Book Review

Harrow Lake By Kat Ellis | Book Review

Hey Guys! My name is Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a book christened Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis today. I would like to thank Times Read for sending a copy of this novel to me. So, without further ado, let us get into the book review section!

Genre(s): Young Adult, Horror.

Page count: 305

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Synopsis:

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

My Introspections:

If I were to write a blurb for this novel, it would be this: “Kat Ellis has created a richly-filled landscape of 80’s horror films and it lingers on your skin long after you finish the novel”. I adored this novel and as an avid fan of horror movies, I think this novel does justice for that genre as this novel has a lot of that good stuff in it eg. Diminutive town, estranged family, a character going insane and crazy town with ghastly notions. However, I do have some criticisms to make and I will write extensively on that matter later. 

The writing style of this novel is atmospheric and gloomy with every shade of grey in it. The author has a way of incorporating words to craft a scene to make an innocuous scene seem ominous. In addition, I really enjoyed the references to horror films in this novel, it made my little horror heart leapt with happiness. Furthermore, I thought this novel was very well-paced as the author did not drag a scene out too long (which would make it boring) or cut short a scene during the horror scenes and that definitely made me adore the novel even more. However, the author uses the word – optimum – a lot and over time, it becomes repetitive and slightly annoying.

The atmosphere of the novel has a haunting inflexion to it and I thought that was the strongest point of the novel because it shows that the author has the ability to transport the readers to the head of the protagonist and allows the protagonist’s fears to be projected to the readers.

With aspects like the protagonist’s imaginary friend manifesting to life, a miniature-town which managed to make me feel claustrophobic, a town filled with superstitions and remarkably irrational people and most of all, Mr Jitters, it terrified me. However, I thought the horror aspect and the atmosphere faltered towards the end of the novel because it felt like the monster – Mr Jitters – did not add anything to the story but its main purpose is to terrorize the protagonist throughout the novel with literally no reason. BUT, I thought the people and their thinking and what they did were ten times more formidable than the actual monster of the novel so, those are the aspects that swooped in to save the ending of the novel for me.

The characters in this novel are multi-dimensional and complex. In this novel, there are Lola and Carter. Of course, there are more characters in this novel but we will only be focusing on both of these key characters in this review. Lola has a tendency to steal objects from strangers and write down her confessions on a paper and hide them in places where no one will look for but her. I thought the introduction to Lola was phenomenal and she has an amazing backbone to her character, for example, we learn in the novel that she adheres to her father like a leased dog with no freedom and as the story progresses, we see her character development and her flaws shining through the pages like a mirrorball and I adored it. Carter is a gentle person who assists people even though they insulted him with infuriating words. I thought his character arch was astonishing as well. Honestly, can Carter be my friend? He doesn’t even get mad when people insulted him.

Finally, there are several unexplained ideas that are thrust into the novel that make it seem like the author put them there for aesthetic purpose. For example, why does time slip away faster when Mr Jitters is around, why does Mr Jitters terrorize Lola since day one, is the urban legend about Mr Jitters real? The novel did provide some explanation to certain questions that I had posted but I do not think it is enough to justify Mr Jitters actions and his forces. Thus, I did not fancy the unexplained justifications of the novel.

Final Verdict: 80% (A)


This is the end of my review for Harrow Lake By Kat Ellis! 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

The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo | Rant Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be doing a book review for The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo today. Before we get into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Pansing for sending me a copy of this book. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review section of this article.

Genre: Supernatural Historical Romance. 

Page Count: 384

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Synopsis:

Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.

Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family’s only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practised, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days but at a terrible price.

After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor but also by her desire for the Lim’s handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy—including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

My introspection:

I was extremely disappointed when I finished reading The Ghost Bride as I was expecting to love it. There are a couple of elements in the book that I enjoyed but they are thwarted by the sheer amount of distasteful elements that I could not bring myself to ignore while I was reading the book and thus, greatly affected my enjoyment for the novel.  

“I wondered whether he had merely been polite to me because custom demanded it. But his eyes had lingered too long. Remembering his steady gaze, I felt weak. Was this love? It was like a consuming flame, licking through my defences at a slow burn.”

I thought the romance for this novel was very insta-lovey. Take the above quote as an example. Li Lan, who is the protagonist of the novel, just met Tian Bai at the Lim family estate and she has already fallen for him. You would think that the romance would progressively get better as the book trudges forward, but no, it progressively gets worse. I dreaded reading every scene that both of them are in because their love does not exist and if you insist that it does, then it is as stale as a piece of rancid bread. Li Lan swoons whenever she is near Tian Bai and she barely even knows him. He could be a kidnapper or an en masse murderer and I bet Li Lan will still be languishing over him and not see the facet he is wearing. Towards the end of the novel, there is a scene where Li Lan cheated on Tian Bai by kissing another guy and I was not especially fond of that but she did bear the responsibility and do the right thing in the last few pages of the novel. Here is another quote showing how she swoons over Tian Bai because I want all of you to experience what I underwent:

“I nodded but hardly heard a word that he said. I could only recall the slight pressure of Tian Bai’s finger as it had traced the curve of my cheek.”

