it.

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Amazon | iTunes | Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble

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New Year, New Goals

First off, let me start by wishing you all a very happy new year. 2016 was a very good year for me in terms of books as it was the year I discovered Brandon Sanderson and his fantastic world of Mistborn, relived my childhood through more than one YA fairy tale retelling (Uprooted, A Thousand Nights, Heartless), bid adieu to some of my favorite series (The Raven King, Crooked Kingdom) and discovered more new, magical adventures.

I know I know, I haven’t posted in a long while but bullet journaling has really made me more organized and disciplined so one of my resolutions for this year is to work on this blog. It’s turned into something I easily neglect and I don’t like it. The reason we blog is to share our love and passion for something and I’m nothing if not an avid reader who loves talking about books. I have decided to not let the lack of views demotivate me anymore, part of the reason being I want this blog to be a record of my (mainly bookish) journey for me to look back on. (Selfish much LOL) So what will I be posting? Since, I’m rusty, for now, I’ll be posting at least two reviews per month and a monthly wrap up. More posts will be put up once I get back into the flow of blogging.

Another one of my goals is to take up and complete the 2017 Popsugar reading challenge. For those of you who aren’t aware, this challenge is a list of prompts to help bring diversity into your reading. This year’s challenge has 40 prompts with an additional 12 advanced prompts. Fifty two bookish prompts sounds daunting to me right now but my goal is to complete at least 45. Here’s a link to the list of prompts.

Lastly, I want to work on my Bookstagram account. As some of you might know, Instagram has made various not so good changes in the past few months and its reached a point where I’m not motivated enough to post. Bookstagram is a lovely community, the people there so friendly and supportive despite so many different backgrounds, and I’ve met some wonderful people through Insta. I put so much effort into my photos, always giving my best and then Instagram decided what photos people are allowed to see on their feeds. Sigh. I miss out on so many posts from some of my favorite users and suffice to say, I’ve gone on a hiatus. A break really helped get some perspective and I’m no longer going to let the new algorithm make me miss out on one of my favorite things ever. I’m going to get back to posting regularly and hopefully, sometime this year, become a rep for one of the various merch stores on Insta because I’d love to share the book love 🙂

And that’s it for now folks.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a fantastic year ahead. Let me know what some your goals are for this year.

AUGUST WRAP UP (2016)

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, I’m putting up more blog posts again 🙂 My archive for the past few months looks sad and it’s about time to change that. I stopped blogging mainly because I used to stress out about posting frequently and not being good enough. I used to worry about the number views and hits so I put it on hold.  And turns out a good break is all I needed because I feel like blogging again 🙂 I’m going to start slow though, with tags, a few reviews now and then and monthly wrap ups. With that being said, lets get on with the monthly wrap up!

Note: I’ve decided to focus on not only books but also on other thing like movies, TV shows, etc in these wrap ups, just mentioning things that ended up being a favorite 🙂

AUGUST WRAP UP (2016)

Books:

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  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling: I read this as part of the Harry Potter readathon I hosted along with my co bloggers over at Fictional Fortress. The readathon was a huge success and going back to the magical world with fellow potterheads was a wonderful experience.

            Favorite quote:  “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

            My rating: 5/5

Find it on Goodreads

      2.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany: As much as I loved going back to the wizarding world after 19 years, I’m afraid to say that I didn’t quiet enjoy this book much as I thought I would. Read my detailed, spoiler freereview here.

          Favorite quote: “… And being alone — that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time. Tom Riddle was also a lonely child. You may not understand that, Harry, but I do …”

My rating: 3/5

Find it on Goodreads

 3. P.S I Like You by Kasie West: Sometimes I get into these moods where all I need is some good ol’ high school contemporary books with feel good romance, because I simply love feeling my head so light and having my heart skip a beat remembering how it felt to fall in love for the first time (and every time after that). And having read West’s previous books, I knew I could count on her to deliver. And she did. Not well as I expected unfortunately. PS I Like You was a fun, cute read although predictable. It just felt like it was missing that wow factor that I often associate with West’s other books.

Favorite quote: “Words brought us together though they almost kept us apart. You trusted me with your secrets and then you stole my heart.”

My rating: 3/5

Find it on Goodreads

4. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: When it comes to Colleen Hoover’s books, its a love-hate relation I have with then and sadly, I was not a fan of her last 4 books. But I still diligently read every single book she publishes because, I love her writing and Slammed and Hopeless are some of my favorite books of all time. Anyway, getting back to It Ends With Us, I was honestly surprised by how much I ended up liking it. This book? It’s powerful, emotional and complicated. It wasn’t easy to read because of the topics she deals with but that’s what makes it real and raw and human.

Favorite quote: Preventing your heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them.

My rating: 4.5/5

Find it on Goodreads

5. Remembrance by Meg Cabot: I used to love the Mediator series as a teen so it was great to read the adult addition to it. It honestly felt like hanging out with old friends ❤
Remembrance was basically everything I wanted, you get your typical ghost busting, Suze and Jesse, the mystery and the classic sarcasm that I’ve always been able to relate to.

