Bookish Fun!

16 Books Reading Wrap Up | 2019

Hey Guys! It’s Max here and today, I will be manufacturing an article that has been long behind schedule and that is a meticulous wrap up of my reading progress from the last time that I had updated all of you. As you can tell from the title, I had read 16 books since the previous wrap-up and I am kind of proud of that progress because this has been a busy year in terms of studies and adapting to a new environment such as college and to still be able to have time to read, however little, is considered a blessing to me. Therefore, I am thankful for the free time that is bestowed upon me even though I am far behind on my ‘read 100 books this year’ goal and will definitely fail it this year and probably the next because of my finals. Finger-crossed for a good reading year next year.   

So, without further ado, let us get into the wrap-up!

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1. THE GOOD THIEVES BY KATHERINE RUNDELL

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Page Count: 336

Genre: Middle-Grade

I had constructed a review for this novel and I raved about this book in that article. I thought it was clever and a confounding stepping stone from The Wolf Wilder, a book which I thought was obtuse and contained an absolutely ridiculous ending. If you are interested to read the review for this novel, click here.

I am going to give all of you a snippet of the review that best describes the book:

“The atmosphere of this novel is a mixture of comedic relief, hatred and anger. It is facetious because of the constant banter between the characters and the arguments seem to never end which I, at times, found myself laughing at the exchange of words between them. Hatred and anger come into play due to certain characters doing nasty businesses and I thought the author did a good job at extracting our emotions out from our body and let it diffuse into the atmosphere. Thus, I admired the crafting of the atmosphere made by the author.”

Final Verdict: 75% (A-)

2. ASCENSION BY VICTOR DIXEN

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Page Count: 496

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Again, I had manufactured a review for this novel and I had expressed my frustration and love for this novel in that article. If you are interested to read it, click here. I will extract a paragraph from the review to give you an insight into what this book is about if you do not want to read the whole article which I perfectly understand:

“Another thing that I unconditionally adored about this novel was the readability and the pacing. I found myself compulsively reading this novel due to how easy it was to get into this novel and thus, contributed to the pacing of the novel. The pacing was pretty consistent throughout the novel EXCEPT for the speed-dating scenes and Andrew’s scenes. I thought those scenes were drawn out and I thought it could be moderated to drape in with the rest of the story. Otherwise, everything would be perfect.” 

Final Verdict: 70% (B)

3. THE GIVING TREE BY SHEL SILVERSTEIN

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Page Count: 64

Genre: Children’s Fiction

I understood the symbolism that is presented in this tiny picture book but I do not understand why this book is so popular? Is it because of the nostalgia factor? I did not read this picture book when I was young and this is the first time that I cracked open the book to read it. I thought the story was okay and the drawing was mediocre. I have nothing much to say because it’s a picture book and you have to read it for yourself to perceive the way you feel about it. 

Therefore, my final verdict for this picture book is 60% (C)

4. 13 REASONS WHY BY JAY ASHER

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

I read this book in 2 sittings and I could not stop thinking about this novel after I had finished it. It was so heartbreaking to read about Hannah Baker’s life and the way she narrated the story and the trauma that she had gone through was truly plaintive. It was an eye-opening novel for me and I love a plethora of quotes in the novel, especially this one: 

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

Final Verdict: 85% (A) 

5. Mooncakes By Suzanne Walker

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Page Count: 256

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

It was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. The art style was nicely crafted and the storyline was easy to follow. However, I did not enjoy the problems that were presented in the story as I thought they were resolved in a matter of seconds.

In addition, I did not enjoy the world-building. After I finished the last page of this graphic novel, I came out of it knowing so little about the world and its magic system that I couldn’t give it a rating that is higher than 3 stars as I thought this graphic novel was lacking the basic foundation of its world-building and the limitations to the usage of magic.

Overall, I enjoyed the graphic novel but it wouldn’t be something that I would re-read.

Final Verdict: 62% (C)

6. INFINITY SON BY ADAM SILVERA

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Page Count: 368

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

I had manufactured a review for this novel and all I can say is that a pretty cover is not equal to a great story. They are mutually exclusive for this novel. If you would like to take a look at the review that I had made for this novel, click here

Here’s a snippet of the review if you are interested:

“The characters, like I said earlier, felt like caricatures to me as they have no character development and little to no personality throughout the novel. Even when one of them is killed by a loved one, it did not evoke any feelings from the depths of my heart. However, Brighton, the protagonist’s brother, is the only one that elicited any feelings that I have and that feeling is anger. I hated him and throughout the novel, I rooted for the spectres to murder him because of how annoying he is about his Youtube Channel and his jealousy towards his brother’s powers. I totally despise his POV and I would rather read one-dimensional characters POV than his. Thank you very much.”

I do not want to be a terrible person so I will try out Adam Silvera’s to see if his novels are for me. 

Final Verdict: 15% (F)

7. JACKPOT BY NIC STONE

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

I do not want to say much for this novel because I am going to construct a full review for this novel but I am going to list a few things about this novel:

  1. This is one of my favourite books of the year,
  2. Amazing characters that I had fallen in love with throughout this novel,
  3. A nicely woven plotline, 
  4. Astounding pacing.
  5. Read this book. 

Final Verdict: 98% (A+)

8. SPEAK BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

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Page Count: 384

Genre: Graphic Novel; Contemporary

I do not know how to put this graphic novel into words because I loved it but that does not sound right because it tackled hard topics such as rape. I really loved the author’s note before the story starts though, it was so saddening to read about and I almost cried out of sadness and by the end of it, I am so proud of the author for writing this novel. 