The pacing of the novel is all over the place. I do not mind if a book starts off slowly or it picks up speed towards the middle of the book and slows down towards the end or it is slow all the way towards the end as long as it remains consistent. However, that is not the case here. I thought the pacing of this novel started off really well. It is steady and unmistakably pleasant to read. As the book progresses, the pacing starts to undergo a series of chaotic phenomenon like a delicate thread of line being severed from the grand scheme of things. Sometimes it is fast and oftentimes, it is a mix of both fast and slow which showcase how inconsistent the pacing really is. Thus, I can safely state that the pacing is one of the weak points of the novel.

“‘And you – do you miss your cousin too?’ Tian Bai gave me a level look. ‘Not in the least,’ he said.”

Before I read this novel, I thought this was going to be a mystery book incorporated with supernatural elements but my ideas were quickly put into liquidation when I realized the mystery element is merely just the subplot of the novel. Still, I decided to continue on with whatever the author has to offer for the subplot of this novel and I was left dissatisfied. I thought it was easy to decipher who Tian Ching’s murderer is and although I was satisfied with the explanation given by Tian Ching’s murderer on murdering him, I thought it was funny how easy the murderer gives in and offers up an explanation of her wrongdoing… Like girl, aren’t you supposed to deny, deny and deny that you did what you did? Bruh, I cannot believe she just gives up and tells Li Lan who is not at all threatening.

“They had all my favourite kinds of kuih – the soft steamed nyonya cakes made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with palm sugar or shredded coconut. There were delicate rolled biscuits called love letters and pineapple tarts passed out of the rich pastry. Bowls of toasted watermelon seeds were passed around, along with fanned slices of mango and papaya.”

Sure enough, the writing style for this novel is descriptive, crisp and poetic. The author is unquestionably skilled in writing and the quote above is evidence that she could write beautifully. The descriptions of food definitely got me salivating and her descriptions on the landmarks in Malacca allows me to visualize the precinct clearly. Here is another quote that showcases the author’s brilliant writing style:

“In accordance with Islams, the upper-class Malays kept their ladies in purdah and no men other than immediate family members were allowed to glimpse them unveiled. The local Chinese did not observe such strict segregation of the sexes, though too much intimacy between two young people was discouraged.” 

You can tell the author did a lot of research on ghost marriages, Chinese notions of the afterlife, Malaya, Straits-born Chinese, Chinese dialects, Chinese names and Malay spellings as they are all written in the author’s note at the end of the novel which, I thought, was a great addition of the book.

The atmosphere for this novel is crafted immensely well and I can feel the fear radiating off Li Lan’s back most of the time. Other times, she annoyed the heck out of me but we will talk more about that later on. I thought the atmosphere was at its peak when it reaches Chapter 32. That is where Li Lan’s body is being possessed by another soul and Li Lan has to look at what the other soul is doing to her body and her life through the other dimension which I thought was rather ominous. 

“His corpulence only served to accentuate his resemblance to a pig, especially when he sank his jowly chin his neck to regard me.” 

Li Lan is the most judgemental and annoying character in the novel and we are stuck in her head throughout the book. Take the quote above as an example. She incessantly asks her other ghost companion questions and demands for her other ghost companion to take her to places and when her companion asks her questions, Li Lan ‘wishes she would stop asking her questions’. Yes, that is the exact quote from the book. It is rather funny she thought of that because I thought of that as well but in my case, I actually wanted Li Lan to shut the hell up instead of the ghost companion. Also, there is not any character development for Li Lan throughout the novel, she remains exactly the same as she is from the start to the end. 

Tian Ching does not serve much in this novel although this whole dilemma originates from him. He is that spoilt brat who is lazy and enjoys fomenting problems. Yes, that’s all for his character traits. Tian Bai has no personality. Yan Hong is fine but I wish there’s more depth to her character. 

Er Lang is hands down the best character in this novel. He is snarky, funny and likes to banter back and forth with Li Lan. One of the best things he has ever said to Li Lan is this: ‘Stop asking foolish questions and go!’ and I will give an extra quote because I like this quote too: “He cocked his head to one side. ‘If you want to follow someone, you ought not to do so at such a pantingly close range.'”

In conclusion, my final verdict for this book is 35% (E). I really thought I would like this book but unfortunately, it did not work for me. However, I am willing to give the author another try. The Night Tiger which is the author’s second novel sounds like a book I would really appreciate and I would fancy giving that a try in the future.


This is the end of my review for The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo! 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

The Cruel Prince By Holly Black | Book Review

Hey everyone! Guess who has finally decided to return to this blog? Me. I hope all of you still recognize me as it has been a while since I last released an article on my blog. Just in case you are new here, my name is Max and today, I will be reviewing The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. 

For your information, this review will contain spoilers but I will inform you when the spoiler section appears, so feel free to read my ‘non-spoiler’ thoughts on The Cruel Prince and come back to read the spoiler section when you have finished reading the novel.

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

Disclaimers:

All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

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Synopsis:

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My introspection:

Honestly, I do not know how or where the hell I should begin. This book is a whirlwind of emotions and I think we should all applause Holly Black for doing the thing she did with this novel. Alright, I got to calm down and run through the tortuous thoughts in my head because this novel messed me up in the best way possible.