Highly recommend this to all of you who grew up reading The Mediator series. Remembrance was the perfect conclusion to it.

Favorite quote: “Of course I’m not crying. I never cry. It’s allergies. They’re terrible this time of year.”
Jesse gave me one of his lopsided grins.”It would be all right if you cried,” he said. “I like it when you do. It gives me an excuse to play that overprotective nineteenth-century macho man you’re always talking about.”

My rating: 4.5/5

Find it on Goodreads

6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron: What initially attracted me to this book as the blurb. It’s intriguing as hell and when I found out that its a historical fiction,  knew I just had to read it. The Shadow of The Wind is originally written in Spanish and I read the English translation of course and maybe that’s why I didn’t find the writing to be extraordinary.  Regardless, I still enjoyed this book. The plot was very complex and original and so were the characters and that’s what made this book special to me. I will admit I didn’t like the way women were treated in this book but the story is set in such a time and I’m trying not to hold it against the book.  If you’re a fan of historical fiction or mystery, then pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

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Favorite quote: “People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.”

My rating: 4.5/5

Find it on Goodreads

7. You by Caroline Kepnes: You is basically a story about this man Joe and his obsession with a girl. An obsession that turns him into a stalker and we get to see the inner working of a stalker and man was this book disturbing. It was scary seeing Joe easily reason out every terrible thing he did and yet, Kepnes turned this homicidal maniac into a charming man at times. Ugh this one messed with my head but it was brilliantly written, although slow paced at times.

Favorite quote: “If we were teenagers, I could kiss you. But I’m on a platform behind a counter wearing a name tag and we’re too old to be young.”

My rating: 3.5/5

Find it on Goodreads

8. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: As the title suggests, this book is very strange and very beautiful and I loved it to pieces. It centers around the Roux family who have always been someway different. Their relationship with love is certainly a very special one because it looks like love set it as a task to lead the life of every family member into a bottomless pit of pain and despair. It’s about three women who face the obstacles love puts on their path in different ways. But which one hurts the most? And is it really about not hurting?

I haven’t read such a unique book in a long time now and I’d like to read this all over again. The writing was lyrical, captivating and bittersweet. Walton makes you feel the characters’ pain, loss and happiness.

Lastly, this book could not have ended in a better way, It was heartbreaking and fitting and just right. 

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

Find it on Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

General Update

Bullet Journaling:

After seeing a dear friend’s posts about maintaining a bullet journal, I decided to give it a go and maybe it’s too soon for me to say this since I’ve only been bullet journaling for a month now but it has made my life so much easier. What is a bullet journal you ask? It’s basically a planner with no rules. It gives you all the freedom to organize it. All you need is a simple notebook and pen to start and trust me, its so much fun. And have I mentioned how it makes life easier? 😉 Here are a few snaps of my bullet journal:

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Click here  for ideas on how to start a bullet journal. 

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:

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Ever since I saw the movie adaptation years ago (with Kiera Knightly), I’ve been obsessed with this Austen story. A few months back, I actually sat down and read the beautiful classic and let’s just say I finally get why the whole world loves Mr. Darcy 😉 Anyway, a friend suggested the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries to me, which if you haven’t already guessed, is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and just from the very first episode, I was hooked. I kid you not, I marathoned it because it’s brilliantly done, with such a talented cast ❤ It’s been a week since I saw this series and I still go back to some of my favorite episodes because I can never get enough of it. And oh, there were many a times when just thinking of the Darcy and Lizzie from this show has made me blush in public. Oops.    The people behind this fantastic, Emmy winning series have also come up with a modern retelling of Emma titled Emma Approved which is my current addiction 😉 Lastly, I cannot recommend this series enough. All you Austen fans, go watch it to experience a modern take on your beloved classics.

           Check it out here.

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My rating: 2.5/5

‘The eighth story, 19 years later’ This phrase when associated with Harry Potter is more than enough to get any reader, any person who grew up with the Boy Who Lived excited.  I vividly remember when the first announcement about the play came out because I was equal parts excited and heartbroken, knowing that my chances of seeing the play live in London was as good as Umbridge being known as the best thing that ever happened to Hogwarts.  And then, as if my prayers were answered, the news about the script book came out and I was over the moon. Never mind the fact that it wasn’t an actual novel but the fact that I’d be getting to go back to my favourite fantasy world and seeing the new generation as well the old was enough for me.

So on the day of the release, I rushed to the nearest book store and snagged myself a copy. Despite having read the books when they came out, I was never lucky enough to experience a HP book launch so this occasion was doubly exciting for me. The whole day was something special as I got to interact with so many fellow Potterheads, all strangers initially but united by our shared love of the magical world. It felt like hanging out with some good old friends.

After reading this book, (there were several times where I just had to stop and take a break because the things happening were utter madness), I was left feeling quite conflicted and disappointed. There was this sense of nostalgia but it wasn’t enough for me to look past the flaws.