I need to watch the adaptation of this novel because there is Kristen Steward in it and also, because of my love for this novel. Moreover, I bought another book from this author which is called Chains and I can’t wait to read that novel! I will be buddy reading that novel with my best friend who is currently on vacation. 

Final Verdict: 100% (A+)

9. THIS DARKNESS MINE BY MINDY MCGINNIS

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Page Count: 352

Genre: Psychological Thriller

I enjoyed the 1/3 section of this novel. I thought it was unique and nothing like I had read before and then it went downhill afterwards. I do not find this novel as weird as most of the reviewers were vocalizing but what made me disentangle myself from the mess that was this book was how awful the execution and the pacing were. The plot went to a rediculous direction and nothing was resolved in the end. Normally, I enjoyed an unreliable narrator with horrible personalities but towards the end of the novel, I realized that I was not enjoying my time with the main character in this novel. I thought she was ego-centric and a know-it-all-but-really-she-doesn’t and I was rooting for her sister inside her body to consume her and take over her body all this time even though her sister was supposed to be the antagonist. So, yes. 

Final Verdict: 40% (E)

10. 13 MINUTES BY SARAH PINBOROUGH

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Page Count: 413

Genre: Psychological Thriller

I thought this book was suspenseful and filled with a plethora of delightful thrills and plot twists. The characters were terrifying in terms of the way they function and the bullying which will never cease as long as the Barbies (the name of a popular girl group in school) was there. The ending, to me, was the most petrifying thing I had read in a while because of how the [said character]’s brain worked and twirled in the little head of hers. However, I thought the beginning was tedious and a little long-winded and I did not particularly enjoy the very last page of the novel but my friend who borrowed me this novel loved it so, take my word with a grain of salt and read the book to test where your footing for the last page lies. 

Thus, if you have not picked this novel up, I urge you to drop everything and pick it up from the bookstore right now because of how amazing it is.

Final Verdict: 90% (A)

11. A COLLECTION OF POETRIES BY VARIOUS AUTHORS

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Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav had some poems that I enjoyed but I thought a lot of the poems in this were either poorly executed or poorly written. Some of them rhyme but most of them do not. Therefore, my final verdict for this poetry book is 48% (E).

Delicate Thoughts by M. Ballard was slightly better but it was forgettable. No other comment. Final Verdict: 55% (D).

She Felt Like Feeling Nothing by R.H Sin was the best out of these bunch and most of the poems in this book punched me in the gut with sadness. I enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend people who love poetries to pick this collection up. The only thing I did not like was how it ended and some other poems in this collection were not as good as it should be. Final Verdict: 78% (A-).

12. THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING BY LAUREN DOYLE OWENS

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Page Count: 272

Genre: Domestic Thriller

Spoiler alert: this is going to be in my worst books of the year list because of how horrible it is. First of all, a guy raped ‘said girl’ and an unknown girl who does not know the details said he did not do it even though the guy tried to use this unknown girl as a shield to run away from the police by hiding in her place. Second of all, for an antagonist who was a threat to the whole society throughout the course of this novel, he died in a couple of pages after he was introduced. Thirdly, there are 3 points of view which I thought was too excessive and unnecessary. Lastly, the writing style for this novel was so dry and flaky that I could strip it off the pages and damp it with water and it will still be dehydrated. 

Final Verdict: 10% (F)

13. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN

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Page Count: 355

Genre: Young Adult Romance

This book was amazing in almost every aspect except for some major plotholes which I will not spoil and I did not particularly enjoy how Josh relationship with Song sisters was instantly recovered after that major stunt that he pulled in their house. In addition, I did not like how certain situations were handled and I thought some of them were downright stupid but I still love this book and I am willing to recommence with this series. So, my final verdict for this novel is 89% (A).

14. Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

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Page Count: 225

Genre: Classic

I finished this novel today and I thought it was a very interesting book because of the way it conveyed its message and the ending to this marvellous novel was chilling because of how the main character almost died from those children that had turned into savages. However, I thought the beginning was tedious and it could have quickened up in terms of pace if it was not for the long description of the forest, the trees and the rocks.

Thus, my final verdict for this novel is 87% (A).


This is the end of my ‘16 Books Reading Wrap Up’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what your reading wrap up was in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Have a great day ahead!

Book Review

Infinity Son By Adam Silvera || ARC Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and we will be conducting a book review for Infinity Son By Adam Silvera today! I received an ARC of this novel from Pansing and I would love to thank them for dispatching this novel to me. Before we dive right into the review, I would like to equip you with some information about this novel:

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: January 14th 2020

So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review!

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Synopsis:

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of spectres. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, spectres take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with the power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of spectres has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

My Introspection:

The world-building for this novel is lack-lustred as a plethora of items is thurst to the readers without explanation, for example, how does one fossilize dried tears, what is the limit to their powers, what is the blackout, etc. There is an abundance of ideas that are left unexplained or half-explained and unanswered. There were several occurrences that made me fracture my head a little because of how unenlightened I was about the world. In addition, there is a parable that the protagonist’s brother – Brighton – says that when you approach 18, the Crowned Dreamer might bequeath powers upon you. First of all, who or what is the Crowned Dreamer? Second of all, how does it/she/he bestow endowments upon you? I am confused.

Moving on, we have the villain of the story who is the least comminatory evildoer of all time. The villain, Luna, is a normal human being with no powers and somehow she is able to gather all these people, instilled powers into them through a series of experiments and managed to tame them to become her fellow followers. Ness, a follower, actually thought of this: she doesn’t need to have powers to be scary. Are you kidding me? You have the capability to shape-shift into her most trusted followers and assassinate her without commiseration and you did not. How exactly is she scary if she is powerless and you have the abilities to do whatever you want with your face? However, I do think that Luna is psychotic because she murdered her parents when she was young, took their souls and tried to concoct a potion for immortality. However, I do not understand why she is the way she is? Why did she do the things she did? What is the synergist that spurred her to insanity? I guess we will never know.