The writing style in this novel is extremely alluring. The author weaves sentences together like she is embroidering a dress and after she finishes, she proceeds to refine and embellish the details on every inch of it. Each sentence never fails to impress me with the author’s skilful writing style. She uses vast vocabularies which I really enjoy reading and discovering and I cannot wait for more of her delicious writing style to enter the depths of my brain.

The prologue of this novel is absolute gold. Ugh, that sounds kind of terrible because Jude’s (the protagonist) parents are literally murdered in the prologue [not a spoiler, it is in the synopsis] but I really enjoyed it. It kept me on the edge of my seat with my heart thumping fast and hard in my chest as if it was also trying to find out what was coming next as well. Then we have the first 160 pages which I thought was sensationally crafted and for your information, the political intrigue and the power shift happen later in the book but the first 160 pages will keep you piss off enough to make you fly through the pages due to the bullying the protagonist has to endure in Faerie. 

The politics and power shifts are, for lack of a better word, mind-blowing. The amount of scheming, lying, twisted words and betrayal are balanced meticulously on the scale. Holly Black really knows how to create multiple plot twists that you will not see coming and I swear, a few of the chapters in this novel mystified me to the point where it got my lips carving a big O on my face, in other words, my jaw dropped. Some of the plot twists end in violence and some don’t but overall, they are still fucking amazing and I cannot stress that enough.

The characters in this novel involve Jude; Taryn who is Jude’s twin sister; Vivienne who is Jude’s older sister; Madoc who is the murderer of Jude’s parents; Oriana who is married to Madoc; Oak who is Jude’s younger brother but not blood-related in any way; Cardan who is the prince of Faerie and also happens to be a jackass for bullying people who are weaker than him; Locke who is… erm he can drown in a lake and I would say thank you; Valerian who also happens to be a jackass like Cardan and; Nicasia who is Queen Orlargh heir and she is disgusting. These are the central characters and of course, there are more characters in this novel but I do not want to spoil the story by naming the others so I am going to leave it at that. 

The characters are so well constructed that you find yourself rooting for some of them and also, you will often find yourself wanting, desperately, to drown them personally in the river with your bare hands. Well, among all these characters, I would like to say that Jude has the most character development throughout the entirety of the novel because she is the one narrating the story but not only that, I thought her growth was gradual as she realizes her mistakes, takes guidance from other people and learns from it. Compare to the beginning of the novel where she does not, she clearly does take other people’s suggestions into account in the end.

For people who have not read a lot of Faerie books, you definitely need to know the basic knowledge of the folklore to understand the world a little better. I went into the novel with the mistake of not knowing anything about the folklore but I searched it up along the way so I can still kind of grasp the delicate line of knowledge of the world. Other than that, I thought the culture, the food and the social etiquette were very well formulated.   

However, I do have a scarce amount of complaints. Let’s inaugurate this section of the review with the ‘romance’. The romance, if you could call it that, feels really forced. It happens out of the blue and there is not any build-up to it. The romance section took me out of the story but luckily, it is quickly replaced by other plot points. 

Moving on, we have some character decisions that I could not comprehend. For example, Jude says ‘My father’ as in Madoc and not her biological father in the previous page and in the next page, a character says ‘your father’ and she quickly counteracts and says ‘He is not my father’… like dude, make up your mind. Sometimes, she makes a decision and it is not addressed ever again.

Therefore, my final verdict for this novel will be a solid 85%. Time to force every single one of you to read this novel and drown in the sea of emotions with me. Please read it, thank you very much. 


[SPOILER SECTION!]

I love how Holly Black annihilates Taryn good persona for me. I hate Taryn as much as Cardan because how in the world could you do that to your sister? How? I don’t understand. For goodness sake, Taryn is so cruel and she doesn’t even know she is just that- cruel – like the rest of the bullies.

THAT ENDING GOT ME LIKE:

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I totally did not see that coming. Like are you kidding? The crown is on Cardan’s head instead of Oak’s. Moreover, that scene where Madoc and Jude are fighting and that END RESULT. I cannot. I am deceased. 

The chapter before part 2 rolls around got my eyes going wide. I totally did not expect characters to be dead in a single sentence. The massacre of the royal family AHHH I can’t. 

I think that’s all I am going to say for this section. If you have any more to add on to this section, do state [SPOILERS] in your comment so people who have not read this novel will not be spoiled. Thanks! 


This is the end of my review for The Cruel Prince By Holly Black! 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

JackPot By Nic Stone | Book Review

Hey Guys! I will be composing a book review for Jackpot by Nic Stone today. I hope you are ready for some extreme gushing because this review is going to be filled with a cascade of compliments and heartache. So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!

Oh, before we get into the book review, I would like to thank Pansing for sending this novel to me. I will forever be thankful for having this novel in my possession as it is one of my favourite books of all time. 

We will now dive into the book review. 

JackPot’s release date and genre: 15th Of October & Young Adult Contemporary Romance.

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:

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

My Introspections:

I did not write a review straight away after I consumed this novel is because I do not know how to put my love for this novel into words. This novel is literally on par with one of my other favourite romance book of all time – The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. The thing is, not many romance novels make it up to my favourite list as the genre that dominates the list is Fantasy and the fact that both of these romance novels crawled their way up to the list means a lot to me. So, why do I love Jackpot so much? Because of the characters and the romance, of course.