There are so many reasons to justify my low rating. I can blame it on the stiff writing that I’m praying did not come from Jo. I can blame it on the awkward play format that made it difficult to emotionally connect to the story and the characters.But I won’t because I was expecting these things. I knew beforehand that this was just a script and not entirely Jo’s work.

My disappointment comes from the flimsy plot and the carelessness with which our precious characters were handled.

The grown up version of the trio seems to be deprived of their magic (not literal magic) and authenticity. People change all the time and I get that but there were times when I couldn’t even recognize some of the characters because of their actions. Taking away the basic foundation of a person’s character was a low blow. Take Harry for example. I simply refuse to believe he would ever be a bad or inattentive father. Sure their might be a few bumps along the road but Harry in this book was unbelievable. As someone who grew up an orphan and often mistreated by the rest of his family, I’m sure he would know the kind of damage that could do to a child and would never inflict it upon his own children. Dumbing down Hermione and Ginny, using Ron as nothing more than a comic relief, all this will never sit well with me. I guess that’s all there is to say about the characterization without getting into major spoilers.

Moving on to the plot, I don’t even know where to start. I get that this is just a play but that is no excuse for the lack of thoughtfulness and gravity that I associate with all the Harry Potter books. Do the writers even know how much planning Jo did for this series? She had the whole thing mapped out way before she even got to writing the final book and it shows. Comic one-liners are forced into scenes where they do not belong, making it awkward and there were way too many convenient solutions by resorting into deus ex machina.

Also, this book basically contradicted everything we’ve learnt about time-travel in the Wizarding world. Jo had the time turners destroyed for a reason because dealing with time travelling is a messy business. It’s like the writers here never read Prisoner of Azkaban and conveniently tweaked all the laws of time travel for their own benefit. What even… :/

Don’t even get me started on the origins of Delphi. What do they take us readers for? Stupid and gullible? I refuse to believe that plot twist.

Moving on to the new generation, Albus Severus Potter you troubled child. Albus made my heart ache in the first few pages. I could see how being Harry Potter’s son isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world but his impoliteness, his self-absorbedness and teenage angst started infuriating me by the time I was halfway into the book.  Albus feels this need to prove himself so he plans to do so by correcting one of the many wrongs done by his dad and from there on, madness (not the god kind) ensues.

The only saving grace about this book was Scorpius Malfoy. He is literally the only likeable character in the book. Who would’ve thought, right?  He is kind, compassionate, troubled, a wizarding geek, brave, funny and just a sweetheart.

There’s so much more I’d like to talk about but I want to keep this review spoiler free so I’m gonna stop now.

All in all, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child works more as a fanfiction (and not a good one) than an actual continuation to the series. For me, Harry Potter ended with ‘All was well’.

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The 1989 book tag

I saw this tag over at Book Around The World and as a Taylor Swift fan, I knew I had to do this. It was created by review from a Bookworm and what we need to do is match books to the lyrics from Taylor’s latest and fabulous album 1989. So here we go:


Welcome To New York

You can want who you want,

boys and boys and girls and girls.” ♫ 

  1. A book with LGBT themes

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This is the first book I read where the main character is gay and I loved it ❤ It’s a diverse, coming of age story about acceptance, love, friends and family and is one of those feel good, thought-provoking contemporaries that is a must read.

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

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Blank Space

♫”You can tell me when it’s over

if the high was worth the pain.”♫

2. A book that hit you right in the feels…but was totally worth it.
9781416975908-no-stkr-265x400Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Ahh this book… I love it to pieces even though a cried a river while and after reading it. And it’s been over two years since reading this but I swear I still haven’t recovered from all the major feels. It’s like Cassie ripped my heart out, shattered it to a million peices and put it back together in the best possible way.

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♫”I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”♫

3. A book that you hated but you loved the cover.

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A Tucker.

Oh how I loathe this book.The protagonist Kacey slut shames every other woman in this book, she uses people, thinks she’s strong when really, she just has anger management issues and I hated how witty she thought she was when she just came off as offensive. And the love interest was one those creepy stalker dudes so I couldn’t get past these characters to even try to give the sorry excuse for a plot a chance to redeem the book.

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♫”I’ve got a blank space baby

and I’ll write your name.”♫

4. Your latest book boyfriend/girlfriend

Tamlin, the High Lord of the Summer court ❤  He’s the perfect combination of sexy, awkward, shy and confident. He’s thoughtful and sweet but badass at the same time and don’t even get me started on how many times he made me swoon 😉 ❤

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Style

♫”We never go out of style”♫

5. A timeless classic you love.

Did you honestly expect me to give another answer? HP always ❤

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Out of the Woods

♫”The rest of the world is black and white,

but we were in screaming color.” 