The pacing that is engrained in this novel is mediocre at best. I thought that it was action-packed in certain sequences and boring in others and honestly, this book would not survive without the action sequences as I did not find myself attached to any of the characters due to the fact that there is not any character development for any of the characters. They felt like caricatures to me. The monotonous sequences stretch on without any purpose and you could cut those scenes off and still acquire the same story. If those horrible sequences were to be replaced by character development or character-defining moments with edges and expansion, I would have given this book a higher rating but unfortunately, it did not take that route.

The only thing that I appreciated is the representation that is ingrained in this novel and the protagonist’s struggles as I felt that on a deep level. The protagonist struggles with being stick-thin and I, too, struggle with that. The protagonist is being body-shamed and he is scared to take off his clothes on the beach and I struggle with that as well. His struggles and self-image reflect my own and I really enjoyed reading about it as this is the very first time I have read a novel with a character that is like me. There is also a plethora of LGBT characters in this novel which is rare to see in fantasy novels. However, even that could not preserve the rating that I am about to give this novel.

The writing style of this novel is very amateurish as it felt like, to me, a student in elementary school, trying out essays for the first time but foundering miserably. I did not foresee the writing to come to this point as Adam Silvera is an author with four previous works which received amazing praises for and because of that, the writing in this book disappointed me as I thought it would be flourished and well-rounded with beautiful prose. In addition, this is a fantasy novel and the writing is supposed to be better with a variety of sophisticated vocabulary and not limited to a scarce amount of them. Therefore, I dislike the writing style of this novel.

I thought the plotlines in this novel is very slovenly weave together. Everything is confusing and nothing makes sense as the plotlines that are deemed important are not explained and the plotlines that are deemed unimportant are explained partially. I thought that the characters were fighting for no clear reason and the ending made the whole story weaker. The story arc should have gone from 0% to at least 75% but instead, it went back to its origin and again, that ending just blurred everything.

The characters, like I said earlier, felt like caricatures to me as they have no character development and little to no personality throughout the novel. Even when one of them is killed by a loved one, it did not evoke any feelings from the depths of my heart. However, Brighton, the protagonist’s brother, is the only one that elicited any feelings that I have and that feeling is anger. I hated him and throughout the novel, I rooted for the spectres to murder him because of how annoying he is about his Youtube Channel and his jealousy towards his brother’s powers. I totally despise his POV and I would rather read one-dimensional characters POV than his. Thank you very much.

In conclusion, I am giving this novel 15% (F) as I did not like how this novel is formulated and I totally dislike the execution of this novel. Therefore, the rating. 

⇛ This book will soon be available at all good bookstores.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Infinity Son By Adam Silvera! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

Ascension By Victor Dixen | Book Review + Blog Tour

Hey Guys! I will be composing an unconventional type of article today because not only will this article be comprised of a book review for Ascension, it will also be my very first online blog tour for a novel. I would love to take this segment of the article to thank both the author and @definitelybooks for dispatching this novel to me and supplying me with this wondrous opportunity to join the blog tour for Ascension. 

Before we dive right into the review section, I would like to showcase the other bloggers and bookstagrammers that had hemmed in on this blog tour:

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So, without further ado, let us plunge right into the review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely my own,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world’s craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.

Leonor, an 18-year-old orphan, is one of the chosen ones.
She has signed up for glory.
She has signed up for love.
She has signed up for a one-way ticket.
Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.

My Introspections:

Throughout this review, you will discover how this novel went from 2 stars to 4 stars for me. Oh ew, the above sentence reads like a textbook but you get the gist. So, let me tell you a story of how it arose. Let’s start off with the commencement of the novel.

The beginning of Ascension starts off with this little template of the Genesis Program which I originally thought was a program to create ‘artificial’ babies because the symbol of the company contains a baby sucking its thumb and I realized I was a dumb hoe because it doesn’t match up to what I was pondering as I continued reading the mini template. Instead, the Genesis Program is about this company christened Atlas Capital, buying over NASA due to the heavily indebted US government and taking over the colonization of Mars project to send 6 girls and 6 boys to space and conduct this speed-dating session between these teenagers and make a documentary out of it to earn these contemptible coins. 

That template had gotten me invested in the story and the ‘want’ to know what in the living world was going to happen to these 12 teenagers was humongous so I proceeded to read the next page and those were some intense scenes because the protagonist – Leonor was being introduced to us through reporters shoving their microphones and cameras in her face and the fact that she was being rude to them by flicking a middle finger made me think that she was a spoilt child but we quickly learned that the 12 contestants weren’t supposed to say anything to those feeble-minded reporters because they were too good for them. Just kidding, they weren’t supposed to say anything because they were apprised not to do so. But still, that middle finger though.

So, fast forward a few chapters and we are in space. What I truly enjoyed about these chapters were the templates and descriptions of the spaceship and its inner workings. It was honestly the most surprising and original thing I have seen in novels for years. I enjoyed the science behind the mechanics and the physics that the characters spluttered. The second thing that I enjoyed was the characters. The interactions between them, the banter, the quarrels and the drama. Like dude, I was invested in the story the whole way through because those drama, banter and quarrels were some smoking hot tea. The relationships, not the sexual relationship (bruh, that’s not the default) but the friendship version, were so good. The dynamics between the characters and even though the drama unfolded, they were still friends the whole way through. 