The characters are well-written in this novel. We have Rico, Zan, Jessica, Ness, Rico’s mother and Jax. Rico is a rather complex character and her actions are sometimes difficult to understand because they do not make any sense and that is a character flaw which I loved as I am really pleased that we did not get a Mary Sue who presumes that she is right and perfect all the time in this novel. Zan is a character who I can relate to and I loved all his dialogues with Rico. In addition, he is the reason why the novel is so fun to read because he makes up the most humorous jokes and performs the most feeble-minded actions in the most random and awkward situations and I could not help but laugh at his stupidity. Moreover, he can be really respectful at times of need and I really liked that about his character.

Jessica and Ness are the side-characters that I thought were characters that are discarded in the beginning but build-up slowly towards the end. You can observe their character growth from the first page to the last page and you will be astounded by how much they have grown as characters in these 352 pages novel. Jax (Rico’s little brother) and Rico’s mother are both heartbreaking to read about because of the underlined stress that the mother faces to cover-up rental as a single mother and Jax who does not have a pleasant and comfortable childhood because of poverty. All these characters deliver this novel near to perfection. 

If you are wavered by the synopsis of this novel, I urge you to ignore it and go into the book with a clear mind and an open soul. Although the synopsis is accurate, it is just a sub-plot of what the actual novel is. This novel explores class, interracial characters, wealth and privilege and I noticed that the synopsis does not actually give justice to the glory that this novel deserves. I cannot stress enough of how magnificent this novel is because of the topics that it has presented in this novel.

The plot of the novel is delicately crafted and most of the plotlines string up together nicely. However, there are several minor plots that the author brought up in the novel and they are not answered and somehow… forgotten: (1) who is Zan’s previous girlfriend and why did he lie to Rico about not having a girlfriend before? (2) What did the previous girlfriend steal from Zan’s house and why is it important for anyone to mention it in the novel?

The pacing of this novel is eloquent and relaxing as it does not have a plenitude of protuberances that will cause the pacing to be treacherous. If a reader were to walk on a certain ground, he/she will discover that the ground is evenly paved just like the pacing of this novel. However, I thought that the ending was a little bit rushed but I was too emotionally invested in the novel to notice how fast the author was driving me to the ending point of the novel to care and therefore, the ending is what we will talk about next.

The ending of the novel has 2 gigantic plot twists that both made me sob endlessly and stunned me to my core. Honestly, I did not see any of them coming because I was so blinded by the romance that a veil did not asunder until the very page that the plot twists occur. In addition, the ending also shows the true colours of both the protagonist and her love interest and that made me love the book even more even though it is so heartbreaking to read about and I cannot stop thinking about it for days and that shows the astonishing characteristics of the novel.

In conclusion, I am giving this novel 95% (A+) rating because of how well-written and endearing the story and the characters are. Oh, just so you know, I think this is an amazing Christmas gift to give to a family member or a friend because this novel starts off in December with snow falling and a bed of white covering the green land. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for JackPot By Nic Stone! 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

Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal | Rant Review

Hey Guys! It’s Max here and I will be reviewing Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal today. Before we dive into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Pansing for offering me an opportunity to write a review for this novel by sending this novel to me. So, without further ado, let us plummet into the review section of this novel.

Fight Like A Girl:

Genre: Contemporary & Thriller

Release Date: March 10th 2020

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:

Love and violence. In some families, they’re bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye colour or a quirk of a smile.

Trisha’s trying to break the chain, channelling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. Her father comes and goes as he pleases, his presence adding a layer of tension to Toronto’s east-end townhouse Trisha and her mom call home, every punch he lands on her mother carving itself indelibly into Trisha’s mind. Until the night he wanders out drunk in front of the car Trisha is driving, practising on her learner’s permit, her mother in the passenger seat. Her father is killed, and her mother seems strangely at peace. Lighter, somehow. Trisha doesn’t know exactly what happened that night, but she’s afraid it’s going to happen again. Her mom has a new man in her life and the patterns, they are repeating.

My Introspections:

I thought this novel inaugurated with a plethora of serrated footings and even the first page itself provoked me to a certain degree. The fifth paragraph which is written on the first page by the author already allow me to determine whether or not I cherish the writing style of the novel and, lo and behold, I did not like the writing style of this novel at all.

It is written in a very informal way with an overabundance of brackets and dash to either express the main character’s emotions or random notions. I thought the dash irritated me the most because the author would write a paragraph halfway and dashes it at the end and the next paragraph would be something trivial and the following paragraph would be utilised to recapitulate the one that she dashes. For example:

“Ma wasn’t having any of it today, of all days. When she was about to say goodbye to the love of her life (gag).” – with the bracket.

“I try to force myself to look through the peephole in the door, but the fear is too much for me and whatever bit of courage I had a moment ago-

Calling out who’s there like an idiot

-disappears.” – with the dash.