6. A book which had vivid world buildings.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. The world-building in these book is spectacular. The attention to detail, the complexity are taken to a whole new level in these books. Laini takes elements from various mythology and makes them hers, enriching them with her own charming elements and constructing a world that is fascinating and rich in detail.  And her writing is just the sugaring on top. If I were to roam around in her mind, I’m pretty sure it would be filled with fairy dust, nymphs and cotton candy. She’s just that magical ❤

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♫”The monsters turned out to be just trees”♫

7. A book where things weren’t exactly how they seemed.

Oh my gawd this book drove me crazy. In the best possible way. It messed with my brain like no other and every time I thought I had things figured out, something would happen to disregard my theories. Best part about the book was the unreliable narrator and hence the uncertainty. You never know for sure if certain things are actually happening or if it’s all in her head and reading this book was a wildly fun, emotionally draining experience.

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All You Had To Do Was Stay

♫”You were all I wanted

but not like this”♫

8. A book you were eagerly anticipating, but ended up being disappointed by.

The Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout was started off really well and the fifth and final book (pictured above) Sentinel was one of my most anticipated books of all time. Too bad it ruined the series for me.  There wasn’t much character development with the main characters and the plot was all over the place. Out of all the possible ways this could’ve gone, the author went with the most stupid one. :/

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 Shake It Off

♫”The haters gonna hate..♫

9.  A book/series that everyone seems to love but you can’ t help but hate.

Such.

Writing.

Is.

Enjoyable.

Only.

If.

Its.

Used.

Once.

Or.

Twice.

Not.

All.

The.

Damn.

Time.

See what I did there? 😛 Everyone loves this book but I had a hard time finishing it. Miles was a jerk of a love interest. Just because his life is tragic doesn’t mean he has the right to treat others like crap. Tate, the heroine had no self respect at all and the story was way too cheesy for my liking.

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10. A book series you love but everyone seems to hate.

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I freakin love all things shadowhunter and cannot fathom why people don’t like this series. Granted the first two books aren’t the best but really Cassie’s world-building, her characters, the plots, etc are amazing! ❤

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I Wish You Would

♫”I wish you knew I’ll never

forget you as long as I live”♫

11. A book/series you know you will always love.

The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta is a goddess when it comes to writing, especially fantasy books. And this one right here is one of my all time favorite ❤  This series is disguised as ‘fantasy’ but in actuality, it’s well above that. And everything about it, the world, the characters,  the stories, the themes, the things I’ve learned, it’s all gonna stay with me forever. ❤

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♫ “I wish you were right here,

right now”♫ 

12. An upcoming release you wish you could have right now.

I need this more than anything and the wait is killing me.

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Bad Blood

♫ “Now we’ve got bad blood

you know it used to be mad love”♫ 

13. A character you once loved but grew to hate.

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This was a difficult one because I could only think of characters I hated but grew to love.  I finally decided to go with Chaol from The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass even though I never loved him. I just thought I would because of all the hype. Anyway, I never could bring myself to like Chaol. There’s something off about him, something indecisive and immature and weak about him. He usually isn’t the one to make decisions but the decisions are made for him and I don’t like such characters :/ He was insufferable and I really wouldn’t mind if Maas decided to kill him in one of the books.

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♫”Did you have to do this

I was thinking that you could be trusted.

Did you have to ruin

what was shiny now it’s all rusted.♫

14. An author you haven’t forgiven for the things they did to your favorite characters/books.

Suzanne Collins for those two deaths in this book. I’m dreading the movie because I don’t think I can go through that emotional trauma again.

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Wildest Dreams

♫”I can see the end 

as it begins”♫

15. A book that was far too predictable.

I find Sarah Dessen’s books to be incredibly predictable. I’ve only read three of them and even though I loved the first book, Just Listen, I began to see a pattern in her books and gave up reading the rest. All her stories consist of a girl with broken past meeting a guy with lesser trauma and a good ear. They bond over their shared love of music, bad parents, etc and fall in love and get through their problems. End of story.

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♫”Nothing lasts forever

but this is getting good now”♫

16. A book/series that you wish could’ve gone on forever.

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I’m going with The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta again. because I love this series so very much ❤ The first book in this series could’ve been a standalone, with its happily ever after but Marcehetta went on with the second book. She told us about the happily ever after and switched focus  of attention to some OTHER interesting characters. She’s done it before and I’d be the happiest person in the world if she decides to write about another character from this series. Because each and every one of them are unique and interesting and have so much depth to them. ❤

Oh and also, Harry Potter. wish it could go on forever.

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How You Get The Girl

♫”That’s how it works,

that’s how you get the girl.”♫

17. One of your favorite books where they ‘got the girl’

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 Flat Out Love and Flat Out Celeste by Jessica Park. These two are my favorite new adult contemporaries of all time so I had to go with these. I couldn’t decide between Matt and Julie from Flat Out Love and Celeste and Justin from Flat Out Celeste so I’m going with both of them. I loved seeing both their relationships grow and reading about them falling in love was so heartwarming and I kept rooting for them from the very beginning.

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This Love

“In darkest screams,

in wildest dreams,

I never dreamed on this”♫

18. A book that completely shocked you

Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown. I read them back to back  and those plot twists, I didn’t see them coming at all.  Certain things in this book blew my mind and left me speechless.