After we lingered in space with the characters for a few chapters, we returned to Earth with a brand new perspective that I absolutely despised. The brand-new protagonist christened Andrew, the son of a recently deceased employee working for Atlas Capital, was being a whiny-ass bitch. Reading his perspective was a pain in the head because he kept whining about how he wasn’t selected for the Genesis Program and how his father did not even clear up the air about why he wasn’t selected. The fact that he kept calling the contestants ‘nobodies’ and commenting on their incompetence as if he was the best just fueled my anger towards this spoilt child. This was my actual reaction reading his perspective in the novel: “Bitch, shut up. Better luck next time hoe.” However, what surprised me was that I grew to approve of him as a character in the novel. His character development towards the end of the novel was amazing and I found myself rooting for his ass but he still isn’t one of my favourite characters so, that’s that.

Let’s go back to space. So, these characters proceeded to perform what was required of them – Speed-Dating. I swear, the speed-dating aspect was a great addition to the novel but the pickup lines that the male characters used were such a cringe-fest that I had to submerge myself in cold water to soothe the goosebumps that ran along the clefts of my skin. The female characters seduction tactics were as defective as the males. However, I found myself rooting for some of the relationships such as Leonar and Marcus & Kris and Alexei. Oh, I have to talk about this: Fangfang’s very first-speed dating session with Tao was so repugnant because she was already talking about making babies with him. Talk about awkwardness. Bitch hadn’t even started and she already lost her man. Anyways, I am going to include a pickup line that I cringed-read:

Three, you say you lacking in self-confidence, I say modest. A virtue that seems cruelly absent from certain girls who are travelling on the Cupido.”

In the notes that I had written when I was reading this novel, I wrote Leonar’s character plummeted 90 degrees downwards because of that “not like other girls” sentence and my opinion still stands. As soon as those words were uttered in her head, the fiery passion that I had for her, in the beginning, was blanketed over by a wave of cold water. I was like: “Girl, calm down. Stop assuming and quit being a narcissist.” However, along with those sentences, I found myself agreeing to her notion. Take a look at the sentences:

“I’ve never been a huge fan of flowers, not like most girls are. Flowers are too fragile for my taste. They fade and then thy spoil, they’re transient like a promise that isn’t kept. Now, Marcus’s roses, I reckon I could forget them easily enough.”

Leonar, darling, I totally agree with you except for that “most girls” segment. Quit making postulates okay? You do not want to become Tris Prior in Allegiant. At least, I hope you will not escalate to that point in later books.

Another thing that I unconditionally adored about this novel was the readability and the pacing. I found myself compulsively reading this novel due to how easy it was to get into this novel and thus, contributed to the pacing of the novel. The pacing was pretty consistent throughout the novel EXCEPT for the speed-dating scenes and Andrew’s scenes. I thought those scenes were drawn out and I thought it could be moderated to drape in with the rest of the story. Otherwise, everything would be perfect. 

I did not particularly enjoy the writing style of this novel. Although it had that readability and that thriller-like pacing, I thought the sentence structure and the paraphrasing were out of place in some precinct and consistent in others. Often times, the characters in the novel had spoken like children and I thought that division of the writing was the one that I least enjoyed. 

Moreover, a side-character on earth was introduced and I literally do not know why she was being presented to us. The fact that I can’t even remember her name tells a lot. Her perspective does nothing to advance the plot and her actions were not as important as Andrew’s. Honestly, she does not need to be introduced and if you cut those segments out of the novel, you will still get the same story with similar intrigue. Thus, I did not like this characterization that was placed without any intentions in the novel.

In conclusion, I am giving this novel a 70% (B). It was a solid read and I enjoyed it tremendously. 


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Victor Dixen Biography:

My father is Danish and my mother is French. When I was a kid, I travelled throughout Europe with them, it was fantastic. Now an adult, I still have a taste for travels and stories. I once lived in Denver, Colorado, at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Later I moved to Dublin, Ireland, and then to Singapore. Today, I live in New York City with my family and my two inquisitive cats.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to tell you: I am a very light sleeper, and have always been. No treatment was ever able to cure my insomnia, but I think that’s for the best. With time, my sleepless nights have become very good friends. I even dare say that they are my muses!

You can find all my books on the shelves of this cabinet of curiosities. My first four books belong to The Strange Case of Jack Spark series, which won the most prestigious science fiction and fantasy award in France, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, in 2010.

In the Animale series, I tried to reveal the untold stories hiding behind some of the most well-known yet mysterious fairy tales: Goldilocks and The Snow Queen… The first book won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in 2014.

In my most recent series – Phobos – I look towards the night sky filled with stars, and towards our future as a species forever attracted to other worlds – but at what price?

As for the books to come… I have many ideas, and the sun is not out yet!

Taken from Victor Dixen’s Website


This is the end of my spoiler-free review + Blog tour article for Ascension By Victor Dixen! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Discussion

Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First? | Book Discussion

Hey Guys! I am Max and we will be composing the age-old debate on “Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First?” today. The introduction to book discussion topics is always the hardest for me to manufacture because I do not know how to dispense a puissant sentence after “Hey Guys” so, do not judge me so hard alright? I am attempting to make everything fall like a cascade of water – smooth and crystal-clear. 

Oh, and it’s currently raining outside, what a transcendent time to blog and read!

I had researched this topic on myriad websites and I will link the ones that gave me solid ideas on what I will be conversing on below to give them commendations for their crafts. Moreover, I will (maybe?) take quotes from the websites that I have mentioned and assert my own opinions on this topic as well. In addition, I will furnish you with statistics on the sides that people had placed their coins on. So, without further ado, let us get into today’s topic!