The romance is farcical because I did not feel a single connection between the main character and the love interest. The only thing that is written on the page is how muscular the guy is and how he stank of cologne. I do not understand why the author would go through such length to introduce a love interest that does not have a single interesting point in the storyline and the love interest is the definition of a one dimensional-character with nothing interesting but his body and kiss. Besides, there is a character in this novel christened Christopher and he is the main character’s best friend. There is a scene in the novel that he kissed the main character with absolutely no reason and also, without consent and I thought that he sexually assaulted her and the main character would voice her concerns but it is never addressed again in the novel and that is not okay.

Moving on, there are several peculiarities that I found distasteful in the novel but two, in particular, infuriated me to no end.

Number 1, where is the thriller aspect of the novel where thrills are to be expected from a thriller novel? I thought the middle section of the novel did a great job at creating an atmosphere of suspense and disbelieve but then it all goes downhill when we enter the section where the book will have to come to an end. The story did not explain itself and at this point, the previous mystery is forgotten and a new lie is concocted (because they murdered another human being) to deceive the policemen so that they would not get apprehended and hurled into jail. 

Number 2, I thought the paranormal aspect will come into play as the author is hinting at it in the middle section of the novel and it got me really excited for how the ending is going to turn out but unfortunately, it is, again, forgotten and discarded. This irked me as I was so ready for the blood-sucking creatures to transform from their human body to their original configuration. How disappointing that the author did not take the route and instead, takes a complete turn and rains havoc to the ending.

The pacing that is embedded in this novel is not monumental. I thought the beginning of the novel was shaky and totally not well-balanced and as the story goes on, it stabilizes itself and it all goes down to the drain as soon as the story comes to a conclusion. The best way to describe the pacing for this novel is a tenuous framework of a building.

The abuse in this book is not well-written whatsoever. Here is the cycle: the mom gets abused by the main character’s dad, the protagonist’s mom abuses her, the protagonist’s dad dies in a car accident, the mom gets another abusive dude into her house, both of them mentally and physically abuse the daughter and it did not get resolved in the end and of course, they live happily ever after. Also, the mom’s friends did not voice up on the abuse even though they know about it. What the hell.

The last chapter (epilogue) of the novel is written in another format. I haven’t read You by Caroline Kepnes but the way that people describe it on Goodreads and Youtube is that the author uses “You” a lot to make the readers uncomfortable. This is exactly how the last page of this novel is written, but instead of making me feel uncomfortable, it made me feel a tinge of annoyance because none of the scenes in this novel warrants an ending that is written in that format. Therefore, I am very displeased with the epilogue of this novel. 

In conclusion, I am presenting this novel with a 21%(E) rating as I really did not care for any of the characters and story and the only thing I enjoyed was the middle section of the novel.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Fight Like A Girl By Sheena Kamal! 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!

lol

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

We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar | ARC review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and we will be handling a book review today. The book which we will be reviewing is called ‘We Are Lost And Found’ by Helene Dunbar. I received an Advance Readers Copy of this novel from the lovely publishing company christened Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley to appoint you all with a book review. 

Before we jump right into the book review, I would like to furnish you all with the fundamentals: 

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT Historical Fiction.

Page Count: 304

Release Date: 3rd of September 2019

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

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are 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:

A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming of age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate. 

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.

My Introspections:

Apart from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margeret Atwood, this might be the most important novel that I had read thus far this year. As the synopsis had stated, the story is set in the 1980s, where societal attitudes toward homosexuality were not pleasant and the threat of AIDs was discommoding to the gay community as no one understood what was going on and how this disease was supposed to be prevented. This novel allows us to witness the struggles of the people back in the ’80s which I will converse more on in the atmospheric section of this review. 

“But it’s like going back to your old elementary school to visit your teachers and finding the water fountains too low to reach. Maybe The Echo hasn’t changed, but I have.”

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. 

“Oh, Michael, seriously? What do you think they said? That it was random. Wrong place, wrong time. That sort of thing. But even if they’d caught someone, you know how these things play out. They’ll claim I made a pass as them, that they simply couldn’t help but protect themselves from the onslaught of my passions. As if.”

The ambience around this novel was gripping, upsetting and agitating. Upsetting because of how the protagonist and his brother were treated at home. Gripping because of how the threat of AIDs was exterminating people and that there was not an excavated prevention to AIDs as they do not understand what it was back in the ’80s. Agitating because of how society treated people who were gay back then and it tugged at my heartstrings to read about it. 

“James hesitated because he knows I hate inviting myself to places. The feeling that I might be intruding.”

Similar to the writing style of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, the writing style of this novel lacked quotation marks. To be honest, I do not like this kind of writing style as it does not correlate with me and I would also be confused half of the time by the lack of quotations. A sample to how lack of quotations in writing style goes in my brain: Is the character conversing? Is he having an internal monologue? Is he exhibiting his emotions or is he saying his feeling out loud? What? Oh, he is conversing with James. Other than the paucity of quotations, I thought the writing style was well-rounded and polished in a debonair manner. Moreover, I could not stop excerpting the book as the whole book was so quotable. For example:

“Her answer feels wrong. Limited. Like, there have to be more than two options.”

“Rules. My father’s rules: Don’t make noise. Don’t draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself. Don’t stand up for anything you believe in. Don’t show any emotion that isn’t anger. Don’t be yourself.”

“Books. Cassettes. Tiny origami shapes: dragons and roses and stars. My father sneers at these gifts when I don’t get to them first.”