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I Know Places ❤

♫”Love’s a fragile little flame

it could burn out.”♫

19.  A book you thought you loved but quickly came to hate.

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Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I can’t really think of any that I loved and then came to hate but I did think I would love this book. And I didn’t :/ I wanted to love this one so badly but couldn’t. The writing was great and the plot was interesting but this one lacked that ‘special something’ that Hoover’s books usually have. The plot was dull and cheesy and so were the characters and and I hated how cheating came across as something that’s acceptable in this book.

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♫”Something happens when everybody finds out.

See the vultures circling dark clouds.”♫

20. A book you didn’t want to be seen reading.

Book Tours

The covers and titles of The dark Elements series by Jennifer L Armentrout could not be cheesier if they tried. And I wouldn’t like to read them in public for obvious reasons.

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Clean

The drought was the very worst,

when the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst.” ♫

21. When the wait between books made you forget everything that happened.

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I usually pride myself for having a very good memory when it comes to books but  Oblivion, the last book in Kelly Creagh’s dark, gothic, beautifully written Nevermore series was released this August. And  the previous book, Enshadowed was published back in 2012 :0 That’s 3 years for crying out loud! I haven’t forgotten the main plot but I don’t remember each and every detail either so I’ll only get to Oblivion after rereading Nevermore and Enshadowed.

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♫ “By morning, gone was any trace of you,

I think I am finally clean”. ♫

22. A book/series you wiped from your memory.

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I like to pretend that the last books in The Grisha series; Ruin and Rising never happened. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed this badly by a book mostly because I invested too much of my heart into this story and didn’t get anything in return. This series had so much potential but Bardugo had to mess it up with the last book.  It felt like she took the easiest way with the finale :/ I hate even talking about this because it makes me feel sad so yeah wiped from my memory. Out of sight, out of mind.

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Wildest Dream

♫”He’s so tall and handsome as hell

he’s so bad but he does it so well”♫

I wanted to add this one because who doesn’t love a bad boy right? 😉

23. A book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

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The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ❤ He is charming, yet conniving. He is badass, yet endearing. He is a megalomaniac, yet alluring. He was and is the best part of this series. Whether he’s on the page or not, he still leaves a lingering trace of darkness so you won’t, you can’t forget he is still there, waiting in the shadows. And I loved how with him, you never know or sure what his intentions are. Whilst reading, I wanted to know how human he really was, and yet there was a part of me that also wanted to see just how bad he could go.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

First off, thank you so much Melanie @datlittleblog for nominating me for this award. I  started this blog back in January but have never posted frequently due to several reasons. Recently, I realized that there will never be a right time for this so I’m making a commitment to be regular now and I thought this award post would be great way to get back into it 🙂

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The rules are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and add a link to their blog in you post.
  2. Answer the questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate ten other bloggers.
  4. Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.

My questions are:

1. How did you get into reading?

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been into reading. Unlike many, I never started with the Harry Potter books but I remember being the only one excited every time we had a library period in school and I started off with reading books like The Magic School Bus ,  Nancy Drew , Magic Tree House , Roald Dah‘s books etc. So yeah I started reading at a young age and have never stopped since. It just evolved from Roald Dahl to Meg Cabot to Stephanie Meyer to JKR 😀 Reading is a part of who I am.

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2. What’s the first book that got you into fandoms (and OTPs etc)?

I’m going to be honest here.It’s The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I’m not very proud of it but I owe it to Twilight for introducing me to fandoms. I wasn’t actively a part of that fandom and even though I’d already read HP, it was my insane obsession with Twilight that got me into fandoms. I read The Percy Jackson and the Olympians soon after Twilight so being aware of fandoms really helped me fall in love with Percy’s world.

PS: Since Mel mentioned OTP, I just want to add that my first ever OTP was Ross and Rachel from Friends ❤ I used to ship them so hard, without even being aware of OTP and shipping.

3. If you could choose one of your favourite fictional worlds to become real, which one would you choose and why?

My go-to answer to this is usually the wizarding world of HP so lemme pick something else; Prythian, the world of fae from Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses. Prythian is basically divided into several court; Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night. Maas’ description of The Spring court made me fall in love with that place  I’d love to explore each and every court of Prythian. Probably not safe for a human to do so but it’s worth the risk 😛 Just the concept of Prythian fascinates me so yeah I’d love for it to be real 🙂 I’d probably settle in the Autumn court.

4. Are you more tea or coffee?

I could live on coffee ❤

5. Who is your last book crush?

Tamlin, The High Lord of the Summer Court from A Court of Thorns and Roses. He’s sexy and confidant but also shy and sweet.  I imagine he looks something like this: (without the scar)

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I could really use a Tamlin in my life 😉

6.  What’s your most recent obsessions?

 Doctor Who ❤ I avoided watching it for the longest time because the concept of a time travelling alien defending the earth from other dangerous aliens just didn’t appeal to me. But then I figured there has to be reason why the entire world loves the show so I gave in and started with the rebooted show and even though the graphics of the first season wasn’t the greatest, I fell in love with everything about that show. I’m currently watching series 6 and if you, like me, weren’t sure about this show, GO WATCH IT! You will not regret it. Also, David Tennant is bae ❤ ❤

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7.What’s your favourite genre and what are your favourite books in this particular genre? 