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First of all, I would fancy conceiving a contrast between the time and length of a novel to the time and length of a movie. The time necessitated watching a film is normally more succinct than the time required to read and complete a full-length novel unless you are a remarkably agile reader. This happens due to the fact that a movie can only fit in so much important detail and discard the rest to fit a normal movie-length whereas a book can furnish the readers with character depth, developments, intricate details, sub-plots and a plethora of characters to encompass the readers with a more recondite desire to know the world and politics or the magic system in the novel work. However, movies are sometimes better than books because of certain repudiated information that nobody particularly enjoys and the metamorphosis of bad writing in the novel into something astounding in the film can be obfuscating to view but that is a sporadic sight as we are proffer with bad book to movie adaptations most of the time. For example, The Fifth Wave, Allegiant, Paper Towns & City Of Bones (2013) are not the most pleasant movies to watch but they are so much better to read about.

*The paragraph below is a little out of topic but it’s somehow related to the next, so don’t dismiss it!*

Secondly, I would like to announce that movies sometimes portray as a synergist for certain readers similar to me to accumulate novels that we have not hearkened or noticed before we watch the film adaptations of the novels. If the film adaptation is gallantly stunning to watch, it will give us an excuse to grab the novel(s) from the bookstore and start reading it/them or if the film adaptation is horrible, it will also coerce and motivate us to pick the novel up to perceive with our own eyes to judge whether or not the novel is as bad as the film which most of the time, is not. This paragraph, in turn, leads us to the next point.

Reading a full-length novel gives you a better insight into the intricately crafted plotlines than watching a film systematise the plot and the connections between the characters. Due to an overabundance of sub-plots, tension and drama in the characters’ lives, (provided that the author has given a detailed layout of their lives and carefully embedded their personalities and traits in the cleft of their skull) films are unable to render an effect the same as novels could. Therefore, films have to trim the edges and monopolise the critical points furnished from the novels to provide us with a coherent storyline instead of expediting a plethora of plotlines at the screen viewers and making an incongruous hodgepodge with plotlines. I think it’s more restorative to accommodate you with an example: The Harry Potter Movies made advancements towards certain topics that were sequentially left undiscussed in the movies but they were well explained in the novels. Thus, in order to watch the films, you must first read the novels to understand a wider scope of the world and its system.

Speaking of explanations, books make you think and visualise the settings in your head and the plot twists in them can be even more influential than the twists proffer to you in the movies. Unlike films, you have the freedom to decipher the author’s words in any way you want and it also capacitates your imagination to go beyond the wildest corners of your brain. The plot twists may be harder to decode in novels than in films due to a plethora of plotlines blemishing the truth. However, there may be exceptions. For example,  I thought the television series for Sharp Objects obscured the truth better than the novel ever did but I enjoyed both of them nonetheless. 

Lastly, you would exhume more dreamy words or capricious vocabularies from novels than you would in films. The reason behind this is because novels tend to explain and provide you with every little detail of an object or architecture that the protagonist lands his/her eyes on and that requires a lot of words to describe which will most of the time, lead to flowery language and gorgeous purple prose. In contrast, a film could not perform such an act as we are perceiving the surrounding of our protagonist in the film with our bare eyes while the film regurgitates information to its viewers – in other words, spoon-feeding the information to us. 

Well, in conclusion, both of them are for entertainment purposes (or educational purposes) and it is unmistakably up to you to select whichever material you want but I would highly recommend you to pick up the novel before you see the film to experience the vastness of the world, the flowery language, etc. that the author has to offer to you. 

I will now prescribe you with a few “book-to-film or TV series adaptations” that I personally enjoyed for you to chew on during the weekends:

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale (TV series)
  2. Big Little Lies (TV series)
  3. Call Me By Your Name (Movie)
  4. Before I Fall (Movie)
  5. Shadowhunters (TV series)
  6. YOU (TV series)
  7. The Fault In Our Stars (Movie)
  8. The Hunger Games Series (Franchise)

STATISTICS: I am not going to draw a graph because this is not a maths class so you are going to see a rough percentage here: Film – 11%; Books – 74%; Both – 15%. 

Websites that I gained several ideas from:


This is the end of my ‘Books Vs. Movies: Which Version Should You Experience First?’ bookish discussion article!  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what genre you tend to go for down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

The Good Thieves By Katherine Rundell | Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be composing a review for a novel called ‘The Good Thieves’ By Katherine Rundell today. I don’t know if you remember this but I read a book christened ‘The Wolf Wilder’ By Katherine Rundell in the month of March and I elucidated on the likes and dislikes that I had for that novel in this March Reading Wrap Up post and it ultimately boiled down to a mediocre rating. However, despite my distaste for that novel, I requested this novel from Pansing to give the author another chance and thank goodness I did because I enjoyed it so much more than her other work. 

Before we plummet right into the review section, I would like to thank Pansing for sending this novel to me. 

So, without further ado, let us dive right in!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

When the letters first arrived from her beloved grandfather—the shaking, green-inked letters, full of bewildered anger at the loss of his ancestral home and the priceless jewels within it—Vita and her mother took the next boat to New York. And now that she’s here, Vita has only one goal: To break into Hudson Hall and steal back what the sinister Basil Sowotore took from her family.

But to do so, she needs a plan, a weapon, and faith in the pickpockets, trapeze-artists, and animal-tamers she has met along the way. With her troupe behind her, Vita attempts the most daring heist the city has ever seen. But will she succeed?

My introspection:

“The night city was swept by a premature winter. An ice snap froze the water in the pipes. Sleet washed down the city, swept the detritus of the mud and the old newspaper and the furious cats out from the murky alleyways into the main roads.”