GOOSEBUMPS, am I right?

An element in the book which I did not particularly enjoy was the incessant repetition of our protagonist going to The Echo to dance. It took several homogeneous scenes of our protagonist rollicking in The Echo for something to finally transpire. I thought if those scenes could be shortened down and the plot was to be impelled forward without those verbose displays, this would absolutely be an irreproachable book (exclude the quotation marks). 

In conclusion, I am furnishing this novel with a (B) 75%. I thought it was an important novel that should be read by everyone as it would give you an insight into the ’80s and how people were treated back then with the emerging fulminations of AIDs. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for We Are Lost And Found By Helene Dunbar! 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 · Masochist

The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer | Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and lately, I inaugurated a series denominated as Masochist and in the very first article that I had composed for this fastidious series, I appended a table of books on my shelves that have low ratings on Goodreads and the book that I will be fractionating today had desisted on that list. The novel is none other than The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner By Stephenie Meyer who had written the Twilight Series, The Host and The Chemist.

Just to recapitulate what I had constituted in the last article, the statistics for this novel will be written below. This way, it will be more insouciant for us to distinguish what others had elucidated on this book and what I have to say about this book: 

Current rating: 3.5 stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 178 pages

The number of people who rated this novel: 168,408

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

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are 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:

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes, and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood…life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don’t draw attention to yourself, and above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn’t know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they only know as her. As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

My Introspection:

We shall commence with this review by stating on the scene that had transpired in the movie- Eclipse and to forge a contrast with the homogeneous scene that had occurred in the book. Honestly, the movie version of Bree’s persecution was remarkably desolating due to the outstanding performance of the actress who acted as Bree. In the movie, her inclination towards death was flaunted whereas, in the book, she embraced her death as if it was no big deal which also implored that she did not scream or cry or be afraid of the stages that will be taken place. Extra information: She is only 15 years old and her second life just originated. Clearly, it made no sense whatsoever because who would not be scared of getting persecuted- in this case, burned vigorously, innocently? Therefore, it concluded that I fancied the movie version of her death more than the cessation of her life scene in the book.

“I struggled to calm myself and shut my eyes again. There were things they didn’t want me to hear, either. I could live with that- if it meant I could live.” (pg. 155) 

The style of writing was, ditto, not pre-eminent as of the rest of the Twilight series. I do not apprehend on how to meticulously pinpoint whether or not the writing was imperceptibly better in this novella than the rest of the books in the series because I examined that the writing was more concentrated and rigorous in the first half of the novel and the next just exerted a nosedive. For example, the quote above noted that she wanted to live instead of dying. However, when you sedulously scrutinize the previous sentences, she transcribed that she craved to die due to the immense amount of pain that she tolerated from her dead one-day boyfriend. In addition, there is a paragraph in the novel that I could not believe it had accepted to be published:

“I turned off my brain. It was time to hunt. I took a deep breath, drawing in the scent of the blood inside the human below. They weren’t the only humans around, but they were the closest.” (pg. 9)

I turned off my brain. I TURNED OFF MY BRAIN. What in the world? Hold on, if you shut off your brain, does that not mean that you are incompetent with the tasks at hand and instead, become an effigy that stands on a pedestal? Do take note that after Bree ‘turned off’ her brain, she is still able to move about and draws in the scent of human blood. To further obfuscate the material, this redundant paragraph managed to slip through the clefts of the editor and be promulgated:

“Weird. Diego was weird. How he sounded like a person having a regular old conversation. No hostility, no suspicion. Like he wasn’t thinking about how easy or hard it might be to kill me right now. He was just talking to me.” (pg. 7)

This paragraph is not half as nefarious as the one we had conversed on above. Still, it was repetitive and I effectuated that it was the reiteration of paragraphs and words or information that had prompted Stephenie Meyer’s novels to be more longspun than it should be. For example, we already sanctioned that she called Diego a weirdo but Stephenie Meyer decided to supplement the word count by placing: ‘Diego was weird’ as if we do not already know that. Thus, the writing style for this novel was overall confusing.

“Kissing didn’t sound the same with Vampires as it did with humans. No soft, fleshy, liquid-filled cells to squish against each other. Just stone lips, no give. I had heard one kiss between Vampires before- Diego’s touch my lips last night- but I never would have made the connection. It was so far from what I’d expected to find here.” (pg. 71)

Frankly, I do not wallow in that many details. Details like these: Kissing for Vampires is like stone grinding against a stone, causing friction which would erupt into flames if you are not careful. I exaggerated there but candidly, I do not need to discern how kissing sculptures for Vampires. That is just plain repugnant. Also, it induced me to reminisce of these undesirable scenes: Bella kissing a stone who is Edward. You are welcome.