Fantasy is my favorite genre and that itself has so many sub genres.  I love getting lost in magical, dark, beautiful, mysterious worlds where anything is possible.  Some of my favorite books from this genre include:  The Daughter and Smoke and Bones series by Laini Taylor,  Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling, The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta and The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.

8. If you could choose to have a superpower, which one would you choose and why?

Time travel? Does that count? I would choose this and it’ s not even because of my Doctor Who obsession.  I’m a history geek and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres so if I’d love nothing more than to travel through time, witnessing some great events and experiencing long forgotten cultures. *Ancient Egypt, here I come :D*

9. Writer, reader or both?

Reader first and then writer. Maybe that’ll change in the future 🙂

10. If you had to be a Pokemon, which one would you be? Any particular reason(s) why.

Articuno, the legendary avian Pokemon because it’s powers are to do with manipulating ice. and when it flies, it chills the moisture in the air, making it look like snowfall. That was my favorite Pokemon growing up so I’d choose Articuno. Also, doesn’t it look majestic?

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Here are my questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. Summer or winter?

3. Favorite Disney character?

4.  If you had to recommend only one book (other than HP) for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

5.  What has been the best part of your day so far?

6.  Do you read multiple books at once, or do you usually read one book at a time?

7.  If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which one would it be? Your reasons?

8. Are you in the habit of naming your favorite inanimate objects? Like your Laptop, phone, Kindle, etc? If so, what are the names?

9. Ultimate fictional crush?

10. Have you ever regretted reading a book? if so, which one and why?

These are the awesome bloggers that I’m nominating:

  1. Pavi @ fortheloveoffictionalworlds
  2. Sherr  @  mytelltaleheart
  3. Myrthe @ booksaroundtheworld
  4. Jeny @ readerinareverie
  5. Ellen @ eveningreads
  6. KrystalSpade @ booksandbookmarks
  7. Meera @ thelifestories
  8. Vicki @ betweenpages
  9. Brittanymariereads
  10. Miss Bookaholic @ addictionofabookaholic
  11. Aniesha @ bibliotheque

And that’s it 🙂 To all the nominees, happy answering 😛

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Fairytale retellings are my favorite kind of books and add to that the fact that this is written by Sarah J Maas and I knew I was going to love it. And indeed I did.  It definitely had some irritating moments but my overall excitement and enjoyment lessened whatever bad things I felt towards the novel.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a dark, seductive, beautifully written YA bordering on NA fantasy book which starts off as a mix of Beauty and the Beast, Tam Lin and East of the Sun and West of the Moon and eventually turns into its own story by the end.

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Feyre, a 19 year old huntress is the reason her family is alive. After losing their fortune, her family is poverty-struck and it’s Feyre who takes care of her crippled father and her two older sisters. She keeps them fed, if not for her own reasons than for the vow she made to her dying mother. While hunting on a dreary winter day, Feyre comes across a large beastly wolf deep in the woods stalking a measly prey that she was about to kill. Hesitating only for a minute, Feyre kills the wolf instead, not knowing that it’s actually a fae. A few days later, a savage beast breaks down the door of her cottage and demands justice for his murdered friend.  Not having much of a choice, Feyre agrees to the beast’s proposal. In exchange for killing the fae, she must go with him across the borders to the fae realm where no human dares to enter, and live there for the rest of her life.  Feyre soon discovers that her captor is not only a savage animal but also a fae lord who rules over the Spring court, one of the crumbling courts of the fae world. A deadly sickness threatens not only the fae but also the mortals across the borders and Feyre suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of an immortal war.

First off, I’m in awe of Sarah’s writing. The world building is magical and fascinating. Prythian, its history, all the various courts and the different species of fae, all those tiny details Mass adds makes it all seem so real.  One of the things I’m looking forward to in the next book is learning more about Prythian and its other courts.

‘It was like striding through a living painting-a fleeting moment of stillness, the blues swiftly shifting to solid darkness.’

Moving on to the plot, it progressed slowly at first but that didn’t make me less invested in the book mainly because I was fascinated with the spring court and its occupants. Also, I trust Maas and her storytelling abilities.

This book is almost entirely focused on romance and that needs to be accepted. After all, it’s a fairytale retelling.  But there is no insta-love. Phew. Anyway, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And surprisingly, I was okay with its sole focus being the romance. And we do get some action in the second half so it made up for the lack of it.