First of all, I thought the writing style for both ‘The Wolf Wilder’ and ‘The Good Thieves’ were beautifully crafted. It seemed effortless for the author to string sentences together as the whole novel is filled with seamless prose and if you are looking for an example, try reading the quote that I had placed above of this sentence. I have loved the style of her writing and the technique she used to string sentences and words together ever since I read ‘The Wolf Wilder’. The author does not concoct extra information just to prolong the novel or string more sentences together to hit a goal or something, she gives the information so impeccably that everything seems necessary. In addition, I thought the descriptions that she had given in the novel were perfectly measured as it felt so real in my brain that I could touch it, virtually. Speaking of descriptions and feeling it virtually, this brings us to the next point: The Atmosphere.

The atmosphere of this novel is a mixture of comedic relief, hatred and anger. It is facetious because of the constant banter between the characters and the arguments seem to never end which I, at times, found myself laughing at the exchange of words between them. Hatred and anger come into play due to certain characters doing nasty businesses and I thought the author did a good job at extracting our emotions out from our body and let it diffuse into the atmosphere. Thus, I admired the crafting of the atmosphere made by the author.

The pacing of the novel is uprightly one of the most astounding items that is being placed in the book as it moves in a rapid manner and this is due to how addictive the plot is in which I will talk more about later on. The plot has an addictive quality to it and this gives the book an advantage as readers will carry on with the novel without ceasing as they would like to find out more about what is going to happen to the characters. To compare it with ‘The Wolf Wilder’, I thought ‘The Good Thieves’ was traversed better than it because I can sense vacillation at certain localities in ‘The Wolf Wilder’ that took me out of the context of the story and the ending for it was hastened like it was elbowing me laboriously out of the house or in this case, the book. Therefore, ‘The Good Thieves’ granted me a better impression than ‘The Wolf Wilder’ will ever remit.

In order to properly review the characters, I am going to split the protagonist and the side characters into sections to enunciate my feelings on each one of them. Please take note that I will not analyse the antagonists of the novel as I do not want to pillage the plot of the book to you. Thus, we shall begin:-

1) Vita: I do not actually know how to review our protagonist without sounding like a broken record. Well, here goes nothing. She is smart and skilled in throwing weaponry with perfect precision. I enjoyed reading about her scheme to take her grandfather’s castle back from the antagonist and her marvellous plots and plans.  

2) Arkady & Samuel: Their characters are not well-developed but I enjoyed the constant banter that Arkady gives to his other teammates and friends. Both Arkady & Samuel have a beautiful friendship and both of them aspire to be something else and they chase after their dream and that is a very heart-warming thing to read about. 

3) Silk: I enjoyed the glimpse-through backstory that the author has bestowed upon her but her character is, again, not well-developed and therefore, I cannot really comment on her characterisation. If I were to rectify a part of this book, I will definitely give a thorough background story for Arkady, Samuel and Silk characterisation because I thought it was extremely important to give backbones to your characters. 

However, there were plot holes and specific precincts in the novel that I found highly unbelievable. For example, on page 17, chapter 3, I do not know how Vita manages to find the antagonist of the novel because New York is freaking huge, how can she just randomly find him through a ‘car ride?’ and trust me there are more unbelievable instances such as the ending. [Spoiler] How can all of them make it out in one piece, unscratched? 

Lastly, topics like racism are touched on in this novel but not really explored which disappointed me because this could be the very first children novel that includes important topics such as racism in but it will, unfortunately, be marked as a missed opportunity as the outcome of the novel did not explore it much.

In conclusion, I am proffering this novel 75% (A-) as I enjoyed it immensely although it has certain flaws and thus, the rating.

⇛ This book is currently available at all good bookstores. Do give it a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Good Thieves By Katherine Rundell! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Bookish Fun!

An Overdue Reading Wrap-Up | 2019

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be manufacturing my Very much Overdue Reading Wrap-Up today. The reason why it is overdue is that I have not been composing a reading wrap-up for 4 months and that sets out to be notably defective as I would not be able to show you the books that I had read but not reviewed on this blog. Therefore, we will be rectifying that process today! 

From the month of April to July, I had read a total of 12 novels and I am going to list the statistics of the total number of pages and the average rating for all 12 books below:

  • Average Rating: 3.75 Scintillating Stars
  • Page Count: 3313 

Without further ado, let us dive right into the wrap-up!

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1. Murder On The Orient Express By Agatha Christie

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Page Count: 274

Genre: Murder Mystery

I presume what plundered this novel for me is the film adaptation of this novel that was released in 2017 which I mildly enjoyed due to the easy-to-spot plot twist that was settled in the movie. So, I read the book after I watched the film and it was an unpropitious idea due to the fact that I did not enjoy this novel because I can already see the plot twist coming and the characters lacked depth except for the murderers. Therefore, the final rating that I had given this novel is an E (35%).

2. Curse Of The Dead-Eyed Doll By Thomas Kingsley Troupe

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Page Count: 136

Genre: Horror

I had composed a whole separate review for this novel and to give you perspicacity into the review, I shall extract a quote from the review and place it here:

“In this 136 pages novel, the pacing was adroitly composed. In the first chapter, we learn about a school trip to a museum that holds a doll that has a spirit imbued into it. Our main character named Alejandro Padilla travels with the school to the museum to visit this enigmatic doll. He snubs the rules and regulations surrounding the doll and snaps a picture of it, supplementing with insults to fuel the spirit’s seething disturbances. Therein, eerie instances start to occur. The story itself made me flip page after page until I reach the end because of how compelling the writing style was. OH! I almost forgot, there are gorgeous illustrations which expedite the pacing of the novel and keep readers invested in the story.” 