“He was pretty, with dark, dense, curly hair, big, wide eyes, and really full lips, but then, who wasn’t pretty?” (pg. 4)

As for now, Diego and Bree will be in our limited circuitous notoriety. I am not even ribbing, Bree had no temperament and I do not discern on why she is the cyanogen of the story. Bella’s personalities blanched opposed to Bree’s. Diego had an insignificant nature and an even minor cleft in his personality: He was loyal (and vacuous) up to the apex where he does not notice that the one he respected and trusted will hurt him the most. He was attractive and of course, he will fall for that one girl who had no disposition. Do not even get me enkindled on the less than one-day insta-love. Whatever, I am going to ramble:

They went hunting for food together + they conversed on random notions + they kissed + they will die for each other + Bree wanted to die when she realized that Diego died + all of these scenes in less than 24 hours = WTF-INSTA-LOVE 

The only positive point in this book that I could denote is the middle section of the novel. I thought the core segment of this novel was the strongest in this whole novel because I finally sensed something that I could clasp on- the perplexity of the situation. I fancied learning about the Victoria Army and the layout to ambush the Cullens and procure Bella as the prize. I presume that that was the only time where I truly let myself immerse into the world and experienced the tension that the characters were having. Unfortunately, it was short-lived.

In conclusion, I am bequeathing this novella with an E (20%). I presume that you will appreciate this novella if you adored the rest of the Twilight series but I, unfortunately, do not relish on some of the books in that series and this book had now been stacked on top on that list. Thus, the rating.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner! 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

Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and a little while back, I was buddy-reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng with Jessica from Endless Chapters and I completed it before she does because she joined the ‘reading session’ when I was midway through the novel [Sorry, Jessica, for not waiting for you]. A quick shoutout to Jessica from Endless Chapters: She has an astonishing blog and she writes wondrous reviews on books (Don’t mind me fanboying here) and I am indubitable that you guys will cherish her blog!  

So, without further ado, let us get into the review!

Disclaimer:

  • All thoughts and opinions are 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:

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

My Introspection:

This is the very first Domestic Fiction novel that I had read in my entire life and it did not foil. Note that I will be reading more novels dispense from Celeste Ng because everything from her writing style to the character structures was executed flawlessly- maybe not impeccable but this novel is adjacent to consummation. I will be getting my hands on a printed copy of Everything I Never Told You sometime soon as I was infatuated with how the story unfurled in Little Fires Everywhere

“Perfection: that was the goal, and perhaps the Shakers had lived it so strongly that it seeped into the soil itself, feeding those who grew up there with a propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws.”

The strongest point in this novel was the root of each of the characters and their impulses and intentions. We have the Richardsons: Izzy, Lexie, Moody, Trip, Bill, Elena. Bill, the father of the four children, laboured for the erroneous side of the court to detach the mother essence from the baby. Elena, the mother of four children, who trailed after perfection and thus, resulted in the destruction of her home. Moody who betrayed his best friend. Trip who played with everyone’s feelings. Lexie who used people. Izzy who knew what was right and wrong.

In addition, we have Bebe, Mia and Pearl. Bebe who made a mistake and lost custody over her child and was determined to win her back from her baby’s adopted family and therefore, ended up in court. Mia who was passionate and meticulous in her artwork ran away with her child under certain circumstances and winded up in Shaker Heights. Pearl, Mia’s only child, was innocent. These are a class of characters with distinct personalities, each different from one another; each of them has their own motivation. Truth to be told, there are more characters outside of this globule and more stories to be told but I had just furnished you with the significant ones.

“A lot of times, parents are not the best at seeing their children clearly. There’s so much wonderful about you.”

This novel is definitely more character-driven than plot-driven as the author has given a chance for the readers to disinter the core of the characters and to answer questions as to why they behave the way they did. Let’s take Elena Richardson as an example, she is a perfectionist: she chases after perfection in everything such as family life, work life, college life, etc. and when a person comes in and disrupts the whole system of staying perfect, she is furious and somewhat afraid- thinking that she had missed out on something. It is that that drives her to exhume a person’s life, depositing that person unornamented. Each of the characters in this novel has their own personalities and they are again, distinguishable from one another and thus, making the novel enjoyable.

However, the first 100 pages of the book were tedious and somewhat boring. I conjectured that Celeste was trying to build up the atmosphere and the characters but I thought that certain scenes should be shortened down in order to make it more compelling. After the first quarter of the book, the pacing subsequently picked up and everything was much more enjoyable until the point where I almost forgot about the problems that I had in the first 100 pages. If you are someone who can tolerate slow pacing or is currently reading this novel but could not get past the boredom that is the first 100 pages, I highly recommend you to stick to the story as it will get better.

“How could these people, she thought, how could these people take a child from its mother? She told herself this all night and into the next morning, as she dialled, as she waited for the phone to ring. It wasn’t right. A mother should never give up her child.”

The crafting of the atmosphere was very adequately administered as the autochthonous setting which was set in a town dubbed Shakers Height yielded nostalgia for me because it exhibited a sense of hometown quality. For example, the streets that they walked, the way they talked and heck, even the phone that they used. It seemed to appear that I was there and this calls for the writing style: only a valid and conspicuous writing style would enable a reader who has the book in hand to be transported into the story and viewing the characters’ lives.  

“It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone or was it love?”

The style of writing for this novel intumesced my affection for this novel and this particular story even more. Celeste dwelled and adopted words to weave around a subject to increase the precision and intricacy of each scene. The author crafted each scene delicately: the words in each of the scenes; every sentence could not have abstained because if one of the words is withdrawn, the whole construction of the scene is demolished. At least, that was what it suggested when I was reading the novel.

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.” 