Feyre—>

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Feyre annoyed me to no end initially (not as much as Celeana though). While I found her loyalty to her family admirable, I thought it was reckless and stupid of her to keep trying to escape from the spring court. Especially when Tamlin was nothing but nice to her after she killed his friend and promised her that her family was taken care of. He even promised her that no harm would come to her as long as she stayed in his estates. Thankfully, she got better as the plot progressed and could really hold her own. I loved how she wasn’t flawless and instead of a love of books, she’s fond of painting and looking at things through the eye of an artist was refreshing.

“I couldn’t come up with any words when we arrived – and knew that even if I had been able to paint it, nothing would have done it justice. It wasn’t simply that it was the most beautiful place I’d ever been to, or that it filled me with both longing and mirth, but it just seemed…right. As if colours and lights and patterns of the world had come together to form one perfect place – one true kind of beauty.”

I’m curious about how she’ll deal with things in the next book.

Tamlin—->

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”The gruff High fae halfheartedly flattering me was capable of killing a thing like Bogge. And yet he’d served me himself that first night, offered me life rather than death. I’d known he was lethal, that he was a warrior of sorts…”

Tam, oh Tam. As mentioned before, Tamlin is the High Lord of the Spring court and boy do I love him.  How does Maas always manage to create the imperfectly perfect, swoon worthy characters?  His kindness and loyalty and just his overall behavior is such a contrast to his beastly form.  He’s protective and caring but not to an extent of being possessive.  Tamlin is shy and sweet but also confident and sexy and that according to me makes him all the more irresistible.  Also, his attempts at courting Feyre were some of my favorite scenes from the book.

‘Tamlin straightened a bit and said, “You look…better than before.” 

Was that a compliment? I could have sworn Lucien gave Tamlin an encouraging nod. 

“And your hair is…clean.”

Perhaps it was my raging hunger making me hallucinate the piss-poor attempt at flattery.’

Isn’t he adorably awkward?

‘Tamlin blinked. “You like – art? You like to paint?” 

His stumbling words weren’t unkind. It was enough for me to say, “Yes. I’m not – not any good, but if it’s not too much trouble…I’ll paint outside, so I don’t make a mess, but-“

“Outside, inside, on the roof – paint wherever you want.”

There is no insta-love as I mentioned before and I loved the chemistry between Feyre and Tam. Their romance was slow and never for a second did it feel forced.

”I love you. Thorns and all.”

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If you’re familiar with Sarah’s books, then you know all her secondary characters are incredibly fleshed out and just as (if not more) interesting as the main characters.

We have Lucien, Tam’s emissary and friend and he is by far, my favorite (other than Tam). I loved his backstory and his snarkiness and his friendship with Tam. I also loved his interactions with Feyre and how their relationship developed.

 Lucien

He jerked his chin at the knife. “It’s yours. Don’t bury it in my back, please.”

 Nesta’s character was frustrating at first but I loved her character growth.

 

And lastly, Rhysand; the High lord of the Night court.

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“I could have sworn tendrils of star-kissed night trailed in his wake.”

I don’t even know where to begin with him. I usually love ‘the bad guys’ but with Rhys, I’m not sure. When I started this book, I was looking forward to meeting him (more than Tam) because I knew a lot people really liked him. And then he finally showed up and it was such a disappointment.  He can be considered as an antagonist it’s a gray area when it comes to him. I disliked him so very much till the very end of the book and now I’m not so sure how I feel about him but I do get where he’s coming from. Doesn’t mean I approve his methods :/ He has an ulterior motive for everything he does in this book so you’re never sure of his intentions.  He’s an enigma and I’m really curious about him.  Especially his past with Tam.

”Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken from me.”

 

There are high chances of a love triangle in this series (hoping I’m wrong) so I’m going to say this right now. I ship Feylin with all my heart and cannot fathom why some people prefer Rhys. The more I think of Rhys, the more I seem to like him but not as someone for Feyre.

This could’ve been a perfect standalone but I’m really glad Maas decided to turn it into a series because let’s face it,  we all need more of Tam and Lucien and Prythian in general.

Overall, this book was a delight to read despite its heartbreaking scenes and I’m excited as well as terrified to read the next one.

My rating: 4/5  

Find the book here: Goodreads | iTunes |

REVIEW: GOLDEN BY JESSI KIRBY

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My rating: 4/5 stars

I started this book with high expectations and I’m more than happy to say that it did not disappoint.

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The story: 17 year old Parker has her entire life mapped out for her; get excellent grades in school, take on the Cruz-Farnetti scholarship, study pre med in Stanford and become a doctor. All her life, she’s worked hard for this, her mum’s dream. But while helping her teacher mail some journals to his ex students, she comes across Julianna Farnetti’s journal. The journal in which ten years ago, Julianna wrote in, about her hopes and dreams as a class project. Parker doesn’t know what to do with it because Julianna died in a car accident ten years ago.

“Every town has its stories. Stories that have been told so many times by so many different people they’ve worked themselves into the collective consciousness as truth. Juliana Farnetti is one of Summit Lakes’. Shane Cruz is the other. And theirs-it’s a story of perfection lost on an icy road. They were one of those golden couples, the kind everyone adores and envies at the same time. Meant to be together forever.”