You can read the review here if you are interested. My final verdict for this novel is C (60%).

3. Again, But Better By Christine Riccio

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Page Count: 373

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Again, I had already composed a whole separate review for this novel so if you are interested to read that review, you can click here. I am going to extract a quote from the review and paste it here to give you a simple insight into the review:

“The romance was much more substantial in the second fragment of the story than the first. The first fragment of the story for the romance department was a little bovine because it was an insta-love that bloomed faster than an egg could ever boil. The inner monologues that the protagonist had were tolerably cringe-worthy and if you are looking for an example, take a look at the quote above of this paragraph. However, the second fragment of the story took a different route for the characters as their decisions do not confuse the readers and they were able to be more conscious of their surroundings and resolutions to tasks at hand. Thus, the second fragment was ten times better than the first act.”

Final Verdict: C (65%)

4. We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar

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Page Count: 304

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT

I had, again, composed a whole separate review for this novel (you guys are probably tired of hearing this haha, sorry) so if you are interested to read the review, click here. I am, again, going to extricate a quote from the review and patch it here.

“This novel follows Michael, a closeted-gay whose father had recently banned his brother from coming home as he had come out to his parents for being gay. His plan was to lay low and not make irrational decisions in fear of being kicked out of the house like his brother by his father. His father, who was verbally abusive, tormented him with abhorrent terms day and night and the only way he could forget all of these for a little while was attending a club christened ‘The Echo’ where he danced it all out and dissipated himself in the flow. As the story progresses, the imminent threat of AIDs became more apparent and everybody in the gay community was afraid that they might catch the disease if they were to have sexual intercourse. This affected our main character on several levels as he was afraid for his best friend, James and his brother’s lives.” 

Final Verdict: (A-) 75%

5. Ms Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal By G. Willow Wilson 

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal

Page Count: 120

Genre: Graphic Novel

Finally, a graphic novel that I enjoyed immensely! I loved everything from the art style to the structure of the story. However, I do not really understand where her power originated from and it took me out of the context of the story multiple times which irritated me to no end. Other than that, I do not have a problem with this graphic novel. Thus, my final verdict for this novel is B (70%).

6. Sharp Objects By Gillian Flynn

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Page Count: 251

Genre: Thriller

I have something preposterous to confess here… I enjoyed the TV series more than the book. So, hear me out before you carry your pitchforks and proof; receipts and reasons (Get the reference? Okay, I will stop). I preferred it more than the book because they have a class of terrific casts for the show and I was so much more immersed in their lives than I was in the novel. Moreover, that ending for the show with its end credit scene was horrifying and I did not see it coming. However, in the novel, you can see this estrange family dismantling and in turn, you can kind of guess who is the killer by the end of it. In addition, the characters in the show had much more depth than the book. However, I still very much enjoyed this novel so my final verdict for it is A (80%).

7. The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Page Count: 344

Genre: Classic, Dystopian

This is getting out of hand but I have to, once again, declare something outrageous: I enjoyed the TV show more than the novel. There, I said it. The show has stunning cinematography with a collection of supremely casted actresses and actors. The structure of the story in both the novel and the show is devastating and horrifying as the men in the society called Gilead view women as a sexual tool to give birth to babies. It infuriated me when I was reading this because of how unjust this system was and how there was no gender equality in any given way. However, I thought the novel was a little slow and therefore, it did not achieve the highest rating from me. Thus, my final verdict for the novel is an A (87%).

8. The Fifth Wave By Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

Page Count: 460

Genre: Science Fiction

Let me give all of you a piece of advice before you pursuit for this novel: DO NOT watch the film adaptation of the novel before you read this book. It will definitely defile the fun if you watch it before you read it. Actually, don’t even watch the film adaptation of the novel, it is dreadful. I urge you to read the novel though because it has all the elements that I love: atmospheric, character development, fast-paced, amazing writing, discernible voices from varied characters’ point of view, phenomenal plot twists and finally, an astounding story structure and backbone. However, the only thing that irked me was the unnecessary romantic relationship between Cassie and Evan. I thought their love for each other was cringe-worthy and a little bit forced. Thus, my final verdict for the novel is A (88%).

9. Animal Farm By George Orwell

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Page Count: 141

Genre: Classic, Dystopian

This is one of my favourite books of the year and I am not saying that lightly because I loved every second of this novel and every sentence presented in the novel is absolute gold, the 24-carat kind. I loved the underlined message of this book and how messed up everything was in it. It definitely is a thought-provoking novel as it got me thinking about our society today long after I had finished the book. Therefore, my final verdict for this novel is a scintillating A+ (100%).

10. Nevertell By Katherine Orton

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Page Count: 375

Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy

Once again, I had already reviewed this novel on this site and if you are interested to read it, click here. I am, again, going to extort a quote from the review and reinforce it here.

“When I first freed this novel and overset to the first folio, the very first sentence of the novel had already captivated me to read on as the writing style was so beautifully crafted and the prose used was on point. It was spontaneously explicit to me that the string of sentences was crafted punctiliously as the sentences were woven and strung together as seamless as silk. Although this novel is a middle-grade novel, Ms Orton did not fail to impress me with the omnium gatherum of words used and I very much appreciated that. Side note: there are illustrations emboss on every chapter headers and they are as beautiful as the writing style of this novel.”

Final Verdict: 80% (A).