In conclusion, I am bestowing an A (87%) for this novel. If you are into Domestic Fiction with a firm character-driven story and slow pacing, I urge you to pick up this novel as I am assured that you will be able to fully enjoy the experience with this book in hand. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng! 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

Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas | Rant Review

Hey guys! It is Max here and I will be making a rant review for Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas today! I know this is an unpopular opinion but I have a handful of reasons on why I dislike this novel. I do not hate it per se, I just did not really like it. So, without further ado, let us dive right in.

Disclaimers:

  • All thoughts and opinions are 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:

After serving out a year of hard labour in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Introspection:

It has been forever since I last composed of a book review and I am finally back to reviewing the novels that I had read. So, from what I have heard, this book is grouped under the category of High Fantasy and I thought it did not warrant to be among that category and instead, be categorized under light fantasy. Although I could see the potential in the later books to be shelved under high fantasy because the ending of this novel hinted at it,  I thought the first book should still be placed under light fantasy instead of High fantasy and I will explain why.

“While he might be a Hallivard, he was… Well, she still very much wanted to kiss him.

Throne Of Glass has a lighter tone to it and it did not offer the darkness that high fantasy demands. Its tone lightens due to the heavy romance that was thrown into the plot of the novel. In order to not shy away from the truth, there is a love triangle in it and the love interest that she ended up with is beyond ridiculous. It was something like love-at-first-sight because I personally thought that they had zero chemistry together; it just happened due to mutual affection. Almost 15% of the novel deals with their kindling romance and they do not even know each other. Not one bit… Well, maybe a little but it is far too less to start snogging on each other faces. What if Calaena resolved to kill you? Huh? I don’t think the other love interest will even acknowledge it.  On the other hand, I thought the second love interest is better than prior as they had more chemistry together and they know each other.

“Are you fond of dogs?” asked the prince. She nodded. Why was it already so hot? “Am I going to be blessed with the pleasure of hearing your voice, or have you resolved to be silent for the duration of our journey?”

“I am afraid your questions didn’t merit a verbal response.”

However, what I do actually enjoy about the novel is Calaena insolence and the way she lashes out at people who did her wrong but that could be identified as a flaw as well as she is very stubborn with the ideas- always insisting that they are right even though they are, very clearly stated, not.

Leaving her act of impertinence behind, her precinct of qualities for being an assassin will now be commented on. Calaena who is the notorious, brutal and merciless slayer is recruited by a Prince- who she despised since she hates on the Royals vehemently,  perpetually and incessantly, for a competition which would lead to death if the ‘Champions’, also known as competitors, are not well aware. In court, Calaena the assassin dresses like a court-lady which is unnecessary and well, as if it could not get any worse, she dwells on the seams of the dresses and the softness and comfort that they offered instead of practising her skills to become the winner of this God-forbidden competition. 

Furthermore, she reads books in her spare time and readers of this novel almost never get to experience how she endures her training and how she practices her killing tactics except for certain instances which I thought those scenes were really well written. This novel mostly covers her spare time in which she would lend books from the library and piles of them will be all over her bed- a way to abolish the spines of the titles if you ask me. In addition, she plays the piano in her spare time and I can apprehend that she is a human with emotion and soul too but really? Do you have a death wish in which you would like to die in a competition? If not, you would use all the time in the world to train in order to maximize your chances of winning instead of dying. 

Moreover, you will think that she is an assassin, a pretty good one at that as she is being trained by Adarlan’s own hands. However, there are a copious of scenes which I thought her skills of being a slayer failed her and I definitely questioned if she is actually an assassin. Take a look at this quote:

“One! She slept that long? What about lessons with Chaol?”

Just to give you extra information, there is a monster roaming around the castle, killing off Champions like they are just another piece of wasteland and our protagonist knows that it is out there, somewhere, killing them off one by one on the precipice of their fingers. And here she is, deep in her sleep, the monster could just barge into the room and annihilate her. Where has her assassin qualities gone to? Isn’t an assassin, a good one, supposed to be alert at all times? I guess the prince has gotten all over her head since she is so love-drunk.

To be more optimistic, the pacing of this novel is fantastic. A 404 pages novel that moves with a speed of a 200 pages novel and I thought it was astounding that I would read this continuously without taking any extra break unless it is necessary. That is how addicted I was with the novel but that does not mean it is a good book. If you are a fast reader, you would devour this in two days. If you are a slow reader, you will consume this novel in three days because of the addictive quality of the book. 

Now, I want to talk about Calaena as a protagonist. To be honest, I feel a certain disconnection with her as a reader due to the fact that we did not get to know her as much as a person would like to. For example, her past is obscured and Sam, who I assumed is her ex-lover, is only ever mentioned once in the novel. Also, her childhood- the part where she was ‘bathed’ in her parent’s blood is only declared once and I thought that section intrigued me as it would give us information as to why she becomes the person she is as of today. But alas, information like this is not given and that disappointed me.

In conclusion, I am proffering this novel an E (46%) as a rating that would be suitable for my taste in novels. I will continue to read the series as I am intrigued by the ending of the novel and I heard other reviewers raving about the second book in the series and therefore, I would pick the book up from a bookstore someday soon.


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Throne Of Glass By Sarah J. Maas! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!