And so Parker takes this journal for herself hoping to know more about Julianna and her ‘golden image.’   But Nothing gold can stay and reading the journal, Parker forms another image of Julianna in her mind; one who isn’t as flawless as everybody thought she was and she starts to question what she wants to do with her life. She also wonders what actually happened that night when Shane and Julianna died.  All this leads to a road trip with her best friend Kat and her crush Trevor which might possibly change the course of Parker’s life forever.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference

-Robert Frost

Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? Well then imagine this; you write down your answer to this very question, all your hopes and dreams, what you wish to be, what you wish to do, anything and everything that you’re passionate about, you write it down and put it away.  Just like that. Ten years later, you take it out and read your younger self’s dreams and desires.  Will it be the same? Is it a happy feeling? Have you achieved at least half of what you wished to achieve back then? Or have you given up, because of your fears, thinking it’s better to settle for something easier and boring than be yourself?

You see, I’ve reached this point in my life where in a few months I’ll graduate and brave the outside world.  It’s a scary prospect for me, as it is with most of us.  To go out into this cruel world and still manage to be yourself, to do something you’re passionate about, to make the most of your one wild and precious life.  And because of where I am right now, this book was perfect for me.  Taking the road less traveled is never easy and you won’t know the significance of it till you go through with it.  It is only when you look back that you can see the result of all your choices. Like Steve Jobs said; “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Initially you’re hesitant but you gotta familiarize with it to know that it can be good.

Another thing I loved about this book is the way it centered on Robert Frost’s poems.  I adore his writing and it was his poem “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening” that made me fall in love with poetry.  I love the simplicity with which Frost puts across his ideas and themes.

Both Julianna and Parker’s stories were compelling, raw and heartbreaking. Golden is beautifully written and is a must read for everyone.

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Goodreads | iTunes | Amazon

REVIEW: TRIAL BY FIRE BY JOSEPHINE ANGELINI

Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1)Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 4.5

It’s been awhile since I’e written a proper review so this might be unorganized and rusty, just bear with me. 🙂

Lilly Proctor is allergic to a lot of things and is always sick which makes it nearly impossible for her to live a normal life. So when she gets an opportunity to go to her first and possibly her last high-school party with her best friend and crush Tristan, she take it. But things don’t go the way she expected and after a humiliating experience, Lily wishes to disappear from her current life. And to her surprise she ends up in another world. A parallel world which is run be a different version of herself. A Salem run by witches.


“She was still in a Salem… She just wasn’t in her Salem anymore.”

One of the things I love about this book is the alternate universe Lily is thrown into. Josephine Angelini excels at world building and this other world is indeed complex. It’s a mixture of magic and science, appearing to be both medieval and modern. The working of this world is utterly fascinating! There are witches, crucibles, mechanics and outlanders and I think the picture below explains them all well.

Interesting power hierarchy, isn’t it?


“Magic is a science only people who are born with a particular talent can do. Actual science can be done by anyone. Repeated by anyone.”

Moving on to the plot, it progressed rather slowly at first but as soon as the point of no return was reached, it had my eyes glued to the pages of the book. It was confusing initially being thrown into a strange world that our protagonist doesn’t know about but Angelini paced it well by including alternate POV’S that gave the readers glimpses of the new world and the political drama.

I liked Lilly’s character a lot. She has a lot of strength and she’s not the kind of person who let’s a jerk walk all over her. When she realizes the way Tristen treated her was wrong, she doesn’t just let that go even though he’s her best friend. She calls him out on it and i really admire that about her. She’s courageous and resourceful and that’s another thing I really liked about her. How realistically she adapted to the new world. Those of you who’ve read this book know what I’m talking about. When she lands in the different Salem, she’s frightened and overwhelmed but is quick to understand the mechanics of it and does what is required to survive and get to a safe place. She’s also very stubborn and has a great sense of humor.

The secondary characters were all incredibly fleshed out and I cannot wait to see more of them.

Lillian by far is the most interesting character in this trilogy for me. She’s the other version of Lilly and the one responsible for Lilly’s entry into this alternate Salem. She’s also the most powerful witch and the leader/ruler of Salem. She isn’t your typical villain and honestly, I still can’t see her as the villain and Angelini has built up her character excellently. Sure she’s done terrible things but it’s not without reason. I need to know more about her.


“I remember what I must do, even if it makes me the villain of my own story.”

Lastly Rowan, the love interest, boy do I love him ❤ *I feel like I can’t help but fall in love with anyone by that name. Rowan Whitethorn and now Rowan Fall *   He’s intelligent, caring, strong, protective, brave and most importantly admits to his mistakes when he’s wrong. He’s wary of Lilly in the beginning and that’s understandable seeing as how Lillian turned out be. There’s no insta love here thankfully and I loved seeing their relationship grow.

All in all, Trial by Fire is a fantastic book full of magic, adventure and darkness and the cliffhanger has left me with a dozen unanswered questions which I’m dying to unravel in the sequel Firewalker.

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