11. The Outsiders By S.T Hinton

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Page Count: 375

Genre: Young Adult, Classic

I did not like any of the characters except for Darry (the only righteous one) as they were bullies being tyrannised by the social classes and bullies browbeating the juniors. I struggled to understand their motivation and their actions because the writing style was all over the place and I could not discern what in the living world the author was trying to convey. There were certain ideas that were brought up but never really established its foot on the groundworks of the novel which I thought was a waste of ideas. Also, most of the characters in this book are cupboard cut-out (2D characters) which irked me endlessly. However, I enjoyed the emotional factor of the novel and the ending as it was pretty devastating to read about. Therefore, my final verdict for this novel is D (58%).

12. Vox By Christina Dalcher

Vox

Page Count: 336

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

This novel felt a lot like The Handmaid’s Tale as the parallels between two books are very prominently displayed. For example, women losing jobs and rights. However, as I proceeded to read on, it became less like The Handmaid’s Tale and more like its own novel and I absolutely ‘adored’ it and thought the novel was as frightening as The Handmaid’s Tale. However, I thought this novel was slightly better than The Handmaid’s Tale as it was paced faster and it was unputdownable. Thus, my final verdict for this novel is A+ (90%).


This is the end of my ‘An Overdue Reading Wrap-Up!’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what your reading wrap up was in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Have a great day ahead!

Book Review

Nevertell By Katherine Orton | ARC Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be executing a review for a book called Nevertell By Katherine Orton today. Nevertell is Katherine Orton’s debut novel and I was propitious enough to receive a review copy of this book from Pansing, also known as Definitely Books on Instagram. 

Before we head into the book review section, I would like to embellish you with the prerequisite:

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy.

Page Count: 384.

Release Date: November 7th 2019.

So, without further ado, let us dive right into the book review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are solely on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

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Synopsis:

Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage – and a whisper of magic – if they are to survive…

My Introspections:

“Bodgan had pitched their hopes on a gamble. An extreme one, at that. But what was it her mother always said? Life is a gamble. Lina couldn’t tell the truth now without getting him into serious trouble. It was all or nothing.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

When I first freed this novel and overset to the first folio, the very first sentence of the novel had already captivated me to read on as the writing style was so beautifully crafted and the prose used was on point. It was spontaneously explicit to me that the string of sentences was crafted punctiliously as the sentences were woven and strung together as seamless as silk. Although this novel is a middle-grade novel, Ms Orton did not fail to impress me with the omnium gatherum of words used and I very much appreciated that. Side note: there are illustrations emboss on every chapter headers and they are as beautiful as the writing style of this novel.

In this novel, we follow Lina’s perspective in a third-person point of view and through her eyes, there is a cast of characters christened Bodgan, Tuyaara, Vadim, The Vengeful Sorcerer, Alexei, The Commandant, Katya and more. Do notice that I coloured some of the names, by ‘some’ I mean 4 of them as I would love to proffer them notable attention. Bodgan and The Vengeful Sorcerer have more magnanimous character developments in the novel as they are prominent in almost every scene, The Commandant and Katya are the driving force of the novel and the rest of the casts are pretty much one-dimensional as they do not actually have any characteristics that are outside of the one-dimensional realm except for specific impulse which I could comprehend flawlessly. However, Lina – the protagonist of the novel – is the best. She is ingenious, expeditious and also, she adapts swiftly to a brand new environment. I cannot help but root for her throughout the novel as she had been through so much and yet, she had not uttered a single complaint. Lina. Is. Freaking. Amazing.

“Humans kill what they think is most terrifying and what is most precious. You cannot deny it.” – Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

One of the idiosyncrasies enmeshed in this novel that I savoured immensely was the pacing. It was fast-paced and I found myself flipping page after page to uncover the journey of the characters as each chapter in this novel ended with a cliff-hanger so fervent that I had to recapitulate. Ms Orton did not waste a single sentence on monotonous functions, she exhorts you on with the meticulously crafted plot and plays with your sense of dread as something nefarious is going to befall the characters. If you are in a reading slump, I think this novel will be a perfect fit for what you are going through as it will help you to get back into reading. 

“I come from a separate climate, far from here, and I haven’t been back in many years. So my warm magic has suffered. And besides, it takes a certain positivity of spirit to grow more than a few peaches, which I am not so inclined to any more.”  Nevertell, Katherine Orton.

The magic system that was installed reverentially in the novel was interesting and unique but unfortunately, it was not explored and scrutinised in the novel. For example, the author would exude an idea for the magic system and explained it for a few paragraphs and never touched upon it again. It occurred several times in the novel which was frustrating as I would love to learn the nonpareil magic system. In addition, I do not understand how The Vengeful Sorcerer arrived in our world and how she tied both worlds together. Moreover, her origin was unexplained and I kept wondering whether or not there were more like her… However, there was some magic used here that was explained in length and used which I totally savoured. 

Into the bargain, I would love to talk about the atmosphere and the world-building mixed into the cauldron of this novel. The atmosphere embedded in the clefts of this novel was suspenseful and chilling but ultimately, it was optimistic and dreamy. The protagonist went through several instances that were remarkably frightening and many times, those instances were near-death experiences. Thus, the suspenseful and chilling atmosphere became apparent in these commotions. The optimistic and dreamy atmospheres were solely due to the writing style. The prose used was extraordinary and in turn, it made the characters more vibrant than sombre. In addition, the world-building of this novel was crafted impeccably as the exchange between the real world and the mantillas asunder for the world of The Vengeful Witch were formulated without any circumvention. Thus, I had taken pleasure in experiencing both the atmosphere and the world-building that the author had established in this book.

In conclusion, I will furnish this book with an 80% (A) rating as I had fun reading the novel and watching the plot unwound. Although it had its flaws, the experience that I had with this novel was all-around positive. Thus, the rating.

⇛ This book will be available at all good bookstores when it is released. Do give it a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Nevertell By Katherine Orton! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!